Publications by authors named "Zhengyang Wang"

49 Publications

Characteristics and Outcomes of the Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Treatment in Intrinsic and Extrinsic Stenosis: A Single-Center Experience in China.

Neurol Ther 2021 Sep 20. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of Interventional Neuroradiology, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, No. 119, the South Fourth Ring West Road, Fengtai district, Beijing, 100070, China.

Introduction: This study aimed to explore the precipitating factors and evaluate the impact of different stenosis types on treatment outcomes in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) and venous sinus stenosis (VSS).

Methods: We recruited patients with IIH who presented with VSS, either intrinsic or extrinsic. We observed the clinical and laboratory findings, and we then compared the outcomes of stenting and medical treatment in different stenosis types.

Results: Among 145 patients with IIH and VSS, 59 were of the intrinsic type and 86 were of the extrinsic type. Patients in the intrinsic group were older (42 vs. 34 years old, P < 0.001) and presented with higher pre-op gradient pressure (15 mmHg vs. 12 mmHg, P < 0.001). There was no significant difference between groups regarding other precipitating factors (P > 0.05). Stenting was significantly associated with complete resolution of the headache and impaired vision both in intrinsic (adjusted OR 0.017, 95% CI 0.001-0.35, P = 0.011; adjusted OR 0.056, 95% CI 0.004-0.697, P = 0.025, respectively) and extrinsic types of stenosis (adjusted OR 0.072, 95% CI 0.015-0.343, P = 0.001; adjusted OR 0.241, 95% CI 0.062-0.931, P = 0.039, respectively). Meanwhile, stenting was significantly associated with improvement of the papilledema in extrinsic-type stenosis compared with medical treatment (adjusted OR 0.017, 95% CI 0.002-0.135, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Stenting may provide substantial clinical improvement in patients with IIH regardless of intrinsic or extrinsic stenosis type in our patient population, as noted in other series.

Trial Registration: Clinical trial registration number ChiCTR-ONN-17010421.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40120-021-00281-0DOI Listing
September 2021

miR-377-3p-Mediated EGR1 Downregulation Promotes B[a]P-Induced Lung Tumorigenesis by Wnt/Beta-Catenin Transduction.

Front Oncol 2021 23;11:699004. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Department of Pathology and Pathophysiology, and Department of Radiation Oncology of the Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), particularly benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), found in cigarette smoke and air pollution, is an important carcinogen. Nevertheless, early molecular events and related regulatory effects of B[a]P-mediated cell transformation and tumor initiation remain unclear. This study found that EGR1 was significantly downregulated during human bronchial epithelial cell transformation and mice lung carcinogenesis upon exposure to B[a]P and its active form BPDE, respectively. In contrast, overexpression of EGR1 inhibited the BPDE-induced cell malignant transformation. Moreover, miR-377-3p was strongly enhanced by BPDE/B[a]P exposure and crucial for the inhibition of EGR1 expression by targeting the 3'UTR of EGR1. MiR-377-3p antagomir reversed the effect of EGR1 downregulation in cell malignant transformation and tumor initiation models. Furthermore, the B[a]P-induced molecular changes were evaluated by IHC in clinical lung cancer tissues and examined with a clinic database. Mechanistically, EGR1 inhibition was also involved in the regulation of Wnt/β-catenin transduction, promoting lung tumorigenesis following B[a]P/BPDE exposure. Taken together, the results demonstrated that bBenzo[a]pyrene exposure might induce lung tumorigenesis through miR-377-3p-mediated reduction of EGR1 expression, suggesting an important role of EGR1 in PAHs-induced lung carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.699004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419355PMC
August 2021

Deep Low-Shot Learning for Biological Image Classification and Visualization From Limited Training Samples.

IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst 2021 Sep 6;PP. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Predictive modeling is useful but very challenging in biological image analysis due to the high cost of obtaining and labeling training data. For example, in the study of gene interaction and regulation in Drosophila embryogenesis, the analysis is most biologically meaningful when in situ hybridization (ISH) gene expression pattern images from the same developmental stage are compared. However, labeling training data with precise stages is very time-consuming even for developmental biologists. Thus, a critical challenge is how to build accurate computational models for precise developmental stage classification from limited training samples. In addition, identification and visualization of developmental landmarks are required to enable biologists to interpret prediction results and calibrate models. To address these challenges, we propose a deep two-step low-shot learning framework to accurately classify ISH images using limited training images. Specifically, to enable accurate model training on limited training samples, we formulate the task as a deep low-shot learning problem and develop a novel two-step learning approach, including data-level learning and feature-level learning. We use a deep residual network as our base model and achieve improved performance in the precise stage prediction task of ISH images. Furthermore, the deep model can be interpreted by computing saliency maps, which consists of pixel-wise contributions of an image to its prediction result. In our task, saliency maps are used to assist the identification and visualization of developmental landmarks. Our experimental results show that the proposed model can not only make accurate predictions but also yield biologically meaningful interpretations. We anticipate our methods to be easily generalizable to other biological image classification tasks with small training datasets. Our open-source code is available at https://github.com/divelab/lsl-fly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNNLS.2021.3106831DOI Listing
September 2021

Exosomal lncRNA SCIRT/miR-665 Transferring Promotes Lung Cancer Cell Metastasis through the Inhibition of HEYL.

