Publications by authors named "Nan He"

114 Publications

A novel method for the detection and diagnosis of virus infections in honey bees.

J Virol Methods 2021 Apr 14:114163. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, 20705, USA. Electronic address:

In terms of infectious diseases caused by a variety of microorganisms, the ability to promptly and accurately identify the causative agents is the first step on the path to all types of effective management of such infections. Among the various factors that are affecting global bee health, viruses have often been linked to honey bee colony losses and they pose a serious threat to the fraction of agriculture that depends on the service of pollinators. Over the past few decades, PCR-based molecular methods have provided powerful tools for rapid, specific, and sensitive detection and the quantification of difficult-to-grow pathogenic microorganisms such as viruses in honey bees. However, PCR-based methods require nucleic acid extraction and purification, which can be quite laborious and time-consuming and they involve the use of organic solvents and chaotropic agents like phenol and chloroform which are volatile and highly toxic. In response, we developed a novel and non-sacrificial method for detecting viral infections in honey bees. As little as 1 μl of hemolymph was collected from adult workers, larvae, and queens of bee colonies by puncturing the soft inter-tergal integument between the second and third dorsal tergum with a fine glass capillary. The hemolymph was then diluted and subjected to RT-PCR analysis directly. The puncture wound caused by the glass capillary was found to heal automatically and rapidly without any trouble and the lifespan of the experimental workers remained unaffected. Using this method, we detected multiple viruses including Deformed wing virus (DWV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Sacbrood virus (SBV) in infected bees. Furthermore, expressed transcripts that indicate the induction of innate immune response to the virus infections were also detected in the hemolymph of infected bees. The simplicity and cost-effectiveness of this innovative approach will allow it to be a valuable, time-saving, safer, and more environmentally friendly contribution to bee disease management programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jviromet.2021.114163DOI Listing
April 2021

RNA Interference-Mediated Knockdown of Genes Encoding Spore Wall Proteins Confers Protection against Infection in the European Honey Bee, .

Microorganisms 2021 Feb 27;9(3). Epub 2021 Feb 27.

College of Animal Sciences (Bee Science), Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China.

(Opisthosporidia: Microsporidia) is an emergent intracellular parasite of the European honey bee () and causes serious disease which has been associated with worldwide honey bee colony losses. The only registered treatment for disease is fumagillin-b, and this has raised concerns about resistance and off-target effects. Fumagillin-B is banned from use in honey bee colonies in many countries, particularly in Europe. As a result, there is an urgent need for new and effective therapeutic options to treat disease in honey bees. An RNA interference (RNAi)-based approach can be a potent strategy for controlling diseases in honey bees. We explored the therapeutic potential of silencing the sequences of two encoded spore wall protein (SWP) genes by means of the RNAi-based methodology. Our study revealed that the oral ingestion of dsRNAs corresponding to SWP8 and SWP12 used separately or in combination could lead to a significant reduction in spore load, improve immunity, and extend the lifespan of -infected bees. The results from the work completed here enhance our understanding of honey bee host responses to microsporidia infection and highlight that RNAi-based therapeutics are a promising treatment for honey bee diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9030505DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7997338PMC
February 2021

Construction and validation of an N6-methyladenosine-associated prognostic signature in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Oncol Lett 2021 Mar 21;21(3):221. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Wuhan No. 1 Hospital, Wuhan, Hubei 430022, P.R. China.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the most common types of cancer that threat the public health worldwide. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation is associated with cancer initiation and progression, and is dynamically regulated by m6A RNA methylation-associated genes. However, little is known about the expression status and the prognostic value of m6A-associated genes in HCC. The present study aimed to identify the expression profiling pattern and clinical significance of m6A-associated genes in HCC. Consensus clustering analysis was performed to identify the clusters of HCC with different clinical outcomes. A prognostic signature built by the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator Cox regression model was utilized to discover subtypes associated with different clinical outcomes of patients with HCC in the discovery cohort from The Cancer Genome Atlas. The differences between subgroups were characterized in terms of epigenetic dysregulation and somatic mutation frequencies. The International Cancer Genome Consortium cohort and two independent cohorts from the meta-Gene Expression Omnibus database were used for external validation. Most of the m6A-associated genes were upregulated and involved in the prognosis and malignancy of HCC. A four-gene prognostic signature revealed two HCC subtypes (namely, high- and low-risk group) that was associated with different clinical outcomes. Patients in the high-risk group were accompanied with increased epigenetic silencing and significant mutations in TP53 and FLG, while ALB was frequently mutated in the low-risk group. In conclusion, an m6A-based signature was constructed to predict the prognosis of patients with HCC, which may provide a tool for reliable prognosis assessment for clinicians, and aid clinical treatment decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2021.12482DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859476PMC
March 2021

High-Performance, Free-Standing Symmetric Hybrid Membranes for Osmotic Separation.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Feb 12;13(7):8967-8975. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

College of Environment, Research Centre for Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Water Quality Protection, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130117, China.

