Publications by authors named "Wenjiang Zheng"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Identification of COVID-19 and Dengue Host Factor Interaction Networks Based on Integrative Bioinformatics Analyses.

Front Immunol 2021 28;12:707287. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

The First Affiliated Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Background: The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become an international public health crisis, and the number of cases with dengue co-infection has raised concerns. Unfortunately, treatment options are currently limited or even unavailable. Thus, the aim of our study was to explore the underlying mechanisms and identify potential therapeutic targets for co-infection.

Methods: To further understand the mechanisms underlying co-infection, we used a series of bioinformatics analyses to build host factor interaction networks and elucidate biological process and molecular function categories, pathway activity, tissue-specific enrichment, and potential therapeutic agents.

Results: We explored the pathologic mechanisms of COVID-19 and dengue co-infection, including predisposing genes, significant pathways, biological functions, and possible drugs for intervention. In total, 460 shared host factors were collected; among them, CCL4 and AhR targets were important. To further analyze biological functions, we created a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and performed Molecular Complex Detection (MCODE) analysis. In addition, common signaling pathways were acquired, and the toll-like receptor and NOD-like receptor signaling pathways exerted a significant effect on the interaction. Upregulated genes were identified based on the activity score of dysregulated genes, such as IL-1, Hippo, and TNF-α. We also conducted tissue-specific enrichment analysis and found ICAM-1 and CCL2 to be highly expressed in the lung. Finally, candidate drugs were screened, including resveratrol, genistein, and dexamethasone.

Conclusions: This study probes host factor interaction networks for COVID-19 and dengue and provides potential drugs for clinical practice. Although the findings need to be verified, they contribute to the treatment of co-infection and the management of respiratory disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.707287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8356054PMC
August 2021

Glycyrrhizic Acid for COVID-19: Findings of Targeting Pivotal Inflammatory Pathways Triggered by SARS-CoV-2.

Front Pharmacol 2021 9;12:631206. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

The First Affiliated Hospital, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now a worldwide public health crisis. The causative pathogen is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Novel therapeutic agents are desperately needed. Because of the frequent mutations in the virus and its ability to cause cytokine storms, targeting the viral proteins has some drawbacks. Targeting cellular factors or pivotal inflammatory pathways triggered by SARS-CoV-2 may produce a broader range of therapies. Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) might be beneficial against SARS-CoV-2 because of its anti-inflammatory and antiviral characteristics and possible ability to regulate crucial host factors. However, the mechanism underlying how GA regulates host factors remains to be determined. In our report, we conducted a bioinformatics analysis to identify possible GA targets, biological functions, protein-protein interactions, transcription-factor-gene interactions, transcription-factor-miRNA coregulatory networks, and the signaling pathways of GA against COVID-19. Protein-protein interactions and network analysis showed that ICAM1, MMP9, TLR2, and SOCS3 had higher degree values, which may be key targets of GA for COVID-19. GO analysis indicated that the response to reactive oxygen species was significantly enriched. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that the IL-17, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN signals, complement system, and growth factor receptor signaling are the main pathways. The interactions of TF genes and miRNA with common targets and the activity of TFs were also recognized. GA may inhibit COVID-19 through its anti-oxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory effects, and its ability to activate the immune system, and targeted therapy for those pathways is a predominant strategy to inhibit the cytokine storms triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.631206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223069PMC
June 2021

Quercetin for COVID-19 and DENGUE co-infection: a potential therapeutic strategy of targeting critical host signal pathways triggered by SARS-CoV-2 and DENV.

Brief Bioinform 2021 11;22(6)

First Clinical Medical School of the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, 12 Airport Road, Guangzhou 510405, PR China.

Background: The clinical consequences of SARS-CoV-2 and DENGUE virus co-infection are not promising. However, their treatment options are currently unavailable. Current studies have shown that quercetin is both resistant to COVID-19 and DENGUE; this study aimed to evaluate the possible functional roles and underlying mechanisms of action of quercetin as a potential molecular candidate against COVID-19 and DENGUE co-infection.

Methods: We used a series of bioinformatics analyses to understand and characterize the biological functions, pharmacological targets and therapeutic mechanisms of quercetin in COVID-19 and DENGUE co-infection.

Results: We revealed the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 and DENGUE, including pathological mechanisms, key inflammatory pathways and possible methods of intervention, 60 overlapping targets related to the co-infection and the drug were identified, the protein-protein interaction (PPI) was constructed and TNFα, CCL-2 and CXCL8 could become potential drug targets. Furthermore, we disclosed the signaling pathways, biological functions and upstream pathway activity of quercetin in COVID-19 and DENGUE. The analysis indicated that quercetin could inhibit cytokines release, alleviate excessive immune responses and eliminate inflammation, through NF-κB, IL-17 and Toll-like receptor signaling pathway.

