Publications by authors named "Yongjie Xu"

50 Publications

Associations between female lung cancer risk and sex steroid hormones: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the worldwide epidemiological evidence on endogenous and exogenous sex steroid hormones.

BMC Cancer 2021 Jun 10;21(1):690. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, 17 Panjiayuan Nanli, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100021, China.

Background: Published findings suggest sex differences in lung cancer risk and a potential role for sex steroid hormones. Our aim was to perform a meta-analysis to investigate the effects of sex steroid hormone exposure specifically on the risk of lung cancer in women.

Methods: The PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and EMBASE databases were searched. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for female lung cancer risk associated with sex steroid hormones were calculated overall and by study design, publication year, population, and smoking status. Sensitivity analysis, publication bias, and subgroup analysis were performed.

Results: Forty-eight studies published between 1987 and 2019 were included in the study with a total of 31,592 female lung cancer cases and 1,416,320 subjects without lung cancer. Overall, higher levels of sex steroid hormones, both endogenous (OR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.87-0.98) and exogenous (OR: 0.86, 95% CI: 0.80-0.93), significantly decreased the risk of female lung cancer by 10% (OR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.86-0.95). The risk of lung cancer decreased more significantly with a higher level of sex steroid hormones in non-smoking women (OR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.78-0.99) than in smoking women (OR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.77-1.03), especially in Asia women (OR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.74-0.96).

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis reveals an association between higher levels of sex steroid hormone exposure and the decreased risk of female lung cancer. Surveillance of sex steroid hormones might be used for identifying populations at high risk for lung cancer, especially among non-smoking women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-021-08437-9DOI Listing
June 2021

NLRP3 induces the autocrine secretion of IL-1β to promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis in breast cancer.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 Jun 8;560:72-79. Epub 2021 May 8.

Department of Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Electronic address:

Tumor metastasis is a leading cause of mortality in patients with breast cancer (BC). As a predominant component of inflammasome, Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) was found to be required for tumor progression, while the role of NLRP3 in BC metastasis remains largely undefined. In current study, we found that invasive BC had aberrant upregulation of NLRP3 expression, especially in the claudin-low subtype. And higher expression of NLRP3 predicted poor survival of BC patients. Further investigation suggested that NLRP3 promotes the migration and invasion, as well as the metastasis of BC cells. Moreover, we revealed that NLRP3 induces the autocrine secretion of IL-1β to promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition via a Caspase-1-dependent manner. Hence, this study suggested that upregulation of NLRP3 in BC induces the autocrine secretion of IL-1β and promotes EMT and metastasis of BC cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.04.122DOI Listing
June 2021

A Hybrid-Attention Nested UNet for Nuclear Segmentation in Histopathological Images.

Front Mol Biosci 2021 17;8:614174. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

PLA Strategic Support Force Characteristic Medical Center, Beijing, China.

Nuclear segmentation of histopathological images is a crucial step in computer-aided image analysis. There are complex, diverse, dense, and even overlapping nuclei in these histopathological images, leading to a challenging task of nuclear segmentation. To overcome this challenge, this paper proposes a hybrid-attention nested UNet (Han-Net), which consists of two modules: a hybrid nested U-shaped network (H-part) and a hybrid attention block (A-part). H-part combines a nested multi-depth U-shaped network and a dense network with full resolution to capture more effective features. A-part is used to explore attention information and build correlations between different pixels. With these two modules, Han-Net extracts discriminative features, which effectively segment the boundaries of not only complex and diverse nuclei but also small and dense nuclei. The comparison in a publicly available multi-organ dataset shows that the proposed model achieves the state-of-the-art performance compared to other models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2021.614174DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925890PMC
February 2021

Genomic variations and signatures of selection in Wuhua yellow chicken.

PLoS One 2020 23;15(10):e0241137. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Conservation and Precision Utilization of Characteristic Agricultural Resources in Mountainous Areas, Meizhou, China.

Wuhua yellow chicken (WHYC) is an important traditional yellow-feathered chicken from China, which is characterized by its white tail feathers, white flight feathers, and strong disease resistance. However, the genomic basis of these unique traits associated with WHYC is poorly understood. In this study, whole-genome resequencing was performed with an average coverage of 20.77-fold to investigate heritable variation and identify selection signals in WHYC. Reads were mapped onto the chicken reference genome (Galgal5) with a coverage of 85.95%. After quality control, 11,953,471 single nucleotide polymorphisms and 1,069,574 insertion/deletions were obtained. In addition, 41,408 structural variants and 33,278 copy number variants were found. Comparative genomic analysis of WHYC and other yellow-feathered chicken breeds showed that selected regions were enriched in genes involved in transport and catabolism, immune system, infectious diseases, signal transduction, and signaling molecules and interactions. Several genes associated with disease resistance were also identified, including IFNA, IFNB, CD86, IL18, IL11RA, VEGFC, and ATG10. Furthermore, our results suggest that PMEL and TYRP1 may contribute to the white feather coloring in WHYC. These findings can improve our understanding of the genetic characteristics of WHYC and may contribute to future breed improvement.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241137PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7584229PMC
December 2020

Risk Factor Analysis of Acute Kidney Injury After Microwave Ablation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Retrospective Study.

