Publications by authors named "Yu Zhou"

2,276 Publications

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Nitrogen doped porous carbon coated antimony as high performance anode material for sodium-ion batteries.

Nanotechnology 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, CHINA.

Sb holds the promise of being a high performance anode for sodium ion batteries, while effective preparation of decent Sb based anode materials for sodium storage is still under exploration. Herein, we propose a simple approach to achieve a high performance anode, using polyaniline as the carbon source and SbCl3 as the metal source. Synergetic polymerization and hydrolysis reactions combined with subsequent thermal reduction endow Sb/C-PANI electrode possessing ultrafine Sb nanoparticles symmetrically distributed in the N doped porous carbon matrix.The Sb/C-PANI electrode exhibits excellent sodium storage performance, featured for a high reversible capacity of 469.5 mAh g- after 100 cycles at 100 mA g-1 and 336.5 mA h g-1 after 300 cycles under 500 mAh g-1. Such impressive performance will advance the development of Sb based anode materials for sodium storage. The present approach provides a compatible strategy for preparation of anode materials with high reversible capacity and long lifespan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/abf778DOI Listing
April 2021

Characterization of mandarin fish (Siniperca chuatsi) IL-6 and IL-6 signal transducer and the association between their SNPs and resistance to ISKNV disease.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Key Laboratory of Fishery Drug Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Key Laboratory of Aquatic Animal Immune Technology, Guangdong Provinces, Guangzhou, 510380, China.

In fish, interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a very important immune-regulatory cytokine that plays a polyfunctional role in inflammation, metabolism, regeneration, and neural processes. IL-6 signal transducer (IL-6ST) is a specific receptor for IL-6 and expressed mainly in immune cells and hepatocytes. In this study, the complete cDNA and genomic DNA sequences of mandarin fish (Siniperca chuatsi) IL-6 and IL-6ST genes were identified and analyzed. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that IL-6 and IL-6ST were chiefly expressed in the immune organs. After challenge with infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV), the expression levels of IL-6 were significantly up-regulated after 6 h and 24 h in the head kidney and spleen, respectively (p<0.01), the peak value for both reached at 72 h, IL-6ST increased significantly after 120 h with a peak at 168 h in the head kidney (p<0.01) and improved markedly at 168 h in the spleen (p<0.01). Besides, IL-6 and IL-6ST have been identified 3 and 8 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), respectively. Statistical analysis showed that one SNP locus (1625C/T) in the coding region of IL-6 was significantly related to the resistance of mandarin fish against ISKNV. The 1625C→T locus in the coding region of IL-6 is a synonymous mutation; compared with the susceptible group, the frequency of allele T in the disease resistance group was significantly higher, which may be due to the rare codon produced by the mutation affecting translation. The involvement of IL-6 and IL-6ST in response to ISKNV infection in mandarin fish clearly indicate that the role of SNP markers in IL-6 was associated with the ISKNV resistance, which was demonstrated for the first time in our results. Thus, the current study may provide fundamental information for further breeding of mandarin fish with resistance to ISKNV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2021.04.003DOI Listing
April 2021

Apatinib Inhibits Stem Properties and Malignant Biological Behaviors of Breast Cancer Stem Cells by Blocking Wnt/β-catenin Signal Pathway Through Down-regulating LncRNA ROR.

Anticancer Agents Med Chem 2021 Apr 11. Epub 2021 Apr 11.

Department of Medical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, University of South China, No.69, Chuanshan Road, Hengyang, Hunan Province, 421001. China.

Background: Cancer stem cells could influence tumor recurrence and metastasis.

Objective: To develop a new effective treatment modality targeting breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs), and to explore the role of Apatinib in BCSCs.

Methods: BCSCs were isolated from MDA-MB-231 cells by immune magnetic beads method. BCSCs were treated with Apatinib, lentiviral plasmids (lncRNA ROR) and iCRT-3 (Wnt pathway inhibitors). Viability, colony numbers, sphere numbers, apoptosis, migration, invasion of BCSCs were detected by MTT, colony formation, tumor sphere, flow cytometry, wound-healing, transwell assays, respectively. The expressions of markers (ABCG2, CD44, CD90, and CD24), epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related molecules (E-cadherin, N-cadherin, Vimentin, MMP-2, MMP-9), and Wnt/β-catenin pathway-related proteins (Wnt3a, Wnt5a, β-catenin) in breast cancer stem cells were determined by performing Western blot and qRT-PCR analysis.

Results: Apatinib decreased the viability and colony numbers of BCSCs in a concentration-dependent manner, and it also reduced sphere numbers, suppressed migration, invasion and lncRNA ROR expression, and induced apoptosis of BCSCs. However, these results were partially reversed by lncRNA ROR overexpression. Apatinib suppressed stem property, EMT process and Wnt/β-catenin pathway in BCSCs, which was partially reversed by lncRNA ROR overexpression. Moreover, lncRNA ROR overexpression increased the colony and sphere numbers, and promoted the cell viability, apoptosis inhibition, migration and invasion of BCSCs, but these effects were partially reversed by iCRT-3. LncRNA ROR overexpression increased the stem property, EMT process and Wnt/β-catenin pathway, which were partially counteracted by iCRT-3.

Conclusion: Apatinib inhibited stem property and malignant biological behaviors of BCSCs by blocking Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway through down-regulating lncRNA ROR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1871520621666210412103849DOI Listing
April 2021

An Overview of Pretreatment and Analysis of Nucleotides in Different Samples (Update since 2010).

