Publications by authors named "Zhongyuan Li"

50 Publications

Effectors of f. sp. Suppressing the Pathogenic-Associated Molecular Pattern-Triggered Immune Response Were Screened by Transient Expression of Wheat Protoplasts.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 May 7;22(9). Epub 2021 May 7.

College of Life Science, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an 625014, China.

f. sp. () is an important pathogen of wheat ( L.) stripe rust, and the effector protein secreted by haustoria is a very important component involved in the pathogenic process. Although the candidate effector proteins secreted by haustoria have been predicted to be abundant, few have been functionally validated. Our study confirmed that chitin and flg22 could be used as elicitors of the pathogenic-associated molecular pattern-triggered immune (PTI) reaction in wheat leaves and that could be used as a marker gene to detect the PTI reaction. In addition, the experimental results were consistent in wheat protoplasts. A rapid and efficient method for screening and identifying the effector proteins of was established by using the wheat protoplast transient expression system. Thirty-nine haustorial effector genes were successfully cloned and screened for expression in the protoplast. We identified three haustorial effector proteins, PSEC2, PSEC17, and PSEC45, that may inhibit the response of wheat to PTI. These proteins are localized in the somatic cytoplasm and nucleus of wheat protoplasts and are highly expressed during the infection and parasitism of wheat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22094985DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8125866PMC
May 2021

Effects of three different mannans on obesity and gut microbiota in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6J mice.

Food Funct 2021 May 28;12(10):4606-4620. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology of Ministry of Education & Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300457, China.

To compare the effects of three mannans, Konjac glucomannan (KGM), guar gum (GG) and locust bean gum (LBG), on obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders in mice fed with high-fat diet (HFD), and to investigate the potential modulation of gut microbiota, we performed a 14 week study on C57BL/6J mice fed a HFD with/without mannan supplementation. The results showed that supplementing 8% KGM, GG, and LBG to a HFD dramatically reduced the body weight gain and adipose accumulation, attenuated liver injury, and antagonized glycolipid metabolism and inflammation-related parameters of HFD-fed mice in different degrees. However, only LBG had such roles when the supplement dose was reduced to 2%. In addition, it was found that LBG required more time to exert its impacts on weight control and lipid metabolism. Furthermore, 16S rRNA gene sequencing of gut microbiota indicated that mannans with different structures and supplement doses affected the overall structure of the gut microbiota to a varying extent and specifically changed the abundance of some OTUs. Moreover, several OTUs belonging to the genera Muribaculum, Staphylococcus, [Eubacterium] fissicatena group, and Christensenella had a high correlation with obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders of the host. In summary, all the three mannans had the potential to be used as alternative dietary supplements or functional foods to prevent obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders induced by a HFD, but the effects of the dose and time varied, and the functions of the mannans were associated with their ability to regulate the gut microbiota.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0fo03331fDOI Listing
May 2021

Functional and structural investigation of a novel β-mannanase BaMan113A from Bacillus sp. N16-5.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Apr 15;182:899-909. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology of Ministry of Education & Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300457, China. Electronic address:

Mannan is an important renewable resource whose backbone can be hydrolyzed by β-mannanases to generate manno-oligosaccharides of various sizes. Only a few glycoside hydrolase (GH) 113 family β-mannanases have been functionally and structurally characterize. Here, we report the function and structure of a novel GH113 β-mannanase from Bacillus sp. N16-5 (BaMan113A). BaMan113A exhibits a substrate preference toward manno-oligosaccharides and releases mannose and mannobiose as main hydrolytic products. The crystal structure of BaMan113A suggest that the enzyme shows a semi-enclosed substrate-binding cleft and the amino acids surrounding the +2 subsite form a steric barrier to terminate the substrate-binding tunnel. Based on these structural features, we conducted mutagenesis to engineer BaMan113A to remove the steric hindrance of the substrate-binding tunnel. We found that F101E and N236Y variants exhibit increased specific activity toward mannans comparing to the wild-type enzyme. Meanwhile, the product profiles of these two variants toward polysaccharides changed from mannose to a series of manno-oligosaccharides. The crystal structure of variant N236Y was also determined to illustrate the molecular basis underlying the mutation. In conclusion, we report the functional and structural features of a novel GH113 β-mannanase, and successfully improved its endo-acting activity by using structure-based engineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.04.075DOI Listing
April 2021

A comprehensive review on phytochemistry, bioactivities, toxicity studies, and clinical studies on Ficus carica Linn. leaves.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 May 19;137:111393. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

College of Pharmacy, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan 250355, China; Qingdao Academy of Chinese Medicinal Sciences Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qingdao 266041, China. Electronic address:

The leaves of Ficus carica Linn. (FC) have been widely used for medicine purposes since ancient times, and its decoction is consumed as tea. Many scientific papers have been published in the literature and the researchers across the world are still exploring the health benefits of FC leaves. In this review, we have collected the literature published since 2010 in the databases: Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science, SciFinder, Google Scholar, Baidu Scholar and local classic herbal literature. The summary of the chemical constituents in FC leaves, biological activities, toxicity studies, and clinical studies carried out on FC leaves is provided in this review. In addition, the molecular mechanisms of the active constituents in FC leaves are also comprehended. FC leaves are reported to 126 constituents out of which the polyphenolic compounds are predominant. Many scientific studies have proven the antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anticholinesterase, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, and renoprotective activities. Many studies have carried out to provide the insights on molecular pathways involved in the biological activities of FC leaves. The toxicity studies have suggested that FC leaves exhibit toxicity only at very high doses. We believe this review serve as a comprehensive resource for those who are interested to understand the scientific evidence that support the medicinal values of FC leaves and also the research gaps to further improve the commercial value and health benefits of FC leaves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111393DOI Listing
May 2021