Conclusions: This study is the first to reveal quercetin as a pharmacological drug for COVID-19 and DENGUE co-infection. COVID-19 and DENGUE co-infection remain a potential threat to the world's public health system. Therefore, we need innovative thinking to provide admissible evidence for quercetin as a potential molecule drug for the treatment of COVID-19 and DENGUE, but the findings have not been verified in actual patients, so further clinical drug trials are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbab199DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8195157PMC
November 2021

A prognostic model based on seven immune-related genes predicts the overall survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

BioData Min 2021 May 7;14(1):29. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a disease with a high incidence and a poor prognosis. Growing amounts of evidence have shown that the immune system plays a critical role in the biological processes of HCC such as progression, recurrence, and metastasis, and some have discussed using it as a weapon against a variety of cancers. However, the impact of immune-related genes (IRGs) on the prognosis of HCC remains unclear.

Methods: Based on The Cancer Gene Atlas (TCGA) and Immunology Database and Analysis Portal (ImmPort) datasets, we integrated the ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing profiles of 424 HCC patients with IRGs to calculate immune-related differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Survival analysis was used to establish a prognostic model of survival- and immune-related DEGs. Based on genomic and clinicopathological data, we constructed a nomogram to predict the prognosis of HCC patients. Gene set enrichment analysis further clarified the signalling pathways of the high-risk and low-risk groups constructed based on the IRGs in HCC. Next, we evaluated the correlation between the risk score and the infiltration of immune cells, and finally, we validated the prognostic performance of this model in the GSE14520 dataset.

Results: A total of 100 immune-related DEGs were significantly associated with the clinical outcomes of patients with HCC. We performed univariate and multivariate least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (Lasso) regression analyses on these genes to construct a prognostic model of seven IRGs (Fatty Acid Binding Protein 6 (FABP6), Microtubule-Associated Protein Tau (MAPT), Baculoviral IAP Repeat Containing 5 (BIRC5), Plexin-A1 (PLXNA1), Secreted Phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1), Stanniocalcin 2 (STC2) and Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan 5 (CSPG5)), which showed better prognostic performance than the tumour/node/metastasis (TNM) staging system. Moreover, we constructed a regulatory network related to transcription factors (TFs) that further unravelled the regulatory mechanisms of these genes. According to the median value of the risk score, the entire TCGA cohort was divided into high-risk and low-risk groups, and the low-risk group had a better overall survival (OS) rate. To predict the OS rate of HCC, we established a gene- and clinical factor-related nomogram. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, concordance index (C-index) and calibration curve showed that this model had moderate accuracy. The correlation analysis between the risk score and the infiltration of six common types of immune cells showed that the model could reflect the state of the immune microenvironment in HCC tumours.

Conclusion: Our IRG prognostic model was shown to have value in the monitoring, treatment, and prognostic assessment of HCC patients and could be used as a survival prediction tool in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13040-021-00261-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106157PMC
May 2021

Efficacy and safety of Sangbaipi Decoction in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A protocol for systematic review and meta analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 Oct;99(44):e22917

Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Food and Drug Vocational College, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.

Background: Chinese medicine Sangbaipi decoction is extensively applied to the therapy of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) in China. However, owing to the low quality, small sample size, and methodological heterogeneity of these studies, this conclusion is not convincing. Consequently, it is necessary to systematically evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of Sangbaipi Decoction in the treatment of AECOPD patients, and provide high-quality evidence for its clinical application.

Methods: We will follow the preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis (PRISMA) for reporting the results of the review in this study. We will utilize the Review Manage software V5.3.0 (The Nordic Cochrane Center, The Cochrane Collaboration, 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark) to assess the risk of bias and visualize the results. We will use Stata software (version 15.0, StataCorp, College Station, TX) to perform the meta-analysis.

Ethics And Dissemination: This study is a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol of Sangbaipi decoction on AECOPD, participants were not recruited and data were not collected from participants, so ethical ratification is not required.

Results: This study will provide high-quality synthesis of the effectiveness and safety of Sangbaipi decoction for AECOPD. Upon completion, the results will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

Conclusion: The efficacy and safety assessment of Sangbaipi decoction for AECOPD will be supported by this protocol.

Registration Number: PROSPERO CRD 42019138405.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000022917DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598796PMC
October 2020

Thermally Driven Separation of Perfluoroalkyl Substances with High Efficiency.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Sep 27;12(36):40759-40767. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

College of Chemistry and Engineering, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, Zigong 643000, P R China.