Crit Rev Anal Chem 2021 Apr 12:1-20. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

School of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Shenyang, China.

Nucleotides, which are important low-molecular-weight compounds present in organisms, are precursors of nucleic acids and participate in various regulatory and metabolic functions. Sensitive and valid methods for monitoring and determining nucleotides and nucleosides in different samples are urgently required. Due to the presence of numerous endogenous interferences in complex matrices and the high polarity of the molecules of the phosphate moiety, the determination of nucleotide content is challenging. This review summarizes the pretreatment and analysis methods of nucleotides in different samples. Advanced pretreatment methods, including different microextraction methods, solid-phase extraction based on novel materials, QuEChERS, are clearly displayed, and continuous progress which has been made in LC, LC-MS/MS and capillary electrophoresis methods are discussed. Moreover, the strengths and weaknesses of different methods are discussed and compared. Highlight:Advanced pretreatment and detection methods of nucleotides were critically reviewed.Microextraction technology was one of the trends of nucleotides pretreatment in the future.Applications of novel materials and supercritical fluid were highlighted.The evolution and advance of HRMS analyzers were in detailed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408347.2021.1907173DOI Listing
April 2021

Identifying the critical transmission sectors with energy-water nexus pressures in China's supply chain networks.

J Environ Manage 2021 Apr 8;289:112518. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, 100083, Beijing, China.

Energy and water resources are drawing increasing attention in China as indispensable elements of economic development and social stability. Energy and water are interconnected in economic systems. Although the nexus between them has been widely studied, few insights can be acquired by the intermediate transmission pressures across supply chains. Combing betweenness-based method and multi-regional input-output (MRIO) analysis, we, in this study, identified critical transmission sectors and main driving factors resulting from the usage structure. In details, we found that Metallurgy (S14) in Shandong, Henan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Hunan, and Jiangsu, Electricity and hot water production and supply (S22) in Beijing and Guizhou, and Nonmetal production (S13) in Henan are the most critical transmission sectors bearing energy-water nexus pressures, ranking at the top 100 in China's supply chain networks. Roughly, the usage structure was mainly dominated by fixed capital formation, urban household consumption and trade export, and therefore should be given priority to mitigate environmental pressures. Our study provides a novel perspective of sector-specific and province-typical policy recommendations for mitigating energy-water nexus pressures in China's supply chain networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112518DOI Listing
April 2021

Protective effects of prucalopride in MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease mice: Neurochemistry, motor function and gut barrier.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 Apr 6;556:16-22. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Wuxi School of Medicine, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China; Department of Neurodegeneration and Injury, Wuxi School of Medicine, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China. Electronic address:

Evidence suggests constipation precedes motor dysfunction and is the most common gastrointestinal symptom in Parkinson's disease (PD). 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4R) agonist prucalopride has been approved to treat chronic constipation. Here, we reported intraperitoneal injection of prucalopride for 7 days increased dopamine and decreased dopamine turnover. Prucalopride administration improved motor deficits in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrathydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mouse models. Prucalopride treatment also ameliorated intestinal barrier impairment and increased IL-6 release in PD model mice. However, prucalopride treatment exerted no impact on JAK2/STAT3 pathway, suggesting that prucalopride may stimulate IL-6 via JAK2/STAT3-independent pathway. In conclusion, prucalopride exerted beneficial effects in MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease mice by attenuating the loss of dopamine, improving motor dysfunction and intestinal barrier.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.03.109DOI Listing
April 2021

Pretreatment and determination methods for benzimidazoles: An update since 2005.

J Chromatogr A 2021 Mar 16;1644:462068. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

School of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Shenyang, 110122, China. Electronic address:

Benzimidazoles, commonly used as pesticides and veterinary drugs, have posed a threat to human health and the environment due to unreasonable use and lack of valid regulation. Therefore, an up-to-date and comprehensive summary of the pretreatment and analytical approaches in different substrates is urgently needed. The present review consequently updates and covers various newly developed pretreatment methods (e.g., cationic micellar precipitation, magnetic-solid phase extraction, hollow fiber liquid phase microextraction, disperse liquid-liquid microextraction-solidified floating organic drop, stir cake sorptive extraction, solid phase microextraction method, QuEChERS, and molecular imprinted polymer-based methods) since 2005. The review also elaborates and discusses different determination methods (e.g., newly developed HPLC and related methods, improved spectrofluorimetry methods, capillary electrophoresis, and the electrochemical sensor). Furthermore, some critical points and prospects are highlighted, to describe the trends in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2021.462068DOI Listing
March 2021

PTIP Inhibits Cell Invasion in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Modulation of EphA2 Expression.

Front Oncol 2021 23;11:629916. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Neurosurgery, The Affiliated Huaian No. 1 People's Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Huai'an, China.

Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a highly aggressive malignancy and treatment failure is largely due to metastasis and invasion. Aberrant tumor cell adhesion is often associated with tumor progression and metastasis. However, the exact details of cell adhesion in ESCC progression have yet to be determined. In our study, the clinical relevance of Pax2 transactivation domain-interacting protein (PTIP/PAXIP1) was analyzed by immunohistochemistry of ESCC tissues. We found that low expression of PTIP was associated with lymph node metastasis in ESCC, and loss-of-function approaches showed that depletion of PTIP promoted ESCC cell migration and invasion both and . Analysis integrating RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data revealed that PTIP directly regulated ephrin type-A receptor 2 (EphA2) expression in ESCC cells. Moreover, PTIP inhibited EphA2 expression by competing with Fosl2, which attenuated the invasion ability of ESCC cells. These results collectively suggest that PTIP regulates ESCC invasion through modulation of EphA2 expression and hence presents a potential therapeutic target for its treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.629916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8021923PMC
March 2021

Loss of FoxO3a prevents aortic aneurysm formation through maintenance of VSMC homeostasis.

