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Articles by Feng Xu
Total Records ( 20 ) for Feng Xu
  Feng Xu
  We prove that the very simple lattices which consist of a largest, a smallest and 2n pairwise incomparable elements where n is a positive integer can be realized as the lattices of intermediate subfactors of finite index and finite depth. Using the same techniques, we give a necessary and sufficient condition for subfactors coming from Loop groups of type A at generic levels to be maximal.
  Lanlan Wang , Jiaping Yan , Xiangxiang Meng , Jiabao Ye , Weiwei Zhang and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Ginkgo biloba (G. biloba) is a precious medicinal and edible plant. It has a long juvenile phase. CONSTANS (CO) and CONSTANS-like (COL) genes are key genes in the photoperiodic flowering pathway. Information on COL genes in G. biloba is relatively lacking. The aim of this study was to characterize a CONSTANS-like 16 (GbCOL16) gene from G. biloba. Methodology: In this study, GbCOL16 gene was cloned from G. biloba. The expression level of GbCOL16 gene in different tissues of G. biloba was studied by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and quantitative RT-PCR methods. Data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA using SPSS 11.0 for windows. The means were compared with Duncan’s multiple range tests. Results: Sequence analysis results showed that the full-length cDNA of GbCOL16 was 1,337 bp, it contained a 1,311 bp ORF and encoded a deduced protein of 436 amino acids. The GbCOL16 has one conserved CCT domain, without B-Box domain. GbCOL16 has a close genetic relationship with SlCOL16 and NtCOL16 and can be clustered into group IV of CO gene family. The expression analysis results showed that the highest GbCOL16 expression was in the leaves. The GbCOL16 expression was higher in male strobili than in the stems, female strobili and young fruits. The lowest relative expression of GbCOL16 was in the roots. However, GbCOL16 barley was expressed in Ginkgo buds. Conclusion: GbCOL16 was expressed specifically in the leaves of ginkgo. The flowering regulation mechanism of GbCOL16 is similar to that of CO genes. This finding lays the foundation for clarifying the flowering gene network and molecular regulation mechanism of G. biloba.
  Jinshuang Dou , Lanlan Wang , Jiaping Yan , Mingyue Fu , Xian Zhang and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Ginkgo biloba (G. biloba) is a precious medicinal plant and has a long juvenile phase. AGAMOUS LIKE-66 (AGL66) gene, an important flowering regulatory gene, belongs to the family of MADS-box gene family. Information on AGL66 genes in G. biloba is relatively lacking. The aim of this study was to characterize a AGL66 gene from G. biloba. Methodology: According to the unigene sequences of G. biloba transcriptome, a AGL66 gene was cloned from G. biloba, named GbAGL66 (Genbank accession number is MF443205). Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) method was used to analyze the expression level of GbAGL66 gene. Data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA using SPSS 11.0. Results: The full-length cDNA of GbAGL66 gene was 1,202 bp and its open reading frame (ORF) was 1,146 bp, encoding a deduced protein of 381 amino acids. A homologue search against GenBank showed that GbAGL66 protein was a homologue of MIKC-type MADS-box proteins and had two typical MADS and K domains. Using bioinformatics software to carry on the analysis, the theoretical molecular weight is 4.33 kDa and the isoelectric point is 5.96. GbAGL66 had 60, 53 and 52% homology with the AGLs from Prunus persica, Cucumis melo and Elaeis guineensis, respectively. The expression of GbAGL66 gene in roots was the highest. The expressions of GbAGL66 gene in male and female flowers were higher than that in stems and leaves. Conclusion: In this study, a GbAGL66 gene was cloned and characterized from G. biloba for the first time. GbAGL66 was strongly expressed in roots and flowers. These findings laid the foundation for the molecular regulation of flowering of G. biloba.
