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1.  Twinning-like lattice reorientation without a crystallographic twinning plane 
Nature Communications  2014;5:3297.
Twinning on the plane is a common mode of plastic deformation for hexagonal-close-packed metals. Here we report, by monitoring the deformation of submicron-sized single-crystal magnesium compressed normal to its prismatic plane with transmission electron microscopy, the reorientation of the parent lattice to a ‘twin’ lattice, producing an orientational relationship akin to that of the conventional twinning, but without a crystallographic mirror plane, and giving plastic strain that is not simple shear. Aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy observations reveal that the boundary between the parent lattice and the ‘twin’ lattice is composed predominantly of semicoherent basal/prismatic interfaces instead of the twinning plane. The migration of this boundary is dominated by the movement of these interfaces undergoing basal/prismatic transformation via local rearrangements of atoms. This newly discovered deformation mode by boundary motion mimics conventional deformation twinning but is distinct from the latter and, as such, broadens the known mechanisms of plasticity.
Deformation twinning and dislocations are known to govern the plastic behaviour of metals at room temperature. Here the authors demonstrate a new deformation mechanism in single-crystal magnesium characterized by twin-like crystal reorientation and special interfaces.
PMCID: PMC3929781  PMID: 24522756
2.  Genome characteristics reveal the impact of lichenization on lichen-forming fungus Endocarpon pusillum Hedwig (Verrucariales, Ascomycota) 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:34.
Lichen is a classic mutualistic organism and the lichenization is one of the fungal symbioses. The lichen-forming fungus Endocarpon pusillum is living in symbiosis with the green alga Diplosphaera chodatii Bialsuknia as a lichen in the arid regions.
454 and Illumina technologies were used to sequence the genome of E. pusillum. A total of 9,285 genes were annotated in the 37.5 Mb genome of E. pusillum. Analyses of the genes provided direct molecular evidence for certain natural characteristics, such as homothallic reproduction and drought-tolerance. Comparative genomics analysis indicated that the expansion and contraction of some protein families in the E. pusillum genome reflect the specific relationship with its photosynthetic partner (D. chodatii). Co-culture experiments using the lichen-forming fungus E. pusillum and its algal partner allowed the functional identification of genes involved in the nitrogen and carbon transfer between both symbionts, and three lectins without signal peptide domains were found to be essential for the symbiotic recognition in the lichen; interestingly, the ratio of the biomass of both lichen-forming fungus and its photosynthetic partner and their contact time were found to be important for the interaction between these two symbionts.
The present study lays a genomic analysis of the lichen-forming fungus E. pusillum for demonstrating its general biological features and the traits of the interaction between this fungus and its photosynthetic partner D. chodatii, and will provide research basis for investigating the nature of its drought resistance and symbiosis.
PMCID: PMC3897900  PMID: 24438332
Mycobiont; Phycobiont; Lichenization; Symbiosis; Symbiosis-related gene; Photosynthetic products
3.  Sleep Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease: Clinical Features, Iron Metabolism and Related Mechanism 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82924.
To investigate clinical features, iron metabolism and neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with sleep disorders (SD).
211 PD patients were evaluated by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and a body of scales for motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. 94 blood and 38 cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) samples were collected and iron and its metabolism-relating proteins, neuroinflammatory factors were detected and analyzed.
136 cases (64.5%) of PD patients were accompanied by SD. Factor with the highest score in PSQI was daytime dysfunction. Depression, restless leg syndrome, autonomic symptoms and fatigue contributed 68.6% of the variance of PSQI score. Transferrin level in serum and tumor necrosis factor–α level in CSF decreased, and the levels of iron, transferrin, lactoferrin and prostaglandin E2 in CSF increased in PD patients with SD compared with those without SD. In CSF, prostaglandin E2 level was positively correlated with the levels of transferrin and lactoferrin, and tumor necrosis factor–α level was negatively correlated with the levels of iron, transferrin and lactoferrin in CSF.
Depression, restless leg syndrome, autonomic disorders and fatigue are the important contributors for the poor sleep in PD patients. Abnormal iron metabolism may cause excessive iron deposition in brain and be related to SD in PD patients through dual potential mechanisms, including neuroinflammation by activating microglia and neurotoxicity by targeting neurons. Hence, inhibition of iron deposition-related neuroinflammation and neurotoxicity may cast a new light for drug development for SD in PD patients.
PMCID: PMC3871565  PMID: 24376607
4.  Human Infection with Eurasian Avian-like Influenza A(H1N1) Virus, China 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(10):1709-1711.
PMCID: PMC3810748  PMID: 24050834
influenza; surveillance; serology; avian-like influenza A(H1N1); viruses
5.  Changes in Nitric Oxide, cGMP, and Nitrotyrosine Concentrations Over Skin Along the Meridians in Obese Subjects 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2010;19(8):1560-1567.
The purposes of these studies were to quantify the concentrations of total nitrate and nitrite (NOx−) cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), and nitrotyrosine over skin surface in normal weight healthy volunteers (n = 64) compared to overweight/obese subjects (n = 54). A semicircular plastic tube was taped to the skin along acupuncture points (acupoints), meridian line without acupoint (MWOP), and nonmeridian control and filled with a 2-Phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-3-oxide-1-oxyl solution for 20 min. The concentrations of NOx−, cGMP, and nitrotyrosine in the samples were quantified in a blinded fashion using chemiluminescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. In normal weight healthy volunteers, NOx− and cGMP concentrations were consistently increased over the pericardium meridian (PC) 4–7 compared with nonmeridian areas. NOx− concentration is enhanced over the bladder meridian (BL) 56–57, but cGMP level is similar between the regions. In overweight/obese subjects, NOx− contents were increased or tended to be elevated over PC and BL regions. cGMP is paradoxically decreased over PC acupoints and nonmeridian control on the forearm but the decreases were blunted along BL regions on the leg. Nitrotyrosine concentrations are markedly elevated (five- to sixfold) over both PC and BL in all areas of overweight/obese subjects. This is the first evidence showing that nitrotyrosine level is tremendously elevated over skin accompanied by paradoxical changes in nitric oxide (NO)-cGMP concentrations over PC skin region in overweight/obese subject. The results suggest that NO-related oxidant inflammation is systemically enhanced while cGMP generation is impaired over PC skin region but not over BL region in obesity.
PMCID: PMC3584154  PMID: 21151015
6.  Pretreatment of microcrystalline cellulose in organic electrolyte solutions for enzymatic hydrolysis 
Previous studies have shown that the crystalline structure of cellulose is negatively correlated with enzymatic digestibility, therefore, pretreatment is required to break down the highly ordered crystalline structure in cellulose, and to increase the porosity of its surface. In the present study, an organic electrolyte solution (OES) composed of an ionic liquid (1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([AMIM]Cl)) and an organic solvent (dimethyl sulfoxide; DMSO) was prepared, and used to pretreat microcrystalline cellulose for subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis; to our knowledge, this is the first time that this method has been used.
Microcrystalline cellulose (5 wt%) rapidly dispersed and then completely dissolved in an OES with a molar fraction of [AMIM]Cl per OES (χ [AMIM]Cl) of greater than or equal to 0.2 at 110°C within 10 minutes. The cellulose was regenerated from the OES by precipitation with hot water, and enzymatically hydrolyzed. As the χ [AMIM]Cl of the OES increased from 0.1 to 0.9, both the hydrolysis yield and initial hydrolysis rate of the regenerated cellulose also increased gradually. After treatment using OES with χ [AMIM]Cl of 0.7, the glucose yield (54.1%) was 7.2 times that of untreated cellulose. This promotion of hydrolysis yield was mainly due to the decrease in the degree of crystallinity (that is, the crystallinity index of cellulose I).
An OES of [AMIM]Cl and DMSO with χ [AMIM]Cl of 0.7 was chosen for cellulose pretreatment because it dissolved cellulose rapidly to achieve a high glucose yield (54.1%), which was only slightly lower than the value (59.6%) obtained using pure [AMIM]Cl. OES pretreatment is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly technique for hydrolysis, because it 1) uses the less expensive OES instead of pure ionic liquids, 2) shortens dissolution time, 3) requires lower energy for stirring and transporting, and 4) is recyclable.
PMCID: PMC3305895  PMID: 22099703
7.  Interleukin-11-induced capillary leak syndrome in primary hepatic carcinoma patients with thrombocytopenia 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:204.
Capillary leak syndrome (CLS) is a rare condition characterized by recurrent episodes of generalized edema and severe hypotension associated with hypoproteinemia. Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is a promising therapeutic agent for thrombocytopenia. A direct correlation between IL-11 and CLS has never been reported previously, particularly in patients with hepatic carcinoma.
Case presentation
We describe two cases of CLS after IL-11 administration in two males with thrombocytopenia. Case 1 was a 46-year-old man with recurrence of hepatic carcinoma who was treated with IL-11 (3 mg per day). After four days of therapy, hypotension and hypoproteinemia were detected. The chest X-ray and B ultrasound of the abdomen showed pleural effusion and ascites. IL-11 was then discontinued, fluid resuscitation was performed, and fresh frozen plasma and packed red blood cells were transfused into this patient. The patient had recovered after 19 days of treatment.
Case 2 was a 66-year-old man who had undergone radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for hepatic carcinoma. He was treated with IL-11 (3 mg per day) for thrombocytopenia. After two days of therapy, this patient complained of dyspnea with bilateral edema of the hands. Laboratory values showed hypoproteinemia. IL-11 was stopped and human albumin was transfused at a rate of 10 g per day. On the 4th day, fluid resuscitation was performed. The patient had recovered after treatment for two weeks.
The detection of IL-11-induced CLS supports the hypothesis that CLS could be a severe side effect of IL-11 treatment in some patients. These two case reports also demonstrate that patients with hepatic carcinoma who experience this rare form of CLS after treatment with IL-11 seem to respond to a therapeutic regimen that involves hydroxyethyl starch, albumin, and diuretic therapy. Liver cancer patients might be more susceptible to CLS because of poor liver function and hypersplenia. In addition, bleeding after RFA might be a further inducer of CLS.
PMCID: PMC3118946  PMID: 21619578
8.  Bis{tris­[3-(2-pyrid­yl)pyrazole]manganese(II)} dodeca­molybdosilicate hexa­hydrate 
The title compound, [Mn(C8H7N3)3]2[SiMo12O40]·6H2O, consists of an [SiMo12O40]4− heteropolyanion, lying on a centre of inversion, and a complex [Mn(C8H7N3)3]4+ cation. The MnII atom of the cation is hexa­coordinated in a distorted octa­hedral geometry by six N atoms from three chelating 3-(2-pyrid­yl)pyrazole ligands. In the heteropolyanion, the four O atoms of the tetra­hedral SiO4 group each half-occupy eight sites due to Si lying on the centre of inversion. N—H⋯O and O—H⋯O hydrogen bonding mediated by the water mol­ecules leads to a consolidation of the structure.
PMCID: PMC2979799  PMID: 21579665
9.  Bis(μ-biphenyl-2,2′-dicarboxyl­ato)bis­[aqua­(4,4′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyridine-κ2 N,N′)copper(II)] 
The mol­ecule of the title binuclear copper(II) complex, [Cu2(C14H8O4)2(C12H12N2)2(H2O)2], is bis­ected by a crystallographic twofold axis. Each CuII atom is coordinated in a distorted octa­hedral geometry by three O atoms from two biphen­yl-2,2′-dicarboxyl­ate anions, one aqua O atom and two N atoms of a 4,4′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyridine ligand. Intramolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds between the coordinated water molecules and the carboxylate O atoms are also present.
PMCID: PMC2971185  PMID: 21578114
10.  Aqua­bis(benzoato-κO)(5,5′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyridine-κ2 N,N′)copper(II) 
In the crystal structure of the title compound, [Cu(C7H5O2)2(C12H12N2)(H2O)], the CuII ion is penta­coordinated in a distorted square-pyramidal geometry by two O atoms of two benzoate anions and two N atoms of a 5,5′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyridine ligand occupying the basal plane, and a water O atom located at the apical site. In the crystal structure, O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the mol­ecules into a supra­molecular structure. The crystal studied was a racemic twin, as suggested by the Flack parameter of 0.584 (14).
PMCID: PMC2971325  PMID: 21578058
11.  Serum leptin and soluble leptin receptor in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease 
AIM: To determine the role of leptin system in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) development by delineating the changes in serum levels of leptin and soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R).
METHODS: Blood samples were collected from 30 consecutive patients with liver-biopsy-proven NAFLD and 30 patients with cholecystolithiasis (stationary phase) as controls. Serum leptin levels were determined by radioimmunoassay and concentration of sOB-R was measured by ELISA. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated for all subjects, and serum insulin, C-peptide, and lipoprotein levels were also detected.
RESULTS: Mean serum leptin level and BMI in the NAFLD group were significantly higher than in the controls (both P < 0.001), but mean sOB-R level was lower in the NAFLD group when compared to the controls. Both men and women in the NAFLD group had higher mean serum leptin levels and lower sOB-R levels than did the men and women in the control group (all P < 0.001). There was a significant negative correlation between serum leptin and sOB-R levels (r = -0.725, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that the percentage of hepatocyte steatosis, sex, BMI, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA IR) were independently related to serum leptin levels.
CONCLUSION: Elevated serum leptin seems to be a feature of steatosis, and serum leptin seems to increase as hepatocyte steatosis develops. An enhanced release of leptin is accompanied by an decrease in sOB-R concentration, which suggests higher resistance of peripheral tissues towards the action of leptin.
PMCID: PMC2710733  PMID: 18473416
Leptin; Soluble leptin receptor; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Results 1-11 (11)