Publications by authors named "Muhammad Noman"

130 Publications

Ultrasensitive detection of food colorant sunset yellow using nickel nanoparticles promoted lettuce-like spinel CoO anchored GO nanosheets.

Food Chem Toxicol 2021 Nov 29;159:112725. Epub 2021 Nov 29.

Department of Machinery Construction, Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation (CXI), Technical University of Liberec, Studentská 1402/2, 461 17 Liberec 1, Czech Republic.

Synthetic food colorants are extensively used across the globe regardless of the fact that they induce deleterious side effects when used in higher amounts. In this work, a novel electrochemical sensor based on nickel nanoparticles doped lettuce-like CoO anchored graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets was developed for effective detection of sulfonated azo dye sunset yellow widely used as a food colorant. Hydrothermal synthesis was adopted for the preparation of lettuce-like spinel CoO nanoparticles and Ni-CoO NPs/GO nanocomposite was prepared using ecofriendly and economical sonochemical method. The prepared ternary nanocomposite meticulously fabricated on a screen-printed carbon electrode exhibited remarkable electrocatalytic activity towards sunset yellow determination. This is apparent from the resultant well-defined and intense redox peak currents of Ni-CoO NPs/GO nanocomposite modified electrode at very low potentials. The developed sunset yellow sensor exhibited a high sensitivity of 4.16 μA μM cm and a nanomolar detection limit of 0.9 nM in the linear range 0.125-108.5 μM. Furthermore, experiments were conducted to affirm excellent stability, reproducibility, repeatability, and selectivity of proposed sensor. The practicality of sunset yellow determination using the developed sensor was analyzed in different varieties of food samples including jelly, soft drink, ice cream, and candy resulting in recovery in the range of 96.16%-102.56%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2021.112725DOI Listing
November 2021

Multifunctional Electrically Conductive Copper Electroplated Fabrics Sensitizes by In-Situ Deposition of Copper and Silver Nanoparticles.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Nov 16;11(11). Epub 2021 Nov 16.

Functional Textile Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, National Textile University, Faisalabad 37610, Pakistan.

In this study, we developed multifunctional and durable textile sensors. The fabrics were coated with metal in two steps. At first, pretreatment of fabric was performed, and then copper and silver particles were coated by the chemical reduction method. Hence, the absorbance/adherence of metal was confirmed by the deposition of particles on microfibers. The particles filled the micro spaces between the fibers and made the continuous network to facilitate the electrical conduction. Secondly, further electroplating of the metal was performed to make the compact layer on the particle- coated fabric. The fabrics were analyzed against electrical resistivity and electromagnetic shielding over the frequency range of 200 MHz to 1500 MHz. The presence of metal coating was confirmed from the surface microstructure of coated fabric samples examined by scanning electron microscopy, EDS, and XRD tests. For optimized plating parameters, the minimum surface resistivity of 67 Ω, EMI shielding of 66 dB and Ohmic heating of 118 °C at 10 V was observed. It was found that EMI SH was increased with an increase in the deposition rate of the metal. Furthermore, towards the end, the durability of conductive textiles was observed against severe washing. It was observed that even after severe washing there was an insignificant increase in electrical resistivity and good retention of the metal coating, as was also proven with SEM images.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11113097DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8623616PMC
November 2021

Bi-functional renewable biopolymer wrapped CNFs/Ag doped spinel cobalt oxide as a sensitive platform for highly toxic nitroaromatic compound detection and degradation.

Chemosphere 2021 Nov 20:132998. Epub 2021 Nov 20.

Department of Machinery Construction, Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation (CXI), Technical University of Liberec, Studentská 1402/2, 461 17, Liberec 1, Czech Republic.

Nanomolar-level detection of priority toxic pollutant 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) in environment using a novel ternary nanocomposite based electrochemical sensor and its photocatalytic degradation is reported in this paper. A non-toxic and renewable natural biopolymer, chitosan wrapped carbon nanofibers was embedded with Ag doped spinel CoO to prepare the bi-functional ternary nanocomposite. Economical and ecofriendly sonochemical method was employed in preparation of this porous nanocomposite. We used one-pot aqueous solution approach to synthesize Ag-CoO nanoflowers and ultrasound-assisted method was utilized to prepare CS-CNFs. Morphological and structural properties of synthesized materials were analyzed using different characterization techniques. Electrochemical investigations using cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry carried out with prepared ternary nanocomposite modified carbon electrode revealed its outstanding electrocatalytic activity in 4-NP quantification. The developed 4-NP sensor showcased excellent sensitivity of 55.98 μAμMcm and nanomolar detection limit of 0.4 nM. Moreover, reproducibility, repeatability, stability, and selectivity were evaluated to confirm reliability of developed sensor. Further, real sample analyses were conducted using domestic sewage, underground water, and tomato to affirm the practical feasibility of 4-NP detection using the proposed sensor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.132998DOI Listing
November 2021

Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Augments Autophagy and Reduces Apoptosis in Damaged Liver to Improve Tissue Regeneration in Zebrafish.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 22;9:756743. Epub 2021 Oct 22.

School of Pharmacy, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.

Regeneration of a part of the diseased liver after surgical resection is mainly achieved by the proliferation of the remaining healthy liver cells. However, in case of extreme loss of liver cells or in the final stages of chronic liver disease, most liver cells are depleted or lose their ability to proliferate. Therefore, to foster liver regeneration, it is of great clinical and scientific significance to improve the survival and proliferation ability of residual hepatocytes. In this study, we conducted experiments on a zebrafish model of targeted ablation of liver cells to clarify the role of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). We found that FGF21 increased the regeneration area of the damaged liver and improved the survival rate of damaged liver cells by inhibiting cell apoptosis and reducing oxidative stress. Our results also showed that administration of FGF21 upregulated autophagy, and the beneficial effects of FGF21 were reversed by the well-known autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (CQ), indicating that FGF21-activated autophagy played a central role in the treatment. We further showed that the enhancement of autophagy induced by FGF21 was due to the activation of the AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway. Taken together, these data provide new evidence that FGF21 is an effective autophagy regulator that can significantly improve the survival of damaged livers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.756743DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8570170PMC
October 2021

Excellent UV-Light Triggered Photocatalytic Performance of ZnO.SiO Nanocomposite for Water Pollutant Compound Methyl Orange Dye.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Sep 28;11(10). Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Department of Physics, Chaudhary Ranbir Singh University, Jind 126102, India.

