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      An unexpected observation among the COVID-19 pandemic is that smokers constituted only 1.4%?18.5% of hospitalized adults, calling for an urgent investigation to determine the role of smoking in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we show that cigarette smoke extract (CSE) and carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) increase mRNA but trigger ACE2 protein catabolism. BaP induces an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent upregulation of the ubiquitin E3 ligase Skp2 for ACE2 ubiquitination. ACE2 in lung tissues of non-smokers is higher than in smokers, consistent with the findings that tobacco carcinogens downregulate ACE2 in mice. Tobacco carcinogens inhibit SARS-CoV-2 spike protein pseudovirions infection of the cells. Given that tobacco smoke accounts for 8 million deaths including 2.1 million cancer deaths annually and Skp2 is an oncoprotein, tobacco use should not be recommended and cessation plan should be prepared for smokers in COVID-19 pandemic.

      Guizhen Wang ,   Qun Zhao   et al.
      Major depressive disorder (MDD) causes great decrements in health and quality of life with increments in healthcare costs, but the causes and pathogenesis of depression remain largely unknown, which greatly prevent its early detection and effective treatment. With the advancement of neuroimaging approaches, numerous functional and structural alterations in the brain have been detected in MDD and more recently attempts have been made to apply these findings to clinical practice. In this review, we provide an updated summary of the progress in translational application of psychoradiological findings in MDD with a specified focus on potential clinical usage. The foreseeable clinical applications for different MRI modalities were introduced according to their role in disorder classification, subtyping, and prediction. While evidence of cerebral structural and functional changes associated with MDD classification and subtyping was heterogeneous and/or sparse, the ACC and hippocampus have been consistently suggested to be important biomarkers in predicting treatment selection and treatment response. These findings underlined the potential utility of brain biomarkers for clinical practice.

      Ziqi Chen ,   Xiaoqi Huang   et al.
      The ability of tumor cells to sustain continuous proliferation is one of the major characteristics of cancer. The activation of oncogenes and the mutation or inactivation of tumor suppressor genes ensure the rapid proliferation of tumor cells. The PI3K–Akt–mTOR axis is one of the most frequently modified signaling pathways whose activation sustains cancer growth. Unsurprisingly, it is also one of the most commonly attempted targets for cancer therapy. FK506 binding protein 8 (FKBP8) is an intrinsic inhibitor of mTOR kinase that also exerts an anti-apoptotic function. We aimed to explain these contradictory aspects of FKBP8 in cancer by identifying a “switch” type regulator. We identified through immunoprecipitation–mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis that the mitochondrial protein prohibitin 1 (PHB1) specifically interacts with FKBP8. Furthermore, the downregulation of PHB1 inhibited the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells and the mTOR signaling pathway, whereas the FKBP8 level in the mitochondria was substantially reduced. Moreover, concomitant with these changes, the interaction between FKBP8 and mTOR substantially increased in the absence of PHB1. Collectively, our finding highlights PHB1 as a potential regulator of FKBP8 because of its subcellular localization and mTOR regulating role.

      Jiahui Zhang ,   Yanan Yin   et al.
      On the basis of real-world clinical data, the study aimed to explore the effect and mechanisms of the treatment plan of “traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) regulating liver regeneration.” A total of 457 patients with HBV-related liver failure were retrospectively collected. The patients were divided into three groups: the modern medicine control group (MMC group), patients treated with routine medical treatment; the control group combining traditional Chinese and Western medicine (CTW), patients treated with routine medical treatment plus the common TCM formula; and the treatment group of “TCM regulating liver regeneration” (RLR), patients treated with both routine medical treatment and the special TCM formula of RLR. After 8 weeks of treatment, the mortality of patients in the RLR group (12.31%) was significantly lower than those in the MMC (50%) and CTW (29.11%) groups. Total bilirubin level significantly decreased and albumin increased in the RLR group when compared with the MMC and CTW groups ( <0.05). In addition, there were significant differences in the expression of several cytokines related to liver regeneration in the RLR group compared with the MMC group. RLR treatment can decrease jaundice, improve liver function, and significantly reduce the mortality in patients with HBV-related liver failure. The mechanism may be related to the role of RLR treatment in influencing cytokines related to liver regeneration.

      Ling Dai ,   Xiang Gao   et al.

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