Boosted photocatalytic performance of OVs-rich BiVO4 hollow microsphere self-assembled with the assistance of SDBS.
Zhang, T, Li, H, Tang, X, Zhong, J, Li, J, Zhang, S, Huang, S, Dou, L
Journal of colloid and interface science. 2023;:874-886
In this study, monoclinic phase bismuth vanadate (BiOV4) photocatalyst with unique hollow microsphere morphology was successfully prepared by a hydrothermal method in the existence of sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS). The prepared photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-vis DRS). Experimental results show that SDBS definitely changes the microstructure of BiVO4, which is allocated to the template role of SDBS in the preparation process. Moreover, the hydrothermal treatment time is also of crucial importance in affecting the structure and morphology of the photocatalysts, and the optimal hydrothermal treatment time for the formation of hollow microsphere is 24 h. Furthermore, the feasible growth mechanism for hollow microsphere was elaborated. Enriched oxygen vacancies (OVs) are introduced into BiOV4 prepared with SDBS, largely elevating the separation efficiency of photo-generated charges. Under visible light irradiation, the photocatalytic activities of BiOV4 for destruction of rhodamine (RhB) were evaluated. The photocatalytic degradation rate constant of RhB on the 3SBVO is 2.23 times of that on the blank BiOV4 as the mass ratio of SDBS/BiOV4 is 3 %. Photocatalytic degradation mechanism of BiVO4 toward detoxification of organic pollutants was presented.
Role of prebiotics in enhancing the function of next-generation probiotics in gut microbiota.
Fei, Y, Chen, Z, Han, S, Zhang, S, Zhang, T, Lu, Y, Berglund, B, Xiao, H, Li, L, Yao, M
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2023;(8):1037-1054
With the development of high-throughput DNA sequencing and molecular analysis technologies, next-generation probiotics (NGPs) are increasingly gaining attention as live bacterial therapeutics for treatment of diseases. However, compared to traditional probiotics, NGPs are much more vulnerable to the harsh conditions in the human gastrointestinal tract, and their functional mechanisms in the gut are more complex. Prebiotics have been confirmed to play a critical role in improving the function and viability of traditional probiotics. Defined as substrates that are selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit, prebiotics are also important for NGPs. This review summarizes potential prebiotics for use with NGPs and clarifies their characteristics and functional mechanisms. Then we particularly focus on illustrating the protective effects of various prebiotics by enhancing the antioxidant capacity and their resistance to digestive fluids. We also elucidate the role of prebiotics in regulating anti-bacterial effects, intestinal barrier maintenance, and cross-feeding mechanisms of NPGs. With the expanding range of candidate NGPs and prebiotic substrates, more studies need to be conducted to comprehensively elucidate the interactions between prebiotics and NGPs outside and inside hosts, in order to boost their nutritional and healthcare applications.
Rational engineering of a metalloprotease to enhance thermostability and activity.
Zhu, F, Li, G, Wei, P, Song, C, Xu, Q, Ma, M, Ma, J, Song, P, Zhang, S
Enzyme and microbial technology. 2023;:110123
The rational design of enzymes with enhanced thermostability is efficient. Solvent-tolerant metalloprotease from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PT121 presents high Z-aspartame (Z-APM) synthesis activity, but insufficient thermostability. In this study, we enhanced enzyme thermostability using a rational strategy. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was applied to rapidly identify that the D28 and D116 mutations are likely to exhibit increased thermostability, and experimentation verified that the D28N and D116N mutants were more stable than the wild-type (WT) enzyme. In particular, the Tm of the D28N and D116N mutants increased by 6.1 °C and 9.2 °C, respectively, compared with that of the WT enzyme. The half-lives of D28N and D116N at 60 °C were 1.07- and 1.8-fold higher than that of the WT, respectively. Z-APM synthetic activities of the mutants were also improved. The potential mechanism of thermostability enhancement rationalized using MD simulation indicated that increased hydrogen bond interactions and a regional hydration shell were mostly responsible for the thermostability enhancement. Our strategy could be a reference for enzyme engineering, and our mutants offer considerable value in industrial applications.
