Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2012), Pages 1-1268

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-82
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Genetic Variability and Phylogeny of High Risk HPV Type 16, 18, 31, 33 and 45 L1 Gene in Greek Women
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1-17; doi:10.3390/ijms13010001
Received: 5 September 2011 / Revised: 25 November 2011 / Accepted: 5 December 2011 / Published: 22 December 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study explores nucleotide variability, phylogeny and association with cervical neoplasia in high risk HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33 and 45 collected from Greek women. Of the 1894 women undergoing routine cervical cytology examination, 160 samples test positive for single [...] Read more.
The present study explores nucleotide variability, phylogeny and association with cervical neoplasia in high risk HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33 and 45 collected from Greek women. Of the 1894 women undergoing routine cervical cytology examination, 160 samples test positive for single infections of HPV type 16 (n = 104), HPV 31 (n = 40), HPV 33 (n = 7), HPV 18 (n = 5), and HPV 45 (n = 4) were typed by microarrays method, amplified by PCR then sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed. For HPV 16, 9 variants with nucleotide variations were included into the study. For HPV 31, 33, 18 and 45, nucleotide variations were identified in 6, 4, 2 and 3 variants, respectively. The Bayesian inference and Maximum Parsimony methods were used in order to construct the phylogenetic trees. When types were analyzed independently HPV 16 (European and non-European) and HPV 18 (African and non-African) formed distinct clades. The genomic characterization of HPV variants will be important for illuminating the geographical relatedness and biological differences and for the determination of their risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Relation Between the Adsorbed Quantity and the Immersion Enthalpy in Catechol Aqueous Solutions on Activated Carbons
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 44-55; doi:10.3390/ijms13010044
Received: 16 August 2011 / Revised: 4 November 2011 / Accepted: 9 November 2011 / Published: 22 December 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An activated carbon, CarbochemTM—PS230, was modified by chemical and thermal treatment in flow of H2, in order to evaluate the influence of the activated carbon chemical characteristics in the adsorption of the catechol. The catechol adsorption in aqueous [...] Read more.
An activated carbon, CarbochemTM—PS230, was modified by chemical and thermal treatment in flow of H2, in order to evaluate the influence of the activated carbon chemical characteristics in the adsorption of the catechol. The catechol adsorption in aqueous solution was studied along with the effect of the pH solution in the adsorption process of modified activated carbons and the variation of immersion enthalpy of activated carbons in the aqueous solutions of catechol. The interaction solid-solution is characterized by adsorption isotherms analysis, at 298 K and pH 7, 9 and 11 in order to evaluate the adsorption value above and below that of the catechol pKa. The adsorption capacity of carbons increases when the solution pH decreases. The retained amount increases slightly in the reduced carbon to maximum adsorption pH and diminishes in the oxidized carbon. Similar conclusions are obtained from the immersion enthalpies, whose values increase with the solute quantity retained. In granular activated carbon (CAG), the immersion enthalpies obtained are between 21.5 and 45.7 J·g−1 for catechol aqueous solutions in a range of 20 at 1500 mg·L−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle The Bone-Protective Effect of Genistein in the Animal Model of Bilateral Ovariectomy: Roles of Phytoestrogens and PTH/PTHR1 Against Post-Menopausal Osteoporosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 56-70; doi:10.3390/ijms13010056
Received: 5 September 2011 / Revised: 13 November 2011 / Accepted: 7 December 2011 / Published: 22 December 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Genistein, a major phytoestrogen of soy, is considered a potential drug for the prevention and treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis. Mounting evidence suggested a positive correlation between genistein consumption and bone health both in vivo and in vitro. Earlier studies have revealed [...] Read more.
Genistein, a major phytoestrogen of soy, is considered a potential drug for the prevention and treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis. Mounting evidence suggested a positive correlation between genistein consumption and bone health both in vivo and in vitro. Earlier studies have revealed that genistein acted as a natural estrogen analogue which activated estrogen receptor and exerted anti-osteoporotic effect. However, it remains unclear whether PTH, the most crucial hormone that regulates mineral homeostasis, participates in the process of genistein-mediated bone protection. In the present study, we compared the therapeutic effects between genistein and nilestriol and investigated whether PTH and its specific receptor PTHR1 altered in response to genistein-containing diet in the animal model of ovariectomy. Our results showed that genistein administration significantly improved femoral mechanical properties and alleviates femoral turnover. Genistein at all doses (4.5 mg/kg, 9.0 mg/kg and 18.0 mg/kg per day, respectively) exerted improved bending strength and b-ALP limiting effects than nilestriol in the present study. However, genistein administration did not exert superior effects on bone protection than nilestriol. We also observed circulating PTH restoration in ovariectomized rats receiving genistein at the dose of 18 mg/kg per day. Meanwhile, PTHR1 abnormalities were attenuated in the presence of genistein as confirmed by RT-PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry. These findings strongly support the idea that besides serving as an estrogen, genistein could interact with PTH/PTHR1, causing a superior mineral restoring effect than nilestriol on certain circumstance. In conclusion, our study reported for the first time that the anti-osteoporotic effect of genistein is partly PTH/PTHR1-dependent. Genistein might be a potential option in the prevention and treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis with good tolerance, more clinical benefits and few undesirable side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Is Remusatia (Araceae) Monophyletic? Evidence from Three Plastid Regions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 71-83; doi:10.3390/ijms13010071
Received: 18 November 2011 / Revised: 14 December 2011 / Accepted: 15 December 2011 / Published: 22 December 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The genus Remusatia (Araceae) includes four species distributed in the tropical and subtropical Old World. The phylogeny of Remusatia was constructed using parsimony and Bayesian analyses of sequence data from three plastid regions (the rbcL gene, the trnL-trnF intergenic spacer, and the [...] Read more.
The genus Remusatia (Araceae) includes four species distributed in the tropical and subtropical Old World. The phylogeny of Remusatia was constructed using parsimony and Bayesian analyses of sequence data from three plastid regions (the rbcL gene, the trnL-trnF intergenic spacer, and the rps16 intron). Phylogenetic analyses of the concatenated plastid data suggested that the monophyly of Remusatia was not supported because R. hookeriana did not form a clade with the other three species R. vivipara, R. yunnanensis, and R. pumila. Nevertheless, the topology of the analysis constraining Remusatia to monophyly was congruent with the topology of the unconstrained analysis. The results confirmed the inclusion of the previously separate genus Gonatanthus within Remusatia and disagreed with the current infrageneric classification of the genus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Characterization and Comparison of Fumonisin B1-Protein Conjugates by Six Methods
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 84-96; doi:10.3390/ijms13010084
Received: 10 October 2011 / Revised: 8 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 November 2011 / Published: 22 December 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to generate an antibody against a small hapten molecule, the hapten is cross-linked with carrier protein to make it immunogenic. In this study, the hapten (Fumonisin B1, FB1) was coupled to ovalbumin (OVA) and bovine serum [...] Read more.
In order to generate an antibody against a small hapten molecule, the hapten is cross-linked with carrier protein to make it immunogenic. In this study, the hapten (Fumonisin B1, FB1) was coupled to ovalbumin (OVA) and bovine serum albumin (BSA), respectively by a short cross-linker reagent (glutaraldehyde, GA). To develop a technique for detecting the conjugation, the hapten-protein conjugates (FB1-OVA and FB1-BSA) were characterized thoroughly by ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, gel electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), respectively. The molecular weights of FB1-BSA and FB1-OVA were 74,355.301 Da and 48,009.212 Da, respectively determined by the method of MALDI-TOF-MS. The molecular coupling ratios were 11 and 5 in FB1-BSA and FB1-OVA, respectively. In this experiment, MALDI-TOF-MS was selected as the most efficient method to evaluate the cross-linking effect and calculate the molecular coupling ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Conjugates and Bioconjugate Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle New PCR Assays for the Identification of Fusarium verticillioides, Fusarium subglutinans, and Other Species of the Gibberella fujikuroi Complex
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 115-132; doi:10.3390/ijms13010115
Received: 28 October 2011 / Revised: 2 December 2011 / Accepted: 8 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (983 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium subglutinans are important fungal pathogens of maize and other cereals worldwide. In this study, we developed PCR-based protocols for the identification of these pathogens targeting the gaoB gene, which codes for galactose oxidase. The designed primers recognized isolates [...] Read more.
Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium subglutinans are important fungal pathogens of maize and other cereals worldwide. In this study, we developed PCR-based protocols for the identification of these pathogens targeting the gaoB gene, which codes for galactose oxidase. The designed primers recognized isolates of F. verticillioides and F. subglutinans that were obtained from maize seeds from several producing regions of Brazil but did not recognize other Fusarium spp. or other fungal genera that were either obtained from fungal collections or isolated from maize seeds. A multiplex PCR protocol was established to simultaneously detect the genomic DNA from F. verticillioides and F. subglutinans. This protocol could detect the DNA from these fungi growing in artificially or naturally infected maize seeds. Another multiplex reaction with a pair of primers developed in this work combined with a pre-existing pair of primers has allowed identifying F. subglutinans, F. konzum, and F. thapsinum. In addition, the identification of F. nygamai was also possible using a combination of two PCR reactions described in this work, and another described in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Byrsonima crassa and Phenolic Constituents on Helicobacter pylori-Induced Neutrophils Oxidative Burst
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 133-141; doi:10.3390/ijms13010133
Received: 29 August 2011 / Revised: 28 November 2011 / Accepted: 13 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (112 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Byrsonima crassa Niedenzu (Malpighiaceae) is used in Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of diseases related mainly to gastric ulcers. In a previous study, our group described the gastric protective effect of the methanolic extract from the leaves of B. crassa. [...] Read more.
Byrsonima crassa Niedenzu (Malpighiaceae) is used in Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of diseases related mainly to gastric ulcers. In a previous study, our group described the gastric protective effect of the methanolic extract from the leaves of B. crassa. The present study was carried out to investigate the effects of methanolic extract and its phenolic compounds on the respiratory burst of neutrophils stimulated by H. pylori using a luminol-based chemiluminescence assay as well as their anti-H. pylori activity. The suppressive activity on oxidative burst of H. pylori-stimulated neutrophils was in the order of methyl gallate > (+)-catechin > methanol extract > quercetin 3-O-α-l-arabinopyranoside > quercetin 3-O-β-d-galactopyranoside > amentoflavone. Methyl gallate, compound that induced the highest suppressive activity with IC50 value of 3.4 µg/mL, did not show anti-H. pylori activity. B. crassa could be considered as a potential source of natural antioxidant in gastric ulcers by attenuating the effects on the damage to gastric mucosa caused by neutrophil generated reactive oxygen species, even when H. pylori displays its evasion mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidants)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Hydrogen Content on Ballistic Transport Behaviors in the Ni-Nb-Zr-H Glassy Alloys
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 180-186; doi:10.3390/ijms13010180
Received: 9 October 2011 / Revised: 6 December 2011 / Accepted: 14 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The electronic transport behaviors of (Ni0.39Nb0.25Zr0.35)100−xHx (0 ≤ x < 23.5) glassy alloys with subnanostructural icosahedral Zr5Nb5Ni3 clusters have been studied as a function of hydrogen content. These alloys show semiconducting, electric current-induced voltage (Coulomb) oscillation and ballistic transport behaviors. Coulomb oscillation and ballistic transport occur at hydrogen contents between 6.7 and 13.5 at% and between 13.5 and 21.2 at%, respectively. These results suggest that the localization effect of hydrogen in the clusters plays an important role in various electron transport phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bulk Metallic Glasses)
Open AccessArticle Multi-Parametric Profiling Network Based on Gene Expression and Phenotype Data: A Novel Approach to Developmental Neurotoxicity Testing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 187-207; doi:10.3390/ijms13010187
Received: 3 October 2011 / Revised: 14 November 2011 / Accepted: 30 November 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (875 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The establishment of more efficient approaches for developmental neurotoxicity testing (DNT) has been an emerging issue for children’s environmental health. Here we describe a systematic approach for DNT using the neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) as a model of [...] Read more.
