Publications by authors named "Yang Guo"

776 Publications

Engineering Plasmonic Environments for 2D Materials and 2D-Based Photodetectors.

Molecules 2022 Apr 28;27(9). Epub 2022 Apr 28.

Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.

Two-dimensional layered materials are considered ideal platforms to study novel small-scale optoelectronic devices due to their unique electronic structures and fantastic physical properties. However, it is urgent to further improve the light-matter interaction in these materials because their light absorption efficiency is limited by the atomically thin thickness. One of the promising approaches is to engineer the plasmonic environment around 2D materials for modulating light-matter interaction in 2D materials. This method greatly benefits from the advances in the development of nanofabrication and out-plane van der Waals interaction of 2D materials. In this paper, we review a series of recent works on 2D materials integrated with plasmonic environments, including the plasmonic-enhanced photoluminescence quantum yield, strong coupling between plasmons and excitons, nonlinear optics in plasmonic nanocavities, manipulation of chiral optical signals in hybrid nanostructures, and the improvement of the performance of optoelectronic devices based on composite systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules27092807DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9100532PMC
April 2022

Strong, Water-Resistant, and Ionic Conductive All-Chitosan Film with a Self-Locking Structure.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2022 May 12. Epub 2022 May 12.

National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures & Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Artificial Functional Materials & Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China.

Renewable and biodegradable natural polymeric materials are attractive candidates for replacing nonbiodegradable plastics. However, it is challenging to fabricate polysaccharide-based materials (such as cellulose and chitin) that can be used in humid or even watery environments due to their inferior stability against water. Here, a self-locking structure is constructed to develop a strong, water-resistant, and ionic conductive all-chitosan film without other additives. The densely packed self-locking structure introduces strong interactions between chitosan nanofibers, preventing the fibers from disentangling even in watery environments. The resulting film exhibits outstanding tensile strength of ∼144 MPa, superior wet strength of ∼54.3 MPa, and high ionic conductivity of 0.0012 S/cm at 10 M KCl, which are significantly higher than those of conventional polysaccharide-based materials and many commercially used plastics. Additionally, it also possesses outstanding flexibility, excellent thermal stability, good antimicrobial ability, and biodegradability, which make it a promising eco-friendly alternative to plastics for many potential applications, such as packaging bags, drinking straws, and ion regulation membranes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c01118DOI Listing
May 2022

Quercetin Attenuates Osteoporosis in Orchiectomy Mice by Regulating Glucose and Lipid Metabolism the GPRC6A/AMPK/mTOR Signaling Pathway.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2022 25;13:849544. Epub 2022 Apr 25.

Laboratory of New Techniques of Restoration & Reconstruction of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China.

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in natural medicines, has shown a role in disease prevention and health promotion. Moreover, because of its recently identified contribution in regulating bone homeostasis, quercetin may be considered a promising agent for improving bone health.This study aimed to elucidate the role of quercetin in androgen deprivation therapy-induced osteoporosis in mice. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to orchiectomy, followed by quercetin treatment (75 and 150 mg/kg/d) for 8 weeks. Bone microstructure was then assessed by micro-computed tomography, and a three-point bending test was used to evaluate the biomechanical parameters. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was used to examine the shape of the distal femur, gastrocnemius muscle, and liver. The balance motion ability in mice was evaluated by gait analysis, and changes in the gastrocnemius muscle were observed Oil red O and Masson's staining. ELISA and biochemical analyses were used to assess markers of the bone, glucose, and lipid metabolism. Western blotting analyses of glucose and lipid metabolism-related protein expression was performed, and expression of the GPCR6A/AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway-related proteins was also assessed. After 8 weeks of quercetin intervention, quercetin-treated mice showed increased bone mass, bone strength, and improved bone microstructure. Additionally, gait analysis, including stride length and frequency, were significantly increased, whereas a reduction of the stride length and gait symmetry was observed. H&E staining of the gastrocnemius muscle showed that the cross-sectional area of the myofibers had increased significantly, suggesting that quercetin improves balance, motion ability, and muscle mass. Bone metabolism improvement was defined by a reduction of serum levels of insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein, whereas levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 and high-density lipoprotein were increased after quercetin treatment. Expression of proteins involved in glucose uptake was increased, whereas that of proteins involved in lipid production was decreased. Moreover, the GPRC6A and the phospho-AMPK/AMPK expression ratio was elevated in the liver and tibia tissues. In contrast, the phospho-mTOR/mTOR ratio was reduced in the quercetin group. Our findings indicate that quercetin can reduce the osteoporosis induced by testosterone deficiency, and its beneficial effects might be associated with the regulation of glucose metabolism and inhibition of lipid metabolism the GPCR6A/AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.849544DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9082363PMC
May 2022

Quercetin Attenuates Osteoporosis in Orchiectomy Mice by Regulating Glucose and Lipid Metabolism the GPRC6A/AMPK/mTOR Signaling Pathway.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2022 25;13:849544. Epub 2022 Apr 25.

Laboratory of New Techniques of Restoration & Reconstruction of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China.

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in natural medicines, has shown a role in disease prevention and health promotion. Moreover, because of its recently identified contribution in regulating bone homeostasis, quercetin may be considered a promising agent for improving bone health.This study aimed to elucidate the role of quercetin in androgen deprivation therapy-induced osteoporosis in mice. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to orchiectomy, followed by quercetin treatment (75 and 150 mg/kg/d) for 8 weeks. Bone microstructure was then assessed by micro-computed tomography, and a three-point bending test was used to evaluate the biomechanical parameters. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was used to examine the shape of the distal femur, gastrocnemius muscle, and liver. The balance motion ability in mice was evaluated by gait analysis, and changes in the gastrocnemius muscle were observed Oil red O and Masson's staining. ELISA and biochemical analyses were used to assess markers of the bone, glucose, and lipid metabolism. Western blotting analyses of glucose and lipid metabolism-related protein expression was performed, and expression of the GPCR6A/AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway-related proteins was also assessed. After 8 weeks of quercetin intervention, quercetin-treated mice showed increased bone mass, bone strength, and improved bone microstructure. Additionally, gait analysis, including stride length and frequency, were significantly increased, whereas a reduction of the stride length and gait symmetry was observed. H&E staining of the gastrocnemius muscle showed that the cross-sectional area of the myofibers had increased significantly, suggesting that quercetin improves balance, motion ability, and muscle mass. Bone metabolism improvement was defined by a reduction of serum levels of insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein, whereas levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 and high-density lipoprotein were increased after quercetin treatment. Expression of proteins involved in glucose uptake was increased, whereas that of proteins involved in lipid production was decreased. Moreover, the GPRC6A and the phospho-AMPK/AMPK expression ratio was elevated in the liver and tibia tissues. In contrast, the phospho-mTOR/mTOR ratio was reduced in the quercetin group. Our findings indicate that quercetin can reduce the osteoporosis induced by testosterone deficiency, and its beneficial effects might be associated with the regulation of glucose metabolism and inhibition of lipid metabolism the GPCR6A/AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.849544DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9082363PMC
May 2022

