Publications by authors named "Yuan-Yuan Li"

481 Publications

Roles of NEK family in cell cycle regulation.

Yi Chuan 2021 Jul;43(7):642-653

State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.

As a serine/threonine kinase, NIMA-related kinases (NEKs) play important roles in the regulation of cell cycle, and involve in several cellular activities such as centrosome separation, spindle assembly, chromatin condensation, nuclear envelope breakdown, spindle assembly checkpoint signaling, cytokinesis, cilia formation and DNA damage response. In this review, we summarize the component, structural characteristics and functions of NEK family in mitosis and meiosis based on the relevant researches in recent years, providing a reference for the further study on the roles of NEKs in the regulation of cell cycle and a theoretical basis for the clinical diagnosis and treatment of tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.16288/j.yczz.20-421DOI Listing
July 2021

Bruton's tyrosine kinase regulates macrophage‑induced inflammation in the diabetic kidney via NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

Int J Mol Med 2021 Sep 19;48(3). Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Nephropathy, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui 230022, P.R. China.

It has been previously reported that macrophages may be involved in diabetic nephropathy (DN) development. Furthermore, Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) may participate in macrophage activation and lead to the release of inflammatory mediators. The main aim of the present study was to analyze the association between renal BTK expression and clinical indicators. Moreover, BTK knockout mice were used to establish a diabetic model for further research. The results demonstrated that BTK was activated in the kidneys of patients with DN and was associated with the progression of proteinuria, creatinine levels, estimated glomerular filtration rate and pathological changes in the kidneys of patients with DN. Furthermore, BTK knockout was observed to reduce urinary protein excretion, alleviate renal injury and decrease renal inflammation in diabetic mice. This protection may be attributed to BTK‑induced suppression of the activation of the Nod‑like receptor (NLR) family pyrin domain containing 3 inflammasome. Collectively, it has been demonstrated in the present study that BTK may be a potential target for DN treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2021.5010DOI Listing
September 2021

Wogonin protects glomerular podocytes by targeting Bcl-2-mediated autophagy and apoptosis in diabetic kidney disease.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2021 Jul 12. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Department of Nephropathy, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, 230022, China.

Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is one of the microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus and a major cause of end-stage renal disease with limited treatment options. Wogonin is a flavonoid derived from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, which has shown a potent renoprotective effect. But the mechanisms of action in DKD are not fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effects of wogonin on glomerular podocytes in DKD using mouse podocyte clone 5 (MPC5) cells and diabetic mice model. MPC5 cells were treated with high glucose (30 mM). We showed that wogonin (4, 8, 16 μM) dose-dependently alleviated high glucose (HG)-induced MPC5 cell damage, accompanied by increased expression of WT-1, nephrin, and podocin proteins, and decreased expression of TNF-α, MCP-1, IL-1β as well as phosphorylated p65. Furthermore, wogonin treatment significantly inhibited HG-induced apoptosis in MPC5 cells. Wogonin reversed HG-suppressed autophagy in MPC5 cells, evidenced by increased ATG7, LC3-II, and Beclin-1 protein, and decreased p62 protein. We demonstrated that wogonin directly bound to Bcl-2 in MPC5 cells. In HG-treated MPC5 cells, knockdown of Bcl-2 abolished the beneficial effects of wogonin, whereas overexpression of Bcl-2 mimicked the protective effects of wogonin. Interestingly, we found that the expression of Bcl-2 was significantly decreased in biopsy renal tissue of diabetic nephropathy patients. In vivo experiments were conducted in STZ-induced diabetic mice, which were administered wogonin (10, 20, 40 mg · kg · d, i.g.) every other day for 12 weeks. We showed that wogonin administration significantly alleviated albuminuria, histopathological lesions, and p65 NF-κB-mediated renal inflammatory response. Wogonin administration dose-dependently inhibited podocyte apoptosis and promoted podocyte autophagy in STZ-induced diabetic mice. This study for the first time demonstrates a novel action of wogonin in mitigating glomerulopathy and podocytes injury by regulating Bcl-2-mediated crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis. Wogonin may be a potential therapeutic drug against DKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41401-021-00721-5DOI Listing
July 2021

A complete chloroplast genome of (Pinaceae) and its phylogenetic implications.

Mitochondrial DNA B Resour 2021 Jun 21;6(7):2074-2075. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, PR China.

(Bertrand) Beissner 1891 (Pinaceae) is a rare tertiary relict plant endemic to China. However, since the main morphological characteristics used for identifying are variable, some taxonomic treatments within the species are still controversial. Here a complete chloroplast genome of representing a special genotype was assembled, which could provide more information for the taxonomic study of this species. The assembled genome was 117,642 bp in length with a large single-copy (LSC) region (74,825 bp), a small single-copy (SSC) region (40,247 bp), and two incomplete inverted repeats (IRs) regions (1285 bp each). In total, 118 genes were predicted, including 4 s, 34 s, and 80 protein-coding genes. The overall GC content of the assembled genome was 38.5%. Phylogenetic analysis showed that different accessions of formed a clade with relatively low support (bootstrap value = 71), which indicated a high level of sequences variation within the species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2021.1907253DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8218866PMC
June 2021

Anti-inflammatory effect of a polysaccharide fraction from Craterellus cornucopioides in LPS-stimulated macrophages.

J Food Biochem 2021 Jun 30:e13842. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

School of Life Sciences, Anhui University, Hefei, China.

