Publications by authors named "Qun Liu"

569 Publications

Visible-Light-Induced Sulfur-Alkenylation of Alkenes.

Org Lett 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Jilin Province Key Laboratory of Organic Functional Molecular Design & Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China.

A visible-light-induced intermolecular sulfur-alkenylation of alkenes, including both activated and unactivated alkenes, is described. This sulfur-alkenylation reaction proceed in a highly regio- and stereospecific manner involving the visible-light-induced conversion of a ketene dithioacetal to the thiavinyl 1,3-dipole intermediate, followed by a formal [3 + 2] cycloaddition and C-S bond cleavage. Furthermore, it is also an efficient approach for the late-stage functionalization of natural products and complex molecules, even being induced by sunlight under ambient conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.1c01596DOI Listing
June 2021

Structural basis for SARS-CoV-2 envelope protein recognition of human cell junction protein PALS1.

Nat Commun 2021 06 8;12(1):3433. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Biology Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA.

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has created global health and economic emergencies. SARS-CoV-2 viruses promote their own spread and virulence by hijacking human proteins, which occurs through viral protein recognition of human targets. To understand the structural basis for SARS-CoV-2 viral-host protein recognition, here we use cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine a complex structure of the human cell junction protein PALS1 and SARS-CoV-2 viral envelope (E) protein. Our reported structure shows that the E protein C-terminal DLLV motif recognizes a pocket formed exclusively by hydrophobic residues from the PDZ and SH3 domains of PALS1. Our structural analysis provides an explanation for the observation that the viral E protein recruits PALS1 from lung epithelial cell junctions. In addition, our structure provides novel targets for peptide- and small-molecule inhibitors that could block the PALS1-E interactions to reduce E-mediated virulence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23533-xDOI Listing
June 2021

ERp44/CG9911 promotes fat storage in adipocytes by regulating ER Ca homeostasis.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 May 24;13. Epub 2021 May 24.

Key Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.

Fat storage is one of the important strategies employed in regulating energy homeostasis. Impaired lipid storage causes metabolic disorders in both mammals and . In this study, we report CG9911, the homolog of ERp44 (endoplasmic reticulum protein 44) plays a role in regulating adipose tissue fat storage. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we generated a CG9911 mutant line deleting 5 bp of the coding sequence. The mutant flies exhibit phenotypes of lower bodyweight, fewer lipid droplets, reduced TAG level and increased expression of lipolysis related genes. The increased lipolysis phenotype is enhanced in the presence of ER stresses and suppressed by a reduction of the ER Ca. Moreover, loss of results in a decrease of ER Ca in the fat body. Together, our results reveal a novel function of CG9911 in promoting fat storage via regulating ER Ca signal in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.203063DOI Listing
May 2021

Copper-Catalyzed Diamination of Unactivated Alkenes With Electron-Rich Amino Sources.

Org Lett 2021 05 10;23(10):4072-4077. Epub 2021 May 10.

Jilin Province Key Laboratory of Organic Functional Molecular Design & Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China.

The catalytic intermolecular diamination of unactivated alkenes with electron-rich amino sources is a challenge. Herein, by employing a directing-group strategy, a copper-catalyzed diamination of unactivated alkenes was realized. Symmetrical diamines were efficiently produced in a highly diastereoselective manner with readily available dialkylamines as amino sources, while a one-pot and two-step operation was necessary to produce the unsymmetrical diamines. These reactions were proposed to proceed through aziridinium intermediates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.1c01313DOI Listing
May 2021

Visible-Light-Induced Formation of Thiavinyl 1,3-Dipoles: A Metal-Free [3+2] Oxidative Cyclization with Alkynes as Easy Access to Thiophenes.

Org Lett 2021 May 21;23(9):3453-3459. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Jilin Province Key Laboratory of Organic Functional Molecular, Design & Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, Northeast Normal University, 5268 Renmin Street, Changchun 130024, China.

A visible-light-induced [3+2] oxidative cyclization of various alkynes with easily available ketene dithioacetals as the previously unknown thiavinyl 1,3-dipoles in the presence of an acridine photosensitizer is reported. A series of multisubstituted thiophenes were achieved regioselectively in ≤98% yields under very mild metal-free conditions without other additives. This reaction could tolerate a wide range of substrates and achieve good efficiency in large-scale syntheses. The reaction mechanism and their applications are described in detail to reveal the reactivity of the new 1,3-dipoles and the selectivity of the reactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.1c00915DOI Listing
May 2021

The complete chloroplast genome sequence of var. (Apiaceae).

