Background: Recently, dyslipidaemia was observed in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), especially in severe cases. This study aimed to explore the predictive value of blood lipid levels for COVID-19 severity. Methods: All patients with COVID-19 admitted to HwaMei Hospital, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, from January 23 to April 20, 2020, were included in this retrospective study. General clinical characteristics and laboratory data (including blood lipid parameters) were obtained, and their predictive values for the severity were analysed. Results: In total, 142 consecutive patients with COVID-19 were included. The non-severe group included 125 cases, and 17 cases were included in the severe group. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) at baseline were signi cantly lower in the severe group. ApoA1 and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were recognized as independent risk factors for COVID-19 severity. ApoA1 had the highest area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC) among all the single markers (AUC: 0.896, 95% CI: 0.834-0.941). Moreover, the risk model established using ApoA1 and IL-6 enhanced the predictive value (AUC: 0.977, 95% CI: 0.932-0.995). On the other hand, ApoA1 levels were elevated in the severe group during treatment, and there was no signi cant difference between the severe and non-severe groups during the recovery stage of the disease. Conclusion: The blood lipid pro le in severe COVID-19 patients is quite different from that in non-severe cases. Serum ApoA1 could severe as a good indictor to re ect the severity of COVID-19.
B-RAF is the most frequently mutated protein kinase in human cancers.1 The finding that oncogenic mutations in BRAF are common in melanoma2 followed by the demonstration that these tumors are dependent on the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway3 offered hope that inhibition of B-RAF kinase activity could benefit melanoma patients. Herein, we describe the structure-guided discovery of PLX4032 (RG7204), a potent inhibitor of oncogenic B-RAF kinase activity. Preclinical experiments demonstrated that PLX4032 selectively blocked the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway in BRAF mutant cells and caused regression of BRAF mutant xenografts.4 Toxicology studies confirmed a wide safety margin consistent with the high degree of selectivity, enabling Phase 1 clinical trials using a crystalline formulation of PLX4032.5 In a subset of melanoma patients, pathway inhibition was monitored in paired biopsy specimens collected before treatment initiation and following two weeks of treatment. This analysis revealed substantial inhibition of ERK phosphorylation, yet clinical evaluation did not show tumor regressions. At higher drug exposures afforded by a new amorphous drug formulation,4,5 greater than 80% inhibition of ERK phosphorylation in the tumors of patients correlated with clinical response. Indeed, the Phase 1 clinical data revealed a remarkably high 81% response rate in metastatic melanoma patients treated at an oral dose of 960 mg twice daily.5 These data demonstrate that BRAF-mutant melanomas are highly dependent on B-RAF kinase activity.
China is experiencing intense air pollution caused in large part by anthropogenic emissions of reactive nitrogen. These emissions result in the deposition of atmospheric nitrogen (N) in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, with implications for human and ecosystem health, greenhouse gas balances and biological diversity. However, information on the magnitude and environmental impact of N deposition in China is limited. Here we use nationwide data sets on bulk N deposition, plant foliar N and crop N uptake (from long-term unfertilized soils) to evaluate N deposition dynamics and their effect on ecosystems across China between 1980 and 2010. We find that the average annual bulk deposition of N increased by approximately 8 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare (P < 0.001) between the 1980s (13.2 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare) and the 2000s (21.1 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare). Nitrogen deposition rates in the industrialized and agriculturally intensified regions of China are as high as the peak levels of deposition in northwestern Europe in the 1980s, before the introduction of mitigation measures. Nitrogen from ammonium (NH4(+)) is the dominant form of N in bulk deposition, but the rate of increase is largest for deposition of N from nitrate (NO3(-)), in agreement with decreased ratios of NH3 to NOx emissions since 1980. We also find that the impact of N deposition on Chinese ecosystems includes significantly increased plant foliar N concentrations in natural and semi-natural (that is, non-agricultural) ecosystems and increased crop N uptake from long-term-unfertilized croplands. China and other economies are facing a continuing challenge to reduce emissions of reactive nitrogen, N deposition and their negative effects on human health and the environment.
Horizontal connections, formed primarily by the axon collaterals of pyramidal neurons in layer 2/3 of visual cortex, extend for millimeters parallel to the cortical surface and form patchy terminations. Previous studies have provided evidence that the patches formed by horizontal connections exhibit modular specificity, preferentially linking columns of neurons with similar response characteristics, such as preferred orientation. The issue of how these connections are distributed with respect to the topographic map of visual space, however, has not been resolved. Here we combine optical imaging of intrinsic signals with small extracellular injections of biocytin to assess quantitatively the specificity of horizontal connections with respect to both the map of orientation preference and the map of visual space in tree shrew V1. Our results indicate that horizontal connections outside a radius of 500 m from the injection site exhibit not only modular specificity, but also specificity for axis of projection. Labeled axons extend for longer distances, and give off more terminal boutons, along an axis in the map of visual space that corresponds to the preferred orientation of the injection site. Inside of 500 m, the pattern of connections is much less specific, with boutons found along every axis, contacting sites with a wide range of preferred orientations. The system of long-range horizontal connections can be summarized as preferentially linking neurons with co-oriented, coaxially aligned receptive fields. These observations suggest specific ways that horizontal circuits contribute to the response properties of layer 2/3 neurons and to mechanisms of visual perception.
