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Li X.,Hefei National Laboratory for Physical science | Huang H.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Huang H.,The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard | Zhu T.,Hefei National Laboratory for Physical science
BioMed Research International | Year: 2014

Transwell Boyden chamber based migration/invasion assay is a simple and extensively used approach for the characterization of cell motility in vitro. Cell motility is quantified by counting the number of cells that pass through the filter membrane. The counting is usually performed manually, which is laborious and error prone. We have therefore developed CELLCOUNTER, an application that is capable of recognizing and counting the total number of cells through an intuitive graphical user interface. The counting can be performed in batch, and the counting results can be visualized and further curated manually. CELLCOUNTER will be helpful in streamlining the experimental process and improving the reliability of the data acquisition. © 2014 Xiaoni Li et al.

Cong H.-P.,Hefei University of Technology | Cong H.-P.,Hefei National Laboratory for Physical science | Qiu J.-H.,Hefei National Laboratory for Physical science | Yu S.-H.,Hefei National Laboratory for Physical science
Small | Year: 2015

Synthetic stimuli-sensitive hydrogel as an important kind of soft intelligent materials has attracted academic and industrial attention as well as its biocompatibility with a high content of water, similar to biological tissues. Under external stimulus, including temperature,[1,2] light[3,4] and pH,[5,6] such hydrogels can exhibit the interesting discontinuous and reversible volume phase transition between a swollen state and a collapsed state, which provide promising potentials in the wide application fi elds of drug release, tissue engineering, sensor, actuator, etc. Among them, the environmentally-thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) hydrogel has been widely investigated,[2,7,8] which shows attractive volume change through absorbing or excluding water attributed from the reversible coil-to-globule transition of macromolecular chains at the well-known lower critical solution temperature (LCST).[9] However, conventional polymer hydrogel with the organic cross-linker often behaves poor mechanical performance and weak resistance to crack propagation because of the lack of an effi cient mechanism for crack energy dissipation, which severely limits its practical applications. Recent work reveals that double-network hydrogel[10,11] with fi rst highlycrosslinked network and second loosely-crosslinked network and nanocomposite hydrogel[12-14] with nano-object as the large cross-linker are the typical models to achieve elastic hydrogel with tough mechanical strength. Very lately, we have reported a kind of polymer/graphene oxide (GO) composite hydrogel with robust and superstretchable mechanical behavior based on a newly-proposed double-network mechanism combined with nanocomposite concept,[15,16] triggered by Ca2+ coordination-induced GO network and covalently crosslinked polymer network which are intertwined by hydrogen bonds between oxygenate groups of GO sheets and the amino groups of polymer chains. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Li G.,Hefei University of Technology | Wu X.,Hefei University of Technology | Qian W.,Hefei University of Technology | Qian W.,Hefei National Laboratory for Physical science | And 23 more authors.
Cell Research | Year: 2016

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) typically bind to unstructured miRNA-binding sites in target RNAs, leading to a mutual repression of expression. Here, we report that miR-1254 interacts with structured elements in cell cycle and apoptosis regulator 1 (CCAR1) 5′ untranslated region (UTR) and this interaction enhances the stability of both molecules. miR-1254 can also act as a repressor when binding to unstructured sites in its targets. Interestingly, structured miR-1254-targeting sites act as both a functional RNA motif-sensing unit, and an independent RNA functional unit that enhances miR-1254 expression. Artificially designed miRNA enhancers, termed "miRancers", can stabilize and enhance the activity of miRNAs of interest. We further demonstrate that CCAR1 5′ UTR as a natural miRancer of endogenous miR-1254 re-sensitizes tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells to tamoxifen. Thus, our study presents a novel model of miRNA function, wherein highly structured miRancer-like motif-containing RNA fragments or miRancer molecules specifically interact with miRNAs, leading to reciprocal stabilization. © 2016 IBCB, SIBS, CAS All rights reserved.

Liang Z.,Hefei National Laboratory for Physical science | Zhou H.,Anhui University of Science and Technology | He Z.,Hefei National Laboratory for Physical science | Zheng H.,Anhui University of Science and Technology | And 2 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical regulators in the complex cellular networks. The mirAct web server (http://sysbio.ustc.edu.cn/software/mirAct) is a tool designed to investigate miRNA activity based on gene-expression data by using the negative regulation relationship between miRNAs and their target genes. mirAct supports multiple-class data and enables clustering analysis based on computationally determined miRNA activity. Here, we describe the framework of mirAct, demonstrate its performance by comparing with other similar programs and exemplify its applications using case studies. © 2011 The Author(s).

Hou S.,Anhui University of Science and Technology | Ge K.,Anhui University of Science and Technology | Zheng X.,Anhui University of Science and Technology | Wei H.,Anhui University of Science and Technology | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2014

Background: CD226 is an activating receptor on NK cells that mediates NK cell cytotoxicity. Results: The first extracellular domain of CD226 (CD226-ECD1) mediates NK cell recognition, adhesion, immune synapse formation, and cytotoxicity against target cells. Conclusion: CD226-ECD1 retains almost all functions of the full-length CD226 protein. Significance: The conclusion is helpful to understand the mechanism by which CD226 recognizes its ligands. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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