Cell Death Dis 2021 Apr 7;12(4):378. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Cardiology, Key Laboratory of Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Diseases, Ministry of Education, First Affiliated Hospital of Gannan Medical University, Gannan Medical University, University Town, Ganzhou Development District, 341000, Ganzhou, China.

Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotypic switching plays a critical role in the formation of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). FoxO3a is a key suppressor of VSMC homeostasis. We found that in human and animal AAA tissues, FoxO3a was upregulated, SM22α and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) proteins were downregulated and synthetic phenotypic markers were upregulated, indicating that VSMC phenotypic switching occurred in these diseased tissues. In addition, in cultured VSMCs, significant enhancement of FoxO3a expression was found during angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced VSMC phenotypic switching. In vivo, FoxO3a overexpression in C57BL/6J mice treated with Ang II increased the formation of AAAs, whereas FoxO3a knockdown exerted an inhibitory effect on AAA formation in ApoE mice infused with Ang II. Mechanistically, FoxO3a overexpression significantly inhibited the expression of differentiated smooth muscle cell (SMC) markers, activated autophagy, the essential repressor of VSMC homeostasis, and promoted AAA formation. Our study revealed that FoxO3a promotes VSMC phenotypic switching to accelerate AAA formation through the P62/LC3BII autophagy signaling pathway and that therapeutic approaches that decrease FoxO3a expression may prevent AAA formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03659-yDOI Listing
April 2021

Rapid Quantum Dot Nanobead-mAb Probe-Based Immunochromatographic Assay for Antibody Monitoring of Infection.

Int J Nanomedicine 2021 29;16:2477-2486. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Key Laboratory of Zoonosis Research, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: Sensitive and selective point-of-care biosensor is an urgent pursuit of serological antibody detection to control parasite pathogen. For specific, quantitative and on-site screening of infection in livestock, a quantum dot nanobead-monoclonal antibody (QB-mAb) probe-based immunochromatographic assay (ICA) was developed by introducing a competitive sandwich strategy (QB-CICA).

Methods: In the QB-CICA, QB-mAb probes competed with serum antibody for a particular epitope, followed by immunocomplexes binding to capture antibody on the test line. With the accumulation of target antibody, captured probes served as signal elements for fluorescent readout in a "turn off" mode, along with the fluorescence gradually weakened. The sensitivity and standard calibration curve of the QB-CICA were quantified using swine sera as negative control (n = 200) and artificial infected swine sera (n = 80) compared with a commercial ELISA kit. Besides, -antibody targeting test ability of the QB-CICA, instead of other parasites or viruses antibodies (n = 10), was evaluated.

Results: The QB-CICA exhibited a good linear range, a low detection limit of 189.92 ng mL and 100% selectivity that was higher than commercial ELISA kit (90%), as well as the same serological positive rate (100%) with commercial ELISA kit in different infection dose models.

Conclusion: Taking advantage of its simplicity, short response time (25 min), sensitivity and specificity, the proposed QB-CICA has potential applications for parasite-related antibody monitoring in food safety and clinical diagnosis fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S304845DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8018372PMC
March 2021

Characterizing variability and predictability for air pollutants with stochastic models.

Chaos 2021 Mar;31(3):033148

Institute of Future Cities, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.

We investigate the dynamics of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and ozone concentrations in Hong Kong. Using fluctuation functions as a measure for their variability, we develop several simple data models and test their predictive power. We discuss two relevant dynamical properties, namely, the scaling of fluctuations, which is associated with long memory, and the deviations from the Gaussian distribution. While the scaling of fluctuations can be shown to be an artifact of a relatively regular seasonal cycle, the process does not follow a normal distribution even when corrected for correlations and non-stationarity due to random (Poissonian) spikes. We compare predictability and other fitted model parameters between stations and pollutants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0041120DOI Listing
March 2021

Bioactivity-guided isolation of immunomodulatory compounds from the fruits of Ligustrum lucidum.

J Ethnopharmacol 2021 Mar 30;274:114079. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

College of Veterinary Medicine, Northwest A&F University, 712100, Yangling, PR China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: The fruits of Ligustrum lucidum (FLL) W.T. Aiton (Oleaceae) is included in the 2020 "Chinese Pharmacopoeia" and is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic. In recent years, FLL has been reported to improve immune function, but the bioactive compounds and mechanisms of FLL remain poorly characterized.

Aim Of The Study: To identify FFL compounds with strong immune activity and explore their molecular mechanisms.

Materials And Methods: The phagocytic activity of RAW264.7 macrophages and proliferation activity of spleen lymphocytes were used to guide the isolation of bioactive compounds from FLL extracts. Lymphocyte subpopulations, Ca concentrations, and surface molecule expression were analyzed using flow cytometry. Cytokine secretion was examined using ELISA. FITC-OVA uptake was observed using fluorescence microscopy. NF-κB activation was analyzed using western blotting.