The establishment of more efficient approaches for developmental neurotoxicity testing (DNT) has been an emerging issue for children’s environmental health. Here we describe a systematic approach for DNT using the neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) as a model of fetal programming. During embryoid body (EB) formation, mESCs were exposed to 12 chemicals for 24 h and then global gene expression profiling was performed using whole genome microarray analysis. Gene expression signatures for seven kinds of gene sets related to neuronal development and neuronal diseases were selected for further analysis. At the later stages of neuronal cell differentiation from EBs, neuronal phenotypic parameters were determined using a high-content image analyzer. Bayesian network analysis was then performed based on global gene expression and neuronal phenotypic data to generate comprehensive networks with a linkage between early events and later effects. Furthermore, the probability distribution values for the strength of the linkage between parameters in each network was calculated and then used in principal component analysis. The characterization of chemicals according to their neurotoxic potential reveals that the multi-parametric analysis based on phenotype and gene expression profiling during neuronal differentiation of mESCs can provide a useful tool to monitor fetal programming and to predict developmentally neurotoxic compounds. Full article
Open AccessArticle Vinculin Motion Modes Analysis with Elastic Network Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 208-220; doi:10.3390/ijms13010208
Received: 14 October 2011 / Revised: 11 December 2011 / Accepted: 12 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
PDF Full-text (606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vinculin is an important protein for the linkage between adhesion molecules and the actin cytoskeleton. The activation mechanism of vinculin is still controversial. In order to provide useful information for a better understanding of its activation, we analyze the motion mode of [...] Read more.
Vinculin is an important protein for the linkage between adhesion molecules and the actin cytoskeleton. The activation mechanism of vinculin is still controversial. In order to provide useful information for a better understanding of its activation, we analyze the motion mode of vinculin with elastic network model in this work. The results show that, to some extent, the five domains will present structural rigidity in the motion process. The differences between the structure fluctuations of these domains are significant. When vinculin interacted with other partners, the central long alpha-helix of the first domain becomes bent. This bending deformation can weaken the interaction between the first domain and the tail domain. This motion mode of the first domain is in good agreement with the information extracted from some realistic complex structures. With the aid of the anisotropy elastic network mode, we analyze the motion directions of these domains. The fourth domain has a rotational motion. This rotation is favorable for the releasing of the tail domain from the pincer-like clamp, which is formed by the first and the third domain. All these motion modes are an inherent feature of the structure, and these modes mainly depend on the topology character of the structure. Full article
Open AccessArticle Fractionation of Whey Protein Isolate with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide—Process Modeling and Cost Estimation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 240-259; doi:10.3390/ijms13010240
Received: 28 September 2011 / Revised: 13 December 2011 / Accepted: 14 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (478 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An economical and environmentally friendly whey protein fractionation process was developed using supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) as an acid to produce enriched fractions of α-lactalbumin (α-LA) and β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) from a commercial whey protein isolate (WPI) containing 20% α-LA and [...] Read more.
An economical and environmentally friendly whey protein fractionation process was developed using supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) as an acid to produce enriched fractions of α-lactalbumin (α-LA) and β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) from a commercial whey protein isolate (WPI) containing 20% α-LA and 55% β-LG, through selective precipitation of α-LA. Pilot-scale experiments were performed around the optimal parameter range (T = 60 to 65 °C, P = 8 to 31 MPa, C = 5 to 15% (w/w) WPI) to quantify the recovery rates of the individual proteins and the compositions of both fractions as a function of processing conditions. Mass balances were calculated in a process flow-sheet to design a large-scale, semi-continuous process model using SuperproDesigner® software. Total startup and production costs were estimated as a function of processing parameters, product yield and purity. Temperature, T, pressure, P, and concentration, C, showed conflicting effects on equipment costs and the individual precipitation rates of the two proteins, affecting the quantity, quality, and production cost of the fractions considerably. The highest α-LA purity, 61%, with 80% α-LA recovery in the solid fraction, was obtained at T = 60 °C, C = 5% WPI, P = 8.3 MPa, with a production cost of $8.65 per kilogram of WPI treated. The most profitable conditions resulted in 57%-pure α-LA, with 71% α-LA recovery in the solid fraction and 89% β-LG recovery in the soluble fraction, and production cost of $5.43 per kilogram of WPI treated at T = 62 °C, C = 10% WPI and P = 5.5 MPa. The two fractions are ready-to-use, new food ingredients with a pH of 6.7 and contain no residual acid or chemical contaminants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supercritical Fluid Extraction)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Determination of Phenolic Acids and Flavonoids in Taraxacum formosanum Kitam by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Coupled with a Post-Column Derivatization Technique
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 260-285; doi:10.3390/ijms13010260
Received: 28 October 2011 / Revised: 25 November 2011 / Accepted: 12 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method (LC-MS/MS) was developed for the determination of phenolic acids and flavonoids in a medicinal Chinese herb Taraxacum formosanum Kitam. Initially, both phenolic acids and flavonoids were extracted with 50% ethanol in a water-bath at 60 °C [...] Read more.
A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method (LC-MS/MS) was developed for the determination of phenolic acids and flavonoids in a medicinal Chinese herb Taraxacum formosanum Kitam. Initially, both phenolic acids and flavonoids were extracted with 50% ethanol in a water-bath at 60 °C for 3 h and eventually separated into acidic fraction and neutral fraction by using a C18 cartridge. A total of 29 compounds were separated within 68 min by employing a Gemini C18 column and a gradient solvent system of 0.1% formic acid and acetonitrile at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min. Based on the retention behavior as well as absorption and mass spectra, 19 phenolic acids and 10 flavonoids were identified and quantified in T. formosanum, with the former ranging from 14.1 μg/g to 10,870.4 μg/g, and the latter from 9.9 μg/g to 325.8 μg/g. For further identification of flavonoids, a post-column derivatization method involving shift reagents such as sodium acetate or aluminum chloride was used and the absorption spectral characteristics without or with shift reagents were compared. An internal standard syringic acid was used for quantitation of phenolic acids, whereas (±) naringenin was found suitable for quantitation of flavonoids. The developed LC-MS/MS method showed high reproducibility, as evident from the relative standard deviation (RSD) values for intra-day and inter-day variability being 1.0–6.8% and 2.0–7.7% for phenolic acids and 3.7–7.4% and 1.5–8.1% for flavonoids, respectively, and thus may be applied for simultaneous determination of phenolic acids and flavonoids in Chinese herb and nutraceuticals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Chemical Composition, Starch Digestibility and Antioxidant Capacity of Tortilla Made with a Blend of Quality Protein Maize and Black Bean
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 286-301; doi:10.3390/ijms13010286
Received: 6 October 2011 / Revised: 4 December 2011 / Accepted: 14 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tortilla and beans are the basic components in the diet of people in the urban and rural areas of Mexico. Quality protein maize is suggested for tortilla preparation because it presents an increase in lysine and tryptophan levels. Beans contain important amounts [...] Read more.
Tortilla and beans are the basic components in the diet of people in the urban and rural areas of Mexico. Quality protein maize is suggested for tortilla preparation because it presents an increase in lysine and tryptophan levels. Beans contain important amounts of dietary fiber. The objective of this study was to prepare tortilla with bean and assesses the chemical composition, starch digestibility and antioxidant capacity using a quality protein maize variety. Tortilla with bean had higher protein, ash, dietary fiber and resistant starch content, and lower digestible starch than control tortilla. The hydrolysis rate (60 to 50%) and the predicted glycemic index (88 to 80) of tortilla decreased with the addition of bean in the blend. Extractable polyphenols and proanthocyanidins were higher in the tortilla with bean than control tortilla. This pattern produced higher antioxidant capacity of tortilla with bean (17.6 μmol Trolox eq/g) than control tortilla (7.8 μmol Trolox eq/g). The addition of bean to tortilla modified the starch digestibility and antioxidant characteristics of tortilla, obtaining a product with nutraceutical characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutraceutical Research)
Open AccessArticle Photocatalytic Degradation of p-Cresol by Zinc Oxide under UV Irradiation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 302-315; doi:10.3390/ijms13010302
Received: 5 September 2011 / Accepted: 11 October 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Photocatalytic degradation of p-cresol was carried out using ZnO under UV irradiation. The amount of photocatalyst, concentration of p-cresol and pH were studied as variables. The residual concentration and mineralization of p-cresol was monitored using a UV-visible spectrophotometer and [...] Read more.
Photocatalytic degradation of p-cresol was carried out using ZnO under UV irradiation. The amount of photocatalyst, concentration of p-cresol and pH were studied as variables. The residual concentration and mineralization of p-cresol was monitored using a UV-visible spectrophotometer and total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer, respectively. The intermediates were detected by ultra high pressure liquid chromatography (UPLC). The highest photodegradation of p-cresol was observed at 2.5 g/L of ZnO and 100 ppm of p-cresol. P-cresol photocatalytic degradation was favorable in the pH range of 6–9. The detected intermediates were 4-hydroxy-benzaldehyde and 4-methyl-1,2-benzodiol. TOC studies show that 93% of total organic carbon was removed from solution during irradiation time. Reusability shows no significant reduction in photocatalytic performance in photodegrading p-cresol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle Wound Healing Activity of Elaeis guineensis Leaf Extract Ointment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 336-347; doi:10.3390/ijms13010336
Received: 21 July 2011 / Revised: 2 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 November 2011 / Published: 28 December 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Elaeis guineensis of the Arecaceae family is widely used in the traditional medicine of societies in West Africa for treating various ailments. To validate the ethnotherapeutic claims of the plant in skin diseases, wound healing activity was studied. The results showed that E. guineensis leaf extract had potent wound healing capacity as evident from the better wound closure (P < 0.05), improved tissue regeneration at the wound site, and supporting histopathological parameters pertaining to wound healing. Matrix metalloproteinases expression correlated well with the results thus confirming efficacy of E. guineensis in the treatment of the wound. E. guineensis accelerated wound healing in rats, thus supporting its traditional use. The result of this study suggested that, used efficiently, oil palm leaf extract is a renewable resource with wound healing properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Acidic Pretreatment of Wheat Straw in Decanol for the Production of Surfactant, Lignin and Glucose
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 348-357; doi:10.3390/ijms13010348
Received: 14 October 2011 / Revised: 14 November 2011 / Accepted: 15 December 2011 / Published: 28 December 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (161 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Wheat straw is an abundant residue of agriculture which is increasingly being considered as feedstock for the production of fuels, energy and chemicals. The acidic decanol-based pre-treatment of wheat straw has been investigated in this work. Wheat straw hemicellulose has been efficiently [...] Read more.
Wheat straw is an abundant residue of agriculture which is increasingly being considered as feedstock for the production of fuels, energy and chemicals. The acidic decanol-based pre-treatment of wheat straw has been investigated in this work. Wheat straw hemicellulose has been efficiently converted during a single step operation into decyl pentoside surfactants and the remaining material has been preserved keeping all its promises as potential feedstock for fuels or value added platform chemicals such as hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). The enzymatic digestibility of the cellulose contained in the straw residue has been evaluated and the lignin prepared from the material characterized. Wheat-based surfactants thus obtained have exhibited superior surface properties compared to fossil-based polyethoxylates decyl alcohol or alkyl oligoglucosides, some of which are largely used surfactants. In view of the growing importance of renewable resource-based molecules in the chemical industry, this approach may open a new avenue for the conversion of wheat straw into various chemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry 2011)
Open AccessArticle Expression, Immobilization and Enzymatic Properties of Glutamate Decarboxylase Fused to a Cellulose-Binding Domain
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 358-368; doi:10.3390/ijms13010358
Received: 14 November 2011 / Revised: 15 December 2011 / Accepted: 19 December 2011 / Published: 28 December 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (572 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Escherichia coli-derived glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of glutamic acid to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), was fused to the cellulose-binding domain (CBD) and a linker of Trichoderma harzianum endoglucanase II. To prevent proteolysis of the fusion protein, the [...] Read more.
