Publications by authors named "Qian Zheng"

318 Publications

[Identifying the Sources of Groudwater NO-N in Agricultural Region of Qingdao].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2021 Jul;42(7):3232-3241

Key Laboratory of Dryland Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China.

To increase crops yields, applying large amounts of fertilizers has become increasingly common in agricultural regions, resulting in NO-N groundwater pollution. Agricultural non-point pollution is the main source of groundwater NO-N pollution. To ensure drinking water safety and quality, it is crucial to clarify the sources of NO-N pollution in agricultural regions. In this study, 35 sampling sites were randomly selected in the Qingdao agricultural area in 2009 and 2019. The spatial distribution of NO-N concentration was analyzed by the inverse distance weighting method (IDW). The nitrogen and oxygen isotopes were used as a tool to trace sources of NO-N and the SIAR model was used to quantify contribution proportion of pollution sources. The results showed that the concentration of NO-N (average) in groundwater in Qingdao has been reduced from 38.49 mg·L in 2009 to 22.37 mg·L in 2019, but it is still higher than the maximum allowable concentration of NO-N in drinking water set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The NO-N concentration gradually increased from south to north both in 2009 and 2019. The cross diagram of N-NO and O-NO show that the main sources of NO-N in groundwater in Qingdao are chemical fertilizers, soil nitrogen, and manure and sewage. Water isotopes indicate that precipitation was the main source of groundwater in Qingdao. The SIAR model results indicated that the contribution of each source ranked as follows:manure and sewage (47.42%) > soil nitrogen (27.80%) > chemical fertilizer (14.32%) > atmospheric nitrogen depositions (10.43%). From 2009 to 2019, the quality of groundwater in Qingdao has been improved, but NO-N pollution still cannot be ignored. According to the results, prevention and control should be made to ensure the safety of drinking water and the sustainable development of agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13227/j.hjkx.202010263DOI Listing
July 2021

Highly Efficient Biosynthesis of Glycyrrhetinic Acid Glucosides by Coupling of Microbial Glycosyltransferase to Plant Sucrose Synthase.

Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2021 8;9:645079. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, Joint International Research Laboratory of Metabolic and Developmental Sciences, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) is a principal bioactive pentacyclic triterpenoid from . Uridine diphosphate-dependent glycosyltransferases (UGTs) have been widely used to catalyze glycosylation of diverse nature products for the development of potential therapeutic compounds. In this study, we have characterized a UGT109A3 from , which can glycosylate both the free C3 hydroxyl and C30 carboxyl groups of GA to yield a unique 3, 30-O-β-D-diglucoside-GA. By coupling the microbial UGT109A3 to plant sucrose synthase (SUS), GA-diglucoside could be biosynthesized in an efficient and economical way. With a fed-batch glycosylation, a large scale of GA-diglucoside (6.26 mM, 4.98 g/L in 8 h) could be enzymatically transformed from GA. The obtained GA-diglucoside showed a significant water solubility improvement of around 3.4 × 10 fold compared with that of the parent GA (29 μM). Moreover, it also exhibited dose-dependent cytotoxicity toward human colon carcinoma Caco-2 cell line according to MTT assay, having an IC at 160 μM. This study not only establishes efficient platform for producing GA-glucosides, but is also valuable for developing further the biosynthesis of other complex glycosylated natural products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2021.645079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8218813PMC
June 2021

Identification of an Autoantibody Against ErbB-3-Binding Protein-1 in the Sera of Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection.

Front Immunol 2021 25;12:640335. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Immunology & Institute of Immunology, Army Medical University (Third Military Medical University), Chongqing, China.

Background: Studies have shown that autoimmune response contributes to chronic hepatitis B (CHB) development.

Aim: This study aimed to identify autoantibodies in the sera of patients with CHB and to investigate the association of autoimmune response with disease severity in CHB.

Methods: Proteins from human liver carcinoma cell line HepG2 were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis. The candidate autoantigens were recognized by serum autoantibodies from Chinese CHB patients. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to determine the hepatic expression of the autoantigen in CHB patients with different inflammatory grades. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was conducted to measure the prevalence and the levels of serum autoantibody in CHB patients with different disease severity. Flow cytometry analysis was carried out to assess the autoreactive T cell response in the peripheral circulation of CHB patients.

Results: ErbB-3-binding protein-1 (EBP-1) was identified as an autoantigen of serum autoantibodies in CBP patients. EBP-1 protein expression was upregulated in the liver of CHB patients with high-grade hepatic inflammation. The prevalence and levels of serum anti-EBP1 IgG were significantly increased in CHB patients with severe diseases compared with those with mild or moderate diseases, but none was detectable in the healthy controls. EBP-1 peptides induced proinflammatory cytokine expression in CD4 T cells from CHB patients.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate the presence of an autoantibody against EBP-1 in the sera as well as EBP-1-reactive T cells in the peripheral blood of CHB patient. EBP-1-induced autoimmune response is positively associated with the disease severity, suggesting that EBP-1-induced autoimmune response possibly contributes to progressive liver failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.640335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185336PMC
May 2021

The investigation of mRNA vaccines formulated in liposomes administrated in multiple routes against SARS-CoV-2.

J Control Release 2021 07 21;335:449-456. Epub 2021 May 21.