Immunocytes-involved inflammation is considered to modulate the damage in various diseases. Oxidative stress is initiated by oxidative agents such as LPS and ROS, which are strongly involved in chronic inflammation. Our previous study found that a polysaccharide fraction from Craterellus cornucopioides (CCPP-1) showed good antioxidant activity. However, the anti-inflammatory effect of CCPP-1 was still elusive. The objective of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of CCPP-1 and its potential mechanism in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. The results showed that CCPP-1 could inhibit LPS-induced ROS and NO accumulation. Additionally, CCPP-1 could decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines production (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-18) and inflammatory mediator (iNOS) expression, which might be associated with its capacity to inhibit NF-κB signaling pathway and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Therefore, this study suggested that CCPP-1 had an ameliorative effect on the inflammation response and was potential to develop into functional food for treating chronic inflammation. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Craterellus cornucopioides is an edible fungus widely distributed in Southwestern China. It was reported that C. cornucopioides polysaccharide (CCPP-1), as important active ingredient, showed good antioxidant activity. However, the anti-inflammatory effect was still elusive. This study showed that CCPP-1 possessed anti-inflammatory activity. The molecular mechanism might be associated with its capacity to inhibit NF-κB signaling pathway and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Therefore, polysaccharides from C. cornucopioides have potential to develop into functional food to combat inflammatory condition and thus indirectly halt the progression of various inflammatory response-related chronic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13842DOI Listing
June 2021

Identification of ARGLU1 as a potential therapeutic target for gastric cancer based on genome-wide functional screening data.

EBioMedicine 2021 Jul 19;69:103436. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Department of Surgery, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Gastric Neoplasms, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, PR China. Electronic address:

Background: Due to the molecular mechanism complexity and heterogeneity of gastric cancer (GC), mechanistically interpretable biomarkers were required for predicting prognosis and discovering therapeutic targets for GC patients.

Methods: Based on a total of 824 GC-specific fitness genes from the Project Score database, LASSOCox regression was performed in TCGA-STAD cohort to construct a GC Prognostic (GCP) model which was then evaluated on 7 independent GC datasets. Targets prioritization was performed in GC organoids. ARGLU1 was selected to further explore the biological function and molecular mechanism. We evaluated the potential of ARGLU1 serving as a promising therapeutic target for GC using patients derived xenograft (PDX) model.

Findings: The 9-gene GCP model showed a statistically significant prognostic performance for GC patients in 7 validation cohorts. Perturbation of SSX4, DDX24, ARGLU1 and TTF2 inhibited GC organoids tumor growth. The results of tissue microarray indicated lower expression of ARGLU1 was correlated with advanced TNM stage and worse overall survival. Over-expression ARGLU1 significantly inhibited GC cells viability in vitro and in vivo. ARGLU1 could enhance the transcriptional level of mismatch repair genes including MLH3, MSH2, MSH3 and MSH6 by potentiating the recruitment of SP1 and YY1 on their promoters. Moreover, inducing ARGLU1 by LNP-formulated saRNA significantly inhibited tumor growth in PDX model.

Interpretation: Based on genome-wide functional screening data, we constructed a 9-gene GCP model with satisfactory predictive accuracy and mechanistic interpretability. Out of nine prognostic genes, ARGLU1 was verified to be a potential therapeutic target for GC.

Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103436DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8220577PMC
July 2021

Preoperative proteinuria may be a risk factor for postoperative acute kidney injury:a meta-analysis.

Ren Fail 2021 Dec;43(1):958-967

Department of Nephropathy, The First Affiliated Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, P. R. China.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between preoperative proteinuria and postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI).

Methods: We performed a search on databases included PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science, from December 2009 to September 2020. Data extracted from eligible studies were synthesized to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). A fixed or random effects model was applied to calculate the pooled OR based on heterogeneity through the included studies.

Results: This meta-analysis of 11 observational studies included 203,987 participants, of whom 21,621 patients suffered from postoperative AKI and 182,366 patients did not suffer from postoperative AKI. The combined results demonstrated that preoperative proteinuria is an independent risk factor for postoperative AKI (adjusted OR = 1.65, 95%CI:1.44-1.89,  0.001). Subgroup analysis showed that both preoperative mild proteinuria (adjusted OR = 1.30, 95%CI:1.24-1.36,  < 0.001) and preoperative heavy proteinuria (adjusted OR = 1.93, 95%CI:1.65-2.27,  < 0.001) were independent risk factors for postoperative AKI. The heterogeneity was combined because its values were lower. Further subgroup analysis found that preoperative proteinuria measured using dipstick was an independent risk factor for postoperative AKI (adjusted OR = 1.48, 95%CI:1.37-1.60,  0.001). Finally, preoperative proteinuria was an independent risk factor for postoperative AKI in the non-cardiac surgery group (adjusted OR = 2.06, 95%CI:1.31-3.24,  = 0.002) and cardiac surgery group (adjusted OR = 1.69, 95%CI:1.39-2.06,  0.001).

Conclusion: Preoperative proteinuria is an independent risk factor for postoperative AKI and in instances when proteinuria is detected using dipsticks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0886022X.2021.1940201DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8218691PMC
December 2021

Upregulation of long noncoding RNA W42 promotes tumor development by binding with DBN1 in hepatocellular carcinoma.

World J Gastroenterol 2021 May;27(20):2586-2602

Fifth Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100039, China.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignancy found globally. Accumulating studies have shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play critical roles in HCC. However, the function of lncRNA in HCC remains poorly understood.

Aim: To understand the effect of lncRNA W42 on HCC and dissect the underlying molecular mechanisms.

Methods: We measured the expression of lncRNA W42 in HCC tissues and cells (Huh7 and SMMC-7721) by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to assess the sensitivity and specificity of lncRNA W42 expression. HCC cells were transfected with pcDNA3.1-lncRNA W42 or shRNA-lncRNA W42. Cell functions were detected by cell counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), colony formation, flow cytometry and Transwell assays. The interaction of lncRNA W42 and DBN1 was confirmed by RNA immunoprecipitation and RNA pull down assays. An HCC xenograft model was used to assess the role of lncRNA W42 on tumor growth . The Kaplan-Meier curve was used to evaluate the overall survival and recurrence-free survival after surgery in patients with HCC.