Results: The extraction and isolation produced ten compounds, namely oleuropeinic acid, nuezhenide, isonuezhenide, salidroside, isoligustrosidic acid, ligulucidumosides A, 8(E)-nuezhenide, hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, and p-hydroxyphenethyl 7-β-D-glucosideelenolic acid ester were isolated and identified from FLL-Bu-30%. Immunoactivity experiments showed that hydroxytyrosol had the strongest macrophage phagocytotic and lymphocyte proliferation-promoting activities. Further studies showed that hydroxytyrosol could significantly enhance lymphocyte subsets CD3, CD4/CD8, and CD3CD4CD8, promote IL-4, IFN-γ, and TNF-α secretion, and increase intracellular Ca concentrations. In addition, the results from RAW264.7 macrophages showed that hydroxytyrosol increased FITC-OVA uptake, induced TNF-α and IL-1β production, upregulated MHC-II, CD80, and CD86 expression, promoted cytoplasmic IκB-α degradation, and increased nuclear NF-κB p65 levels.

Conclusion: Our study provides substantial evidence regarding the mechanism of the immunomodulatory effects of compounds from FLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2021.114079DOI Listing
March 2021

Multiscale 'whole-cell' models to study neural information processing - New insights from fly photoreceptor studies.

J Neurosci Methods 2021 Mar 26;357:109156. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK; State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China. Electronic address:

Understanding a neuron's input-output relationship is a longstanding challenge. Arguably, these signalling dynamics can be better understood if studied at three levels of analysis: computational, algorithmic and implementational (Marr, 1982). But it is difficult to integrate such analyses into a single platform that can realistically simulate neural information processing. Multiscale dynamical "whole-cell" modelling, a recent systems biology approach, makes this possible. Dynamical "whole-cell" models are computational models that aim to account for the integrated function of numerous genes or molecules to behave like virtual cells in silico. However, because constructing such models is laborious, only a couple of examples have emerged since the first one, built for Mycoplasma genitalium bacterium, was reported in 2012. Here, we review dynamic "whole-cell" neuron models for fly photoreceptors and how these have been used to study neural information processing. Specifically, we review how the models have helped uncover the mechanisms and evolutionary rules of quantal light information sampling and integration, which underlie light adaptation and further improve our understanding of insect vision.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2021.109156DOI Listing
March 2021

The constancy of the holistic processing of unfamiliar faces: Evidence from the study-test consistency effect and the within-person motion and viewpoint invariance.

Atten Percept Psychophys 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

It has been well documented that static face processing is holistic. Faces contain variant (e.g., motion, viewpoint) and invariant (race, sex) features. However, little research has focused on whether holistic face representations are tolerant of within-person variations. The present study thus investigated whether holistic face representations of faces are tolerant of within-person motion and viewpoint variations by manipulating study-test consistency using a complete composite paradigm. Participants were shown two faces sequentially and were asked to judge whether the faces' top halves were identical or different. The first face was a static face or a dynamic face rotated in depth at 30°, 60°, and 90°. The second face was either a different front-view static face (Experiment 1a, study-test inconsistent) or identical to the first face (Experiment 1b, study-test consistent). In Experiment 2, study-test consistency was manipulated within subjects, and inverted faces were included. Our results show that study-test consistency significantly enhanced the holistic processing of upright and inverted faces; this study-test consistency effect and holistic processing were not modulated by motion and viewpoint changes via depth rotation. Interestingly, we found holistic processing for moving study-test consistent inverted faces, but not for static inverted faces. What these results tell us about the nature of holistic face representation is discussed in depth with respect to earlier and current theories on face processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13414-021-02255-8DOI Listing
March 2021

Effect of temperature stress on gut-brain axis in mice: Regulation of intestinal microbiome and central NLRP3 inflammasomes.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 26;772:144568. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China; Inflammation and Immune Mediated Diseases Laboratory of Anhui Province, China. Electronic address:

Background: Temperature stress was reported to impact the gut-brain axis including intestinal microbiome and neuroinflammation, but the molecular markers involved remain unclear. We aimed to examine the effects of different temperature stress on the intestinal microbiome and central nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasomes.

Materials And Methods: Mice models were established under low temperature (LT), room temperature (RT), high temperature (HT), and temperature variation (TV) respectively for seven days. We examined temperature-induced changes of intestinal microbiome composition and the levels of its metabolites short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), as well as the expressions of central NLRP3 inflammasomes and inflammatory cytokines. Redundancy analysis and Spearman correlation analysis were performed to explore the relationships between microbiome and NLRP3 inflammasomes and other indicators.

Results: HT and LT significantly increased the Alpha diversity of intestinal microbiome. Compared with RT group, Bacteroidetes were most abundant in LT group while Actinobacteria were most abundant in HT and TV groups. Nineteen discriminative bacteria were identified among four groups. LT increased the expressions of acetate and propionate while decreased that of NLRP3 inflammasomes; HT decreased the expression of butyrate while increased that of NLRP3 inflammasomes, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α; TV decreased the expression of propionate while increased that of NLRP3 inflammasomes and TNF-α. Microbiome distribution could significantly explain the differences in NLRP3 between comparison groups (LT&RT: R = 0.82, HT&RT: R = 0.86, TV&RT: R = 0.94; P < 0.05). The discriminative bacteria were significantly correlated with SCFAs but were correlated with NLRP3 inflammasomes and cytokines in the opposite direction.