Cleavage of the gasdermins to produce a pore-forming N-terminal fragment causes inflammatory death (pyroptosis) 1 . Caspase-3 cleaves gasdermin E (GSDME, also known as DFNA5), mutated in familial aging-related hearing loss 2 , which converts noninflammatory apoptosis to pyroptosis in GSDME-expressing cells 3 – 5 . GSDME expression is suppressed in many cancers and reduced GSDME is associated with decreased breast cancer survival 2 , 6 , suggesting GSDME might be a tumor suppressor. Here we show reduced GSDME function of 20 of 22 tested cancer-associated mutations. Gsdme knockout in GSDME-expressing tumors enhances, while ectopic expression in Gsdme -repressed tumors inhibits, tumor growth. Tumor suppression is mediated by cytotoxic lymphocyte killing since it is abrogated in perforin-deficient or killer lymphocyte-depleted mice. GSDME expression enhances tumor-associated macrophage phagocytosis and the number and functions of tumor-infiltrating NK and CD8 + T lymphocytes. Killer cell granzyme B also activates caspase-independent pyroptosis in target cells by directly cleaving GSDME at the same site as caspase-3. Non-cleavable or pore-defective GSDME are not tumor suppressive. Thus, tumor GSDME is a tumor suppressor by activating pyroptosis, which enhances anti-tumor immunity.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous noncoding RNAs, about 22 nucleotides in length, that mediate post-transcriptional gene silencing by annealing to inexactly complementary sequences in the 3'-untranslated regions of target mRNAs. Our current understanding of the functions of miRNAs relies mainly on their tissue-specific or developmental stage-dependent expression and their evolutionary conservation, and therefore is primarily limited to their involvement in developmental regulation and oncogenesis. Of more than 300 miRNAs that have been identified, miR-1 and miR-133 are considered to be muscle specific. Here we show that miR-1 is overexpressed in individuals with coronary artery disease, and that when overexpressed in normal or infarcted rat hearts, it exacerbates arrhythmogenesis. Elimination of miR-1 by an antisense inhibitor in infarcted rat hearts relieved arrhythmogenesis. miR-1 overexpression slowed conduction and depolarized the cytoplasmic membrane by post-transcriptionally repressing KCNJ2 (which encodes the K(+) channel subunit Kir2.1) and GJA1 (which encodes connexin 43), and this likely accounts at least in part for its arrhythmogenic potential. Thus, miR-1 may have important pathophysiological functions in the heart, and is a potential antiarrhythmic target.
Tuberculosis is responsible for one in four of all avoidable adult deaths in developing countries. Increased frequency and accelerated fatality of the disease among individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus has raised worldwide concern that control programmes may be inadequate, and the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has resulted in several recent fatal outbreaks in the United States. Isonicotinic acid hydrazide (isoniazid, INH) forms the core of antituberculosis regimens; however, clinical isolates that are resistant to INH show reduced catalase activity and a relative lack of virulence in guinea-pigs. Here we use mycobacterial genetics to study the molecular basis of INH resistance. A single M. tuberculosis gene, katG, encoding both catalase and peroxidase, restored sensitivity to INH in a resistant mutant of Mycobacterium smegmatis, and conferred INH susceptibility in some strains of Escherichia coli. Deletion of katG from the chromosome was associated with INH resistance in two patient isolates of M. tuberculosis.
It is often useful to know the geographic positions of nodes in a communications network, but adding GPS receivers or other sophisticated sensors to every node can be expensive. We present an algorithm that uses connectivity informationwho is within communications range of whom-to derive the locations of the nodes in the network. The method can take advantage of additional information, such as estimated distances between neighbors or known positions for certain anchor nodes, if it is available. The algorithm is based on multidimensional scaling, a data analysis technique that takes O(n 3 ) time for a network of n nodes. Through simulation studies, we demonstrate that the algorithm is more robust to measurement error than previous proposals, especially when nodes are positioned relatively uniformly throughout the plane. Furthermore, it can achieve comparable results using many fewer anchor nodes than previous methods, and even yields relative coordinates when no anchor nodes are available.
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