Department of Critical Care Medicine, Frontiers Science Center for Disease-related Molecular Network, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China. Electronic address:

COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented global public health crisis. It is obvious that SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is needed to control the global COVID-19 public health crisis. Since obvious advantages including fast manufacturing speed, potent immunogenicity and good safety profile, six mRNA vaccines have been used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections in clinic with lipid nanoparticles (LNP) formulation via intramuscular injection. In this work, we first constructed RBD-encoding mRNA (RBD-mRNA) formulated in liposomes (LPX/RBD-mRNA) and investigated the influence of administration routes on the immunogenicity. LPX/RBD-mRNA can express RBD in vivo and successfully induced SARS-CoV-2 RBD specific antibodies in the vaccinated mice, which efficiently neutralized SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus. Moreover, the administration routes were found to affect the virus neutralizing capacity of sera derived from the immunized mice and the types (Th1-type and Th2-type) of cellular immune responses. This study indicated that liposome-based RBD-mRNA vaccine with optimal administration route might be a potential candidate against SARS-CoV-2 infection with good efficacy and safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.05.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8139338PMC
July 2021

Uptake and translocation of organophosphate esters by plants: Impacts of chemical structure, plant cultivar and copper.

Environ Int 2021 Oct 29;155:106591. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Joint Laboratory for Environmental Pollution and Control, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China; CAS Center for Excellence in Deep Earth Science, Guangzhou 510640, China.

Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are normally used as flame retardants, plasticizers and lubricants, but have become environmental pollutants. Because OPEs are normally present alongside heavy metals in soils, the effects of interactions between OPEs and heavy metals on plant uptake of OPEs need to be determined. In this study, we investigated the effects of OPEs chemical structure, plant cultivar and copper (Cu) on the uptake and translocation of OPEs by plants. The bioaccumulation of OPEs varied among plant cultivars. They were preferentially enriched in carrot, with the lowest concentrations observed in maize. OPEs with electron-ring substituents (ER-OPEs) exhibited a higher potential for root uptake than did OPEs with open-chain substituents (OC-OPEs), which could be attributed to the higher sorption of ER-OPEs onto root charged surfaces. This was explained by the stronger noncovalent interactions with the electron-rich structure of ER-OPEs. The presence of Cu slightly reduced the distinct difference in the ability of roots to take up OC-OPEs and ER-OPEs. This was explained by the interactions of Cu ions with the electron-rich structure of ER-OPEs, which suppressed the sorption of ER-OPEs on the root surface. A negative relationship between the logarithms of the translocation factor and octanol-water partition coefficient (K) was observed in treatments with either OPEs only or OPEs + Cu, implying the significant role of hydrophobicity in the OPEs acropetal translocation. The results will improve our understanding of the uptake and translocation of OPEs by plant cultivars as well as how the process is affected by the chemical structure of OPEs and Cu, leading to improvements in the ecological risk assessment of OPEs in the food chain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106591DOI Listing
October 2021

Quantification of photocatalytically-generated hydrogen peroxide in the presence of organic electron donors: Interference and reliability considerations.

Chemosphere 2021 Sep 12;279:130556. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of the Ministry of Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, China. Electronic address:

Photocatalytic HO production is an innovative on-site HO synthesis method to treat organic pollutants through Fenton-like reactions, avoiding the need and potential liability of HO storage and transportation. Accurate quantification of HO is crucial to explore the mechanism of photocatalytic HO production and optimize reaction parameters. In this work, three common HO quantification methods (i.e., titration with potassium permanganate (KMnO), and colorimetry with ammonium metavanadate (NHVO) or N,N-diethylp-phenylenediamine-horseradish peroxidase (DPD-POD)) were compared and their susceptibility to interference by seven types of representative organics were considered. Interference mechanisms were explored based on the electron-donating (E) and electron-accepting (E) ability of the present organics. The accuracy of the KMnO titration method is greatly compromised by aromatic compounds even at 0.1 mM due to the increased KMnO consumption by direct oxidation. The presence of p-benzoquinone that directly reacts with NHVO and DPD compromises these colorimetric methods, especially DPD-POD colorimetry at concentrations as low as 0.1 mM. The DPD-POD method should also be scrutinized in the presence of phenols due to significant disturbance by oxidation byproducts (e.g. hydroquinone inducing immediate color disappearance). A flowchart was generated to provide guidelines for selecting an appropriate HO quantification method for different water matrices treated by Fenton-like reactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130556DOI Listing
September 2021

ARTICLE: Efficacy of Ceramide-Containing Formulations on UV-Induced Skin Surface Barrier Alterations.

J Drugs Dermatol 2021 Apr;20(4):s29-s35

The human skin, particularly the stratum corneum, serves as a protective barrier against exogenous factors, including ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and pathogen invasions. The impact of UVR on skin cancer and photoaging has been extensively studied. However, the direct impact of UVR on skin barrier integrity under clinical settings remains poorly explored. Due to their benefits in reducing inflammation and promoting skin barrier repair, ceramide-containing formulations can provide added photoprotection benefits. In this study, the efficacy of a ceramide-containing sunscreen and moisturizer were evaluated in preventing UV-induced skin surface barrier changes. Expert grading, instrumental, and tape-stripping assessments demonstrated that UVR induced erythema and hyperpigmentation and caused changes in skin cells surface morphological organization and maturation. Treatment with a ceramide-containing sunscreen and moisturizing cream routine reduced erythema and hyperpigmentation, improved skin hydration, and maintained normal superficial skin cells morphology and turnover after UVR. Our results indicate that barrier-enforcing lipids formulations can provide additional benefits in patient’s daily routine by strengthening the barrier and improving skin health overall against chronic sun exposure. J Drugs Dermatol. 20(4 Suppl):s29-35. doi:10.36849/JDD.S589E.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.36849/JDD.2021.589EDOI Listing
April 2021

ARTICLE: Alteration to the Skin Barrier Integrity Following Broad-Spectrum UV Exposure in an Ex Vivo Tissue Model.