Conclusions: LT inhibits while HT and TV promote the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes in brain, and intestinal microbiome and its metabolites may be the potential mediators. Findings may shed some light on the impact of temperature stress on gut-brain axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144568DOI Listing
June 2021

Professional Identity During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Nurses in China.

Am J Crit Care 2021 Mar 26:e1-e9. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Xiaolian Jiang is a professor, West China School of Nursing/West China Hospital, Sichuan University.

Background: Emergency and intensive care unit nurses are the main workforce fighting against COVID-19. Their professional identity may affect whether they can actively participate and be competent in care tasks during the pandemic.

Objective: To examine the level of and changes in professional identity of Chinese emergency and intensive care unit nurses as the COVID-19 pandemic builds.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey composed of the Professional Identity Scale for Nurses plus 2 open-ended questions was administered to Chinese emergency and intensive care unit nurses through an online questionnaire.

Results: Emergency and intensive care unit nurses had a medium level of professional identity. Participants' total and item mean scores in 5 professional identity dimensions were higher than the professional identity norm established by Liu (P < .001). The greatest mean item score difference was in the dimension of professional identity evaluation (3.57 vs 2.88, P < .001). When asked about their feelings witnessing the COVID-19 situation and their feelings about participating in frontline work, 68.9% and 83.9%, respectively, reported positive changes in their professional identity.

Conclusions: The professional identity of emergency and intensive care unit nurses greatly improved during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. This finding may be attributed to more public attention and recognition of nurses' value, nurses' professional fulfillment, and nurses' feelings of being supported, motivated, respected, and valued.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2021245DOI Listing
March 2021

Dabigatran activates inflammation resolution by promoting fibrinogen-like protein 2 shedding and RvD5 production.

Theranostics 2021 20;11(9):4251-4261. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Medical Oncology, Chongqing University Cancer Hospital, Chongqing 400030, China.

The interaction between coagulation and inflammation resolution remains elusive. We recently highlighted a link between fibrinogen-like protein 2 (Fgl2) and a specialized pro-resolving mediator (SPM)-n-3 docosapentaenoic acid-derived resolvin D5 (RvD5) in sepsis. This study aimed to investigate the functions of commonly used anticoagulants warfarin, dabigatran and heparin in regulating inflammation resolution. Peripheral blood was collected from clinical sepsis patients and healthy control for the determination of indicated indexes. Mouse sepsis models of zymosan-induced peritonitis and cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) were employed for the measurement of inflammation- and coagulation-related indexes. Western-blotting, ELISA and flow cytometry were applied to assess proteins. UPLC-MS/MS was used to evaluate lipid metabolites. Here we report that the transmembrane Fgl2 (mFgl2) was positively associated with coagulation, while soluble Fgl2 (sFgl2) level correlated with the enhanced number of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the sepsis patients. The anticoagulants dabigatran and warfarin attenuated zymosan-induced peritonitis, which was not shared by heparin, while only dabigatran significantly improved sepsis survival in the CLP sepsis mouse model. Although these anticoagulants consistently inhibited pro-inflammatory mediators including prostaglandin E and leukotriene B, only dabigatran increased sFgl2 at both the initiation and resolution phases of inflammation. Mechanistically, dabigatran elicited the shedding of sFgl2 prothrombin-related metalloproteases, thereby enhanced the subsequent biosynthesis of RvD5 STAT6-ALOX15 axis. Blocking metalloproteases or ALOX15 significantly impaired dabigatran-enhanced macrophage efferocytosis , as well as delayed the dabigatran-accelerated inflammation resolution . Our findings identify the dual anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving actions of dabigatran, through promoting sFgl2-triggered RvD5 production, which has important implications for promoting tissue homeostasis of sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.50182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7977467PMC
February 2021

FGF19/SOCE/NFATc2 signaling circuit facilitates the self-renewal of liver cancer stem cells.

Theranostics 2021 5;11(10):5045-5060. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Clinical Medicine Research Center, Xinqiao Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing 400037, China.

Liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs) mediate therapeutic resistance and correlate with poor outcomes in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-19 is a crucial oncogenic driver gene in HCC and correlates with poor prognosis. However, whether FGF19 signaling regulates the self-renewal of LCSCs is unknown. LCSCs were enriched by serum-free suspension. Self-renewal of LCSCs were characterized by sphere formation assay, clonogenicity assay, sorafenib resistance assay and tumorigenic potential assays. Ca image was employed to determine the intracellular concentration of Ca. Gain- and loss-of function studies were applied to explore the role of FGF19 signaling in the self-renewal of LCSCs. FGF19 was up-regulated in LCSCs, and positively correlated with certain self-renewal related genes in HCC. Silencing FGF19 suppressed self-renewal of LCSCs, whereas overexpressing FGF19 facilitated CSCs-like properties activation of FGF receptor (FGFR)-4 in none-LCSCs. Mechanistically, FGF19/FGFR4 signaling stimulated store-operated Ca entry (SOCE) through both the PLCγ and ERK1/2 pathways. Subsequently, SOCE-calcineurin signaling promoted the activation and translocation of nuclear factors of activated T cells (NFAT)-c2, which transcriptionally activated the expression of stemness-related genes (, and ), as well as . Furthermore, blockade of FGF19/FGFR4-NFATc2 signaling observably suppressed the self-renewal of LCSCs. FGF19/FGFR4 axis promotes the self-renewal of LCSCs activating SOCE/NFATc2 pathway; in turn, NFATc2 transcriptionally activates FGF19 expression. Targeting this signaling circuit represents a potential strategy for improving the therapeutic efficacy of HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.56369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7978301PMC
March 2021

miR-135a-5p inhibitor protects glial cells against apoptosis via targeting SIRT1 in epilepsy.