Mitochondrial DNA B Resour 2021 Mar 30;6(3):1162-1163. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Institute of Entomoceutics Research, National-Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Entomoceutics, Dali University, Dali, China.

var. is a plant variety which is characterized from var. in possessing characteristic, highly dissected bracteoles. In the current study, we have sequenced the complete chloroplast genome of var. using the Illumina sequencing platform. The chloroplast genome is 156,719 bp in length, consisting of a LSC region of 95,625 bp, a SSC region of 10,500 bp, and a pair of inverted repeats (IR) regions of 25,297 bp. The GC content was 37.7%. A total of 126 unique genes were identified, including 81 protein-coding genes, 37 tRNA genes and 8 rRNA genes. Phylogenetic analysis based on 28 chloroplast genomes indicates that var. is most closely related to .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2020.1862001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8018366PMC
March 2021

Insulin-positive ductal cells do not migrate into preexisting islets during pregnancy.

Exp Mol Med 2021 Apr 5;53(4):605-614. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224, USA.

The adult pancreatic ductal system was suggested to harbor facultative beta-cell progenitors similar to the embryonic pancreas, and the appearance of insulin-positive duct cells has been used as evidence for natural duct-to-beta-cell reprogramming. Nevertheless, the phenotype and fate of these insulin-positive cells in ducts have not been determined. Here, we used a cell-tagging dye, CFDA-SE, to permanently label pancreatic duct cells through an intraductal infusion technique. Representing a time when significant increases in beta-cell mass occur, pregnancy was later induced in these CFDA-SE-treated mice to assess the phenotype and fate of the insulin-positive cells in ducts. We found that a small portion of CFDA-SE-labeled duct cells became insulin-positive, but they were not fully functional beta-cells based on the in vitro glucose response and the expression levels of key beta-cell genes. Moreover, these insulin-positive cells in ducts expressed significantly lower levels of genes associated with extracellular matrix degradation and cell migration, which may thus prevent their budding and migration into preexisting islets. A similar conclusion was reached through analysis of the Gene Expression Omnibus database for both mice and humans. Together, our data suggest that the contribution of duct cells to normal beta-cells in adult islets is minimal at best.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00593-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8102600PMC
April 2021

[Characteristics of "" and myoelectricity in different tissue structures of acupoint].

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu 2021 Feb;46(2):136-44

Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibusion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700.

Objective: To investigate the effect of acupuncture in different tissue structures on deqi and the electromyography of acupoint area.

Methods: Twenty healthy subjects, respectively accepted 4 kinds of needling stimulation, i.e. stimulating skin at Zusanli (ST36), stimulating ST36 with and without skin anesthesia using compound lidocaine cream, and stimulating at Dubi (ST35) without skin anesthesia. sensation of the acupuncturist and subjects were measured according to MGH Acupuncture Sensation Scale (MASS) during needling, and the myoelectricity around the acupoints was recorded simultaneously. The occurrence rate and intensity of the different deqi sensations, the relationship between the acupuncturist's and subjects' deqi sensations, and the integrated electromyogram (iEMG) were analyzed.

Results: Sharp pain and tingling were the main sensations during skin needling at ST36. Fullness, dull pain, soreness and acupuncturist's tightness were the main sensations during needling with or without skin anesthesia at ST36. Fullness was the main sensation during needling at ST35, while the intensity was lower than that during needling at ST36. A positive correlation in the intensity was found between subjects' fullness and acupuncturist's tightness during needling with or without skin anesthesia at ST36. The subjects' fullness appeared earlier about 5 seconds than acupuncturist's tightness. The iEMGs during subjects' fullness and acupuncturist's tightness were 2-3 times of that before needling.

Conclusion: Deqi sensations such as subjects' fullness, dull pain, soreness and acupuncturist's tightness are mainly related to the activity of the muscles under the acupoints. Subjects' fullness and acupuncturist's tightness always appear together. Acupuncturist's tightness may be mediated by the muscle stretch reflex induced by needling stimulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13702/j.1000-0607.200199DOI Listing
February 2021

Challenges and Recent Advances in High Capacity Li-Rich Cathode Materials for High Energy Density Lithium-Ion Batteries.

Adv Mater 2021 Mar 26:e2005937. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Fujian Key Laboratory of Materials Genome, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Materials, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005, P. R. China.

Li-rich cathode materials have attracted increasing attention because of their high reversible discharge capacity (>250 mA h g ), which originates from transition metal (TM) ion redox reactions and unconventional oxygen anion redox reactions. However, many issues need to be addressed before their practical applications, such as their low kinetic properties and inefficient voltage fading. The development of cutting-edge technologies has led to cognitive advances in theory and offer potential solutions to these problems. Herein, a recent in-depth understanding of the mechanisms and the frontier electrochemical research progress of Li-rich cathodes are reviewed. In addition, recent advances associated with various strategies to promote the performance and the development of modification methods are discussed. In particular, excluding Li-rich Mn-based (LRM) cathodes, other branches of the Li-rich cathode materials are also summarized. The consistent pursuit is to obtain energy storage devices with high capacity, reliable practicability, and absolute safety. The recent literature and ongoing efforts in this area are also described, which will create more opportunities and new ideas for the future development of Li-rich cathode materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202005937DOI Listing
March 2021

Development of deep learning algorithms for predicting blastocyst formation and quality by time-lapse monitoring.