J Drugs Dermatol 2021 Apr;20(4):23s-28s

Dynamic changes to the skin barrier’s molecular structure and ceramide profile are well-documented in skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Pathological and environmental factors have been shown to impair barrier integrity and demonstrate shifts in ceramide composition in the skin. However, the relationship between acute and prolonged sun exposure and its effects on skin barrier homeostasis is insufficiently investigated. This study aims to uncover new scientific evidence to elucidate the relationship of UV irradiation with the skin barrier using an ex vivo tissue model following simulated UVA/UVB exposure. Fresh ex vivo human skin pretreated either with or without a broad-spectrum sunscreen was exposed to either a physiological or elevated UV condition. Following eight days in culture, structural and molecular changes were evaluated. UV irradiated skin displayed epidermal cell death and altered expression of key barrier proteins. TEM analysis demonstrated disruption to adherens junctions and dissociation between tissue layers following both physiological and extensive UV exposures. An effective broad-spectrum sunscreen containing essential skin ceramides completely protected the skin from such changes. This is one of the first works demonstrating a clear correlation of altered skin barrier integrity using a physiologically relevant dose in an ex vivo tissue model. Our findings also further support the additional importance and benefits of sun protection among the consumers. J Drugs Dermatol. 20(4 Suppl):s23-28. doi:10.36849/JDD.S589D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.36849/JDD.2021.589DDOI Listing
April 2021

The POLR2E rs3787016 polymorphism is associated with susceptibility to and prognosis of gastric cancer.

Neoplasma 2021 May 13;68(3):665-671. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Medical Functional Experiment Center, School of Medical Sciences, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, China.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been proposed as promising diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for cancer. We investigated the associations of RNA polymerase II subunit E (POLR2E) rs3787016 polymorphism with the risk and prognosis of gastric cancer (GC). The study subjects included 368 GC patients who underwent surgical resection and 294 healthy volunteers, adjusted for age, gender, smoking status, alcohol status, and Helicobacter pylori infection status. The data was subjected to logistic regression analyses and revealed that the subjects carrying AA genotype of rs3787016 in POLR2E had a significant 1.85-1.98-fold increased risk of GC when compared with those carrying GG genotype (adjusted OR=1.979, 95% CI=1.198-3.267; p=0.008) or those carrying AG/GG genotypes (adjusted OR=1.847, 95% CI=1.222-2.793; p=0.004). For the GC patients, the AA genotype of rs3787016 was significantly correlated with poorly differentiated GC (p=0.018), advanced TNM stage (p=0.023), higher depth of invasion (p=0.022), positive lymph node metastasis (p=0.01), and worse overall survival (OS; p=0.004). Multivariate analysis confirmed that the POLR2E rs3787016 polymorphism is an independent prognostic factor for GC (HR=1.668, 95% CI=1.058-2.631; p=0.028). Our cumulative results thus suggest that the presence of POLR2E rs3787016 polymorphism could serve as a genetic factor that affects the susceptibility to and the prognosis of GC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4149/neo_2021_201125N1277DOI Listing
May 2021

Dynamic study into autophagy and apoptosis during orthodontic tooth movement.

Exp Ther Med 2021 May 26;21(5):430. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstruction and Regeneration Laboratory, Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, P.R. China.

Orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) has been widely observed worldwide. The OTM process is involved in several biological activities and can result in temporary hypoxia. The dynamic changes of autophagy and apoptosis during OTM have not, to the best of our knowledge, been previously reported. In the present study, an OTM animal model was established. Periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs) and osteoclasts were investigated using H&E and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining. The changes in the expression levels of certain autophagy and apoptotic markers were investigated using immunohistochemical staining. A significant decrease in PDLC and an increase in osteoclast numbers were observed 1 day following OTM induction. The expression levels of Beclin-1 and LC3-II peaked at 1 h post-OTM, followed by a gradual decrease. The expression levels of P62 in each experimental group were significantly lower than those noted in the 0 h group. The expression levels of Bcl-2 were markedly increased 1 h following OTM and reached a maximum at 1 day post-OTM. The highest expression levels of Bax and caspase-3 were observed 7 days following OTM induction. The present study provided additional information regarding the involvement of autophagy and apoptotic markers in the OTM process and aided the understanding of the initiation and pathophysiological progression of this condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2021.9847DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967888PMC
May 2021

The role of Elabela in kidney disease.

Int Urol Nephrol 2021 Mar 8. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Nephrology, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, 218 Ziqiang Street, Changchun, 130041, Jilin, China.

