Yang Liu
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Publication
Journal: Viruses
November/13/2019
Abstract
The prevalence and variation of the H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) pose a threat to public health. A total of eight viruses isolated from farmed poultry in South China during 2017-2018 were selected as representative strains for further systematic study. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that these prevalent viruses belong to the Y280-like lineage and that the internal genes are highly similar to those of recently circulating human H7N9 viruses. The receptor-binding assay showed that most of the H9N2 isolates preferentially bound to the human-like receptor, increasing the risk of them crossing the species barrier and causing human infection. Our in vitro, multi-step growth curve results indicate these viruses can effectively replicate in mammalian cells. Infection in mice showed that three viruses effectively replicated in the lung of mice. Infection in swine revealed that the viruses readily replicated in the upper respiratory tract of pig and effectively induced viral shedding. Our findings suggested that the H9N2 AIVs circulating in poultry recently acquired an enhanced ability to transmit from avian to mammalians, including humans. Based on our findings, we propose that it is essential to strengthen the efforts to surveil and test the pathogenicity of H9N2 AIVs.
Publication
Journal: Microorganisms
November/13/2019
Abstract
Numerous ecological studies on myxobacteria have been conducted, but their true diversity remains largely unknown. To bridge this gap, we implemented a comprehensive survey of diversity and distribution of myxobacteria by using 4997 publicly available 16S rRNA gene sequences (≥1200 bp) collected from several hundred sites across multiple countries and regions. In this study, the meta-16S rRNA gene phylogenetic reconstruction clearly revealed that these sequences could be classified into 998 species, 445 genera, 58 families, and 20 suborders, the great majority of which belonged to new taxa. Most cultured myxobacteria were strongly inclined to locate on the shallow branches of the phylogenetic tree; on the contrary, the majority of uncultured myxobacteria located on the deep branches. The geographical analysis of sequences based on their environmental categories clearly demonstrated that myxobacteria show a nearly cosmopolitan distribution, despite the presence of some habitat-specific taxa, especially at the genus and species levels. Among the abundant suborders, Suborder_4, Suborder_15, and Suborder_17 were more widely distributed in marine environments, while the remaining suborders preferred to reside in terrestrial ecosystems. In conclusion, this study profiles a clear framework of diversity and distribution of cosmopolitan myxobacteria and sheds light on the isolation of uncultured myxobacteria.
Publication
Journal: Journal of molecular biology
November/9/2019
Abstract
The coreceptor CD8αβ can greatly promote activation of T cells by strengthening T cell receptor (TCR) binding to cognate peptide MHC complexes (pMHC) on antigen presenting cells and by bringing p56Lck to TCR/CD3. Here we demonstrate that CD8 can also bind to pMHC on the T cell (in cis) and that this inhibits their activation. Using molecular modeling, fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments on living cells, biochemical and mutational analysis, we show that CD8 binding to pMHC in cis involves a different docking mode and is regulated by post-translational modifications including a membrane-distal inter-chain disulfide bond and negatively charged O-linked glycans near positively charged sequences on the CD8β stalk. These modifications distort the stalk, thus favoring CD8 binding to pMHC in cis. Differential binding of CD8 to pMHC in cis or trans is a means to regulate CD8+ T cell responses and provides new translational opportunities.
Publication
Journal: Optics express
November/5/2019
Abstract
We studied temperature-dependent amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) in CsPbBr3 perovskite thin films. For temperatures 180-360 K, a narrow-band lasing is observed. However, a new accompanying ASE band appears below 180 K, indicating a more complicated behavior. The two ASE bands are strongly correlated and in competition; they are assigned as exciton and bi-exciton recombination. We estimated the exciton binding energy (EB = 27.3 meV) and that of the bi-exciton, which is lower than the EB. The reduced effective mass of the exciton is estimated as μ = 0.11 me. This discovery identifies more details of the ASE phenomenon.
Publication
Journal: Optics express
November/5/2019
Abstract
An actively Q-switched dual-wavelength intracavity Raman laser based on a coaxially pumped dual-crystal (Nd:YAG and b-cut Nd:YAP) fundamental configuration was theoretically and experimentally investigated. Stable dual-wavelength Stokes output at 1176 nm and 1195 nm was subsequently obtained by the Raman conversion from an a-cut YVO4 crystal. A total average power of 1.8 W was produced at 10 kHz pulse repetition frequency under an incident diode pump power of 15.8 W, in which the power levels at the two Stokes wavelengths were nearly equivalent. The power proportion and the interval between the dual-wavelength Stokes pulses could be manipulated actively by changing the pump focal position or pump wavelength.