Lycopene enhances the sensitivity of castration-resistant prostate cancer to enzalutamide through the AKT/EZH2/ androgen receptor signaling pathway.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2022 Apr 30;613:53-60. Epub 2022 Apr 30.

Department of Urology Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. No.1, Youyi Road, Chongqing, 400016, PR China. Electronic address:

Enzalutamide is an effective drug for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), but acquired enzalutamide resistance is usually unavoidable within the short term in many patients. Lycopene, a safe and effective phytochemical, has been documented to have anticancer activity in a variety of tumors, especially for prostate cancer (PCa). The aim of this study was to provide data support for the combination of lycopene and enzalutamide in the treatment of CRPC. To this end, tissues from patients with primary prostate cancer (PPC) and CRPC were examined by immunohistochemical analysis and found that p-AKT and p-EZH2 were overexpressed in CRPC. Furthermore, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that the high expression of p-AKT and p-EZH2 may be related to the poor prognosis of patients. In addition, the expression of p-AKT, p-EZH2 and androgen receptor (AR) were significantly down-regulated in 22RV1 and C4-2B cells and the proliferation and invasion of CRPC cells were inhibited after treatment with lycopene, while SC79 (an AKT agonist) markedly rescue this effect. Of note, a combination of lycopene and enzalutamide significantly inhibited the proliferation and invasion of CRPC cells in vitro, as well as tumor growth and bone metastasis in vivo. These results suggest that the enhanced antitumor effects of enzalutamide by lycopene may be related to the reduction of AR protein levels through lycopene-mediated inhibition of AKT/EZH2 pathway, which may provide a new approach to improve the efficacy of enzalutamide in CRPC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2022.04.126DOI Listing
April 2022

Data-driven modeling of solar coronal magnetic field evolution and eruptions.

Innovation (N Y) 2022 May 1;3(3):100236. Epub 2022 Apr 1.

Department of Space Science, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA.

Magnetic fields play a fundamental role in the structure and dynamics of the solar corona. As they are driven by their footpoint motions on the solar surface, which transport energy from the interior of the Sun into its atmosphere, the coronal magnetic fields are stressed continuously with buildup of magnetic nonpotentiality in the form of topology complexity (magnetic helicity) and local electric currents (magnetic free energy). The accumulated nonpotentiality is often released explosively by solar eruptions, manifested as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, during which magnetic energy is converted into mainly kinetic, thermal, and nonthermal energy of the plasma, which can cause adverse space weather. To reveal the physical mechanisms underlying solar eruptions, it is vital to know the three-dimensional (3D) structure and evolution of the coronal magnetic fields. Because of a lack of direct measurements, the 3D coronal magnetic fields are commonly studied using numerical modeling, whereas traditional models mostly aim for a static extrapolation of the coronal field from the observable photospheric magnetic field data. Over the last decade, dynamic models that are driven directly by observation magnetograms have been developed and applied successfully to study solar coronal magnetic field evolution as well as its eruption, which offers a novel avenue for understanding their underlying magnetic topology and mechanism. In this paper, we review the basic methodology of the data-driven coronal models, state-of-the-art developments, their typical applications, and new physics that have been derived using these models. Finally, we provide an outlook for future developments and applications of the data-driven models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xinn.2022.100236DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9035809PMC
May 2022

The nuclear receptor THRB facilitates differentiation of human PSCs into more mature hepatocytes.

Cell Stem Cell 2022 May 21;29(5):795-809.e11. Epub 2022 Apr 21.

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. Electronic address:

To understand the mechanisms regulating the in vitro maturation of hPSC-derived hepatocytes, we developed a 3D differentiation system and compared gene regulatory elements in human primary hepatocytes with those in hPSC-hepatocytes that were differentiated in 2D or 3D conditions by RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, and H3K27Ac ChIP-seq. Regulome comparisons showed a reduced enrichment of thyroid receptor THRB motifs in accessible chromatin and active enhancers without a reduced transcription of THRB. The addition of thyroid hormone T3 increased the binding of THRB to the CYP3A4 proximal enhancer, restored the super-enhancer status and gene expression of NFIC, and reduced the expression of AFP. The resultant hPSC-hepatocytes showed gene expression, epigenetic status, and super-enhancer landscape closer to primary hepatocytes and activated regulatory regions including non-coding SNPs associated with liver-related diseases. Transplanting the hPSC-hepatocytes resulted in the engraftment of human hepatocytes into the mouse liver without disrupting normal liver histology. This work implicates the environmental factor-nuclear receptor axis in regulating the maturation of hPSC-hepatocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2022.03.015DOI Listing
May 2022

UHRF1 establishes crosstalk between somatic and germ cells in male reproduction.

Cell Death Dis 2022 Apr 19;13(4):377. Epub 2022 Apr 19.

Institute Reproductive Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, 430030, China.