Theaflavin ameliorates renal ischemia/reperfusion injury by activating the Nrf2 signalling pathway in vivo and in vitro.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 Feb 16;134:111097. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Department of Urology, The Central Hospital of Wuhan, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China. Electronic address:

Studies have demonstrated that oxidaive stress-induced apoptosis may be the main pathogenic mechanism of renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Theaflavin, a polyphenolic compound extracted from black tea, has been proven to exert strong antioxidant biological function. The objective of the present study was to investigate the potential role of theaflavin on renal I/R injury and its potential molecular mechanism both in vitro and in vivo. C57/BL6 J mice were used to create a model of I/R injury wherein mice were ligated with bilateral renal pedicles for 45 min, and then reperfused for 24 h. A hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) model of TCMK-1 cells was used to simulate I/R in vitro. Theaflavin were administered to the treatment group first and then established the model. Kidney Injury Molecule-1 (KIM-1), serum creatinine, urea nitrogen, and 24-h urinary protein levels were evaluated and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential and the ultrastructure of mitochondria were observed. Cell viability, oxidative stress damage, and apoptosis were assessed. The expression levels of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its downstream target genes HO-1 and NQO1 were evaluated. Our results revealed that pretreatment with theaflavin significantly inhibited I/R- and H/R-induced renal injury and cell apoptosis. Theaflavin improved mitochondrial dysfunction by attenuating mitochondrial damage and promoting mitochondrial membrane potential. Theaflavin pretreatment significantly reduced malondialdehyde content, while enhancing superoxide dismutase activity in vivo and in vitro. It also reduced oxidative stress and apoptosis mainly by upregulating Nrf2 and its downstream targets in TCMK-1 cells. Thus, theaflavin exerted a protective effect against renal I/R injury by inhibiting oxidative stress and apoptosis via activation of the Nrf2-NQO1/HO-1 pathway as well as correcting mitochondrial dysfunction, thereby presenting its potential as a clinical therapeutic in cases of acute kidney injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2020.111097DOI Listing
February 2021

Biological detoxification of fumonisin by a novel carboxylesterase from Sphingomonadales bacterium and its biochemical characterization.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Feb 9;169:18-27. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology (Tianjin University of Science and Technology), Ministry of Education, Tianjin 300457, PR China; Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300457, PR China. Electronic address:

Fumonisins have posed hazardous threat to human and animal health worldwide. Enzymatic degradation is a desirable detoxification approach but is severely hindered by serious shortage of detoxification enzymes. After mining enzymes by bioinformatics analysis, a novel carboxylesterase FumDSB from Sphingomonadales bacterium was expressed in Escherichia coli, and confirmed to catalyze fumonisin B1 to produce hydrolyzed fumonisin B1 by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry for the first time. FumDSB showed high sequence novelty, sharing only ~34% sequence identity with three reported fumonisin detoxification carboxylesterases. Besides, FumDSB displayed its high degrading activity at 30-40 °C within a broad pH range from 6.0 to 9.0, which is perfectly suitable to be used in animal physiological condition. It also exhibited excellent pH stability and moderate thermostability. This study provides a FB1 detoxification carboxylesterase which could be further used as a potential food and feed additive.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.12.033DOI Listing
February 2021

Low DAPK1 expression correlates with poor prognosis and sunitinib resistance in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Aging (Albany NY) 2020 11 16;13(2):1842-1858. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Urology, The Central Hospital of Wuhan, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

We investigated the prognostic significance of Death-Associated Protein Kinase 1 (DAPK1) and its role in sunitinib resistance in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). DAPK1 mRNA levels were significantly lower in tumor tissues than normal kidney tissues in TCGA-KIRC dataset (n=428). Both overall survival and disease-free survival were significantly shorter in ccRCC patients with low DAPK1 expression than those with high DAPK1 expression. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that low DAPK1 expression correlated with poor prognosis in ccRCC patients. Multivariate analysis confirmed that DAPK1 expression was an independent prognostic indicator in ccRCC. Gene set enrichment analysis showed that low DAPK1 expression correlates with upregulation of pathways related to metastasis, drug resistance, hypoxia and invasiveness in ccRCC patients. Sunitinib-resistant ccRCC cells show significantly lower DAPK1 mRNA and protein levels than sunitinib-sensitive ccRCC cells. DAPK1 overexpression enhances apoptosis in sunitinib-resistant ccRCC cells via the ATF6-dependent ER stress pathway. Xenograft tumors derived from DAPK1-overxpressing ccRCC cells were significantly smaller than the controls in nude mice. Our finding demonstrates that low DAPK1 expression is an independent prognostic indicator that correlates with ccRCC progression and sunitinib resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.103638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7880360PMC
November 2020

Realizing Tunable White Light Emission in Lead-Free Indium(III) Bromine Hybrid Single Crystals through Antimony(III) Cation Doping.

J Phys Chem Lett 2020 Dec 16;11(23):10164-10172. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

College of Materials, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Fujian Province Key Laboratory of Materials Genome, Xiamen University, Simingnan Road 422, Xiamen 361005, P. R. China.