The internal concentration polarization (ICP) of asymmetric osmotic membranes with support layers greatly reduced membrane water permeability, therefore compromising membrane performance. In this study, a series of free-standing symmetric hybrid forward osmosis (FO) membranes without experiencing ICP were fabricated by covalently linking metal-organic framework (MOF) nanofillers with a polymer matrix. Owing to the introduction of MOFs, which allow only water permeation but reject salts by steric hindrance, the prepared hybrid membranes could approach the empirical permeability-selectivity trade-off. The optimized hybrid membrane displayed an outstanding water/NaSO selectivity of ∼1208.4 L mol, compared with that of conventional membranes of ∼375.6 L mol. Additionally, the fabricated hybrid membranes showed excellent mechanical robustness, maintaining structural integrity during the long-term FO separation of high-salinity solution. This work provides an effective methodology to fabricate high-performance, symmetric MOF-based membranes for osmotic separation processes such as seawater desalination and water purification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c22124DOI Listing
February 2021

Fabrication and investigation of quaternary Ag-In-Zn-S quantum dots-based memristors with ultralow power and multiple resistive switching behaviors.

Nanotechnology 2021 May;32(19):195205

College of Electronic and Optical Engineering & College of Microelectronics, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, People's Republic of China.

Quaternary Ag-In-Zn-S (AIZS) quantum dots (QDs) play critical roles in various applications since they have advantages of combining superior optical and electrical features, such as tunable fluorescence emission and high carrier mobilities. However, the application of semiconductor AIZS QDs in brain-inspired devices (e.g. memristor) has been rarely reported. In this work, the tunable volatile threshold switching (TS) and non-volatile memory switching (MS) behaviors have been obtained in a memristor composed of AIZS QDs by regulating the magnitude of compliance current. Additionally, the innovative Ag/AIZS structure devices without traditional oxide layer exhibit low operation voltage (∼0.25 V) and programming current (100 nA) under the TS mode. Moreover, the devices achieve reproducible bipolar resistive switching (RS) behaviors with large ON/OFF ratio of ∼10, ultralow power consumption of ∼10 W, and good device-to-device uniformity under the MS mode. Furthermore, the charge transport mechanisms of the high- and low-resistance states under the positive and negative bias have been analyzed with space-charge-limited-current and filament conduction models, respectively. This work not only validates the potential of AIZS QDs acting as dielectric layer in RS devices but also provides a new guideline for designing ultralow power and multiple RS characteristics devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/abe32eDOI Listing
May 2021

Comparative Metabolomic Profiling of spp. Fruits Provides Evidence for Metabolomic Divergence during Domestication.

Metabolites 2021 Jan 28;11(2). Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou 450009, China.

Watermelon () is one of the most nutritional fruits that is widely distributed in the whole world. The nutritional compositions are mainly influenced by the genotype and environment. However, the metabolomics of different domestication status and different flesh colors watermelon types is not fully understood. In this study, we reported an extensive assessment of metabolomic divergence in the fruit flesh among sp. and within sp. We demonstrate that metabolic profiling was significantly different between the wild and cultivated watermelons, the apigenin 6-C-glucoside, luteolin 6-C-glucoside, chrysoeriol C-hexoside, naringenin C-hexoside, C-pentosyl-chrysoeriol O-hexoside, and sucrose are the main divergent metabolites. Correlation analysis results revealed that flavonoids were present in one tight metabolite cluster. The main divergent metabolites in different flesh-colored cultivated watermelon fruits are p-coumaric acid, 2,3-dihydroflavone, catechin, N-(3-indolylacetyl)-l-alanine, 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid, and pelargonidin o-hexoside. A total of 431 differentially accumulated metabolites were identified from pairwise comparative analyses. edible-seed watermelon (cultivars) and (wild) have similar fruit metabolic profiles and phenotypic traits, indicating that edible-seed watermelon may be a relative of wild species and a relatively primitive differentiation type of cultivated watermelon. Our data provide extensive knowledge for metabolomics-based watermelon improvement of fruits meet their enhanced nutritive properties or upgraded germplasm utility values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo11020078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911689PMC
January 2021

A zeroth-order active-space frozen-orbital embedding scheme for multireference calculations.

J Chem Phys 2020 Mar;152(9):094107

Department of Chemistry, Cherry Emerson Center for Scientific Computation, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

Multireference computations of large-scale chemical systems are typically limited by the computational cost of quantum chemistry methods. In this work, we develop a zeroth-order active space embedding theory [ASET(0)], a simple and automatic approach for embedding any multireference dynamical correlation method based on a frozen-orbital treatment of the environment. ASET(0) is combined with the second-order multireference driven similarity renormalization group and tested on several benchmark problems, including the excitation energy of 1-octene and bond-breaking in ethane and pentyldiazene. Finally, we apply ASET(0) to study the singlet-triplet gap of p-benzyne and 9,10-anthracyne diradicals adsorbed on a NaCl surface. Our results show that despite its simplicity, ASET(0) is a powerful and sufficiently accurate embedding scheme applicable when the coupling between the fragment and the environment is in the weak to medium regime.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5142481DOI Listing
March 2020

Accumulation of vanadium and arsenic by cast iron pipe scales under drinking water conditions: A batch study.