Negative effects of soil warming, and adaptive cultivation strategies of maize: A review.
Zhang, S, Bai, J, Zhang, G, Xia, Z, Wu, M, Lu, H
The Science of the total environment. 2023;:160738
Temperature is a key factor in regulating and controlling several ecological processes. As there is a feedback relationship between many biogeochemical processes and climate change, their response to temperature changes is particularly important. Previously, a large volume of literature has extensively explored the impact of rising air temperature on shoot growth and maize yield, from enzymatic responses within the leaf to grain yield. As the global temperature continues to increase and the frequency, duration, and/or intensity of heat wave events increases, the soil temperature of the tilth is likely to rise sharply. As one of the most widely planted food crops in the world, maize may be subjected to additional soil temperature pressure. However, as a nutrient organ in direct contact with soil, the root plays a key role in adapting the whole plant to excessive soil temperature. Little research has been done on the effect of the soil microenvironment induced by higher soil temperature on maize root growth and root to shoot communication regulation. Therefore, this review summarizes (1) the effects of excessive soil temperature on the soil microenvironment, including soil respiration, microbial community composition, carbon mineralization, and enzyme activity; (2) the negative response of absorption of water and nutrients by roots and maize root-shoot growth to excessive soil temperature; and (3) potential cultivation strategies to improve maize yield, including improving tillage methods, adding biochar amendments, applying organic fertilizers, optimizing irrigation, and farmland mulching.
Research progress on the lipid-lowering and weight loss effects of tea and the mechanism of its functional components.
Zhang, Z, Liu, C, Fang, W, Tang, Q, Zhan, L, Shi, Y, Tang, M, Liu, Z, Zhang, S, Liu, A
The Journal of nutritional biochemistry. 2023;:109210
Obesity caused by poor eating habits has become a great challenge faced by public health organizations worldwide. Optimizing dietary intake and ingesting special foods containing biologically active substances (such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenes) is a safe and effective dietary intervention to prevent the occurrence and development of obesity. Tea contains several active dietary factors, and daily tea consumption has been shown to have various health benefits, especially in regulating human metabolic diseases. Here, we reviewed recent advances in research on tea and its functional components in improving obesity-related metabolic dysfunction, and gut microbiota homeostasis and related clinical research. Furthermore, the potential mechanisms by which the functional components of tea could promote lipid-lowering and weight-loss effects by regulating fat synthesis/metabolism, glucose metabolism, gut microbial homeostasis, and liver function were summarized. The research results showing a "positive effect" or "no effect" objectively evaluates the lipid-lowering and weight-loss effects of the functional components of tea. This review provides a new scientific basis for further research on the functional ingredients of tea for lipid lowering and weight loss and the development of lipid-lowering and weight-loss functional foods and beverages derived from tea.
Does enteral immune nutrition (EIN) boost the immunity of gastric cancer (GC) patients undergoing surgery? A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Li, H, Zhang, S, Lin, L, Rastogi, S
Wideochirurgia i inne techniki maloinwazyjne = Videosurgery and other miniinvasive techniques. 2023;(1):31-41
INTRODUCTION The main components of enteral immunonutrition (EIN) are ω-3 fatty acids, glutamine, arginine, and nucleotide, which primarily raises the immunity of the host and helps to reduce postoperative infections and non-infectious difficulties. Although the potential benefits of EIN are widely reported, some researchers did not find it to be of much help, and hence valid conclusions about its role are still unclear. AIM: To evaluate the role of enteral immunonutrition on patients undergoing surgery for gastric cancer (GC). MATERIAL AND METHODS Appropriate articles were searched from the PubMed, Medline, and Central databases using the appropriate keywords as per the PRISMA guidelines. Randomized controlled trials, and retrospective, prospective, and open-label studies were included as per the predefined PICOS criteria. Demographic summary and event data for the effect of EIN on patients undergoing surgery for GC were extracted from the included studies. RESULTS Twelve randomized controlled clinical trials with a total of 10,422 gastric cancer patients were included. We found the odds ratio value of 0.23 (95% CI: 0.09-0.59). The results are heterogeneous with a τ2 value of 2.77, a χ2 value of 1707.96, a df value of 11, an I2 value of 99%, a z value of 3.04, and a p-value of less than 0.05. The risk ratio is 0.47 (95% CI: 0.29-0.77) with heterogeneity of τ2 value of 0.73, χ2 value of 1428.34, df value of 11, I2 value of 99%, z value of 2.99, and p-value < 0.05. CONCLUSIONS The present meta-analysis strongly commends the use of EIN to boost the immunity of gastric cancer (GC) patients undergoing gastrectomy.