  Xian Zhang , Lan Lan Wang , Jia Ping Yan , Ming Yue Fu , Jin Shuang Dou and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: APETALA 2 (AP2) gene is an important transcription factor in plant flower development and involved in signal transduction of plant growth, development and physiological and biochemical reactions. The aim of this study was to characterize a AP2 gene from Ginkgo biloba (G. biloba). Materials and Methods: The specific primers were designed based on AP2 unigene sequence of transcriptome data. The full-length cDNA of homologous genes were cloned from G. biloba by RT-PCR. Tissue expression analysis was estimated by quantitative RT-PCR methods. Results: Sequence analysis results showed that the full-length cDNA of GbAP2 was 2018 bp and contained a 1974 bp open reading frame, which encoded a 657 amino-acid protein. The predicted molecular weight and isoelectric point were 72.03 kDa and 5.91, respectively. Multiple alignments showed that the GbAP2 protein had high homology with the AP2 protein of other plants. The GbAP2 contains two AP2 domains and belongs to the AP2 subfamily of the AP2/ERF family. Phylogenetic tree analysis revealed that GbAP2 had closer genetic relationship with Cycas revolute from Cycadaceae. Tissue expression analysis showed that GbAP2 gene was expressed in roots, stems, leaves, male strobili, female strobili and fruit of G. biloba and strongly expressed in the leaves and female strobili. Conclusion: In this study, a novel AP2 gene (GbAP2) was cloned and characterized from G. biloba for the first time. The results of expression pattern of GbAP2 in different tissues suggested that GbAP2 might be involved in whole plant growth and development in G. biloba.
  Lanlan Wang , Xiaomeng Liu , Xiangxiang Meng , Guangxu Wu and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Chamaemelum nobile (C. nobile) is a precious natural medicinal plant, with diverse functions. Chalcone isomerase (CHI) gene is one of the key enzyme genes in the synthesis pathway of flavonoids. Information on CHI gene in C. nobile is relatively lacking. The aim of this study was to characterize a Chalcone isomerase (CnCHI) gene from C. nobile. Methodology: In this study, a CHI gene was cloned from C. nobile, namely, CnCHI (GenBank accession No. MF784449). The expression level of CnCHI gene in different tissues of C. nobile was speculated by analyzing the FPKM value from the transcriptome data of C. nobile. Results: The sequence analysis and homologous alignment results showed that the CnCHI protein sequence was highly homologous with other CHI protein sequences. CnCHI protein has a Chalcone 3 superfamily conserved domain, highly conserved in evolution, indicating that CnCHI is a member of CHI gene family. CnCHI gene had the closest relationship with Chrysanthemum morifolium CHI gene. The analysis results of FPKM value showed that, the CnCHI expression in the flowers was much higher than in the roots, stems and leaves of C. nobile, indicating that CnCHI gene was a differentially expressed gene. Conclusion: CnCHI was expressed specifically in the flowers of C. nobile. CnCHI is a key enzyme gene in the synthesis pathway of flavonoids in C. nobile. This finding lays the foundation for the production of natural flavonoids.
  Li Zhu , Liangqiong Ma , Feng Xu and Weiwei Zhang
  Background and Objective: Ilex cornuta (I. cornuta) is a medicinal plant that contains triterpenoid compounds as its pharmacologically active ingredients. Squalene epoxidase (SE) is a key enzyme in the triterpenoid biosynthesis pathway. The current study aimed to characterize a SE gene from I. cornuta. Methodology: IcSE2 was isolated from I. cornuta. It was predicted the secondary and tertiary structures of the IcSE2 protein, performed multiple sequence alignments and generated a phylogenetic tree. The expression level of IcSE2 was examined via Quantitative Real Time-PCR (qRT-PCR). Results: The cDNA sequence of IcSE2 was 2058 bp, with an open reading frame of approximately 1605 bp that codes for 534 amino acids. The predicted theoretical isoelectric point and molecular weight are 8.30 and 58.6 kDa, respectively. RxR, Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide (FAD) and Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADPH) domains could be found in the deduced IcSE2 protein. Phylogenetic analysis showed that IcSE2 is closely related with the SEs from Araliaceae plants. IcSE2 expression level was the highest in roots, followed by leaves and male flowers and lowest in stems. Conclusion: The IcSE2 gene from I. cornuta was cloned and characterized for the first time. IcSE2 was strongly expressed in roots and leaves. These results may lay the foundation for studying the molecular regulatory mechanism of triterpenoid saponins in I. cornuta.