Chemosphere 2021 Apr 21;269:129396. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300350, China. Electronic address:

Metal pollutants accumulation in the scales of drinking water distribution systems presents a potential threat to water quality. Therefore, a study was carried out on the accumulation of V(V) and As(V) by cast iron pipe scales. The accumulation of V(V) and As(V) by scales and the effects of scale dosage, pH, temperature, and anion content on the accumulation process were assessed. Results showed that scales could rapidly accumulate V(V) and As(V), with maximum accumulation amounts of 3.94 mg/g and 3.90 mg/g, respectively. An increase in pH (from 3.0 to 9.0) and sulfate concentration (from 0 to 250 mg/L) decreased V(V) and As(V) accumulation by scales. Increased chloride ion concentrations (from 0 to 250 mg/L) reduced the amount of As(V) accumulated, while increasing the amount of V(V) accumulated. The V(V) and As(V) accumulation kinetics were well described by the Elovich model, with thermodynamic and accumulation isotherms showing that the accumulation process occurred via an entropic endothermic reaction. The mechanisms of accumulation of V(V) and As(V) by the scales include surface complexation, ligand exchange, electrostatic attraction and repulsion, and competitive adsorption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129396DOI Listing
April 2021

Identification of key gene networks controlling organic acid and sugar metabolism during watermelon fruit development by integrating metabolic phenotypes and gene expression profiles.

Hortic Res 2020 Dec 1;7(1):193. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Henan Joint International Research Laboratory of South Asian Fruits and Cucurbits, Zhengzhou, China.

The organoleptic qualities of watermelon fruit are defined by the sugar and organic acid contents, which undergo considerable variations during development and maturation. The molecular mechanisms underlying these variations remain unclear. In this study, we used transcriptome profiles to investigate the coexpression patterns of gene networks associated with sugar and organic acid metabolism. We identified 3 gene networks/modules containing 2443 genes highly correlated with sugars and organic acids. Within these modules, based on intramodular significance and Reverse Transcription Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), we identified 7 genes involved in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids. Among these genes, Cla97C01G000640, Cla97C05G087120 and Cla97C01G018840 (r = 0.83 with glucose content) were identified as sugar transporters (SWEET, EDR6 and STP) and Cla97C03G064990 (r = 0.92 with sucrose content) was identified as a sucrose synthase from information available for other crops. Similarly, Cla97C07G128420, Cla97C03G068240 and Cla97C01G008870, having strong correlations with malic (r = 0.75) and citric acid (r = 0.85), were annotated as malate and citrate transporters (ALMT7, CS, and ICDH). The expression profiles of these 7 genes in diverse watermelon genotypes revealed consistent patterns of expression variation in various types of watermelon. These findings add significantly to our existing knowledge of sugar and organic acid metabolism in watermelon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41438-020-00416-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7705761PMC
December 2020

Characterizing Olefin Selectivity and Stability of Silver Salts in Ionic Liquids Using Inverse Gas Chromatography.

ACS Omega 2020 Dec 23;5(48):31362-31369. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Ames Laboratory-USDOE and Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, United States.

Separation systems utilizing silver(I) ion-olefin complexation have limitations since silver(I) ions can be poisoned or reduced to metallic silver. Ionic liquids (ILs) are used as solvents for silver(I) ions to facilitate separations since their physico-chemical properties can be easily tuned. To develop separation systems with sustainable olefin selectivity, factors that affect silver(I) ion stability need to be understood. In this study, a total of 13 silver salt/IL mixtures were examined by inverse gas chromatography to identify the effects of silver salt anion and IL cation/anion combination on silver(I) ion stability. The effects of temperature and three different exposure gases on silver(I) ion stability were systematically studied. Exposing silver salt/IL mixtures to hydrogen at high temperatures had a greater effect on decreasing silver(I) ion-olefin complexation. Silver(I) ions from the silver bis[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl]imide ([NTf]) salt were more stable in [NTf]-containing ILs than in [BF]-containing ILs. Optimum mixtures exhibited high olefin selectivity and were stable beyond 90 h when exposed to hydrogen gas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c04854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7726951PMC
December 2020

A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 8 induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition to promote the invasion of colon cancer cells via TGF-β/Smad2/3 signalling pathway.

J Cell Mol Med 2020 11 20;24(22):13058-13069. Epub 2020 Sep 20.

Cancer Center, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 8 (ADAM8) protein is a multi-domain transmembrane glycoprotein which involves in extracellular matrix remodelling, cell adhesion, invasion and migration. ADAM8 and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) play an important role in tumour invasion has been well established. However, the interaction between ADAM8 and EMT has remained unclear. The data of colon cancer patients obtained from TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) and GTEx (Genotype-Tissue Expression Project) were analysed by the bioinformatics research method. The expression of ADAM8 in colon cancer cells was up-regulated and down-regulated by transfecting with the expression plasmid and small interfering RNA, respectively. Transwell invasion assay, immunohistochemistry, immunocytochemistry, Western blotting and qRT-PCR were utilized to study the effect of ADAM8 on colon cancer cell's EMT and its related mechanisms. Analysis of TCGA and GTEx data revealed that ADAM8 was linked to poor overall survival in colon cancer patients. Besides, ADAM8 was correlated with multiple EMT biomarkers (E-cadherin, N-cadherin, Vimentin, Snail2 and ZEB2). In vitro, we also proved that the up-regulation of ADAM8 could promote EMT effect and enhance the invasive ability of colon cancer cells. On the contrary, the down-regulation of ADAM8 in colon cancer cells attenuated these effects above. Further studies suggested that ADAM8 modulated EMT on colon cancer cells through TGF-β/Smad2/3 signalling pathway. Our research suggested that ADAM8 could be a potential biomarker for the prognosis of colon cancer and induced EMT to promote the invasion of colon cancer cells via activating TGF-β/Smad2/3 signalling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.15907DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7701584PMC
November 2020