Results: In this study, we identified a novel lncRNA (lncRNA W42), and investigated its biological functions and clinical significance in HCC. LncRNA W42 expression was upregulated in HCC tissues and cells. Overexpression of lncRNA W42 notably promoted the proliferative and invasion of HCC, and inhibited cell apoptosis. LncRNA W42 directly bound to DBN1 and activated the downstream pathway. LncRNA W42 knockdown suppressed HCC xenograft tumor growth . The clinical investigation revealed that HCC patients with high lncRNA W42 expression exhibited shorter survival times.

Conclusion: and results suggested that the novel lncRNA W42, which is upregulated in HCC, may serve as a potential candidate prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in HCC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v27.i20.2586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8160624PMC
May 2021

Association of Urinary Strontium Levels with Pregnancy-induced Hypertension.

Curr Med Sci 2021 Jun 28;41(3):535-541. Epub 2021 May 28.

Key Laboratory of Environment and Health (HUST), Ministry of Education & Ministry of Environmental Protection, and State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (Incubation), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China.

Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), including gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, accounts for the majority of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Strontium (Sr) has been recently associated with preeclampsia in a small group of women; however, the role of Sr in PIH is not fully understood and warrants further investigation. In this study, we examined the association between urinary Sr levels and PIH, and assessed the effect of maternal age on the association. Urinary Sr concentrations were measured in 5423 pregnant women before delivery by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Logistic regression analysis adjusting for potential confounders was applied to explore the association between Sr and PIH, and to evaluate the Sr-PIH relationship stratified by maternal age. Among the participants, 200 (3.83%) women were diagnosed with PIH. Compared with non-PIH women, women who developed PIH had lower urinary Sr concentrations (131.26 vs. 174.98 μg/L creatinine, P<0.01). With the natural log-transformed urinary creatinine-standardized Sr concentrations increasing, the risk of PIH decreased significantly [adjusted OR=0.60 (95%CI: 0.51, 0.72)]. Furthermore, the significant association of Sr with PIH was found among women under 35 years (P<0.01). Our finding suggested that Sr may play a potential protective role in the pathogenesis of PIH, especially among young pregnant women under 35 years old.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11596-021-2366-6DOI Listing
June 2021

Comparative transcriptome analysis identifies genes associated with chlorophyll levels and reveals photosynthesis in green flesh of radish taproot.

PLoS One 2021 27;16(5):e0252031. Epub 2021 May 27.

Department of Bioengineering, Key Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Universities of Shandong (Weifang University), Weifang University, Weifang, China.

The flesh of the taproot of Raphanus sativus L. is rich in chlorophyll (Chl) throughout the developmental process, which is why the flesh is green. However, little is known about which genes are associated with Chl accumulation in this non-foliar, internal green tissue and whether the green flesh can perform photosynthesis. To determine these aspects, we measured the Chl content, examined Chl fluorescence, and carried out comparative transcriptome analyses of taproot flesh between green-fleshed "Cuishuai" and white-fleshed "Zhedachang" across five developmental stages. Numerous genes involved in the Chl metabolic pathway were identified. It was found that Chl accumulation in radish green flesh may be due to the low expression of Chl degradation genes and high expression of Chl biosynthesis genes, especially those associated with Part Ⅳ (from Protoporphyrin Ⅸ to Chl a). Bioinformatics analysis revealed that differentially expressed genes between "Cuishuai" and "Zhedachang" were significantly enriched in photosynthesis-related pathways, such as photosynthesis, antenna proteins, porphyrin and Chl metabolism, carbon fixation, and photorespiration. Twenty-five genes involved in the Calvin cycle were highly expressed in "Cuishuai". These findings suggested that photosynthesis occurred in the radish green flesh, which was also supported by the results of Chl fluorescence. Our study provides transcriptome data on radish taproots and provides new information on the formation and function of radish green flesh.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0252031PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8158985PMC
May 2021

[Characteristics and influence factors in leaf and soil carbon stable isotopes of .]

Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2021 May;32(5):1744-1752

School of Ecology and Environment, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China.

In order to explore the relationship of plant carbon (C) cycling with its habitat in the high-altitude regions, a leguminous shrub, , that mainly distributed in those areas was studied. We collected leaf and soil samples of from 35 sites along an east-west transect across the alpine regions of China. We measured leaf carbon stable isotope (δC), soil δC, and the difference between leaf and soil δC (ΔδC) of each sampling site. We further analyzed the effects of climatic factors, leaf and soil elements on leaf δC, soil δC and ΔδC. Results showed that leaf δC ranged from -30.9‰ to -27.1‰, with a mean value of -28.4‰, soil δC ranged from -26.2‰ to -23.2‰, with a mean value of -25.3‰, and ΔδC ranged from 2.0‰ to 7.7‰, with a mean value of 3.1‰. δC values of leaf was significantly lower than that of soil. Soil δC initially decreased and subsequently increased with increasing leaf δC. Leaf δC was negatively correlated with growing season temperature and leaf C content. Soil δC was negatively correlated with relative humidity and mean temperature of the warmest month, and was positively correlated with soil carbon:nitrogen (C:N). Soil δC firstly decreased and subsequently increased with soil C content. ΔδC was positively correlated with leaf C content, soil C content, and soil C: N. Climatic factors directly affected leaf δC and ΔδC, and indirectly affected leaf δC, soil δC and ΔδC through their effects on leaf and soil elements. The C cycle of . was affected by climatic factors, leaf and soil elements in the alpine regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13287/j.1001-9332.202105.004DOI Listing
May 2021

Molecular mechanisms of mutualistic and antagonistic interactions in a plant-pollinator association.