  Zhongcheng Zhou , Jiaping Yan , Xinghu Zhang , Zhongya Ye , Feng Xu and Jichi Yuan
  Background and Objective: Populus species are one of the world’s most important groups of forest trees, but distinguishing between cultivars and hybrids is a little difficult due to widespread interspecific hybridization and introgression and the high level intraspecific morphological variation. The objective of this study was to understand the genetic variation and heterozygosity of 29 Populus species from the Jianghan Plain of China and provided scientific guidance for the introduction of superior poplar varieties in Hubei province of China. Materials and Methods: The DNA was isolated from leaves of 29 poplar clones, digested by MseI and EcoRI endonucleases and subsequently used Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLP) analysis. The AFLP data was analyzed by GeneMapper software to display the fragment sizes as electropherograms and binary data. Fingerprint was constructed according to the AFLP analysis. Genetic similarity coefficients were calculated using Numeric Taxonomic System (NTSYS) PC version software 2.11 and the phylogenetic tree was constructed by cluster analysis using the UPGMA. Results: A total of 959 fragments were amplified, 806 of which were polymorphic with an average polymorphism percentage of 84.67%. Genetic similarity coefficients of the 29 Populus species ranged from 0.6111-0.8478 with an average of 0.7217. The highest average genetic similarity coefficient (0.7549) was found between "Danhongyang" with other Populus species and the lowest (0.6532) was found between "6204" with other Populus species. According to the genetic similarity coefficient of 0.7117, the 29 Populus species were divided into four categories by UPGMA cluster analysis. Finally, we built DNA fingerprint of the 29 Populus genotypes. Conclusion: It was concluded that 29 Populus species shared high genetic similarity and low genetic diversity. "107", "6204" and "6102" were three unique species and worth further utilizing in hybridization.
  Xiaomeng Liu , Xiangxiang Meng , Jiabao Ye , Weiwei Zhang , Jie Chang and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Flavonoids are one kind of the main active ingredients in medicinal plant of Chamaemelum nobile (C. nobile). Chalcone synthase (CHS) is the first key enzyme and plays an important role in flavonoid biosynthesis pathway. The aim of the study was to clone the cDNA sequence of CnCHS from C. nobile for the first time using RT-PCR and carried out bioinformatics analysis. Materials and Methods: The seeds of C. nobile was obtained from the laboratory group's early preservation sown in a nutrition bowl (20×20 cm) after immersion and germination on November 10, 2016 and was grown at 25/18°C in a controlled growth chamber (16 h light/8 h dark). A pair of specific primers was designed according to C. nobile transcriptome data and the CnCHS gene was cloned from C. nobile by Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). The CnCHS gene as well as the protein sequence were analyzed using the online website of National Center for Biotechnology Information(NCBI), ProtParam and bio analysis software of Vector NTI 11.5, Clustal X2.0 and MEGA6. The expression of CnCHS gene in different tissues of C. nobile was studied by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). Data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA using SPSS11.0 for Windows. Results: The cDNA of 1,482 bp CnCHS gene was cloned and named CnCHS (GenBank accession No. MF069253). The CnCHS contained a 1,197 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding 399 amino acids. The predicted molecular weight and isoelectric point of the CnCHS protein were 43.64 kDa and 6.11, respectively. Multiple alignment analysis revealed that CnCHS protein sequence was highly homologous to CnCHS proteins of other plants. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the CnCHS was most closely related to the CnCHS of Asteraceae, indicating that they share a common evolutionary ancestor. The CnCHS gene was expressed in all tested tissues of C. nobile and the expression level was the highest in flowers. Conclusion: The CnCHS gene was isolated and characterized, laying a foundation for further study of flavonoid biosynthesis pathway in C. nobile.
