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Melatonin: a potential intervention for hepatic steatosis

Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, MLT) is a neuroendocrine hormone, which is primarily synthesized by the pineal gland in vertebrates. Melatonin is a remarkable molecule with diverse biological and physiological actions and is involved in the regulation of various important functions such as circadian rhythm, energy metabolism, the reproductive system, the cardiovascular...

The Invasion of Coastal Areas in South China by Ipomoea cairica May Be Accelerated by the Ecotype Being More Locally Adapted to Salt Stress

Local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity are two alternative mechanisms used by invasive plants for range expansion. We conducted a series of experiments to investigate the role of these mechanisms in the recent expansion of the invasive Ipomoea cairica from non-saline to salt-stressed coastal habitats. A comparison of the plant’s photosynthetic traits and construction costs...

Biodiversity of Jinggangshan Mountain: The Importance of Topography and Geographical Location in Supporting Higher Biodiversity

Diversity is mainly determined by climate and environment. In addition, topography is a complex factor, and the relationship between topography and biodiversity is still poorly understood. To understand the role of topography, i.e., altitude and slope, in biodiversity, we selected Jinggangshan Mountain (JGM), an area with unique topography, as the study area. We surveyed plant...

PTEN Regulates BCRP/ABCG2 and the Side Population through the PI3K/Akt Pathway in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

A small population of cancer stem cells named the “side population” (SP) has been demonstrated to be responsible for the persistence of many solid tumors. However, the role of the SP in leukemic pathogenesis remains controversial. The resistance of leukemic stem cells to targeted therapies, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), results in therapeutic failure or refractory...

High Tolerance to Salinity and Herbivory Stresses May Explain the Expansion of Ipomoea Cairica to Salt Marshes

Background Invasive plants are often confronted with heterogeneous environments and various stress factors during their secondary phase of invasion into more stressful habitats. A high tolerance to stress factors may allow exotics to successfully invade stressful environments. Ipomoea cairica, a vigorous invader in South China, has recently been expanding into salt marshes...

Deletion of FoxN1 in the Thymic Medullary Epithelium Reduces Peripheral T Cell Responses to Infection and Mimics Changes of Aging

Aging increases susceptibility to infection, in part because thymic involution culminates in reduced naïve T-lymphocyte output. Thymic epithelial cells (TECs) are critical to ensure normal maturation of thymocytes and production of peripheral T cells. The forkhead-class transcription factor, encoded by FoxN1, regulates development, differentiation, and function of TECs, both in...

MiR-223 Regulates Human Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation by Targeting the IGF-1R/Akt Signaling Pathway

Currently, there are difficulties associated with the culturing of pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and knowledge regarding their regulatory mechanisms is limited. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression and have critical functions in stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Moreover, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and the insulin-like growth factor receptor...

MicroRNA-20b and ERK1/2 pathway independently regulate the expression of tissue factor in hematopoietic and trophoblastic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells

Introduction Tissue factor (TF) is expressed in various types of cells. TF expression is essential for many biological processes, such as blood coagulation and embryonic development, while its high expression in stem cells often leads to failure of transplantation. In this study, we used the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) culture system to understand the molecular mechanisms by...