Lung Ultrasound Findings in Patients With Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

AJR Am J Roentgenol 2021 Jan 22;216(1):80-84. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Department of Ultrasound, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 N Garden Rd, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, China.

Although chest CT is the standard imaging modality in early diagnosis and management of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the use of lung ultrasound (US) presents some advantages over the use of chest CT and may play a complementary role in the workup of COVID-19. The objective of our study was to investigate US findings in patients with COVID-19 and the relationship of the US findings with the duration of symptoms and disease severity. From March 3, 2020, to March 30, 2020, consecutive patients with a positive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test result for the virus that causes COVID-19 were enrolled in this study. Lung US was performed, and the imaging features were analyzed. The Fisher exact test was used to compare the percentages of patients with each US finding between groups with different symptom durations and disease severity. Our study population comprised 28 patients (14 men and 14 women; mean age ± SD, 59.8 ± 18.3 years; age range, 21-92 years). All 28 patients (100.0%, 28/28) had positive lung US findings. The most common findings were the following: B-lines (100.0%, 28/28), consolidation (67.9%, 19/28), and a thickened pleural line (60.7%, 17/28). A thickened pleural line was observed in a higher percentage of patients with a longer duration of the disease than in those with a shorter duration of the disease, and pulmonary consolidations were more common in severe and critical cases than in moderate cases. Typical lung US findings in patients with COVID-19 included B-lines, pulmonary consolidation, and a thickened pleural line. In addition, our results indicate that lung US findings can be be used to reflect both the infection duration and disease severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2214/AJR.20.23513DOI Listing
January 2021

Periplocin induces apoptosis and inhibits inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synoviocytes via nuclear factor kappa B pathway.

IUBMB Life 2020 Sep 25;72(9):1951-1959. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Department of Gynecologyic Oncosurgery-1, Ji Lin Tumor Hospital, Changchun, China.

Apoptotic resistance and excessive proliferation of rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synoviocytes (RA-FLSs) stimulated by inflammation could lead to distal joint destruction and bone damage. Periplocin could promote apoptosis, resist proliferation, and reduce inflammation. However, the effect and mechanism toward periplocin in proliferation and inflammation of RA-FLSs remain unclear. The role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α induced proliferation and expression of inflammatory cytokines in RA-FLSs was established. Our studies noted that cell viability of TNF-α-induced RA-FLSs was inhibited in periplocin treatment via dose-response, whereas cell apoptosis of RA-FLSs was triggered by dose-dependent effect of periplocin. Bcl-2 protein, one of the apoptotic regulators, was downregulated, while other regulators of apoptosis, including BAX, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved caspase-9, were upregulated in RA-FLSs under periplocin treatment. In addition, periplocin decreased the TNF-α-induced mRNA and protein expression levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 in RA-FLSs in a dose-dependent way. Finally, the increased levels of phospho (p)-inhibitor of kappa B (IκBα)/IκBα and p-NF (nuclear factor)-κB/nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) ratio of RA-FLSs stimulated by TNF-α were decreased by periplocin treatment. Taken together, periplocin treatment decreased cell viability and cytokines expression and promoted cell apoptosis of TNF-α-induced RA-FLSs through inhibition of NF-κB signaling pathway, providing a potential therapeutic approach for RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/iub.2328DOI Listing
September 2020

Flexible and Mildew-Resistant Wood-Derived Aerogel for Stable and Efficient Solar Desalination.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Jun 15;12(25):28179-28187. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Key Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology, 116024 Dalian, China.

Interfacial solar-driven evaporation is an effective and sustainable approach to convert solar energy to heat for desalination. However, maintaining a rapid evaporation rate and long-term stability is a critical challenge that needs to be addressed urgently to facilitate practical applications of this technology. Here, taking advantage of the inherent porosity, wettability, and low thermal conductivity of wood, we develop a flexible and mildew-resistant aerogel derived from natural wood as the substrate of evaporators for stable and efficient solar desalination. The wood-derived aerogel not only possesses good hydrophilicity, low thermal conductivity, and light weight, which are favorable to realize heat localization and efficient water evaporation, but also avoids fragility and mildew problems that seriously restricted long-term stability of wood-based evaporators. With high absorbance (>95%) of Au-rGO coating, the evaporator showed a high solar to vapor efficiency of 90.1% and an evaporation rate of 1.394 kg m h under 1 sun. During 120 h desalination, the evaporator transports brine for evaporation in the day and achieves dissolution of salt residues in the night, exhibiting a repetitive self-cleaning behavior, which enables the recovery of desalination stability. The multiple functionalities of the wood-derived aerogel make the evaporator promising as an attractive device for stable and continuous solar desalination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c05806DOI Listing
June 2020

Anti-alanyl tRNA positive antisynthase syndrome with Kaposi sarcoma.