  Mingyue Fu , Jiaping Yan , Lanlan Wang , Xian Zhou , Junping Tan and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Ginkgo biloba is an important medicinal plant but the transitional period from the sowing to the flowering of G. biloba is too long, which severely limits its reproduction and application. The CONSTANS (CO), is one of the important transcription factors in the transition from vegetative growth to reproductive growth. The CO plays a central role in photoperiodic flowering control. The aim of this study was to clone and characterize a CONSTANS-like 6 (GbCOL-6) gene from G. biloba. Materials and Methods: A pair of specific primers were designed based on the data of the G. biloba transcriptome. The full-length cDNA of the CO gene was amplified from the total RNA of G. biloba leaves by RT-PCR, named GbCOL-6 (GenBank Accession No. MG251395). The expression of GbCOL-6 gene in different tissues was studied by quantitative RT-PCR. Results: Sequence analysis results showed that the cDNA of GbCOL-6 contained a 1479 bp open reading frame (ORF), which encodes a 492 amino-acid protein. The theoretical molecular weight and pI of the GbCOL-6 are 54.65 kDa and 5.08, respectively. Similar to other CO proteins, GbCOL-6 contains two conserved domains (B-box and CCT domain) and the amino acid sequence showed high similarity to other plant CO proteins. Phylogenetic tree analysis revealed that GbCOL-6 belonged to the second group members of the CONSTANS gene family, which has aB-box domain and a CCT conserved domain. These results indicated that GbCOL-6 is a member of the CONSTANS family and belongs to CONSTANS-LIKE 6. Tissue expression profile analysis showed that GbCOL-6 was expressed in all tissues, the highest expression level was detected in the female strobili and the lowest in the roots. Conclusion: This study found that GbCOL-6 isolated from G. biloba was specifically expressed in the female strobili of G. biloba. However, GbCOL-6 rarely was expressed in roots of G. biloba. This laid the foundation for further understanding of the molecular regulation mechanism of the flowering of G. biloba and shortening the juvenile phase of woody plant through the transgenic technology and providing genetic resources for promoting early flowering.
  Jingjing Liao , Xiaomeng Liu , Xian Zhou , Zexiong Chen , Junpin Tan , Jiabao Ye , Weiwei Zhang and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Ginkgo biloba is a precious medicinal plant and has a long juvenile phase and spends 15-20 years in the vegetative phase before turning to reproductive phases, which makes breeding and cultivation of Ginkgo especially challenging. The FRI gene can regulate the FLC gene which inhibits flowering and further causes the late flowering of G. biloba. Therefore, the cloning and analysis of FRI gene can regulate the flowering time of G. biloba. Materials and Methods: The GbFRI gene and the protein sequence were analyzed using the online website of National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), ProtParam and bioinformatic software of Clustal X2.0, Vector NTI 11.5 and MEGA6. The expression of GbFRI gene in different tissues of G. biloba was studied by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). Data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA using SPSS11.0 for Windows. Results: The full length cDNA of GbFRI gene was 1702 bp (GenBank accession no. KY662058) and the open reading frame (ORF) covered 1602 bp, which encoded a 534 amino-acid protein. The predicted protein showed that a FRI superfamily and contain coiled-coil domains in two positions (between amino acids 55-100 and 405-450, respectively). The expression analysis results displayed that the highest GbFRI expression was in the male flowers. The GbFRI expression was higher in female flowers, stems than in the roots and fruits. The lowest relative expression of GbFRI was in the leaves. Conclusion: The GbFRI gene was isolated and characterized, laying a foundation for further study of vernalization pathway in G. biloba.