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), can contaminate the surface and groundwater. Common treatment strategies and adsorbents have low adsorption efficiencies and poor selectivity toward PFASs because of the extremely low surface energy of these compounds. This paper reports the use of a phenolic resin (PR) modified with perfluoroalkyl (PFA) segments and thermally sensitive poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) segments (PR-PEG-PFA) to remove PFOA and PFOS from water. The modified PR microspheres captured >90% of PFASs and were insensitive to common anionic surfactants. By treating simulated wastewater six times with this material, the PFOA concentration in water was reduced from 1 ppm to 43 ppt (43 ng L), showing that PR-PEG-PFA is a promising adsorbent for PFAS separation, recovery, and recycling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c09599DOI Listing
September 2020

A network meta-analysis: The best Yiqi Fuzheng Chinese herbal injections for use based on the NP regimen to treat NSCLC.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 Jul;99(31):e20500

The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Chinese herbal injections (CHIs) have been proven beneficial to patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with chemotherapy. The network meta-analysis (NMA) was designed to update and expand on previous work to better evaluate the effectiveness and safety of different Yiqi Fuzheng (YQFZ) CHIs combined with the Vinorelbine plus cisplatin (NP) regimen versus NP alone for NSCLC.

Methods: We searched multiple electronic databases and identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) concerning different YQFZ CHIs combined with the NP regimen for treating NSCLC up to March 1st, 2019. The outcomes are the objective response rate, performance status and adverse reactions (ADRs). Two individuals accomplished the quality assessment of this NMA based on the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the methodological section of the CONSORT statement. Random effects models were generated to estimate efficacy and safety outcomes. Odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were calculated via Stata 14 software. Furthermore, the rankings for the efficacy and safety of different YQFZ CHIs for each outcome were determined by the surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA).

Results: Initially, a total of 4775 citations were retrieved through comprehensive searching, and 88 eligible articles involving 6695 participants and 8 CHIs were ultimately included. The cluster analysis results of the current evidence indicated that the NP regimen combined with Delisheng, Shenfu and Shenmai injections have a higher clinical effectiveness rate and better performance status compared with the NP regimen alone. Additionally, the NP regimen combined with Shenqifuzheng, Shengmai and Shenfu injections may be considered a favorable choice for reliving ADRs among patients with NSCLC.

Conclusions: The current evidence demonstrated that the combination of Shenfu injection plus NP regimen could produce better outcomes than other YQFZ CHIs groups in terms of efficacy and safety. However, meticulously designed, strictly executed, high-quality trials are still required to further assess and confirm the results due to the inadequacy of the included RCTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000020500DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7402781PMC
July 2020

Efficacy and safety of Chuankezhi injection in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 Jan;99(2):e18620

Dongguan Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dongguan, Guangdong, China.

Background: Chuankezhi injection (CKZ) is gaining increasing popularity for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment, yet their comparative effectiveness and safety remain unclear. Therefore, we will provide a protocol to assess the efficacy and safety of CKZ for COPD.

Methods: From now until June 2020, we will conduct a comprehensive and systematic literature search in 4 Chinese and 4 English databases, and the use of CKZ in the treatment of COPD will be included in randomized controlled trials, as well as all the treatment of stable COPD during the treatment of all CKZ. The risk assessment of the bias tool in Cochrane 5.1.0 will be combined with the quality of the trial. The 2 investigators will independently perform quality assessments and data extractions for the included studies in strict accordance with inclusion and exclusion criteria and perform the meta-analysis with Stata 15 software (version 15.0, StataCorp, College Station, TX).

Results: Further evidence of CKZ treatment for COPD will be provided by this study.

Conclusion: The efficacy and safety assessment of CKZ for COPD will be supported by this protocol.

Prospero Registration Number: ROSPERO CRD 42019134133.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000018620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959872PMC
January 2020

Incidence and survival trends for appendiceal mucinous adenocarcinoma: an analysis of 3237 patients in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database.

Future Oncol 2019 Dec 20;15(34):3945-3961. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

Department of Oncology,The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, 510405, PR China.

To characterize the epidemiology of appendiceal mucinous adenocarcinoma. Prognostic factors were evaluated with univariate and multivariate analyses. The results were used to generate a nomogram. The incidence of appendiceal mucinous adenocarcinoma showed a significant upward trend. Multivariate Cox analysis identified 11 independent prognostic factors. The nomogram was based on independent risk factors that were significant in multivariate Cox analysis, and the concordance-index for overall survival and cancer-specific survival were 0.76 (95% CI: 0.71-0.79) and 0.74 (95% CI: 0.70-0.79), respectively. Advanced age, single relationship status, male sex, black race, the presence of distant and regional lymph node metastases, poor differentiation or lack of differentiation, advanced SEER extent of disease, cancer-directed surgery and chemotherapy were independently associated with prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2019-0229DOI Listing
December 2019

Chuankezhi injection for asthma: Protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2019 Aug;98(33):e16630

The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which often worsen at night or in the early morning and vary from person to person in severity and frequency. Chuankezhi injection (CKZ), as a new Chinese medicine, was recently found to have a good clinical effect on asthma. Whereas neither systematic nor meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) explain the efficacy of CKZ in treating asthma. Therefore, we provide a protocol to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CKZ for asthma.