The photocatalytic activity of eco-friendly zinc oxide doped silica nanocomposites, synthesized via a co-precipitation method followed by heat-treatment at 300, 600, and 900 °C is investigated. The samples have been characterized by employing X-ray diffraction method, and further analyzed using the Rietveld Refinement method. The samples show a space group P63mc with hexagonal structure. The prepared composites are tested for their photocatalytic activities for the degradation of methyl orange-based water pollutants under ultra-violet (UV) irradiation using a 125 W mercury lamp. A systematic analysis of parameters such as the irradiation time, pH value, annealing temperatures, and the concentration of sodium hydroxide impacting the degradation of the methyl orange (MO) is carried out using UV-visible spectroscopy. The ZnO.SiO nanocomposite annealed at 300 °C at a pH value of seven shows a maximum photo-degradation ability (~98.1%) towards methyl orange, while the photo-degradation ability of ZnO.SiO nanocomposites decreases with annealing temperature (i.e., for 600 and 900 °C) due to the aspect ratio. Moreover, it is seen that with increment in the concentration of the NaOH (i.e., from 1 to 3 g), the photo-degradation of the dye component is enhanced from 20.9 to 53.8%, whereas a reverse trend of degradation ability is observed for higher concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11102548DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8541141PMC
September 2021

Current trends and future prospective in nanoremediation of heavy metals contaminated soils: A way forward towards sustainable agriculture.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Dec 11;227:112888. Epub 2021 Oct 11.

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology and Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Crop Pathogens and Insects and Key Laboratory of Biology of Crop Pathogens and Insects of Zhejiang Province. Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China. Electronic address:

Heavy metals (HMs) contamination in agricultural soils is a major concern for global food safety and human health. Although, various in-situ and ex-situ remediation methods have been used for the treatment of HMs contaminated soils, however, they also have many drawbacks viz., capital investment, toxicity, and environmental health hazards. Consequently, there is an urgent need to develop a novel method to ameliorate the toxicity of HMs in agricultural soils. In recent years, nanoparticles (NPs) have gained significant attention due to their potential applications in the environment and agriculture fields. Nanoremediation employs NPs that effectively reduce the contents of toxic HMs in the soil-plant system. Several studies have reported that the application of NPs in HMs-polluted soils, which reduced plant-available HMs concentration soils. However, the long-term efficiency of NPs immobilization is still unclear. Here, we provide details about the toxicity of HMs to environmental systems and potential applications NPs to alleviate the accumulation of HMs in agricultural soils. Finally, we present the mechanistic route of HMs-toxicity alleviation in plants by NPs application as well as their long-term efficiency and future prospects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112888DOI Listing
December 2021

Prediction of Methylene Blue Removal by Nano TiO Using Deep Neural Network.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 Sep 15;13(18). Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Department of Machinery Construction, Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation (CXI), Technical University of Liberec, Studentská 1402/2, 461 17 Liberec 1, Czech Republic.

This paper deals with the prediction of methylene blue (MB) dye removal under the influence of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) through deep neural network (DNN). In the first step, TiO2 NPs were prepared and their morphological properties were analysed by scanning electron microscopy. Later, the influence of as synthesized TiO2 NPs was tested against MB dye removal and in the final step, DNN was used for the prediction. DNN is an efficient machine learning tools and widely used model for the prediction of highly complex problems. However, it has never been used for the prediction of MB dye removal. Therefore, this paper investigates the prediction accuracy of MB dye removal under the influence of TiO2 NPs using DNN. Furthermore, the proposed DNN model was used to map out the complex input-output conditions for the prediction of optimal results. The amount of chemicals, i.e., amount of TiO2 NPs, amount of ehylene glycol and reaction time were chosen as input variables and MB dye removal percentage was evaluated as a response. DNN model provides significantly high performance accuracy for the prediction of MB dye removal and can be used as a powerful tool for the prediction of other functional properties of nanocomposites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13183104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8473325PMC
September 2021

Recent progress on the heavy metals ameliorating potential of engineered nanomaterials in rice paddy: a comprehensive outlook on global food safety with nanotoxicitiy issues.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2021 Sep 23:1-15. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Soil contamination with toxic heavy metals (HMs) poses a serious threat to global food safety, soil ecosystem and human health. The rapid industrialization, urbanization and extensive application of agrochemicals on arable land have led to paddy soil pollution worldwide. Rice plants easily accumulate toxic HMs from contaminated agricultural soils, which ultimately accumulated in grains and enters the food chain. Although, physical and chemical remediation techniques have been used for the treatment of HMs-contaminated soils, however, they also have many drawbacks, such as toxicity, capital investment and environmental-associated hazards. Recently, engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have gained substantial attention owing to their promising environmental remediation applications. Numerous studies have revealed the use of ENMs for reclamation of toxic HMs from contaminated environment. This review mainly focuses on HMs toxicity in paddy soils along with potential health risks to humans. It also provides a critical outlook on the recent advances and future perspectives of nanoremediation strategies. Additionally, we will also propose the interacting mechanism of HMs-ENMs to counteract metal-associated phytotoxicities in rice plants to achieve global food security and environmental safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2021.1979931DOI Listing
September 2021

Green molybdenum nanoparticles-mediated bio-stimulation of Bacillus sp. strain ZH16 improved the wheat growth by managing in planta nutrients supply, ionic homeostasis and arsenic accumulation.