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Publication
Journal: Frontiers in microbiology
August/23/2019
Abstract
Large and complex intestinal microbiota communities in hosts have profound effects on digestion and metabolism. To better understand the community structure of intestinal microbiota in Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) under different feeding regimes, we compared bacterial diversity and composition between captive and reintroduced Przewalski's horses, using high-throughput 16S-rRNA gene sequencing for identification. Reintroduced Przewalski's horses were sampled in two Chinese nature reserves, i.e., Dunhuang Xihu Nature Reserve (DXNR; n = 8) in Gansu Province and Kalamaili Nature Reserve (KNR; n = 12) in Xinjiang Province, and compared to a captive population at the Przewalski's Horse Breeding Center in Xinjiang (PHBC; n = 11). The composition of intestinal microbiota in Przewalski's horses was significantly different at the three study sites. Observed species was lowest in DXNR, but highest in KNR. Lowest Shannon diversity was observed in DXNR, while in KNR and PHBC had a moderately high diversity; Simpson diversity showed an opposite trend compared with the Shannon index. Linear Discriminant Analysis effect size was used to determine differentially distributed bacterial taxa at each study site. The most dominant phyla of intestinal microbiota were similar in all feeding regimes, including mainly Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Spirochaetes. Differing abundances of intestinal microbiota in Przewalski's horses may be related to different food types at each study site, differences in diversity may be attributed to low quality food in DXNR. Results indicated that diet is one of the important factors that can influence the structure of intestinal microbiota communities in Przewalski's horse. These findings combined with a detailed knowledge of the available and consumed food plant species could provide guidelines for the selection of potential future reintroduction sites.
Publication
Journal: European urology
July/23/2019
Publication
Journal: Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews
July/18/2019
Abstract
Many studies have reported that heavy substance use is associated with impaired response inhibition. Studies typically focused on associations with a single substance, while polysubstance use is common. Further, most studies compared heavy users with light/non-users, though substance use occurs along a continuum. The current mega-analysis accounted for these issues by aggregating individual data from 43 studies (3610 adult participants) that used the Go/No-Go (GNG) or Stop-signal task (SST) to assess inhibition among mostly "recreational" substance users (i.e., the rate of substance use disorders was low). Main and interaction effects of substance use, demographics, and task-characteristics were entered in a linear mixed model. Contrary to many studies and reviews in the field, we found that only lifetime cannabis use was associated with impaired response inhibition in the SST. An interaction effect was also observed: the relationship between tobacco use and response inhibition (in the SST) differed between cannabis users and non-users, with a negative association between tobacco use and inhibition in the cannabis non-users. In addition, participants' age, education level, and some task characteristics influenced inhibition outcomes. Overall, we found limited support for impaired inhibition among substance users when controlling for demographics and task-characteristics.
Publication
Journal: Regenerative medicine
July/17/2019
Abstract
Aim: To investigate the effect of cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM) particle size on the chondrogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Materials & methods: BMSCs were seeded into the scaffolds fabricated by small particle ECM materials and large particle ECM materials. For the positive control, chondrogenically induced BMSCs were seeded into commercial poly-lactic-glycolic acid scaffolds. Macroscopic observation, histological and immunohistochemical staining, mechanical testing and biochemical analysis were performed to the cell-scaffold constructs. Results: BMSCs in small particle ECM materials and poly-lactic-glycolic acid scaffolds were induced to differentiate into chondrocytes, while BMSCs in the large particle ECM materials scaffold did not differentiate into chondrocytes. Conclusion: The small ECM particle materials improved the induction ability of the cartilage ECM-derived scaffold.
Publication
Journal: Acta pharmacologica Sinica
July/2/2019
Abstract
As the number of elucidated protein structures is rapidly increasing, the growing data call for methods to efficiently exploit the structural information for biological and pharmaceutical purposes. Given the three-dimensional (3D) structure of a protein and a ligand, predicting their binding sites and affinity are a key task for computer-aided drug discovery. To address this task, a variety of docking tools have been developed. Most of them focus on docking in the preset binding sites given by users. To automatically predict binding modes without information about binding sites, we developed a user-friendly blind docking web server, named CB-Dock, which predicts binding sites of a given protein and calculates the centers and sizes with a novel curvature-based cavity detection approach, and performs docking with a popular docking program, Autodock Vina. This method was carefully optimized and achieved ~70% success rate for the top-ranking poses whose root mean square deviation (RMSD) were within 2 Å from the X-ray pose, which outperformed the state-of-the-art blind docking tools in our benchmark tests. CB-Dock offers an interactive 3D visualization of results, and is freely available at http://cao.labshare.cn/cb-dock/ .