Rates of Choroidal and Neurodegenerative Changes Over Time in Diabetic Patients Without Retinopathy: A 3-Year Prospective Study.
Huang, Y, Zhang, N, Bulloch, G, Zhang, S, Shang, X, Chen, Y, Liao, H, Zhu, Z, Wang, W
American journal of ophthalmology. 2023;:10-19
PURPOSE To evaluate the longitudinal changes of retinal neurodegeneration and choroidal thickness in diabetic patients with and without diabetic retinopathy (DR). DESIGN Prospective observational cohort study. METHODS This prospective observational cohort study recruited type 2 diabetic patients from a community registry in Guangzhou. All participants underwent annual ocular examinations via swept-source optical coherence tomography that obtained choroid thickness (CT), retinal thickness (RT), and ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GC-IPL) thickness. The changes in GC-IPL, CT, and RT between patients who developed incident DR (IDR) or remained non-DR (NDR) were compared during a 3-year follow-up. RESULTS Among 924 patients, 159 (17.2%) patients developed IDR within the 3-year follow-up. A reduction in GC-IPL, RT, and CT was observed in NDR and IDR; however, CT thinning in patients with IDR was significantly accelerated, with an average CT reduction of -6.98 (95% CI: -8.26, -5.71) μm/y in patients with IDR and -3.98 (95% CI: -4.60, -3.36) μm/y in NDR patients (P < .001). Reductions in average GC-IPL thickness over 3 years were -0.97 (95% CI: -1.24, -0.70) μm/y in patients with IDR and -0.76 (95% CI: -0.82, -0.70) μm/y in NDR patients (P = .025). After adjusting for confounding factors, the average CT and GC-IPL thinning were significantly faster in patients with IDR compared with those who remained NDR by 2.09 μm/y (95% CI: 1.01, 3.16; P = .004) and -0.29 μm/y (95% CI: -0.49, -0.09; P = .004), respectively. The RT in the IDR group increased, whereas the RT in the NDR group decreased over time, with the adjusted difference of 2.09 μm/y (95% CI: 1.01, 3.16; P < .001) for central field RT. CONCLUSIONS The rate of retinal neurodegeneration and CT thinning were significantly different between the eyes that developed IDR and remained NDR during the 3-year follow-up, but both groups observed thickness reduction. This indicates that GC-IPL and CTs may decrease before the clinical manifestations of DR.
Highly distributed amorphous copper catalyst for efficient ammonia electrosynthesis from nitrate.
Shen, Z, Yu, Y, Zhao, Z, Zhang, S, Xu, S, Yang, S, Hu, Y
Journal of hazardous materials. 2023;:130651
Electroreduction of nitrate to ammonia, instead of N2, is beneficial toward pollution control and value-added chemical production. Metallic catalysts have been developed for enhancing ammonia evolution efficiency from nitrate based on the crystalline state of the catalyst. However, the development of amorphous metallic catalysts with more active sites is still unexplored. Herein, a highly distributed amorphous Cu catalyst exhibiting an outstanding ammonia yield rate of 1.42 mol h-1 g-1 and Faradaic efficiency of 95.7%, much superior to crystallized Cu, is demonstrated for nitrate-reduction to ammonia. Experimental and computational results reveal that amorphizing Cu increases the number of catalytic sites, enhances the NO3- adsorption strength with flat adsorption configurations, and facilitates the potential determining step of *NO protonation to *NHO. The amorphous Cu catalyst shows good electrochemical stability at - 0.3 V, while crystallization weakens the activity at a more negative potential. This study confirms the crystallinity-activity relationship of amorphous catalysts and unveils their potential-limited electrochemical stability.