J Hazard Mater 2022 Feb 25;423(Pt A):127024. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, 310058 Hangzhou, China. Electronic address:

The present work mechanistically addressed the problem of arsenic (As) contamination in agricultural soils by using locally isolated Bacillus sp. strain ZH16 and biogenic molybdenum nanoparticles (MoNPs) simultaneously for the first time. The interactions of MoNPs with strain ZH16 and ZH16-inoculated wheat plants were examined under As non-spiked and spiked conditions. The biogenic MoNPs showed efficient biocompatibility with strain ZH16 by promoting indole-3-acetic acid synthesis, phosphate solubilization and ACC deaminase activity without and with As stress. The results from greenhouse experiment revealed that co-application of biogenic MoNPs and bacterial strain ZH16 significantly promoted the morphological parameters, nutrients content and ionic balance of wheat plants under normal and As spiked conditions. Furthermore, combining the bacterial strain ZH16 with biogenic MoNPs dramatically reduced As translocation in plants (30.3%) as compared to ZH16-inoculated wheat plants. Conclusively, our results elucidate the importance of synergistic application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and biogenic MoNPs to counteract global food safety issues in a sustainable manner. The biogenic NPs could serve as stabilizing agent for PGPR by facilitating their colonization in plant holobiont regardless of environmental conditions. These novel advancements will provide new insights into nano-oriented PGPR research in the agricultural sector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127024DOI Listing
February 2022

Classification of Textile Polymer Composites: Recent Trends and Challenges.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 Aug 4;13(16). Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Department of Machinery Construction, Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation (CXI), Technical University of Liberec, 461 17 Liberec, Czech Republic.

Polymer based textile composites have gained much attention in recent years and gradually transformed the growth of industries especially automobiles, construction, aerospace and composites. The inclusion of natural polymeric fibres as reinforcement in carbon fibre reinforced composites manufacturing delineates an economic way, enhances their surface, structural and mechanical properties by providing better bonding conditions. Almost all textile-based products are associated with quality, price and consumer's satisfaction. Therefore, classification of textiles products and fibre reinforced polymer composites is a challenging task. This paper focuses on the classification of various problems in textile processes and fibre reinforced polymer composites by artificial neural networks, genetic algorithm and fuzzy logic. Moreover, their limitations associated with state-of-the-art processes and some relatively new and sequential classification methods are also proposed and discussed in detail in this paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13162592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8398028PMC
August 2021

Combined Use of Modal Analysis and Machine Learning for Materials Classification.

Materials (Basel) 2021 Jul 30;14(15). Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Material Engineering, Faculty of Textile Engineering, Technical University of Liberec, 461 17 Liberec, Czech Republic.

The present study deals with modal work that is a type of framework for structural dynamic testing of linear structures. Modal analysis is a powerful tool that works on the modal parameters to ensure the safety of materials and eliminate the failure possibilities. The concept of classification through this study is validated for isotropic and orthotropic materials, reaching up to a 100% accuracy when deploying the machine learning approach between the mode number and the associated frequency of the interrelated variables that were extracted from modal analysis performed by ANSYS. This study shows a new classification method dependent only on the knowledge of resonance frequency of a specific material and opens new directions for future developments to create a single device that can identify and classify different engineering materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14154270DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8348414PMC
July 2021

Seed Priming with Brassinosteroids Alleviates Chromium Stress in Rice Cultivars via Improving ROS Metabolism and Antioxidant Defense Response at Biochemical and Molecular Levels.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2021 Jul 7;10(7). Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Institute of Crop Sciences, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.

This research was performed to explore the vital role of seed priming with a 0.01 µM concentration of brassinosteroids (EBL) to alleviate the adverse effects of Cr (100 µM) in two different rice cultivars. Seed priming with EBL significantly enhanced the germination attributes (germination percentage, germination energy, germination index, and vigor index, etc.), photosynthetic rate as well as plant growth (shoot and root length including the fresh and dry weight) under Cr toxicity as compared to the plants primed with water. Cr toxicity induced antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, POD, CAT, and APX) and ROS level (MDA and HO contents) in both rice cultivars; however, a larger increment was observed in YLY-689 (tolerant) than CY-927 (sensitive) cultivar. EBL application stimulatingly increased antioxidant enzyme activities to scavenge ROS production under Cr stress. The gene expression of SOD and POD in EBL-primed rice plants followed a similar increasing trend as observed in the case of enzymatic activities of SOD and POD compared to water-primed rice plants. Simultaneously, Cr uptake was observed to be significantly higher in the water-primed control compared to plants primed with EBL. Moreover, Cr uptake was significant in YLY-689 compared to CY-927. In ultra-structure studies, it was observed that EBL priming relieved the rice plants from sub-cellular damage. Conclusively, our research indicated that seed priming with EBL could be adopted as a promising strategy to enhance rice growth by copping the venomous effect of Cr.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox10071089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8301181PMC
July 2021

Genome-wide association screening and verification of potential genes associated with root architectural traits in maize (Zea mays L.) at multiple seedling stages.

BMC Genomics 2021 Jul 20;22(1):558. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

College of Agronomy, Plant Biotechnology Center, Jilin Agricultural University, 130118, Changchun, Jilin, China.

Background: Breeding for new maize varieties with propitious root systems has tremendous potential in improving water and nutrients use efficiency and plant adaptation under suboptimal conditions. To date, most of the previously detected root-related trait genes in maize were new without functional verification. In this study, seven seedling root architectural traits were examined at three developmental stages in a recombinant inbred line population (RIL) of 179 RILs and a genome-wide association study (GWAS) panel of 80 elite inbred maize lines through quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and genome-wide association study.