  Ganping Zhou , Zuofu Cai , Shedian Zhou , Zhichun Feng and Feng Xu
  The aim of this study was set up a simplistic but low-cost method for 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) individualization chemotherapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) children in developing China. The blood samples of ten ALL children with 6-MP chemotherapy were collected in the morning on 7th day and 14th day of the onset of therapy respectively and 6-thioguanine nucleotides (6-TGN) levels in Red Blood Cell (RBC) were measured by RP-HPLC (reverse phase-high performance liquid chromatography). Meanwhile on 14th day and 21st day the blood samples of ten ALL children were collected in the morning respectively and determined White Blood Cell (WBC) counts to monitor myelotoxicity. The ideal target level range of 6-TGN was set up between 275~750 pmol/8x108 RBC. If the level of 6-TGN in the sample of 7th day was more than 1000 pmol/8x108 RBC, the 6-MP dose starting since 8th day was adjusted to 50% of the original dose. If the level of 6-TGN in the sample of 7th day was more than 750 pmol/8x108 RBC, the 6-MP dose starting since 8th day was adjusted to 60% of the original dose. The results showed that the 6-TGN levels in ten ALL children ranged from 264~866 pmol/8x108 RBC in the samples of 7th day. Among them only two children had high levels of 6-TGN more than 750 pmol/8x108 RBC who showed after-effect myelotoxicity with low WBC on 14th day. After the adjustment of 6-MP dose since 8th day, ten ALL children had 6-TGN levels ranging from 270~450 pmol/8x108 RBC and no one had a high level of 6-TGN on 14th day. On 21st day ten ALL children had normal WBC counts and showed no myelotoxicity. We concluded that the 6-MP dose adjustment by 6-TGN levels is a simplistic but low-cost individualized method for 6-MP chemotherapy in ALL children in developing China.
  Zhijun Xiao , Ye Zhang , Yan Wang and Feng Xu
  A lot of systematic reviews/meta-analyses compiled by Chinese professionals and published in Chinese medical journals bring a lot of perplexity as they help to a certain extent to make decision in some conflicting clinical results. This study aims to assess the quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on antidepressant therapy published in Chinese journals. The reviews/meta-analyses on antidepressant therapy were identified by searching three main Chinese data banks i.e., Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang Data (WF) and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM). A pre-stated criterion was used for review/meta-analysis selection. All reviews were evaluated by two reviewers separately. Data in qualified reviews were extracted into a Microsoft Excel database for analysis. Two assessment tools were used: (1) the Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ) and (2) Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA). Sixty eight reviews/meta-analyses were included in this study. More than 50% of them had methodological and reporting defects which could have reduced the reliability of the review/meta-analysis results. The flaws were mainly low quality of search strategy, inappropriate bias control and absence of quality assessment for original study.
  Jingjing Duan , Yingtong Zeng , Ting Zhou , Ye Zhang and Feng Xu
  Drug metabolism is affected by many social-psychological factors including mood disorder. Organ transplantation recipients usually suffer from depression. The study aims to explore whether depression disorder alters immunosuppresant Tacrolimus (TAC) pharmacokinetic process in depression model rats. Eighteen female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomized into model group and control group. Depression model rats were built with Chronic Unpredicted Mild Stresses (CUMS) for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks model establishment, all rats in both groups were given TAC (1.5 mg kg-1) i.g. Blood samples were collected at various time points. TAC concentration was assayed by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). TAC pharmacokinetic parameters were processed with DAS software. Compared to those in control group, there was significant decrease in Cmax and AUC in depression model group (p<0.05), from 0.87±0.06 to 0.79±0.05 μg mL-1 (Cmax) and from 2.35±0.23 to 2.14±0.08 μg mL-1•h (AUC), respectively. The results indicated that depression disorder alter TAC pharmacokinetic process which might be induced by enhancing the drug metabolism.
  Hongyan Wei , Ye Zhang and Feng Xu
  Traditional medicine has been applied in cancer treatment in many countries for a long time. Among the various forms of complementary and alternative medicine, traditional Chinese medicine has a well constructed theoretical framework and established treatment approaches. Recent research has displayed that the traditional Chinese medicine is effective in the supportive cancer care in neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy. In this study, the clinical trials results of traditional Chinese medicines currently conducted in clinical practice in China.
  Zhengchao Xia , Zhijun Xiao , Enying Ma and Feng Xu
  Few studies were conducted on risk factor in medication nonadherence in developing rural area in China. The goal of this study was to perform a survey to address the prevalence of medication nonadherence and the reasons for nonadherence. Outpatients with chronic diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, etc) in a rural hospital far away from Shanghai downtown, from Jan 1 to June 30, 2014 were invited to participate in this survey. Patients were answered a combination questionnaire including self-reported medication adherence and depression/anxiety symptoms. A total of 325 patients with chronic diseases were treated with regular medication without any anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants. The 255 (78.5%) patients were regarded as medication nonadherence. Age, gender, educational level, brand preference and health literacy were not associated with medication adherence, while the number of chronic diseases, anxiety and depression were negatively impact medication adherence. Depression and anxiety symptoms are possible risk factors causing the nonadherence.