Publication
Journal: Journal of Cancer
July/1/2019
Abstract
Invasive micropapillary carcinoma of the breast (IMPC) is a rare subtype of breast cancer that has a high frequency of lymph node (LN) involvement and metastasis to distant organs. IMPC is characterized by distinct histomorphology and unfavorable prognosis when compared with invasive ductal carcinoma no special type (IDC-NST). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. We reported here that plakoglobin, as a key component in cell adhesion, can promote collective metastasis through facilitating IMPC clusters formation. In comparing the clinicopathological features of 451 IMPC patients and 282 IDC-NST patients, our results showed that tumor emboli were significantly higher in IMPC patients and were associated with a high frequency of metastasis. Both in vitro and in vivo data showed overexpression of plakoglobin in both the cell membrane and the cytoplasm of IMPC clusters. When plakoglobin was knocked down in IMPC cell models, the tumor cell clusters were depolymerized. Using mouse models, we validated the metastatic potential of tumor clusters was higher than single cells in vivo. Further analysis showed that higher expression of plakoglobin was able to promote activation of the PI3K/Akt/Bcl-2 pathway, which might protect the clusters from anoikis. Our data indicate that plakoglobin promotes tumor cluster formation in IMPC and downregulates apoptosis in the cell clusters through activation of PI3K/Akt/Bcl-2 signaling. These results provide a convincing rationale for the high metastatic propensity seen in IMPC.
Publication
Journal: Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)
June/18/2019
Abstract
Mesoscale self-assembly of particles into supercrystals is important for the design of functional materials such as photonic and plasmonic crystals. However, while much progress has been made in self-assembling supercrystals adopting diverse lattices and using different types of particles, controlling their growth orientation on surfaces has received limited success. Most of the latter orientation control has been achieved via templating methods in which lithographic processes are used to form a patterned surface that acts as a template for particle assembly. Herein, a template-free method to self-assemble (111)-, (100)-, and (110)-oriented face-centered cubic supercrystals of the metal-organic framework ZIF-8 particles by adjusting the amount of surfactant (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) used is described. It is shown that these supercrystals behave as photonic crystals whose properties depend on their growth orientation. This control on the orientation of the supercrystals dictates the orientation of the composing porous particles that might ultimately facilitate pore orientation on surfaces for designing membranes and sensors.
Publication
Journal: Medicine
June/6/2019
Abstract
Many studies have investigated the association between the 3'UTR polymorphism in natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 1 (NRAMP1) and the risk of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), Revealing inconclusive results. This study aimed to investigate the correlation between the NRAMP1 3'UTR polymorphism and the risk of PTB.This meta-analysis included 29 case-control studies to better and comprehensively assess this correlation. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (95% CIs) were calculated to assess the strength of the association.These 29 case-control studies included 4672 cases and 6177 controls. The NRAMP1 3'UTR polymorphism displayed a significant positive correlation with the risk of PTB in 3 models (for del/del vs ins/ins: OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.01-1.47; for Ins/del vs ins/ins: OR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.08-1.30; for Ins/del + del/del vs ins/ins: OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.08-1.45). A stratified analysis by ethnicity revealed that the NRAMP1 3'UTR polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of PTB in the Asian population, but not in Caucasian, African, and South American populations.The present results indicate that the NRAMP1 3'UTR polymorphism may be considered a risk factor for PTB in the Asian population.