Front Oncol 2020 4;10:1408. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Department of Interventional Ultrasound, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a recently observed side effect in patients after microwave ablation (MWA) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and is associated with negative outcomes. The aim of this study is to explore the risk factors of affecting the occurrence of AKI (stages 1b, 2, and 3), because they have a higher mortality rate than patients with AKI (stage 1a) and without AKI. In this retrospective study, a total of 1,214 patients with HCC who were treated with MWA under ultrasound (US) guidance in our department between January 2005 and November 2017 were enrolled. We evaluated the influence of 20 risk factors. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used for statistical analysis. The possible risk factors of AKI after MWA for HCC were summarized. AKI, AKI (stage 1a), and AKI (stages 1b, 2, and 3) after MWA were found in 34, 15, and 19 patients (2.80, 1.24, and 1.57%), respectively. Among 34 patients with AKI, 10 cases with AKI (stage 1a) and 6 cases with AKI (stages 1b, 2, and 3) recovered before their discharge without any treatment for AKI and 9 cases with AKI (stages 1b, 2, and 3) with further treatment. Four cases who had chronic renal failure before MWA of liver accepted renal dialysis. By univariate analysis, the number of antenna insertions ( = 0.027, OR = 3.3), MWA time ≥20 min ( = 0.029, OR = 4.3), creatinine (Cr)-pre above the upper limit of the reference value ( < 0.001, OR = 35.5), albumin (Alb)-pre ( = 0.030, OR = 0.9), and red blood cell (RBC)-pre ( < 0.001, OR = 0.3) were significant risk factors. By multivariate analysis, Cr-pre ≥ 110 μmol/L ( < 0.001, OR = 31.4) and MWA time ≥20 min ( = 0.043 OR = 9.9) were the independent risk factors. AKI (stages 1b, 2, and 3) is a relatively serious complication after MWA for HCC, which is related to MWA time and Cr-pre. It requires attention by clinicians. So it is of great necessity to assess the Cr-pre level and reduce the MWA time to <20 min to minimize the risk of AKI after MWA for HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.01408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7498714PMC
September 2020

Effects of ecologically relevant concentrations of cadmium on locomotor activity and microbiota in zebrafish.

Chemosphere 2020 Oct 27;257:127220. Epub 2020 May 27.

Department of Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Electronic address:

Cadmium (Cd) is widely spread in the aquatic environment, and its impact on humans and the ecosystem is an important issue in public health. However, its effects on zebrafish microbiota are still poorly understood. In this study, the potential developmental neurotoxicity and microbiota dysbiosis of ecologically relevant concentrations of Cd (0, 1.25, 2.5 and 5 μg/L) was evaluated by waterborne exposure for 7 days. The data showed that exposure to 5 μg/L of Cd significantly decreased survival rates and impaired locomotor activities. Uptake of Cd was enhanced with the increase of the concentration and duration of exposure. High-throughput sequencing analysis revealed a significant change in the richness and diversity of the microbiota of Cd-treated zebrafish. At the phylum level, the abundance of Proteobacteria increased, while that Firmicutes was significantly decreased after exposure to 5 μg/L Cd. At the genus level, there were significant changes in the abundances of several bacteria involved in the regulation of neurodegenerative diseases (Pseudomonas, Ruminococcaceae, Blautia, Bacteroides, Lactobacillus, Lachnospiraceae, and Phascolarctobacterium) in the Cd-treatment groups, as compared to the control group. In addition, the mRNA expression profiles of bdnf and genes involved in serotonin signaling and metabolism were changed in the Cd exposure groups. Together, these data suggest that Cd could be harmful to zebrafish health by inducing the microbiota changes, and the microbiota could serve as a potential target to protect against the adverse effects of Cd toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127220DOI Listing
October 2020

Synthesis of Stable Thiazole-Linked Covalent Organic Frameworks via a Multicomponent Reaction.

J Am Chem Soc 2020 Jun 11;142(25):11131-11138. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Department of Chemistry and Materials Innovation Factory, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZD, U.K.

The development of robust synthetic routes to stable covalent organic frameworks (COFs) is important to broaden the range of applications for these materials. We report here a simple and efficient three-component assembly reaction between readily available aldehydes, amines, and elemental sulfur via a C-H functionalization and oxidative annulation under transition-metal-free conditions. Five thiazole-linked COFs (TZ-COFs) were synthesized using this method. These materials showed high levels of crystallinity, high specific surface areas, and excellent physicochemical stability. The photocatalytic applications of TZ-COFs were investigated, and gave high sacrificial hydrogen evolution rates from water (up to 4296 μmol h g under visible light irradiation) coupled with high stability and recyclability, with sustained hydrogen evolution for 50 h.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.0c03418DOI Listing
June 2020

Identification of a novel B-cell epitope in the spike protein of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.

Virol J 2020 04 3;17(1):46. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

Background: Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) infection causes an acute enteric tract infectious disease characterized by vomiting, anorexia, dehydration, weight loss and high mortality in neonatal piglets. During PEDV infection, the spike protein (S) is a major virion structural protein interacting with receptors and inducing neutralizing antibodies. However, the neutralizing B-cell epitopes within PEDV S protein have not been well studied.