Low-dimensional metal halide hybrids (OIMHs) have recently been explored as single-component white-light emitters for use in solid-state lighting. However, it still remains challenging to realize tunable white-light emission in lead-free zero-dimensional (0D) hybrid system. Here, a combination strategy has been proposed through doping Sb enabling and balancing multiple emission centers toward the multiband warm white light. We first synthesized a new lead-free 0D (CNH)InBr·HO single crystal, in which isolated [InBr] octahedral units are separated by large organic cations [CNH]. (CNH)InBr·HO exhibits dual-band emissions with one intense cyan emission and a weak red emission tail. The low-energy ultrabroadband red emission tail can be greatly enhanced by the Sb doping. Experimental data and first-principles calculations reveal that the original dominant cyan emission is originated from the organic cations [CNH] and that the broadband red emission is ascribed to self-trapped excitons in [In(Sb)Br]. When the Sb concentration is 0.1%, a single-component warm white-light emission with a photoluminescence quantum efficiency of 23.36%, correlated color temperature of 3347 K, and a color rendering index up to 84 can be achieved. This work represents a significant step toward the realization of single-component white-light emissions in environmental-friendly, high-performance 0D metal halide light-emitting materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c03079DOI Listing
December 2020

Molecular Level Insight Into the Benefit of Myricetin and Dihydromyricetin Uptake in Patients With Alzheimer's Diseases.

Front Aging Neurosci 2020 23;12:601603. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

College of Pharmacy, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease with a high incidence rate and complicated pathogenesis. Currently, all anti-AD drugs treat the symptoms of the disease, and with currently no cure for AD. Flavonoid containing natural products, Myricetin (MYR) and Dihydromyricetin (DMY), are abundant in fruits and vegetables, and have been approved as food supplements in some countries. Interestingly, MYR and DMY have been reported to have anti-AD effects. However, the underlying anti-AD mechanism of action of MYR and DMY is complex with many facets being identified. In this review, we explore the benefit of MYR and DMY in AD patients from a molecular level. Their mechanism of action are discussed from various aspects including amyloid β-protein (Aβ) imbalance, neuroinflammation, dyshomeostasis of metal ions, autophagy disorder, and oxidative stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.601603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7645199PMC
October 2020

Obstetric and perinatal outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection versus conventional in vitro fertilization in couples with nonsevere male infertility.

Fertil Steril 2020 10 23;114(4):792-800. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Reproductive Medical Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, People's Republic of China; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Provincial Hospital affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Objective: To determine whether intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is associated with improved outcomes compared with conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF) for patients with nonsevere male factor infertility.

Design: Retrospective cohort.

Setting: University-affiliated reproductive endocrinology unit.

Patient(s): Couples who received their first-cycle embryo transfer without severe oligoasthenozoospermia (OA) between January 2012 and December 2016 were included in this study.

Intervention(s): Six subgroup analyses were performed according to the proposed indications for the use of ICSI as follows: non-male factor infertility, advanced maternal age (≥38 years), unexplained infertility, low oocyte yield (≤6), mild OA, and moderate OA.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Live birth rates and selected perinatal outcomes.

Result(s): ICSI resulted in live birth rates similar to those achieved with IVF (41.68% vs. 44.31%). There were no significant differences in the incidences of gestational diabetes mellitus, hypertension disorder of pregnancy, placental previa, postpartum hemorrhage, cesarean delivery, fetal macrosomia, small for gestational age, large for gestational age, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, and congenital anomalies between the two groups. Subgroup analyses showed that ICSI resulted in a lower rate of NICU admission in couples with moderate OA.

Conclusion(s): Our results suggested that routine use of ICSI for all causes of infertility did not result in better pregnancy and perinatal outcomes compared with conventional IVF in the first cycle. ICSI might be associated with a lower risk of NICU admission when used in couples with moderate OA. Large prospective studies are required to validate our current findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.04.058DOI Listing
October 2020

Biochemical characterization of a novel halo/organic-solvents/final-products tolerant GH39 xylosidase from saline soil and its synergic action with xylanase.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Dec 15;164:184-192. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

State Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology of Ministry of Education & Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300457, PR China. Electronic address:

Xylosidases with tolerance to high concentration of salts, organic solvents, and enzyme hydrolytic products are preferential for industrial application but were rarely reported. In this study, a novel xylosidase XYL21 belong to glycoside hydrolase 39 was characterized with optimal temperature of 45 °C and optimal pH of 5.50. Different to other GH39 xylosidases, XYL21 had excellent tolerance to salts, the activity of which is not inhibited but slightly increased in 0.50-1.50 M NaCl. It is also tolerant to organic solvents, especially retaining 105.18% relative activity even in the presence of 15.00% (v/v) ethanol. Moreover, XYL21 was insensitive to the final lignocellulose hydrolysis products including glucose, xylose, arabinose, mannose and galactose, which retains 111.36% and 53.49% relative activity in 0.30 and 0.90 M xylose, respectively. Further structural modeling analysis indicated that its excellent tolerance may be attributed to its high structural flexibility caused by the high proportion of random coils. Furthermore, XYL21 had a wide substrate specificity to catalyze xylan and xylo-oligosaccharides, and it significantly cooperated with xylanase to improve the hydrolysis efficiency with 1.52-fold. Considering these unique properties, XYL21 is a good candidate for both basic research and various potential industrial applications such as seafood processing and bioethanol production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.07.079DOI Listing
December 2020

Bacillus subtilis RZ001 improves intestinal integrity and alleviates colitis by inhibiting the Notch signalling pathway and activating ATOH-1.

Pathog Dis 2020 03;78(2)

Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology, Ministry of Education and Tianjin, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, 300457, China. Tianjin Engineering Research Center of Microbial Metabolism and Fermentation Process Control, Tianjin 300457, China.