Results: Using inclusive composite interval mapping, 8 QTLs accounting for 6.44-8.83 % of the phenotypic variation in root traits, were detected on chromosomes 1 (qRDW-1-1 and qRDW/SDW-1-1), 2 (qRBN-2-1), 4 (qSUA-4-1, qSUA-4-1, and qROV-4-1), and 10 (qTRL-10-1, qRBN-10-1). GWAS analysis involved three models (EMMAX, FarmCPU, and MLM) for a set of 1,490,007 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) obtained via whole genome next-generation sequencing (NGS). Overall, 53 significant SNPs with a phenotypic contribution rate ranging from 5.10 to 30.2 % and spread all over the ten maize chromosomes exhibited associations with the seven root traits. 17 SNPs were repeatedly detected from at least two growth stages, with several SNPs associated with multiple traits stably identified at all evaluated stages. Within the average linkage disequilibrium (LD) distance of 5.2 kb for the significant SNPs, 46 candidate genes harboring substantial SNPs were identified. Five potential genes viz. Zm00001d038676, Zm00001d015379, Zm00001d018496, Zm00001d050783, and Zm00001d017751 were verified for expression levels using maize accessions with extreme root branching differences from the GWAS panel and the RIL population. The results showed significantly (P < 0.001) different expression levels between the outer materials in both panels and at all considered growth stages.

Conclusions: This study provides a key reference for uncovering the complex genetic mechanism of root development and genetic enhancement of maize root system architecture, thus supporting the breeding of high-yielding maize varieties with propitious root systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-021-07874-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290564PMC
July 2021

Green magnesium oxide nanoparticles-based modulation of cellular oxidative repair mechanisms to reduce arsenic uptake and translocation in rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants.

Environ Pollut 2021 Nov 12;288:117785. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, 310058, Hangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Arsenic (As) accumulation catastrophically disturbs the stability of agricultural systems and human health. Rice easily accumulates a high amount of As from agriculture fields as compare with other cereal crops. Hence, innovative soil remediation methods are needed to deal with the detrimental effects of As on human health causing food security challenges. Here, we report the green synthesis and characterization of magnesium oxide nanoparticles (MgO-NPs) from a native Enterobacter sp. strain RTN2, which was genetically identified through 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The biosynthesis of MgO-NPs in reaction mixture was confirmed by UV-vis spectral analysis. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis showed the crystalline nature and surface properties of MgO-NPs, respectively. Moreover, electron microscopy (SEM-EDS, and TEM) imaging confirmed the synthesis of spherical shape of MgO-NPs with variable NPs sizes ranging from 38 to 57 nm. The results revealed that application of MgO-NPs (200 mg kg) in As contaminated soil significantly increased the plant biomass, antioxidant enzymatic contents, and decreased reactive oxygen species and acropetal As translocation as compared with control treatment. The study concluded that biogenic MgO-NPs could be used to formulate a potent nanofertilizer for sustainable rice production in metal contaminated soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117785DOI Listing
November 2021

Improvement of morpho-physiological, ultrastructural and nutritional profiles in wheat seedlings through astaxanthin nanoparticles alleviating the cadmium toxicity.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Jun 27:126511. Epub 2021 Jun 27.

Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Key Laboratory of Crop Germplasm Resource, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, PR China. Electronic address:

Heavy metal accumulation in arable lands and water bodies has become one of the serious global issues among multitude of food security challenges. In particular, cadmium (Cd) concentration has been increasing substantially in the environment that negatively affects the growth and yield of important agricultural crops, especially wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). No doubt, nanotechnology is a revolutionary science but the comprehension of nanoparticle-plants interaction and its potential alleviatory role against metal stress is still elusive. Here, we investigated the mechanistic role of astaxanthin nanoparticles (AstNPs) in Cd stress amelioration and their interaction with wheat under Cd-spiked conditions. The AstNPs fabrication was confirmed through ultraviolet visible spectroscopy, where the particles showed characteristic peak at 423 nm. However, Fourier transform infrared, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy analyses confirmed the presence of stabilized spherical-shaped nanocrystals of AstNPs within the size range of 12.03-30.37 nm. The hydroponic application of AstNPs (100 mg L) to Cd-affected wheat plants increased shoot height (59%), shoot dry weight (31%), nitrogen concentration (42%), and phosphorus concentration (26%) as compared to non-treated Cd affected seedlings. Moreover, AstNPs-treated plants showed reduction in acropetal Cd translocation (29%) in contrast to plants treated with Cd only. Under Cd-spiked conditions, AstNPs-treated plants displayed an improved nutrient profile (P, N, K and Ca) with a relative decrease in Na content in comparison with non-treated plants. Interestingly, it was found that AstNPs restricted the translocation of Cd to aerial plant parts by negatively regulating Cd transporter genes (TaHMA2 and TaHMA3), and relieved plants from oxidative burst by activating antioxidant machinery via triggering expressions of TaSOD and TaPOD genes. Consequently, it was observed that the application of AstNPs helped in maintaining the nutrient acquisition and ionic homeostasis in Cd-affected wheat plants, which subsequently improved the physiochemical profiles of plants under Cd-stress. This study suggests that AstNPs plausibly serve as stress stabilizers for plants under heavy metal-polluted environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126511DOI Listing
June 2021

Neural network-crow search model for the prediction of functional properties of nano TiO coated cotton composites.

Sci Rep 2021 07 1;11(1):13649. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Electrical Engineering Department, Laboratory of Signal Image and Energy Mastery (SIME, LR 13ES03), University of Tunis, ENSIT, 1008, Tunis, Tunisia.