Commun Biol 2021 Mar 26;4(1):415. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Approaches to reliably predict the developmental potential of embryos and select suitable embryos for blastocyst culture are needed. The development of time-lapse monitoring (TLM) and artificial intelligence (AI) may help solve this problem. Here, we report deep learning models that can accurately predict blastocyst formation and usable blastocysts using TLM videos of the embryo's first three days. The DenseNet201 network, focal loss, long short-term memory (LSTM) network and gradient boosting classifier were mainly employed, and video preparation algorithms, spatial stream and temporal stream models were developed into ensemble prediction models called STEM and STEM. STEM exhibited 78.2% accuracy and 0.82 AUC in predicting blastocyst formation, and STEM achieved 71.9% accuracy and 0.79 AUC in predicting usable blastocysts. We believe the models are beneficial for blastocyst formation prediction and embryo selection in clinical practice, and our modeling methods will provide valuable information for analyzing medical videos with continuous appearance variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-01937-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7998018PMC
March 2021

Reconstruction of the Origin of a Neo-Y Sex Chromosome and Its Evolution in the Spotted Knifejaw, Oplegnathus punctatus.

Mol Biol Evol 2021 May;38(6):2615-2626

Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, CAFS; Laboratory for Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production Processes, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China.

Sex chromosomes are a peculiar constituent of the genome because the evolutionary forces that fix the primary sex-determining gene cause genic degeneration and accumulation of junk DNA in the heterogametic partner. One of the most spectacular phenomena in sex chromosome evolution is the occurrence of neo-Y chromosomes, which lead to X1X2Y sex-determining systems. Such neo-sex chromosomes are critical for understanding the processes of sex chromosome evolution because they rejuvenate their total gene content. We assembled the male and female genomes at the chromosome level of the spotted knifejaw (Oplegnathus punctatus), which has a cytogenetically recognized neo-Y chromosome. The full assembly and annotation of all three sex chromosomes allowed us to reconstruct their evolutionary history. Contrary to other neo-Y chromosomes, the fusion to X2 is quite ancient, estimated at 48 Ma. Despite its old age and being even older in the X1 homologous region which carries a huge inversion that occurred as early as 55-48 Ma, genetic degeneration of the neo-Y appears to be only moderate. Transcriptomic analysis showed that sex chromosomes harbor 87 genes, which may serve important functions in the testis. The accumulation of such male-beneficial genes, a large inversion on the X1 homologous region and fusion to X2 appear to be the main drivers of neo-Y evolution in the spotted knifejaw. The availability of high-quality assemblies of the neo-Y and both X chromosomes make this fish an ideal model for a better understanding of the variability of sex determination mechanisms and of sex chromosome evolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msab056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8136494PMC
May 2021

Case Report: Transformation From Cold to Hot Tumor in a Case of NSCLC Neoadjuvant Immunochemotherapy Pseudoprogression.

Front Immunol 2021 17;12:633534. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China.

A 56-year-old male was diagnosed with right lung upper lobe squamous cancer with right hilar and mediastinum lymph node metastasis. After four cycles of neoadjuvant immunochemotherapy, reexamination by computed tomography showed progressive disease of the primary lesion. Then, the patient underwent a right lung upper lobectomy, and hilar and mediastinum lymph node dissection. Surgical pathology showed a partial response to immunochemotherapy. Single-cell RNA sequencing was used to characterize the infiltrating immune cell atlas after neoadjuvant immunochemotherapy; the most common infiltrating immune cell types were cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, monocyte-derived dendritic cells, and macrophages. Imaging mass cytometry revealed a transformation from cold to hot tumor after neoadjuvant immunochemotherapy. In this case study, we are the first to report a case of neoadjuvant immunochemotherapy pseudoprogression, proved by surgical pathology, single-cell RNA sequencing, and imaging mass cytometry. Both single-cell RNA sequencing and imaging mass cytometry revealed an activated immune microenvironment after neoadjuvant immunochemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.633534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925896PMC
February 2021

Microneme Protein 6 Is Involved in Invasion and Egress by .

Pathogens 2021 Feb 13;10(2). Epub 2021 Feb 13.

National Animal Protozoa Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.

Background: , is the etiological agent of neosporosis, an infection that causes abortions in cattle and nervous system dysfunction in dogs. Invasion and egress are the key steps of the pathogenesis of infection. Microneme proteins (MICs) play important roles in the recognition, adhesion, and invasion of host cells in other apicomplexan parasites. However, some MICs and their functions in infection have rarely been reported.