Methods: To accurately identify the important immunodominant region of S1, the purified truncated S1 proteins (SA, SB, SC, SD and SE) were used to immunize BALB/c mice to prepare polyclonal antibodies. The antisera titers were determined by indirect ELISA, western blot and IFA after four immunizations to find the important immunodominant region of S1, and then purified the immunodominant region of S1 protein and immunized mice to generate the special antibodies, and then used recombinant peptides to determine the B-cell epitopes of monoclonal antibodies.

Results: Five antisera of recombinant proteins of the spike protein region of PEDV were generated and we found that only the polyclonal antibody against part of the S1 region (signed as SE protein, residues 666-789) could recognize the native PEDV. Purified SE protein was used to immunize BALB/c mice and generate mAb 2E10. Pepscan of the SE protein demonstrated that SE16 (SSTFNSTREL) is the minimal linear epitope required for reactivity with the mAb 2E10. Further investigation indicated that the epitope SE16 was localized on the surface of PEDV S protein in the 3D structure.

Conclusions: A mAb 2E10 that is specifically bound to PEDV was generated and identified a specific linear B-cell epitope (SE16, SSTFNSTREL) of the mAb. The epitope region of PEDV S1 localized in the different regions in comparison with the earlier identified epitopes. These findings enhance the understanding of the PEDV spike protein structure for vaccine design and provide a potential use for developing diagnostic methods to detect PEDV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-020-01305-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7119268PMC
April 2020

Roles of transcription factor SQUAMOSA promoter binding protein-like gene family in papaya (Carica papaya) development and ripening.

Genomics 2020 07 16;112(4):2734-2747. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. Electronic address:

SQUAMOSA promoter binding protein-like (SPL) family plays vital regulatory roles in plant growth and development. The SPL family in climacteric fruit Carica papaya has not been reported. This study identified 14 papaya SPLs (CpSPL) from papaya genome and analyzed their sequence features, phylogeny, intron/exon structure, conserved motif, miR156-mediated posttranscriptional regulation, and expression patterns. 14 CpSPLs were clustered into 8 groups, and two distinct expression patterns were revealed for miR156-targeted and nontargeted CpSPLs in different tissues and fruit development stages. The expression changes of CpSPLs in ethephon and 1-MCP treated fruit during ripening suggested that the CpSPLs guided by CpmiR156 play crucial roles in ethylene signaling pathway. This study sheds light on the new function of SPL family in fruit development and ripening, providing insights on understanding evolutionary divergence of the members of SPL family among plant species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2020.03.009DOI Listing
July 2020

A protective role of autophagy in Pb-induced developmental neurotoxicity in zebrafish.

Chemosphere 2019 Nov 1;235:1050-1058. Epub 2019 Jul 1.

Department of Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Electronic address:

Lead (Pb) is one of the most toxic heavy metals and has aroused widespread concern as it can cause severe impairments in the developing nervous system. Autophagy has been proposed as an injury factor in Pb-induced neurotoxicity. In this study, we used zebrafish embryo as a model, measured the general toxic effects of Pb, and investigated the effect of Pb exposure on autophagy, and its role in Pb-induced developmental neurotoxicity. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to Pb at concentrations of 0, 0.1, 1 or 10 μM until 4 days post-fertilization. Our data showed that exposure to 10 μM Pb significantly reduced survival rates and impaired locomotor activity. Uptake of Pb was enhanced as the concentration and duration of exposure increased. Inhibition of lysosomal degradation with bafilomycin A1 treatment abolished the suppression of Lc3-II protein expression by Pb. Furthermore, autophagosome formation was inhibited by Pb in the brain. In addition, mRNA expression of beclin1, one of the critical genes in autophagy, were decreased in Pb exposure groups at 72 h post-fertilization. Whole-mount in situ hybridization assay showed that beclin1 gene expression in the brain was reduced by Pb. Rapamycin, an autophagy inducer, partly resolved developmental neurotoxicity induced by Pb exposure. Our results suggest that autophagy plays a protective role in the developmental neurotoxicity of Pb in zebrafish embryos and larvae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.06.227DOI Listing
November 2019

Circular RNA Regulation of Myogenesis.

Cells 2019 08 13;8(8). Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang 464000, China.

Circular RNA (circRNA) is a novel class of non-coding RNA generated by pre-mRNA back splicing, which is characterized by a closed-loop structure. Although circRNAs were firstly reported decades ago, their regulatory roles have not been discovered until recently. In this review, we discussed the putative biogenesis pathways and regulatory functions of circRNAs. Recent studies showed that circRNAs are abundant in skeletal muscle tissue, and their expression levels are regulated during muscle development and aging. We, thus, characterized the expression profile of circRNAs in skeletal muscle and discussed regulatory functions and mechanism-of-action of specific circRNAs in myogenesis. The future investigation into the roles of circRNAs in both physiological and pathological conditions may provide novel insights in skeletal muscle development and provide new therapeutic strategies for muscular diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells8080885DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6721685PMC
August 2019

Fluorometric detection of silver(I) using cytosine-Ag(I)-cytosine pair formation, DNA assembly and the AND logic operation of a multiple-component DNAzyme.