Int J Rheum Dis 2020 Jun 1;23(6):828-832. Epub 2020 Jun 1.

The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China.

We report a rare case of antisynthase syndrome (ASS) complicated with Kaposi sarcoma, analyze its clinical characteristics, and review the literature on the topic. An 80-year-old male patient developed fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Lung high-resolution computed tomography showed nonspecific interstitial pneumonia in both lungs, and myositis antibody examination showed strongly positive anti-alanyl tRNA synthase (PL-12) antibodies. Based on these findings, the patient was diagnosed with ASS. After full-dose glucocorticoid treatment, the symptoms of fever and cough were relieved, but skin thickening and pigmentation in both feet were observed. We confirmed Kaposi sarcoma through skin pathology and immunohistochemical examination of the bottom of the patient's feet, and the patient was transferred to a cancer hospital for radiotherapy. ASS presents with some skin changes that might lead to misdiagnosis. ASS complicated with Kaposi sarcoma is rare, and to our knowledge, this is the first case reported in China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1756-185X.13861DOI Listing
June 2020

Genetic Mapping and Discovery of the Candidate Gene for Black Seed Coat Color in Watermelon ().

Front Plant Sci 2019 22;10:1689. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou, Henan, China.

Seed coat color is an important trait highly affecting the seed quality and flesh appearance of watermelon (). However, the molecular regulation mechanism of seed coat color in watermelon is still unclear. In the present study, genetic analysis was performed by evaluating F, F and BC populations derived from two parental lines (9904 with light yellow seeds and Handel with black seeds), suggesting that a single dominant gene controls the black seed coat. The initial mapping result revealed a region of interest spanning 370 kb on chromosome 3. Genetic mapping with CAPS and SNP markers narrowed down the candidate region to 70.2 kb. Sequence alignment of the three putative genes in the candidate region suggested that there was a single-nucleotide insertion in the coding region of in 9904, resulting in a frameshift mutation and premature stop codon. The results indicated that named was the candidate gene for black seed coat color in watermelon. In addition, gene annotation revealed that encoded a polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which involved in the oxidation step of the melanin biosynthesis. This research finding will facilitate maker-assisted selection in watermelon and provide evidence for the study of black seed coat coloration in plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.01689DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6987421PMC
January 2020

Comparative analysis of primary metabolites and transcriptome changes between ungrafted and pumpkin-grafted watermelon during fruit development.

PeerJ 2020 6;8:e8259. Epub 2020 Jan 6.

Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou, Henan, China.

Grafting has been reported as a factor that influences fruit quality. However, a comprehensive study of the metabolic profile related to fruit quality and the underlying molecular mechanism in grafted watermelon has not been carried out. Metabolomics and transcriptome analysis were performed on both pumpkin-grafted watermelon and ungrafted watermelon at different developmental stages. In total, 56 primary metabolites were identified with either high or low abundance between ungrafted and pumpkin-grafted watermelon. The results indicated that ornithine, arginine, lysine (amino acids), glucose, sucrose, glucosamine (sugars), malic acid, fumaric acid and succinic acid (organic acids) were among the dominant metabolites influencing fruit quality. Additionally, comparative RNA sequence analysis on grafted and ungrafted watermelon yielded 729, 174, 128 and 356 differentially expressed genes at 10, 18, 26 and 34 days after pollination (DAP), respectively. Functional annotations of these genes indicated that grafting significantly altered the biological and metabolic processes related to fruit quality. Our comparative metabolomics and transcriptome analysis revealed that and sugar transporter gene () might play a central role in the accumulation of glucose and sucrose, whereas higher malic acid content was attributed to high down regulation of and in pumpkin-grafted watermelon. Changes in the ornithine, glutamine, alanine, tyrosine, valine, asparagine, phenylalanine, arginine and tryptophan contents were consistent with the transcript level of their metabolic genes such as , and two nitrate transporter genes () in pumpkin-grafted watermelon. This study provides the basis for understanding the graft-responsive changes in the metabolic profile and regulatory mechanism related to fruit quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6951286PMC
January 2020

Molecular Mapping and Candidate Gene Analysis for GA Responsive Short Internode in Watermelon ().

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Dec 31;21(1). Epub 2019 Dec 31.

Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou 450009, China.

Plants with shorter internodes are suitable for high-density planting, lodging resistance and the preservation of land resources by improving yield per unit area. In this study, we identified a locus controlling the short internode trait in watermelon using Zhengzhouzigua (long internode) and Duan125 (short internode) as mapping parents. Genetic analysis indicated that F plants were consistent with long internode plants, which indicates that the long internode was dominant over the short internode. The observed F and BC individuals fitted the expected phenotypic segregation ratios of 3:1 and 1:1, respectively. The locus was mapped on chromosome 9 using a bulked segregant analysis approach. The region was narrowed down to 8.525 kb having only one putative gene, , flanking by CAPS90 and CAPS91 markers, which encodes gibberellin 3β-hydroxylase (GA 3β-hydroxylase). The sequence alignment of the candidate gene between both parents revealed a 13 bp deletion in the short internode parent, which resulted in a truncated protein. Before GA application, significantly lower GA content and shorter cell length were obtained in the short internode plants. However, the highest GA content and significant increase in cell length were observed in the short internode plants after exogenous GA application. In the short internode plants, the expression level of the was threefold lower than the long internode plants in the stem tissue. In general, our results suggested that might be the candidate gene responsible for the short internode phenotype in watermelon and the phenotype is responsive to exogenous GA application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6982186PMC
December 2019

A method for hand-foot-mouth disease prediction using GeoDetector and LSTM model in Guangxi, China.

