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Xiao Huang - Top 30 Publications

Acidic Polysaccharide from Angelica sinensis Reverses Anemia of Chronic Disease Involving the Suppression of Inflammatory Hepcidin and NF-κB Activation.

Anemia of chronic disease (ACD) is the second most prevalent anemia and frequently occurs in patients with acute or chronic immune activation. In the current study, we evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of Angelica sinensis polysaccharide (ASP) against ACD in rats and the potential mechanisms involved. The results showed that ASP inhibited inflammatory hepcidin in both HepG2 cells and ACD rats by blocking the IL-6/STAT3 and BMP/SMAD pathways. In ACD rats, the administration of ASP increased ferroportin expression, mobilized iron from the liver and spleen, increased serum iron levels, caused an elevation of serum EPO, and effectively relieved the anemia. Furthermore, ASP inhibited NF-κB p65 activation via the IκB kinases- (IKKs-) IκBα pathway, thereby reducing the secretion of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and TNF-α, which is known to inhibit erythropoiesis. Our findings indicate that ASP is a potential treatment option for patients suffering from ACD.

Role of acid/alkali-treatment in primary sludge anaerobic fermentation: Insights into microbial community structure, functional shifts and metabolic output by high-throughput sequencing.

This study aimed to investigate the effect of acid- or alkali-treatment on volatile fatty acids (VFAs) production and microbiological mechanism during primary sludge anaerobic fermentation. Seven fermentation experiments were conducted at different pH (3-12). Results showed that the optimal pH was 10 for accumulation of VFAs. High-throughput sequencing results indicated that acid and alkali treatment could inhibit Erysipelotrichaceae_UCG-004 and norank_p_Aminicenantes, instead of promoting Pseudomonas and Tissierella at acidic and alkaline condition, respectively. Besides, molecular ecological networks (MENs) analysis and multivariate canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed that the microbial community interactions are significant different between acid and alkali treatment groups, and acetic acid was the most vital factor in the distinct bacterial community assemblages. Predictive functional profiling using marker gene sequences found that amino acid transport and metabolism was the most abundant metabolic type with 8.43-9.41%, and acid- and alkali-treatment did not benefit Stickland reaction.

A non-smooth tumor margin on preoperative imaging assesses microvascular invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Microvascular invasion (MVI) is rarely diagnosed preoperatively in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this meta-analysis is to assess the diagnostic power of a non-smooth tumor margin on preoperative imaging for MVI. We performed a literature search using the PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library databases, and 11 studies were included involving 618 MVI-positive cases and 1030 MVI-negative cases. Considerable heterogeneity was found, and was indicated to be attributable to the mean patient ages in the included studies. In subgroups of studies with a mean patient age older than 60 years and studies with computed tomography (CT) as the imaging method (as opposed to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)), heterogeneity was low, and the diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) of the single two-dimensional imaging feature for MVI was 21.30 (95% CI [12.52, 36.23]) and 28.78 (95% CI [13.92, 59.36]), respectively; this power was equivalent to or greater than that of certain multivariable-based scoring systems. In conclusion, a non-smooth tumor margin on preoperative imaging is of great value for MVI assessment and should be considered for inclusion in future scoring systems.

Renin-angiotensin system regulates pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell migration in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) migration plays a key role in vascular remodeling which occurs during development of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) contributes to vascular remodeling observed in many diseases including idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, the role of RAS imbalance in CTEPH has not been characterized. Here, we hypothesize that RAS imbalance regulates vascular remodeling by promoting PASMC migration in CTEPH. Serum renin and angiotensin II levels in CTEPH patients were quantified by ELISA. The pulmonary endarterectomy tissues were stained and analyzed by immunohistochemistry. PASMC were isolated and verified by immunofluorescence staining. PASMC migration was determined by the Transwell assay. Phosphorylation and protein level were detected by Western blotting.Serum levels of renin and angiotensin II were increased in CTEPH patients [renin (pg/ml) 1199.94 (690.85, 1656.90) vs. 595.43 (351.48,936.43), P<0.001; angiotensin II (pg/ml) 63.97 (45.97, 345.24) vs. 56.85 (11.20,90.37), P<0.05]. The migration of PASMC isolated from CTEPH patients was enhanced compared to control. Angiotensin II promoted the migration of PASMC via activation of angiotensin II receptor 1 and phosphorylation of ERK1/2; whereas angiotensin 1-7 counteracted this effect through activation of the MAS receptor and ERK1/2. These results demonstrate that the renin-angiotension system regulates migration of PASMCs from CTEPH patients via the ERK1/2 pathway. Our findings suggest that angiotensin 1-7 or reagents targeting the renin-angiotension system will be beneficial in the development of novel therapies for CTEPH.

Compact polarization-based dual-view panoramic lens.

Panoramic annular lens (PAL) is a type of special optical system that can transform the cylindrical side view onto a planar annular image. We propose a compact polarization-based dual-view panoramic lens to solve the two major limitations of the conventional PAL structure: large front annular lens and lack of forward view. Dual-view imaging capability, which is highly needed for some applications, is achieved by using a polarization technique. The diameter ratio of the proposed front PAL lens and the sensor is reduced to less than 1.5, while it is larger than 2.5 for traditional PAL systems, expanding its applications in space-confined environments.

Polarimetric target depth sensing in ambient illumination based on polarization-coded structured light.

Depth sensing is a basic issue in three-dimensional computer vision, and structured light is one of the most prevailing methods for it. However, complex surroundings and strong ambient illumination are fairly unfavorable to depth sensing based on structured light. Complex surroundings increase computation overhead and require extra effort to be separated from the target object. Strong ambient illumination is unfavorable to the signal-noise ratio of structured light and, thus, increases the difficulty of decoding. In this paper, we propose that the polarization-coded structured light is capable of target enhanced depth sensing in ambient illumination. We present the polarimetric principle, an improved algorithm of polarization-coded structured light, and signal-noise-ratio analysis in ambient illumination. Experimental results show that polarization-coded structured light is efficient and robust for target depth sensing of a complicated environment. The polarization-coded structured light is promising to the target depth sensing in an outdoor scenario and industrial inspection.

ZnO-based nanocarriers for drug delivery application: From passive to smart strategies.

Due to the excellent biocompatibility as well as the low cost, nanoscale ZnO shows a great potential in drug delivery application. The richness of the structures, easy modification and pleasant properties of nanoscale ZnO make these materials reasonable choices for drug delivery. In the recent decade, various ZnO nanostructures as well as nanohybrids have been carried out for optimizational drug loading and carrying. To control the drug release behavior, many nanoscale ZnO-based smart drug delivery systems which are responsive to particular stimuli via characteristics of ZnO (e.g. dissolution in acid, microwave absorbing, hydrophobic/hydrophilic transition) have been successfully synthesized. Herein, we review the recent exciting progress on the nanoscale ZnO-based drug delivery systems: from the passive to smart strategies.

Association between percent decline in serum total homocysteine and risk of first stroke.

To examine whether a change in serum total homocysteine (tHcy) levels is associated with first stroke risk in a post hoc analysis of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT).

Facile synthesis of gold nanomaterials with unusual crystal structures.

Gold (Au) nanomaterials have attracted wide research attention, owing to their high chemical stability, promising catalytic properties, excellent biocompatibility, unique electronic structure and outstanding localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) absorption properties; all of which are closely related to their size and shape. Recently, crystal-phase-controlled synthesis of noble metal nanomaterials has emerged as a promising strategy to tune their physicochemical properties. This protocol describes the detailed experimental procedures for the crystal-phase-controlled syntheses of Au nanomaterials with unusual crystal structures under mild conditions. Briefly, pure hexagonal close-packed (hcp) Au square sheets (AuSSs) with a thickness of ∼2.4 nm are synthesized using a graphene-oxide-assisted method in which HAuCl4 is reduced by oleylamine in a mixture of hexane and ethanol. By using pure hexane as the solvent, well-dispersed ultrathin hcp/face-centered cubic (fcc) Au nanowires with a diameter of ∼1.6 nm on graphene oxide can be obtained. Meanwhile, hcp/fcc Au square-like plates with a side length of 200-400 nm are prepared via the secondary growth of Au on the hcp AuSSs. Remarkably, hexagonal (4H) Au nanoribbons with a thickness of 2.0-6.0 nm can be synthesized with a one-pot colloidal method in which HAuCl4 is reduced by oleylamine in a mixed solvent of hexane and 1,2-dichloropropane. It takes 17-37 h for the synthesis of these Au nanomaterials with unusual crystal structures. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are used to characterize the resultant Au nanomaterials, which could have many promising applications, such as biosensing, near-IR photothermal therapy, catalysis and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS).

Effect of Nicorandil Administration on Preventing Contrast-Induced Nephropathy: A Meta-Analysis.

Several studies have investigated the effect of nicorandil on contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) in patients undergoing coronary angiography (CAG) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). However, the final results of these trials are not identical. This meta-analysis evaluated the role of nicorandil administration on CIN prevention. We searched databases to find randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing nicorandil with hydration versus conventional hydration therapy on preventing CIN. Finally, 5 articles (805 patients) were included in our meta-analysis; the data showed that nicorandil was related to significant reduction in the risk of CIN (risk ratio = 0.37, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.22-0.61, P = .0001). We found not only the cystatin C level after operation was nonsignificant between 2 groups at the first 24 hours ( P = .65, 95% CI = -0.06 to 0.04) and 48 hours ( P = .19, 95% CI = -0.11 to 0.02) but also the serum creatinine level was nonsignificantly elevated, at 24 hours ( P = .46, 95% CI = -5.19 to 1.88) and 72 hours ( P = .49, 95% CI = -0.49 to 0.34). Our analysis suggested that the nicorandil treatment compared with conventional hydration can significantly reduce the risk of CIN.

Analysis of the optimal vaccination age for dengue in Brazil with a tetravalent dengue vaccine.

In this paper we study a mathematical model to analyse the optimal vaccination age against Dengue in Brazil. Data from Brazil are used to estimate the basic reproduction numbers for each of the four Dengue serotypes and then the optimal vaccination age is calculated using a method due to Hethcote [1]. The vaccine has different efficacies against each serotype. Vaccination that is too early is ineffective as individuals are protected by maternal antibodies but leaving vaccination until later may allow the disease to spread. First of all the optimal vaccination ages are calculated where there is just one serotype in circulation and then when there are multiple serotypes. The calculations are done using data both assuming constant vaccine efficacy and age-dependent vaccine efficacy against a given serotype. The multiple serotype calculations are repeated assuming that the first infection is a risky infection and that it is not (to model Dengue Antibody Enhancement). The calculations are then repeated when any third or fourth Dengue infections are asymptomatic, so that two Dengue infections with different serotypes provide effective permanent immunity. The calculations are also repeated when the age-dependent risk function (fitted to Brazilian data) is hospitalisation from Dengue and when it is mortality due to Dengue. We find a wide variety of optimal vaccination ages depending on both the serotypes in circulation and the assumptions of the model.

Cost-of-illness of cholera to households and health facilities in rural Malawi.

Cholera remains an important public health problem in many low- and middle-income countries. Vaccination has been recommended as a possible intervention for the prevention and control of cholera. Evidence, especially data on disease burden, cost-of-illness, delivery costs and cost-effectiveness to support a wider use of vaccine is still weak. This study aims at estimating the cost-of-illness of cholera to households and health facilities in Machinga and Zomba Districts, Malawi. A cross-sectional study using retrospectively collected cost data was undertaken in this investigation. One hundred patients were purposefully selected for the assessment of the household cost-of-illness and four cholera treatment centres and one health facility were selected for the assessment conducted in health facilities. Data collected for the assessment in households included direct and indirect costs borne by cholera patients and their families while only direct costs were considered for the assessment conducted in health facilities. Whenever possible, descriptive and regression analysis were used to assess difference in mean costs between groups of patients. The average costs to patients' households and health facilities for treating an episode of cholera amounted to US$65.6 and US$59.7 in 2016 for households and health facilities, respectively equivalent to international dollars (I$) 249.9 and 227.5 the same year. Costs incurred in treating a cholera episode were proportional to duration of hospital stay. Moreover, 52% of households used coping strategies to compensate for direct and indirect costs imposed by the disease. Both households and health facilities could avert significant treatment expenditures through a broader use of pre-emptive cholera vaccination. These findings have direct policy implications regarding priority investments for the prevention and control of cholera.

Prevalence of overweight, obesity, abdominal obesity and obesity-related risk factors in southern China.

The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence of overweight/obesity, abdominal obesity and obesity-related risk factors in southern China.

Conducting redox polymers with non-activated charge transport properties.

Non-activated charge transport has been demonstrated in terephthalate-functionalized conducting redox polymers. The transition from a temperature-activated conduction mechanism to a residual scattering mechanism was dependent on the doping level. The latter mechanism is associated with apparent negative activation barriers to charge transport and is generally found in polymer materials with a high degree of order. Crystallographic data, however, suggested a low degree of order in this polymer, indicating the existence of interconnected crystal domains in the predominantly amorphous polymer matrix through which the charge was transported. We have thus shown that the addition of bulky pendant groups to conducting polymers does not prevent efficient charge transport via the residual scattering mechanism with low barriers to charge transport.

Fibronectin Glomerulopathy: A Rare Autosomal Dominant Glomerular Disease.

Therapeutic Mechanism of Glucocorticoids on Cellular Crescent Formation in Patients With Antiglomerular Basement Membrane Disease.

This study aimed to explore the therapeutic mechanism of glucocorticoids (GCs) in antiglomerular basement membrane disease.

Twa1/Gid8 is a β-catenin nuclear retention factor in Wnt signaling and colorectal tumorigenesis.

Hyperactivation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is one of the major causes of human colorectal cancer (CRC). A hallmark of Wnt signaling is the nuclear accumulation of β-catenin. Although β-catenin nuclear import and export have been widely investigated, the underlying mechanism of β-catenin's nuclear retention remains largely unknown. Here, we report that Twa1/Gid8 is a key nuclear retention factor for β-catenin during Wnt signaling and colorectal carcinogenesis. In the absence of Wnt, Twa1 exists together with β-catenin in the Axin complex and undergoes ubiquitination and degradation. Upon Wnt signaling, Twa1 translocates into the nucleus, where it binds and retains β-catenin. Depletion of Twa1 attenuates Wnt-stimulated gene expression, dorsal development of zebrafish embryos and xenograft tumor growth of CRC cells. Moreover, nuclear Twa1 is significantly upregulated in human CRC tissues, correlating with the nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and poor prognosis. Thus, our results identify Twa1 as a previously undescribed regulator of the Wnt pathway for promoting colorectal tumorigenesis by facilitating β-catenin nuclear retention.Cell Research advance online publication 22 August 2017; doi:10.1038/cr.2017.107.

Detecting Traversable Area and Water Hazards for the Visually Impaired with a pRGB-D Sensor.

The use of RGB-Depth (RGB-D) sensors for assisting visually impaired people (VIP) has been widely reported as they offer portability, function-diversity and cost-effectiveness. However, polarization cues to assist traversability awareness without precautions against stepping into water areas are weak. In this paper, a polarized RGB-Depth (pRGB-D) framework is proposed to detect traversable area and water hazards simultaneously with polarization-color-depth-attitude information to enhance safety during navigation. The approach has been tested on a pRGB-D dataset, which is built for tuning parameters and evaluating the performance. Moreover, the approach has been integrated into a wearable prototype which generates a stereo sound feedback to guide visually impaired people (VIP) follow the prioritized direction to avoid obstacles and water hazards. Furthermore, a preliminary study with ten blindfolded participants suggests its effectivity and reliability.

Lipid levels and new-onset diabetes in a hypertensive population: the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial.

This study aimed to provide insights into the relationship between lipid levels and new-onset diabetes (NOD) in 14,864 Chinese hypertensive patients without diabetes (6056 men and 8808 women) aged 45-75 years from the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT, led by Nanfang Hospital, Guangzhou, China). NOD (defined as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥ 7.0 mmol/L at the end of study or self-reported physician diagnosis of diabetes or self-reported use of hypoglycemic agents during follow-up) was analyzed using multivariate analysis. Follow-up was censored on August 24, 2014. Among the 14,864 subjects, 1615 developed NOD (10.9%, men = 10.8% and women = 10.9%). Increased triglycerides (TG) [odds ratio (OR) = 1.18; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13-1.25, P < 0.001], TG/HDL (OR = 1.12; 95%CI: 1.08-1.17, P < 0.001), and decreased high density lipoprotein (HDL) (OR = 0.79; 95%CI: 0.67-0.93, P = 0.005) were associated with NOD, independently from age, gender, body mass index, clinical center, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, FPG, smoking, and drinking. Compared to subjects with the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677 CC and TT genotypes, those with the CT genotype had a higher risk of NOD (OR = 1.54; 95%CI: 1.30-1.81, P for interaction = 0.044) in subjects with high TG. These results suggested that TG and TG/HDL were independent risk factors for NOD in this Chinese hypertensive population. HDL was a protective factor for NOD.

Imatinib-induced interstitial pneumonitis successfully switched to nilotinib in a patient with prior history of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

Portable Sensor for the Detection of Choline and Its Derivatives Based on Silica Isoporous Membrane and Gellified Nanointerfaces.

A portable amperometric ion sensor was fabricated by integrating silica isoporous membrane (SIM) and organogel composed of polyvinyl chloride and 1,2-dichloroethane (PVC-DCE) on a 3D-printed polymer chip. The detection of ionic species in aqueous samples could be accomplished by adding a microliter of sample droplet to the sensor and by identifying the ion-transfer potential and current magnitude at the water/organogel interface array templated by SIM. Thanks to the ultrasmall channel size (2-3 nm in diameter), high channel density (4 × 10(8) μm(-2)), and ultrathin thickness (80 nm) of SIM, the ensemble of nanoscopic water/organogel (nano-W/Gel) interface array behaved like a microinterface with two back-to-back hemispherical mass diffusion zones. So, the heterogeneous ion-transfer across the nano-W/Gel interface array generated a steady-state sigmoidal current wave. The detection of choline (Ch) and its derivatives, including acetylcholine (ACh), benzoylcholine (BCh), and atropine (AP), in aqueous samples was examined with this portable sensor. Using differential pulse stripping voltammetry (DPSV), the quantification of these analytes was achieved with a limit of detection (LOD) down to 1 μM. Moreover, the portable ion sensor was insensitive to various potential interferents that might coexist in vivo, owing to size-/charge-based selectivity and antifouling capacity of SIM. With this priority, the portable ion sensor was able to quantitatively determine Ch and its derivatives in diluted urine and blood samples. The LODs for Ch, ACh, AP, and BCh in urine were 1.12, 1.30, 1.08, and 0.99 μM, and those for blood samples were 3.61, 3.38, 2.32, and 1.81 μM, respectively.

Defective CFTR leads to aberrant β-catenin activation and kidney fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), known as a cAMP-activated Cl(-) channel, is widely expressed at the apical membrane of epithelial cells in a wide variety of tissues. Of note, despite the abundant expression of CFTR in mammalian kidney, the role of CFTR in kidney disease development is unclear. Here, we report that CFTR expression is downregulated in the UUO (unilateral ureteral obstruction)-induced kidney fibrosis mouse model and human fibrotic kidneys. Dysfunction or downregulation of CFTR in renal epithelial cells leads to alteration of genes involved in Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and kidney fibrosis. In addition, dysregulation of CFTR activates canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways, whereas the β-catenin inhibitor reverses the effects of CFTR downregulation on EMT marker. More interestingly, CFTR interacts with Dishevelled 2 (Dvl2), a key component of Wnt signaling, thereby suppressing the activation of β-catenin. Compared to wild type, deltaF508 mice with UUO treatment exhibit significantly higher β-catenin activity with aggregated kidney fibrogenesis, which is reduced by forced overexpression of CFTR. Taken together, our study reveals a novel mechanism by which CFTR regulates Wnt/β-catenin signaling pertinent to progression of kidney fibrosis and indicates a potential treatment target.

Comparison of phenotypic and global gene expression changes in Xenopus tropicalis embryos induced by agonists of RAR and RXR.

Retinoic acid functions through two classes of receptors, i.e., the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and the retinoid X receptor (RXR). The difference in the role between RAR and RXR, however, are not well clarified. In the present study, we comparatively investigated the phenotypic and global gene expression changes in Xenopus tropicalis embryos induced by three different agonists, including a RAR selective ligand (all-trans retinoic acid, at-RA), a RXR selective ligand (fluorobexarotene, FBA) and their common ligand (9-cis retinoic acid, 9c-RA). All three agonists induced striking and similar malformations in X. tropicalis embryos at the concentrations of 5-50μg/L. Especially, the development of anterior structures and caudal region was dramatically altered. The hierarchical clustering analysis of phenotypes and gene profiles suggested that effects induced by 9c-RA separated from those by at-RA and FBA. The up-regulated genes were involved in multiple pathways while down-regulated genes were mainly related to phototransduction and tyrosine metabolism. at-RA primarily affected the retinol, glycolysis, starch and sucrose metabolisms while FBA led to disturbances in more wide-ranging pathways such as the PPAR, adipocytokine, insulin, FoxO signaling pathways, alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism. RXR is a heterodimeric partner for several other nuclear receptors, which opens the possibility that additional retinoid effects could be mediated by FBA, such as RXR-PPAR. Our data indicates that not only RXR-RAR but also RXR-PPAR plays important roles in the control of metabolism with retinoid treatment in X. tropicalis embryos.

Scrolling up graphene oxide nanosheets assisted by self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiols.

We report a simple and novel method for the fabrication of high-quality nanoscrolls of graphene oxide (GO) and graphene oxide decorated with silver nanoparticles (GO-Ag) on a gold substrate through a scrolling process assisted by the self-assembly of alkanethiol monolayers. The yield and rate of the scrolling process were highly dependent on the lengths of the alkanethiol molecules, and could be well described by power law functions. Importantly, compared to nanosheets, nanoscrolls of GO and GO-Ag showed superior performance in humidity sensing due to their unique scrolled structures.

Synthesis of WOn -WX2 (n=2.7, 2.9; X=S, Se) Heterostructures for Highly Efficient Green Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diodes.

Preparation of two-dimensional (2D) heterostructures is important not only fundamentally, but also technologically for applications in electronics and optoelectronics. Herein, we report a facile colloidal method for the synthesis of WOn -WX2 (n=2.7, 2.9; X=S, Se) heterostructures by sulfurization or selenization of WOn nanomaterials. The WOn -WX2 heterostructures are composed of WO2.9 nanoparticles (NPs) or WO2.7 nanowires (NWs) grown together with single- or few-layer WX2 nanosheets (NSs). As a proof-of-concept application, the WOn -WX2 heterostructures are used as the anode interfacial buffer layer for green quantum dot light-emitting diodes (QLEDs). The QLED prepared with WO2.9 NP-WSe2 NS heterostructures achieves external quantum efficiency (EQE) of 8.53 %. To our knowledge, this is the highest efficiency in the reported green QLEDs using inorganic materials as the hole injection layer.

Biological nutrient removal and molecular biological characteristics in an anaerobic-multistage anaerobic/oxic (A-MAO) process to treat municipal wastewater.

This study aimed to present an anaerobic-multistage anaerobic/oxic (A-MAO) process to treat municipal wastewater. The average COD, NH4(+)-N, TN, and TP removal efficiency were 91.81%, 96.26%, 83.73% and 94.49%, respectively. Temperature plunge and C/N decrease have a certain impact on the modified process. Characteristics of microbial community, function microorganism, and correlation of microbial community with environmental variables in five compartments were carried out by Illumina Miseq high-throughput sequencing. The differences of microbial community were observed and Blastocatella, Flavobacterium and Pseudomonas were the dominant genus. Nitrosomonas and Nitrospira occupied a dominant position in AOB and NOB, respectively. Rhodospirillaceae and Rhodocyclaceae owned a considerable proportion in phosphorus removal bacteria. DO and COD played significant roles on affecting the microbial components. The A-MAO process in this study demonstrated a high potential for nutrient removal from municipal wastewater.

Placental glucose transporter (GLUT)-1 is down-regulated in preeclampsia.

Transplacental fetal glucose supply is predominantly regulated by glucose transporter-1 (GLUT1). Altered expression and/or function of GLUT1 may affect the intrauterine environment, which could compromise fetal development and may contribute to fetal programming. To date it is unknown whether placental GLUT1 is affected by preeclampsia, which is often associated with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). We addressed the hypothesis that preeclampsia leads to decreased expression and function of placental GLUT1.

Smad7 protects against acute kidney injury by rescuing tubular epithelial cells from the G1 cell cycle arrest.

Smad7 plays a protective role in chronic kidney disease; however, its role in acute kidney injury (AKI) remains unexplored. Here, we report that Smad7 protects against AKI by rescuing the G1 cell cycle arrest of tubular epithelial cells (TECs) in ischemia/reperfusion-induced AKI in mice in which Smad7 gene is disrupted or restored locally into the kidney. In Smad7 gene knockout (KO) mice, more severe renal impairment including higher levels of serum creatinine and massive tubular necrosis was developed at 48 h after AKI. In contrast, restored renal Smad7 gene locally into the kidney of Smad7 KO mice protected against AKI by promoting TEC proliferation identified by PCNA+ and BrdU+ cells. Mechanistic studies revealed that worsen AKI in Smad7 KO mice was associated with a marked activation of TGF-β/Smad3-p21/p27 signaling and a loss of CDK2/cyclin E activities, thereby impairing TEC regeneration at the G1 cell cycle arrest. In contrast, restored Smad7 locally into the kidneys of Smad7 KO mice protected TECs from the G1 cell cycle arrest and promoted TEC G1/S transition via a CDK2/cyclin E-dependent mechanism. In conclusion, Smad7 plays a protective role in AKI. Blockade of TGF-β/Smad3-p21/p27-induced G1 cell cycle arrest may be a key mechanism by which Smad7 treatment inhibits AKI. Thus, Smad7 may be a novel therapeutic agent for AKI.

Preparation and Characterization of Protein-Loaded Electrospun Fiber Mat and Its Release Kinetics.

For the enhancement of protein's bioavailability, a specific delivery system was developed by coaxial electrospinning. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was used as protein model, and the core-sheath fiber mat was fabricated using sodium alginate as shell layer and the BSA-loaded chitosan nanoparticle that was prepared previously as core layer. By optimizing electrospinning parameters, uniform fibers with diameters ranging from 200-600 nm were obtained, and transmission electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed their core-sheath structures. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis demonstrated that there existed molecular interaction between components, which enhanced the mat's thermal stability and mechanic property. It was found that the predominant release mechanism of BSA from fiber mat was erosion, and little change occurred in the secondary structure of encapsulated BSA indicated by FTIR and circular dichroism analysis. The study shows that the obtained fiber mat is a potential delivery system for protein.

Affinity-Based Assembly of Peptides on Plasmonic Nanoparticles Delivered Intracellularly with Light Activated Control.

We report a universal strategy for functionalizing near-infrared light-responsive nanocarriers with both a peptide "cargo" and an orthogonal cell-penetrating peptide. Modularity of both the cargo and the internalization peptide attachment is an important feature of these materials relying on the robust affinity of polyhistidine tags to nitrilotriacetic acid in the presence of nickel as well as the affinity of biotin labeled peptides to streptavidin. Attachment to the gold surface uses thiol-labeled scaffolds terminated with the affinity partner. These materials allow for unprecedented spatiotemporal control over the release of the toxic α-helical amphipathic peptide (KLAKLAK)2 which disrupts mitochondrial membranes and initiates apoptotic cell death. Laser treatment at benign near-infrared wavelengths releases peptide from the gold surface as well as breaches the endosome barrier for cytosolic activity (with 10(5)-fold improved response to peptide activity over the free peptide) and can be monitored in real time.