Intestinal mucosal barriers help the body resist many intestinal inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In this study, we identified a novel bacterium promoting the repair of intestinal mucosa and investigated the potential mechanisms underlying its activity. Culture supernatant of Bacillus subtilis RZ001 upregulated the expression of mucin 2 (MUC2) and tight junction (TJ) proteins in HT-29 cells in vitro. Oral administration of B. subtilis RZ001 may have significantly reduced symptoms such as the dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced decrease in body weight, shortening of colon length and overproduction of proinflammatory factors. The number of goblet cells and levels of MUC2 and TJ proteins were significantly increased in adult mice fed with B. subtilis RZ001. B. subtilis RZ001 cells upregulated the levels of MUC2 in the intestinal organoids. Furthermore, culture supernatant of B. subtilis RZ001 could suppress the Notch signalling pathway and activate the expression of atonal homolog 1 (Atoh1). The transcription factor Atoh1 is required for intestinal secretory cell differentiation and activates transcription of MUC2 via binding to E-boxes on the MUC2 promoter. Taken together, B. subtilis strain RZ001 has the potential for treating IBD. The present study is helpful to elucidate the mechanisms of B. subtilis action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femspd/ftaa016DOI Listing
March 2020

Effect of pregravid obesity on perinatal outcomes in singleton pregnancies following in vitro fertilization and the weight-loss goals to reduce the risks of poor pregnancy outcomes: A retrospective cohort study.

PLoS One 2020 13;15(2):e0227766. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Reproductive Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China.

Objective: In the present study, we aimed to determine whether pregravid obesity independently predicts increased risks of perinatal complications following in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the weight loss goals to reduce the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Population: All pregnancies after first the fresh IVF cycle from January 2014 to December 2016 in the Reproductive Center affiliated to Shandong University were reviewed. A total of 3,962 eligible singleton births were stratified into cohorts based on the body mass index (BMI) definitions of the Working Group on Obesity in China (WGOC).

Main Outcome Measures: Adverse perinatal outcomes.

Results: Pregravid overweight and obesity were associated with increased risks of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), including gestational hypertension (GH) and pre-eclampsia (PE), polyhydramnios, preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM), placental abruption, preterm birth (PTB) <37 weeks, caesarean section (CS), fetal macrosomia, large for gestational age (LGA) >90th percentile, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS), neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission and congenital anomalies as compared with the normal-weight group after adjustment of differences in age, parity, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and type of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). The increased risks of PPROM, NRDS and congenital anomalies were eliminated after adjustment of GDM development, whereas the increased risk of NRDS disappeared after adjustment of HDP. Placenta previa was not significantly different between the obese group and reference group (REF). Moreover, the rates of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), PTB<32 weeks, small for gestational age (SGA) >90th percentile and perinatal mortality were also not significantly different between above-mentioned two groups. For obese women, a 10%-15% reduction in prepregnancy BMI was associated with significantly decreased risks of GH, CS and fetal macrosomia. For overweight women, just a 5% reduction in BMI could significantly reduce the risks of GDM, CS and fetal macrosomia.

Conclusions: Pregravid obesity could independently predict a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes after adjustment of differences in maternal age, parity, PCOS, and type of COH in IVF pregnancies. The potential mechanism that obesity potentiated the risks of some poor perinantal outcomes might occur through the development of GDM and HDP. A 10%-15% reduction in pregravid BMI for obese women and a 5% reduction for overweight women were associated with a significant reduction of poor perinatal complications.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0227766PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027660PMC
April 2020

The critical roles of exposed surface residues for the thermostability and halotolerance of a novel GH11 xylanase from the metagenomic library of a saline-alkaline soil.

Int J Biol Macromol 2019 Jul 12;133:316-323. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

State Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology of Ministry of Education & Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300457, PR China. Electronic address:

Thermostable and halotolerant GH11 xylanases are highly desirable in various industrial applications but they were rarely characterized. In this study, we firstly revealed the genetic diversity of GH11 xylanases from the metagenomic DNA of a saline-alkaline soil by constructing a gene fragment library. Twelve distinct xylanase fragment sequences were identified, which shared 62-96% identity to known GH11 xylanases. Among them, Xyn22 with the highest relative abundance was cloned and found to exhibit excellent halotolerance. Xyn22 retained 80 and 58% relative activity in the presence of 3 and 5 M NaCl, respectively, and had no loss of activity after incubation in 3 M NaCl at 37 °C for 1 h. Additionally, the acidic amino acid residues E137 and E139 on the protein's surface were revealed to cooperatively play important roles in its excellent halotolerance and halostabilty. Furthermore, the thermostability of Xyn22 was significantly improved without compromising halotolerance by introducing an aromatic interaction between Y48 and F53. In conclusion, this study not only provides a thermostable and halotolerant GH11 xylanase, but also reveals the key roles of surface-exposed amino acids in its thermostability and halotolerance, which could be used for further molecular modification of other xylanases and similar enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.04.090DOI Listing
July 2019

Protective effects of a novel probiotic strain, Lactococcus lactis ML2018, in colitis: in vivo and in vitro evidence.

Food Funct 2019 Feb;10(2):1132-1145

Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology, Ministry of Education and Tianjin, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, P.R. China300457.

Multiple articles have confirmed that an imbalance of the intestinal microbiota is closely related to aberrant immune responses of the intestines and to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Probiotic strains have been identified for the treatment and prevention of IBDs. The aim of this study was to screen a new probiotic strain with anti-inflammatory activity and investigate the potential mechanisms underlying its activity. We identified a new probiotic strain, L. lactis ML2018, that has anti-inflammatory properties and was isolated from traditional fermented food. In an in vitro experiment, L. lactis ML2018 prevented the release of nitric oxide (NO) and the production of inflammatory factors induced by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in RAW264.7 cells. The in vivo anti-inflammatory effects of L. lactis ML2018 were evaluated using a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced animal model of colitis. Oral administration of L. lactis ML2018 significantly ameliorated colitis induced by DSS, which included preventing a decrease in body weight, shortening of the colon length and apoptosis of epithelial cells. L. lactis ML2018 could inhibit DSS-induced intestinal inflammation by preventing the overproduction of proinflammatory factors, suppressing the infiltration of macrophages, controlling the fibrosis, improving the integrity of the intestinal epithelial barrier and upregulating the concentrations of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Moreover, L. lactis ML2018 could prevent inflammation by inhibiting the activation of the NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. These data suggest that L. lactis ML2018 could have therapeutic potential for treating IBDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8fo02301hDOI Listing
February 2019

Galactomannan Degrading Enzymes from the Mannan Utilization Gene Cluster of Alkaliphilic Bacillus sp. N16-5 and Their Synergy on Galactomannan Degradation.