Sci Rep 2019 11 29;9(1):17928. Epub 2019 Nov 29.

Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 200062, China.

Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is a common infectious disease in children and is particularly severe in Guangxi, China. Meteorological conditions are known to play a pivotal role in the HFMD. Previous studies have reported numerous models to predict the incidence of HFMD. In this study, we proposed a new method for the HFMD prediction using GeoDetector and a Long Short-Term Memory neural network (LSTM). The daily meteorological factors and HFMD records in Guangxi during 2014-2015 were adopted. First, potential risk factors for the occurrence of HFMD were identified based on the GeoDetector. Then, region-specific prediction models were developed in 14 administrative regions of Guangxi, China using an optimized three-layer LSTM model. Prediction results (the R-square ranges from 0.39 to 0.71) showed that the model proposed in this study had a good performance in HFMD predictions. This model could provide support for the prevention and control of HFMD. Moreover, this model could also be extended to the time series prediction of other infectious diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-54495-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6884467PMC
November 2019

Tripterygium and its extracts for diabetic nephropathy: Efficacy and pharmacological mechanisms.

Biomed Pharmacother 2020 Jan 7;121:109599. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

SectionⅡ of Endocrinology & Nephropathy Department, Dongzhimen Hospital Affiliated to Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a common but intractable diabetic microvascular complication. Tripterygium, a Chinses herb, has been proven to be effective for DN treatment. In this review, the efficacy and pharmacological mechanism of tripterygium and its extracts on DN is elucidated. Tripterygium and its extracts could effectively reduce urine protein and protect renal function. Its pharmacological mechanism involves anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, anti-glomerulosclerosis and anti-fibrosis, which is achieved by balancing the Th1/Th2 cells, regulating macrophage infiltration, and regulating the following pathways: p38 MAPK, NF-κB, TGF-β, Wnt/β-catenin, Akt and Notch1. Although tripterygium and its extracts may result in some adverse effects, including liver-function damage, gastrointestinal reaction, menstrual disorders, and reproductive problems, they are considered good alternative medicines for DN if used with caution and in the proper manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109599DOI Listing
January 2020

Spatial-temporal variation and risk factor analysis of hand, foot, and mouth disease in children under 5 years old in Guangxi, China.

BMC Public Health 2019 Nov 8;19(1):1491. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Department of Community Health Science, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Background: Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) incidence is a critical challenge to disease control and prevention in parts of China, particularly Guangxi. However, the association between socioeconomic factors and meteorological factors on HFMD is still unclear.

Methods: This study applied global and local Moran's I to examine the spatial pattern of HFMD and series analysis to explore the temporal pattern. The effects of meteorological factors and socioeconomic factors on HFMD incidence in Guangxi, China were analyzed using GeoDetector Model.

Results: This study collected 45,522 cases from 87 counties in Guangxi during 2015, among which 43,711 cases were children aged 0-4 years. Temporally, there were two HFMD risk peaks in 2015. One peak was in September with 7890 cases. The other appeared in May with 4687 cases of HFMD. A high-risk cluster was located in the valley areas. The tertiary industry, precipitation and second industry had more influence than other risk factors on HFMD incidence with explanatory powers of 0.24, 0.23 and 0.21, respectively. The interactive effect of any two risk factors would enhance the risk of HFMD.

Conclusions: This study suggests that precipitation and tertiary industry factors might have stronger effects on the HFMD incidence in Guangxi, China, compared with other factors. High-risk of HFMD was identified in the valley areas characterized by high temperature and humidity. Local government should pay more attention and strengthen public health services level in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7619-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6842152PMC
November 2019

Resequencing of 414 cultivated and wild watermelon accessions identifies selection for fruit quality traits.

Nat Genet 2019 11 1;51(11):1616-1623. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

National Watermelon and Melon Improvement Center, Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops (North China), Beijing Key Laboratory of Vegetable Germplasm Improvement, Beijing, China.

Fruit characteristics of sweet watermelon are largely the result of human selection. Here we report an improved watermelon reference genome and whole-genome resequencing of 414 accessions representing all extant species in the Citrullus genus. Population genomic analyses reveal the evolutionary history of Citrullus, suggesting independent evolutions in Citrullus amarus and the lineage containing Citrullus lanatus and Citrullus mucosospermus. Our findings indicate that different loci affecting watermelon fruit size have been under selection during speciation, domestication and improvement. A non-bitter allele, arising in the progenitor of sweet watermelon, is largely fixed in C. lanatus. Selection for flesh sweetness started in the progenitor of C. lanatus and continues through modern breeding on loci controlling raffinose catabolism and sugar transport. Fruit flesh coloration and sugar accumulation might have co-evolved through shared genetic components including a sugar transporter gene. This study provides valuable genomic resources and sheds light on watermelon speciation and breeding history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0518-4DOI Listing
November 2019

Colossal Enhancement of Near-Field Thermal Radiation Across Hundreds of Nanometers between Millimeter-Scale Plates through Surface Plasmon and Phonon Polaritons Coupling.