This paper presents a new hybrid approach for the prediction of functional properties i.e., self-cleaning efficiency, antimicrobial efficiency and ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO NPs) coated cotton fabric. The proposed approach is based on feedforward artificial neural network (ANN) model called a multilayer perceptron (MLP), trained by an optimized algorithm known as crow search algorithm (CSA). ANN is an effective and widely used approach for the prediction of extremely complex problems. Various studies have been proposed to improve the weight training of ANN using metaheuristic algorithms. CSA is a latest and an effective metaheuristic method relies on the intelligent behavior of crows. CSA has been never proposed to improve the weight training of ANN. Therefore, CSA is adopted to optimize the initial weights and thresholds of the ANN model, in order to improve the training accuracy and prediction performance of functional properties of TiO NPs coated cotton composites. Furthermore, our proposed algorithm i.e., multilayer perceptron with crow search algorithm (MLP-CSA) was applied to map out the complex input-output conditions to predict the optimal results. The amount of chemicals and reaction time were selected as input variables and the amount of titanium dioxide coated on cotton, self-cleaning efficiency, antimicrobial efficiency and UPF were evaluated as output results. A sensitivity analysis was carried out to assess the performance of CSA in prediction process. MLP-CSA provided excellent result that were statistically significant and highly accurate as compared to standard MLP model and other metaheuristic algorithms used in the training of ANN reported in the literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93108-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8249465PMC
July 2021

Geopolymers and Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Composites in Civil Engineering.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 Jun 25;13(13). Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Textile Engineering, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, Quetta 87300, Pakistan.

This paper discusses the influence of fiber reinforcement on the properties of geopolymer concrete composites, based on fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag and metakaolin. Traditional concrete composites are brittle in nature due to low tensile strength. The inclusion of fibrous material alters brittle behavior of concrete along with a significant improvement in mechanical properties i.e., toughness, strain and flexural strength. Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) is mainly used as a binding agent in concrete composites. However, current environmental awareness promotes the use of alternative binders i.e., geopolymers, to replace OPC because in OPC production, significant quantity of CO is released that creates environmental pollution. Geopolymer concrete composites have been characterized using a wide range of analytical tools including scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and elemental detection X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Insight into the physicochemical behavior of geopolymers, their constituents and reinforcement with natural polymeric fibers for the making of concrete composites has been gained. Focus has been given to the use of sisal, jute, basalt and glass fibers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13132099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8272018PMC
June 2021

Plant-Microbiome Crosstalk: Dawning from Composition and Assembly of Microbial Community to Improvement of Disease Resilience in Plants.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Jun 25;22(13). Epub 2021 Jun 25.

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology and Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Crop Pathogens and Insects, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.

Plants host diverse but taxonomically structured communities of microorganisms, called microbiome, which colonize various parts of host plants. Plant-associated microbial communities have been shown to confer multiple beneficial advantages to their host plants, such as nutrient acquisition, growth promotion, pathogen resistance, and environmental stress tolerance. Systematic studies have provided new insights into the economically and ecologically important microbial communities as hubs of core microbiota and revealed their beneficial impacts on the host plants. Microbiome engineering, which can improve the functional capabilities of native microbial species under challenging agricultural ambiance, is an emerging biotechnological strategy to improve crop yield and resilience against variety of environmental constraints of both biotic and abiotic nature. This review highlights the importance of indigenous microbial communities in improving plant health under pathogen-induced stress. Moreover, the potential solutions leading towards commercialization of proficient bioformulations for sustainable and improved crop production are also described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22136852DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8269294PMC
June 2021

Targeting HIF-1 alpha transcriptional activity drives cytotoxic immune effector cells into melanoma and improves combination immunotherapy.

Oncogene 2021 Jul 21;40(28):4725-4735. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Tumor Immunotherapy and Microenvironment (TIME) group, Department of Oncology, Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Hypoxia is a key factor responsible for the failure of therapeutic response in most solid tumors and promotes the acquisition of tumor resistance to various antitumor immune effectors. Reshaping the hypoxic immune suppressive tumor microenvironment to improve cancer immunotherapy is still a relevant challenge. We investigated the impact of inhibiting HIF-1α transcriptional activity on cytotoxic immune cell infiltration into B16-F10 melanoma. We showed that tumors expressing a deleted form of HIF-1α displayed increased levels of NK and CD8 effector T cells in the tumor microenvironment, which was associated with high levels of CCL2 and CCL5 chemokines. We showed that combining acriflavine, reported as a pharmacological agent preventing HIF-1α/HIF-1β dimerization, dramatically improved the benefit of cancer immunotherapy based on TRP-2 peptide vaccination and anti-PD-1 blocking antibody. In melanoma patients, we revealed that tumors exhibiting high CCL5 are less hypoxic, and displayed high NK, CD3, CD4 and CD8 T cell markers than those having low CCL5. In addition, melanoma patients with high CCL5 in their tumors survive better than those having low CCL5. This study provides the pre-clinical proof of concept for a novel triple combination strategy including blocking HIF-1α transcription activity along vaccination and PD-1 blocking immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-021-01846-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8282500PMC
July 2021

Prediction of functional properties of nano [Formula: see text] coated cotton composites by artificial neural network.

Sci Rep 2021 06 10;11(1):12235. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Machinery Construction, Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation (CXI), Technical University of Liberec, Studentská 1402/2, 461 17, Liberec 1, Czech Republic.

This paper represents the efficiency of machine learning tool, i.e., artificial neural network (ANN), for the prediction of functional properties of nano titanium dioxide coated cotton composites. A comparative analysis was performed between the predicted results of ANN, multiple linear regression (MLR) and experimental results. ANN was applied to map out the complex input-output conditions to predict the optimal results. A backpropagation ANN model called a multilayer perceptron (MLP), trained with Bayesian regularization were used in this study. The amount of chemicals and reaction time were selected as input variables and the amount of titanium dioxide coated on cotton, self-cleaning efficiency, antimicrobial efficiency and ultraviolet protection factor were analysed as output results. The accuracy of the proposed algorithm was evaluated and compared with MLR results. The obtained results reveal that MLP provides efficient results that are statistically significant in the prediction of functional properties ([Formula: see text]) compared to MLR. The correlation coefficient of MLP model ([Formula: see text]) indicates that there is a strong correlation between the measured and predicted functional properties with a trivial mean absolute error and root mean square errors values. MLP model is suitable for the functional properties and can be used for the investigation of other properties of nano coated fabrics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91733-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192757PMC
June 2021

Optimization of the extraction conditions and dermal toxicity of oil body fused with acidic fibroblast growth factor (OLAF).