J Agric Food Chem 2018 Oct 15;66(42):11055-11063. Epub 2018 Oct 15.

State Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology of Ministry of Education & Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology , Tianjin University of Science and Technology , Tianjin 300457 , China.

Two glycoside hydrolases encoded by the mannan utilization gene cluster of alkaliphilic Bacillus sp. N16-5 were studied. The recombinant Gal27A (rGal27A) hydrolyzed both galactomannans and oligo-galactomannans to release galactose, while the recombinant Man113A (rMan113A) showed poor activity toward galactomannans, but it hydrolyzed manno-oligosaccharides to release mannose and mannobiose. rGal27A showed synergistic interactions with rMan113A and recombinant β-mannanase ManA (rManA), which is also from Bacillus sp. N16-5, in galactomannan degradation. The synergy degree of rGal27A and rManA on hydrolysis of locust bean gum and guar gum was 1.13 and 2.21, respectively, and that of rGal27A and rMan113A reached 2.00 and 2.68. The main products of galactomannan hydrolyzed by rGal27A and rManA simultaneously were galactose, mannose, mannobiose, and mannotriose, while those of galactomannan hydrolyzed by rGal27A and rMan113A were galactose and mannose. The yields of mannose, mannobiose, and mannotriose dramatically increased compared with the hydrolysis in the presence of rManA or rMan113A alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b03878DOI Listing
October 2018

Study on Nonlinear Conductivity of CCTO/EPDM Rubber Composites.

Materials (Basel) 2018 Sep 2;11(9). Epub 2018 Sep 2.

College of Science, Harbin University of Science and Technology, Harbin 150040, China.

Researches of the theories and application of polymer composites with nonlinear conductivity are useful for dealing with the nonuniform electrical fields widely existing in the cable accessory insulation. In the present work, we fabricated CCTO (CaCu₃Ti₄O)/EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) composites and investigated their breakdown strength, dielectric and nonlinear conductivity properties in detail; the microstructures of fillers and composites were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction. CCTO particles are uniformly dispersed in CCTO/EPDM composites, and the composites showed nonlinear conductivity with electric field changes. When the CCTO particle content is low, the conductivity of CCTO/EPDM composites does not present obvious nonlinearity. However, when CCTO content exceeds 2 vol %, the conductivity experiences a nonlinear change with increasing electric field strength and the threshold field (E) of nonlinear conductivity declines with the increase of CCTO contents. In addition, it can be found from experiment and simulation results that 8 vol % CCTO/EPDM exhibit significant nonlinear conductivity and dielectric properties as expected, and homogenizing the electrical field much more effectively. Therefore, this paper offers a preliminary discussion about the variation trend of nonlinear conductivity CCTO/EDPM composites, providing an effective reference to solve the application of nonlinear conductivity materials for cable accessories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma11091590DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164112PMC
September 2018

Revealing the influence of microbiota on the quality of Pu-erh tea during fermentation process by shotgun metagenomic and metabolomic analysis.

Food Microbiol 2018 Dec 2;76:405-415. Epub 2018 Jul 2.

State Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology of Ministry of Education & Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, 300457, PR China. Electronic address:

Multispecies microbial community in natural solid-state fermentation (SSF) is crucial for the formation of Chinese Pu-erh tea's unique quality. However, the association between microbiota and tea quality are still poorly understood. Herein, shotgun metagenomic and metabolomic analysis showed that significant variations in composition of microbiota, collective functional genes, and flavour compounds occurred during SSF process. Furthermore, the formation pathways of the dominant flavours including theabrownin, methoxy-phenolic compound, alcohol and carvone were proposed. Moreover, biological interaction networks analysis among functional core microbiota, functional genes, and dominant flavours indicated Aspergillus was the main flavour-producing microorganism in the early SSF, while many other genera including Bacillus, Rasamsonia, Lichtheimia, Debaryomyces were determined as the functional core microorganism for flavours production in the late SSF. This study provides a perspective for bridging the gap between the microbiota and quality in Pu-erh tea, and benefited for further optimizing production efficiency and product quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2018.07.001DOI Listing
December 2018

Effects of MOTOmed movement therapy on the mobility and activities of daily living of stroke patients with hemiplegia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Clin Rehabil 2018 Dec 8;32(12):1569-1580. Epub 2018 Aug 8.

1 Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, China.

Objective:: To estimate the effectiveness of MOTOmed movement therapy in increasing mobility and activities of daily living in stroke patients with hemiplegia.

Design:: Systematic review.

Data Sources:: English- and Chinese-language articles published from the start of database coverage through 20 June 2018 were retrieved from the Embase, Web of Science, PubMed, OVID, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Systematic Reviews, Wanfang, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP, and Chinese Biomedicine databases. Articles were also retrieved by manual searches of Rehabilitation Medicine and Chinese journals.

Methods:: Randomized control trials examining MOTOmed movement therapy interventions for patients with post-stroke hemiplegia were included in this review. The risk of bias assessment tool was utilized in accordance with Cochrane Handbook 5.1.0. All included studies reported mobility effects as primary outcomes. Standardized mean differences or mean differences with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Review Manager 5.3 was utilized for meta-analysis.