Escherichia coli-derived glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of glutamic acid to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), was fused to the cellulose-binding domain (CBD) and a linker of Trichoderma harzianum endoglucanase II. To prevent proteolysis of the fusion protein, the native linker was replaced with a S3N10 peptide known to be completely resistant to E. coli endopeptidase. The CBD-GAD expressed in E. coli was successfully immobilized on Avicel, a crystalline cellulose, with binding capacity of 33 ± 2 nmolCBD-GAD/gAvicel and the immobilized enzymes retained 60% of their initial activities after 10 uses. The results of this report provide a feasible alternative to produce GABA using immobilized GAD through fusion to CBD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Potentiation of Anticancer Drugs: Effects of Pentoxifylline on Neoplastic Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 369-382; doi:10.3390/ijms13010369
Received: 8 November 2011 / Revised: 7 December 2011 / Accepted: 13 December 2011 / Published: 28 December 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (395 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The drug efflux activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp, a product of the mdr1 gene, ABCB1 member of ABC transporter family) represents a mechanism by which tumor cells escape death induced by chemotherapeutics. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms involved in the effects [...] Read more.
The drug efflux activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp, a product of the mdr1 gene, ABCB1 member of ABC transporter family) represents a mechanism by which tumor cells escape death induced by chemotherapeutics. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms involved in the effects of pentoxifylline (PTX) on P-gp-mediated multidrug resistance (MDR) in mouse leukemia L1210/VCR cells. Parental sensitive mouse leukemia cells L1210, and multidrug-resistant cells, L1210/VCR, which are characterized by the overexpression of P-gp, were used as experimental models. The cells were exposed to 100 μmol/L PTX in the presence or absence of 1.2 μmol/L vincristine (VCR). Western blot analysis indicated a downregulation of P-gp protein expression when multidrug-resistant L1210/VCR cells were exposed to PTX. The effects of PTX on the sensitization of L1210/VCR cells to VCR correlate with the stimulation of apoptosis detected by Annexin V/propidium iodide apoptosis necrosis kit and proteolytic activation of both caspase-3 and caspase-9 monitored by Western blot analysis. Higher release of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), especially MMP-2, which could be attenuated by PTX, was found in L1210/VCR than in L1210 cells by gelatin zymography in electrophoretic gel. Exposure of resistant cells to PTX increased the content of phosphorylated Akt kinase. In contrast, the presence of VCR eliminated the effects of PTX on Akt kinase phosphorylation. Taken together, we conclude that PTX induces the sensitization of multidrug-resistant cells to VCR via downregulation of P-gp, stimulation of apoptosis and reduction of MMPs released from drug-resistant L1210/VCR cells. These facts bring new insights into the mechanisms of PTX action on cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Genetic Diversity of Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) Using ISSR Markers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 383-392; doi:10.3390/ijms13010383
Received: 16 November 2011 / Revised: 2 December 2011 / Accepted: 19 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (130 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) is a major turfgrass for home lawns, public parks, golf courses and sport fields and is known to have originated in the Middle East. Morphological and physiological characteristics are not sufficient to differentiate some bermudagrass genotypes because the differences [...] Read more.
Bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) is a major turfgrass for home lawns, public parks, golf courses and sport fields and is known to have originated in the Middle East. Morphological and physiological characteristics are not sufficient to differentiate some bermudagrass genotypes because the differences between them are often subtle and subjected to environmental influences. In this study, twenty seven bermudagrass accessions and introductions, mostly from different parts of Iran, were assayed by inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers to differentiate and explore their genetic relationships. Fourteen ISSR primers amplified 389 fragments of which 313 (80.5%) were polymorphic. The average polymorphism information content (PIC) was 0.328, which shows that the majority of primers are informative. Cluster analysis using the un-weighted paired group method with arithmetic average (UPGMA) method and Jaccard’s similarity coefficient (r = 0.828) grouped the accessions into six main clusters according to some degree to geographical origin, their chromosome number and some morphological characteristics. It can be concluded that there exists a wide genetic base of bermudograss in Iran and that ISSR markers are effective in determining genetic diversity and relationships among them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Plant Biology)
Open AccessArticle Involvement of Nitrogen on Flavonoids, Glutathione, Anthocyanin, Ascorbic Acid and Antioxidant Activities of Malaysian Medicinal Plant Labisia pumila Blume (Kacip Fatimah)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 393-408; doi:10.3390/ijms13010393
Received: 12 November 2011 / Revised: 18 December 2011 / Accepted: 19 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A split plot 3 by 4 experiment was designed to characterize the relationship between production of gluthatione (GSH), oxidized gluthatione (GSSG), total flavonoid, anthocyanin, ascorbic acid and antioxidant activities (FRAP and DPPH) in three varieties of Labisia pumila Blume, namely the varieties [...] Read more.
A split plot 3 by 4 experiment was designed to characterize the relationship between production of gluthatione (GSH), oxidized gluthatione (GSSG), total flavonoid, anthocyanin, ascorbic acid and antioxidant activities (FRAP and DPPH) in three varieties of Labisia pumila Blume, namely the varieties alata, pumila and lanceolata, under four levels of nitrogen fertilization (0, 90, 180 and 270 kg N/ha) for 15 weeks. The treatment effects were solely contributed by nitrogen application; there was neither varietal nor interaction effects observed. As the nitrogen levels decreased from 270 to 0 kg N/ha, the production of GSH and GSSG, anthocyanin, total flavonoid and ascorbic acid increased steadily. At the highest nitrogen treatment level, L. pumila exhibited significantly lower antioxidant activities (DPPH and FRAP) than those exposed to limited nitrogen growing conditions. Significant positive correlation was obtained between antioxidant activities (DPPH and FRAP), total flavonoid, GSH, GSSG, anthocyanin and ascorbic acid suggesting that an increase in the antioxidative activities in L. pumila under low nitrogen fertilization could be attributed to higher contents of these compounds. From this observation, it could be concluded that in order to avoid negative effects on the quality of L. pumila, it is advisable to avoid excessive application of nitrogen fertilizer when cultivating the herb for its medicinal use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle In Vitro Antioxidant, Anticoagulant and Antimicrobial Activity and in Inhibition of Cancer Cell Proliferation by Xylan Extracted from Corn Cobs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 409-426; doi:10.3390/ijms13010409
Received: 7 November 2011 / Revised: 3 December 2011 / Accepted: 12 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Xylan is one of most abundant polymer after cellulose. However, its potential has yet to be completely recognized. Corn cobs contain a considerable reservoir of xylan. The aim of this work was to study some of the biological activities of xylan obtained from corn cobs after alkaline extraction enhanced by ultrasonication. Physical chemistry and infrared analyses showed 130 kDa heteroxylan containing mainly xylose:arabinose: galactose:glucose (5.0:1.5:2.0:1.2). Xylan obtained exhibited total antioxidant activity corresponding to 48.5 mg of ascorbic acid equivalent/g of xylan. Furthermore, xylan displayed high ferric chelating activity (70%) at 2 mg/mL. Xylan also showed anticoagulant activity in aPTT test. In antimicrobial assay, the polysaccharide significantly inhibited bacterial growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae. In a test with normal and tumor human cells, after 72 h, only HeLa tumor cell proliferation was inhibited (p < 0.05) in a dose-dependent manner by xylan, reaching saturation at around 2 mg/mL, whereas 3T3 normal cell proliferation was not affected. The results suggest that it has potential clinical applications as antioxidant, anticoagulant, antimicrobial and antiproliferative compounds. Full article
Open AccessArticle Force Measurement Enabling Precise Analysis by Dynamic Force Spectroscopy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 453-465; doi:10.3390/ijms13010453
Received: 18 November 2011 / Accepted: 20 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (819 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dynamic force spectroscopy (DFS) makes it possible to investigate specific interactions between two molecules such as ligand-receptor pairs at the single-molecule level. In the DFS method based on the Bell-Evans model, the unbinding force applied to a molecular bond is increased at [...] Read more.
Dynamic force spectroscopy (DFS) makes it possible to investigate specific interactions between two molecules such as ligand-receptor pairs at the single-molecule level. In the DFS method based on the Bell-Evans model, the unbinding force applied to a molecular bond is increased at a constant rate, and the force required to rupture the molecular bond is measured. By analyzing the relationship between the modal rupture force and the logarithm of the loading rate, microscopic potential barrier landscapes and the lifetimes of bonds can be obtained. However, the results obtained, for example, in the case of streptavidin/biotin complexes, have differed among previous studies and some results have been inconsistent with theoretical predictions. In this study, using an atomic force microscopy technique that enables the precise analysis of molecular interactions on the basis of DFS, we investigated the effect of the sampling rate on DFS analysis. The shape of rupture force histograms, for example, was significantly deformed at a sampling rate of 1 kHz in comparison with that of histograms obtained at 100 kHz, indicating the fundamental importance of ensuring suitable experimental conditions for further advances in the DFS method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Fungus-Mediated Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Using Aspergillus terreus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 466-476; doi:10.3390/ijms13010466
Received: 8 November 2011 / Revised: 23 November 2011 / Accepted: 15 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
Cited by 70 | PDF Full-text (626 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The biosynthesis of nanoparticles has received increasing attention due to the growing need to develop safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly technologies for nano-materials synthesis. In this report, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were synthesized using a reduction of aqueous Ag+ ion with the [...] Read more.
The biosynthesis of nanoparticles has received increasing attention due to the growing need to develop safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly technologies for nano-materials synthesis. In this report, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were synthesized using a reduction of aqueous Ag+ ion with the culture supernatants of Aspergillus terreus. The reaction occurred at ambient temperature and in a few hours. The bioreduction of AgNPs was monitored by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and the AgNPs obtained were characterized by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The synthesized AgNPs were polydispersed spherical particles ranging in size from 1 to 20 nm and stabilized in the solution. Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) was found to be an important reducing agent for the biosynthesis, and the formation of AgNPs might be an enzyme-mediated extracellular reaction process. Furthermore, the antimicrobial potential of AgNPs was systematically evaluated. The synthesized AgNPs could efficiently inhibit various pathogenic organisms, including bacteria and fungi. The current research opens a new avenue for the green synthesis of nano-materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of Tibetan Porcine STING
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 506-515; doi:10.3390/ijms13010506
Received: 30 November 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 22 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tibetan pig is well known for its strong disease resistance. However, little is known about the molecular basis of its strong resistance to disease. Stimulator of interferon (IFN) genes (STING), also known as MPYS/MITA/ERIS/TMEM173, is an adaptor that functions downstream of RIG-I [...] Read more.