J Oncol 2021 24;2021:9813773. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Regional Medical Center for National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310016, China.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Recently, extracellular vesicles such as exosomes have attracted considerable interest both as a source for theranostic biomarkers and an essential participant in lung cancer progression. However, how specific exosomal cargos, such as noncoding RNAs, are selectively packaged into exosomes and promote lung cancer progression remains unclear. In this study, we identified miR-665 as the most elevated exosomal miRNA from both non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients. We further demonstrated that lncRNA SCIRT was also increased in cancer cell exosomes and may facilitate the exosomal loading of miR-665 with the help of hnRNPA1. As a consequence, exosomal miR-665 promoted lung cancer cell invasion and migration by targeting Notch downstream transcription factor HEYL. In addition, we found that miR-665 and SCIRT were significantly upregulated in tumor tissue and plasma of patients with lung cancer, and both of them showed increased expression in metastatic disease samples. Our findings suggest that the exosomal transferring of miR-665 and SCIRT is a functional and mechanism-driven pathway that contributes to cancer progression and, thus, may provide novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets for lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/9813773DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8328715PMC
July 2021

PDIA6 promotes pancreatic cancer progression and immune escape through CSN5-mediated deubiquitination of β-catenin and PD-L1.

Neoplasia 2021 Sep 26;23(9):912-928. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Department of Pathophysiology, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China.

Protein Disulfide Isomerase Family A Member 6 (PDIA6) is an endoplasmic reticulum protein that is capable of catalyzing protein folding and disulfide bond formation. Abnormally elevated expression of PDIA6 has been reported to predict poor outcomes in various cancers. Herein, gain-of- and loss-of-function experiments were performed to investigate how PDIA6 participated in the carcinogenesis of pancreatic cancer (PC). By analyzing the protein expression of PDIA6 in 28 paired PC and para carcinoma specimens, we first found that PDIA6 expression was higher in PC samples. Both the overall survival and disease-free survival rates of PC patients with higher PDIA6 expression were poorer than those with lower PDIA6 (n = 178). Furthermore, knockdown of PDIA6 impaired the malignancies of PC cells - suppressed cell proliferation, invasion, migration, cisplatin resistance, and xenografted tumor growth. PDIA6-silenced PC cells were more sensitive to cytotoxic natural killer (NK) cells. Overexpression of PDIA6 had opposite effects on PC cells. Interestingly, COP9 signalosome subunit 5 (CSN5), a regulator of E3 ubiquitin ligases known to promote deubiquitination of its downstream targets, was demonstrated to interact with PDIA6, and its expression was increased in PC cells overexpressing PDIA6. Additionally, PDIA6 overexpression promoted deubiquitination of β-catenin and PD-L1 and subsequently upregulated their expression in PC cells. These alterations were partly reversed by CSN5 shRNA. Collectively, the above results demonstrate that PDIA6 contributes to PC progression, which may be associated with CSN5-regulated deubiquitination of β-catenin and PD-L1. Our findings suggest PDIA6 as a potential target for the treatment of PC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neo.2021.07.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8329431PMC
September 2021

Agent-based models reveal limits of mark-release-recapture estimates for the rare butterfly, Bhutanitis thaidina (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae).

Insect Sci 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

Insect diversity and abundance are in drastic decline worldwide, but quantifying insect populations to better conserve them is a difficult task. Mark-release-recapture (MRR) is widely used as an ecological indicator for insect populations, but the accuracy of MRR estimates can vary with factors such as spatial scale, sampling effort and models of inference. We conducted a 3-year MRR study of B. thaidina in Yanzigou valley, Mt. Gongga but failed to obtain sufficient data for a robust population estimate. This prompted us to integrate B. thaidina life history information to parameterize agent-based models and evaluate the conditions under which successful MRR studies could be conducted. We evaluated: (1) the performance of MRR models under different landscape types, and (2) the influence of experimental design on the accuracy and variance of MRR-based estimates. Our simulations revealed systematic underestimates of true population parameters by MRR models when sampling effort was insufficient. In a total of 2772 simulations, subjective decisions in sampling protocol (e.g., frequency, number of sampling locations, use of spatially explicit models, type of estimands) accounted for nearly half of the variation in estimates. We conclude that MRR-based estimates could be improved with the addition of more field-specific parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1744-7917.12949DOI Listing
July 2021

Multisensory enhancement of overt behavior requires multisensory experience.

Eur J Neurosci 2021 07 10;54(2):4514-4527. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

The superior colliculus (SC) is richly endowed with neurons that integrate cues from different senses to enhance their physiological responses and the overt behaviors they mediate. However, in the absence of experience with cross-modal combinations (e.g., visual-auditory), they fail to develop this characteristic multisensory capability: Their multisensory responses are no greater than their most effective unisensory responses. Presumably, this impairment in neural development would be reflected as corresponding impairments in SC-mediated behavioral capabilities such as detection and localization performance. Here, we tested that assumption directly in cats raised to adulthood in darkness. They, along with a normally reared cohort, were trained to approach brief visual or auditory stimuli. The animals were then tested with these stimuli individually and in combination under ambient light conditions consistent with their rearing conditions and home environment as well as under the opposite lighting condition. As expected, normally reared animals detected and localized the cross-modal combinations significantly better than their individual component stimuli. However, dark-reared animals showed significant defects in multisensory detection and localization performance. The results indicate that a physiological impairment in single multisensory SC neurons is predictive of an impairment in overt multisensory behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.15315DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8295226PMC
July 2021

The Relationship between Levels of Serum Metal Ions and Parkinson's Disease.

Clin Lab 2021 May;67(5)

Background: To explore the relationship of serum metal ions and Parkinson's disease (PD).