Publication
Journal: Molecular medicine reports
May/22/2019
Abstract
Interleukin enhancer‑binding factor 3 (ILF3) may function as a transcriptional coactivator and has been reported to be involved in tumor proliferation and metastasis; however, its role and clinical value in gastric cancer (GC) remains unclear. To understand the value of ILF3 in GC, a total of 80 matched samples selected from GC tissues and the adjacent mucosa were used to evaluate the expression of ILF3 and its association with clinical characteristics. Furthermore, its biological functions and mechanisms were investigated using SGC‑7901 and BGC823 cell lines. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the positive expression rates of ILF3 in GC tissue were higher compared with those in adjacent mucosa (P<0.05). Significantly overexpressed ILF3 was detected in BGC823 and SGC7901 cells, and the MTT results demonstrated decreased cell activity after ILF3 expression was inhibited. The proportions of cells in the G0/G1 phase increased, while the number of cells in the G2/M phase decreased, and the expression of the genes associated with proliferation varied following inhibition of ILF3 (P<0.05). Positive expression of ILF3 was associated with a poor prognosis for patients with GC, and was an independent risk factor for GC (P<0.05). In conclusion, ILF3 is involved in the deterioration of GC by promoting proliferation of GC cells, and ILF3 protein detection may assist in the prediction of the prognosis of patients with GC.
Publication
Journal: Stem cells international
May/15/2019
Abstract
Stem cells have the unique capacity to differentiate into many cell types during embryonic development and postnatal growth. Through coordinated cellular behaviors (self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation), stem cells are also pivotal to the homeostasis, repair, and regeneration of many adult tissues/organs and thus of great importance in regenerative medicine. Emerging evidence indicates that mitochondria are actively involved in the regulation of stem cell behaviors. Mitochondria undergo specific dynamics (biogenesis, fission, fusion, and mitophagy) during stem cell self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation. The alteration of mitochondrial dynamics, fine-tuned by stem cell niche factors and stress signaling, has considerable impacts on stem cell behaviors. Here, we summarize the recent research progress on (1) how mitochondrial dynamics controls stem cell behaviors, (2) intrinsic and extrinsic factors that regulate mitochondrial dynamics, and (3) pharmacological regulators of mitochondrial dynamics and their therapeutic potential. This review emphasizes the metabolic control of stemness and differentiation and may shed light on potential new applications in stem cell-based therapy.
Publication
Journal: Frontiers in neurology
April/26/2019
Abstract
Since the beginning of the Zika Virus (ZIKV) epidemic, thousands of cases presenting ZIKV symptoms were recorded in Brazil, Colombia (South America), French Polynesia and other countries of Central and North America. In Brazil, during ZIKV outbreak thousands of microcephaly cases occurred that caused a state of urgency among scientists and researchers to confirm the suspected association between ZIKV infection and microcephaly. In this review article we comprehensively studied scientific literature to analyze ZIKV relationship with microcephaly, recent experimental studies, challenge and shortcomings in previously published reports to know about the current status of this association. The evidences supporting the association of ZIKV infection with congenital microcephaly and fetal brain tissue damage is rapidly increasing, and supplying recent information about pathology, clinical medicine, epidemiology, mechanism and experimental studies. However, serious attention is required toward ZIKV vaccine development, standardization of anthropometric techniques, centralization of data, and advance research to clearly understand the mechanism of ZIKV infection causing microcephaly.
Publication
Journal: Oncotarget
April/22/2019
Abstract
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.21195.].
Publication
Journal: Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research
April/6/2019
Abstract
BACKGROUND There are few studies on distributions or morphological measurements for bony spurs form at the attachment points of the ligaments and tendons on the coracoid process. The aim of this study was to investigate their most common sites and morphological characteristics, and to propose possible reasons. MATERIAL AND METHODS Scapulae with bony spurs on the coracoid process were selected from 377 intact and dry Chinese scapulae. The distribution, height, and transverse and longitudinal diameter of the bony spurs were measured in each coracoid process. RESULTS We selected 71 scapulae, 36 left and 35 right, that had bony spurs, from 377 scapulae. The bony spurs were most commonly located at the attachment point of the superior transverse scapular ligament (STSL) (31, 23.66%), while the trapezoid ligament (TL) accounted for the smaller proportion (8, 6.11%). The TSL was the highest, with the minimum transverse and longitudinal diameter, while the TL had the greatest transverse and longitudinal diameters. Only the TSL and TL had a statistically significant difference between the left and the right bony spur regarding the longitudinal diameter (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS Bony spurs are more likely to form at the attachment points of ligaments and tendons on the coracoid process, which has a greater risk of traction injuries or attachment points avulsion fractures.