Elabela, also known as Toddler or Apela, is a recently discovered hormonal peptide containing 32 amino acids. Elabela is a ligand of the apelin receptor (APJ). APJ is a G protein-coupled receptor widely expressed throughout body, and together with its cognate ligand, apelin, it plays an important role in various physiological processes including cardiovascular functions, angiogenesis and fluid homeostasis. Elabela also participates in embryonic development and pathophysiological processes in adulthood. Elabela is highly expressed in undifferentiated embryonic stem cells and regulates endoderm differentiation and cardiovascular system development. During differentiation, Elabela is highly expressed in pluripotent stem cells and in adult renal collecting ducts and loops, where it functions to maintain water and sodium homeostasis. Other studies have also shown that Elabela plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of kidney diseases. This review addresses the role of Elabela in kidney diseases including renal ischemia/reperfusion injury, hypertensive nephropathy, diabetic nephropathy, and cardiorenal syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11255-021-02790-1DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of curing lights on human gingival epithelial cell proliferation.

J Am Dent Assoc 2021 Apr 23;152(4):260-268. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Background: Light-emitting diode (LED) and quartz-tungsten-halogen (QTH) curing lights are used commonly in clinics. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of these lights on the proliferation of human gingival epithelial cells.

Methods: Smulow-Glickman (S-G) cells were exposed to a VALO LED (Ultradent) or an XL3000 QTH (3M ESPE) light at 1 millimeter or 6 mm distance for 18, 39, 60, and 120 seconds. Untreated and Triton X-100 treated cells were used as controls. At 24, 48, and 72 hours after light exposure, cell proliferation was evaluated via a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay.

Results: The authors first evaluated the performances of these 2 lights. Both LED and QTH lights generated heat. The LED light generated less heat than the QTH light and could save approximately two-thirds of the curing time. When used for 18 seconds at a 6 mm distance, the LED light did not inhibit the proliferation of S-G cells. However, if the exposure time was longer (for example, 39, 60, or 120 seconds), the LED light inhibited cell proliferation. The inhibitory effect increased when the exposure time was increased to 39, 60, or 120 seconds. The QTH light did not inhibit S-G cell proliferation if the exposure time was less than 120 seconds.

Conclusions: Prolonged exposure to a blue curing light (both LED and QTH) inhibits the proliferation of gingival epithelial cells and may cause damages to oral soft tissues.

Practical Implications: In dental practices, a balance should be struck in consideration of curing time not only to cure the composites completely but also to minimize unnecessarily prolonged light exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adaj.2020.12.006DOI Listing
April 2021

Prevalence of recessive infection of pathogens of hand, foot, and mouth disease in healthy people in China: A meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Feb;100(7):e24855

NanJing Pukou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 18 GongYuan North Road, Jiangpu Street, Pukou District, Nanjing, 211800, Jiangsu Province, China.

Background: To analyze the prevalence of latent infection of pathogens of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in Chinese healthy population and its influencing factors, so as to provide reference for the prevention and control of HFMD.

Methods: A systematic literature searching about the incidence of latent infection of HFMD was conducted in Chinese and English databases. The inclusion and exclusion criteria of the retrieved literature were established. The qualified literatures were screened and the data were extracted. The pooled rate and its 95% confidence interval was used to assess the latent infection rate of HFMD pathogens in healthy Chinese population, and subgroup analysis was conducted based on gender and age. All statistical analyses were performed using the STATA version 12.0 software.

Results: A total of 31 literatures were included in this meta-analysis. The recessive infection rate of HFMD pathogens reported in the literature of Chinese healthy people ranged from 4.59% to 44.12%. The results of meta-analysis showed that the latent infection rate of human enteroviruses (HEVs) in healthy Chinese population was 17.5% (14.9-20.1%), among which, the latent infection rates of EV-A71, CV-A16, and other HEVs were 3.3% (2.2-4.4%), 1.7% (1.0-2.5%), and 15.1% (11.1-17.1%), respectively. The latent infection rates of HEVs in healthy men and women in China were 16.7% (12.9-20.4%) and 14.4% (10.8-18.0%), respectively. The latent infection rates of HEVs in the healthy population aged 0 to 5 years and over 5 years were 24.4% (20.4-28.5%) and 9.4% (6.5-12.2%), respectively. Meta regression showed that the factors affecting the latent infection rate of HEVs in Chinese healthy population included sampling period, sampling area, and study population.

Conclusion: The latent infection rate of HEVs is high in healthy people in China, but it is mainly caused by other enteroviruses. The latent infection rate of HEVs in male was higher than that of female and was greater in people aged 0 to 5 than that of aged over 5 years. Limited by the quantity and quality of the included studies, more high-quality studies are needed for further verification in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000024855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7899851PMC
February 2021

Investigation on the adsorption of antibiotics from water by metal loaded sewage sludge biochar.

Water Sci Technol 2021 Feb;83(3):739-750

Key Laboratory of Integrated Regulation and Resources Development on Shallow Lakes, Ministry of Education, College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China.

Application of sewage sludge biochar as an adsorbent for antibiotics treatment has obtained special attention owning to its low cost and surface functionality. Three metal ions were selected to modify sewage sludge biochar through the pyrolysis with the metal loaded method. Fe loaded sewage sludge biochar (BC-Fe), Al loaded sewage sludge biochar (BC-Al) and Mn loaded sewage sludge biochar (BC-Mn) were characterized and used to explore the performance of adsorbing tetracycline (TC), sulfamethoxazole (SMZ) and amoxicillin (AMC). BC-Fe, BC-Al and BC-Mn possessed rougher surfaces, larger specific surface area and better pore structure. Intra-particle diffusion and Langmuir models were more suitable to describe the adsorption process. The maximum adsorption amount of TC, SMZ and AMC could reach 123.35, 99.01 and 109.89 mg/g by BC-Fe. Furthermore, the main mechanism of antibiotics adsorption by metal loaded sewage sludge biochars might be pores filling, Van der Waals forces and H-bonding. The study can not only solve the problems associated with the pollution of antibiotics from wastewater, but also reduced the treatment pressure of sewage sludge effectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wst.2020.578DOI Listing
February 2021

A new congenital cleft palate New Zealand rabbit model for surgical research.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 16;11(1):3865. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases, Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, People's Republic of China.