Nat Ecol Evol 2021 07 17;5(7):974-986. Epub 2021 May 17.

Center for Genomics and Biotechnology, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Haixia Applied Plant Systems Biology, Key Laboratory of Genetics, Breeding and Multiple Utilization of Corps, Ministry of Education, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, China.

Many insects metamorphose from antagonistic larvae into mutualistic adult pollinators, with reciprocal adaptation leading to specialized insect-plant associations. It remains unknown how such interactions are established at molecular level. Here we assemble high-quality genomes of a fig species, Ficus pumila var. pumila, and its specific pollinating wasp, Wiebesia pumilae. We combine multi-omics with validation experiments to reveal molecular mechanisms underlying this specialized interaction. In the plant, we identify the specific compound attracting pollinators and validate the function of several key genes regulating its biosynthesis. In the pollinator, we find a highly reduced number of odorant-binding protein genes and an odorant-binding protein mainly binding the attractant. During antagonistic interaction, we find similar chemical profiles and turnovers throughout the development of galled ovules and seeds, and a significant contraction of detoxification-related gene families in the pollinator. Our study identifies some key genes bridging coevolved mutualists, establishing expectations for more diffuse insect-pollinator systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01469-1DOI Listing
July 2021

HLA-mismatched allogeneic adoptive immune therapy in severely immunosuppressed AIDS patients.

Signal Transduct Target Ther 2021 May 7;6(1):174. Epub 2021 May 7.

Treatment and Research Center for Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Medical Center, PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

Severely immunosuppressed AIDS patients with recurrent opportunistic infections (OIs) represent an unmet medical need even in the era of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Here we report the development of a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-mismatched allogeneic adaptive immune therapy (AAIT) for severely immunosuppressed AIDS patients. Twelve severely immunosuppressed AIDS patients with severe OIs were enrolled in this single-arm study. Qualified donors received subcutaneous recombinant granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor twice daily for 4-5 days to stimulate hematopoiesis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected from these donors via leukapheresis and transfused into the coupled patients. Clinical, immunological, and virological parameters were monitored during a 12-month follow-up period. We found AAIT combined with ART was safe and well-tolerated at the examined doses and transfusion regimen in all 12 patients. Improvements in clinical symptoms were evident throughout the study period. All patients exhibited a steady increase of peripheral CD4 T cells from a median 10.5 to 207.5 cells/μl. Rapid increase in peripheral CD8 T-cell count from a median 416.5 to 1206.5 cells/μl was found in the first 90 days since initiation of AAIT. In addition, their inflammatory cytokine levels and HIV RNA viral load decreased. A short-term microchimerism with donor cells was found. There were no adverse events associated with graft-versus-host disease throughout the study period. Overall, AAIT treatment was safe, and might help severely immunosuppressed AIDS patients to achieve a better immune restoration. A further clinical trial with control is necessary to confirm the efficacy of AAIT medication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41392-021-00550-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8102474PMC
May 2021

New phenolic glycosides from Bunge and their antioxidant activity.

Nat Prod Res 2021 Apr 28:1-7. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Institute of Microbial Pharmaceuticals, College of Life and Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Shenyang, People's Republic of China.

ABATRACTNine compounds, five phenolic glycosides (, , ), three phenylpropanoids (), and a furanone glycoside (), were isolated from aqueous soluble extract of the dried roots of Bunge. The structures of new compounds () were elucidated by comprehensive spectroscopic data analysis as well as chemical evidence. Pulsatillanin A () demonstrated significant antioxidant effects through scavenging free radical in DPPH assay, and relieved the oxidative stress in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells by reducing ROS production, enhancing antioxidant enzyme SOD activity, replenishing depleted GSH in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis revealed that showed antioxidant activity via activating Nrf2 signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2021.1917569DOI Listing
April 2021

Identification and functional analysis of the MdLTPG gene family in apple.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Jun 19;163:338-347. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

National Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, National Research Center for Apple Engineering and Technology, Shandong Collaborative Innovation Center of Fruit & Vegetable Quality and Efficient Production, College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, 271018, Shandong, China. Electronic address:

Cuticular wax is synthesized from intracellular lipids that are exported by epidermal cells, and plant lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) play an important role in this process. The glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored LTPs (LTPGs) are a large subgroup within the LTP family and function in lipid transport and wax formation. Although LTPG family members have been identified in several plant species, the LTPG gene family of apple (Malus domestica) remains uncharacterized. In this paper, we identified 26 potential LTPG genes by searching apple whole-genome annotation files using "GPI-anchored" and "lipid transferase" as keywords. Twenty of the 26 putative LTPG genes were confirmed as MdLTPG family members based on their subcellular localization predictions. The MdLTPGs were divided into four classes based on phylogenetic analysis and functional domain prediction. One member of each class was analyzed for subcellular localization, and all identified members were located on the plasma membrane. Most MdLTPG genes were induced by abiotic stress treatments such as low temperature, NaCl, and ABA. Finally, the MdLTPG17 protein was shown to interact with the lysine-rich arabinogalactan protein MdAGP18 to perform its function in wax transport during plant growth and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.04.015DOI Listing
June 2021

Low-Frequency Magnetic Stimulation of Shenmen Acupoint Reduces Blood Oxygen Levels in the Prefrontal Cortex of Healthy Subjects: A Near-Infrared Brain Functional Imaging Study.

Chin J Integr Med 2021 Aug 21;27(8):585-588. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Encephalopathy, Shaanxi Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Xi'an, 710003, China.

Objective: To explore the effect of low-frequency magnetic stimulation at Shenmen (HT 7) acupoint on blood oxygen levels in the prefrontal cortex of healthy subjects.

Methods: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technology was used to collect real-time data of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) in the prefrontal cortex of 16 healthy subjects at resting state and low-frequency magnetic stimulation of Shenmen. The mean and integral values of blood oxygen concentration were analyzed.