Nano Lett 2019 11 25;19(11):8082-8088. Epub 2019 Oct 25.

Centre for Optical and Electromagnetic Research, State Key Laboratory of Modern Optical Instrumentation , Zhejiang University , Hangzhou 310058 , China.

Coupling modes between surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and surface phonon polaritons (SPhPs) play a vital role in enhancing near-field thermal radiation but are relatively unexplored, and no experimental result is available. Here, we consider the NFTR enhancement between two identical graphene-covered SiO heterostructures with millimeter-scale surface area and report an experimentally record-breaking ∼64-fold enhancement compared to blackbody (BB) limit at a gap distance of 170 nm. The energy transmission coefficient and radiation spectra show that the physical mechanism behind the colossal enhancement is the coupling between the surface plasmon and phonon polaritons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b03269DOI Listing
November 2019

The comprehensive pathophysiological changes in a novel rat model of postinflammatory visceral hypersensitivity.

FASEB J 2019 12 28;33(12):13560-13571. Epub 2019 Sep 28.

Department of Digestive Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China.

So far, a comprehensive animal model that can mimic both the central and peripheral pathophysiological changes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is lacking. Here, we developed a novel IBS rat model combining trinitro-benzene-sulfonic acid (TNBS) and chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) (designated as TC-IBS) and compared it with the TNBS-induced and CUMS-induced models. TC-IBS showed a pronounced depression phenotype with increased corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor (CRHR)1 and CRHR2 expression at the frontal cortex and increased serum ACTH concentration. Visceral hypersensitivity (VH), as evidenced by colorectal distention (CRD) test, was highest in TC-IBS, accompanied by increased serum 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) level and colonic 5-HT receptor 3A (5-HTR)/5-HT receptor 2B expression, impaired tight junction protein expression including occludin, zonula occludens-1, and phosphorylated myosin light chain. Palonosetron, a second generation of 5-HTR antagonist, alleviated VH significantly in TC-IBS. 16S rRNA sequencing showed that TNBS plus CUMS induced a significant disturbance of the gut microbiota. Cytokine profile analysis of TC-IBS model indicated an innate immune activation both in serum and colonic mucosa. Further, fecal microbiota transplantation improved VH and some pathophysiological changes in TC-IBS. In summary, we established a postinflammatory IBS model covering multifactorial pathophysiological changes, which may help to develop therapies that target specific IBS subtype.-Ma, J., Li, J., Qian, M., He, N., Cao, Y., Liu, Y., Wu, K., He, S. The comprehensive pathophysiological changes in a novel rat model of postinflammatory visceral hypersensitivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201901489RDOI Listing
December 2019

Ultra-high thermal stability perarylated ionic liquids as gas chromatographic stationary phases for the selective separation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls.

J Chromatogr A 2019 Oct 19;1604:460466. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA. Electronic address:

Ionic liquids (ILs) are well-known in the field of separation science for their unique selectivity when used as stationary phases in gas chromatography (GC). While a significant amount of knowledge has been attained in correlating structural features of an IL to separation selectivity, developments in producing IL-based stationary phases suitable for high temperature GC studies have lagged behind. Column bleed is a result of the stationary phase undergoing volatilization/decomposition at high temperatures and is undesirable in separations coupled to GC/MS. It has been well-known that traditional classes of ILs with long alkyl side chain substituents are susceptible to Hofmann elimination at elevated temperatures. In this study, a new class of IL stationary phases containing perarylated cations exhibiting improved thermal stability are introduced. These ILs were used to prepare wall-coated open tubular columns with high column efficiency and produced very low bleed at temperatures up to 350 °C. Their unique chemical structures provide stronger π-π interactions compared to many commercially-available stationary phases. To exploit the unique interactions provided by these stationary phases, the separation of two classes of environmentally hazardous aromatic compounds, namely, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), was examined. Both classes of compounds contain structural isomers with high boiling points that are often challenging to separate. The perarylated sulfonium and phosphonium IL-based stationary phases exhibited excellent thermal stability as well as unique selectivity toward isomers of PAHs as well as toxic PCB analyte pairs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2019.460466DOI Listing
October 2019

Genetic mapping and development of molecular markers for a candidate gene locus controlling rind color in watermelon.

Theor Appl Genet 2019 Oct 8;132(10):2741-2753. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou, 450009, China.