Tibetan pig is well known for its strong disease resistance. However, little is known about the molecular basis of its strong resistance to disease. Stimulator of interferon (IFN) genes (STING), also known as MPYS/MITA/ERIS/TMEM173, is an adaptor that functions downstream of RIG-I and MAVS and upstream of TBK1 and plays a critical role in type I IFN induction. Here we report the first cloning and characterization of STING gene from Tibetan pig. The entire open reading frame (ORF) of the Tibetan porcine STING is 1137 bp, with a higher degree of sequence similarity with Landrace pig (98%) and cattle (88%) than with chimpanzee (84%), human (83%) or mouse (77%). The predicted protein is composed of 378 amino acids and has 4 putative transmembrane domains. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis indicated that Tibetan pig STING mRNA was most abundant in the lung and heart. Overexpression of Tibetan porcine STING led to upregulation of IFN-β and IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) in porcine jejunal epithelial cell line IPEC-J2 cells. This is the first study investigating the biological role of STING in intestinal epithelial cells, which lays a foundation for the further study of STING in intestinal innate immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Immunology)
Open AccessArticle Biodegradable Nanoparticles of mPEG-PLGA-PLL Triblock Copolymers as Novel Non-Viral Vectors for Improving siRNA Delivery and Gene Silencing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 516-533; doi:10.3390/ijms13010516
Received: 24 October 2011 / Revised: 8 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (591 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Degradation of mRNA by RNA interference is one of the most powerful and specific mechanisms for gene silencing. However, insufficient cellular uptake and poor stability have limited its usefulness. Here, we report efficient delivery of siRNA via the use of biodegradable nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Degradation of mRNA by RNA interference is one of the most powerful and specific mechanisms for gene silencing. However, insufficient cellular uptake and poor stability have limited its usefulness. Here, we report efficient delivery of siRNA via the use of biodegradable nanoparticles (NPs) made from monomethoxypoly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-poly-l-lysine (mPEG-PLGA-PLL) triblock copolymers. Various physicochemical properties of mPEG-PLGA-PLL NPs, including morphology, size, surface charge, siRNA encapsulation efficiency, and in vitro release profile of siRNA from NPs, were characterized by scanning electron microscope, particle size and zeta potential analyzer, and high performance liquid chromatography. The levels of siRNA uptake and targeted gene inhibition were detected in human lung cancer SPC-A1-GFP cells stably expressing green fluorescent protein. Examination of the cultured SPC-A1-GFP cells with fluorescent microscope and flow cytometry showed NPs loading Cy3-labeled siRNA had much higher intracellular siRNA delivery efficiencies than siRNA alone and Lipofectamine-siRNA complexes. The gene silencing efficiency of mPEG-PLGA-PLL NPs was higher than that of commercially available transfecting agent Lipofectamine while showing no cytotoxicity. Thus, the current study demonstrates that biodegradable NPs of mPEG-PLGA-PLL triblock copolymers can be potentially applied as novel non-viral vectors for improving siRNA delivery and gene silencing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle A Chitosan Induced 9-Lipoxygenase in Adelostemma gracillimum Seedlings
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 540-551; doi:10.3390/ijms13010540
Received: 26 October 2011 / Revised: 20 November 2011 / Accepted: 12 December 2011 / Published: 5 January 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (284 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Oxylipins generated by the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway play an important role in plant defense against biotic and abiotic stress. In chitosan-treated Adelostemma gracillimum seedlings, obvious accumulation of 9-LOX-derived oxylipins, namely 9,10,11-trihydroxy-12-octadecenoic acid, was detected. Using degenerate primers, a LOX-specific fragment putatively encoding [...] Read more.
Oxylipins generated by the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway play an important role in plant defense against biotic and abiotic stress. In chitosan-treated Adelostemma gracillimum seedlings, obvious accumulation of 9-LOX-derived oxylipins, namely 9,10,11-trihydroxy-12-octadecenoic acid, was detected. Using degenerate primers, a LOX-specific fragment putatively encoding LOX was obtained by RT-PCR, and a 2.9-kb full-length cDNA named AgLOX1 was isolated by RACE from chitosan-induced A. gracillimum seedlings. Genomic Southern analysis implied that there was only one copy of AgLOX1 in the A. gracillimum genome. AgLOX1 was expressed in Escherichia coli and the recombinant protein was partially purified. The enzyme converted linoleic and linolenic acids almost exclusively to their 9-hydroperoxides. AgLOX1 encoded a 9-lipoxygenase. Northern blot analysis indicated that chitosan-induced AgLOX1 transcript accumulation peaked at 8 h after initiation of treatment, whereas trihydroxy derivatives accumulation was highest at 24 h after elicitation. Results showed that chitosan-induced AgLOX1 encoded a 9-lipoxygenase potentially involved in the defense response through 9-LOX pathway leading to biosynthesis of antimicrobial compounds in A. gracillimum seedlings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Surface Photochemistry: 3,3'-Dialkylthia and Selenocarbocyanine Dyes Adsorbed onto Microcrystalline Cellulose
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 596-611; doi:10.3390/ijms13010596
Received: 12 December 2011 / Revised: 29 December 2011 / Accepted: 29 December 2011 / Published: 9 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, thia and selenocarbocyanines with n-alkyl chains of different length, namely with methyl, ethyl, propyl, hexyl and decyl substituents, were studied in homogeneous and heterogeneous media for comparison purposes. For both carbocyanine dyes adsorbed onto microcrystalline cellulose, a remarkable [...] Read more.
In this work, thia and selenocarbocyanines with n-alkyl chains of different length, namely with methyl, ethyl, propyl, hexyl and decyl substituents, were studied in homogeneous and heterogeneous media for comparison purposes. For both carbocyanine dyes adsorbed onto microcrystalline cellulose, a remarkable increase in the fluorescence quantum yields and lifetimes were detected, when compared with solution. Contrary to the solution behaviour, where the increase in the n-alkyl chains length increases to a certain extent the fluorescence emission FF and τF, on powdered solid samples a decrease of FF and τF was observed. The use of an integrating sphere enabled us to obtain absolute FF’s for all the powdered samples. The main difference for liquid homogeneous samples is that the increase of the alkyl chain strongly decreases the FF values, both for thiacarbocyanines and selenocarbocyanines. A lifetime distribution analysis for the fluorescence of these dyes adsorbed onto microcrystalline cellulose, evidenced location on the ordered and crystalline part of the substrate, as well as on the more disordered region where the lifetime is smaller. The increase of the n-alkyl chains length decreases the photoisomer emission for the dyes adsorbed onto microcrystalline cellulose, as detected for high fluences of the laser excitation, for most samples. Full article
Open AccessArticle A New Strategy for Identification of Highly Conserved microRNAs in Non-Model Insect, Spodoptera litura
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 612-627; doi:10.3390/ijms13010612
Received: 19 October 2011 / Revised: 23 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 9 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (841 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The indigenous small non-coding RNAs, known as microRNAs (miRNAs), are important regulators of gene expression and many of them are evolutionarily conserved. Whether stem-loop RT-PCR, as a sensitive method, could be utilized to clone conserved miRNAs from non-model insects lacks information. Here, [...] Read more.
The indigenous small non-coding RNAs, known as microRNAs (miRNAs), are important regulators of gene expression and many of them are evolutionarily conserved. Whether stem-loop RT-PCR, as a sensitive method, could be utilized to clone conserved miRNAs from non-model insects lacks information. Here, three miRNAs, sli-miR-14, sli-miR-2a and sli-bantam, were cloned from Spodoptera litura by stem-loop RT-PCR. Two groups of primers were designed, and one of them performed especially well and proved stable. The sequences of two highly conserved miRNAs, sli-miR-14 and sli-miR-2a were identical to those in Drosophila melanogaster. To validate the reliability of this strategy, pre-miR-14 and pre-miR-2a in S. litura as representatives were given as well; this shared high homology with those in D. melanogaster and Bombyx mori, and both mature sequences of sli-miR-14 and sli-miR-2a in their precursors shared 100% identity to the results shown by stem-loop RT-PCR. Moreover, expression patterns of these miRNAs were investigated by real-time quantitative PCR. Sli-miR-14 and sli-miR-2a could be detected successfully and their expression patterns showed similar characteristics with those in model insects, further suggesting stem-loop RT-PCR technology can be used for identification of highly conserved miRNAs in non-model insects. These results provide a simplified and efficient strategy for studying the structure and function of highly conserved miRNAs, especially some critical miRNAs in non-model insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Polyphenol Content and Modulatory Activities of Some Tropical Dietary Plant Extracts on the Oxidant Activities of Neutrophils and Myeloperoxidase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 628-650; doi:10.3390/ijms13010628
Received: 26 September 2011 / Revised: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 9 January 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Young leaves of Manihot esculenta Crantz (Euphorbiaceae), Abelmoschus esculentus (Malvaceae), Hibiscus acetosella (Malvaceae) and Pteridium aquilinum (Dennstaedtiaceae) are currently consumed as green vegetables by peoples in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia and their migrants living in Western Europe. Sub-Saharan peoples use Manihot [...] Read more.
Young leaves of Manihot esculenta Crantz (Euphorbiaceae), Abelmoschus esculentus (Malvaceae), Hibiscus acetosella (Malvaceae) and Pteridium aquilinum (Dennstaedtiaceae) are currently consumed as green vegetables by peoples in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia and their migrants living in Western Europe. Sub-Saharan peoples use Manihot, Abelmoschus and Hibiscus also in the folk medicine to alleviate fever and pain, in the treatment of conjunctivitis, rheumatism, hemorrhoid, abscesses, ... The present study investigates the effects of aqueous extracts of those plants on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the release of myeloperoxidase (MPO) by equine neutrophils activated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). The ROS production was measured by lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence (CL), and the release of total MPO by an ELISA method. The study also investigates the effect of the extracts on the activity of MPO by studying its nitration activity on tyrosine and by using a new technique called SIEFED (Specific Immunological Extraction Followed by Enzymatic Detection) that allows studying the direct interaction of compounds with the enzyme. In all experiments, the aqueous extracts of the plants developed concentration-dependent inhibitory effects. A moderate heat treatment did not significantly modify the inhibitory capacity of the extracts in comparison to not heated ones. Total polyphenol and flavonoid contents were determined with an HPLC-UV/DAD analysis and a spectroscopic method using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Some polyphenols with well-known antioxidant activities (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, hyperoside, rosmarinic acid and rutin) were found in the extracts and may partly explain the inhibitory activities observed. The role of those dietary and medicinal plants in the treatment of ROS-dependent inflammatory diseases could have new considerations for health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects Triggered by Grape Seed Extract (GSE) versus Epigallocatechin and Procyanidins on Colon Cancer Cell Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 651-664; doi:10.3390/ijms13010651
Received: 26 September 2011 / Revised: 14 November 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 10 January 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Grape seed extract has been proven to exert anticancer effects on different tumors. These effects are mainly ascribed to catechin and procyanidin content. Analytical studies demonstrated that grape seed extract composition is complex and it is likely other components could exert biological [...] Read more.
Grape seed extract has been proven to exert anticancer effects on different tumors. These effects are mainly ascribed to catechin and procyanidin content. Analytical studies demonstrated that grape seed extract composition is complex and it is likely other components could exert biological activities. Using cell count and flow cytometry assays, we evaluated the cytostatic and apoptotic effects produced by three different grape seed extracts from Italia, Palieri and Red Globe cultivars, on Caco2 and HCT-8 colon cancer cells. These effects were compared to those induced by epigallocatechin and procyanidins, alone or in association, on the same cell lines. All the extracts induced growth inhibition and apoptosis in Caco2 and HCT-8 cells, along the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. On both cell lines, growth inhibition induced by Italia and Palieri grape seed extracts was significantly higher than that it has been recorded with epigallocatechin, procyanidins and their association. In Caco2 cells, the extract from Red Globe cultivar was less effective in inducing growth inhibition than procyanidins alone and in association with epigallocatechin, whereas, in HCT-8 cells, only the association of epigallocatechin and procyanidins triggers a significant proliferation decrease. On both cell lines, apoptosis induced by Italia, Palieri and Red Globe grape seed extracts was considerably higher than has been recorded with epigallocatechin, procyanidins and their association. These data support the hypothesis by which other compounds, present in the grape seed extracts, are likely to enhance the anticancer effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutraceutical Research)
Open AccessArticle Use of Linear Free Energy Relationships (LFERs) to Elucidate the Mechanisms of Reaction of a γ-Methyl-β-alkynyl and an ortho-Substituted Aryl Chloroformate Ester
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 665-682; doi:10.3390/ijms13010665
Received: 20 December 2011 / Revised: 5 January 2012 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 10 January 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (459 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The specific rates of solvolysis of 2-butyn-1-yl-chloroformate (1) and 2-methoxyphenyl chloroformate (2) are studied at 25.0 °C in a series of binary aqueous-organic mixtures. The rates of reaction obtained are then analyzed using the extended Grunwald-Winstein (G-W) equation [...] Read more.