Results:: In total, 19 trials involving a total of 1099 patients were included in the analysis. All studies were of moderate quality, based on the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Intervention: Part 2:8.5. MOTOmed movement therapy resulted in a merged mean difference in the Fugl-Meyer Assessment score of 5.51 (95% CI: 4.03 to 6.98). Comparison of groups treated with and without MOTOmed movement therapy yielded the following mean differences: Modified Ashworth Scale, -1.13 (95% CI: -1.37 to -0.89); Berg Balance Scale, 13.66 (95% CI: 10.47-16.85); Functional Ambulation Category Scale, 0.85 (95% CI: 0.68-1.03); 10-m walk test, 10.15 (95% CI: 5.72-14.58); Barthel Index, 14.82 (95% CI: 12.96-16.68); and Modified Barthel Index, 11.49 (95% CI: 8.96-14.03).

Conclusion:: MOTOmed movement therapy combined with standard rehabilitation improves mobility and activities of daily living in stroke patients with hemiplegia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269215518790782DOI Listing
December 2018

Effect of type 3 intramural fibroids on in vitro fertilization-intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes: a retrospective cohort study.

Fertil Steril 2018 05 28;109(5):817-822.e2. Epub 2018 Mar 28.

Center for Reproductive Medicine, Reproductive Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University; National Research Center for Assisted Reproductive Technology and Reproductive Genetics; Key Laboratory for Reproductive Endocrinology of Ministry of Education; and Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Jinan, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Objective: To evaluate the influence of type 3 intramural fibroids on in vitro fertilization-intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI) outcomes.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: University-based reproductive medicine center.

Patient(s): All women undergoing IVF-ICSI from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2016, in our unit.

Intervention(s): Each woman was matched with three separate control subjects of the same age (±1 year), number of cycles, type of infertility (primary or secondary), type of protocol used for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH), and no uterine fibroids identified by transvaginal ultrasound.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Implantation, clinical pregnancy, clinical miscarriage, and live birth rates.

Result(s): We included 151 patients with type 3 intramural fibroids and 453 matched control subjects who underwent IVF-ICSI. The rate of "other protocol" used in COH was significantly higher in women with type 3 fibroids than in the control subjects (P<.001). The experimental group had a significantly lower implantation rate. Type 3 fibroids also resulted in a lower frequency of live births and clinical pregnancy. There was no significant difference between the groups in the rate of clinical miscarriage. Compared with the corresponding control subjects, patients with type 3 fibroids with a single fibroid diameter (SD) or total reported fibroid diameter (TD) >2.0 cm also had significantly lower rates of live birth, clinical pregnancy, and implantation. Type 3 fibroids with SD or TD ≤2.0 cm had no significant difference in IVF-ICSI outcomes compared with corresponding control subjects.

Conclusion(s): Our results suggest that type 3 fibroids exert a negative impact on the rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth in patients undergoing IVF-ICSI, but do not significantly increase the clinical miscarriage rate. The deleterious impact of type 3 fibroids was remarkable in women with type 3 fibroids with TD or SD >2.0 cm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2018.01.007DOI Listing
May 2018

Polo-like kinase 4 mediates epithelial-mesenchymal transition in neuroblastoma via PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

Cell Death Dis 2018 01 19;9(2):54. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy of Tianjin, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin, People's Republic of China.

Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common malignant tumor in infancy and most common extracranial solid tumor in childhood. With the improvement of diagnosis and treatment, the survival rate of patients with low-risk and intermediate-risk NB can reach up to 90%. In contrast, for high-risk NBs, the long-term survival rate is still <40% because of heterogeneity of this tumor. The pathogenesis of NB is still not explicit, therefore it is of great significance to explore the mechanism of NB tumorigenesis and discover new therapeutic targets for NB. Polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4), one of the polo-like kinase family members, is an important regulator of centriole replication. The aberrant expression of PLK4 was found in several cancers and a recent study has unraveled a novel function of PLK4 as a mediator of invasion and metastasis in Hela and U2OS cells. However, the function of PLK4 in NB development and progression remains to be elucidated. The study showed the expression level of PLK4 in NB tissues was remarkably upregulated and high expression of PLK4 was negatively correlated with clinical features and survival, which suggested that PLK4 could be a potential tumor-promoting factor of NB. Functional studies indicated downregulation of PLK4 suppressed migration and invasion and promoted apoptosis in NB cells. Further experiments showed that downregulation of PLK4 in NB cells inhibited EMT through the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Animal experiments demonstrated that the downregulation of PLK4 in SK-N-BE(2) cells dramatically suppressed tumorigenesis and metastasis. PLK4 may be a promising therapeutic target for NB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-017-0088-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5833556PMC
January 2018

Assessment of the availability of As and Pb in soils after in situ stabilization.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2017 Oct 21;24(29):23153-23160. Epub 2017 Aug 21.

Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 71 East Beijing Road, Nanjing, 210008, China.