Key Message: ClCG08G017810 (ClCGMenG) encoding a 2-phytyl-1,4-beta-naphthoquinone methyltransferase protein is associated with formation of dark green versus light green rind color in watermelon. Rind color is an important agronomic trait in watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. and Nakai], but the underlying molecular mechanism for this trait is not fully known. In the present study, we identified a single locus on chromosome 8 accounting for watermelon rind color (dark green vs. light green). Genetic analysis of F, F, and BC populations derived from two parental lines (9904 with dark green rind and Handel with light green rind) revealed that the watermelon rind color (dark green vs. light green) is controlled by a single locus, and dark green is dominant to light green rind. Initial mapping revealed a region of interest spanning 2.07 Mb on chromosome 8. Genetic mapping with CAPS and SNP markers narrowed down the candidate region to 31.4 kb. Gene annotation of the corresponding region in the reference genome revealed the ClCG08G017810 gene sequence encoding the 2-phytyl-1,4-beta-naphthoquinone methyltransferase protein. The sequence alignment of the candidate gene with the two parental lines suggested a nonsynonymous SNP mutation in the coding region of ClCG08G017810, converting an arginine (R) to glycine (G). The SNP might be associated with rind color of 103 watermelon germplasm lines investigated in this study. The qRT-PCR analysis revealed higher expression of ClCG08G017810 in dark green rind than in light green rind. Therefore, ClCG08G017810 is a candidate gene associated with watermelon rind color. The present study facilitates marker-assisted selection useful for the development of cultivars with desirable rind color.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-019-03384-3DOI Listing
October 2019

Antimicrobial Mechanism of Hydroquinone.

Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2019 Dec 28;189(4):1291-1303. Epub 2019 Jun 28.

National R&D Center for Edible Fungus Processing Technology, Henan University, Kaifeng, 475004, Henan, China.

With growing concern about the possible risks and side effects of antibiotic drugs, more and more natural products with antibacterial activity are studied as the substitutes. In this paper, the antibacterial activity of hydroquinone and arbutin in Ainsliaea bonatii was investigated, which both displayed relatively strong antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (SA), methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), and extended spectrum β-lactamase S. aureus (ESBL-SA). The antibacterial mechanism of hydroquinone had been explored by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), alkaline phosphatase (AKP), and bacterial extracellular protein leakage. Results showed that hydroquinone could destroy the bacterial cell wall and membrane, increase permeability, lead leakage of intracellular substance affect synthesis of protein, and influence expression of genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12010-019-03067-1DOI Listing
December 2019

Examining the unique retention behavior of volatile carboxylic acids in gas chromatography using zwitterionic liquid stationary phases.

J Chromatogr A 2019 Oct 10;1603:288-296. Epub 2019 Jun 10.

Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, United States. Electronic address:

For the first time, gas chromatographic (GC) stationary phases consisting of zwitterionic liquids (ZILs) possessing sulfonate functional groups were utilized for the analysis of volatile carboxylic acids (VCAs). The highly polar and acidic nature of VCAs significantly limits the number of currently available GC stationary phases, which are all largely based on acid-modified polyethylene glycol. In this study, it is shown that this class of ZILs exhibit strong retention of VCAs with excellent peak symmetry. Unique chromatographic selectivity toward VCAs is also demonstrated by tuning the structural features of the ZILs. The solvation properties of the three ZILs as well as a structurally similar conventional monocationic IL were characterized using the Abraham solvation parameter model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2019.06.021DOI Listing
October 2019

Resistance Switching Statistics and Mechanisms of Pt Dispersed Silicon Oxide-Based Memristors.

Micromachines (Basel) 2019 Jun 1;10(6). Epub 2019 Jun 1.

The Department of Microelectronics, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, China.

Silicon oxide-based memristors have been extensively studied due to their compatibility with the dominant silicon complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication technology. However, the variability of resistance switching (RS) parameters is one of the major challenges for commercialization applications. Owing to the filamentary nature of most RS devices, the variability of RS parameters can be reduced by doping in the RS region, where conductive filaments (CFs) can grow along the locations of impurities. In this work, we have successfully obtained RS characteristics in Pt dispersed silicon oxide-based memristors. The RS variabilities and mechanisms have been analyzed by screening the statistical data into different resistance ranges, and the distributions are shown to be compatible with a Weibull distribution. Additionally, a quantum points contact (QPC) model has been validated to account for the conductive mechanism and further sheds light on the evolution of the CFs during RS processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi10060369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6631129PMC
June 2019

MiR-371 promotes proliferation and metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma by targeting PTEN.

BMB Rep 2019 May;52(5):312-317

Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital (EHBH), Second Military Medical University, Shanghai City 200438, China.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. MiR-371 has recently emerged as an important regulator in tumorigenesis, and may serve as a biomarker for malignant tumors. We transfected miR-371 or its inhibitor in two human HCC cell lines, then used 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, soft agar colony formation, and transwell migration assays to evaluate the effects on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. We found that miR-371 was positively correlated with HCC metastasis and poor prognosis in the inflicted patients, and the high expression of miR-371 was promoted, whereas a low level of miR-371 depressed cell proliferation and invasion. We found PTEN to be a direct target of miR-371. The overexpression or knockdown of PTEN exhibited the opposite effects from those of miR-371 on cell proliferation and migration. Our study demonstrates that miR-371 promotes proliferation and metastasis in HCC by targeting PTEN. [BMB Reports 2019; 52(5): 312-317].
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6549920PMC
May 2019