Exp Ther Med 2021 May 26;21(5):431. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Neurosurgery, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, P.R. China.

Epilepsy is a common neurological disease that can induce severe physiological brain damage, including nerve cell apoptosis. MicroRNAs (miRs) have been widely investigated in epilepsy therapy. miR-135a-5p expression levels in children with temporal lobe epilepsy were found to be significantly increased. However, whether miR-135a-5p participates in epilepsy-induced cell apoptosis is not completely understood. In the present study, an model of epilepsy in BV2 microglia cells was induced using 6-µm kainic acid (KA). Reverse-transcription quantitative PCR was performed to analyze miR-135a-5p and sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) mRNA expression levels. Western blotting was performed to measure SIRT1 protein expression levels. BV2 cell proliferation and apoptosis were assessed by performing MTT assays and flow cytometry, respectively. A BCA protein assay kit was used to detect caspase-3 and caspase-9 activities. TargetScan and dual luciferase reporter assays were performed to investigate the interaction between miR-135a-5p and the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of SIRT1. miR-135a-5p expression was significantly increased in the KA-induced model of epilepsy in BV2 microglia. miR-135a-5p inhibitor effectively promoted BV2 microglia proliferation and inhibited microglia apoptosis, whereas small interfering RNA targeting SIRT1 significantly repressed BV2 microglia proliferation and induced microglia apoptosis. In addition, the results demonstrated that the 3'-UTR of SIRT1 mRNA was targeted by miR-135a-5p, and SIRT1 knockdown attenuated miR-135a-5p inhibitor-mediated effects on epilepsy. In summary, the results of the present study identified the role of miR-135a-5p inhibitor pretreatment in protecting nerve cells against epilepsy-induced apoptosis and provided a novel strategy for the treatment of neural damage in seizures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2021.9848DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967866PMC
May 2021

Disparities of weather type and geographical location in the impacts of temperature variability on cancer mortality: A multicity case-crossover study in Jiangsu Province, China.

Environ Res 2021 Mar 17;197:110985. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China; Inflammation and Immune Mediated Diseases Laboratory of Anhui Province, China. Electronic address:

Background: Considering the serious health burden caused by adverse weather events, increasing researches focused on the relationship between temperature variability (TV) and cause-specific mortality, but its association with cancer was not well explored. We aimed to investigate the impacts of TV on cancer mortality and examine the modifying effects of weather type and geographical location as well as other characteristics.

Materials And Methods: Daily city-specific data of cancer deaths, mean temperature (Tmean), maximum and minimum temperatures (Tmax and Tmin), relative humidity (RH), rainfall, and air pollutants were collected during 2016-2017 in 13 cities in Jiangsu Province, China. TV was defined as the standard deviation of the daily Tmax and Tmin on the exposure 0-t days. A two-stage analysis was applied. First, a time-stratified case-crossover design was used to examine the odds ratio (OR) and attributable fraction of cancer mortality per 1 °C increase in TV by adjusting for potential confounders. Random effect meta-analysis was used to summarize the pooled ORs. Second, stratified analysis was performed for weather type, geographical location, demographics, and other city-level characteristics. The weather was defined as four types according to days during warm or cold season combined with high or low RH.

Results: A total of 303670 cases were included in our study. Meta-analysis showed that the ORs of cancer mortality per 1 °C increase in TV significantly increased and peaked in TV (OR=1.0098, 95% CI: 1.0039-1.0157). The attributable fraction of TV on cancer mortality was 4.74%, accounting for 14395 deaths in the study period. Significant ORs of TV-related cancer mortality were found during the warm season combined with high RH and in the northern region of Jiangsu. Susceptible groups of TV-related cancer mortality were identified as female patients, patients aged 45-65 years, and those living in cities with lower per capita green area.

Conclusions: TV can significantly increase the risk of cancer mortality, especially during warm and humid days and in the northern region of Jiangsu. Findings are of great significance to formulate urban planning, resource allocation, and health intervention to prolong the life of cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110985DOI Listing
March 2021

State of the art in parallel ankle rehabilitation robot: a systematic review.

J Neuroeng Rehabil 2021 Mar 20;18(1):52. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Faculty of Materials and Manufacturing, Beijing University of Technology, No.100, Pingleyuan, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100124, China.

Background: The ankle joint complex (AJC) is of fundamental importance for balance, support, and propulsion. However, it is particularly susceptible to musculoskeletal and neurological injuries, especially neurological injuries such as drop foot following stroke. An important factor in ankle dysfunction is damage to the central nervous system (CNS). Correspondingly, the fundamental goal of rehabilitation training is to stimulate the reorganization and compensation of the CNS, and to promote the recovery of the motor system's motor perception function. Therefore, an increasing number of ankle rehabilitation robots have been developed to provide long-term accurate and uniform rehabilitation training of the AJC, among which the parallel ankle rehabilitation robot (PARR) is the most studied. The aim of this study is to provide a systematic review of the state of the art in PARR technology, with consideration of the mechanism configurations, actuator types with different trajectory tracking control techniques, and rehabilitation training methods, thus facilitating the development of new and improved PARRs as a next step towards obtaining clinical proof of their rehabilitation benefits.