Cleft palate repair is a challenging procedure for cleft surgeons to teach, and in research, it can be difficult to evaluate different techniques and develop new treatments. In this study, a congenital cleft palate New Zealand rabbit model has been described and could be beneficial in future studies concerning cleft palate repair. Pregnant New Zealand rabbits received 1.0 mg dexamethasone injection intramuscularly once a day from the 13th gestation day (GD13) to GD16. On GD31. Newborn rabbits were delivered by cesarean sections, fed with a standardized gastric tube feeding method, and divided into two groups. The rate of survival and the incidence of cleft palate was calculated. Weight, appearance, behavior, maxillary occlusal view, and regional anatomic and histological comparisons were recorded within 1 month after birth. Infants from the two groups with similar physiological conditions were selected for continuous maxillofacial and mandibular Micro-CT scan and three-dimensional reconstruction analysis. Ten pregnant rabbits gave birth to 48 live infants. The survival and cleft palate rates were 65.6% and 60.4% respectively. Both groups survived over 1 month with no difference in weight, appearance, and behavior. The cleft type was stable, and anatomical defects, histological characteristics, and nasal-maxillary abnormalities of the cleft were similar to those of humans. There was no statistically significant difference in maxillary and mandible development between the two groups within one month after birth. This congenital cleft palate model is considered to have more research possibilities with efficient cleft induction, reliable feeding methods, stable anatomical defects, and maxillofacial development similar to those seen in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83400-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7887234PMC
February 2021

Evaluation of fistula rates in three cleft palate techniques without relaxing incisions.

J Craniomaxillofac Surg 2021 Jun 6;49(6):456-461. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases & National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases & Dept. of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, China. Electronic address:

The aim of the present study was to investigate the incidence of postoperative fistula formation from a hybrid cleft palate repair compared to that from two well-established techniques. We performed a modified technique, Sommerlad-Furlow (SF), which combined the repositioning of the levator veli palatini muscles as described by Sommerlad with the double opposing Z-plasty of Furlow to lengthen the soft palate. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate patients who underwent cleft palate repair utilizing SF, Sommerlad, or Furlow techniques with the incidence of palatal fistula as the target endpoint. A total of 1,164 patients were included in the present study and underwent the following techniques: 603 cases with SF, 244 cases with Furlow, and 317 cases with Sommerlad. In addition to not requiring relaxing incisions, SF advantages included a consistently lower fistula rate compared to that of the Sommerlad technique, as well as the lowest fistula rate in patients with both hard and soft palate clefts without a cleft lip (OR:2.62 95% CI: 1.35, 5.09). However, the differences among the three techniques did not reach statistical significance in terms of a bilateral or unilateral cleft lip/palate, or in patients with a soft palate only or a submucosal cleft palate(OR: 2.22,95% CI:0.77, 6.37). Based on the results of our study, the Somerlad-Furlow technique should be preferred whenever possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcms.2021.01.022DOI Listing
June 2021

Differential expression analysis of urinary exosomal circular RNAs in patients with IgA nephropathy.

Nephrology (Carlton) 2021 May 11;26(5):432-441. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Nephrology, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China.

Aims: Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common primary glomerular disease to cause end-stage kidney disease. This study investigated the difference in urinary exosomal circular RNA (circRNA) expression profiles between patients with IgAN and healthy controls (HCs), for better understanding of gene regulation in exosomes of IgAN patients.

Methods: A pairwise comparison of urinary circRNA expression profiles between IgAN patients and HCs was performed using methods, including high-throughput sequencing and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Moreover, the potential functions of differentially expressed circRNAs (DECs) in IgAN were investigated by gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis; Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis; and the circRNA-miRNA-mRNA network.

Results: We identified 450 upregulated and 26 downregulated circRNAs in the IgAN patients. GO analysis showed that these enriched circRNAs might regulate primary miRNA processing, the ability of angiotensin receptor binding, and stress fibre function. KEGG analysis suggested these DECs may be closely associated with the phosphoinositide-3-kinase-protein kinase B/Akt (PI3K-Akt) signalling pathways. Network analysis revealed the relationship between circRNAs and their target genes.

Conclusion: The identified DECs may be useful for both researches on molecular aetiology of IgAN and development of potentially novel non-invasive biomarkers of IgAN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nep.13855DOI Listing
May 2021

An Off-Policy Trust Region Policy Optimization Method With Monotonic Improvement Guarantee for Deep Reinforcement Learning.

IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst 2021 Jan 22;PP. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

In deep reinforcement learning, off-policy data help reduce on-policy interaction with the environment, and the trust region policy optimization (TRPO) method is efficient to stabilize the policy optimization procedure. In this article, we propose an off-policy TRPO method, off-policy TRPO, which exploits both on- and off-policy data and guarantees the monotonic improvement of policies. A surrogate objective function is developed to use both on- and off-policy data and keep the monotonic improvement of policies. We then optimize this surrogate objective function by approximately solving a constrained optimization problem under arbitrary parameterization and finite samples. We conduct experiments on representative continuous control tasks from OpenAI Gym and MuJoCo. The results show that the proposed off-policy TRPO achieves better performance in the majority of continuous control tasks compared with other trust region policy-based methods using off-policy data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNNLS.2020.3044196DOI Listing
January 2021

Removal of Horizontally Impacted Mandibular Third Molars With Large Root Bifurcations Using a Modified Tooth Sectioning Method.