Publication
Journal: Journal of biomaterials applications
April/6/2019
Publication
Journal: European journal of medicinal chemistry
March/30/2019
Abstract
Aiming to identify novel potent ALK and ROS1 dual inhibitors, the relatively bulky piperidine fragment in ceritinib was replaced with substituted imidazolidin-2-one moiety which gave rise to a series of 2,4-diaryl-aminopyrimidine (DAAP) analogs (6-33). SAR studies were conducted based on cellular assays on five cell lines and most compounds exerted moderated to excellent activities. Among them, 15 showed excellent inhibitory activities against ROS1 and ALK positive cell lines, especially Ba/F3G1202R, with IC50 values ranging from 14 to 37 nM. As a continuation, several compounds were tested in enzymatic assays and 15 displayed encouraging activities against wild-type ALK (1.2 nM), ROS1(0.43 nM) as well as extremely resistant ALKL1196M and ALKG1202R mutants with IC50 values of 0.73 nM and 6.7 nM, respectively. To our delight, both cellular and enzymatic results of 15 were in good accordance with western blot assays on H2228 and HCC78 cell lines. Importantly, pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles of 15 were obtained with quite satisfying AUC and Cmax values. Besides, the binding models of 15 with ALKWT, ALKG1202R and ROS1 clearly present the essential interactions within the active site.
Publication
Journal: PeerJ
March/28/2019
Abstract

Background
Captive populations permit research and conservation of endangered species in which these efforts are hardly implemented in wild populations. Thus, analysing genetic diversity and structure of captive populations offers unique opportunities. One example is the critically endangered Blue-crowned Laughingthrush, Garrulax courtoisi, which has only two known wild populations in Wuyuan, Jiangxi and Simao, Yunnan, China. We carried out the first conservation genetic study, in order to provide useful implications that allow for successful ex situ conservation and management of the Blue-crowned Laughingthrush.

Using the novel microsatellite markers developed by whole-genome sequencing, we genotyped two captive populations, from the Ocean Park Hong Kong, which are of unknown origin, and the Nanchang Zoo, which were introduced from the Wuyuan wild population since the year 2010-2011, respectively. The genetic diversity of captive Blue-crowned Laughingthrush populations was estimated based on genetic polymorphisms revealed by a new microsatellite data set and mitochondrial sequences. Then, we characterised the population structure using STRUCTURE, principal coordinates analysis, population assignment test using the microsatellite data, and haplotype analysis of mitochondrial data. Additionally, we quantified genetic relatedness based on the microsatellite data with ML-Relate.Our results showed equally low levels of genetic diversity of the two captive Blue-crowned Laughingthrush populations. The population structure analysis, population assignment test using the microsatellite data, and haplotype analysis of the mitochondrial data showed weak population structuring between these two populations. The average pairwise relatedness coefficient was not significant, and their genetic relatedness was quantified.This study offers a genetic tool and consequently reveals a low level of genetic diversity within populations of a critically endangered bird species. Furthermore, our results indicate that we cannot exclude the probability that the origin of the Hong Kong captive population was the wild population from Wuyuan. These results provide valuable knowledge that can help improve conservation management and planning for both captive and wild Blue-crowned Laughingthrush populations.
Publication
Journal: The New phytologist
February/25/2019
Publication
Journal: Biochemical and biophysical research communications
February/18/2019
Abstract
Isolated mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) retain the capacities to self-renew limitlessly and to give rise to all tissues of an adult mouse. A precise understanding of the relationships, mechanisms of action and functions of novel genes involved in mESCs differentiation is crucial to expand our knowledge of vertebrate development. The epithelial membrane protein 2 (EMP2) is a membrane-spanning protein found in epithelial and endothelial cell-cell junctions that has been implicated in the regulation of cell proliferation and migration in normal and tumor tissues. In this study, Emp2 was disrupted in mESCs using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. We subsequently assessed Emp2 functions by using mouse embryoid bodies (EBs) capable of forming the three germ layers of an embryo in vitro and by further analyzing the emergence of the future cardiac tissue in these EB models. We found that when Emp2 is disrupted, expression of pluripotency markers was up-regulated and/or longer retained in EBs. Additionally, the formation of each germ layer was variously affected during gastrulation and in particular, the formation of mesoderm was delayed. Besides, we discovered that Emp2 was involved in the regulation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process and in the differentiation of cells into functional cardiomyocytes.
Publication
Journal: Oncogenesis
February/6/2019
Abstract
The second corresponding author Dr. Xiaochun Yu is only affiliated with [3] Department of Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope, 1500 E. Duarte Rd, Duarte, CA 91010, USA. He is not affiliated with [1] College of Life Sciences, Hebei University, Baoding 071002 Hebei, China.
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