Results: Compared with the resting state, the mean and integral values of blood oxygen concentration were decreased during the task period, recovery period, and the whole process in the magnetic stimulation of Shenmen acupoint (P<0.05). In particular, the difference was statistically significant in the recovery period (P<0.01).

Conclusions: The prefrontal cortex was widely activated and produced an immediate effect by reducing the local blood oxygen concentration at low-frequency magnetic stimulation of Shenmen acupoint, which verifies the sedative effect of Shenmen acupoint.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11655-021-3291-zDOI Listing
August 2021

Inhibition of CDK4/6 kinases causes production of aneuploid oocytes by inactivating the spindle assembly checkpoint and accelerating first meiotic progression.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res 2021 Jun 15;1868(7):119044. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Fertility Preservation Lab, Reproductive Medicine Center, Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital, Guangzhou 510317, PR China; State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, PR China. Electronic address:

Cyclin D-CDK4/6 complex mediates the transition from the G1 to S phase in mammalian somatic cells. Meiotic oocytes pass through the G2/M transition and complete the first meiosis to reach maturation at the metaphase of meiosis II without intervening S phase, while Cyclin D-CDK4/6 complex is found to express during meiotic progression. Whether Cyclin D-CDK4/6 complex regulates meiotic cell cycle progression is not known. Here, we found its different role in oocyte meiosis: Cyclin D-CDK4/6 complex served as a regulator of spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) to prevent aneuploidy in meiosis I. Inhibition of CDK4/6 kinases disrupted spindle assembly, chromosome alignment and kinetochore-microtubule attachments, but unexpectedly accelerated meiotic progression by inactivating SAC, consequently resulting in production of aneuploid oocytes. Further studies showed that the MPF activity decrease before first polar body extrusion was accelerated probably by inactivation of the SAC to promote ubiquitin-mediated cyclin B1 degradation. Taken together, these data reveal a novel role of Cyclin D-CDK4/6 complex in mediating control of the SAC in female meiosis I.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2021.119044DOI Listing
June 2021

FBXO34 Regulates the G2/M Transition and Anaphase Entry in Meiotic Oocytes.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 25;9:647103. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

There are two important events in oocyte meiotic maturation, the G2/M transition and metaphase I progression. Thousands of proteins participate in regulating oocyte maturation, which highlights the importance of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) in regulating protein synthesis and degradation. Skp1-Cullin-F-box (SCF) complexes, as the best characterized ubiquitin E3 ligases in the UPS, specifically recognize their substrates. F-box proteins, as the variable adaptors of SCF, can bind substrates specifically. Little is known about the functions of the F-box proteins in oocyte maturation. In this study, we found that depletion of FBXO34, an F-box protein, led to failure of oocyte meiotic resumption due to a low activity of MPF, and this phenotype could be rescued by exogenous overexpression of CCNB1. Strikingly, overexpression of FBXO34 promoted germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), but caused continuous activation of spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) and MI arrest of oocytes. Here, we demonstrated that FBXO34 regulated both the G2/M transition and anaphase entry in meiotic oocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.647103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8027338PMC
March 2021

[Effect of different orthodontic techniques on alveolar bone changes in the upper incisor area of patients with periodontitis].

Shanghai Kou Qiang Yi Xue 2020 Dec;29(6):651-655

Department of Stomatology,Pingxiang People's Hospital.Pingxiang 337000, Jiangxi Province,China.

Purpose: To explore the effects of different orthodontic techniques on the changes of alveolar bone density, height and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) bleeding in upper incisor in patients with periodontitis.

Methods: Twenty-three patients with moderate periodontitis who underwent orthodontic treatment from January 2016 to December 2019 in the Department of Stomatology of Jiangxi Pingxiang People's Hospital were divided into experimentalexperimental group(n=12) and control group(n=11). Patients in the experimental group were treated with bracket-less invisible appliance, while patients in the control group were treated with conventional lip-side fixed appliance. Changes of gingival crevicular hemorrhage index, probing depth, alveolar bone height and bone density in the incisor area were compared between the two groups before and after treatment. Statistical analysis was performed on data using SPSS 22.0 software package.

Results: After treatment, the bone mineral density of the upper incisor alveolar crest (L1) of the two groups decreased, and the rate of decrease in the experimental group was significantly less than that in the control group (P<0.05). The bone density at the apical point of the anatomical root of the control group at 1 mm (L3) was also significantly reduced, but there was no significant change in the experimental group. There was no significant change in the alveolar bone height of the upper incisor area between the two groups before and after treatment (P>0.05). Root resorption of the upper incisors in the experimental group was significantly lower than that in the control group(P<0.05). After treatment, the probing depth and GCF bleeding index of the two groups decreased, and the change in the experimental group was significantly greater than that in the control group(P<0.05).

Conclusions: Bracket-free invisible appliance for periodontitis is more conducive to the restoration of alveolar bone mineral density in the upper incisor than the conventional lip-side fixed appliance, and both of which have the same effect on bone height and are safe and effective orthodontic treatment.
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December 2020

Biomarkers for a histological chorioamnionitis diagnosis in pregnant women with or without group B streptococcus infection: a case-control study.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2021 Mar 25;21(1):250. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Second Department of Obstetrics, The Fourth Hospital of Shijiazhuang, No.206, Zhongshan East Road, Chang'an District, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, People's Republic of China, 050011.

Background: Chorioamnionitis may cause serious perinatal and neonatal adverse outcomes, and group B streptococcus (GBS) is one of the most common bacteria isolated from human chorioamnionitis. The present study analyzed the impact of GBS infection and histological chorioamnionitis (HCA) on pregnancy outcomes and the diagnostic value of various biomarkers.