J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2021 04 16;79(4):748-755.e1. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Resident, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases, Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China. Electronic address:

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to introduce the method and first results of a modified tooth sectioning technique for the extraction of horizontally impacted mandibular third molars (M3Ms) with large root bifurcation.

Patients And Methods: A total of 300 horizontally impacted M3Ms with large root bifurcation in medically healthy patients were included in this prospective study. Patients were divided into 2 groups: the modified method group (test group), in which the M3M was sectioned between the distal root and the remainder of the tooth at the point of root bifurcation; and the conventional method group (control group), in which the M3M was sectioned between the crown and the root at the cementoenamel junction. Operation duration, postoperative reactions, complications, and patient satisfaction were analyzed and compared between the 2 groups.

Results: Each group included 150 M3Ms which were all successfully extracted. Operation durations in the test and control group were 10.48 ± 3.78 and 15.09 ± 4.24 minutes, respectively (P < .05). The test group had significantly better results than the control group with regard to postoperative reactions and complications (P < .05). Patients in the test group had higher satisfaction ratings regarding operation duration and the healing process than those in the control group (P < .05).

Conclusions: The modified method of tooth sectioning between the distal root and the remainder of the tooth can efficiently eliminate resistance from the bone and adjacent mandibular second molar and allow for just 1 sectioning of the M3M in most cases, which could make the operation straightforward and safe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2020.12.011DOI Listing
April 2021

[Effect of CO₂ fractional laser on the early control of scar post-secondary repair in patients with a cleft lip].

Hua Xi Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi 2020 Dec;38(6):657-661

State Key Laboratory of Oral Disease & National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases & Dept. of Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.

Objective: To observe and compare the clinical efficacy of CO₂ fractional laser in the early control of scar post-secondary repair in patients with a cleft lip.

Methods: In the treatment group, 43 patients with secondary repair of cleft lip were treated via CO₂ fractional laser. The control group covered 70 patients post-cheiloplasty. The effect in the two groups after six months was compared. The duration from the beginning of the laser treatment to surgery and patient gender were analyzed to determine if they affected the efficacy of the laser treatment for scars.

Results: 1) The curative effect in the treatment group was better than that in the control group (P<0.000 1), the total effectiveness rate was 90.7% in the treatment group. 2) No significant statistical difference in efficacy was observed between men and women (P=0.487). Moreover, no significant statistical difference in efficacy (P=0.055) was observed among patients one year after surgery, within the duration of <3 months, and within the duration of ≥3 months.

Conclusions: CO₂ fractional laser had a definite effect on the treatment of scar post-secondary repair in patients with a cleft lip. No significant correlation was observed between treatment effect and patient gender, and no difference was noted among patients one year after surgery. In the beginning of the laser treatment, no difference was observed between the durations of <3 months and ≥3 months after the reconstruction, Therefore, early intervention of scars a year after secondary repair of a cleft lip can achieve good results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7518/hxkq.2020.06.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7738906PMC
December 2020

Defective apoptotic cell clearance activates innate immune response to protect against pathogenic bacteria.

Virulence 2021 12;12(1):75-83

Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Medicinal Plant Resources and Natural Pharmaceutical Chemistry, National Engineering Laboratory for Resource Development of Endangered Crude Drugs in the Northwest of China, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University , Xi'an, China.

Appropriate clearance of dead cells generated by apoptosis is critical to the development of multicellular organisms and tissue homeostasis. In mammals, the removal of apoptotic cell is mediated by polarized monocyte/macrophage populations of the innate immune system. The innate immune system is essential for anti-viral and anti-microbial defense. However, our current understanding of the relationship between apoptotic cell clearance and the innate immune response has remained rather limited. Here, we study how apoptotic cell clearance programs contribute to the innate immune response in . We find apoptotic cell clearance mutant worms are more resistant to pathogenic bacteria of PA14 and SL1344 due to significant upregulation of innate immune-dependent pathogen response genes. In addition, genetic epistasis analysis indicates that defects in apoptotic cell clearance can activate the innate immune response through PMK-1 p38 MAPK and MPK-1/ERK MAPK pathways in . Taken together, our results provide evidence that insufficient clearance of apoptotic cell can protect from bacterial infection through innate immune response activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21505594.2020.1857982DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7781629PMC
December 2021

Phase transition of Mg/Al-flocs to Mg/Al-layered double hydroxides during flocculation and polystyrene nanoplastics removal.

J Hazard Mater 2021 03 28;406:124697. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

College of Natural Resources and Environment, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.