Methods: A literature search was conducted on PubMed, Scopus, IEEE Xplore, and Web of Science for articles related to the design and improvement of PARRs for ankle rehabilitation from each site's respective inception from January 1999 to September 2020 using the keywords " parallel", " ankle", and " robot". Appropriate syntax using Boolean operators and wildcard symbols was utilized for each database to include a wider range of articles that may have used alternate spellings or synonyms, and the references listed in relevant publications were further screened according to the inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria.

Results And Discussion: Ultimately, 65 articles representing 16 unique PARRs were selected for review, all of which have developed the prototypes with experiments designed to verify their usability and feasibility. From the comparison among these PARRs, we found that there are three main considerations for the mechanical design and mechanism optimization of PARRs, the choice of two actuator types including pneumatic and electrically driven control, the covering of the AJC's motion space, and the optimization of the kinematic design, actuation design and structural design. The trajectory tracking accuracy and interactive control performance also need to be guaranteed to improve the effect of rehabilitation training and stimulate a patient's active participation. In addition, the parameters of the reviewed 16 PARRs are summarized in detail with their differences compared by using figures and tables in the order they appeared, showing their differences in the two main actuator types, four exercise modes, fifteen control strategies, etc., which revealed the future research trends related to the improvement of the PARRs.

Conclusion: The selected studies showed the rapid development of PARRs in terms of their mechanical designs, control strategies, and rehabilitation training methods over the last two decades. However, the existing PARRs all have their own pros and cons, and few of the developed devices have been subjected to clinical trials. Designing a PARR with three degrees of freedom (DOFs) and whereby the mechanism's rotation center coincides with the AJC rotation center is of vital importance in the mechanism design and optimization of PARRs. In addition, the design of actuators combining the advantages of the pneumatic-driven and electrically driven ones, as well as some new other actuators, will be a research hotspot for the development of PARRs. For the control strategy, compliance control with variable parameters should be further studied, with sEMG signal included to improve the real-time performance. Multimode rehabilitation training methods with multimodal motion intention recognition, real-time online detection and evaluation system should also be further developed to meet the needs of different ankle disability and rehabilitation stages. In addition, the clinical trials are in urgent need to help the PARRs be implementable as an intervention in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12984-021-00845-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7981854PMC
March 2021

The essential role of PRAK in tumor metastasis and its therapeutic potential.

Nat Commun 2021 03 19;12(1):1736. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University. NHC Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology (Peking University), Beijing, China.

Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related death. Despite the recent advancements in cancer treatment, there is currently no approved therapy for metastasis. The present study reveals a potent and selective activity of PRAK in the regulation of tumor metastasis. While showing no apparent effect on the growth of primary breast cancers or subcutaneously inoculated tumor lines, Prak deficiency abrogates lung metastases in PyMT mice or mice receiving intravenous injection of tumor cells. Consistently, PRAK expression is closely associated with metastatic risk in human cancers. Further analysis indicates that loss of function of PRAK leads to a pronounced inhibition of HIF-1α protein synthesis, possibly due to reduced mTORC1 activities. Notably, pharmacological inactivation of PRAK with a clinically relevant inhibitor recapitulates the anti-metastatic effect of Prak depletion, highlighting the therapeutic potential of targeting PRAK in the control of metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21993-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Cardiac ankyrin repeat protein contributes to dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

FASEB J 2021 Apr;35(4):e21488

Department of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Key Lab of Zhejiang Province, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China.

Cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP) is a cardiac-specific stress-response protein which exerts diverse effects to modulate cardiac remodeling in response to pathological stimuli. We examined the role of CARP in postnatal cardiac development and function under basal conditions in mice. Transgenic mice that selectively overexpressed CARP in heart (CARP Tg) exhibited dilated cardiac chambers, impaired heart function, and cardiac fibrosis as assessed by echocardiography and histological staining. Furthermore, the mice had a shorter lifespan and reduced survival rate in response to ischemic acute myocardial infarction. Immunofluorescence demonstrated the overexpressed CARP protein was predominantly accumulated in the nuclei of cardiomyocytes. Microarray analysis revealed that the nuclear localization of CARP was associated with the suppression of calcium-handling proteins. In vitro experiments revealed that CARP overexpression resulted in decreased cell contraction and calcium transient. In post-mortem cardiac specimens from patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and end-stage heart failure, CARP was significantly increased. Taken together, our data identified CARP as a crucial contributor in dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure which was associated with its regulation of calcium-handling proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201902802RRDOI Listing
April 2021

Meta-analysis of the prognostic and clinical value of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in previously untreated lymphoma.

Future Oncol 2021 May 17;17(14):1825-1838. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing Key Laboratory of Clinical Study on Anticancer Molecular Targeted Drugs. No. 17 Panjiayuan Nanli, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100021, China.

This meta-analysis explored the prognostic and clinical value of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 25(OH)D, levels in previously untreated lymphoma. PubMed, Web of Science, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched for eligible studies. Summary effect estimates and 95% CIs were pooled using random-effects or fixed-effects models. Twelve studies with 4139 patients were included. Low level of serum 25(OH)D was associated with inferior progression-free survival (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.06; 95% CI: 1.82-2.32) and overall survival (HR: 1.94; 95% CI: 1.71-2.19), advanced disease (odds ratio [OR]: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.09-2.13) and elevated lactate dehydrogenase (OR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.08-3.15). Low level of serum 25(OH)D is a prognostic risk factor for newly diagnosed lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0914DOI Listing
May 2021

Toxicological and physiological effects of successive exposure to ochratoxin A at food regulatory limits.