Methods: Hoehn-Yahr (H-Y) staging scale and other related rating scales were performed to evaluate the severity of PD patients. Substantia nigra (SN) volume was measured by sensitivity weighted imaging (SWI), and the levels of Fe, Cu, Zn, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and malondialdehyde (MDA) in serum were detected at the same time. The results were analyzed and compared to healthy control group.

Results: In this study, 33 patients with PD and 35 healthy individuals (control group) were recruited. As compared to the control group, the levels of serum Fe and Cu were significantly increased, whereas the levels of Zn and SOD were significantly decreased in the PD group. The dysosmia was correlated with the level of serum Zn, and the clinical severity was correlated with the decreased volume of SN and the level of serum SOD in PD patients.

Conclusions: Our study suggests a correlation between the levels of serum metal ion and PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7754/Clin.Lab.2020.200854DOI Listing
May 2021

Nitrogen Levels Regulate Sugar Metabolism and Transport in the Shoot Tips of Crabapple Plants.

Front Plant Sci 2021 10;12:626149. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas/Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China.

To comprehensively understand the responses of carbohydrate metabolism and transport to different levels of nitrogen supply in growing shoot tips of crabapple ( Rehd), enzyme activities and related genes involved in the sugar metabolism pathway were investigated. The nitrogen and chlorophyll content of plants increased with increasing nitrogen supply. High nitrogen application increased the net photosynthesis rate and the growth rate of shoot tips but decreased the synthesis capability of sucrose and sorbitol in mature leaves. However, the shoot tips of plants under high-nitrogen treatment had higher contents of sucrose and sorbitol than did those under low-nitrogen treatment, while the activity of sucrose phosphate synthase and aldose-6-phosphate was increased and the transporters and were up-regulated. Moreover, the activities of enzymes involved in sucrose and hexose metabolism (including sucrose synthase, fructokinase, and hexokinase) were enhanced in the shoot tips of plants under high-nitrogen conditions, and the expression levels of and were significantly up-regulated. These findings indicate that a high nitrogen supply increases the metabolic capacity of assimilatory substances in shoot tips, accelerates the efficiency of sugar utilization and eventually leads to a rapid increase in the growth of shoot tips. Our results highlight that high nitrogen increases the capacity of sugar unloading and metabolic utilization in growing shoot tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.626149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7988234PMC
March 2021

Long non‑coding RNA CASC15 facilitates esophageal squamous cell carcinoma tumorigenesis via decreasing SIM2 stability via FTO‑mediated demethylation.

Oncol Rep 2021 03 30;45(3):1059-1071. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Translational Medical Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan 450052, P.R. China.

Long non‑coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in the regulation of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) progression. However, the function and mechanism of lncRNA cancer susceptibility candidate 15 (CASC15) are poorly defined. In the present study, tumor and normal adjacent tissues were collected from 45 patients with ESCC. Expression levels of CASC15, fat mass and obesity‑associated (FTO) protein and single‑minded 2 (SIM2) were examined via reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR and western blot assays. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were evaluated via MTT, flow cytometry and caspase‑3 activity assays, respectively. Additionally, an ESCC mouse xenograft model was used to assess the function of CASC15 in vivo. The interaction between FTO and CASC15/SIM2 was analyzed via RNA immunoprecipitation and RNA pull‑down assays. The results revealed that CASC15 expression was elevated in ESCC tissues, and patients with ESCC exhibiting high CASC15 expression had a poor prognosis. CASC15‑knockdown inhibited ESCC cell proliferation and facilitated apoptosis. Additionally, CASC15‑knockdown decreased the growth of ESCC xenograft tumors. CASC15 decreased SIM2 stability via FTO‑mediated demethylation. Additionally, FTO loss markedly weakened CASC15‑mediated pro‑proliferative and anti‑apoptotic effects in ESCC cells. SIM2 downregulation weakened the effect of CASC15‑knockdown on cell proliferation and inhibited the increase of the apoptotic rate and caspase‑3 activity induced by CASC15 depletion in ESCC cells. In conclusion, CASC15 promoted ESCC tumorigenesis by decreasing SIM2 stability via FTO‑mediated demethylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/or.2020.7917DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7860005PMC
March 2021

MdERDL6-mediated glucose efflux to the cytosol promotes sugar accumulation in the vacuole through up-regulating TSTs in apple and tomato.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 01 21;118(1). Epub 2020 Dec 21.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology in Arid Areas/Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, China;

Sugar transport across tonoplasts is essential for maintaining cellular sugar homeostasis and metabolic balance in plant cells. It remains unclear, however, how this process is regulated among different classes of sugar transporters. Here, we identified a tonoplast H/glucose symporter, MdERDL6-1, from apples, which was highly expressed in fruits and exhibited expression patterns similar to those of the tonoplast H/sugar antiporters MdTST1 and MdTST2. Overexpression of unexpectedly increased not only glucose (Glc) concentration but also that of fructose (Fru) and sucrose (Suc) in transgenic apple and tomato leaves and fruits. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and expression analyses showed an up-regulation of and in the transgenic apple and tomato lines overexpressing Further studies established that the increased sugar concentration in the transgenic lines correlated with up-regulation of and expression. Suppression or knockout of and in the overexpressed tomato background reduced or abolished the positive effect of on sugar accumulation, respectively. The findings demonstrate a regulation of and by , in which Glc exported by MdERDL6-1 from vacuole up-regulates and to import sugars from cytosol to vacuole for accumulation to high concentrations. The results provide insight into the regulatory mechanism of sugar accumulation in vacuoles mediated by the coordinated action of two classes of tonoplast sugar transporters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2022788118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817134PMC
January 2021

Enhanced arsenic removal from water by mass re-equilibrium: kinetics and performance evaluation in a binary-adsorbent system.