Methods: The homologous recombination strategy was used to investigate the function of MIC6 in infection.

Results: ΔNcMIC6 showed a smaller plaque size and weakened capacities of invasion and egress than Nc1. Transcription levels of the egress-related genes CDPK1, PLP1, and AMA1 of ΔNcMIC6 were downregulated. Due to the lack of NcMIC6, virulence of the pathogen in the infected mouse was weakened. The subcellular localization of NcMIC1 and NcMIC4 in ΔNcMIC6, however, did not change. Nevertheless, the transcription levels of MIC1 and MIC4 in ΔNcMIC6 were downregulated, and the expression and secretion of MIC1 and MIC4 in ΔNcMIC6 were reduced compared with that in Nc1. Furthermore, the absence of NcMIC6 weakened the virulence in mice and lower parasite load detected in mice brains.

Conclusions: NcMIC6 is involved in host cell invasion and egress in and may work synergistically with other MICs to regulate the virulence of the pathogen. These data lay a foundation for further research into the function and application of NcMIC6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020201DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7918358PMC
February 2021

Production, immobilization and characterization of beta-glucosidase for application in cellulose degradation from a novel Aspergillus versicolor.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Apr 23;177:437-446. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Laboratory of Medicinal Plant Biotechnology, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China. Electronic address:

Beta-glucosidase (EC 3.2.1.21) catalyzes the hydrolysis of cellobiose and cellooligosaccharides containing (1 → 4)-beta-glycosidic bonds to glucose, which is crucial in cellulosic ethanol production. In this study, Aspergillus versicolor, a novel highly productive beta-glucosidase strain, was first isolated from Camptotheca acuminata seeds. The highest beta-glucosidase activity with 812.86 U/mL was obtained by using the response surface methodology, and a 14.4-fold has increased compared to the control. The beta-glucosidase was then purified to homogeneity with recovery yield and specific activity of 25.98% and 499.15 U/mg, respectively. To enhance its stability and recyclability, the purified beta-glucosidase was first immobilized onto magnetic MnO by electrostatic adsorption. The immobilized materials were characterized by FR-IT, TEM and FE-SEM. Compared with the free beta-glucosidase, the immobilized enzyme exhibited enhanced thermal stability (1.5-fold raise in half-life at 50 °C), and reusability (holding over 60% activity after eight cycles), besides, the optimum pH has increased to 6.0. Substrate specificity research suggested that the enzyme had high hydrolytic activity on cellobiose. It also had a hydrolysis effect on (1 → 3) and (1 → 6)-beta-glycosidic linkages. Application trials in cellulose hydrolysis revealed that the immobilized enzyme was comparatively more effective. Our results suggested this novel immobilized beta-glucosidase makes a promising alternative for the cellulosic ethanol production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.02.154DOI Listing
April 2021

MicroRNA expression profiles analysis of apheresis platelets treated with vitamin B and ultraviolet-B during storage.

Transfus Apher Sci 2021 Feb 8:103079. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Institute of Hematology, Blood Center of Shandong Province, Jinan 250014, Shandong Province, China. Electronic address:

Whether platelet (PLT) microRNA (miRNA) profiles are affected by pathogen reduction technology (PRT) using vitamin B and ultraviolet-B (VB-PRT) remains unclear. Samples from VB-PRT-treated (experimental group, E_) and untreated (control group, C_) apheresis PLTs were taken on days 1, 3 and 5 of storage, designated as E_1, E_3, E_5, C_1, C_3 and C_5, respectively. The miRNA expression profiles were assessed by DNA Nano Ball (DNB) sequencing technology, and verified by quantitive real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR). Compared with the expression profiles of PLT miRNAs, 3895 miRNAs were identified in the E_ groups while 4106 were in the C_ groups. There were 487 significant differentially expressed miRNAs in E_1 vs C_1 group, including 220 upregulated and 287 downregulated, such as miR-146a-5p and let-7b-5p. There were 908 significant differentially expressed miRNAs in E_3 vs C_3 group, including 297 upregulated and 611 downregulated, such as miR-142-5p and miR-7-5p. There were 229 significant differentially expressed miRNAs in E_5 vs C_5 group, including 80 upregulated and 149 downregulated, such as miR-3529-3p and miR-451a. These differentially expressed miRNAs had been suggested to have functional roles in energy homeostasis, cell communication, proliferation, migration and apoptosis. GO analysis showed a significant enrichmen in relevant biological process categories as receptor activity, signal transduction, cell transport, motility and chemotaxis. The significantly enriched KEGG pathway of predicted target genes was Glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis in E_ vs C_ groups. These new observation could provide insights on the understanding of change of miRNA profiles of PLT treated with VB-PRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.transci.2021.103079DOI Listing
February 2021

Occurrence and ecological risk assessment of PPCPs in typical inflow rivers of Taihu lake, China.