Cutan Ocul Toxicol 2021 Sep 12;40(3):221-231. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Ministry of Education Engineering Research Center of Bioreactor and Pharmaceutical Development, School of Life Science, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, Jilin, China.

Introduction: Oil body (OB), a subcellular organelle that stores oil in plant seeds, is considered a new transdermal drug delivery system. With the increasing understanding of the OB and its main protein (oleosin), numerous studies have been conducted on OB as "carrier" for the expression of exogenous proteins. In our previous study, oil body fused with aFGF (OLAF) was obtained using a plant oil body expression system that had been preliminarily proven to be effective in accelerating the healing of skin wounds. However, no dermal toxicological information on OLAF is available.

Objective: To ensure the dermal safety of OLAF, a series of tests (the acute dermal toxicity test, 21-day repeat dermal toxicity test, dermal irritation test and skin sensitisation test) were conducted after optimising the extraction protocol of OLAF.

Materials And Methods: To improve the extraction rate of OLAF, response surface methodology (RSM) was first employed to optimise the extraction conditions. Then, Wistar rats were exposed to OLAF (400 mg·kg body weight) in two different ways (6 hours/time for 24 hours and 1 time/day for 21 days) to evaluate the acute dermal toxicity and 21-day repeated dermal toxicity of OLAF. In the acute dermal toxicity test, clinical observations were conducted to evaluate the toxicity, behaviour, and health of the animals for 14 consecutive days. Similarly, the clinical signs, body weight, haematological and biochemical parameters, histopathological changes and other indicators were also detected during the 21 days administration. For the dermal irritation test, single and multiple doses of OLAF (125 mg·kg body weight) were administered to albino rabbits for 14 days (1 time/day). The irritation reaction on the skin of each albino rabbit was recorded and scored. Meanwhile, skin sensitisation to OLAF was conducted using guinea pigs for a period of 28 days.

Results: Suitable extraction conditions for OLAF (PBS concentration 0.01, pH of PBS 8.6, solid-liquid ratio 1:385 g·mL) were obtained using RSM. Under these conditions, the extraction rate and particle size of OLAF were 7.29% and 1290 nm, respectively. In the tests of acute dermal toxicity and 21-day repeated dermal toxicity, no mortality or significant differences were observed in terms of clinical signs, body weight, haematological parameters, biochemical parameters and anatomopathological analysis. With respect to the dermal irritation test and skin sensitisation test, no differences in erythema, oedema or other abnormalities were observed between treatment and control groups on gross and histopathological examinations.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that OLAF does not cause obvious toxicity, skin sensitisation or irritation in animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15569527.2021.1931876DOI Listing
September 2021

Photocatalytic Behaviour of Zinc Oxide Nanostructures on Surface Activation of Polymeric Fibres.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 Apr 10;13(8). Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Material Science, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Studentská 1402/2, 461 17 Liberec 1, Technical University of Liberec, 46117 Liberec, Czech Republic.

Zinc oxide (ZnO) in various nano forms (nanoparticles, nanorods, nanosheets, nanowires and nanoflowers) has received remarkable attention worldwide for its functional diversity in different fields i.e., paints, cosmetics, coatings, rubber and composites. The purpose of this article is to investigate the role of photocatalytic activity (role of photogenerated radical scavengers) of nano ZnO (nZnO) for the surface activation of polymeric natural fibres especially cotton and their combined effect in photocatalytic applications. Photocatalytic behaviour is a crucial property that enables nZnO as a potential and competitive candidate for commercial applications. The confirmed features of nZnO were characterised by different analytical tools, i.e., scanning electron microscopy (SEM), field emission SEM (FESEM) and elemental detection spectroscopy (EDX). These techniques confirm the size, morphology, structure, crystallinity, shape and dimensions of nZnO. The morphology and size play a crucial role in surface activation of polymeric fibres. In addition, synthesis methods, variables and some of the critical aspects of nZnO that significantly affect the photocatalytic activity are also discussed in detail. This paper delineates a vivid picture to new comers about the significance of nZnO in photocatalytic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13081227DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8070503PMC
April 2021

Single-Step Green Synthesis of Highly Concentrated and Stable Colloidal Dispersion of Core-Shell Silver Nanoparticles and Their Antimicrobial and Ultra-High Catalytic Properties.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Apr 14;11(4). Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Machinery Construction, CXI, Technical University of Liberec, 46117 Liberec, Czech Republic.

The versatile one-pot green synthesis of a highly concentrated and stable colloidal dispersion of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) was carried out using the self-assembled tannic acid without using any other hazardous chemicals. Tannic acid (Plant-based polyphenol) was used as a reducing and stabilizing agent for silver nitrate in a mild alkaline condition. The synthesized Ag NPs were characterized for their concentration, capping, size distribution, and shape. The experimental results confirmed the successful synthesis of nearly spherical and highly concentrated (2281 ppm) Ag NPs, capped with poly-tannic acid (Ag NPs-PTA). The average particle size of Ag NPs-PTA was found to be 9.90 ± 1.60 nm. The colloidal dispersion of synthesized nanoparticles was observed to be stable for more than 15 months in the ambient environment (25 °C, 65% relative humidity). The synthesized AgNPs-PTA showed an effective antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus Aureus (ZOI 3.0 mM) and Escherichia coli (ZOI 3.5 mM). Ag NPs-PTA also exhibited enhanced catalytic properties. It reduces 4-nitrophenol into 4-aminophenol in the presence of NaBH with a normalized rate constant (K = K/m) of 615.04 mL·s·mg. For comparison, bare Ag NPs show catalytic activity with a normalized rate constant of 139.78 mL·s·mg. Furthermore, AgNPs-PTA were stable for more than 15 months under ambient conditions. The ultra-high catalytic and good antimicrobial properties can be attributed to the fine size and good aqueous stability of Ag NPs-PTA. The unique core-shell structure and ease of synthesis render the synthesized nanoparticles superior to others, with potential for large-scale applications, especially in the field of catalysis and medical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11041007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8071046PMC
April 2021