Mikrochim Acta 2019 07 10;186(8):522. Epub 2019 Jul 10.

Department of Endocrinology, Chongqing Three Gorges Central Hospital, Chongqing, 404000, China.

A nonenzymatic fluorometric assay is described for highly sensitive and selective detection of silver ion. It is making use of a controlled DNA assembly and an AND logic operation of a multiple-component DNAzyme (MNAzyme). It corresponds to an Ag(I)-responsive three-way junction (3-WJ) assembly. The tailored probes of the 3-WJ architecture were designed with complementary domains for subsequent assembly. Cytosine (C)-cytosine mismatches at one-way junction were set as the sensing element for Ag(I). Upon exposure to Ag(I) as an input, C-Ag(I)-C pairs are being formed. This enhances the binding energy between these separate probes and thus promotes the formation of a nanostructure that represents an AND logic assembly of MNAzyme with an amplified output signal. This results in an Ag(I)-induced increase in fluorescence which is measured best at excitation/emission maxima of 645/670 nm. The method displays high selectivity and sensitivity, has a 5 pM detection limit at 3σ and a dynamic range that extends from 10 pM to 100 nM. Graphical abstract Schematic presentation of a new fluorescence system for determining silver ion by making use of cytosine-Ag(I)-cytosine pair formation, precisely-controlled DNA assembly and "AND" logic operation of multiple components DNAzyme (MNAzyme).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00604-019-3615-2DOI Listing
July 2019

Post-translational modification control of RNA-binding protein hnRNPK function.

Open Biol 2019 03;9(3):180239

College of Life Science, Xinyang Normal University , Xinyang 464000 , People's Republic of China.

Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNPK), a ubiquitously occurring RNA-binding protein (RBP), can interact with numerous nucleic acids and various proteins and is involved in a number of cellular functions including transcription, translation, splicing, chromatin remodelling, etc. Through its abundant biological functions, hnRNPK has been implicated in cellular events including proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, DNA damage repair and the stress and immune responses. Thus, it is critical to understand the mechanism of hnRNPK regulation and its downstream effects on cancer and other diseases. A number of recent studies have highlighted that several post-translational modifications (PTMs) possibly play an important role in modulating hnRNPK function. Phosphorylation is the most widely occurring PTM in hnRNPK. For example, in vivo analyses of sites such as S116 and S284 illustrate the purpose of PTM of hnRNPK in altering its subcellular localization and its ability to bind target nucleic acids or proteins. Other PTMs such as methylation, ubiquitination, sumoylation, glycosylation and proteolytic cleavage are increasingly implicated in the regulation of DNA repair, cellular stresses and tumour growth. In this review, we describe the PTMs that impact upon hnRNPK function on gene expression programmes and different disease states. This knowledge is key in allowing us to better understand the mechanism of hnRNPK regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsob.180239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6451366PMC
March 2019

New Insights into the Interplay between Non-Coding RNAs and RNA-Binding Protein HnRNPK in Regulating Cellular Functions.

Cells 2019 01 17;8(1). Epub 2019 Jan 17.

College of Life Science, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang 464000, China.

The emerging data indicates that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) epresent more than the "junk sequences" of the genome. Both miRNAs and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in fundamental biological processes, and their deregulation may lead to oncogenesis and other diseases. As an important RNA-binding protein (RBP), heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNPK) is known to regulate gene expression through the RNA-binding domain involved in various pathways, such as transcription, splicing, and translation. HnRNPK is a highly conserved gene that is abundantly expressed in mammalian cells. The interaction of hnRNPK and ncRNAs defines the novel way through which ncRNAs affect the expression of protein-coding genes and form autoregulatory feedback loops. This review summarizes the interactions of hnRNPK and ncRNAs in regulating gene expression at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels or by changing the genomic structure, highlighting their involvement in carcinogenesis, glucose metabolism, stem cell differentiation, virus infection and other cellular functions. Drawing connections between such discoveries might provide novel targets to control the biological outputs of cells in response to different stimuli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells8010062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357021PMC
January 2019

Differential response to lead toxicity in rat primary microglia and astrocytes.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2019 01 23;363:64-71. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

Department of Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Electronic address:

Lead (Pb) is one of the most widely studied occupational and environmental toxins. Chronic exposure to Pb affects neural function in the central nervous system (CNS). Glial cells in the CNS, such as microglia and astrocytes, respond differently to Pb-induced toxicity. However, the underlying mechanism has not yet been identified. We measured the cell viability and intracellular Pb uptake in rat primary microglia and astrocytes using the CCK-8 assay and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, and found that Pb decreased microglial viability at lower dosages than in astrocytes, while Pb uptake was greater in astrocytes. Pb-induced oxidative stress in microglia results in increased production of reactive oxygen species, down-regulation of glutathione, and enhanced Nrf2 protein expression, while there was no obvious change in astrocytes. The role of Nrf2 in Pb-induced oxidative stress has also been confirmed in primary microglia with the use of Nrf2 small interfering RNA and an Nrf2 agonist. These data indicate that primary microglia were more sensitive to Pb exposure than astrocytes, which is associated with an obvious oxidative stress response and up-regulation of Nrf2 might be involved in this process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2018.11.010DOI Listing
January 2019

LncRNA CRNDE promotes the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of hepatocellular carcinoma cells via enhancing the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

J Cell Biochem 2018 Nov 14. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Department of Medical Laboratory, Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou, China.