Food Chem Toxicol 2021 Mar 13;151:112128. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

State Key Laboratory of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, School of Tea and Food Science Technology, Anhui Agricultural University, Heifei 230036, China. Electronic address:

Ochratoxin A (OTA), a potent mycotoxin, is a common contaminant of agro-products, which seriously threatens food safety. The OTA regulatory limits vary from different countries/regions. However, little is known about the toxicological effects of successive exposure to regulatory levels of OTA. In this study, feedstuffs contaminated with 0.5-20 μg kg OTA were evaluated in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. During the study, poisoning-associated behaviors, and significant differences of body weight and food intake, were not observed between OTA-treated rats and control group. However, the renal function indexes of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (CR) increased, and architecture destruction of glomeruli and tubuli was observed from the OTA-treated groups. The apoptosis study indicated that at a concentration of 20 μg kg, OTA modulated apoptosis in renal tissues via the Bcl-2/Bax pathway. The results of this study suggest that exposure to low doses of OTA successively at levels lower than the regulatory limits of certain countries could induce nephrotoxicity, and modulate apoptosis. Therefore, agencies pertaining to food safety should establish strict OTA regulatory limits for food and feedstuff.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2021.112128DOI Listing
March 2021

The Biogenesis and Functions of circRNAs and Their Roles in Breast Cancer.

Front Oncol 2021 25;11:605988. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Medical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, University of South China, Hengyang, China.

Recent statistics show that breast cancer is among the most frequent cancers in clinical practice. It is also the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. CircRNAs are a new class of endogenous regulatory RNA molecules whose 5' end and 3' end are connected together to form a covalently closed single-stranded loop by back-splicing. CircRNAs present the advantages of disease-specific expression and excellent expression stability, and they can modulate gene expression at posttranscriptional and transcriptional levels. CircRNAs are abnormally expressed in multiple cancers, such as breast cancer, and drive the initiation and progression of cancer. In this review, we describe current knowledge about the functions of circRNAs and generalize their roles in various aspects of breast cancer, including cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, invasion and metastasis, autophagy, angiogenesis, drug resistance, and tumor immunity, and their prognostic and diagnostic value. This may add to a better understanding of the functions and roles of circRNAs in breast cancer, which may become new diagnostic and predictive biomarkers of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.605988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947672PMC
February 2021

The SARS-CoV-2 subgenome landscape and its novel regulatory features.

Mol Cell 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China; Frontier Science Center for Immunology and Metabolism, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. Electronic address:

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is currently a global pandemic. CoVs are known to generate negative subgenomes (subgenomic RNAs [sgRNAs]) through transcription-regulating sequence (TRS)-dependent template switching, but the global dynamic landscapes of coronaviral subgenomes and regulatory rules remain unclear. Here, using next-generation sequencing (NGS) short-read and Nanopore long-read poly(A) RNA sequencing in two cell types at multiple time points after infection with SARS-CoV-2, we identified hundreds of template switches and constructed the dynamic landscapes of SARS-CoV-2 subgenomes. Interestingly, template switching could occur in a bidirectional manner, with diverse SARS-CoV-2 subgenomes generated from successive template-switching events. The majority of template switches result from RNA-RNA interactions, including seed and compensatory modes, with terminal pairing status as a key determinant. Two TRS-independent template switch modes are also responsible for subgenome biogenesis. Our findings reveal the subgenome landscape of SARS-CoV-2 and its regulatory features, providing a molecular basis for understanding subgenome biogenesis and developing novel anti-viral strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2021.02.036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927579PMC
March 2021

MiR-328-3p inhibits lung adenocarcinoma-genesis by downregulation PYCR1.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 Apr 9;550:99-106. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Respiratory Diseases, Huizhou Municipal Central Hospital, Huizhou, 516001, Guangdong, China.

Background: A vast majority of patients with NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) have lung adenocarcinoma (LA), and the survival rate of LA varies from 5% to 75% depending on the severity of this adenocarcinoma. PYCR1 (abnormal pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase 1) gene and miR-328-3p have been found to be associated with cancer development. However, the underlying mechanism of interaction between miR-328-3p and PYCR1 in LA needs further investigation.

Methods: The expressions of miR-328-3p and PYCR1 in samples with LA were identified by RT-qPCR. Next, we investigated the targeting relationship between these two biological factors using luciferase assay. CCK-8, BrdU, transwell-migration, and flow cytometry assays were performed to detect cell viability, cell proliferation, cell migration and cell apoptosis in LA cells.

Results: We noticed that miR-328-3p expression was downregulated in LA samples. MiR-328-3p mimic restricted cell proliferation and cell migration, while it enhanced cell apoptosis. Furthermore, the overexpression of PYCR1 promoted the proliferation and migration of LA cells, but it repressed cell apoptosis. Moreover, PYCR1 directly interacted with miR-328-3p in the LA cells, and miR-328-3p restrained the expression of PYCR1, thus suppressing LA tumorigenesis.

Conclusion: In summary, our study revealed that miR-328-3p targeting to PYCR1 suppressed the malignancy of LA cells by impeding cell proliferation and migration, while effectively promoting cell apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.02.029DOI Listing
April 2021