Nanoplastics, a kind of emerging pollutant in natural environments, have now drawn tremendous attention worldwide. Flocculation with Mg/Al-layered double hydroxides (LDH) precursor solutions has showed great potential for removing negatively charged nanoparticles from water. In this study, the flocculation behavior and mechanism for the removal of polystyrene nanoplastics (PSNP) with Mg/Al flocs or Mg/Al LDH were systematically analyzed and investigated. During the process of flocculation, it was observed that in situ Mg/Al LDH can be gradually formed with increasing pH, in addition, PSNP were captured or attached to the surface of LDH with a turning point around pH of 5.0. In acidic solutions with pH < 5.0, the negative surface charges of PSNP were diminished mainly due to the high concentrations of hydrogen ions and the positive charges from Mg and Al ions. In a moderately alkaline solution, Mg and Al ions gradually formed crystals capturing PSNP. Electrostatic adsorption and intermolecular force are the main mechanisms via which PSNP are captured on Mg/Al flocs. Herein, PSNP removal efficiencies from water were more than 90.0%. As the problem of plastic pollution becomes more severe, in situ LDH growth flocculation can provide an efficient way for the removal of PSNP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124697DOI Listing
March 2021

SUMO modification in apoptosis.

J Mol Histol 2021 Feb 22;52(1):1-10. Epub 2020 Nov 22.

Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Medicinal Plant Resources and Natural Pharmaceutical Chemistry, National Engineering Laboratory for Resource Development of Endangered Crude Drugs in the Northwest of China, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, 710119, China.

Apoptosis and clearance of dead cells is highly evolutionarily conserved from nematode to humans, which is crucial to the growth and development of multicellular organism. Fail to remove apoptotic cells often lead to homeostasis imbalance, fatal autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Small ubiquitin-related modifiers (SUMOs) modification is a post-translational modification of ubiquitin proteins mediated by the sentrin-specific proteases (SENPs) family. SUMO modification is widely involved in many cellular biological process, and abnormal SUMO modification is also closely related to many major human diseases. Recent researches have revealed that SUMO modification event occurs during apoptosis and clearance of apoptotic cells, and plays an important role in the regulation of apoptotic signaling pathways. This review summarizes some recent progress in the revelation of regulatory mechanisms of these pathways and provides some potential researching hotpots of the SUMO modification regulation to apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10735-020-09924-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790789PMC
February 2021

Airflow of the Two-Port Velopharyngeal Closure: Study Using Computational Fluid Dynamics.

J Craniofac Surg 2020 Nov/Dec;31(8):2188-2192

State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases and National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases, Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu.

Posterior pharyngeal flap palatoplasty is used to restore the function of velopharyngeal (VP) closure, after which 2 ports remain between the nasal and oral cavity. The authors hypothesized that the airflow dynamics of the upper airway is different in PPF patients compared to health subjects, who only has 1 movable port. Twenty adults who have multislice spiral computed tomography scan were included in this study. Two cylinders (radius, 2.00 mm; height, 4.5 mm) were used to recapitulate the 2-port VP structure after PPF palatoplasty. The areas of ports were modified by changing the radius of 2 cylinders. Real-time computational fluid dynamics simulation was used to capture the airflow velocity and pressures through the 2 ports. The airflow velocity and pressure of upper airway were recorded as the total areas of 2 VP ports increased. The total orifice areas of the 2-port VP closure for 4 VP conditions, including adequate closure, adequate/borderline closure, borderline/inadequate closure, and inadequate closure, were demonstrated. Significant differences between the 2-port VP function for demonstrating PPF reconstruction and the 1-port VP function were found. Airflow dynamics is dependent on the VP structure. The 2-port airflow model for mimicking VP closure after PPF palatoplasty demonstrated airflow characteristics that were significantly different from the 1-port model in normal VP closure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SCS.0000000000006772DOI Listing
March 2021

EGCG Upregulates UCP Levels to Protect MIN Pancreatic Islet Cells from Interleukin-1β-Induced Apoptosis.

Drug Des Devel Ther 2020 13;14:4251-4261. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Department of Physiology, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong 637007, People's Republic of China.

Objective: The protective effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) on interleukin-1β (IL-1β)-induced apoptosis were investigated in murine MIN pancreatic β-cells. The role of uncoupling protein-3 (UCP) signaling in this process was also explored.

Methods: After treatment with IL-1β and EGCG, cells were collected and analyzed. Cell viability was measured using the CCK assay and the function of β-cells was evaluated by analyzing insulin secretion. Detection of mitochondrial function in cells was performed by measuring mitochondrial membrane potential, the concentration of ATP and activity of ROS. Apoptosis was analyzed by Hochest33258 staining and flow cytometry. Expression levels of UCP were interrogated using immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and Western blotting.

Results: Compared with the control group, IL-1β treatment (20nM) for 24 h significantly decreased cell viability and insulin secretion, damaged mitochondrial function and increased ROS activity. Results also showed increased apoptosis and a decrease in UCP expression levels (p<0.01). However, treatment with low (1mM) or high (5mM) concentrations of EGCG significantly decreased IL-1β-induced apoptosis (p<0.01), restored mitochondrial function and subsequently increased UCP levels in IL-1β-induced β-cells (p<0.01).

Conclusion: These results suggest that EGCG protects against IL-1β-induced mitochondrial injury and apoptosis in β-cells through the up-regulation of UCP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S270345DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7568641PMC
October 2020

The tRNA-like small noncoding RNA mascRNA promotes global protein translation.