Colorectal neoplasia differentially expressed (CRNDE) is a significantly upregulated long noncoding RNA in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). CRNDE could promote cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, while its molecular mechanisms were still largely unclear. In this study, we investigated the expression and function of CRNDE. CRNDE was significantly upregulated in tumor tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. In vitro, we revealed that knockdown of CRNDE inhibited cell proliferation, migration, and cell invasion capacities in HCC. Animal studies indicated that CRNDE knockdown represses both growth and metastasis of HCC tumors in vivo. Moreover, knockdown of CRNDE suppressed the cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process by increasing the expression of E-cadherin and ZO-1, whereas, decreasing the expression of N-cadherin, slug, twist, and vimentin in HCC cells. We also revealed that knockdown of CRNDE suppressed the Wnt/β-catenin signaling in HCC. Thus, CRNDE could modulate EMT of HCC cells and knockdown of CRNDE impaired the mesenchymal properties. CRNDE increased invasion of HCC cells might be through activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcb.26762DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6587876PMC
November 2018

DNA Nanotweezers with Hydrolytic Activity for Enzyme-Free and Sensitive Detection of Fusion Gene via Logic Operation.

J Anal Methods Chem 2018 18;2018:4178045. Epub 2018 Oct 18.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital, College of Basic Medicine, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550002, Guizhou, China.

Gene fusion is a molecular event occurring in cellular proliferation and differentiation, and the occurrence of irregular fusion gene results in various malignant diseases. So, sensing fusion gene with high performance is an important task for integrating individual disease information. Here, we proposed a nonenzymatic and high-throughput fluorescent assay system for the detection of fusion gene by employing DNA nanotweezers with hydrolytic activity. This tweezer was assembled by three single-stranded DNAs and engineered with sensing elements and reporting subunits. In the absence of the fusion gene, the engineered tweezer remained opened and inactive which led to no signal output. However, the addition of fusion genes would cause structure alterations of the tweezer from open to close and further DNAzyme activation with the assembly of two reporting subunits. Then, the activated DNAzyme catalyzed fluorescence substrates for signal conversion. Taking BCR/ABL fusion gene as an example, the tweezer-based assay system showed not only excellent distinguishing capability towards different input targets but also high sensitivity with a detection limit of 5.29 pM. In addition to good detection performance, this system was simple and enzyme-free, offering a powerful nanometer tool as a smart nanodevice for sensing fusion detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/4178045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6211150PMC
October 2018

DNA logic circuits based amplification system for quencher-free and highly sensitive detection of DNA and adenosine triphosphate.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2018 Nov 27;161:393-398. Epub 2018 Aug 27.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou University, Guiyang 550002, Guizhou, China. Electronic address:

We fabricated a quencher-free and enzyme-free fluorescence detection system by employing the DNA logic circuits as signal amplifier and 2-aminopurine as signal indicator, and applied it to detect DNA and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The assay system consisted of three hairpin probes with a sequestered 2-aminopurine molecule in each stem domain which was defined as inputs A, B and C of the logic operation. These three hairpin inputs kept stability and coexisted in reaction solution without target. However, adding target to the system would break the stability and initiate a dynamic assembly of the three inputs through toehold mediated displacement, resulting in the formation of three way junction and the liberation of 2-aminopurine from duplex structure. The structural circumstance changes from duplex to single stand switched the signal from "off" to "on" due to the disarming of base stack interaction, thus attaining amplified fluorescence detection without any extra quencher and avoiding the limitation of distance-independent signal conversion in conventional methods. A limit of detection of 0.46 pM was achieved for target DNA with high discrimination capability. Moreover, the sensing system was expandable for ATP detection. Importantly, the method was simple and easy-to-operate. These features make the DNA logic circuits adaptable as an enzyme-free and quencher-free amplifier, and thus the proposed method offers a powerful platform for DNA and ATP determination, and even other biotargets in clinical diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2018.08.049DOI Listing
November 2018

Effect of chronic heat stress on some physiological and immunological parameters in different breed of broilers.

Poult Sci 2018 Nov;97(11):4073-4082

Department of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510642, China.

