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Exosomes derived from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells are nanovesicles and are involved in the occurrence and development of HCC, they also serve as important carriers and drug targets of nanodrug delivery systems. The external shape and internal structure of exosomes are important indexes of identification, and isolated intact morphology is crucial to biological function integrity. However, given their susceptibility to various influencing factors, the external shape and internal structure of exosomes derived from HCC cells remain incompletely studied. In this study, exosomes purified from HCC cells were isolated at different centrifugation speeds and examined via multiple electron microscopy (EM) techniques. The results demonstrate that exosomes possess a nearly spherical shape and bilipid membranous vesicle with a concave cavity structure containing electron-dense and coated vesicles, suggesting the possible existence of subpopulations of exosomes with specific functions. The exosomes isolated at ultracentrifugation (UC) speed (≥110,000×g) presented irregular and diverse external morphologies, indicating the effect on the integrity of the exosomes. Transforming growth factor signaling bioactive substances (TGF-β1, S100A8, and S100A9) can be found in exosomes by performing Western blotting, showing that the internal content is associated with metastasis of HCC. These findings show that EMelectron microscopy and UC speed can affect exosome characteristics, including external shape, internal structure, and content of bioactive substances. The electron-dense and coated vesicles that had been discovered in exosomes might become new additional morphological features, which could help to improve the interpretation of experimental results and widen our understanding of exosome morphology.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
We assessed inheritance of resistance to sugarcane brown rust (Puccinia melanocephala) in selfing F1 populations of wild sugarcane germplasm Erianthus rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’. We tested parent and selfing F1 individuals for the brown rust resistance gene, Bru1, that has been shown to confer resistance to brown rust in sugarcane. The Bru1 gene was not detected in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’, E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ or their selfing F1 individuals, and we found there was segregation of resistance in the two selfing F1 populations (segregation ratio: 3:1). The results confirmed resistance in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ to sugarcane brown rust is controlled by a novel, single dominant gene.
Few studies have examined the association of various types of Fe with colorectal cancer risk. The aim of this study was to investigate different forms and sources of Fe in relation to colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population. A total of 2138 patients with colorectal cancer and 2144 sex- and age-matched (5-year interval) controls were recruited from July 2010 to November 2017. Dietary information was assessed by face-to-face interviews using a validated FFQ. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the OR and 95 % CI on models. Intake of Fe from plants and Fe from white meat were inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer, while haem Fe and Fe from red meat were positively associated with colorectal cancer risk. The multivariable OR for the highest quartile v. the lowest quartile were 0·72 (95 % CI 0·59, 0·87, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from plants, 0·54 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·66, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from white meat, 1·26 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·53, Ptrend=0·005) for haem Fe and 1·83 (95 % CI 1·49, 2·24, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from red meat intake, respectively. However, no significant association was found between the consumption of total dietary Fe, non-haem Fe, Fe from meat and colorectal cancer risk. This study showed that lower intake of Fe from plants and white meat, as well as higher intake of haem Fe and Fe from red meat, were associated with colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population.
Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas that is a bi-product of industrial approaches to energy production. Forests and nonagricultural lands act as a natural sink for CO2 removal from the atmosphere; however, the amount of emitted CO2 is significantly larger than the capacity of these natural sinks. This is particularly problematic as two cornerstones of our modern world, electricity generation and transportation, hold the largest share in greenhouse gas (such as CO2) emission. This leads to malignant impacts on the natural environment and human life, such as global warming. The obvious approach to reduce the amount of generated CO2 is to limit the use of fossil fuels. However, coal-fired power plants remain the largest source of electricity generation in 2014 and an equally potent and financially reasonable source is yet to be fully developed. Hence, new systems and strategies are crucial for the remediation of CO2. In this work, we present novel TiO2 nanoparticles, synthesized via a facile solution-phase method, which show a significant visible light absorption. The synthesized nanoparticles can be applied towards photoreduction of CO2 for hydrocarbon solar fuels production. A thorough photoemission spectroscopy analysis outlined the energy structure of the materials which uncovered a sub-bandgap absorption in the visible range due to the presence of intragap states. The origins of intragap states were investigated in greater detail using various characterization techniques. An in-depth chemical composition study of the developed material using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that the synthesized material is considerably un-doped. Further structural analysis using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that distances between visible lattice fringes are matched with ordered crystalline phases of TiO2. The core emission study using XPS revealed that the oxygen vacancy defects in the structure--i.e. likely due the synthesis--are responsible for intragap states formation. Charge dynamics were investigated using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR spectra were dominated by signals from oxygen-centered surface hole trapping sites with principle g values [2.003, 2.010, 2.023]--i.e. Ti4+ ˗ O2- on anatase. A faint signal was also observed as a function of visible light illumination at 5 K with principle g value of 1.975 that is suggestive of Ti3+ in rutile, a typical product of UV light exposure. In general, this study demonstrates the potential of a relatively inexpensive material for photoreduction of CO2 and generation of solar fuels.