The specific rates of solvolysis of 2-butyn-1-yl-chloroformate (1) and 2-methoxyphenyl chloroformate (2) are studied at 25.0 °C in a series of binary aqueous-organic mixtures. The rates of reaction obtained are then analyzed using the extended Grunwald-Winstein (G-W) equation and the results are compared to previously published G-W analyses for phenyl chloroformate (3), propargyl chloroformate (4), p-methoxyphenyl choroformate (5), and p-nitrophenyl chloroformate (6). For 1, the results indicate that dual side-by-side addition-elimination and ionization pathways are occurring in some highly ionizing solvents due to the presence of the electron-donating γ-methyl group. For 2, the analyses indicate that the dominant mechanism is a bimolecular one where the formation of a tetrahedral intermediate is rate-determining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correlation Analysis Applied to Solvolysis Reactions)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Acidic Polysaccharides from Gastrodia Rhizome on Systolic Blood Pressure and Serum Lipid Concentrations in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 698-709; doi:10.3390/ijms13010698
Received: 17 August 2011 / Revised: 13 December 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 11 January 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (180 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of acidic polysaccharides purified from Gastrodia rhizome on blood pressure and serum lipid levels in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) fed a high-fat diet were investigated. Acidic polysaccharides were purified from crude polysaccharides by DEAE-Sepharose CL-6B. Thirty-six male SHR were randomly [...] Read more.
The effects of acidic polysaccharides purified from Gastrodia rhizome on blood pressure and serum lipid levels in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) fed a high-fat diet were investigated. Acidic polysaccharides were purified from crude polysaccharides by DEAE-Sepharose CL-6B. Thirty-six male SHR were randomly divided into three groups: Gastrodia rhizome crude polysaccharide (A), acidic polysaccharide (B) groups, and a control group (C). A 5-week oral administration of all treatment groups was performed daily in 3- to 8-week-old SHRs with a dose of 6 mg/kg of body weight/day. After 5 weeks of treatment, total cholesterol in the acidic polysaccharide group, at 69.7 ± 10.6 mg/dL, was lower than in the crude polysaccharide group (75.0 ± 6.0 mg/dL) and the control group (89.2 ± 7.4 mg/dL). In addition, triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the acidic polysaccharide group were lower than in the crude polysaccharide and control groups. The atherogenic index of the acidic polysaccharide group was 46.3% lower than in the control group. Initial blood pressure after the initial three weeks on the high-fat diet averaged 195.9 ± 3.3 mmHg among all rats. Compared with the initial blood pressure, the final blood pressure in the control group was increased by 22.8 mmHg, whereas it decreased in the acidic polysaccharide group by 14.9 mmHg. These results indicate that acidic polysaccharides from Gastrodia rhizome reduce hypertension and improve serum lipid levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Molecular Modeling Study of Chiral Separation and Recognition Mechanism of β-Adrenergic Antagonists by Capillary Electrophoresis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 710-725; doi:10.3390/ijms13010710
Received: 9 November 2011 / Revised: 13 December 2011 / Accepted: 31 December 2011 / Published: 11 January 2012
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chiral separations of five β-adrenergic antagonists (propranolol, esmolol, atenolol, metoprolol, and bisoprolol) were studied by capillary electrophoresis using six cyclodextrins (CDs) as the chiral selectors. Carboxymethylated-β-cyclodextrin (CM-β-CD) exhibited a higher enantioselectivity power compared to the other tested CDs. The influences of the [...] Read more.
Chiral separations of five β-adrenergic antagonists (propranolol, esmolol, atenolol, metoprolol, and bisoprolol) were studied by capillary electrophoresis using six cyclodextrins (CDs) as the chiral selectors. Carboxymethylated-β-cyclodextrin (CM-β-CD) exhibited a higher enantioselectivity power compared to the other tested CDs. The influences of the concentration of CM-β-CD, buffer pH, buffer concentration, temperature, and applied voltage were investigated. The good chiral separation of five β-adrenergic antagonists was achieved using 50 mM Tris buffer at pH 4.0 containing 8 mM CM-β-CD with an applied voltage of 24 kV at 20 °C. In order to understand possible chiral recognition mechanisms of these racemates with CM-β-CD, host-guest binding procedures of CM-β-CD and these racemates were studied using the molecular docking software Autodock. The binding free energy was calculated using the Autodock semi-empirical binding free energy function. The results showed that the phenyl or naphthyl ring inserted in the hydrophobic cavity of CM-β-CD and the side chain was found to point out of the cyclodextrin rim. Hydrogen bonding between CM-β-CD and these racemates played an important role in the process of enantionseparation and a model of the hydrogen bonding interaction positions was constructed. The difference in hydrogen bonding formed with the –OH next to the chiral center of the analytes may help to increase chiral discrimination and gave rise to a bigger separation factor. In addition, the longer side chain in the hydrophobic phenyl ring of the enantiomer was not beneficial for enantioseparation and the chiral selectivity factor was found to correspond to the difference in binding free energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Recognition)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Aspergillus fumigatus in Guinea Pig Bronchoalveolar Lavages and Pulmonary Tissue by Culture and Realtime Polymerase Chain Reaction Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 726-736; doi:10.3390/ijms13010726
Received: 24 November 2011 / Revised: 10 December 2011 / Accepted: 6 January 2012 / Published: 11 January 2012
PDF Full-text (293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study we pursued a diagnostic target in Aspergillus fumigatus (AF) by using qualitative Realtime PCR combined with proprietary DNA primers and a hydrolysis probe specific for this fungal target. Qualitative Realtime PCR is a diagnostic tool that utilizes Realtime PCR [...] Read more.
In this study we pursued a diagnostic target in Aspergillus fumigatus (AF) by using qualitative Realtime PCR combined with proprietary DNA primers and a hydrolysis probe specific for this fungal target. Qualitative Realtime PCR is a diagnostic tool that utilizes Realtime PCR technology and detects the presence or absence target specific DNA within a predetermined detection range. Respiratory tissue and fluids from experimentally infected guinea pigs were tested by extracting DNA from the samples which were amplified and detected using AF specific DNA primers and probe. This study included qualitative evaluations of all specimens for the presence of the DNA of AF. The findings in the tissues after AF infection were compared to the numbers of spores in aerosolized samples used to inoculate the animals. Results demonstrated that the specific probe and primer set could detect the presence or absence of AF DNA in the sample. The qualitative detection limit of the assay ranged from 6 × 104 copies to 6 copies. Since blood cultures are rarely positive for Aspergillosis, our data indicate that qualitative Realtime PCR, in combination with the appropriate DNA primers and probe can serve as an effective diagnostic tool in the early detection of fungal infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Mechanisms of Action of (Meth)acrylates in Hemolytic Activity, in Vivo Toxicity and Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) Liposomes Determined Using NMR Spectroscopy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 758-773; doi:10.3390/ijms13010758
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 30 December 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 12 January 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated the quantitative structure-activity relationships between hemolytic activity (log 1/H50) or in vivo mouse intraperitoneal (ip) LD50 using reported data for α,β-unsaturated carbonyl compounds such as (meth)acrylate monomers and their 13C-NMR β-carbon chemical shift (δ). The log [...] Read more.
We investigated the quantitative structure-activity relationships between hemolytic activity (log 1/H50) or in vivo mouse intraperitoneal (ip) LD50 using reported data for α,β-unsaturated carbonyl compounds such as (meth)acrylate monomers and their 13C-NMR β-carbon chemical shift (δ). The log 1/H50 value for methacrylates was linearly correlated with the δCβ value. That for (meth)acrylates was linearly correlated with log P, an index of lipophilicity. The ipLD50 for (meth)acrylates was linearly correlated with δCβ but not with log P. For (meth)acrylates, the δCβ value, which is dependent on the π-electron density on the β-carbon, was linearly correlated with PM3-based theoretical parameters (chemical hardness, η; electronegativity, χ; electrophilicity, ω), whereas log P was linearly correlated with heat of formation (HF). Also, the interaction between (meth)acrylates and DPPC liposomes in cell membrane molecular models was investigated using 1H-NMR spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The log 1/H50 value was related to the difference in chemical shift (ΔδHa) (Ha: H (trans) attached to the β-carbon) between the free monomer and the DPPC liposome-bound monomer. Monomer-induced DSC phase transition properties were related to HF for monomers. NMR chemical shifts may represent a valuable parameter for investigating the biological mechanisms of action of (meth)acrylates. Full article
Open AccessArticle Invasive Fungal Infections in Patients with Hematologic Malignancies (Aurora Project): Lights and Shadows During 18-Months Surveillance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 774-787; doi:10.3390/ijms13010774
Received: 27 October 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 13 January 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this multicenter prospective study was to evaluate the incidence of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in adult and pediatric patients with hematologic malignancies, involving nine nosocomial facilities in Southern Italy over a period of 18 months. Furthermore, results of an [...] Read more.
The aim of this multicenter prospective study was to evaluate the incidence of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in adult and pediatric patients with hematologic malignancies, involving nine nosocomial facilities in Southern Italy over a period of 18 months. Furthermore, results of an environmental microbial surveillance routinely carried out in some of the enrolled hospitals are reported. A total of 589 onco-hematological patients were enrolled and 27 IFIs were documented. The main infections were caused by yeasts, more than filamentous fungi (overall incidence of 2.7% and 1.9%, respectively). The yeasts were mainly represented by Candida spp. (87.5%), all isolated by blood cultures; C. parapsilosis was the most common species. Among mould infections, the most frequent site was the lung, with regard to aspergillosis (81.8%). In six of the 10 patients with suspected aspergillosis, the diagnosis was made by the detection of galactomannan and (1,3)-β-d-glucan antigens. The microbiological surveillance carried out on 156 air, 312 water and 312 surface samples revealed low environmental contamination: Alternaria alternata was the only fungus isolated from two surface samples. Our data, especially the low occurrence of filamentous fungi, suggest a particular local epidemiology. Further studies are needed to confirm this microbiological trend in onco-hematological patients in Southern Italy, the results of which might be helpful to improve the management of these patients. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development of an Innovative Nutraceutical Fermented Beverage from Herbal Mate (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil.) Extract
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 788-800; doi:10.3390/ijms13010788
Received: 19 December 2011 / Revised: 31 December 2011 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 13 January 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Herbal mate (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil.) leaves are traditionally used for their stimulant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and diuretic activity, presenting as principal components polyphenolic compounds. The aim of this work was to develop an innovative, non-dairy, functional, probiotic, fermented beverage using herbal mate [...] Read more.