Sertoli cells (SCs) support and nourish germ cells (GCs) through their crosstalk during spermatogenesis. However, the underlying epigenetic mechanism that ensures SCs' functions in this process remains unclear. Here, we report that UHRF1, a critical epigenetic regulator, is mainly expressed in human and mouse pre-mature SCs, and is essential for establishing Sertoli-Germ cell crosstalk. SC-specific UHRF1 knockout mice exhibit complete sterility with Sertoli cell (SC) proliferation and differentiation aberrance, blood-testis barrier (BTB) disruption, and immature germ cell (GC) sloughing. RNA sequencing and Whole Genome Bisulfite Sequencing (WGBS) revealed that many extracellular matrix (ECM)-related genes (e.g., Timp1, Trf, and Spp1) appeared upregulated with the DNA hypomethylation status in UHRF1-deficient SCs. Strikingly, overexpression of Timp1, Trf, and Spp1 in SCs in vitro and in vivo could phenocopy the SC-specific UHRF1-deficient mice. Our data demonstrated that UHRF1 regulates the transcriptional program of ECM-related genes in SCs and establishes SC-GC crosstalk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-022-04837-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9018721PMC
April 2022

Visible-light-induced acylation/cyclization of active alkenes: facile access to acylated isoquinolinones.

Org Biomol Chem 2022 May 11;20(18):3767-3778. Epub 2022 May 11.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Institute of Science and Technology, Yueyang 414006, China.

Nitrogen heterocycles, especially polycyclic compounds, are significant skeletons in valuable molecules. Herein, we developed an efficient and practical visible-light-induced acylation/cyclization of active alkenes with acyl oxime derivatives for constructing acylated indolo/benzimidazo-[2,1,]isoquinolin-6(5) ones. This reaction was compatible with various functional groups and a series of fused indole/imidazole skeletons were prepared in up to 95% yield at room temperature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d2ob00528jDOI Listing
May 2022

PPARγ Ameliorates H37Ra-Induced Foamy Macrophage Formation via the ABCG1-Dependent Cholesterol Efflux Pathway in THP-1 Macrophages.

Front Microbiol 2022 31;13:829870. Epub 2022 Mar 31.

Jiangxi Province Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China.

Foamy macrophages are present during the course of () infection and seems to be nutrient-rich reservoir and secure reservoir for the bacilli, which leads to bacterial persistence and infection transmission. Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a key transcription factor for cholesterol metabolism in macrophages and its role in regulating atherosclerosis related foamy macrophages (FMs) formation has been well-studied. However, knowledge about the mechanism of PPARγ regulating infection induced FM formation remains very limited. In this study, we investigate the functional role of PPARγ in H37Ra infection-induced foamy macrophages formation. H37Ra infection induced a time-dependent decreased expression of PPARγ that paralleled the augmented lipid body formation in THP1-derived macrophages. PPARγ antagonist GW9662 significantly potentiate H37Ra induced lipid body formation and inhibit ABCG1 expression, overexpression of ABCG1 by transduced macrophages with lentivirus significantly reversed the promotion effect of GW9662 on FM formation. Moreover, Treatment with a TLR2 neutralizing antibody ameliorated the activation of ABCG1 by H37Ra without significantly effecting the suppression of PPARγ, suggesting a greater role for TLR2 to regulate ABCG1 compared to PPARγ. Overall, this study showed that PPARγ is involved in ameliorating FM formation by regulating ABCG1 expression, these observations expose a novel role of PPARγ in the infection induced FM formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.829870DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9008364PMC
March 2022

Free chlorine formation in the process of the chlorine dioxide oxidation of aliphatic amines.

Water Res 2022 Jun 5;217:118399. Epub 2022 Apr 5.

Department of Applied Chemistry, China Agricultural University, Yuanmingyuan Xilu No.2, Beijing 100193, China. Electronic address:

Chlorine dioxide (ClO) is commonly used as an alternative disinfectant to chlorine because it has a high bactericidal effect and may produce limited concentrations of halogenated disinfection byproducts (DBPs). However, previous studies have reported that free available chlorine (FAC) was produced when ClO reacted with some compounds, such as phenol, leading to the formation of halogenated DBPs. In this study aliphatic amines was found to react rapidly with ClO to form significant amount of FAC and its related DBPs. This study investigated the formation of FAC when ClO reacts with six model aliphatic amines (including primary amines, secondary amines and tertiary amines). FAC was formed immediately as ClO was added to the precursor solution. The maximum yield of FAC even reached 45% (based on consumed ClO) when ClO reacted with 20 μM methylamine at a dose of 10 μM, which is close to a realistic maximum dose (about 0.8 mg/L) in the U.S.. The reactivity of amines to result FAC follows the sequence tertiary amines < secondary amines < primary amines. It was verified that the addition of aliphatic amines may enhance the formation of FAC during ClO oxidation in actual water samples. Organic chloramines and other chlorinated DBPs, such as cyanogen chloride, were detected when ClO was used as the sole oxidant of real water samples. This study demonstrated that chlorine-related byproducts may also be formed in the presence of organic amines during ClO treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2022.118399DOI Listing
June 2022

Effect of phenolic compounds and hydroxyl content on the physicochemical properties of pine nut oil Pickering emulsions.

J Sci Food Agric 2022 Apr 14. Epub 2022 Apr 14.

College of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, PR China.

Background: For decades, pine nut oil Pickering emulsions have been stabilized using a covalent composite of two phenolic chemicals (tannic acid, TA; and gallic acid, GA) and whey protein isolate (WPI) following alkali treatment. Based on covalent composite particles being excellent sources of high-quality stabilizers, this research explored the influence of phenolic addition and hydroxyl content on stability, rheological parameters and characterization of Pickering emulsions.

Results: Tannic acid was more effective in reducing the average particle size of the emulsion, which decreased from 479.4 ± 2.1 nm without addition to between 187.6 ± 5.9 and 368.2 ± 16.8 nm (P < 0.05). The potential values of all the emulsions were between -30 and -50 mV (except for the gallic acid addition of 2.5 g kg ). When the phenolic addition was 7.5 g kg , emulsions demonstrated the best emulsification ability. Pickering emulsion stabilized by WPI-TA and WPI-GA particles were successfully generated, according to confocal laser scanning microscopy. Rheological results showed that the increase of phenolic addition contributed to larger elastic modulus (G'), viscosity modulus (G″) and viscosity of emulsions, which was beneficial to the stability of emulsions.