J Environ Manage 2021 May 15;285:112176. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

School of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, Anhui Jianzhu University, Hefei, 230022, China.

The occurrence and ecological risks of ten typical pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) at 12 typical inflow rivers of Taihu lake was investigated in this study. Seven out of the ten typical PPCPs targeted were detected in all the water samples and sediment samples tested. The PPCPs concentration detected were 0-94.91 ng/L for water samples and 0-18.27 ng/g for sediment samples. Sulfamethoxazole (SMZ) and erythromycin (ERY) has relatively higher concentration than other PPCPs in surface water samples, ciprofloxacin (CIP) and ofloxacin (OFX) has relatively higher concentration in the sediment samples. Inflow river-Caoqiao river has a relatively highest contamination of TN and TP, the PPCPs concentration in the river channel, estuary, lake-body also shows high value. This occurs in both the surface water and sediment sample, implied a relatively high pollution input from Caoqiao river. SMZ holds high long-term ecological risks in both surface water and sediment of almost all the tested inflow rivers of Taihu lake. Only ERY has medium short-term risks in surface water, other analyzed PPCPs hold low or insignificant short-terms risks for both surface water and sediments. This study fills the gap of PPCPs ecological risk of surface water and sediment of 12 typical inflow rivers of Taihu Lake, and revealed the importance of control sulfanilamide of the economic belt around Taihu Lake. The results of the present study are useful in providing information for PPCPs control and sustainable water management in freshwater lakes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112176DOI Listing
May 2021

Multiscale Deficiency Integration by Na-Rich Engineering for High-Stability Li-Rich Layered Oxide Cathodes.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Feb 8;13(7):8239-8248. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Fujian Key Laboratory of Materials Genome, College of Materials, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.

Lithium-rich manganese-based (LRM) layered oxides are considered as one of the most promising cathode materials for next-generation high-energy-density lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) because of their high specific capacity (>250 mAh g). However, they also go through severe capacity decay, serious voltage fading, and poor rate capability during cycling. Herein, a multiscale deficiency integration, including surface coating, subsurface defect construction, and bulk doping, is realized in a LiMnNiCoO cathode material by facile Na-rich engineering through a sol-gel method. This multiscale design can significantly improve the bulk and surface structural stability and diffusion rate of Li ions of electrode materials. Specifically, an outstanding specific capacity of 201 mAh g is delivered at 1C of the designed cathode material after 400 cycles, relating to a large capacity retention of 89.0%. Meanwhile, the average voltage is retained up to 3.13 V with a large voltage retention of 89.6% and the energy density is maintained at 627.4 Wh kg. In situ X-ray diffraction (XRD), ex situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations are conducted to explain the greatly enhanced electrochemical properties of a LRM cathode. We believe that this strategy would be a meaningful reference of LRM cathode materials for the research in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c19040DOI Listing
February 2021

African lungfish genome sheds light on the vertebrate water-to-land transition.

Cell 2021 Mar 4;184(5):1362-1376.e18. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Grandomics Biosciences, Beijing 102200, China.

Lungfishes are the closest extant relatives of tetrapods and preserve ancestral traits linked with the water-to-land transition. However, their huge genome sizes have hindered understanding of this key transition in evolution. Here, we report a 40-Gb chromosome-level assembly of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) genome, which is the largest genome assembly ever reported and has a contig and chromosome N50 of 1.60 Mb and 2.81 Gb, respectively. The large size of the lungfish genome is due mainly to retrotransposons. Genes with ultra-long length show similar expression levels to other genes, indicating that lungfishes have evolved high transcription efficacy to keep gene expression balanced. Together with transcriptome and experimental data, we identified potential genes and regulatory elements related to such terrestrial adaptation traits as pulmonary surfactant, anxiolytic ability, pentadactyl limbs, and pharyngeal remodeling. Our results provide insights and key resources for understanding the evolutionary pathway leading from fishes to humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.01.047DOI Listing
March 2021

Toxoplasma gondii glutathione S-transferase 2 plays an important role in partial secretory protein transport.