Methods: Pregnant women were grouped according to GBS infection and HCA detection. Perinatal and neonatal adverse outcomes were recorded with a follow-up period of 6 weeks. The white blood cell count (WBC), neutrophil ratio, and C-reactive protein (CRP) level from peripheral blood and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), interleukin 8 (IL-8), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) levels from cord blood were assessed.

Results: A total of 371 pregnant women were included. Pregnant women with GBS infection or HCA had a higher risk of pathological jaundice and premature rupture of membranes and higher levels of sICAM-1, IL-8, and TNF-α in umbilical cord blood. Univariate and multivariate regression analysis revealed that sICMA-1, IL-8, TNF-α, WBC, and CRP were significantly related to an increased HCA risk. For all included pregnant women, TNF-α had the largest receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area (area: 0.841; 95% CI: 0.778-0.904) of the biomarkers analyzed. TNF-α still had the largest area under the ROC curve (area: 0.898; 95% CI: 0.814-0.982) for non-GBS-infected pregnant women, who also exhibited a higher neutrophil ratio (area: 0.815; 95% CI: 0.645-0.985) and WBC (area: 0.849; 95% CI: 0.72-0.978), but all biomarkers had lower value in the diagnosis of HCA in GBS-infected pregnant women.

Conclusion: GBS infection and HCA correlated with several perinatal and neonatal adverse outcomes. TNF-α in cord blood and WBCs in peripheral blood had diagnostic value for HCA in non-GBS-infected pregnant women but not GBS-infected pregnant women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12884-021-03731-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7993527PMC
March 2021

PTHrP promotes development of mouse preimplantation embryos through the AKT/cyclin D1 pathway and nuclear translocation of HDAC4.

J Cell Physiol 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), the main cause of humoral hypercalcemia in malignancies, promotes cell proliferation and delays terminal cell maturation during embryonic development. Our previous study reported that PTHrP plays important roles in blastocyst formation, pluripotency gene expression, and histone acetylation during mouse preimplantation embryonic development. In this study, we further investigated the mechanism of preimplantation embryonic development regulated by PTHrP. Our results showed that Pthrp depletion decreased both the developmental rate of embryos at the cleavage stage and the cell number of morula-stage embryos. Pthrp-depleted embryos had significantly decreased levels of cyclin D1, phospho (p)-AKT (Thr308) and E2F1. However, Pthrp depletion did not cause significant changes in CDK4, β-catenin or RUNX2 expression. In addition, our results indicated that Pthrp depletion promoted HDAC4 translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in cleavage-stage embryos by stimulating the activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), which resulted in dephosphorylation of HDAC4. Taken together, these results suggest that PTHrP regulates cleavage division progression and blastocyst formation through the AKT/cyclin D1 pathway and that PTHrP modulates histone acetylation patterns through nuclear translocation of HDAC4 via PP2A-dependent HDAC4 dephosphorylation during preimplantation embryonic development in mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.30362DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of Onabotulinum Toxin A on Gait in Parkinson's Disease Patients with Foot Dystonia.

Can J Neurol Sci 2021 Mar 9:1-6. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Neurology, Institute of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital affiliated with Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

We investigated the effects of botulinum toxin on gait in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with foot dystonia. Six patients underwent onabotulinum toxin A injection and were assessed by Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS), visual analog scale (VAS) of pain, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Test (BBT), and 3D gait analysis at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months. BFMDRS (p = 0.002), VAS (p = 0.024), TUG (p = 0.028), and BBT (p = 0.034) were improved. Foot pressures at Toe 1 (p = 0.028) and Midfoot (p = 0.018) were reduced, indicating botulinum toxin's effects in alleviating the dystonia severity and pain and improving foot pressures during walking in PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/cjn.2021.42DOI Listing
March 2021

Complete chloroplast genome of a wild-type ellis (rubiaceae) adapted to island climate.

Mitochondrial DNA B Resour 2021 Feb 3;6(2):313-314. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Jiangsu, Nanjing, China.

Ellis is a traditional aromatic and medicinal plant in China. Here, the complete chloroplast genome of a wild-type gardenia adapted to island climate was assembled. The assembled genome was 155,247 bp in length, with four typical regions, i.e., a large single-copy (LSC) region (85,414 bp), a small single-copy (SSC) region (18,235 bp) and two inverted repeats (IRs) regions (25,799 bp each). In total, 138 genes were predicted, including 90 protein-coding genes, 40 tRNA genes and eight rRNA genes. The overall GC content of the chloroplast genome was 37.5%. The chloroplast genome would provide more information for the phylogeography and phylogeny study of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2020.1861997DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7872548PMC
February 2021

[Effect of Sini San prescription on apoptosis and proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells].

Zhongguo Ying Yong Sheng Li Xue Za Zhi 2020 Sep;36(5):489-493

The College of Basic Medicine Sciences, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang 712046.

To investigate the effects of Sini San prescription(SNS) on the proliferation and apoptosis of HepG2 cells and its molecular mechanism. The morphological changes of hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells treated by SNS were observed by inverted microscope. MTT assay was used to detect the inhibitory effect of SNS on cell proliferation. Fluorescence staining and flow cytometry were employed to analyze the effect of SNS on apoptosis of HepG2 cells. Rho123 (Rhodamine 123) staining method was performed to detect the changes of mitochondrial membrane potential, and Western blot was used to evaluate the expression of proteins related to apoptosis. The number of hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells were significantly decreased (<0.01) and cells showed typical apoptotic cell morphology after treated with serum contained SNS. The inhibition rate of HepG2 cells was increased with the increase of concentration of serum contained SNS. The number of cells in G1 phase was significantly increased, while G2 phase was decreased after treated with serum contained SNS(<0.05).The apoptosis rate and mitochondrial membrane potential of HepG2 cells were significantly increased and decreased after treated with serum contained SNS(<0.05). The expression levels of Bax, caspase-3,-9 and cyt-c were significantly increased, while the expression of bcl-2 was decreased in HepG2 cells treated with serum contained SNS(<0.05). Sini San prescription can inhibit the proliferation of HepG2 cells and induce apoptosis by mitochondrial pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12047/j.cjap.5839.2020.104DOI Listing
September 2020

Identification of novel candidate biomarkers for pancreatic adenocarcinoma based on TCGA cohort.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 02 11;13(4):5698-5717. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Pharmacy, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Jinan 250014, Shandong, P.R. China.