Conclusion: Both phenolic compounds significantly improved the physicochemical stability of the emulsions (P < 0.05) and their oxidative stability. Covalently crosslinking phenolic compounds to proteins is a better method to prepare stable emulsions. It is more prominent that TA shows a more significant improvement in emulsion stability due to the number of hydroxyl groups it can provide. This research might serve as a theoretical foundation for enhancing the quality of pine nut oil-related products. © 2022 Society of Chemical Industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.11931DOI Listing
April 2022

Metabolomic Profiling Reveals Protective Effects and Mechanisms of Sea Buckthorn Sterol against Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Acute Liver Injury in Rats.

Molecules 2022 Mar 29;27(7). Epub 2022 Mar 29.

College of Ecological and Environmental Engineering, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China.

The present study was designed to examine the efficacy and protection mechanisms of sea buckthorn sterol (SBS) against acute liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl) in rats. Five-week-old male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into six groups and fed with saline (Group BG), 50% CCl (Group MG), or bifendate 200 mg/kg (Group DDB), or treated with low-dose (Group LD), medium-dose (Group MD), or high-dose (Group HD) SBS. This study, for the first time, observed the protection of SBS against CCl-induced liver injury in rats and its underlying mechanisms. Investigation of enzyme activities showed that SBS-fed rats exhibited a significant alleviation of inflammatory lesions, as evidenced by the decrease in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GT). In addition, compared to the MG group, the increased indices (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), catalase (CAT), total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), and total protein (TP)) of lipid peroxidation and decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) in liver tissues of SBS-treated groups showed the anti-lipid peroxidation effects of SBS. Using the wide range of targeted technologies and a combination of means (UPLC-MS/MS detection platform, self-built database, and multivariate statistical analysis), the addition of SBS was found to restore the expression of metabolic pathways (e.g., L-malic acid, N-acetyl-aspartic acid, N-acetyl-l-alanine, etc.) in rats, which means that the metabolic damage induced by CCl was alleviated. Furthermore, transcriptomics was employed to analyze and compare gene expression levels of different groups. It showed that the expressions of genes (Cyp1a1, Noct, and TUBB6) related to liver injury were regulated by SBS. In conclusion, SBS exhibited protective effects against CCl-induced liver injury in rats. The liver protection mechanism of SBS is probably related to the regulation of metabolic disorders, anti-lipid peroxidation, and inhibition of the inflammatory response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules27072224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9000363PMC
March 2022

Quantitative Visual Detection of Mercury Ions With Ratiometric Fluorescent Test Paper Sensor.

Front Chem 2022 25;10:859379. Epub 2022 Mar 25.

The Key Laboratory of Risk Assessment and Control Technology for Environment and Food Safety, Tianjin Institute of Environment and Operational Medicine, Tianjin, China.

A novel ratiometric fluorescence probe based on nitrogen-doped blue carbon dots (NCDs) and red gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) for mercuric ion (Hg2+) has been prepared and characterized. A user friendly fluorescent test paper based sensor combined with smartphone was fabricated for rapid visual and quantitative detection. Hg can specifically bind to Au on the surface of Au NCs, leading to the quench of red fluorescence while the fluorescence intensity of the NCDs with blue fluorescence remained unchanged as a internal standard signal. The implement of paper-based sensor address some common drawback in analytical process such as the detection time, analysis cost. In a further demonstration, a homemade detection device with smartphone was used to qualify the Hg. After adding different concentration of Hg, red, purple, and blue colors were obtained on the detection zones of the fluorescent test paper. The Android App Color Grab was used to identify the red, green and blue (RGB) values of fluorescent color. The rapid visual and quantitative detection of Hg was accomplished with the detection limit of 2.7 nM for fluorescence, 25 nM for smartphone and 32 nM for paper strip. The developed multi-mode detection platform was successfully applied to the detection of mercury ions in water samples with acceptable recoveries. The NCDs and Au NCs probe facilitate the one-site environmental monitoring for Hg with "naked-eye" and smartphone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2022.859379DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8990869PMC
March 2022

Identification of Novel Variants in a Cohort of Congenital Contractural Arachnodactyly.

Front Genet 2022 10;13:804202. Epub 2022 Mar 10.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, State Key Laboratory of Complex Severe and Rare Diseases, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

Congenital contractural arachnodactyly (CCA) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder of connective tissue characterized by crumpled ears, arachnodactyly, camptodactyly, large joint contracture, and kyphoscoliosis. The nature course of CCA has not been well-described. We aim to decipher the genetic and phenotypic spectrum of CCA. The cohort was enrolled in Beijing Jishuitan Hospital and Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China, based on Deciphering disorders Involving Scoliosis and COmorbidities (DISCO) study (http://www.discostudy.org/). Exome sequencing was performed on patients' blood DNA. A recent published CCA scoring system was validated in our cohort. Seven novel variants and three previously reported variants were identified through exome sequencing. Two variants outside of the neonatal region of gene were found. The phenotypes were comparable between patients in our cohort and previous literature, with arachnodactyly, camptodactyly and large joints contractures found in almost all patients. All patients eligible for analysis were successfully classified into likely CCA based on the CCA scoring system. Furthermore, we found a double disease-causing heterozygous variant of and in a patient with blended phenotypes consisting of CCA and KBG syndrome. The identification of seven novel variants broadens the mutational and phenotypic spectrum of CCA and may provide implications for genetic counseling and clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2022.804202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8960307PMC
March 2022

Identification and validation of a seven-gene prognostic marker in colon cancer based on single-cell transcriptome analysis.

IET Syst Biol 2022 Apr;16(2):72-83

Medical Oncology Department of Gastrointestinal Cancer, Liaoning Cancer Hospital & Institute, Cancer Hospital of China Medical University, Liaoning Province, China.