FASEB J 2021 Feb;35(2):e21352

National Animal Protozoa Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite, which has three unique secretory organelles: micronemes, rhoptries, and dense granules. Almost all the secreted proteins are transported through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi system to function in their respective destination by accurate targeting and packaging. Glutathione S-transferase (GST) is a supergene family enzyme that has multiple functions, which include regulation of cell proliferation and death signaling pathways, and participation in transportation and metabolism in mammal cells. However, the role of GST in Toxoplasma gondii has not been explained. In this study, we identified three GST proteins in T gondii, of which GST2 acts as a membrane protein that localizes to the Golgi-endosomal system and colocalizes with proteins involved in vesicle transport as well, including synaptobrevin, putative sortilin (VPS10), Rab5 and Rab6, which function as vesicle transport factors. Moreover, the loss of TgGST2 leads to Rab5 and Rab6 distribution of discrete puncta, and incorrect localization and decreased expression of several secretory proteins, and to significantly reduced invasion capacity and virulence to mice. Consistent with its relation to vesicle transport proteins, the distribution of TgGST2 relies on post-Golgi trafficking. Overall, our findings demonstrated that TgGST2 contributes to vesicle trafficking and plays a critical role in parasite lytic cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.202001987RRDOI Listing
February 2021

Characterization of fibrillar collagen isoforms in infarcted mouse hearts using second harmonic generation imaging.

Biomed Opt Express 2021 Jan 23;12(1):604-618. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.

We utilized collagen specific second harmonic generation (SHG) signatures coupled with correlative immunofluorescence imaging techniques to characterize collagen structural isoforms (type I and type III) in a murine model of myocardial infarction (MI). Tissue samples were imaged over a four week period using SHG, transmitted light microscopy and immunofluorescence imaging using fluorescently-labeled collagen antibodies. The post-mortem cardiac tissue imaging using SHG demonstrated a progressive increase in collagen deposition in the left ventricle (LV) post-MI. We were able to monitor structural morphology and LV remodeling parameters in terms of extent of LV dilation, stiffness and fiber dimensions in the infarcted myocardium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.410347DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7818962PMC
January 2021

Dynamical behavior of a higher order stochastically perturbed SIRI epidemic model with relapse and media coverage.

Chaos Solitons Fractals 2020 Oct 2;139:110013. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Nonlinear Analysis and Applied Mathematics (NAAM)-Research Group King Abdulaziz University Jeddah Saudi Arabia.

This paper is intended to explore a higher order stochastically perturbed SIRI epidemic model with relapse and media coverage. Firstly, we derive sufficient criteria for the existence and uniqueness of an ergodic stationary distribution of positive solutions to the system by establishing a suitable stochastic Lyapunov function. Then we obtain adequate conditions for complete eradication and wiping out of the infectious disease. In a biological interpretation, the existence of a stationary distribution implies that the disease will prevail and persist in the long term. Finally, the theoretical results are illustrated by computer simulations, including two examples based on real-life disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chaos.2020.110013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836743PMC
October 2020

Enrofloxacin/florfenicol loaded cyclodextrin metal-organic-framework for drug delivery and controlled release.

Drug Deliv 2021 Dec;28(1):372-379

College of Chemistry & Environment, Southwest Minzu University, Chengdu, China.

We presented an antibiotic-loaded γ-cyclodextrin metal-organic framework that delivered antibiotics suitable for the treatment of bacterial infections. The γ-cyclodextrin metal-organic framework was developed using γ-cyclodextrin and potassium ion via the ultrasonic method. The antibiotic (florfenicol and enrofloxacin) was primarily encapsulated into the pore structures of γ-CD-MOF, which allowed the sustained release of antibiotics over an extended period of time and . Notably, antibiotics-loaded γ-CD-MOF showed much superior activity against bacteria than free antibiotics (lower MIC value) and displayed better long-lasting activity (longer antibacterial time). The antibiotics-loaded γ-CD-MOF showed nontoxic and perfect biocompatibility to mammalian cells and tissues both and . These materials thus represent a novel drug-delivery device suitable for antibiotic therapy. This research is of great significance for reducing the generation of bacterial resistance and providing new ideas for the application of γ-CD-MOF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10717544.2021.1879316DOI Listing
December 2021

Evaluation of 4 merozoite antigens as candidate vaccines against Eimeria tenella infection.

Poult Sci 2021 Mar 10;100(3):100888. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