Herbal mate (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil.) leaves are traditionally used for their stimulant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and diuretic activity, presenting as principal components polyphenolic compounds. The aim of this work was to develop an innovative, non-dairy, functional, probiotic, fermented beverage using herbal mate extract as a natural ingredient which would also be hypocholesterolemic and hepatoprotective. Among different strains used, Lactobacillus acidophilus was selected as the best for fermentation. The addition of honey positively affected the development of L. acidophilus and the formulated beverage maintained microbial stability during shelf life. Key ingredients in the extract included xanthines, polyphenols and other antioxidants with potential health benefits for the consumer. Caffeine levels and antioxidant activity were also studied. Acceptable levels of caffeine and large antioxidant capacity were observed for the formulation when compared to other antioxidant beverages. An advantage of this product is the compliance to organic claims, while providing caffeine, other phyto-stimulants and antioxidant compounds without the addition of synthetic components or preservatives in the formulation. Sensorial analysis demonstrated that the beverage had good consumer acceptance in comparison to two other similar commercial beverages. Therefore, this beverage could be used as a new, non-dairy vehicle for probiotic consumption, especially by vegetarians and lactose intolerant consumers. It is expected that such a product will have good market potential in an era of functional foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutraceutical Research)
Open AccessArticle Procyanidins from Wild Grape (Vitis amurensis) Seeds Regulate ARE-Mediated Enzyme Expression via Nrf2 Coupled with p38 and PI3K/Akt Pathway in HepG2 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 801-818; doi:10.3390/ijms13010801
Received: 19 December 2011 / Revised: 30 December 2011 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 13 January 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Procyanidins, polymers of flavan-3-ol units, have been reported to exhibit many beneficial health effects such as antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects. In this study, we investigated the cancer chemopreventive properties of procyanidins from wild grape (Vitis amurensis) seeds in particular their [...] Read more.
Procyanidins, polymers of flavan-3-ol units, have been reported to exhibit many beneficial health effects such as antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects. In this study, we investigated the cancer chemopreventive properties of procyanidins from wild grape (Vitis amurensis) seeds in particular their roles in inducing phase II detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes as well as in modulating the upstream kinases. Ethanolic extract of V. amurensis seeds was fractionated with a series of organic solvents and finally separated into six fractions, F1–F6. Chemical properties of the procyanidins were analyzed by vanillin assay, BuOH-HCl test, and depolymerization with phloroglucinol followed by LC/MS analysis. The F5 had the highest procyanidin content among all the fractions and strongly induced the reporter activity of antioxidant response element as well as the protein expression of nuclear factor E2-related factor (Nrf2) in HepG2 human hepatocarcinoma cells. The procyanidin-rich F5 also strongly induced the expression of the phase II detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes such as NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase1 and hemeoxygenase1. Phosphorylations of the upstream kinases such as MAPKs and PI3K/Akt were significantly increased by treatment with procyanidin fraction. In addition, the procyanidin-mediated Nrf2 expression was partly attenuated by PI3K inhibitor LY294002, and almost completely by p38 inhibitor SB202190, but neither by JNK inhibitor SP600125 nor by MEK1/2 inhibitor U0126. Taken together, the procyanidins from wild grape seeds could be used as a potential natural chemopreventive agent through Nrf2/ARE-mediated phase II detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes induction via p38 and PI3K/Akt pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutraceutical Research)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of a Centrifuged Double Y-Shape Microfluidic Platform for Simple Continuous Cell Environment Exchange
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 819-827; doi:10.3390/ijms13010819
Received: 7 December 2011 / Revised: 6 January 2012 / Accepted: 9 January 2012 / Published: 13 January 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (796 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have demonstrated the efficacy of a microfluidic medium exchange method for single cells using passive centrifugal force of a rotating microfluidic-chip based platform. At the boundary of two laminar flows at the gathering area of two microfluidic pathways in a Y-shape, [...] Read more.
We have demonstrated the efficacy of a microfluidic medium exchange method for single cells using passive centrifugal force of a rotating microfluidic-chip based platform. At the boundary of two laminar flows at the gathering area of two microfluidic pathways in a Y-shape, the cells were successfully transported from one laminar flow to the other, without mixing the two microfluidic mediums of the two laminar flows during cell transportation, within 5 s with 1 g (150 rpm) to 36.3 g (900 rpm) acceleration, with 93.5% efficiency. The results indicate that this is one of the most simple and precise tools for exchanging medium in the shortest amount of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics)
Open AccessArticle Lewis y Regulate Cell Cycle Related Factors in Ovarian Carcinoma Cell RMG-I in Vitro via ERK and Akt Signaling Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 828-839; doi:10.3390/ijms13010828
Received: 16 December 2011 / Revised: 28 December 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: To investigate the effect of Lewis y overexpression on the expression of proliferation-related factors in ovarian cancer cells. Methods: mRNA levels of cyclins, CDKs, and CKIs were measured in cells before and after transfection with the α1,2-fucosyltransferase gene by [...] Read more.
Objective: To investigate the effect of Lewis y overexpression on the expression of proliferation-related factors in ovarian cancer cells. Methods: mRNA levels of cyclins, CDKs, and CKIs were measured in cells before and after transfection with the α1,2-fucosyltransferase gene by real-time PCR, and protein levels of cyclins, CDKs and CKIs were determined in cells before and after gene transfection by Western blot. Results: Lewis y overexpression led to an increase in both mRNA and protein expression levels of cyclin A, cyclin D1 and cyclin E in ovarian cancer cells, decrease in both mRNA and protein expression levels of p16 and p21, and decrease of p27 at only the protein expression level without change in its mRNA level. There were no differences in proteins and the mRNA levels of CDK2, CDK4 and CDK6 before and after gene transfection. Anti-Lewis y antibody, ERK and PI3K pathway inhibitors PD98059 and LY294002 reduced the difference in cyclin and CKI expression caused by Lewis y overexpression. Conclusion: Lewis y regulates the expression of cell cycle-related factors through ERK/MAPK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways to promote cell proliferation. Full article
Open AccessArticle MiRNAs and LincRNAs: Could They Be Considered as Biomarkers in Colorectal Cancer?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 840-865; doi:10.3390/ijms13010840
Received: 2 November 2011 / Revised: 15 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (345 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent advances in the field of RNA research have provided compelling evidence implicating microRNA (miRNA) and long non-coding RNA molecules in many diverse and substantial biological processes, including transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, genomic imprinting, and modulation of protein activity. [...] Read more.
Recent advances in the field of RNA research have provided compelling evidence implicating microRNA (miRNA) and long non-coding RNA molecules in many diverse and substantial biological processes, including transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, genomic imprinting, and modulation of protein activity. Thus, studies of non-coding RNA (ncRNA) may contribute to the discovery of possible biomarkers in human cancers. Considering that the response to chemotherapy can differ amongst individuals, researchers have begun to isolate and identify the genes responsible. Identification of targets of this ncRNA associated with cancer can suggest that networks of these linked to oncogenes or tumor suppressors play pivotal roles in cancer development. Moreover, these ncRNA are attractive drug targets since they may be differentially expressed in malignant versus normal cells and regulate expression of critical proteins in the cell. This review focuses on ncRNAs that are differently expressed in malignant tissue, and discusses some of challenges derived from their use as potential biomarkers of tumor properties. Full article
Open AccessArticle Icariin Ameliorates Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Retinopathy in Vitro and in Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 866-878; doi:10.3390/ijms13010866
Received: 8 November 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (567 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the effect of Icariin (ICA) supplementation on diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model system. Fifty Sprague Dawley rats were randomly distributed into a control group and a streptozotocin-induced diabetes group. Diabetic rats were randomly divided into [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effect of Icariin (ICA) supplementation on diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model system. Fifty Sprague Dawley rats were randomly distributed into a control group and a streptozotocin-induced diabetes group. Diabetic rats were randomly divided into two groups; one group received ICA 5 mg/kg/day for 12 weeks by oral gavage; the other group received saline gavage as a placebo. Retinal morphological changes, endothelial markers (RECA), collagen IV (Col-IV), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and neuropathic changes (Thy-1 and Brn3a expression) of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were investigated. The effects of ICA at various concentrations (0, 101, 102, 103 nmol/mL) on neurite growth were investigated also in retinal ganglion cells (RGC) cultured from both diabetic and normal animals. Numerous pathological changes (deceased expression of RECA, VEGF, Thy-1, and Brn3a as well as decreased Collagen IV and Müller cell content) were noted in the retinal vessels of diabetic rats; these changes were attenuated in diabetic animals that received ICA. ICA enhanced neurite growth in RGC from both normal rats and diabetic rats in a dose dependent fashion. ICA may be useful in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Further investigations are indicated. Full article
Open AccessArticle Molecular Cloning, Characterization and Predicted Structure of a Putative Copper-Zinc SOD from the Camel, Camelus dromedarius
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 879-900; doi:10.3390/ijms13010879
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 25 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1090 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is the first line of defense against oxidative stress induced by endogenous and/or exogenous factors and thus helps in maintaining the cellular integrity. Its activity is related to many diseases; so, it is of importance to study the structure [...] Read more.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is the first line of defense against oxidative stress induced by endogenous and/or exogenous factors and thus helps in maintaining the cellular integrity. Its activity is related to many diseases; so, it is of importance to study the structure and expression of SOD gene in an animal naturally exposed most of its life to the direct sunlight as a cause of oxidative stress. Arabian camel (one humped camel, Camelus dromedarius) is adapted to the widely varying desert climatic conditions that extremely changes during daily life in the Arabian Gulf. Studying the cSOD1 in C. dromedarius could help understand the impact of exposure to direct sunlight and desert life on the health status of such mammal. The full coding region of a putative CuZnSOD gene of C. dromedarius (cSOD1) was amplified by reverse transcription PCR and cloned for the first time (gene bank accession number for nucleotides and amino acids are JF758876 and AEF32527, respectively). The cDNA sequencing revealed an open reading frame of 459 nucleotides encoding a protein of 153 amino acids which is equal to the coding region of SOD1 gene and protein from many organisms. The calculated molecular weight and isoelectric point of cSOD1 was 15.7 kDa and 6.2, respectively. The level of expression of cSOD1 in different camel tissues (liver, kidney, spleen, lung and testis) was examined using Real Time-PCR. The highest level of cSOD1 transcript was found in the camel liver (represented as 100%) followed by testis (45%), kidney (13%), lung (11%) and spleen (10%), using 18S ribosomal subunit as endogenous control. The deduced amino acid sequence exhibited high similarity with Cebus apella (90%), Sus scrofa (88%), Cavia porcellus (88%), Mus musculus (88%), Macaca mulatta (87%), Pan troglodytes (87%), Homo sapiens (87%), Canis familiaris (86%), Bos taurus (86%), Pongo abelii (85%) and Equus caballus (82%). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that cSOD1 is grouped together with S. scrofa. The predicted 3D structure of cSOD1 showed high similarity with the human and bovine CuZnSOD homologues. The Root-mean-square deviation (rmsd) between cSOD1/hSOD1 and cSOD1/bSOD1 superimposed structure pairs were 0.557 and 0.425 A. The Q-score of cSOD1-hSOD1 and cSOD1-bSOD1 were 0.948 and 0.961, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Structural Modeling and Biochemical Characterization of Recombinant KPN_02809, a Zinc-Dependent Metalloprotease from Klebsiella pneumoniae MGH 78578
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 901-917; doi:10.3390/ijms13010901
Received: 27 October 2011 / Revised: 29 December 2011 / Accepted: 9 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3917 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a Gram-negative, cylindrical rod shaped opportunistic pathogen that is found in the environment as well as existing as a normal flora in mammalian mucosal surfaces such as the mouth, skin, and intestines. Clinically it is the most important member [...] Read more.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a Gram-negative, cylindrical rod shaped opportunistic pathogen that is found in the environment as well as existing as a normal flora in mammalian mucosal surfaces such as the mouth, skin, and intestines. Clinically it is the most important member of the family of Enterobacteriaceae that causes neonatal sepsis and nosocomial infections. In this work, a combination of protein sequence analysis, structural modeling and molecular docking simulation approaches were employed to provide an understanding of the possible functions and characteristics of a hypothetical protein (KPN_02809) from K. pneumoniae MGH 78578. The computational analyses showed that this protein was a metalloprotease with zinc binding motif, HEXXH. To verify this result, a ypfJ gene which encodes for this hypothetical protein was cloned from K. pneumoniae MGH 78578 and the protein was overexpressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3). The purified protein was about 32 kDa and showed maximum protease activity at 30 °C and pH 8.0. The enzyme activity was inhibited by metalloprotease inhibitors such as EDTA, 1,10-phenanthroline and reducing agent, 1,4-dithiothreitol (DTT). Each molecule of KPN_02809 protein was also shown to bind one zinc ion. Hence, for the first time, we experimentally confirmed that KPN_02809 is an active enzyme with zinc metalloprotease activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hypothetical Proteins)
Open AccessArticle Characterization of Electrosynthesized Conjugated Polymer-Carbon Nanotube Composite: Optical Nonlinearity and Electrical Property
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 918-928; doi:10.3390/ijms13010918
Received: 23 October 2011 / Accepted: 19 December 2011 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1002 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWNT) concentration on the structural, optical and electrical properties of conjugated polymer-carbon nanotube composite are discussed. Multi-walled carbon nanotube-polypyrrole nanocomposites were synthesized by electrochemical polymerization of monomers in the presence of different amounts of MWNTs using [...] Read more.