Biogenic copper nanoparticles produced by using the Klebsiella pneumoniae strain NST2 curtailed salt stress effects in maize by modulating the cellular oxidative repair mechanisms.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jul 27;217:112264. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Bioscience and Technology, Khwaja Farid University of Engineering and Information Technology, Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan.

The negative effects of salinity on plant growth and physiology are well-established, which is one of the major threats to food security in semi-arid and arid regions of the world. The current research focuses on biosynthesis of copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) from a bacterial strain NST2, which was genetically identified as Klebsiella pneumoniae based on taxonomic identity of 16S rRNA gene. The strain was selected for bioprospecting of CuNPs owing to its Cu tolerance potential. The biologically-synthesized CuNPs were confirmed in culture by using ultraviolet visible spectroscopy. The material characteristics of green CuNPs were further investigated by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, where crystallite size was ranged from 22.44 nm to 44.26 nm and particles were stabilized by various functional groups, such as carbonyl and amine groups. When 100 mg kg of green CuNPs were mixed in saline soil in a pot experiment, the maize plants showed increased root and shoot length (43.52% and 44.06%, respectively), fresh weight (46.05% and 51.82%, respectively) and dry weight (47.69% and 30.63%, respectively) in comparison to control maize plants without CuNPs application. Moreover, green CuNPs at their highest treatment level (100 mg kg of soil) counteracted the lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage in maize plants by promoting the activities of antioxidants and demoting the cellular levels of reactive oxygen species and ionic contents of Na and Cl. Conclusively, biogenic CuNPs is an emerging and promising technique, which could replace traditional methods of salinity management in agricultural soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112264DOI Listing
July 2021

Bioinspired Green Synthesis of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles from a Native Strain RNT6: Characterization and Antibacterial Activity against Rice Panicle Blight Pathogens and .

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Mar 30;11(4). Epub 2021 Mar 30.

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology and Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Crop Pathogens and Insects, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.

and are seed-borne rice pathogens that cause bacterial panicle blight (BPB) disease, resulting in huge rice yield losses worldwide. However, the excessive use of chemical pesticides in agriculture has led to an increase in environmental toxicity. Microbe-mediated nanoparticles (NPs) have recently gained significant attention owing to their promising application in plant disease control. In the current study, we biologically synthesize zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) from a native RNT6 strain, which was taxonomically identified using 16S rRNA gene analysis. The biosynthesis of ZnONPs in the reaction mixture was confirmed by using UV-Vis spectroscopy. Moreover, XRD, FTIR, SEM-EDS, and TEM analysis revealed the functional groups, crystalline nature, and spherical shape of ZnONPs with sizes ranging from 21 to 35 nm, respectively. Biogenic ZnONPs showed significant antibacterial activity at 50 µg mL against and with a 2.83 cm and 2.18 cm zone of inhibition, respectively, while cell numbers (measured by OD) of the two pathogens in broth culture were reduced by 71.2% and 68.1%, respectively. The ultrastructure studies revealed the morphological damage in ZnONPs-treated and cells as compared to the corresponding control. The results of this study revealed that ZnONPs could be considered as promising nanopesticides to control BPB disease in rice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11040884DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065826PMC
March 2021

Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition Regulates Surface PD-L1 via CMTM6 and CMTM7 Induction in Breast Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 9;13(5). Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Tumor Immunotherapy and Microenvironment (TIME) Group, Department of Oncology, Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), Luxembourg City, L-1526 Strassen, Luxembourg.

CMTM6 is a critical regulator of cell surface expression of PD-L1 in tumor cells, but little is known about the transcriptional regulation of CMTM6. Here we report that the expression of CMTM6 positively correlates with the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) score in breast cancer cell lines and with the major EMT marker Vimentin in triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). We showed that CMTM6 is concomitantly overexpressed with PD-L1 in breast mesenchymal compared with the epithelial cells. Driving a mesenchymal phenotype in SNAI1-inducible MCF-7 cells (MCF-7 cells) increased both PD-L1 and CMTM6. CMTM6 silencing in MCF-7 cells partially reduced cell surface expression of PD-L1, indicating that a proportion of the PD-L1 on the surface of MCF-7 cells depends on CMTM6. We also found a positive correlation between CMTM3 and CMTM7 expression with EMT score in breast cancer cells, and with Vimentin in TNBC patients. Dual knockdown of CMTM6 and CMTM7 significantly decreased PD-L1 surface expression in MCF-7 cells, indicating that both CMTM6 and CMTM7 regulate the expression of PD-L1. This study highlights the importance of CMTM6 and CMTM7 in EMT-induced PD-L1 and suggests that EMT, CMTM6 or CMTM7 modulators can be combined with anti-PD-L1 in patients with highly aggressive breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13051165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7963182PMC
March 2021

CXCL10 Is an Agonist of the CC Family Chemokine Scavenger Receptor ACKR2/D6.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 2;13(5). Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Infection and Immunity, Immuno-Pharmacology and Interactomics, Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), L-4354 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