Water Res 2021 Feb 24;190:116676. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA. Electronic address:

Because arsenic (As) is highly toxic and carcinogenic, its efficient removal from drinking water is essential. Considering some adsorption media may adsorb As fast but are too expensive to be applied in a household, while others could be abundantly available at low cost but with slow uptake kinetics, we explored a novel mass re-equilibrium (MRE) process between two media with different adsorption characteristics to enhance the overall As removal. We employed an adsorbent with fast adsorption kinetics to grab As from water, and then allow it to transfer to a second adsorbent with large capacity for As retention. In the system containing two adsorbents separated by a dialysis membrane, the results showed that As associated with a fast-adsorbing iron-based ordered mesoporous carbon could diffuse to a slow-adsorbing but high-capacity iron-based activated carbon. Column tests were further conducted, showing that the mixed medium, composed of the two adsorbents, could be used to adsorb As at a very short empty bed contact time (≤ 1 min) and the removal was improved by the MRE that potentially redistributed solid-phase As during pump-off periods. This study points to a new direction that by the MRE process, novel binary-adsorbent approaches may be developed for contaminant removal, if suitable media and process configuration could be identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.116676DOI Listing
February 2021

Ectopic expression of apple hexose transporter MdHT2.2 reduced the salt tolerance of tomato seedlings with decreased ROS-scavenging ability.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Nov 6;156:504-513. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, College of Horticulture, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi, China. Electronic address:

Salt is one of the main stresses that limit plant growth, especially at the seedling stage, reducing crop production and severely impacting food security. However, the relationship between salt stress and sugar content regulated by sugar transporters remains unknown. Here, we investigated the salt tolerance of transgenic tomato seedlings ectopically expressing MdHT2.2, which is a fructose and glucose/H symporter located on the plasma membrane in apple. Although the contents of fructose, glucose and sucrose in the leaves of seedlings ectopically expressing MdHT2.2 obviously increased compared with those of WT seedlings, the transgenic seedlings were significantly less tolerance to salt stress. Under salt stress, the SlSOS1/2 and SlNHX1 genes were highly expressed, and the accumulation of Na was lower in the transgenic seedlings than in WT, however, ROS accumulated to a greater degree in the former, and the ROS-scavenging-related enzyme activities and AsA content were lower in the transgenic seedlings than WT. Taken together, these results indicated that the relatively low salt tolerance of the MdHT2.2 transgenic seedlings was related with the accumulation of ROS, which was caused by reduced ROS-scavenging ability. Our results offer proof that changes in sugar content caused by sugar transporters are related to salt tolerance, and provide new insight into the regulation of sugar content, quality improvement and stress tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.10.001DOI Listing
November 2020

Efficacy and safety of combined immunotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer: A two-center retrospective study.

Int Immunopharmacol 2020 Dec 8;89(Pt A):107033. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Department of Medical Oncology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310016 Zhejiang, China. Electronic address:

Background: The synergistic effects of immunotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have been reported in both preclinical and clinical trials. Herein, we evaluated the preliminary efficacy and safety of combined immunotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy in patients with previously treated advanced NSCLC in a real-world setting.

Methods: We conducted a 2-center, retrospective study of previously treated advanced NSCLC patients who received any anti-programmed death-1 antibody combined with antiangiogenic agent between May 2018 and March 2020.

Results: In total, 57 patients were included in this study, and the objective response rate and disease control rate were 19.3% and 63.2%, respectively. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.2 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.2-5.2 months). Bone metastases (odds ratio [OR] not available; P < .01) and ≥ 3 treatment lines (OR 6.8; 95% CI: 1.6-29.6; P < .05) were independent negative predictors of objective response. Additionally, liver metastases (hazard ratio [HR] 3.7; 95% CI: 1.6-8.5; P < 0.01), poor performance status score (PS) (HR 3.4; 95% CI: 1.6-7.5; P < 0.01) and ≥ 3 treatment lines (HR 3.5; 95% CI: 1.7-7.4; P < 0.01) were found to be negative predictors of PFS. Eighty-nine percent of the patients experienced an adverse event.

Conclusions: Metastatic sites (bone and liver), ≥3 treatment lines and poor PS were potential negative predictors of the efficacy of immunotherapy combined with antiangiogenic therapy for treating NSCLC. Further investigations and randomized controlled trials are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intimp.2020.107033DOI Listing
December 2020

Carbohydrate metabolism and transport in apple roots under nitrogen deficiency.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Oct 29;155:455-463. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas/Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, China. Electronic address:

Soluble sugars play important roles in plant development and stress response, and the nitrogen supply level can affect the among-organ distribution and metabolism of sugar in plants and, in turn, plant growth. To explore the adaptive response of apple root growth to nitrogen supply and its relationship with sugar metabolism, we used a hydroponic culture system to study how the nitrogen supply affects soluble sugar concentrations and sugar metabolism in apple roots. In hydroponic seedlings of Malus hupehensis, low nitrogen application caused rapid and vigorous proliferation of lateral roots, and the transcript levels of MdSOT1 and MdSUT3, which are involved in photoassimilate unloading in roots, were upregulated. The accumulation of sorbitol and sucrose in the fine roots was higher, and the activities of sucrose synthase, invertase and sorbitol dehydrogenase, which are involved in the degradation of sucrose and sorbitol, were significantly increased under a low nitrogen supply. Genes involved in sugar degradation, such as MdSDH1, MdSuSy5, and MdNINV3, play important roles in the efficient use of sorbitol and sucrose under nitrogen deficiency. Additionally, the activity of fructokinase and hexokinase, which are involved in hexose phosphorylation, and transcript levels of MdFRK2 and MdHK3 were significantly upregulated under nitrogen deficiency, and the hexose phosphate products F6P and G6P accumulated greatly in the roots. These results showed that the sugar metabolism capability and sink strength of the roots increased under low nitrogen, indicating that low nitrogen promotes the utilization of sugar in the roots to meet the demand for sugar under rapid root growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.07.037DOI Listing
October 2020

Second-Order Pooling for Graph Neural Networks.

IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 2020 Jun 1;PP. Epub 2020 Jun 1.

Graph neural networks have achieved great success in learning node representations for graph tasks such as node classification and link prediction. Graph representation learning requires graph pooling to obtain graph representations from node representations. It is challenging to develop graph pooling methods due to the variable sizes and isomorphic structures of graphs. In this work, we propose to use second-order pooling as graph pooling, which naturally solves the above challenges. In addition, compared to existing graph pooling methods, second-order pooling is able to use information from all nodes and collect second-order statistics, making it more powerful. We show that direct use of second-order pooling with graph neural networks leads to practical problems. To overcome these problems, we propose two novel global graph pooling methods based on second-order pooling; namely, bilinear mapping and attentional second-order pooling. In addition, we extend attentional second-order pooling to hierarchical graph pooling for more flexible use in GNNs. We perform thorough experiments on graph classification tasks to demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of our proposed methods. Experimental results show that our methods improve the performance significantly and consistently.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPAMI.2020.2999032DOI Listing
June 2020

Modification of pyrogenic carbons for phosphate sorption through binding of a cationic polymer.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2020 Nov 14;579:258-268. Epub 2020 Jun 14.

Department of Environmental Sciences, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT 06504, USA. Electronic address:

This study reports on the development of modified pyrogenic carbonaceous materials (PCMs) for recovering orthophosphate (PO-P). The PCMs include softwood and hardwood biochars and a commercial granular activated carbon (GAC) that were modified by irreversible adsorption of the quaternary ammonium polymer, poly(diallyldimethylammonium) chloride (pDADMAC), which reverses electrokinetic charge and increases PO-P sorption. MgO-doped biochars were prepared by a literature method for comparison. Imaging and spectroscopic analyses characterize pDADMAC coverage, MgO doping, and binding of PO-P. At environmentally relevant concentrations, PO-P sorption by the pDADMAC-treated biochars was ~100 times greater than that of the corresponding unmodified biochars, and was comparable to that of the corresponding MgO-doped biochars on a coating content basis. The pDADMAC-coated carbons bind PO-P by ion exchange, while the MgO-doped biochars bind PO-P principally by forming an amorphous Mg phosphate species. Susceptibility to competition from other relevant anions (Cl, NO, HCO/CO, SO) and poultry and dairy manure extracts was moderate and comparable for the two types of modified softwood biochars. Sorption to the pDADMAC-treated biochars appears to be more reversible than to the MgO-doped biochars using stepwise water extraction. Greater reversibility may be advantageous for trapping and recycling phosphate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2020.06.054DOI Listing
November 2020

Report on the Emergence Time of a Species of Thitarodes Ghost Moth (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae), Host of the Caterpillar Fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae) in Uttarakhand, India.

J Econ Entomol 2020 08;113(4):2031-2034

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Ghost moths in the genus Thitarodes Viette, 1968, are hosts of the economically important caterpillar fungus, which is harvested in high mountain meadows across the Hengduan mountains and the Himalayas. In northwestern India, although caterpillar fungus has been collected in the state of Uttarakhand, no adults of Thitarodes species have been recorded. We report the sighting of a female pupa of Thitarodes sp. and its last-instar molt at Munsiyari, Uttarakhand, India, on 5 July 2019 and estimate that the adult emergence time in this habitat should be late July or early August. Although the habitats of caterpillar fungus in Uttarakhand are geographically closer to those in Nepal, they are climatically more similar to habitats of caterpillar fungus in Qinghai province in China. Among records at the same elevation, climatic variables are highly predictive of the emergence date of Thitarodes adults (adjusted-R2: 0.7925, F = 6.27, P = 0.03). Our result highlights the role of the Himalayan mountains as both a north-south climatic barrier and an east-west climatic gradient. We encourage local stakeholders and scientists in Uttarakhand to survey adult emergences of Thitarodes from July to mid-August.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/toaa096DOI Listing
August 2020

Experience Creates the Multisensory Transform in the Superior Colliculus.

Front Integr Neurosci 2020 21;14:18. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, United States.