Colon cancer (CC) is one of the most commonly diagnosed tumours worldwide. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) can accurately reflect the heterogeneity within and between tumour cells and identify important genes associated with cancer development and growth. In this study, scRNA-seq was used to identify reliable prognostic biomarkers in CC. ScRNA-seq data of CC before and after 5-fluorouracil treatment were first downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. The data were pre-processed, and dimensionality reduction was performed using principal component analysis and t-distributed stochastic neighbour embedding algorithms. Additionally, the transcriptome data, somatic variant data, and clinical reports of patients with CC were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas database. Seven key genes were identified using Cox regression analysis and the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator method to establish signatures associated with CC prognoses. The identified signatures were validated on independent datasets, and somatic mutations and potential oncogenic pathways were further explored. Based on these features, gene signatures, and other clinical variables, a more effective predictive model nomogram for patients with CC was constructed, and a decision curve analysis was performed to assess the utility of the nomogram. A prognostic signature consisting of seven prognostic-related genes, including CAV2, EREG, NGFRAP1, WBSCR22, SPINT2, CCDC28A, and BCL10, was constructed and validated. The proficiency and credibility of the signature were verified in both internal and external datasets, and the results showed that the seven-gene signature could effectively predict the prognosis of patients with CC under various clinical conditions. A nomogram was then constructed based on features such as the RiskScore, patients' age, neoplasm stage, and tumor (T), nodes (N), and metastases (M) classification, and the nomogram had good clinical utility. Higher RiskScores were associated with a higher tumour mutational burden, which was confirmed to be a prognostic risk factor. Gene set enrichment analysis showed that high-score groups were enriched in 'cytoplasmic DNA sensing', 'Extracellular matrix receptor interactions', and 'focal adhesion', and low-score groups were enriched in 'natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity', and 'T-cell receptor signalling pathways', among other pathways. A robust seven-gene marker for CC was identified based on scRNA-seq data and was validated in multiple independent cohort studies. These findings provide a new potential marker to predict the prognosis of patients with CC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/syb2.12041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8965382PMC
April 2022

Multifaceted evaluation of distribution, occurrence, and leaching features of typical heavy metals in different-sized coal gasification fine slag from Ningdong region, China: A case study.

Sci Total Environ 2022 Mar 22;831:154726. Epub 2022 Mar 22.

School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China; National Engineering Research Center of Coal Preparation and Purification, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China. Electronic address:

The coal gasification fine slag (CGFS) from the entrained-flow coal gasification unit faces the challenge of safe disposal and clean utilization in the Ningdong region, China. This study aims to provide complete and thorough understanding of the distribution features, chemical speciation, environmental impact, and leaching behavior of typical heavy metals (i.e., V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ba, and Pb) in the CGFS with different size fractions. The results show that the distribution of selected heavy metals in the CGFS has evident particle size dependence. Except for Zn, the other heavy metals in different size fractions mainly exist in chemical speciation of residual form with the ratio of 50.11-86.69 wt%. Moreover, it is found that the heavy metals in the different-sized CGFS show different RAC (risk assessment code) environmental risk levels and TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) leaching concentrations. Especially, Zn in SGFS-C and SGFS-D posed a high-risk level to the environment, while the heavy metal elements of Cr, Mn, Ni, Zn, and Ba in other size fractions are classified as a medium environmental risk. In addition, the TCLP test results indicate that the leaching concentration of Cr, Mn, Ni, Zn, Ba, and Pb exceeds the groundwater-related regulatory limit in China. The pH-dependent leaching experiments suggest that Pb shows the amphoteric behavior, while the leaching mode of other heavy metals seems to be the cationic pattern. Furthermore, the leachability of the selected heavy metals in small-size fractions of the CGFS should be given more consideration at both acid and alkaline pH ranges. The leaching kinetic results demonstrate that the most effective mechanism to describe the leaching process of Cr, Ni, Zn, and Pb in different CGFS size fractions is the diffusion-controlled theory, which is supported by the different morphological traits of spherical mineral particles and carbon particles in the CGFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.154726DOI Listing
March 2022

Regulatory functions of miR‑200b‑3p in tumor development (Review).

Oncol Rep 2022 05 24;47(5). Epub 2022 Mar 24.

General Surgery, Cancer Center, Department of Colorectal Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital (Affiliated People's Hospital, Hangzhou Medical College), Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310014, P.R. China.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs/miRs), non‑coding single‑stranded RNAs of length 18‑24 nucleotides, can modulate gene expression through post‑transcriptional control. As such, they can influence tumor proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, metastasis as well as chemotherapy resistance by regulating certain downstream genes. In this context, miR‑200b‑3p, one particular member of the miR‑200 family, possesses the ability to suppress tumor progression. However, many studies have suggested that, in certain cases, this miRNA may also promote the development of some tumors due to differences in the microenvironments and molecular backgrounds of different cancers. This review summarizes previous studies on the involvement of miR‑200b‑3p in tumors, including the underlying mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/or.2022.8307DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8968761PMC
May 2022

Can the commonly used quenching method really evaluate the role of reactive oxygen species in pollutant abatement during catalytic ozonation?

Water Res 2022 May 10;215:118275. Epub 2022 Mar 10.

School of Environment, Beijing Key Laboratory for Emerging Organic Contaminants Control, State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 China. Electronic address:

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydroxyl radicals (•OH), superoxide radicals (O), and singlet oxygen (O) have often been suggested to play a role in ozone-resistant pollutant abatement during catalytic ozonation. However, there are significant controversies regarding their relative importance in literature. Currently, the role of ROS in pollutant abatement is commonly evaluated by the quenching method based on the assumption that the added ROS quenchers (e.g., tert-butanol (TBA) and para-benzoquinone (pBQ)) quench only the target ROS, but do not considerably influence other reaction mechanisms of catalytic ozonation. However, we hypothesized that this assumption is possibly unrealistic and a main cause for the controversies reported in literature. To test this hypothesis, this study evaluated the effects of six commonly used ROS quenchers (TBA, pBQ, methanol (MeOH), 4-chloro-7-nitrobenzo-2-oxa-1,3-dizole (NBD-Cl), furfuryl alcohol (FFA), and sodium azide (NaN)) on the mechanism of catalytic ozonation with manganese dioxide. The results show that rather than only quenching their target ROS, these quenchers can profoundly change the catalytic ozonation system through various mechanisms, e.g., interrupting the radical chain reaction of O decomposition, blocking the active sites of catalysts, and consuming O in the system. Due to the significant confounding effects of ROS quenchers on the reaction mechanism, the quenching method actually cannot reveal the role of ROS in pollutant abatement and often misinterpreted the catalytic ozonation mechanism. The results indicate that the commonly used quenching method is probably not an appropriate way to investigate the role of ROS in pollutant abatement during catalytic ozonation, and many previously reported mechanisms obtained with the quenching method may need a revisit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2022.118275DOI Listing
May 2022

Tracking the sliding of grain boundaries at the atomic scale.