National Animal Protozoa Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China; Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Coccidiosis, caused by parasites of the genus Eimeria, is one of the most widespread and economically detrimental diseases in the global poultry industry. Because the merozoite stage of Eimeria tenella is immunologically vulnerable, motile, and functionally important for the parasites, the proteins expressed in these stages are considered to be potentially immunoprotective antigens, especially the secreted antigens and surface antigens. Here, we detected a previously unidentified MIC2-associated protein (Et-M2AP) from E. tenella and determined its localization. An immunofluorescence assay revealed that Et-M2AP was distributed in the apical part of second generation merozoites and sporozoites. In addition, an expression profile analysis revealed that the transcriptional level of Et-M2AP is significantly higher in the merozoite stage. To assess the potential of Et-M2AP protein as a coccidiosis vaccine, we expressed recombinant Et-M2AP (rEt-M2AP) and compared the immune protective efficacy of rEt-M2AP with 3 surface antigens that are highly expressed by merozoites (rEt-SAG23, rEt-SAG16, and rEt-SAG2 proteins). The immune protective efficacy of these vaccine candidates was assessed based on survival rate, lesion score, BW gain, relative BW gain, and oocyst output. The results show that the survival rate was 90%, which are significantly higher than those in the challenge control group. The BW gain rate was 42% (P < 0.001) in rEt-M2AP-immunized chickens, which are significantly higher than those in the challenge control group and rEt-SAG23, rEt-SAG16, and rEt-SAG2 proteins-immunized chickens. In addition, chickens immunized with rEt-M2AP (88% oocyst output decrease rate, P < 0.001) had the least oocyst output, compared with those immunized with rEt-SAG16 (59.2% oocyst output decrease rate, P < 0.001), rEt-SAG23 (22% oocyst output decrease rate), and rEt-SAG2 (1.36% oocyst output decrease rate). These results demonstrate that rEt-M2AP provided effective protection against challenge with E. tenella, suggesting that rEt-M2AP is a promising candidate antigen gene for development as a coccidiosis vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936139PMC
March 2021

Effect of microplastic particle size to the nutrients removal in activated sludge system.

Mar Pollut Bull 2021 Feb 19;163:111972. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China. Electronic address:

Microplastics as emerging environmental pollutants, its effect to the bioprocess of water and wastewater treatment has aroused concern. This study investigated the effects of microplastic polystyrene (PS) particle size to the activated sludge nutrient removal process. The ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphorus removal under various PS particle size during nitrification and denitrification process was tested. The results indicated that with PS particle size 150-300 μm, the ammonia oxidation during nitrification process was inhibited to 71%, 92%, and 80% as compared with the blank reactor, for PS concentration at 0.01 g/L, 0.05 g/L and 0.10 g/L, respectively. The nitrite accumulation during nitrification process was also high at PS particle size 150-300 μm and concentration no less than 0.05 g/L. The nitrate reduction during the denitrification process was all inhibited to 69%-94% as compared with the blank, except for reactor No.4. The phosphate removal during nitrification process was not affected by the existence of microplastics PS, the average removal rate was over 80% after 2 h and over 95% after 3 h, respectively. The microplastics particle size plays important role in affecting the activated sludge nutrient removal process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.111972DOI Listing
February 2021

Hsa_circ_0001073 targets miR-626/LIFR axis to inhibit lung cancer progression.

Environ Toxicol 2021 Jun 21;36(6):1052-1060. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Huai'an Second People's Hospital, The Affiliated Huai'an Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Huai'an, China.

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are associated with lung cancer progression. However, it is unclear whether and how circRNA hsa_circ_0001073 (circ_0001073) are involved in lung cancer progression. circ_0001073, microRNA (miR)-626, and leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) abundances were determined via quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or western blot. Cell viability, invasion, and apoptosis were analyzed by cell counting kit-8, transwell analysis and flow cytometry, respectively. The target correlation was tested by dual-luciferase reporter analysis or RNA immunoprecipitation. Results showed that circ_0001073 abundance was down-regulated in lung cancer cells. circ_0001073 constrained cell viability and invasion and facilitated apoptosis in lung cancer cells. miR-626 was targeted via circ_0001073, and circ_0001073 inhibited lung cancer progression via reducing miR-626 expression. LIFR was targeted via miR-626, and miR-626 knockdown constrained cell viability and invasion and facilitated apoptosis in lung cancer cells via up-regulating LIFR. circ_0001073 increased LIFR expression via miR-626 in lung cancer cells. In conclusion, circ_0001073 represses lung cancer progression via miR-626/LIFR axis, indicating the potential value of circ_0001073 in lung cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tox.23104DOI Listing
June 2021

HKUST-1 modified ultrastability cellulose/chitosan composite aerogel for highly efficient removal of methylene blue.

Carbohydr Polym 2021 Mar 17;255:117402. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Changchun University of Science and Technology, Changchun, 130022, China; Jilin Provincial Science and Technology Innovation Center of Optical Materials and Chemistry, Changchun, 130022, China. Electronic address:

A novel composite HKUST-1/cellulose/chitosan aerogel (HKUST-1/CCSA) as an efficient adsorbent with hierarchical pores was prepared through a facile in situ growth way combining covalent cross-linking, vacuum freeze-drying, and solvothermal methods. By incorporating with cellulose (CE), covalently cross-linked cellulose (CE)/chitosan (CS) composite aerogel exhibits good stability, maintaining fine morphology and structures in acidic solutions under solvothermal conditions. Meantime, a high content of CS is beneficial to enhancing the growth of HKUST-1. Finally, the mass loading ratio of HKUST-1 is as high as 42.54 % in HKUST-1/CCSA. The BET specific surface area of HKUST-1/CCSA reaches 457.75 m g, which is much larger than that of CCSA (9.74 m g). HKUST-1/CCSA was applied to remove methylene blue with high adsorption capacity (526.3 mg g) and good recycling capability. This strategy can provide an effective and facile pathway to prepare ultra-stable polysaccharide-based composite aerogel with high specific surface area and hierarchical pores, branching out more applications in pollutant treatment fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117402DOI Listing
March 2021

Liquefaction of starch using solid-acid catalysts derived from spent coffee for the production of plasticized poly (vinyl alcohol) films.