The effects of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWNT) concentration on the structural, optical and electrical properties of conjugated polymer-carbon nanotube composite are discussed. Multi-walled carbon nanotube-polypyrrole nanocomposites were synthesized by electrochemical polymerization of monomers in the presence of different amounts of MWNTs using sodium dodecylbenzensulfonate (SDBS) as surfactant at room temperature and normal pressure. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) indicates that the polymer is wrapped around the nanotubes. Measurement of the nonlinear refractive indices (n2) and the nonlinear absorption (β) of the samples with different MWNT concentrations measurements were performed by a single Z-scan method using continuous wave (CW) laser beam excitation wavelength of λ = 532 nm. The results show that both nonlinear optical parameters increased with increasing the concentration of MWNTs. The third order nonlinear susceptibilities were also calculated and found to follow the same trend as n2 and β. In addition, the conductivity of the composite film was found to increase rapidly with the increase in the MWNT concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Enzymatic Treatment of Different Starch Sources on the in Vitro Rate and Extent of Starch Digestion
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 929-942; doi:10.3390/ijms13010929
Received: 16 December 2011 / Revised: 5 January 2012 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Gelatinized wheat, potato and waxy maize starches were treated enzymatically in order to increase the degree of branching of the amylopectin fraction and thereby change the starch degradation profile towards a higher proportion of slowly digestible starch (SDS). The materials were characterized [...] Read more.
Gelatinized wheat, potato and waxy maize starches were treated enzymatically in order to increase the degree of branching of the amylopectin fraction and thereby change the starch degradation profile towards a higher proportion of slowly digestible starch (SDS). The materials were characterized by single-pulse 1H HR-MAS NMR spectroscopy and in vitro digestion profile according to the Englyst procedure. Using various concentrations and incubation times with branching enzyme (EC 2.4.1.18) without or with additional treatment with the hydrolytic enzymes; β-amylase (EC 3.2.1.2), α-glucosidase (EC 3.2.1.20), or amyloglucosidase (EC 3.2.1.3) the proportion of α-(1-6) linkages was increased by up to a factor of 4.1, 5 and 5.8 in waxy maize, wheat and potato starches, respectively. The proportion of SDS was significantly increased when using hydrolytic enzymes after treatment with branching enzyme but it was only for waxy maize that the proportion of α-(1-6) bonds and the in vitro digestion profile was significantly correlated. Full article
Open AccessArticle Improvement of Thermal Stability via Outer-Loop Ion Pair Interaction of Mutated T1 Lipase from Geobacillus zalihae Strain T1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 943-960; doi:10.3390/ijms13010943
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 25 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 November 2011 / Published: 17 January 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mutant D311E and K344R were constructed using site-directed mutagenesis to introduce an additional ion pair at the inter-loop and the intra-loop, respectively, to determine the effect of ion pairs on the stability of T1 lipase isolated from Geobacillus zalihae. A series [...] Read more.
Mutant D311E and K344R were constructed using site-directed mutagenesis to introduce an additional ion pair at the inter-loop and the intra-loop, respectively, to determine the effect of ion pairs on the stability of T1 lipase isolated from Geobacillus zalihae. A series of purification steps was applied, and the pure lipases of T1, D311E and K344R were obtained. The wild-type and mutant lipases were analyzed using circular dichroism. The Tm for T1 lipase, D311E lipase and K344R lipase were approximately 68.52 °C, 70.59 °C and 68.54 °C, respectively. Mutation at D311 increases the stability of T1 lipase and exhibited higher Tm as compared to the wild-type and K344R. Based on the above, D311E lipase was chosen for further study. D311E lipase was successfully crystallized using the sitting drop vapor diffusion method. The crystal was diffracted at 2.1 Å using an in-house X-ray beam and belonged to the monoclinic space group C2 with the unit cell parameters a = 117.32 Å, b = 81.16 Å and c = 100.14 Å. Structural analysis showed the existence of an additional ion pair around E311 in the structure of D311E. The additional ion pair in D311E may regulate the stability of this mutant lipase at high temperatures as predicted in silico and spectroscopically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Crystallography in Molecular Biology)
Open AccessArticle Freshwater Plants Synthesize Sulfated Polysaccharides: Heterogalactans from Water Hyacinth (Eicchornia crassipes)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 961-976; doi:10.3390/ijms13010961
Received: 28 November 2011 / Revised: 30 December 2011 / Accepted: 6 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (966 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sulfated polysaccharides (SP) are found mainly in seaweeds and animals. To date, they have only been found in six plants and all inhabit saline environments. Furthermore, there are no reports of SP in freshwater or terrestrial plants. As such, this study investigated [...] Read more.
Sulfated polysaccharides (SP) are found mainly in seaweeds and animals. To date, they have only been found in six plants and all inhabit saline environments. Furthermore, there are no reports of SP in freshwater or terrestrial plants. As such, this study investigated the presence of SP in freshwaters Eichhornia crassipes, Egeria densa, Egeria naja, Cabomba caroliniana, Hydrocotyle bonariensis and Nymphaea ampla. Chemical analysis identified sulfate in N. ampla, H. bonariensis and, more specifically, E. crassipes. In addition, chemical analysis, FT-IR spectroscopy, histological analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA), as well as agarose gel electrophoresis detected SP in all parts of E. crassipes, primarily in the root (epidermis and vascular bundle). Galactose, glucose and arabinose are the main monosaccharides found in the sulfated polysaccharides from E. crassipes. In activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) test, to evaluate the intrinsic coagulation pathway, SP from the root and rhizome prolonged the coagulation time to double the baseline value, with 0.1 mg/mL and 0.15 mg/mL, respectively. However, SP from the leaf and petiole showed no anticoagulant activity. Eichornia SP demonstrated promising anticoagulant potential and have been selected for further studies on bioguided fractionation; isolation and characterization of pure polysaccharides from this species. Additionally in vivo experiments are needed and are already underway. Full article
Open AccessArticle Isoflurane Protects Against Human Endothelial Cell Apoptosis by Inducing Sphingosine Kinase-1 via ERK MAPK
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 977-993; doi:10.3390/ijms13010977
Received: 19 December 2011 / Revised: 11 January 2012 / Accepted: 12 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Endothelial dysfunction is a major clinical problem affecting virtually every patient requiring critical care. Volatile anesthetics are frequently used during the perioperative period and protect the heart and kidney against ischemia and reperfusion injury. We aimed to determine whether isoflurane, the most [...] Read more.
Endothelial dysfunction is a major clinical problem affecting virtually every patient requiring critical care. Volatile anesthetics are frequently used during the perioperative period and protect the heart and kidney against ischemia and reperfusion injury. We aimed to determine whether isoflurane, the most commonly used volatile anesthetic in the USA, protects against endothelial apoptosis and necrosis and the mechanisms involved in this protection. Human endothelial EA.hy926 cells were pretreated with isoflurane or carrier gas (95% room air + 5% CO2) then subjected to apoptosis with tumor necrosis factor-α or to necrosis with hydrogen peroxide. DNA laddering and in situ Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase Biotin-dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) staining determined EA.hy926 cell apoptosis and percent LDH released determined necrosis. We also determined whether isoflurane modulates the expression and activity of sphingosine kinase-1 (SK1) and induces the phosphorylation of extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK MAPK) as both enzymes are known to protect against cell death. Isoflurane pretreatment significantly decreased apoptosis in EA.hy926 cells as evidenced by reduced TUNEL staining and DNA laddering without affecting necrosis. Mechanistically, isoflurane induces the phosphorylation of ERK MAPK and increased SK1 expression and activity in EA.hy926 cells. Finally, selective blockade of SK1 (with SKI-II) or S1P1 receptor (with W146) abolished the anti-apoptotic effects of isoflurane. Taken together, we demonstrate that isoflurane, in addition to its potent analgesic and anesthetic properties, protects against endothelial apoptosis most likely via SK1 and ERK MAPK activation. Our findings have significant clinical implication for protection of endothelial cells during the perioperative period and patients requiring critical care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Boesenbergia pandurata Attenuates Diet-Induced Obesity by Activating AMP-Activated Protein Kinase and Regulating Lipid Metabolism
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 994-1005; doi:10.3390/ijms13010994
Received: 20 December 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity, a chronic metabolic disorder, is characterized by enlarged fat mass and dysregulation of lipid metabolism. The medicinal plant, Boesenbergia pandurata (Roxb.) Schltr., has been reported to possess anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties; however, its anti-obesity activity is unexplored. The present study was [...] Read more.
Obesity, a chronic metabolic disorder, is characterized by enlarged fat mass and dysregulation of lipid metabolism. The medicinal plant, Boesenbergia pandurata (Roxb.) Schltr., has been reported to possess anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties; however, its anti-obesity activity is unexplored. The present study was conducted to determine whether B. pandurata extract (BPE), prepared from its rhizome parts, attenuated high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity in C57BL/6J mice. The molecular mechanism was investigated in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and HepG2 human hepatoma cells. BPE treatment decreased triglyceride accumulation in both 3T3-L1 adipocytes and HepG2 hepatocytes by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling and regulating the expression of lipid metabolism-related proteins. In the animal model, oral administration of BPE (200 mg/kg/day for 8 weeks) significantly reduced HFD-induced body weight gain without altering the amount of food intake. In addition, elevated serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides were suppressed by BPE administration. Fat pad masses were reduced in BPE-treated mice, as evidenced by reduced adipocyte size. Furthermore, BPE protected against the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver by decreasing hepatic triglyceride accumulation. BPE also activated AMPK signaling and altered the expression of lipid metabolism-related proteins in white adipose tissue and liver. Taken together, these findings indicate that BPE attenuates HFD-induced obesity by activating AMPK and regulating lipid metabolism, suggesting a potent anti-obesity agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Photostability of Isovaline and its Precursor 5-Ethyl-5-methylhydantoin Exposed to Simulated Space Radiations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1006-1017; doi:10.3390/ijms13011006
Received: 9 November 2011 / Revised: 4 January 2012 / Accepted: 9 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aqueous solutions of isovaline and its precursor molecule, 5-ethyl-5-methylhydantoin, were irradiated with ultraviolet and γ-ray photons, to evaluate their structural stability against space radiation. The degree of photolysis was measured and irradiation products were identified using chiral, reversed-phase and ion-exchange high-performance liquid [...] Read more.