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAAD) is the most serious solid tumor type throughout the world. The present study aimed to identify novel biomarkers and potential efficacious small drugs in PAAD using integrated bioinformatics analyses. A total of 4777 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were filtered, 2536 upregulated DEGs and 2241 downregulated DEGs. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis was then used and identified 12 modules, of which, blue module with the most significant enrichment result was selected. KEGG and GO enrichment analyses showed that all DEGs of blue module were enriched in EMT and PI3K/Akt pathway. Three hub genes (, , and ) were determined as key genes with higher expression levels, significant prognostic value and excellent diagnostic efficiency for PAAD. Additionally, some small molecule drugs that possess the potential to treat PAAD were screened out, including thapsigargin (TG). Functional experiments revealed that TG repressed cell viability via inactivating the PI3K/Akt pathway in PAAD cells. Totally, our findings identified three key genes implicated in PAAD and screened out several potential small drugs to treat PAAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7950294PMC
February 2021

Identification of Crucial Genes and Pathways Associated with Atherosclerotic Plaque in Diabetic Patients.

Pharmgenomics Pers Med 2021 4;14:211-220. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of Endocrinology, Baoshan Branch, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, 201999, People's Republic of China.

Background: Patients with diabetes have more calcification in atherosclerotic plaque and a higher occurrence of secondary cardiovascular events than patients without diabetes. The objective of this study was to identify crucial genes involved in the development of diabetic atherosclerotic plaque using a bioinformatics approach.

Methods: Microarray dataset GSE118481 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database; the dataset included 6 patients with diabetic atherosclerotic plaque (DBT) and 6 nondiabetic patients with atherosclerotic plaque (Ctrl). Differentially expressed genes (DEG) between the DBT and Ctrl groups were identified and then subjected to functional enrichment analysis. Based on the enriched pathways of DEGs, diabetic atherosclerotic plaque-related pathways were screened using the comparative toxicogenomics database (CTD). We then constructed a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and transcription factor (TF)-miRNA-mRNA network.

Results: A total of 243 DEGs were obtained in the DBT group compared with the Ctrl group, including 85 up-regulated and 158 down-regulated DEGs. Functional enrichment analysis showed that up-regulated DEGs were mainly enriched in isoprenoid metabolic process, DNA-binding TF activity, and response to virus. Additionally, DEGs participating in the toll-like receptor signaling pathway were closely related to diabetes, carotid stenosis, and insulin resistance. The TF-miRNA-mRNA network showed that toll-like receptor 4 (), BCL2-like 11 (), and glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit () were hub genes. Furthermore, was regulated by TF signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6); was targeted by hsa-miR-24-3p; and was regulated by nuclear factor, erythroid 2 like 2 (NFE2L2).

Conclusion: Identification of hub genes and pathways increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the atherosclerotic plaque in patients with or without diabetes. These crucial genes (, and ) might function as molecular biomarkers for diabetic atherosclerotic plaque.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/PGPM.S281705DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869704PMC
February 2021

The apple palmitoyltransferase MdPAT16 influences sugar content and salt tolerance via an MdCBL1-MdCIPK13-MdSUT2.2 pathway.

Plant J 2021 May 23;106(3):689-705. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, National Research Center for Apple Engineering and Technology, Shandong Collaborative Innovation Center of Fruit & Vegetable Quality and Efficient Production, College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, Shandong, 271018, China.

Protein S-acyltransferases (PATs) are a category of eukaryotic transmembrane proteins that mediate the S-acylation of their target proteins. S-acylation, commonly known as palmitoylation, is a reversible protein modification that regulates the membrane association and function of target proteins. However, the functions and mechanisms of PATs in apple (Malus domestica) remain poorly understood. In this study, an MdPAT family member, MdPAT16, was identified and shown to have palmitoyltransferase activity. We demonstrated that this gene responds to salt stress and that its expression improves plant salt stress resistance. In addition, its overexpression significantly promotes the accumulation of soluble sugars. The same phenotypes were observed in transgenic tissue culture seedlings, transgenic roots, and Arabidopsis thaliana that ectopically expressed MdPAT16. MdPAT16 was shown to interact with MdCBL1 and stabilize MdCBL1 protein levels through palmitoylation. The N-terminal sequence of MdCBL1 contains a palmitoylation site, and its N-terminal deletion led to changes in MdCBL1 protein stability and subcellular localization. The phenotypes of MdCBL1 transgenic roots and transiently injected apple fruits were fully consistent with the sugar accumulation phenotype of MdPAT16. Mutation of the palmitoylation site interfered with this phenotype. These findings suggest that MdPAT16 palmitoylates its downstream target proteins, improving their stability. This may be a missing link in the plant salt stress response pathway and have an important impact on fruit quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tpj.15191DOI Listing
May 2021

Pan-Cancer Analysis of Head-to-Head Gene Pairs in Terms of Transcriptional Activity, Co-expression and Regulation.

Front Genet 2020 7;11:560997. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

Background: Head-to-Head (H2H) gene pairs are regulated by bidirectional promoters and divergently transcribed from opposite DNA strands with transcription start sites (TSSs) separated within 1 kb. H2H organization is ancient and conserved, and H2H pairs tend to exhibit similar expression patterns. Although some H2H genes have been reported to be associated with disease and cancer, there is a lack of systematic studies on H2H organization in the scenario of cancer development.