Atypical chemokine receptors (ACKRs) are important regulators of chemokine functions. Among them, the atypical chemokine receptor ACKR2 (also known as D6) has long been considered as a scavenger of inflammatory chemokines exclusively from the CC family. In this study, by using highly sensitive β-arrestin recruitment assays based on NanoBiT and NanoBRET technologies, we identified the inflammatory CXC chemokine CXCL10 as a new strong agonist ligand for ACKR2. CXCL10 is known to play an important role in the infiltration of immune cells into the tumour bed and was previously reported to bind to CXCR3 only. We demonstrated that ACKR2 is able to internalize and reduce the availability of CXCL10 in the extracellular space. Moreover, we found that, in contrast to CC chemokines, CXCL10 activity towards ACKR2 was drastically reduced by the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4 or CD26) N-terminal processing, pointing to a different receptor binding pocket occupancy by CC and CXC chemokines. Overall, our study sheds new light on the complexity of the chemokine network and the potential role of CXCL10 regulation by ACKR2 in many physiological and pathological processes, including tumour immunology. Our data also testify that systematic reassessment of chemokine-receptor pairing is critically needed as important interactions may remain unexplored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13051054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7958614PMC
March 2021

Iron oxide nanoparticles ameliorated the cadmium and salinity stresses in wheat plants, facilitating photosynthetic pigments and restricting cadmium uptake.

Sci Total Environ 2021 May 17;769:145221. Epub 2021 Jan 17.

Department of Soil and Water Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China; National Black Soil & Agriculture Research, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China. Electronic address:

Cadmium and salinity are the major threats to environmental resources and agricultural practice worldwide. The present work aims green synthesis, characterization, and application of iron oxide nanoparticles for co-alleviation of Cd and salt stresses in wheat plants. The iron oxide NPs were synthesized from a native bacterial strain, Pantoea ananatis strain RNT4, yielding a spherical FeO-NPs with a size ranging from 19 to 40 nm evidenced by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. Results showed that application of 100 mg kg of the bioengineered FeO-NPs in an original saline soil stimulated wheat plant growth, gaining 36.7% of additional length as compared with the control scenarios, via alleviating the detrimental effects of abiotic stresses and thereby reprogramming the morpho-physiological state of wheat plants. In addition, the presence of FeO-NPs in soil significantly increased the nutrient concentrations of N, P and K, while reducing the Na and Cl components in the wheat grain. Interestingly, application of the FeO-NPs in Cd-polluted soils eventually reduced wheat plant uptake of Cd by 72.5%, probably due to the adsorption of Cd onto the large surface of NPs and thereby, constraining Cd bioavailability to the plants. It provides the first evidence that a FeO-NPs-based treatment could be a candidate agricultural strategy for mitigating the Cd and salt stresses in Cd-polluted saline soils for safe agriculture practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145221DOI Listing
May 2021

Myoglobin and C-reactive protein are efficient and reliable early predictors of COVID-19 associated mortality.

Sci Rep 2021 03 16;11(1):5975. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Center for Biosafety Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430071, China.

Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, numerous studies have been attempting to determine biomarkers, which could rapidly and efficiently predict COVID-19 severity, however there is lack of consensus on a specific one. This retrospective cohort study is a comprehensive analysis of the initial symptoms, comorbidities and laboratory evaluation of patients, diagnosed with COVID-19 in Huoshenshan Hospital, Wuhan, from 4th February to 12th March, 2020. Based on the data collected from 63 severely ill patients from the onset of symptoms till the full recovery or demise, we found not only age (average 70) but also blood indicators as significant risk factors associated with multiple organ failure. The blood indices of all patients showed hepatic, renal, cardiac and hematopoietic dysfunction with imbalanced coagulatory biomarkers. We noticed that the levels of LDH (85%, P < .001), HBDH (76%, P < .001) and CRP (65%, P < .001) were significantly elevated in deceased patients, indicating hepatic impairment. Similarly, increased CK (15%, P = .002), Cre (37%, P = 0.102) and CysC (74%, P = 0.384) indicated renal damage. Cardiac injury was obvious from the significantly elevated level of Myoglobin (52%, P < .01), Troponin-I (65%, P = 0.273) and BNP (50%, P = .787). SARS-CoV-2 disturbs the hemolymphatic system as WBC# (73%, P = .002) and NEUT# (78%, P < .001) were significantly elevated in deceased patients. Likewise, the level of D-dimer (80%, P < .171), PT (87%, P = .031) and TT (57%, P = .053) was elevated, indicating coagulatory imbalances. We identified myoglobin and CRP as specific risk factors related to mortality and highly correlated to organ failure in COVID-19 disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85426-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7971049PMC
March 2021

Targeting Cytoprotective Autophagy to Enhance Anticancer Therapies.

Front Oncol 2021 25;11:626309. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Tumor Immunotherapy and Microenvironment (TIME) Group, Department of Oncology, Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Autophagy is a highly regulated multi-step process that occurs at the basal level in almost all cells. Although the deregulation of the autophagy process has been described in several pathologies, the role of autophagy in cancer as a cytoprotective mechanism is currently well established and supported by experimental and clinical evidence. Our understanding of the molecular mechanism of the autophagy process has largely contributed to defining how we can harness this process to improve the benefit of cancer therapies. While the role of autophagy in tumor resistance to chemotherapy is extensively documented, emerging data point toward autophagy as a mechanism of cancer resistance to radiotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Therefore, manipulating autophagy has emerged as a promising strategy to overcome tumor resistance to various anti-cancer therapies, and autophagy modulators are currently evaluated in combination therapies in several clinical trials. In this review, we will summarize our current knowledge of the impact of genetically and pharmacologically modulating autophagy genes and proteins, involved in the different steps of the autophagy process, on the therapeutic benefit of various cancer therapies. We will also briefly discuss the challenges and limitations to developing potent and selective autophagy inhibitors that could be used in ongoing clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.626309DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7951055PMC
February 2021
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