The differences in physiological and immunological parameters and pathological damage to organ tissues exposed to chronic heat stress provide the basis for evaluating heat resistance of different chicken breeds (white recessive rock [WRR] and The Lingshan [LS]). Ninety broilers of each breed were divided equally into a chronic heat stress group and a no heat stress group. The effects of chronic heat stress on the physiological and immunological parameters of broilers were analyzed using flow cytometry, ELISA, RT-qPCR, etc. Under heat stress conditions: (1) H and H/L values were significantly increased (P < 0.01) in the 2 breeds, and were higher in the WRR broilers than in the LS broilers at a late stage (P < 0.05). Although the corticosterone levels were also significantly increased (P < 0.01) in both breeds, they were lower in the 49 d WRR broilers than in the LS broilers (P < 0.01). The number of leukocytes were significantly increased in the 49 d WRR broilers (P < 0.01), whereas the number of CD3+, CD8+ cells, and erythrocytes were significantly reduced (P < 0.05). A significantly (P < 0.01) lower number of CD3+, CD4+ T-lymphocytes, and CD4+/CD8+ were present in WRR compared to that in the LS broilers. (2) The HSP70 transcript was significantly increased in the WRR broilers (P < 0.01), and was higher than the level in the LS broilers. The expression level of HSP70 protein was significantly (P < 0.05) increased in WRR broilers. (3) The WRR broilers developed cardiac and leg muscle inflammatory cellular hyperplasia and local inflammatory lesions, as well as cerebral meningitis and inflammatory hyperplasia of the brain tissue. The LS broilers developed mild cerebral inflammatory hyperplasia and mild inflammatory cellular proliferation in the leg muscle. In conclusion, under heat stress conditions, the relative physiological and immunological parameters were worse in the WRR broilers than in the LS broilers. The WRR broilers showed poor heat tolerance as evidenced from the expression of HSP70 and the extent of histopathological damages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3382/ps/pey256DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6162357PMC
November 2018

The multifunctional RNA-binding protein hnRNPK is critical for the proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts.

BMB Rep 2018 Jul;51(7):350-355

College of Life Science, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang 464000, China.

HnRNPK is a multifunctional protein that participates in chromatin remodeling, transcription, RNA splicing, mRNA stability and translation. Here, we uncovered the function of hnRNPK in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts. hnRNPK was mutated in the C2C12 myoblast cell line using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. A decreased proliferation rate was observed in hnRNPK-mutated cells, suggesting an impaired proliferation phenotype. Furthermore, increased G2/M phase, decreased S phase and increased sub-G1 phase cells were detected in the hnRNPK-mutated cell lines. The expression analysis of key cell cycle regulators indicated mRNA of Cyclin A2 was significantly increased in the mutant myoblasts compared to the control cells, while Cyclin B1, Cdc25b and Cdc25c were decreased sharply. In addition to the myoblast proliferation defect, the mutant cells exhibited defect in myotube formation. The myotube formation marker, myosin heavy chain (MHC), was decreased sharply in hnRNPK-mutated cells compared to control myoblasts during differentiation. The deficiency in hnRNPK also resulted in the repression of Myog expression, a key myogenic regulator during differentiation. Together, our data demonstrate that hnRNPK is required for myoblast proliferation and differentiation and may be an essential regulator of myoblast function. [BMB Reports 2018; 51(7): 350-355].
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6089871PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.5483/bmbrep.2018.51.7.043DOI Listing
July 2018

High fluorescent sulfur regulating graphene quantum dots with tunable photoluminescence properties.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2018 Nov 7;529:205-213. Epub 2018 Jun 7.

Institute of Nanochemistry and Nanobiology, School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, PR China. Electronic address:

Sulfur-doped graphene quantum dots (S-GQDs) were synthesized by two facile hydrothermal technologies. The photoluminescence (PL) properties of the GQDs and S-GQDs samples were mainly investigated. Through regulating the content of S powders in S-GQDs synthesizing process, the optimal S-GQDs have a high S/C atomic ratio of 19.53%. The S doping introduce more functional groups on the C sp skeleton of S-3 sample and result in the appearance of the strong absorption band in the UV region. In comparison with other reported S-GQDs, the S-GQDs exhibit overwhelming high fluorescence quantum yield (57%) and excitation-independent emission, resulting from the outcome of the doped sulfur atoms. Moreover, the PL intensity of GQDs can be increased by doping it with S and the increasing efficiency depends on the thiophene sulfur content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2018.06.016DOI Listing
November 2018

CRL4B targets HUWE1 for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2018 06 10;501(2):440-447. Epub 2018 May 10.

Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, 100191, China. Electronic address:

The E3 ubiquitin ligase HUWE1/Mule/ARF-BP1 plays an important role in diverse biological processes including DNA damage repair and apoptosis. Our previous study has shown that in response to DNA damage HUWE1 was downregulated in CUL4B-mediated ubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation, and CUL4B-mediated regulation of HUWE1 was important for cell survival upon DNA damage. CUL4B is a core component of the CUL4B Ring ligase complexes containing ROC1, DDB1 and a DDB1-Cullin Associated Factors (DCAFs), the latter of which are DDB1-binding WD40 adaptors critical for substrate recognition and recruitment. However, the identity of DCAF in CRL4B that mediates degradation of HUWE1 remains elusive. Here we report that RBBP7 is the DCAF in the CRL4B complex bridging the DDB1-CUL4B-ROC1 to HUWE1. Loading of HUWE1 to the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex resulted in its polyubiquitination, and consequently its proteasome mediated degradation. Overexpression of RBBP7 promoted HUWE1 protein degradation, while depletion of RBBP7 stabilized HUWE1, and hence accelerated the degradation of MCL-1 and BRCA1, two substrates of HUWE1 that are critical in apoptosis and DNA damage repair. Taken together, these data reveal CRL4B is the E3 ligase responsible for the proteasomal degradation of HUWE1, and further provide a potential strategy for cancer therapy by targeting HUWE1 and the CUL4B E3 ligase complex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.05.008DOI Listing
June 2018

Assessment of myoblast circular RNA dynamics and its correlation with miRNA during myogenic differentiation.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2018 06 21;99:211-218. Epub 2018 Apr 21.