Williams syndrome is caused by a gene deletion of chromosome 7. A majority of the cases are sporadic with typical facial appearance, cardiac anomalies, and mental retardation. We report a rare case of Williams syndrome associated with supravalvular aortic stenosis, subvalvular aortic membrane, mitral regurgitation, aortic coarctation, and patent ductus arteriosus. The patient had undergone a single-stage surgical repair with satisfactory results at 5 months of follow-up.
Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) have the ability to self-renew and offer a pathway for genetic engineering of the male germ line. Cryopreservation of SSCs has potential value for the treatment of male infertility, spermatogonial transplantation, and so on. In order to investigate the cryopreservation effects of different cryoprotectants on murine SSCs, 0.2 M of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), trehalose and soybean lecithin were added to the cryoprotective medium, respectively, and the murine SSCs were frozen at −80°C or −196°C. The results indicated that the optimal recovery rates of murine SSCs in the cryoprotective medium supplemented with LDL, trehalose and soybean lecithin were 92.53, 76.35 and 75.48% at −80°C, respectively. Compared with freezing at −196°C, the optimum temperature for improvement of recovery rates of frozen murine SSCs, cryopreservation in three different cryoprotectants at −80°C, were 17.11, 6.68 and 10.44% respectively. The recovery rates of murine SSCs in the cryoprotective medium supplemented with 0.2 M LDL were significantly higher than that of other cryoprotectants (P < 0.05). Moreover, the recovery rates were demonstrated to be greater at −80°C compared with at −196°C (P < 0.05). In conclusion, 0.2 M of LDL could significantly protect murine SSCs at −80°C. In the freezing–thawing process, LDL is responsible for the cryopreservation of murine SSCs because it can form a protective film at the surface of membranes. However, more research is needed to evaluate and understand the precise role of LDL during the freezing–thawing of SSCs.
In this paper, we propose a new projection method for solving a general minimization problems with two L1-regularization terms for image denoising. It is related to the split Bregman method, but it avoids solving PDEs in the iteration. We employ the fast iterative shrinkage-thresholding algorithm (FISTA) to speed up the proposed method to a convergence rate O(k−2). We also show the convergence of the algorithms. Finally, we apply the methods to the anisotropic Lysaker, Lundervold and Tai (LLT) model and demonstrate their efficiency.
Transparent and high preferential c-axis-oriented ZnO thin films doped with SiO2 have been prepared by sol–gel method using zinc nitrate and tetraethylorthosilicate as precursors, absolute ethanol as solvent, and diethanolamine as sol stabilizer. Thin film deposition was performed by spin coating technique at a spinning speed of 2000 rpm/sec on glass substrate followed by calcinations at 500 °C. The structural characteristics of the samples were analyzed by x-ray diffractometer and atomic force microscope. The optical properties were studied by an ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometer. The results show that all the prepared ZnO thin films have a compact hexagonal wurtzite structure. With the change in the amount of SiO2 dopants, the intensity of (002) peak, particle size, surface root mean square roughness, thickness, transmittance, absorbance, and the optical band gap of the ZnO–SiO2 thin films were changed as well.
ZnO-ZnS-CdS heterostructure photocatalysts for water splitting were designed and prepared by a wet chemistry method. It was found that ZnO-ZnS-CdS heterostructures are highly active photocatalysts for H2 evolution under simulated solar light irradiation in an aqueous solution containing SO32- and S2- ions as sacrificial reagents. H2 evolution with (ZnO)2-(ZnS)1-(CdS)1 heterostructure reaches up to 2790 μmol h−1 g−1. The photoexcited electrons in the ZnO-ZnS-CdS heterostructures have a much longer lifetime (>225 ns) than that of the sole ZnO, ZnS, and CdS (<65 ns). The favorable interface processes of the heterostructures make a significant contribution to high photocatalytic H2 evolution rate.
Progenies derived from rice (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica) plants pollinated by Oenothera biennis exhibited numerous morphological and developmental traits. Some variant individuals appeared in generation D2. From generations D3 to D6, a large number of variants were observed, showing distinct variable traits including giant embryos. Statistical analysis on D6 lines showed significant differences between progenies and their rice parental line in several main traits, including plant height (49.2–164.5 cm), panicle number (12.1–38.2), panicle length (20.3–30.3 cm), length of sword leaf (13.8–57.5 cm), leaf width (11.1–25.2 mm), grain number of main panicle (142.0–367.0), percentage of seed setting (0.8–99.0%), 1000-grain weight (19.7–33.8 g) and time from germination to panicle emergence (90.0–108.0 days). Most of the variable coefficients were above 20% (the highest was 40.8%). Through pedigree selection of these plants, genetically stable lines were obtained, which are useful for rice breeding. Results from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis showed that several rice lines contained extensive genetic variations, which included disappearance of rice parental bands and/or appearance of novel bands.
To identify Porcine haemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (HEV) 67N receptor in porcine kidney (PK) cell membranes, the S1 protein of HEV was expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified by Ni2+ affinity chromatograph. Polyclonal antibodies to HEV were prepared by immunizing rabbits by injecting the purified S1 protein four times. After SDS–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS–PAGE), the PK cell membrane proteins were transferred on to nitrocellulose membrane. A virus overlay protein binding assay (VOPBA) was performed using the recombinant S1 protein to identify the protein binding receptor, HEV-S1. The result showed that HEV-S1 protein bound to one band (about 90 kDa) in PK cell membranes. This result is very important for the study of the pathogenic mechanism of HEV.