The in situ stabilization has been widely used to remediate metal-contaminated soil. However, the long-term retaining performance of heavy metals and the associated risk after in situ stabilization remains unclear and has evoked amounting concerns. Here, Pb- or As-contaminated soil was stabilized by a commercial amendment. The availability of Pb and As after in situ stabilization were estimated by ten different in vitro chemical extractions and DGT technique. After amendment application, a significant decline in extractable Pb or As was observed in treatments of Milli-Q water, 0.01 M CaCl, 0.1 M NaNO, 0.05 M (NH)SO, and 0.43 M HOAc. Potential available metal(loid)s determined by DGT also showed remarkable reduction. Meanwhile, the results of in vivo uptake assays demonstrated that Pb concentrations in shoots of ryegrass Lolium perenne L. declined to 12% of the control samples, comparable to the extraction ratio of 0.1 M NaNO (15.8%) and 0.05 M (NH)SO (17.3%). For As-contaminated soil, 0.43 M HOAC provided a better estimation of relative phytoavailability (64.6 vs. 65.4% in ryegrass) compared to other extraction methods. We propose that 0.1 M NaNO or 0.05 M (NH)SO for Pb and 0.43 M HOAc for As may serve as surrogate measures to estimate the lability of metal(loid)s after soil remediation of the tested contaminated soils. Further studies over a wider range of soil types and amendments are necessary to validate extraction methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9877-5DOI Listing
October 2017

Heterologous expression in Pichia pastoris and characterization of a novel GH11 xylanase from saline-alkali soil with excellent tolerance to high pH, high salt concentrations and ethanol.

Protein Expr Purif 2017 Nov 7;139:71-77. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, Ministry of Education and Tianjin City, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, China; Tianjin Key Laboratory of Industry Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science & Technology, Tianjin, China. Electronic address:

A GH11 xylanase gene (xyn11-1) cloned from saline-alkali soil was successfully expressed in Pichia pastoris GS115. The purified recombinant Xyn11-1 showed its maximal activity at pH 6.0, and retained more than 60.4% of activity at pH 10.0, with good pH stability. Its optimal temperature was 50 °C and it was stable after incubation for 1 h at 30 °C. Furthermore, Xyn11-1 was highly salt-tolerant, retaining more than 77.4% of activity in the presence of 0.25-4 M NaCl and displaying more than 47.2% relative activity after being incubated in the presence of 5 M NaCl at 37 °C for 10 min. In addition, 5 mM β-Mercaptoethanol, Cu, Co, and Mn increased the xylanase activity by 22.3%, 8.8%, 7.1%, and 4.4%, respectively. Significantly, 93.4% and 59.8% of the optimal activity was retained in the presence of 2% and 10% (v/v) ethanol, respectively. Under optimal conditions, the KV and K value of Xyn11-1 for beechwood xylan were 3.7 mg ml, 101.0 μmol min mg and 42.1 s, respectively. Xyn11-1 is a strict endo-β-1,4-xylanase, its main enzymatic products being xylotetraose and xylopentaose. Xyn11-1 is the first reported GH11 xylanase isolated from saline-alkali soil, and has excellent tolerance of high pH, high salt concentrations and ethanol, which indicates its great potential for basic research and industrial applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pep.2017.06.003DOI Listing
November 2017

Clinical evaluation of integrated panel testing by next-generation sequencing for somatic mutations in neuroblastomas with MYCN unamplification.

Oncotarget 2017 Jul;8(30):49689-49701

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy of Tianjin, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin, 300060, P.R. China.

Neuroblastomas (NBs) exhibit heterogeneity and show clinically significant prognosis classified by genetic alterations. Among prognostic genes or genome factors, MYCN amplification (MNA) is the most established genomic marker of poor prognosis in patients with NB. However, the prognostic classification of more than 60% of patients without MNA has yet to be clarified. In this study, the application of target next-generation sequencing (NGS) was extended on the basis of a comprehensive panel of regions where copy number variations (CNVs) or point mutations occurred to improve the prognostic evaluation of these patients and obtain the sequence of 33 patients without MNA. A mean coverage depth of 887× was determined in the target regions in all of the samples, and the mapped read percentage was more than 99%. Somatic mutations in patients without MNA could be precisely defined on the basis of these findings, and 17 unique somatic aberrations, including 14 genes, were identified in 11 patients. Among these variations, most were CNVs with a number of 13. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) of CNV(-) patients was 60.0% compared with the EFS (16.7%) of CNV(+) patients (P = 0.015, HR = 0.1344, 95%, CI = 0.027 to 0.678). CNVs were also associated with unfavorable histological characteristics (P = 0.003) and likely to occur in stage 4 (P = 0.041). These results might further indicate the role of CNVs in NB chemotherapy resistance (P = 0.059) and show CNVs as a therapeutic target. In multivariate analysis, the presence of CNVs was a clinically negative prognostic marker that impaired the outcome of patients without MNA and associated with poor prognosis in this tumor subset. Comprehensive genetic/genomic profiling instead of focusing on single genetic marker should be performed through in-depth NGS that could reveal prognostic information, improve NB target therapy, and provide a basis for investigations on NB pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17917DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5564799PMC
July 2017

A single center clinical analysis of children with high-risk neuroblastoma.

Oncotarget 2017 May;8(18):30357-30368

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy of Tianjin, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin, People's Republic of China.

The current multidisciplinary treatment for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma (NB) is the common census. However, protocols and opinions are different in different regions and institutions. We aimed to assess the protocol formulated by Chinese Children's Cancer Group study in 2009, and the impact of surgery extent was highlightly evaluated.

Methods: This study enrolled patients with high-risk neuroblastoma between 2009 and 2014 in Department of Pediatric Oncology of Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital. The clinical characteristics of patients were illustrated and surgery extent was evaluated by the impact on survival rate.

Results: The 3-year overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 56.2% and 50.5%, respectively. LDH (P<0.001), bone marrow metastasis at time of diagnosis (P=0.001), bone marrow negative after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (P<0.001), radiotherapy (P<0.001) were significant predictors of OS and PFS. And surgery extent had no impact on the enhancement of high-risk neuroblastoma patients in short time.

Conclusions: This study showed no substantial survival benefit in patients with high-risk NB undergoing gross total tumor resection. Multidisciplinary intensive treatment was essential, especially for patients received subtotal tumor resection. Longer term follow-up is needed to survey complications in surviving patients who received intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15996DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5444748PMC
May 2017

[Analysis of the storage time in paraformaldehyde-fixed T cells and their subsets in Kunming mice].