  Saihua Lu , Xiaofan Zhou , Zhuman Li , Zhijun Guo , Zheng Yang , Minghua Ma and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Clinical studies have shown that castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is the ultimate cause of death in men with advanced prostate cancer. Among them long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)-induced neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) and neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) are most important causes to CRPC. NED is a kind of undifferentiated small cell carcinoma with high-invasiveness which could be induced by long time ADT, leading to a highly invasive and metastatic clinical process. Therefore, it is a current research hotspot to develop targeted therapeutic drug for NED. This study aimed to investigate the role of propranolol in the progression of NED induced by ADT and the related mechanisms. Materials and Methods: Androgen receptor (AR) antagonist enzalutamide (MDV3100) was used to induce androgen deprivation. MTT and cell migration assays were performed to assess the effect of propranolol on cell viability and migration. Western Blot was used to measure the expression of NED/NEPC biomarkers such as CHGA, ENO2 as well as CREB (cAMP response element binding protein) and phosphorylation level of CREB (p-CREB). A qRT-PCR was performed to test the mRNA level of CHGA, ENO2, KLK3. Results: ADT promoted prostate cancer cell growth and migration, up-regulated the CHGA expression and down-regulated AR expression. Propranolol could reverse the NED progression through inhibiting CREB phosphorylation and finally down-regulating CHGA expression. Conclusion: Propranolol might suppress the progression of NED via inhibiting CREB phosphorylation possibly.
  Zhijun Xiao , Cuicui Liu , Jingjing Duan , Ting Zhou , Xiufeng Liu , Saihua Lu and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Depression is the most frequent psychiatric disorder all over the world. Gardeniae fructus (GF) is a major composition herb in much Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) antidepressant prescriptions. This study aimed to investigate the multi-target pharmacological mechanism of GF acting on depression by combined network pharmacology and molecular docking technology. Materials and Methods: Chemical compounds derived from GF were collected from three TCM databases. The active components were screened based on in silico pharmacological properties prediction models. Targets of the active components were obtained from the PubChem and the polypharmacology browser 2 databases. Protein-protein interaction networks were constructed and the hub genes were identified by Cytoscape. The binding ability of hub genes and active components were evaluated with molecular docking technology. GO enrichment and KEGG pathway analysis was performed using the cluster Profiler package in R software. Results: A total of 22 active components and 49 antidepressive targets of GF were identified. Genes including APP, CNR1, DRD2 and OPRM1 were identified as hub targets. Most of the hub targets had a good binding ability with the active components. Regulation of neurotransmitter levels was the major biological process involved in the anti-depressive effects of GF. The main KEGG pathways, including neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, serotonergic synapse and alcoholism were related to the antidepressive effects of GF. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that GF exerts an anti-depressive effect possibly by regulating neurotransmitter levels via neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, serotonergic synapse and alcoholism pathways.
  Zhijun Xiao , Cuicui Liu , Jingjing Duan , Ting Zhou , Xiufeng Liu , Saihua Lu , Zhen Yang and Feng Xu
  Background and Objective: Depression is one of the most frequent mental illnesses all over the world. Gastrodiae rhizoma (GR) has been used as both herbal medicine and functional food in China. Herein, we aim to decipher the pharmacological targets and active components of GR against depression by using network pharmacology, bioinformatic analysis and molecular docking. Materials and Methods: GR active components were screened based on in silico prediction models of pharmacological properties. The potential targets of GR active components were predicted. Protein-protein interaction networks were constructed using the STRING database. Hub genes were identified by the cytoHubba plugin in Cytoscape. Functional enrichment analysis were carried out using the “clusterProfiler” package in R software. Molecular docking simulation was conducted to evaluate the binding affinity between the active components and hub targets. Results: A total of 24 active components and 38 targets were identified to interpret the anti-depressive effect GR. Functional enrichment analysis showed that the anti-depressive activity of GR may be associated with various biological processes such as regulation of neurotransmitter levels and monoamine transport, as well as multiple pathways such as neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction and dopaminergic synapse. SLC6A3, SLC6A4, CNR1 and MAOA were identified as hub targets and they had a good binding ability with the GR active components. (-)-Variabilin, bis-(4-hydroxybenzyl) sulfide and 6-ethoxysanguinarine may be promising anti-depressive leading compounds. Conclusion: This study uncovers the synergistic anti-depressive effect of multiple active components in GR and provides a scientific basis for developing GR as complementary medicine or functional food in depression prevention and treatment.