Carbohydr Polym 2021 Feb 23;254:117427. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

College of Food and Biological Engineering, Jimei University, Xiamen 361021, Fujian, China. Electronic address:

This paper reports a strategy for preparing polyether polyols from corn starch, with (i) a mixture of polyethylene glycol 400 and glycerin (7:3, w/w) as the liquefying solvent and (ii) a spent-coffee-derived solid-acid catalyst (SC-SAC) (1:10, w/w, SC-SAC/starch) at 433 K for 1.5 h, under which conditions the liquefaction yield exceeded 99 %. The SC-SAC was prepared via hydrothermal carbonization at 453 K for 12 h, followed by sulfonation with HSO at 343 K for 10 h. The liquefied starch product (SLP) was then used to plasticize poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) films with various mixing ratios. The optimal 0.4 SLP/PVA blend film exhibited good mechanical properties (tensile strength 38.07 MPa, elongation at break 1199 %), good transparency, and excellent flexibility. The results highlight the possibility of using SLP/PVA films in the development of degradable packaging materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117427DOI Listing
February 2021

Erratum to upregulation of long noncoding RNA promotes tumor metastasis and predicts poor prognosis in lung cancer.

Ann Transl Med 2020 Nov;8(21):1475

The State Key Lab of Respiratory Disease, The First Affiliated Hospital, The Institute for Chemical Carcinogenesis, School of Public Health, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.21037/atm.2020.04.52.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-2020-41DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7723596PMC
November 2020

NcPuf1 Is a Key Virulence Factor in .

Pathogens 2020 Dec 2;9(12). Epub 2020 Dec 2.

National Animal Protozoa Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.

Background: is an apicomplexan parasite that infects many mammals and particularly causes abortion in cattle. The key factors in its wide distribution are its virulence and ability to transform between tachyzoite and bradyzoite forms. However, the factors are not well understood. Although Puf protein (named after Pumilio from and fem-3 binding factor from ) have a functionally conserved role in promoting proliferation and inhibiting differentiation in many eukaryotes, the function of the Puf proteins in is poorly understood.

Methods: The CRISPR/CAS9 system was used to identify and study the function of the Puf protein in .

Results: We showed that encodes a Puf protein, which was designated NcPuf1. NcPuf1 is found in the cytoplasm in intracellular parasites and in processing bodies (P-bodies), which are reported for the first time in in extracellular parasites. NcPuf1 is not needed for the formation of P-bodies in . The deletion of NcPuf1 (ΔNcPuf1) does not affect the differentiation in vitro and tissue cysts formation in the mouse brain. However, ΔNcPuf1 resulted in decreases in the proliferative capacity of in vitro and virulence in mice.

Conclusions: Altogether, the disruption of NcPuf1 does not affect bradyzoites differentiation, but seriously impairs tachyzoite proliferation in vitro and virulence in mice. These results can provide a theoretical basis for the development of attenuated vaccines to prevent the infection of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9121019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761618PMC
December 2020

The White-Spotted Bamboo Shark Genome Reveals Chromosome Rearrangements and Fast-Evolving Immune Genes of Cartilaginous Fish.

iScience 2020 Nov 2;23(11):101754. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Biological Sciences, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.

Chondrichthyan (cartilaginous fish) occupies a key phylogenetic position and is important for investigating evolutionary processes of vertebrates. However, limited whole genomes impede our in-depth knowledge of important issues such as chromosome evolution and immunity. Here, we report the chromosome-level genome of white-spotted bamboo shark. Combing it with other shark genomes, we reconstructed 16 ancestral chromosomes of bamboo shark and illustrate a dynamic chromosome rearrangement process. We found that genes on 13 fast-evolving chromosomes can be enriched in immune-related pathways. And two chromosomes contain important genes that can be used to develop single-chain antibodies, which were shown to have high affinity to human disease markers by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We also found three bone formation-related genes were lost due to chromosome rearrangements. Our study highlights the importance of chromosome rearrangements, providing resources for understanding of cartilaginous fish diversification and potential application of single-chain antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2020.101754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7677710PMC
November 2020