Science 2022 Mar 17;375(6586):1261-1265. Epub 2022 Mar 17.

Institute of Microstructure and Property of Advanced Materials, Beijing Key Lab of Microstructure and Property of Advanced Materials, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China.

Grain boundaries (GBs) play an important role in the mechanical behavior of polycrystalline materials. Despite decades of investigation, the atomic-scale dynamic processes of GB deformation remain elusive, particularly for the GBs in polycrystals, which are commonly of the asymmetric and general type. We conducted an in situ atomic-resolution study to reveal how sliding-dominant deformation is accomplished at general tilt GBs in platinum bicrystals. We observed either direct atomic-scale sliding along the GB or sliding with atom transfer across the boundary plane. The latter sliding process was mediated by movements of disconnections that enabled the transport of GB atoms, leading to a previously unrecognized mode of coupled GB sliding and atomic plane transfer. These results enable an atomic-scale understanding of how general GBs slide in polycrystalline materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abm2612DOI Listing
March 2022

The Impact of Entrepreneurship Competitions on Entrepreneurial Competence of Chinese College Students.

Front Psychol 2022 28;13:784225. Epub 2022 Feb 28.

Institute of China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.

Entrepreneurship competitions are an important way to implement entrepreneurship education in universities and the main way for many students improve their entrepreneurial competence. To clarify the mechanism of the role of entrepreneurship competition on the entrepreneurial competence of university students, based on data from a sample of 170,764 university students from 31 provinces in China, this study constructs a moderated mediation model that focuses on the mediating role of entrepreneurial spirit (ES) in entrepreneurial competition (ECompetition) and entrepreneurial competence (ECompetence) and the moderating role of entrepreneurial practice (EP). The results showed that ECompetition found to have a significant positive predictive effect on ECompetence. ES plays a mediating role in the relationship between ECompetition and competence. The direct predictive effect of ECompetition on ECompetence and the mediating effect of ES on their relationship is moderated by EP. The results provide a new perspective on the impact of entrepreneurship competition on college students' entrepreneurial competence and expands the experiential learning theory in entrepreneurship education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.784225DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8918648PMC
February 2022

[Effect of silk fibroin microcarrier loaded with clematis total saponins and chondrocytes on promoting rabbit knee articular cartilage defects repair].

Zhongguo Xiu Fu Chong Jian Wai Ke Za Zhi 2022 Mar;36(3):343-351

Department of Orthopedics, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing Jiangsu, 210029, P. R. China.

Objective: To prepare the silk fibroin microcarrier loaded with clematis total saponins (CTS) (CTS-silk fibroin microcarrier), and to investigate the effect of microcarrier combined with chondrocytes on promoting rabbit knee articular cartilage defects repair.

Methods: CTS-silk fibroin microcarrier was prepared by high voltage electrostatic combined with freeze drying method using the mixture of 5% silk fibroin solution, 10 mg/mL CTS solution, and glycerin. The samples were characterized by scanning electron microscope and the cumulative release amount of CTS was detected. Meanwhile, unloaded silk fibroin microcarrier was also prepared. Chondrocytes were isolated from knee cartilage of 4-week-old New Zealand rabbits and cultured. The 3rd generation of chondrocytes were co-cultured with the two microcarriers respectively for 7 days in microgravity environment. During this period, the adhesion of chondrocytes to microcarriers was observed by inverted phase contrast microscope and scanning electron microscope, and the proliferation activity of cells was detected by cell counting kit 8 (CCK-8), and compared with normal cells. Thirty 3-month-old New Zealand rabbits were selected to make bilateral knee cartilage defects models and randomly divided into 3 groups ( =20). Knee cartilage defects in group A were not treated, and in groups B and C were filled with the unloaded silk fibroin microcarrier-chondrocyte complexes and CTS-silk fibroin microcarrier-chondrocyte complexes, respectively. At 12 weeks after operation, the levels of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), MMP-13, and tissue inhibitor of MMP 1 (TIMP-1) in articular fluid were detected by ELISA. The cartilage defects were collected for gross observation and histological observation (HE staining and toluidine blue staining). Western blot was used to detect the expressions of collagen type Ⅱ and proteoglycan. The inflammatory of joint synovium was observed by histological staining and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) immunohistochemical staining.

Results: The CTS-silk fibroin microcarrier was spherical, with a diameter between 300 and 500 μm, a porous surface, and a porosity of 35.63%±3.51%. CTS could be released slowly in microcarrier for a long time. Under microgravity, the chondrocytes attached to the surface of the two microcarriers increased gradually with the extension of culture time, and the proliferation activity of chondrocytes at 24 hours after co-culture was significantly higher than that of normal chondrocytes ( <0.05). There was no significant difference in proliferation activity of chondrocytes between the two microcarriers ( >0.05). experiment in animals showed that the levels of MMP-9 and MMP-13 in group C were significantly lower than those in groups A and B ( <0.05), and the level of TIMP-1 in group C was significantly higher ( <0.05). Compared with group A, the cartilage defects in groups B and C were filled with repaired tissue, and the repaired surface of group C was more complete and better combined with the surrounding cartilage. Histological observation and Western blot analysis showed that the International Cartilage Repair Scoring (ICRS) and the relative expression levels of collagen type Ⅱ and proteoglycan in groups B and C were significantly better than those in group A, and group C was significantly better than group B ( <0.05). The histological observation showed that the infiltration of synovial inflammatory cells and hyperplasia of small vessels significantly reduced in group C compared with groups A and B. iNOS immunohistochemical staining showed that the expression of iNOS in group C was significantly lower than that in groups A and B ( <0.05).

Conclusion: CTS-silk fibroin microcarrier has good CTS sustained release effect and biocompatibility, and can promote the repair of rabbit cartilage defect by carrying chondrocyte proliferation in microgravity environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7507/1002-1892.202107061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8923927PMC
March 2022

Cortical Surface Shape Analysis Based on Alexandrov Polyhedra.

Proc IEEE Int Conf Comput Vis 2021 Oct;2021:14224-14232

Stony Brook University.