Although the ability to integrate information across the senses is compromised in some individuals for unknown reasons, similar defects have been observed when animals are reared without multisensory experience. The experience-dependent development of multisensory integration has been studied most extensively using the visual-auditory neuron of the cat superior colliculus (SC) as a neural model. In the normally-developed adult, SC neurons react to concordant visual-auditory stimuli by integrating their inputs in real-time to produce non-linearly amplified multisensory responses. However, when prevented from gathering visual-auditory experience, their multisensory responses are no more robust than their responses to the individual component stimuli. The mechanisms operating in this defective state are poorly understood. Here we examined the responses of SC neurons in "naïve" (i.e., dark-reared) and "neurotypic" (i.e., normally-reared) animals on a millisecond-by-millisecond basis to determine whether multisensory experience changes the operation by which unisensory signals are converted into multisensory outputs (the "multisensory transform"), or whether it changes the dynamics of the unisensory inputs to that transform (e.g., their synchronization and/or alignment). The results reveal that the major impact of experience was on the multisensory transform itself. Whereas neurotypic multisensory responses exhibited non-linear amplification near their onset followed by linear amplification thereafter, the naive responses showed no integration in the initial phase of the response and a computation consistent with competition in its later phases. The results suggest that multisensory experience creates an entirely new computation by which convergent unisensory inputs are used cooperatively to enhance the physiological salience of cross-modal events and thereby facilitate normal perception and behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnint.2020.00018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7212431PMC
April 2020

Molecular Sieve-Modified Separator for High-Performance Lithium-Ion Batteries.

Nanoscale Res Lett 2020 May 13;15(1):107. Epub 2020 May 13.

Division of Energy and Environment, Engineering Laboratory for the Next Generation Power and Energy Storage Batteries Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, 518055, China.

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are currently the most important energy storage system. Separators in the battery play a critical role in terms of the rate capability, cycle life, and safe operation. However, commercial separators exhibit poor electrolyte wettability and limited safety. It is also extremely important to eliminate the hazardous small molecules (e.g., HO and HF) inside the battery to enhance the service life. Herein, a functionalized poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene)@polyacrylonitrile ([email protected]) separator modified by 4-Å molecular sieves (MS) was fabricated by hydrothermal method for LIBs. [email protected]@PAN separator exhibits high thermal stability and carbonate electrolyte wettability. In addition, it can lower the moisture value in the battery system to 13 ppm, which significantly improves the electrolyte quality. When the current density increased from 0.2 to 5 C, the discharging capacity of the cell with [email protected]@PAN declines from 177.6 to 143.2 mAh g, demonstrating an excellent capacity retention of 80.6%. The discharge capacity retention of NMC622 half-cell with [email protected]@PAN after 100 cycles is 98.6% of its initial discharge capacity, which is higher than that of a cell with the Celgard 2400 separator (91.9%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s11671-020-03327-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7221092PMC
May 2020

ChannelNets: Compact and Efficient Convolutional Neural Networks via Channel-Wise Convolutions.

IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 2021 08 1;43(8):2570-2581. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have shown great capability of solving various artificial intelligence tasks. However, the increasing model size has raised challenges in employing them in resource-limited applications. In this work, we propose to compress deep models by using channel-wise convolutions, which replace dense connections among feature maps with sparse ones in CNNs. Based on this novel operation, we build light-weight CNNs known as ChannelNets. ChannelNets use three instances of channel-wise convolutions; namely group channel-wise convolutions, depth-wise separable channel-wise convolutions, and the convolutional classification layer. Compared to prior CNNs designed for mobile devices, ChannelNets achieve a significant reduction in terms of the number of parameters and computational cost without loss in accuracy. Notably, our work represents an attempt to compress the fully-connected classification layer, which usually accounts for about 25 percent of total parameters in compact CNNs. Along this new direction, we investigate the behavior of our proposed convolutional classification layer and conduct detailed analysis. Based on our in-depth analysis, we further propose convolutional classification layers without weight-sharing. This new classification layer achieves a good trade-off between fully-connected classification layers and the convolutional classification layer. Experimental results on the ImageNet dataset demonstrate that ChannelNets achieve consistently better performance compared to prior methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPAMI.2020.2975796DOI Listing
August 2021

Crystal Structure of African Swine Fever Virus pS273R Protease and Implications for Inhibitor Design.

J Virol 2020 05 4;94(10). Epub 2020 May 4.

State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology and College of Pharmacy, Nankai University, Tianjin, People's Republic of China.

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs that is responsible for serious economic and production losses. It is caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV), a large and complex icosahedral DNA virus of the family. Currently, there is no effective treatment or approved vaccine against the ASFV. pS273R, a specific SUMO-1 cysteine protease, catalyzes the maturation of the pp220 and pp62 polyprotein precursors into core-shell proteins. Here, we present the crystal structure of the ASFV pS273R protease at a resolution of 2.3 Å. The overall structure of the pS273R protease is represented by two domains named the "core domain" and the N-terminal "arm domain." The "arm domain" contains the residues from M1 to N83, and the "core domain" contains the residues from N84 to A273. A structure analysis reveals that the "core domain" shares a high degree of structural similarity with chlamydial deubiquitinating enzyme, sentrin-specific protease, and adenovirus protease, while the "arm domain" is unique to ASFV. Further, experiments indicated that the "arm domain" plays an important role in maintaining the enzyme activity of ASFV pS273R. Moreover, based on the structural information of pS273R, we designed and synthesized several peptidomimetic aldehyde compounds at a submolar 50% inhibitory concentration, which paves the way for the design of inhibitors to target this severe pathogen. African swine fever virus, a large and complex icosahedral DNA virus, causes a deadly infection in domestic pigs. In addition to Africa and Europe, countries in Asia, including China, Vietnam, and Mongolia, were negatively affected by the hazards posed by ASFV outbreaks in 2018 and 2019, at which time more than 30 million pigs were culled. Until now, there has been no vaccine for protection against ASFV infection or effective treatments to cure ASF. Here, we solved the high-resolution crystal structure of the ASFV pS273R protease. The pS273R protease has a two-domain structure that distinguishes it from other members of the SUMO protease family, while the unique "arm domain" has been proven to be essential for its hydrolytic activity. Moreover, the peptidomimetic aldehyde compounds designed to target the substrate binding pocket exert prominent inhibitory effects and can thus be used in a potential lead for anti-ASFV drug development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02125-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7199414PMC
May 2020

Global Pixel Transformers for Virtual Staining of Microscopy Images.

IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2020 06 21;39(6):2256-2266. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Visualizing the details of different cellular structures is of great importance to elucidate cellular functions. However, it is challenging to obtain high quality images of different structures directly due to complex cellular environments. Fluorescence staining is a popular technique to label different structures but has several drawbacks. In particular, label staining is time consuming and may affect cell morphology, and simultaneous labels are inherently limited. This raises the need of building computational models to learn relationships between unlabeled microscopy images and labeled fluorescence images, and to infer fluorescence labels of other microscopy images excluding the physical staining process. We propose to develop a novel deep model for virtual staining of unlabeled microscopy images. We first propose a novel network layer, known as the global pixel transformer layer, that fuses global information from inputs effectively. The proposed global pixel transformer layer can generate outputs with arbitrary dimensions, and can be employed for all the regular, down-sampling, and up-sampling operators. We then incorporate our proposed global pixel transformer layers and dense blocks to build an U-Net like network. We believe such a design can promote feature reusing between layers. In addition, we propose a multi-scale input strategy to encourage networks to capture features at different scales. We conduct evaluations across various fluorescence image prediction tasks to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. Both quantitative and qualitative results show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art approach significantly. It is also shown that our proposed global pixel transformer layer is useful to improve the fluorescence image prediction results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TMI.2020.2968504DOI Listing
June 2020

PIGMENTED MACULES REMOVAL WITH COSMETIC TREATMENT MAY COVER UP PEUTZ-JEGHERS SYNDROME: A CASE REPORT.

Gastroenterol Nurs 2019 Nov/Dec;42(6):504-507

Feihong Ji, MD, Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. Chenyu Sun, MD, MSc, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China Province. Feras Kamel Rizeq, MPH, The Avalon University School of Medicine, Santa Rosaweg, Willemstad, Curaçao. Minglong Pu, MD, Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. Hongwei Yang, PhD, MD, Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. Xinhua Dong, MD, Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. Zhengyang Wang, PhD, MD, Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. Weilong Chang, PhD, MD, Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. Zhen Yang, MD, is Associate Professor and Associate Chief Physician, Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SGA.0000000000000449DOI Listing
June 2020

sp. nov. (Lepidoptera, Hepialidae): a new host of the caterpillar fungus supported by genome-wide SNP data.

Zookeys 2019 4;885:89-113. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Harvard University Cambridge United States of America.

A new species of ghost moth, , is described from Yanzigou glacier, Mt. Gongga, Sichuan, China. The species is a host of the economically important caterpillar fungus . Establishment of this new species is supported by morphology and genetic differentiation measured in a CO1 phylogeny and in genome-wide SNP coverage. A summary tree from 538 sequences of different genetic markers from (including sequences extracted from caterpillar fungus sclerotium samples) support the genus as a monophyletic group, and indicate that is the host genus for . Sampling efforts so far have centered on half of the known phylogenetic diversity of , with some species-level clusters (separated by < 2.5% genetic distance) containing 17 described species. Fifteen clusters are known from either a single "orphan taxon" or a single sequence from a caterpillar fungus sclerotium sample. We provide suggestions for building a more robust phylogeny of the genus and highlight some of the conservation threats that species from this genus face due to unprecedented habitat exploitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.885.34638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6848235PMC
November 2019

Heterologous expression of the apple hexose transporter MdHT2.2 altered sugar concentration with increasing cell wall invertase activity in tomato fruit.

Plant Biotechnol J 2020 02 17;18(2):540-552. Epub 2019 Aug 17.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas/College of Horticulture/Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.

Sugar transporters are necessary to transfer hexose from cell wall spaces into parenchyma cells to boost hexose accumulation to high concentrations in fruit. Here, we have identified an apple hexose transporter (HTs), MdHT2.2, located in the plasma membrane, which is highly expressed in mature fruit. In a yeast system, the MdHT2.2 protein exhibited high C-fructose and C-glucose transport activity. In transgenic tomato heterologously expressing MdHT2.2, the levels of both fructose and glucose increased significantly in mature fruit, with sugar being unloaded via the apoplastic pathway, but the level of sucrose decreased significantly. Analysis of enzyme activity and the expression of genes related to sugar metabolism and transport revealed greatly up-regulated expression of SlLIN5, a key gene encoding cell wall invertase (CWINV), as well as increased CWINV activity in tomatoes transformed with MdHT2.2. Moreover, the levels of fructose, glucose and sucrose recovered nearly to those of the wild type in the sllin5-edited mutant of the MdHT2.2-expressing lines. However, the overexpression of MdHT2.2 decreased hexose levels and increased sucrose levels in mature leaves and young fruit, suggesting that the response pathway for the apoplastic hexose signal differs among tomato tissues. The present study identifies a new HTs in apple that is able to take up fructose and glucose into cells and confirms that the apoplastic hexose levels regulated by HT controls CWINV activity to alter carbohydrate partitioning and sugar content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953210PMC
February 2020

Floc structure and membrane fouling affected by sodium alginate interaction with Al species as model organic pollutants.

J Environ Sci (China) 2019 Aug 4;82:1-13. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.