In order to assess the influence of nutrient elements on the accumulation of β-N-oxalyl-L-α, β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP; the probable cause of lathyrism) in Lathyrus sativus L. (grass pea), it was first examined under field conditions during the lifespan of a grass pea plant using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). β-ODAP mainly accumulated in young seedlings, in developing and mature seeds and in young leaves, especially in young seedlings. In contrast, all mature leaves, roots, and stems showed a low level of β-ODAP. The β-ODAP accumulation pattern in seedlings grown in a nutrient-deficient solution was highest (3·57 mg/g) in shoots at 7 d growing in the nitrogen-deficient solution and higher compared to the control (2·31 mg/g) in zinc-, calcium-, phosphorus- and molybdenum-deficient shoots (P<0·05). The contents of β-ODAP in seedlings growing in other element-deficient solutions were similar to controls. When the content of β-ODAP in grass pea seedlings fertilized with different forms of organic nitrogen was assayed the results indicated that amino acids such as glutamine and serine, as well as nucleotide nitrogen, all significantly enhanced the accumulation of β-ODAP in young seedlings relative to controls (P<0·05). Taken together, these data suggest that β-ODAP accumulation in grass pea might be related to the level of total free nitrogenous compounds and that nitrogen and phosphate may be the crucial nutrient factors influencing β-ODAP content under field conditions. Thus, the application of appropriate nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers to the soil could decrease the content of β-ODAP in the seeds and leaves of grass pea.
Singularities of a manipulator have been addressed repeatedly. However, the singularities and the degree(s) of freedom, as a matter of fact, are two different aspects of the mobility of a manipulator. Consequently, this paper dedicates to discussing the mobility properties through mobility space, which synchronously define the type, number and direction characteristics of the independent motions that the manipulator should execute. The mobility space of a manipulator can be obtained with reciprocal screws of the manipulator via singular value decomposition, which instantaneously depicts the singularity and mobility problems of the manipulators. Application example demonstrates that this methodology can investigate the all-sided mobility properties of parallel manipulators.
In this study, inter-strain reconstructed embryos were produced by combining the female pronucleus of Kunming mouse (white) with male pronucleus of C57BL/6 strain (black). Metaphase II (MII) oocytes of Kunming mouse were enucleated and the zona pellucida was removed. Then, the enucleated oocytes were inseminated by capacitated sperm of C57BL/6 mouse in vitro. At the same time, MII oocytes of Kunming mouse were artificially activated using strontium chloride solution, which did not contain cytochalasin B. Finally, we removed the male pronucleus derived from C57BL/6 sperm and injected it into a parthenogenetically activated one-pronucleus oocyte by micromanipulation. The reconstructed 2-cell embryos were transplanted into the oviducts of 22 foster mother mice, each receiving about 20 embryos. In the end, seven healthy and live pups were born from one recipient.
Amomum villosum Lour. (Zingiberaceae) is an obligate shade plant. Its leaves naturally roll up upon exposure to bright sun. This paper characterizes the effects of its leaf rolling and light on photoinhibition of photosynthesis and thermal dissipation activity under field conditions with sufficient soil moisture. Between the plants from bright and shaded parts of a canopy gap, both maximum photosynthetic rate (mean ≈ 6.5 μmol m-2 s-1) and stomatal conductance (148 vs. 131 mmol m-2 s-1) were not significantly different, but apparent quantum yield (0.021 vs. 0.025) and dark respiration rate (0.49 vs. 0.30 μmol m-2 s-1) were. In the foggy morning, when the incident irradiance was low, photoinhibition had already occurred in plants in the bright part of the canopy gap and also in plants in the shaded part of the gap but to a much lesser degree. Photoinhibition accelerated with increase of incident irradiance and relaxed in the afternoon. Thermal dissipation as indicated by non-photochemical fluorescence quenching (NPQ) increased rapidly in the morning and continued at a high rate in the afternoon. Prevention of leaf rolling resulted in acceleration of photoinhibition. Artificial inhibition of the xanthophyll cycle led to acceleration of both photoinhibition and inactivation of PSII reaction centres, and decrease of NPQ. Photoinhibited leaves in either control or treatment plants recovered overnight. These results show that A. villosum is able effectively to prevent photodamage through the mechanisms of leaf rolling, thermal dissipation and reversible inactivation of PSII reaction centres.
A novel aerodynamic pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) was prepared by using the sol-gel process for measuring the pressure distribution variation on an aerodynamic surface with an oxygen-containing gas flow. In this PSP, RuII complexes as oxygen-sensitive probe molecules excited with visible light of 436 nm were dispersed into the organic modified silica matrix film prepared by the sol-gel method. A linear relationship between the emission intensity and the oxygen partial pressure was achieved in the airflow pressure range of 10.1–405 kPa, and the slope that represents the sensitivity of PSP for oxygen quenching reaches 0.75. A pressure distribution map was demonstrated showing a spatial resolution of 0.25 mm.