EMBO Rep 2020 12 19;21(12):e49684. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

MOE Key laboratory of Bioinformatics, Cell Biology and Development Center, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

mascRNA is a small cytoplasmic RNA derived from the lncRNA MALAT1. After being processed by the tRNA processing enzymes RNase P and RNase Z, mascRNA undergoes CCA addition like tRNAs and folds into a tRNA-like cloverleaf structure. While MALAT1 functions in multiple cellular processes, the role of mascRNA was largely unknown. Here, we show that mascRNA binds directly to the multi-tRNA synthetase complex (MSC) component glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (QARS). mascRNA promotes global protein translation and cell proliferation by positively regulating QARS protein levels. Our results uncover a role of mascRNA that is independent of MALAT1, but could be part of the molecular mechanism of MALAT1's function in cancer, and provide a paradigm for understanding tRNA-like structures in mammalian cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embr.201949684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7726780PMC
December 2020

Preoperative velopharyngeal closure ratio correlates with Furlow palatoplasty outcome among patients with nonsyndromic submucous cleft palate.

J Craniomaxillofac Surg 2020 Oct 3;48(10):962-968. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases & National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases & Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, 14 Ren Min Nan Road, Chengdu, 610041, PR China. Electronic address:

This study aimed to explore the preoperative factors that are potentially associated with the outcome of Furlow palatoplasty in treating nonsyndromic submucous cleft palate (SMCP). In this study, we reviewed patients with nonsyndromic SMCP who received Furlow palatoplasty between 2008 and 2017 at our department. A comprehensive panel of preoperative variables was included for analyses including gender, age at operation, concurrence of cleft lip, preoperative hypernasality, nasal emission, velopharyngeal closure ratio (VCR), velopharyngeal closure pattern, velum and pharyngeal wall movement, presence of Passavant Ridge and articulation error. The improvement of velopharyngeal function was considered a good outcome. Both univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to screen the potential predictors of the postoperative velopharyngeal function. Multivariate regression analyses indicated preoperative VCR as the only factor that was significantly associated with surgical outcome (p = 0.025). The receiver operating characteristic curve and Youden index indicated that VCR>52.5% was the cutoff value for predicting preferable postoperative velopharyngeal function (OR, 0.240; 95% IC, 0.059-0.979; p = 0.047). In conclusion, Furlow palatoplasty was recommended for non-syndromic SMCP patient with preoperative VCR>52.5% as the primary surgical treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcms.2020.08.005DOI Listing
October 2020

microRNA-144 functions as a diagnostic and prognostic marker for retinoblastoma.

Clinics (Sao Paulo) 2020 19;75:e1804. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Ophthalmology, Zibo Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Zibo 255029, China.

Objectives: Retinoblastoma (RB) is a highly malignant eye tumor with a low survival rate and a high metastatic rate. The current work was designed to investigate the potential roles of microRNA-144 (miR-144) in the diagnosis and prognosis of RB.

Methods: miR-144 expression levels in RB tissues and adjacent normal tissues, as well as serum samples from RB patients and healthy controls were measured. The association between miR-144 expression levels and clinical features were analyzed. Moreover, diagnostic and prognostic values of miR-144 in RB were verified by receiver operating characteristic analysis and Kaplan-Meier survival assays.

Results: The expression level of miR-144 was markedly decreased in tumor tissues of RB patients, and the expression level of miR-144 was positively associated with tumor size and metastasis in RB patients. Moreover, miR-144 can distinguish tumor tissues from normal tissues with high specificity and sensitivity, and RB patients with lower miR-144 expression have shorter overall and disease-free survival rates than those with higher miR-144 expression. Alternatively, miR-144 also decreased in the serum of RB patients in comparison with healthy subjects, and miR-144 expression levels in the tissue samples and serum were positively correlated. Furthermore, miR-144 levels in the serum of RB patients sensitively distinguished RB patients from healthy controls.

Conclusions: miR-144 expression was downregulated in serum and tissue samples of RB patients and may function as a diagnostic and prognostic marker for RB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6061/clinics/2020/e1804DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7426600PMC
November 2020

Sinomenine Can Inhibit the Growth and Invasion Ability of Retinoblastoma Cell through Regulating PI3K/AKT Signaling Pathway.

Biol Pharm Bull 2020 Oct 4;43(10):1551-1555. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Ophthalmology, Zibo Maternal and Child Health Hospital.

Sinomenine was found to play anti-cancer functions in different type of cancers, while the mechanisms underlying the anticancer effects of sinomenine in retinoblastoma (RB) remains unclear. The present study was designed to explore the impacts of sinomenine on cell proliferation and invasion ability of RB cells and the related mechanism. Human retinoblastoma cell line WERI-RB-1 and Y79 cells were cultured and treated by different concentration of sinomenine, and then the proliferation ability of the cells was determined via performing the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) proliferation assay. The cell apoptosis was examined via performing the flow cytometry assay. Then scratch wound healing analysis as well as and transwell invasion analysis have been performed to determine the effect of sinomenine on cell migration ability as well as invasion ability. The proteins level of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling molecules were determined with Western blot assay. We found that sinomenine was able to decrease the proliferation and promote the apoptosis of RB cells in a dose-dependent manner; moreover, sinomenine also significantly suppressed the migration as well as invasion ability of WERI-RB-1 and Y79 cells in vitro. Furthermore, sinomenine also de-activated PI3K/AKT signaling in WERI-RB-1 cells via inhibited the phosphorylation of PI3K and AKT proteins. Sinomenine can exert anti-tumor function on RB cells in vitro, therefore sinomenine might be a potential alterative medication for the treatment for RB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1248/bpb.b20-00387DOI Listing
October 2020
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