Xi Bao Yu Fen Zi Mian Yi Xue Za Zhi 2017 Apr;33(4):460-464

College of Biological Science and Technology, Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University, Daqing 163319, China. *Corresponding author, E-mail:

Objective To determine the expiration dates of CD3eCD4 T and CD3eCD8a T lymphocytes of Kunming mice. Methods The sterile spleen and anticoagulant blood of Kunming mice were collected and used to prepare the single-cell suspensions. After CD3e, CD4 and CD8a of T cells were stained with fluorophore-conjugated monoclonal antibodies, the samples were fixed with paraformaldehyde (PFA) and stored at 4DegreesCelsius in dark followed by detection using three-color flow cytometry at several specific time points. The best regression curves fitted with the least squares method were used for calculating the contents of T cells at each time point and the subsequent statistical analysis. Samples without PFA served as the blank controls. Results The levels of PFA-fixed CD3eCD4 T and CD3eCD8a T lymphocytes from spleen tissues significantly decreased at 11 days and 16 days post collection, respectively; whereas no difference was found in the samples without PFA until 8 days and 11 days post collection, respectively. As for the T cells separated from the peripheral blood, the longer storage periods were both 18 days under the PFA fixation, which were longer than those of the blank controls (10 and 15 days, respectively). Conclusion The PFA-fixed T lymphocytes of the spleen and peripheral blood of Kunming mice should be detected using flow cytometry within 11 days post collection.
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April 2017

Toxoplasma gondii mitogen-activated protein kinases are associated with inflammasome activation in infected mice.

Microbes Infect 2016 Nov 27;18(11):696-700. Epub 2016 Jul 27.

Military Veterinary Institute, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Key Laboratory of Jilin Province for Zoonosis Prevention and Control, 666 Liuying West Road, Changchun 130122, Jilin Province, China. Electronic address:

Toxoplasma gondii can activate the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat-containing proteins NLRP1/3 inflammasomes, which mediate host resistance to the infection. Here we showed that deletion of mitogen-activated protein kinases MAPK1 and MAPK2 of type I parasite decreases acute virulence in mice, characterized by low levels of interleukin (IL)-18, NLRP1/3, ASC, and caspase-1, and high levels of IL-10 and interferon (IFN)-β transcripts. Additionally, the mutants increased phosphorylation of STAT1, and decreased phosphorylation of STAT3. These findings suggest that MAPKs are associated with inflammasome activation in T. gondii-infected mice, which may contribute to new insight into the pathogenesis of T. gondii infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2016.07.004DOI Listing
November 2016

CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture.

Int J Biometeorol 2017 Feb 8;61(2):199-215. Epub 2016 Jul 8.

Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; www.cropwatch.com.cn , Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-016-1199-7DOI Listing
February 2017

Rapid biodegradation of aflatoxin B1 by metabolites of Fusarium sp. WCQ3361 with broad working temperature range and excellent thermostability.

J Sci Food Agric 2017 Mar 5;97(4):1342-1348. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, Ministry of Education and Tianjin City, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, 300457, China.

Background: Contamination of food and feed by aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) poses serious economic and health problems worldwide, so the development of biological methods for effective AFB1 degradation is strongly required.

Results: Among three AFB1-degrading microorganisms isolated from moldy peanut, Fusarium sp. WCQ3361 could remove AFB1 extremely effectively, with a degradation ratio of 70.20% after 1 min and 95.38% after 24 h. Its degradation ratio was not much affected by temperature change (0-90 °C) and it also displayed excellent thermostability, maintaining 99.40% residual activity after boiling for 10 min. Since protease K could reduce the AFB1 degradation ratio by 55.15%, it is proposed that the effective component for AFB1 degradation is a protein. The AFB1 degradation ability of Fusarium sp. WCQ3361 was further verified by feed stock detoxification and the MTT test with HepG2 cells. In addition, no degradation products were detected by preliminary liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, suggesting that AFB1 might be metabolized to products with different chemical characteristics from AFB1.

Conclusion: Fusarium sp. WCQ3361 is the first reported AFB1 degradation fungus belonging to the genus Fusarium with broad working temperature range, excellent thermostability and high activity, which provides a potential highly useful solution for dealing with AFB1 contamination in the human diet and animal feed. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.7872DOI Listing
March 2017

Gene expression pattern analysis of a recombinant Escherichia coli strain possessing high growth and lycopene production capability when using fructose as carbon source.

Biotechnol Lett 2016 Sep 5;38(9):1571-7. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, No. 29, 13th Street, Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area, Tianjin, 300457, China.

Objective: Escherichia coli K12f-pACLYC has a high capability for growth and lycopene production when using fructose as carbon source and the transcription of genes involved was compared in glucose-grown and fructose-grown cells.

Results: Escherichia coli K12f-pACLYC was grown on 10 g fructose l(-1) and reached 4.6 g DCW l(-1) with lycopene at 192 mg g DCW(-1), values that are 3-fold and 7-fold higher than when growing on glucose. Gene transcription profiles of fructose-grown and glucose-grown cells were compared. 384 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with fold changes ≥4 were identified, and the transcription of genes involved in fructose uptake and metabolism, pyruvate catabolism, tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation varied significantly. These changes enhanced the metabolic flux into the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway and the tricarboxylic acid cylcle and coupled to oxidative phosphorylation. These enhanced activities provide more precursors, cofactors and energy needed for growth lycopene production.

Conclusion: The high capability of E. coli K12f-pACLYC for growth and lycopene production when growing on fructose is due to transcriptional regulation, and the relevant genes were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10529-016-2133-0DOI Listing
September 2016