Methods: From inception until April 2019, a systematic and comprehensive literature search will be conducted in both 4 Chinese databases and 3 English databases. RCTs will be included related to CKZ for asthma. We will assess the quality of the included trials in accordance with the risk of bias tools in Cochrane manual 5.1.0. We will use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) method to assess the certainty of the estimated evidence. Data analysis will be performed using the STATA 15.0.

Results: This systematic review aims to assess the effectiveness and safety of CKZ for the treatment of asthma, in order to provide evidence for the clinical practice of Chinese medicine. This protocol will be conducted and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) statement. The results of this meta-analysis will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal once it is completed.

Conclusion: The consequence of this study will furnish proof to evaluate if CKZ is effective in the treatment of asthma.

Prospero Registration Number: ROSPERO CRD42019134458.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000016630DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6831183PMC
August 2019

Traditional Chinese exercise (TCE) on pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2019 Jul;98(27):e16299

The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has the characteristics of high incidence, mortality, disability rate, and heavy economic burden. Symptomatic measures such as anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and anti-asthmatic are widely used in the treatment of COPD, and pulmonary rehabilitation has not been fully utilized. It is reported that up to 10 different kinds of Traditional Chinese exercises (TCEs) are often used for treating stable COPD. There are many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews that have evaluated the efficacy of various TCEs for COPD. However, most of these studies were designed in comparison with conventional western medicine or health education. There are rarely studies to compare different TCEs head to head. Therefore, there remains uncertainty regarding the comparative efficacy among different TCEs. Thus, we plan to conduct a systematic review and Network meta-analysis (NMA) to compare the efficacy among 5 different TCEs and rank their benefits relative to each other. It is hoped that the findings of this study will facilitate the management and application of TCEs in the treatment of COPD.

Methods: A systematic and comprehensive literature search will be performed from inception to April 2019 in both English and Chinese databases, involving Medline, Cochrane Library, Embase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure Database, Wanfang Database, China Biomedical Literature Database, and Chongqing VIP information. RCTs related to TCE in the treatment of COPD will be included. Quality of included trials will be assessed according to the risk of bias tool of Cochrane Handbook 5.1.0. The GRADE approach will be used to rate the certainty of the evidence of estimates derived from NMA. Data analysis will be conducted by using STATA 14.0.

Results: This systematic review and NMA aims to summarize the direct and indirect evidence for different kinds of TCEs and to rank these TCEs. The findings of this NMA will be reported according to the PRISMA-NMA statement. The results of the NMA will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal once completed.

Conclusion: Using NMA, this study will provide an evidence profile which will be helpful to inform the selection of TCE for treating patients with COPD. The results will inform clinicians, bridge the evidence gaps, and identify promising TCE for future trials.

Prospero Registration Number: PROSPERO CRD 42019132970.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000016299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6635256PMC
July 2019

Thirteen kinds of Chinese medicine injections for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2019 Jun;98(26):e16200

The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou.

Background: Chinese medicine injections (CMIs) are extensively applied to the therapy of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) in mainland China. Up to 13 different kinds of CMIs are reportedly often used for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, yet, rarely head to head comparison of tests are used to decide the relative consequent among the distinct CMIs. Network meta-analysis (NMA) will be performed to further compare the effects of 13 different CMI, including direct and indirect comparisons of different CMI.

Methods: From now until April 2019, a systematic and comprehensive literature search will be conducted in both English and Chinese databases, including Medline, Embase, Cochrane library, Chongqing VIP information, Wanfang Database, China national knowledge infrastructure database, and Sino Med. Randomized controlled trials will be included related to CMI therapy for AECOPD. We will assess the quality of the included trials in accordance with the risk of bias tools in Cochrane manual 5.1.0. We will use the grading of recommendations assessment development, and evaluation method to assess the certainty of the estimated evidence from the NMA. STATA 14.0 will be used for data analysis.

Results: The purpose of this systematic evaluation and NMA was to summarize and rank the direct and indirect evidence for 8 different types of CMI. The NMA's findings will be reported in accordance with preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta analyses-NMA statement. Upon completion, NMA results will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

Conclusion: With NMA, this study will provide evidence for the selection of CMI for patients with AECOPD. The results will provide information to clinicians, bridge the evidence gap and identify promising CMI targets for future trials.

Prospero Registration Number: PROSPERO CRD 42019132955.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000016200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6617479PMC
June 2019
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