Shape analysis has been playing an important role in early diagnosis and prognosis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's diseases (AD). However, obtaining effective shape representations remains challenging. This paper proposes to use the Alexandrov polyhedra as surface-based shape signatures for cortical morphometry analysis. Given a closed genus-0 surface, its Alexandrov polyhedron is a convex representation that encodes its intrinsic geometry information. We propose to compute the polyhedra via a novel spherical optimal transport (OT) computation. In our experiments, we observe that the Alexandrov polyhedra of cortical surfaces between pathology-confirmed AD and cognitively unimpaired individuals are significantly different. Moreover, we propose a visualization method by comparing local geometry differences across cortical surfaces. We show that the proposed method is effective in pinpointing regional cortical structural changes impacted by AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/iccv48922.2021.01398DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8919730PMC
October 2021

LncRNA UCA1 regulates silicosis-related lung epithelial cell-to-mesenchymal transition through competitive adsorption of miR-204-5p.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2022 04 11;441:115977. Epub 2022 Mar 11.

School of public health, Zhengzhou University, Henan, China. Electronic address:

The main clinical manifestations are pulmonary fibrosis, silicosis, is one of the most common types of pneumoconiosis, and its pathogenesis is still unclear. The proliferation and transdifferentiation of fibroblasts are considered to be the key link leading to pulmonary fibrosis. Type II alveolar epithelial cells can be transformed into lung fibroblasts through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) to promote lung fibrosis. Involved in the EMT process of a variety of cancers, lncRNA UCA1 (UCA1) has been shown to competitively adsorb miR-204-5p, and play an effect on the downstream target gene E-box binding zinc finger protein 1 (ZEB1), thereby promoting EMT to facilitate the invasion and migration of cancer cells. This is an important potential intervention target that affects the process of EMT, but it has not been reported in the study of EMT related to silicosis. Therefore, this study established a SiO dust-treated mouse silicosis model and an in vitro EMT model of A549 cells to observe the changes and effects of UCA1 and miR-204-5p, and intervene on the two respectively. The results showed that the EMT process existed in the aforementioned models, while UCA1 was upregulated in the in vitro model. Double luciferase reporter assay demonstrated the targeted binding of UCA1 and miR-204-5p. Silencing UCA1 can up-regulate the expression of miR-204-5p and reduce the level of ZEB1, thus inhibiting EMT process, while intervention of miR-204-5p can change the level of ZEB1 and regulate EMT. Therefore, UCA1 may release its target gene ZEB1 through competitive adsorption of miR-204-5p to regulate EMT process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2022.115977DOI Listing
April 2022

Mechanism of LncRNA XIST/ miR-101-3p/ZEB1 axis in EMT associated with silicosis.

Toxicol Lett 2022 May 7;360:11-19. Epub 2022 Mar 7.

Department of Occupational and Environment Health, School of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, No.100 Science Avenue, Zhengzhou 450001, Henan Province, PR China. Electronic address:

Silicosis is a systemic disease characterized by diffuse fibrosis of lung tissue. However, its pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated. Previous studies have demonstrated that there is a close relationship between EMT and pulmonary fibrosis. However, LncRNA XIST and miR-101-3p regulate the expression of ZEB1 which is a key transcription factor in the process of EMT through competitive endogenous RNA, thus affecting the process of EMT has not been reported. In this work, an experimental silicosis mouse model and cell model of TGF-β1 stimulated lung epithelial cells (A549) for 48 h are established to investigate the biological effects of LncRNA XIST/ miR-101-3p/ZEB1 axis in the EMT process. The results reveal that LncRNA XIST and ZEB1 are up-regulated while the miR-101-3p expression is down-regulated in vivo and vitro models. Furthermore, the knockdown of LncRNA XIST prevents the EMT process and the inhibition of miR-101-3p markedly promotes EMT stimulated by TGF-β1. Moreover, the results also illustrate that LncRNA XIST is mainly localized in the cytoplasm used FISH and possesses binding site with miR-101-3p which was identified as the target of ZEB1 used bioinformatics prediction website and Dual-luciferase reporter assay. The above demonstrated that LncRNA-XIST regulates ZEB1 by directly sponging miR-101-3p. To sum up, we uncovered that the up-regulated LncRNA XIST can modulate miR-101-3p and then up-regulate the expression of ZEB1, thus promoting the EMT process of alveolar epithelial cells in the process of silicosis-related pulmonary fibrosis EMT. Our study provides a new research idea for related targets of silicosis treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2022.03.001DOI Listing
May 2022

Mechanism of Action of Flavonoids of on the Alleviation of Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury.

Molecules 2022 Mar 5;27(5). Epub 2022 Mar 5.

Research Center for High Altitude Medicine, Key Laboratory of High-Altitude Medicine (Ministry of Education), Key Laboratory of Application and Foundation for High Altitude Medicine Research in Qinghai Province (Qinghai-Utah Joint Research Key Lab for High Altitude Medicine), Qinghai University, Xining 810001, China.

Bunge is a plant used in traditional Tibetan medicine, with reported anti-inflammatory and antioxidants effects and alleviation of myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury (MIRI). However, the underlying mechanism against MIRI and the phytochemical composition of are vague. One fraction named OFF1 with anti-MIRI activity was obtained from , and the chemical constituents were identified by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS). The potential targets and signaling pathways involved in the action of against MIRI were predicted by network pharmacology analysis, and its molecular mechanism on MIRI was determined by in vitro assays. The results revealed that flavonoids are the dominant constituents of OFF1. A total of 92 flavonoids reported in targeted 213 potential MIRI-associated factors, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), and the NF-κB signaling pathway. The in vitro assay on H9c2 cardiomyocytes subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation injury confirmed that the flavonoids in OFF1 reduced myocardial marker levels, apoptotic rate, and the inflammatory response triggered by oxidative stress. Moreover, OFF1 attenuated MIRI by downregulating the ROS-mediated JNK/p38MAPK/NF-κB pathway. Collectively, these findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism of in alleviating MIRI, being a potential therapeutic candidate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules27051706DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8911915PMC
March 2022

NaH-promoted one-pot synthesis of 5-amidoimidazoles from arylamines, carbon disulfide and isocyanides.