Aqueous solutions of isovaline and its precursor molecule, 5-ethyl-5-methylhydantoin, were irradiated with ultraviolet and γ-ray photons, to evaluate their structural stability against space radiation. The degree of photolysis was measured and irradiation products were identified using chiral, reversed-phase and ion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography. The experimental results show that the degree of photolysis of 5-ethyl-5-methylhydantoin is more significant than that of isovaline under ultraviolet light irradiation, while the results under γ-ray irradiation are the opposite. As the products of isovaline photolysis, aspartic acid, serine, glutamic acid and alanine were dominantly detected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Plasmonic Molecular Nanohybrids—Spectral Dependence of Fluorescence Quenching
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1018-1028; doi:10.3390/ijms13011018
Received: 21 December 2011 / Revised: 11 January 2012 / Accepted: 13 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (343 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We demonstrate strong spectral dependence of the efficiency of fluorescence quenching in molecular systems composed of organic dyes and gold nanoparticles. In order to probe the coupling with metallic nanoparticles we use dyes with varied spectral overlap between the plasmon resonance and [...] Read more.
We demonstrate strong spectral dependence of the efficiency of fluorescence quenching in molecular systems composed of organic dyes and gold nanoparticles. In order to probe the coupling with metallic nanoparticles we use dyes with varied spectral overlap between the plasmon resonance and their absorption. Hybrid molecular structures were obtained via conjugation of metallic nanoparticles with the dyes using biotin-streptavidin linkage. For dyes featuring absorption above the plasmon excitation in gold nanoparticles, laser excitation induces minute changes in the fluorescence intensity and its lifetime for both conjugated and non-conjugated mixtures, which are the reference. In contrast, when the absorption of the dye overlaps with the plasmon resonance, the effect is quite dramatic, reaching 85% and 95% fluorescence quenching for non-conjugated and conjugated mixtures, respectively. The degree of fluorescence quenching strongly depends upon the concentration of metallic nanoparticles. Importantly, the origin of the fluorescence quenching is different in the case of the conjugated mixture, as evidenced by time-resolved fluorescence. For conjugated mixtures of dyes resonant with plasmon, excitation features two-exponential decay. This is in contrast to the single exponential decay measured for the off-resonant configuration. The results provide valuable insight into spectral dependence of the fluorescence quenching in molecular assemblies involving organic dyes and metallic nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Molecules to Nanomaterials)
Open AccessArticle Structural Elucidation and Bioactivity of Biflavonoids from the Stems of Wikstroemia taiwanensis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1029-1038; doi:10.3390/ijms13011029
Received: 6 December 2011 / Revised: 1 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three new biflavonoids, wikstaiwanones A–C (13), along with four known compounds (47) were isolated from the stems of Wikstroemia taiwanensis (Thymelaeaceae). Their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic analysis. Compounds 4 and 5 showed antitubercular [...] Read more.
Three new biflavonoids, wikstaiwanones A–C (13), along with four known compounds (47) were isolated from the stems of Wikstroemia taiwanensis (Thymelaeaceae). Their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic analysis. Compounds 4 and 5 showed antitubercular activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis with MIC values of 15 μg/mL, respectively. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cloning and Expression Analysis of a PISTILLATA Homologous Gene from Pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merr)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1039-1053; doi:10.3390/ijms13011039
Received: 6 December 2011 / Revised: 27 December 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1505 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
PISTILLATA (PI)-like genes are crucial regulators of flowering in angiosperms. A homologue of PI, designated as AcPI (Genbank accession number HQ717796), was isolated from pineapple cultivar Comte de Paris by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and [...] Read more.
PISTILLATA (PI)-like genes are crucial regulators of flowering in angiosperms. A homologue of PI, designated as AcPI (Genbank accession number HQ717796), was isolated from pineapple cultivar Comte de Paris by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The cDNA sequence of AcPI is 907 bp in length and contains an open reading frame of 594 bp, which encodes a protein of 197 amino acids. The molecular weight was 2.29 kDa and the isoelectric point was 9.28. The alignment showed that AcPI had a high identity with CsPIC2 (78.6%), AoPI (77.4%), OrcPI (75.7%) and HPI2 (72.4%). Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses in different tissues showed that the expression pattern of AcPI was different from the B-class genes in eudicots. AcPI was expressed in all the tissues investigated. The expression level was very low in fruit stems, bracts, leaves and sepals, high in petals and carpels, and moderate in apical meristems, flesh and stamens. The qRT-PCR analyses in different stages indicated that the expression of AcPI reached the highest level at 40 days after flower inducement, when the multiple fruit and floral organs were forming. It proved the important role of AcPI in floral organs and fruit development. The 35S::AcPI transgenic Arabidopsis plants flowered earlier and had more inflorescences or branches than wild type plants. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Studies on Bioflocculant Production by Arthrobacter sp. Raats, a Freshwater Bacteria Isolated from Tyume River, South Africa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1054-1065; doi:10.3390/ijms13011054
Received: 24 November 2011 / Revised: 6 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A bioflocculant-producing bacteria was isolated from Tyume River in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa and identified by 16S rRNA gene nucleotide sequence to have 91% similarity to Arthrobacter sp. 5J12A, and the nucleotide sequence was deposited in GenBank as Arthrobacter sp. [...] Read more.
A bioflocculant-producing bacteria was isolated from Tyume River in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa and identified by 16S rRNA gene nucleotide sequence to have 91% similarity to Arthrobacter sp. 5J12A, and the nucleotide sequence was deposited in GenBank as Arthrobacter sp. Raats (accession number HQ875723). The bacteria produced an extracellular bioflocculant when grown aerobically in a production medium containing glucose as sole carbon source and had an initial pH of 7.0. Influences of carbon, nitrogen and metal ions sources, as well as initial pH on flocculating activity were investigated. The bacteria optimally produced the bioflocullant when lactose and urea were used as sole sources of carbon and nitrogen respectively with flocculating activities of 75.4% and 83.4% respectively. Also, the bacteria produced the bioflocculant optimally when initial pH of the medium was 7.0 (flocculating activity 84%), and when Mg2+ was used as cation (flocculating activity 77%). Composition analyses indicated the bioflocculant to be principally a glycoprotein made up of about 56% protein and 25% total carbohydrate. Full article
Open AccessArticle On the Several Molecules and Nanostructures of Water
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1066-1094; doi:10.3390/ijms13011066
Received: 30 September 2011 / Revised: 4 January 2012 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
PDF Full-text (353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the water molecule from a variety of viewpoints. Water can involve different isotopes of Hydrogen and Oxygen, it can form differently shaped isomer molecules, and, when frozen, it occupies space differently than most other substances do. The tool for [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the water molecule from a variety of viewpoints. Water can involve different isotopes of Hydrogen and Oxygen, it can form differently shaped isomer molecules, and, when frozen, it occupies space differently than most other substances do. The tool for conducting the investigation of all this is called ‘Algebraic Chemistry’. This tool is a quantitative model for predicting the energy budget for all sorts of changes between different ionization states of atoms that are involved in chemical reactions and in changes of physical state. The model is based on consistent patterns seen in empirical data about ionization potentials, together with rational scaling laws that can interpolate and extrapolate for situations where no data are available. The results of the investigation of the water molecule include comments, both positive and negative, about technologies involving heavy water, poly water, Brown’s gas, and cold fusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atoms in Molecules and in Nanostructures)
Open AccessArticle Local Mechanical Stimulation of Mardin-Darby Canine Kidney Cell Sheets on Temperature-Responsive Hydrogel
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1095-1108; doi:10.3390/ijms13011095
Received: 13 September 2011 / Revised: 25 December 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Collective motion of cell sheets plays a role not only in development and repair, but also in devastating diseases such as cancer. However, unlike single-cell motility, collective motion of cell sheets involves complex cell-cell communication during migration; therefore, its mechanism is largely [...] Read more.
Collective motion of cell sheets plays a role not only in development and repair, but also in devastating diseases such as cancer. However, unlike single-cell motility, collective motion of cell sheets involves complex cell-cell communication during migration; therefore, its mechanism is largely unknown. To elucidate propagation of signaling transduced by cell-cell interaction, we designed a hydrogel substrate that can cause local mechanical stretching of cell sheets. Poly (N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) hydrogel is a temperature-responsive polymer gel whose volume changes isotropically in response to temperature changes below 37 °C. We designed a combined hydrogel substrate consisting of collagen-immobilized PNIPAAm as the local stimulation side and polyacrylamide (PAAm) as the non-stimulation side to assess propagation of mechanical transduction. Mardin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells adhered to the collagen-immobilized PNIPAAm gel increased it area and were flattened as the gel swelled with temperature decrease. E-cadherin in these cells became undetectable in some domains, and actin stress fibers were more clearly observed at the cell base. In contrast, E-cadherin in cells adhered to the collagen-immobilized PAAm side was equally stained as that in cells adhered to the collagen-immobilized PAAm side even after temperature decrease. ERK1/2 MAPK activation of cells on the non-stimulated substrate occurred after partial stretching of the cell sheet suggesting the propagation of signaling. These results indicate that a change in the balance of mechanical tension induced by partial stretching of cell sheets leads to activation and propagation of the cell signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Temozolomide/Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)/Nano-Hydroxyapatite Microspheres on Glioma U87 Cells Behavior
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1109-1125; doi:10.3390/ijms13011109
Received: 7 November 2011 / Revised: 20 December 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1891 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the effects of temozolomide (TMZ)/Poly (lactide-co-glycolide)(PLGA)/nano-hydroxyapatite microspheres on the behavior of U87 glioma cells. The microspheres were fabricated by the “Solid/Water/Oil” method, and they were characterized by using X-Ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and differential [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the effects of temozolomide (TMZ)/Poly (lactide-co-glycolide)(PLGA)/nano-hydroxyapatite microspheres on the behavior of U87 glioma cells. The microspheres were fabricated by the “Solid/Water/Oil” method, and they were characterized by using X-Ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. The proliferation, apoptosis and invasion of glioma cells were evaluated by MTT, flow cytometry assay and Transwell assay. The presence of the key invasive gene, αVβ3 integrin, was detected by the RT-PCR and Western blot method. It was found that the temozolomide/PLGA/nano-hydroxyapatite microspheres have a significantly diminished initial burst of drug release, compared to the TMZ laden PLGA microspheres. Our results suggest they can significantly inhibit the proliferation and invasion of glioma cells, and induce their apoptosis. Additionally, αVβ3 integrin was also reduced by the microspheres. These data suggest that by inhibiting the biological behavior of glioma cells in vitro, the newly designed temozolomide/PLGA/nano-hydroxyapatite microspheres, as controlled drug release carriers, have promising potential in treating glioma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Isolation and Characterization of New 24 Microsatellite DNA Markers for Golden Cuttlefish (Sepia esculenta)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1154-1160; doi:10.3390/ijms13011154
Received: 23 December 2011 / Revised: 12 January 2012 / Accepted: 13 January 2012 / Published: 20 January 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (88 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Twenty-four microsatellite DNA markers were isolated and characterized for golden cuttlefish (Sepia esculenta) from a (GT)13—enriched genomic library. Loci were tested in 48 individuals from Jiaozhou bay of China. The numbers of alleles per locus ranged from [...] Read more.
Twenty-four microsatellite DNA markers were isolated and characterized for golden cuttlefish (Sepia esculenta) from a (GT)13—enriched genomic library. Loci were tested in 48 individuals from Jiaozhou bay of China. The numbers of alleles per locus ranged from two to 25 with an average of 10.3. The observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.063 to 0.896 and from 0.137 to 0.953, with averages of 0.519 and 0.633, respectively. Six loci significantly deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium after Bonferroni’s correction and no significant linkage disequilibrium between loci pairs was detected. These microsatellite markers would be useful for analyzing the population genetic structure to make conservation and management decisions for S. esculenta. Full article
Open AccessArticle High-Dimensional Descriptor Selection and Computational QSAR Modeling for Antitumor Activity of ARC-111 Analogues Based on Support Vector Regression (SVR)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1161-1172; doi:10.3390/ijms13011161
Received: 3 November 2011 / