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ISSN / EISSN : 2079-7737 / 2079-7737
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 2,980
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Published: 16 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Tuberculosis is a leading cause of infectious disease globally, especially in developing countries. Better knowledge of spatial and temporal patterns of tuberculosis burden is important for effective control programs as well as informing resource and budget allocation. Studies have demonstrated that TB exhibits highly complex dynamics in both spatial and temporal dimensions at different levels. In Thailand, TB research has been primarily focused on surveys and clinical aspects of the disease burden with little attention on spatiotemporal heterogeneity. This study aimed to describe temporal trends and spatial patterns of TB incidence and mortality in Thailand from 2011 to 2020. Monthly TB case and death notification data were aggregated at the provincial level. Age-standardized incidence and mortality were calculated; time series and global and local clustering analyses were performed for the whole country. There was an overall decreasing trend with seasonal peaks in the winter. There was spatial heterogeneity with disease clusters in many regions, especially along international borders, suggesting that population movement and socioeconomic variables might affect the spatiotemporal distribution in Thailand. Understanding the space-time distribution of TB is useful for planning targeted disease control program activities. This is particularly important in low- and middle-income countries including Thailand to help prioritize allocation of limited resources.
Published: 16 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) still holds the most dreadful clinical outcomes worldwide. Despite advanced treatment strategies, there are still some unmet needs. Next-generation sequencing of large-scale cancer genomics discovery projects combined with bioinformatics provides the opportunity to take a step forward in meeting clinical conditions. Based on in-house and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohorts, the results showed decreased levels of ADAMTS1 conferred poor survival compared with normal parts. Gene set enrichment analyses (GSEA) indicated the negative correlation between ADAMTS1 and the potential roles of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), metastasis, and poor prognosis in LUAD patients. With the knockdown of ADAMTS1, A549 lung cancer cells exhibited more aggressive behaviors such as EMT and increased migration, resulting in cancer metastasis in a mouse model. The pathway interaction network disclosed the linkage of downregulated α2-macroglobulin (A2M), which regulates EMT and metastasis. Furthermore, immune components analysis indicated a positive relationship between ADAMTS1 and the infiltrating levels of multiple immune cells, especially anticancer CD4+ T cells in LUAD. Notably, ADAMTS1 expression was also inversely correlated with the accumulation of immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cells and regulatory T cells, implying the downregulated ADAMTS1 mediated immune adjustment to fit the tumor survival disadvantages in LUAD patients. In conclusion, our study indicates that ADAMTS1 interacts with A2M in regulating EMT and metastasis in LUAD. Additionally, ADAMTS1 contributes to poor prognosis and immune infiltration in LUAD patients
Published: 16 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
During the development of drug and clinical applications, due to the co-administration of different drugs that have a high risk of interfering with each other’s mechanisms of action, correctly identifying potential drug–drug interactions (DDIs) is important to avoid a reduction in drug therapeutic activities and serious injuries to the organism. Therefore, to explore potential DDIs, we develop a computational method of integrating multi-level information. Firstly, the information of chemical sequence is fully captured by the Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithm, and multiple biological function similarity information is fused by Similarity Network Fusion (SNF). Secondly, we extract deep network structure information through Hierarchical Representation Learning for Networks (HARP). Then, a highly representative comprehensive feature descriptor is constructed through the self-attention module that efficiently integrates biochemical and network features. Finally, a deep neural network (DNN) is employed to generate the prediction results. Contrasted with the previous supervision model, BioChemDDI innovatively introduced graph collapse for extracting a network structure and utilized the biochemical information during the pre-training process. The prediction results of the benchmark dataset indicate that BioChemDDI outperforms other existing models. Moreover, the case studies related to three cancer diseases, including breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma and malignancies, were analyzed using BioChemDDI. As a result, 24, 18 and 20 out of the top 30 predicted cancer-related drugs were confirmed by the databases. These experimental results demonstrate that BioChemDDI is a useful model to predict DDIs and can provide reliable candidates for biological experiments. The web server of BioChemDDI predictor is freely available to conduct further studies.
Published: 16 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Improvements in the crop productivity, soil health, and sustainable intensification should be premised on the better understanding of interactions between the cropping systems and soil microbial diversity. In this study, we assessed variations in the microbial communities across the traditional banana-based cropping systems of contrasting monocrop vigor (vigorous or V vs. non-vigorous or NV) and the cropping system (monocrop or MC vs. intercropped or IC) using 16S rDNA (V3–V4) and ITS2 amplicon deep sequencing via Illumina platform. Sequencing results of the bacterial and fungal communities showed high variability among MC and V cropping systems. The abundances of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria were significantly higher in NV (non-vigorous) and V (vigorous) cropping systems; and the abundances of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes in the MC (monocropping) than IC (intercropping). There were high relative abundances of Pseudomonas (6.1–37.43%), Bacillus (4.5–20.4%), Rhizobium (1.4–6.5%), and Devosia (1.5–6.7%) in the cropping systems. The dominant family of fungal class Incertae_sedis was Mortierellales, which accounted for 8.79–41.12% of total taxa. This result indicated that the cropping systems are vital for supporting the dynamic microbial diversity specifically beneficial for bacterial communities that helps in promoting synergistic plant-soil interactions and total productivity under resource poor conditions of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Published: 16 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Endothelin was first discovered more than 30 years ago as a potent vasoconstrictor. In subsequent years, three isoforms, two canonical receptors, and two converting enzymes were identified, and their basic functions were elucidated by numerous preclinical and clinical studies. Over the years, the endothelin system has been found to be critical in the pathogenesis of several cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, pulmonary arterial hypertension, heart failure, and coronary artery disease. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on endothelin and its role in cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, we discuss how endothelin-targeting therapies, such as endothelin receptor antagonists, have been employed to treat cardiovascular diseases with varying degrees of success. Lastly, we provide a glimpse of what could be in store for endothelin-targeting treatment options for cardiovascular diseases in the future.
Published: 16 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Helicobacter pylori infection is the only well-established bacterial cause of cancer. However, due to the integral role of tissue-resident commensals in maintaining tissue-specific immunometabolic homeostasis, accumulated evidence suggests that an imbalance of tissue-resident microbiota that are otherwise considered as commensals, can also promote various types of cancers. Therefore, the present review discusses compelling evidence linking tissue-resident microbiota (especially gut bacteria) with cancer initiation and progression. Experimental evidence supporting the cancer-causing role of gut commensal through the modulation of host-specific processes (e.g., bile acid metabolism, hormonal effects) or by direct DNA damage and toxicity has been discussed. The opportunistic role of commensal through pathoadaptive mutation and overcoming colonization resistance is discussed, and how chronic inflammation triggered by microbiota could be an intermediate in cancer-causing infections has been discussed. Finally, we discuss microbiota-centric strategies, including fecal microbiota transplantation, proven to be beneficial in preventing and treating cancers. Collectively, this review provides a comprehensive understanding of the role of tissue-resident microbiota, their cancer-promoting potentials, and how beneficial bacteria can be used against cancers.
Published: 15 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Traditionally, phylogenetic interspecies relationships are estimated based on genetic diversity, since it is assumed that the more recently diverged a species, with comparable constancy of development, the more similar their genetic material and proteins should be. However, occasional controversies in the field may reflect limited resolution and accuracy of this approach. Epigenetics has, meanwhile, provided significant evidence that CpG dinucleotides (CpGs) within genetic material are of particular importance for the annotation and function of the genome and the formation of the phenotype, which is continuously shaped by evolutionary interaction with environmental factors. Based on this, it can be concluded that CpGs follow a distinct rate of evolution, compared to all other nucleotide positions. Evidence is provided that supports this conclusion. Therefore, using CpGs to fathom evolutionary relationships between species could turn out to be a valuable approach to achieve, in some cases, an improved understanding of evolutionary development.
Published: 15 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Tree ring data from the southern boundary of Chinese Pine (Pinus tabulaeformis Carr.) distribution where is the southern warm temperate margin, the paper analyzes the response of climate factors along north–south direction to tree growth. The results show that temperature and precipitation in May–June and relative moisture from March to June are main limiting factors on trees growth; however, the temperature in the south of the mountains and the moisture in the north of the mountains have relatively greater influence on trees’ growth. Additionally, we also found that the regional scPDSIMJ (that is scPDSI in May–June) was the most significant and stable factor limiting tree growth to be used for reconstruction. The reconstructed scPDSIMJ revealed that there were 29 extremely dry years and 30 extremely wet years during 1801–2016, and it could represent the drought variation in central and eastern monsoon region. The variation exists in good agreement with the reconstructed PDSI for Mt. Shennong and the drought/wetness series in Zhengzhou. Further research found that the droughts of May–June in central China were mainly impacted by local temperature and moisture (including precipitation, soil moisture, potential evaporation and water pressure), and then by the northern Pacific Ocean and the northern Atlantic Ocean. These results may provide better understanding of May–June drought variation and service for agricultural production in central China.
Published: 14 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
To date, many studies have proved that COVID-19 increases the incidence of thrombus formation and coagulopathies but the exact mechanism behind such a disease outcome is not well known. In this review we collect the information and discuss the pathophysiology of thrombus formation in patients with pulmonary embolism in the course of COVID-19 disease and the role of zinc and copper in the process. Supplementation of zinc and copper may be beneficial for COVID-19 patients due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. On the other hand, excess of those microelements in the organism may be harmful, that is why marking the level of those micronutrients should be done at first. We also propose further investigation of diagnostic and therapeutic options of zinc and copper in course of COVID-19 thrombus formation to their potential in patient care, with particular emphasis on the dosage and the duration of their misbalance.
Published: 14 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
In this study, a novel nanofibrous hybrid scaffold based on silk fibroin (SF) and different weight ratios of kappa-carrageenan (k-CG) (1, 3, and 5 mg of k-CG in 1 mL of 12 wt% SF solution) was prepared using electrospinning and genipin (GP) as a crosslinker. The presence of k-CG in SF nanofibers was analyzed and confirmed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). In addition, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis confirmed that GP could cause SF conformation to shift from random coils or α-helices to β-sheets and thereby facilitate a more crystalline and stable structure. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and Young’s modulus of the SF mats were enhanced after crosslinking with GP from 3.91 ± 0.2 MPa to 8.50 ± 0.3 MPa and from 9.17 ± 0.3 MPa to 31.2 ± 1.2 MP, respectively. Notably, while the mean fiber diameter, wettability, and biodegradation rate of the SF nanofibers increased with increasing k-CG content, a decreasing effect was determined in terms of UTS and Young’s modulus. Additionally, better cell viability and proliferation were observed on hybrid scaffolds with the highest k-CG content. Osteogenic differentiation was determined from alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and Alizarin Red staining and expression of osteogenic marker genes. To this end, we noticed that k-CG enhanced ALP activity, calcium deposition, and expression of osteogenic genes on the hybrid scaffolds. Overall, hybridization of SF and k-CG can introduce a promising scaffold for bone regeneration; however, more biological evaluations are required.
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