College of Life Sciences, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang, 464000, China. Electronic address:

Myoblast differentiation is a highly complex process that is regulated by proteins as well as by non-coding RNAs. Circular RNAs have been identified as an emerging new class of non-coding RNA in the modulation of skeletal muscle development, whereas their expression profiles and functional regulation in myoblast differentiation remain unknown. In the present study, we performed deep RNA-sequencing of C2C12 myoblasts during cell differentiation and uncovered 37,751 unique circular RNAs derived from 6943 hosting genes. The ensuing qRT-PCR and RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization verification were carried out to confirm the RNA-sequencing results. An unbiased analysis demonstrated dynamic circular RNA expression changes in the process of myoblast differentiation, and the circular RNA abundances were independent from their cognate linear RNAs. Gene ontology analysis showed that many down-regulated circular RNAs were exclusive to cell division and the cell cycle, whereas up-regulated circular RNAs were related to the cell development process. Furthermore, interaction networks of circular RNA-microRNA were constructed. Several microRNAs well-known for myoblast regulation, such as miR-133, miR-24 and miR-23a, were in this network. In summary, this study showed that circular RNA expression dynamics changed during myoblast differentiation. Circular RNAs play a role in regulating the myoblast cell cycle and development by acting as microRNA binding sites to facilitate their regulation of gene expression during myoblast differentiation. These findings open a new avenue for future investigation of this emerging RNA class in skeletal muscle growth and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2018.04.016DOI Listing
June 2018

Dynamical release nanospheres containing cell growth factor from biopolymer hydrogel via reversible covalent conjugation.

J Biomater Sci Polym Ed 2018 08 16;29(11):1344-1359. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

c School of Material Engineering , Jinling Institute of Technology , Nanjing , China.

For practical adipose regeneration, the challenge is to dynamically deliver the key adipogenic insulin-like growth factors in hydrogels to induce adipogenesis. In order to achieve dynamic release, smart hydrogels to sense the change in the blood glucose concentration is required when glucose concentration increases. In this study, a heparin-based hydrogel has been developed for use in dynamic delivery of heparin nanospheres containing insulin-like growth factor. The gel scaffold was facilely prepared in physiological conditions by the formation of boronate-maltose ester cross-links between boronate and maltose groups of heparin derivatives. Due to its intrinsic glucose-sensitivity, the exposure of gel scaffold to glucose induces maltose functionalized nanospheres dissociation off hydrogel network and thereby could dynamically move into the microenvironment. The potential of the hydrogel as a cell scaffold was demonstrated by encapsulation of human adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) within the gel matrix in vitro. Cell culture showed that this dynamic hydrogel could support survival and proliferation of ASCs. This biocompatible coupling chemistry has the advantage that it introduces no potentially cytotoxic groups into injectable gel scaffolds formed and can create a more biomimetic microenvironment for drug and cell delivery, rendering them more suitable for potential in vivo biomedical applications. All these results indicate that this biocompatible gel scaffold can render the formulation of a therapeutically effective platform for diabetes treatment and adipose regeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09205063.2018.1460140DOI Listing
August 2018

Enzyme-free amplified detection of circulating microRNA by making use of DNA circuits, a DNAzyme, and a catalytic hairpin assembly.

Mikrochim Acta 2017 12 8;185(1):38. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, The Second People's Hospital of Guizhou Province, Guiyang, 550002, China.

A homogeneous and enzyme-free fluorometric assay is described for the determination of microRNA-182. It is based on the use of DNA circuits and DNAzyme. The DNA circuits warrant strong signal amplification by virtue of catalytic hairpin assembly, a system that consists of two hairpin substrates. A part of the DNAzyme sequence is programmed to sequester into one of the two hairpin substrates. In the presence of target microRNA-182, the two hairpin substrates undergo catalytic assembling. This results in the formation of a DNA duplex and the release of the DNAzyme from the hairpin structure. Upon cyclic amplification, one target catalyzes the formation of Mg (II)-dependent DNAzymes. These bind to, and hydrolyze, the fluorescently labeled substrates for signal amplification and transduction. Based on nucleic acid programmability, this engineered assay has a limit of detection as low as 6.8 f. and a dynamic range that covers the 10 f. to10 nM microRNA-182 concentration range. Detection can be performed within 60 min. The assay is simple, rapid, homogenous, cost-effective, and enzyme-free. These features make the method an attractive tool in routine microRNA diagnosis and, conceivably, in point of care uses. Graphical abstract Schematic of a homogeneous and enzyme-free fluorometric assay for the determination of microRNA-182. It is based on the use of DNA circuits and DNAzymes. The DNA circuits warrant strong signal amplification by virtue of catalytic hairpin assembly that uses two hairpin substrates. The method represents an attractive tool for routine microRNA diagnosis and, conceivably, point of care uses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00604-017-2565-9DOI Listing
December 2017

A simple surface plasmon resonance biosensor for detection of PML/RARα based on heterogeneous fusion gene-triggered nonlinear hybridization chain reaction.