Mol Divers 2022 Mar 10. Epub 2022 Mar 10.

College of Yuanpei, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Alternative Technologies for Fine Chemicals Process, Shaoxing University, Shaoxing, 312000, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China.

A novel, convenient and efficient protocol to access functionalized 5-amidoimidazoles is developed via one-pot synthesis from readily available materials of arylamines, carbon disulfide and isocyanides. The transformation was realized at room temperature and provided 5-amidoimidazoles in moderate to good yields in the presence of NaH. In addition, control experiments indicated that the process might be achieved via the base-induced cyclization of activated methylene isocyanides with N,N-disubstituted thioureas that produced from the reaction of amines and carbon disulfide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11030-022-10413-9DOI Listing
March 2022

A novel silk fibroin protein-based fusion system for enhancing the expression of nanobodies in Escherichia coli.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2022 Mar 4;106(5-6):1967-1977. Epub 2022 Mar 4.

CAS Key Laboratory of Biobased Materials, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 189 Songling Road, Qingdao, 266101, China.

Nanobodies show a great potential in biomedical and biotechnology applications. Bacterial expression is the most widely used expression system for nanobody production. However, the yield of nanobodies is relatively low compared to that of eukaryotic systems. In this study, the repetitive amino acid sequence motifs (GAGAGS) found in silk fibroin protein (SFP) were developed as a novel fusion tag (SF-tag) to enhance the expression of nanobodies in Escherichia coli. SF-tags of 1 to 5 hexapeptide units were fused to the C-terminus of 4G8, a nanobody against human epididymis protein 4 (HE4). The protein yield of 4G8 variants was increased by the extension of hexapeptide units and achieved a 2.5 ~ 7.1-fold increase compared with that of untagged 4G8 (protein yield of 4G8-5C = 0.307 mg/g vs that of untagged 4G8 = 0.043 mg/g). Moreover, the fusion of SF-tags not only had no significant effect on the affinity of 4G8, but also showed a slight increase in the thermal stability of SF-tag-fused 4G8 variants. The fusion of SF-tags increased the transcription of 4G8 by 2.3 ~ 7.0-fold, indicating SF-tags enhanced the protein expression at the transcriptional level. To verify the applicability of the SF-tags for other nanobody expression, we further investigated the protein expression of two other anti-HE4 nanobodies 1G8 and 3A3 upon fusion with the SF-tags. Results indicated that the SF-tags enhanced the protein expression up to 5.2-fold and 5.7-fold for 1G8 and 3A3, respectively. For the first time, this study reported a novel and versatile fusion tag system based on the SFP for improving nanobody expression in Escherichia coli, which may enhance its potential for wider applications.Key points• A silk fibroin protein-based fusion tag (SF-tag) was developed to enhance the expression of nanobodies in Escherichia coli.• The SF-tag enhanced the nanobody expression at the transcriptional level.• The fusion of SF-tag had no significant effect on the affinity of nanobodies and could slightly increase the thermal stability of nanobodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00253-022-11857-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8894094PMC
March 2022

Urolithin A attenuates RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis by co-regulating the p38 MAPK and Nrf2 signaling pathway.

Eur J Pharmacol 2022 Apr 26;921:174865. Epub 2022 Feb 26.

The First Clinical Medical College, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023, China. Electronic address:

As a critical regulator of bone resorption. osteoclastogenesis is closely associated with osteoporosis (OP) and commonly induced by receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), suggesting that suppression of inflammation may improve OP. Urolithin A (UroA), an active metabolite of ellagic acid, is known to exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. However, whether UroA attenuates osteoclastogenesis remains unclear. Using a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced bone loss model, we evaluated the effects of UroA on inflammatory osteoclastogenesis in mice and explored the potential mechanism from RANKL-related signaling pathway. UroA significantly improved LPS-induced bone loss and rescued the imbalance in bone microarchitecture parameters. Hematoxylin&eosin (H&E) and tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining of femurs showed that UroA suppressed LPS-induced osteoclastogenesis accompanied by the activation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling. In RANKL-triggered mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs), UroA inhibited the formation of osteoclasts and Fibrous actin rings (F-actin rings), and decreased TRAP activity. Moreover, UroA significantly decreased mRNA and protein expression of major inflammatory cytokines in LPS-challenged RAW264.7 cells by decreasing the phosphorylation of NF-κB p65, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular signal regulated kinase1/2 (Erk1/2), and p38. Furthermore, UroA may activate the Nrf2 signaling pathway by increasing mRNA and protein expression of antioxidant proteins. We conclude that UroA attenuated RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis by suppressing the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and inducing Nrf2 nuclear translocation. Thus, supplementation with UroA may help alleviate inflammation-induced bone loss and bone resorption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2022.174865DOI Listing
April 2022

The Efficacy of Psychological Care and Chinese Herbal Decoction in Postoperative Chemotherapy Patients with Endometrial Cancer.

J Healthc Eng 2022 18;2022:5700637. Epub 2022 Feb 18.

PIVAS, Yantaishan Hospital, Yantai 264001, Shandong Province, China.

Background: In recent years, the incidence of endometrial cancer (EC) has been on the rise worldwide. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of psychological care and Chinese herbal decoction in EC patients with postoperative chemotherapy.

Methods: 80 EC patients with postoperative chemotherapy were randomly divided into the observation group and control group. The control group was given psychotherapy. The observation group was given psychological care plus Chinese herbal decoction treatment. HE4, CA125, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndrome scores, toxic and side effects, and quality of life scores before and after treatment were observed.

Results: After treatment, the total effective rate of the observation group was higher than that of the control group. After treatment, serum HE4 and CA125 levels in the observation group were lower than those in the control group. In addition, CD3+ and CD4+ levels in the observation group were higher than those in the control group. Meanwhile, the CD8+ level in the observation group was lower than that in the control group. Compared with the control group, the quality of life in the observation group was significantly improved, and the incidence of adverse reactions was reduced.

Conclusion: Chinese herbal decoction combined with psychological care can improve the clinical symptoms, alleviate the toxic and side effects, and improve the life quality of EC patients with postoperative chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2022/5700637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8881117PMC
May 2022
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