Methods: Human H2H gene pairs were identified based on GENCODE hg19 and the functional relevance of H2H pairs was explored through function enrichment and semantic similarity analysis. To investigate the association between H2H organization and carcinogenesis, pan-cancer differential analysis of H2H genes about transcriptional activity, co-expression and transcriptional regulation by transcription factors and enhancers were performed based on data from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Cox proportional hazards regression model and log-rank test were used to determine the prognostic powers of H2H pairs.

Results: In the present study, we first updated H2H genes from 1,447 to 3,150 pairs, from which the peak group with TSS distance of 1-100 was observed as expected in our previous work. It was found that housekeeping genes, mitochondrial-functional associated genes and cancer genes tend to be organized in H2H arrangement. Pan-cancer analysis indicates that H2H genes are transcriptionally active than random genes in both normal and cancer tissues, but H2H pairs display higher correlation in cancer than in normal. Particularly, housekeeping H2H pairs are differentially correlated much more significantly than non-housekeeping H2H pairs are. Some of differentially correlated H2H pairs were found to be associated with prognosis. The alteration of TF similarity seems to contribute to differential co-expression of H2H pairs during carcinogenesis; meanwhile remote enhancers also at least partly explain the differential co-expression and co-regulation of H2H pairs.

Conclusion: H2H pairs tend to show much stronger positive expression correlation in cancer than in normal due to differential regulation of bidirectional promoters. The study provides insights into the significance of H2H organization in carcinogenesis and the underlying dysfunctional regulation mechanisms. Those differentially correlated H2H pairs associated with survival have the potential to be prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.560997DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817982PMC
January 2021

Household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and risk factors for susceptibility and infectivity in Wuhan: a retrospective observational study.

Lancet Infect Dis 2021 05 18;21(5):617-628. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China. Electronic address:

Background: Wuhan was the first epicentre of COVID-19 in the world, accounting for 80% of cases in China during the first wave. We aimed to assess household transmissibility of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and risk factors associated with infectivity and susceptibility to infection in Wuhan.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included the households of all laboratory-confirmed or clinically confirmed COVID-19 cases and laboratory-confirmed asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections identified by the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention between Dec 2, 2019, and April 18, 2020. We defined households as groups of family members and close relatives who did not necessarily live at the same address and considered households that shared common contacts as epidemiologically linked. We used a statistical transmission model to estimate household secondary attack rates and to quantify risk factors associated with infectivity and susceptibility to infection, accounting for individual-level exposure history. We assessed how intervention policies affected the household reproductive number, defined as the mean number of household contacts a case can infect.

Findings: 27 101 households with 29 578 primary cases and 57 581 household contacts were identified. The secondary attack rate estimated with the transmission model was 15·6% (95% CI 15·2-16·0), assuming a mean incubation period of 5 days and a maximum infectious period of 22 days. Individuals aged 60 years or older were at a higher risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 than all other age groups. Infants aged 0-1 years were significantly more likely to be infected than children aged 2-5 years (odds ratio [OR] 2·20, 95% CI 1·40-3·44) and children aged 6-12 years (1·53, 1·01-2·34). Given the same exposure time, children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age were more likely to infect others than were adults aged 60 years or older (1·58, 1·28-1·95). Asymptomatic individuals were much less likely to infect others than were symptomatic cases (0·21, 0·14-0·31). Symptomatic cases were more likely to infect others before symptom onset than after (1·42, 1·30-1·55). After mass isolation of cases, quarantine of household contacts, and restriction of movement policies were implemented, household reproductive numbers declined by 52% among primary cases (from 0·25 [95% CI 0·24-0·26] to 0·12 [0·10-0·13]) and by 63% among secondary cases (from 0·17 [0·16-0·18] to 0·063 [0·057-0·070]).

Interpretation: Within households, children and adolescents were less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection but were more infectious than older individuals. Presymptomatic cases were more infectious and individuals with asymptomatic infection less infectious than symptomatic cases. These findings have implications for devising interventions for blocking household transmission of SARS-CoV-2, such as timely vaccination of eligible children once resources become available.

Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China, Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, US National Institutes of Health, and US National Science Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30981-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833912PMC
May 2021

Seed dispersal in Neuwiedia singapureana: novel evidence for avian endozoochory in the earliest diverging clade in Orchidaceae.

Bot Stud 2021 Jan 12;62(1). Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Biology Department, National Museum of Natural Science, 40453, Taichung, Taiwan.

Background: Seed dispersal allows plants to colonize new habitats that has an significant influence on plant distribution and population dynamics. Orchids produce numerous tiny seeds without endosperm, which are considered to be mainly wind-dispersed. Here, we report avian seed dispersal for an early diverging orchid species, Neuwiedia singapureana, which produces fleshy fruits with hard seed coats in the understory of tropical forests.

Results: Neuwiedia singapureana produced fleshy fruits that turned red in autumn, and birds were confirmed to be the primary seed dispersers. As compared to its sister species, N. veratrifolia with dehiscent capsular fruits, embryos of N. singapureana were larger and enclosed by thickened and lignified seed coats. After passing through the digestive tracts of birds, the seeds still stayed alive, and the walls of seed coat contained several cracks. The germination percentage increased significantly for digested seeds as compared with seeds from intact fruits.

Conclusion: The thickened and lignified seed coat may protect seeds as they passed through the digestive tracts of birds. Taken together with a recent report of insect-mediated seed dispersal system in the subfamily Apostasioideae, the animal-mediated seed dispersal may be an adaptive mechanism promoting the success of colonization in dark understory habitats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40529-020-00308-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7803844PMC
January 2021
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