  Feng Xu , Yinong Lu and Yunfei Liu
  This study introduces a cost-effective electrodeposition route for preparation of highly oriented and well-defined ZnO nano/micro-scale structures on indium tin oxide (ITO) glass substrates without a traditionally pre-prepared layer of ZnO seeds. It was demonstrated that the addition of KCl, NaCl, and ethylenediamine (EDA) and the hydrolysis of hexamethylenetetramine (HMT) pose the difference in growth rates between ZnO {} prismatic planes and (0 0 0 1) end plane and lead to the formation of highly oriented ZnO rods, flower-like ZnO bundles, nanowire arrays or hexagonal plates. The effect of different Cl sources on the array manner of ZnO plates and the effect of concentration of EDA on the aspect ratio of ZnO rods were investigated, respectively. Electrodeposition potential plays an important role in the preferential growth orientation of ZnO crystals on the substrates without a traditionally pre-prepared layer of ZnO seeds. Room temperature photoluminescence (PL) properties of different ZnO structures were also investigated. In addition, different procreation manner on the (0 0 0 1) growing end planes for ZnO rods and nanowire arrays were observed. On the basis of observation, several growth mechanisms, such as layer-by-layer procreation manner for ZnO nanowires, are suggested.
  Manabu Murakami , Takayoshi Ohba , Feng Xu , Eisaku Satoh , Ichiro Miyoshi , Takashi Suzuki , Yoichirou Takahashi , Eiki Takahashi , Hiroyuki Watanabe , Kyoichi Ono , Hironobu Sasano , Noriyuki Kasai , Hiroshi Ito and Toshihiko Iijima
  N-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs) play determining roles in calcium entry at sympathetic nerve terminals and trigger the release of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. The accessory β3 subunit of these channels preferentially forms N-type channels with a pore-forming CaV2.2 subunit. To examine its role in sympathetic nerve regulation, we established a β3-overexpressing transgenic (β3-Tg) mouse line. In these mice, we analyzed cardiovascular functions such as electrocardiography, blood pressure, echocardiography, and isovolumic contraction of the left ventricle with a Langendorff apparatus. Furthermore, we compared the cardiac function with that of β3-null and CaV2.2 (α1B)-null mice. The β3-Tg mice showed increased expression of the β3 subunit, resulting in increased amounts of CaV2.2 in supracervical ganglion (SCG) neurons. The β3-Tg mice had increased heart rate and enhanced sensitivity to N-type channel-specific blockers in electrocardiography, blood pressure, and echocardiography. In contrast, cardiac atria of the β3-Tg mice revealed normal contractility to isoproterenol. Furthermore, their cardiac myocytes showed normal calcium channel currents, indicating unchanged calcium influx through VDCCs. Langendorff heart perfusion analysis revealed enhanced sensitivity to electric field stimulation in the β3-Tg mice, whereas β3-null and Cav2.2-null showed decreased responsiveness. The plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine levels in the β3-Tg mice were significantly increased in the basal state, indicating enhanced sympathetic tone. Electrophysiological analysis in SCG neurons of β3-Tg mice revealed increased calcium channel currents, especially N- and L-type currents. These results identify a determining role for the β3 subunit in the N-type channel population in SCG and a major role in sympathetic nerve regulation.
 
 
 
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