Membrane filtration combined with pre-coagulation has advantages in advanced wastewater treatment. As a model of a microbial polysaccharide, research on the effect of sodium alginate (SA) on alum hydrolysis has been rare; therefore, it is necessary to gain insight into the interface interaction between SA molecules and Al species, and the role SA plays during floc formation. In this study, the interaction mechanism between SA and Al species has been investigated, by evaluating the effect of SA on floc characteristics and membrane fouling during coagulation-ultrafiltration with different Al species coagulants (AlCl and preformed Al). Al 2p X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed that the complexation of ligands and Al species strongly affects the reaction pathways for Al hydrolysis and the final nature of the flocs, as Al can be decomposed into octahedral precipitates when SA is added. The presence of SA can affect floc properties, which have important impacts on the characteristics of the cake layer and membrane fouling. Due to the bridging ability of SA, the floc strength increased by about 50% using Al, which was much better than preformed Al, with a percentage increase of only about 6%. Moreover, the recovery factor of HA-flocs was decreased from 96% to 43% with SA addition of 0.5 mg/L. It was concluded that SA can affect the characteristics of the cake layer and membrane fouling through participating in the formation of primary flocs and altering the Al hydrolysis pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2019.02.022DOI Listing
August 2019

SolidBin: improving metagenome binning with semi-supervised normalized cut.

Bioinformatics 2019 11;35(21):4229-4238

School of Computer Science and Shanghai Key Lab of Intelligent Information Processing, Shanghai, China.

Motivation: Metagenomic contig binning is an important computational problem in metagenomic research, which aims to cluster contigs from the same genome into the same group. Unlike classical clustering problem, contig binning can utilize known relationships among some of the contigs or the taxonomic identity of some contigs. However, the current state-of-the-art contig binning methods do not make full use of the additional biological information except the coverage and sequence composition of the contigs.

Results: We developed a novel contig binning method, Semi-supervised Spectral Normalized Cut for Binning (SolidBin), based on semi-supervised spectral clustering. Using sequence feature similarity and/or additional biological information, such as the reliable taxonomy assignments of some contigs, SolidBin constructs two types of prior information: must-link and cannot-link constraints. Must-link constraints mean that the pair of contigs should be clustered into the same group, while cannot-link constraints mean that the pair of contigs should be clustered in different groups. These constraints are then integrated into a classical spectral clustering approach, normalized cut, for improved contig binning. The performance of SolidBin is compared with five state-of-the-art genome binners, CONCOCT, COCACOLA, MaxBin, MetaBAT and BMC3C on five next-generation sequencing benchmark datasets including simulated multi- and single-sample datasets and real multi-sample datasets. The experimental results show that, SolidBin has achieved the best performance in terms of F-score, Adjusted Rand Index and Normalized Mutual Information, especially while using the real datasets and the single-sample dataset.

Availability And Implementation: https://github.com/sufforest/SolidBin.

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btz253DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6821242PMC
November 2019

Melatonin-Mediated Sugar Accumulation and Growth Inhibition in Apple Plants Involves Down-Regulation of Fructokinase 2 Expression and Activity.

Front Plant Sci 2019 19;10:150. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China.

Melatonin has been reported to play roles in regulating carbohydrate levels and plant growth. However, little is known about the exact mechanism by which melatonin regulates sugar levels and growth in plants. In this study, it was found that high levels of melatonin inhibited the growth of wild-type (WT) apple plants and induced significant accumulations of fructose, glucose, and sucrose in apple leaves, while expression was significantly downregulated. promoter transiently expressed in tobacco leaves further supported that the expression of could be inhibited by exogenous melatonin. After applying exogenous melatonin, the suppression of expression was significantly rescued in transgenic apples overexpressing via the 35S promoter. Fructose, glucose, and sucrose concentrations increased less as compared to WT apple plants. Wild-type plants showed a stunted phenotype 21 days after melatonin treatment, while -overexpressing plants exhibited slightly inhibited growth, indicating that the downregulated expression in response to melatonin was involved in melatonin-mediated growth inhibition. Taken together, these results demonstrate the involvement of in melatonin-induced sugar accumulation and growth inhibition. Our findings shed light on the roles played by in connecting melatonin action and plant growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00150DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389791PMC
February 2019

Pixel Transposed Convolutional Networks.

IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 2020 May 18;42(5):1218-1227. Epub 2019 Jan 18.

Transposed convolutional layers have been widely used in a variety of deep models for up-sampling, including encoder-decoder networks for semantic segmentation and deep generative models for unsupervised learning. One of the key limitations of transposed convolutional operations is that they result in the so-called checkerboard problem. This is caused by the fact that no direct relationship exists among adjacent pixels on the output feature map. To address this problem, we propose the pixel transposed convolutional layer (PixelTCL) to establish direct relationships among adjacent pixels on the up-sampled feature map. Our method is based on a fresh interpretation of the regular transposed convolutional operation. The resulting PixelTCL can be used to replace any transposed convolutional layer in a plug-and-play manner without compromising the fully trainable capabilities of original models. The proposed PixelTCL may result in slight decrease in efficiency, but this can be overcome by an implementation trick. Experimental results on semantic segmentation demonstrate that PixelTCL can consider spatial features such as edges and shapes and yields more accurate segmentation outputs than transposed convolutional layers. When used in image generation tasks, our PixelTCL can largely overcome the checkerboard problem suffered by regular transposed convolutional operations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPAMI.2019.2893965DOI Listing
May 2020
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