Phytotoxic effects on chloroplast and UHPLC-HRMS based untargeted metabolomic responses in Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Sprengel (Chinese leek) exposed to antibiotics.
Khan, KY, Ali, B, Zhang, S, Stoffella, PJ, Shi, S, Xia, Q, Cui, X, Ali, Z, Guo, Y
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. 2022;:113418
Introduction of antibiotics into agricultural fields poses serious health risks to humans. This study investigated the uptake of antibiotics, their effects on metabolic pathways, and chloroplast structure changes of Allium tuberosum exposed to norfloxacin (NFL), oxytetracycline (OTC), and tetracycline (TC). Among all the antibiotic treatments, the highest accumulation of antibiotics in roots (4.15 mg/kg) and leaves (0.29 mg/kg) was TC, while in bulbs it was NFL (5.94 mg/kg). OTC was with the lowest accumulation in roots: 0.19 mg/kg, bulbs: 0.18 mg/kg, and leaves: 0.11 mg/kg. The number of mitochondira and the number of plastoglobulli increased. The chloroplast structure was disturbed under the stress of NFL, OTC, and TC. Disturbance in the chloroplast ultrastructure leads to altered chlorophyll fluorescence variables. Simultaneously, metabolomic profiling of leaves demonstrated that NFL stress regulated more of metabolic pathways than OTC and TC. Differences in metabolic pathways among the antibiotic treatments showed that each antibiotic has different impact even under the same experimental conditions. TC and NFL have more toxic effects than OTC antibiotic. Metabolic variations induced by antibiotics stress highlighted pools of metabolites that affect the metabolic activities, chlorophyll fluorescence, ultrastructural adjustments, and stimulate defensive impact in A. tubersoum. These findings provide an insight of metabolic destabilization as well as metabolic changes in defensive mechanism and stress response of A. tuberosum to different antibiotics.
Molecular dynamics simulations reveal the selectivity mechanism of structurally similar agonists to TLR7 and TLR8.
Wang, X, Chen, Y, Zhang, S, Deng, JN
PloS one. 2022;(4):e0260565
TLR7 and TLR8 are key members of the Toll-like receptor family, playing crucial roles in the signaling pathways of innate immunity, and thus become attractive therapeutic targets of many diseases including infections and cancer. Although TLR7 and TLR8 show a high degree of sequence homology, their biological response to small molecule binding is very different. Aiming to understand the mechanism of selective profiles of small molecule modulators against TLR7 and TLR8, we carried out molecular dynamic simulations on three imidazoquinoline derivatives bound to the receptors separately. They are Resiquimod (R), Hybrid-2 (H), and Gardiquimod (G), selective agonists of TLR7 and TLR8. Our MD trajectories indicated that in the complex of TLR7-R and TLR7-G, the two chains forming the TLR7 dimer tended to remain "open" conformation, while the rest systems maintained in the closed format. The agonists R, H, and G developed conformational deviation mainly on the aliphatic tail. Furthermore, we attempted to quantify the selectivity between TLR7 and TLR8 by binding free energies via MM-GBSA method. It showed that the three selected modulators were more favorable for TLR7 than TLR8, and the ranking from the strongest to the weakest was H, R and G, aligning well with experimental data. In the TLR7, the flexible and hydrophobic aliphatic side chain of H has stronger van der Waals interactions with V381 and F351 but only pick up interaction with one amino acid residue i.e. Y353 of TLR8. Unsurprisingly, the positively charged side chain of G has less favorable interaction with I585 of TLR7 and V573 of TLR8 explaining G is weak agonist of both TLR7 and TLR8. All three imidazoquinoline derivatives can form stable hydrogen bonds with D555 of TLR7 and the corresponding D543 of TLR8. In brief, the set of total 400ns MD studies sheds light on the potential selectivity mechanisms of agonists towards TLR7 and TLR8, indicating the van der Waals interaction as the driving force for the agonists binding, thus provides us insights for designing more potent and selective modulators to cooperate with the hydrophobic nature of the binding pocket.