Sci Rep 2017 10 25;7(1):14037. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Key Laboratory of Clinical Laboratory Diagnostics (Ministry of Education), College of Laboratory Medicine, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016, China.

In this work, a simple and enzyme-free surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensing strategy has been developed for highly sensitive detection of two major PML/RARα (promyelocytic leukemia, retinoic acid receptor alpha) subtypes based on the heterogeneous fusion gene-triggered nonlinear hybridization chain reaction (HCR). On the gold chip surface, the cascade self-assembly process is triggered after the introduction of PML/RARα. The different fragments of PML/RARα can specifically hybridize with capture probes (Cp) immobilized on the chip and the hybridization DNA (H). Then, the nonlinear HCR is initiated by the complex of Cp-PML/RARα-H with the introduction of two hybridization DNA chains (H and H). As a result, a dendritic nanostructure is achieved on the surface of chip, leading to a significant SPR amplification signal owing to its high molecular weight. The developed method shows good specificity and high sensitivity with detection limit of 0.72 pM for "L" subtype and 0.65 pM for "S" subtype. Moreover, this method has been successfully applied for efficient identification of clinical positive and negative PCR samples of the PML/RARα subtype. Thus, this developed biosensing strategy presents a potential platform for analysis of fusion gene and early diagnosis of clinical disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-14361-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5656617PMC
October 2017

Role of Pyridinic-N for Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots in oxygen reaction reduction.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2017 Dec 16;508:154-158. Epub 2017 Aug 16.

Institute of Nanochemistry and Nanobiology, School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, PR China. Electronic address:

Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (N-GQDs) exhibit exciting properties in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for ample electrocatalytic edging and N-doped active sites. However, low yield and high dispersity of N-GQDs prohibit their direct application as the electrocatalyst. In this paper, two facile hydrothermal progress were developed to synthesize the high-yield N-GQDs with the diameter of ca. 2-6nm and the hybrid of N-GQDs/Reduced Graphene Oxide (N-GQDs/r-GO). The results demonstrated that the N-GQDs/r-GO display remarkable electrocatalytic activity. Moreover, it can be found that the pyridinic-N plays a major role in ORR. Both the average electron transfer number and the onset potential depend on the content of pyridinic-N. The proposed synthesis strategy is facile and low-cost, serving as a feasible method for the development of highly efficient electrocatalysts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2017.08.047DOI Listing
December 2017

Nursing Project Management to Reduce the Operating Room Infection.

Iran J Public Health 2017 Feb;46(2):192-198

Operating Room, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, PR China.

Background: Nursing project management is widely used in different aspects of the society. However, whether the nursing project management can control the infections in the operation room (OR) is rarely reported. We evaluated the outcomes of surgical patients after implementing a nursing project management program to provide new scientific ways to manage the OR infections.

Methods: Overall, 382 patients, who underwent surgical treatment in Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Shandong, China from May 2015 to January 2016, were enrolled as observation group. Besides, 347 cases were selected as control group. Patients in the observation group were treated with the nursing project management plan, while patients in the control group were treated with the routine operation-room nursing measures. The infection control rates in the OR, and the patient satisfaction with the nursing team postoperatively were both compared between the two groups of patients.

Results: The OR air, the surgical and personnel's hands surfaces were sampled for colony forming units, and all were found to be significantly of better quality (indicated by less colony forming units) in the observation group (P<0.001). In addition, there were 3 cases (0.79%) of post-operation infections in the observation group, while 12 cases (3.46%) occurred in the control group. The overall infection rate of the observation group was significantly lower than that of the control group (P = 0.011); and the satisfaction of patients with the nursing team in the observation group was significantly higher than that of the patients in the control group ( = 0.001).

Conclusion: It is worth popularizing and applying a good nursing project management plan for surgical patients in hospitals.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402777PMC
February 2017

Visual deprivation selectively reshapes the intrinsic functional architecture of the anterior insula subregions.

Sci Rep 2017 03 30;7:45675. Epub 2017 Mar 30.

Department of Radiology, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Functional Imaging, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin 300052, China.

The anterior insula (AI) is the core hub of salience network that serves to identify the most relevant stimuli among vast sensory inputs and forward them to higher cognitive regions to guide behaviour. As blind subjects were usually reported with changed perceptive abilities for salient non-visual stimuli, we hypothesized that the resting-state functional network of the AI is selectively reorganized after visual deprivation. The resting-state functional connectivity (FC) of the bilateral dorsal and ventral AI was calculated for twenty congenitally blind (CB), 27 early blind (EB), 44 late blind (LB) individuals and 50 sighted controls (SCs). The FCs of the dorsal AI were strengthened with the dorsal visual stream, while weakened with the ventral visual stream in the blind than the SCs; in contrast, the FCs of the ventral AI of the blind was strengthened with the ventral visual stream. Furthermore, these strengthened FCs of both the dorsal and ventral AI were partially negatively associated with the onset age of blindness. Our result indicates two parallel pathways that selectively transfer non-visual salient information between the deprived "visual" cortex and salience network in blind subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep45675DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372462PMC
March 2017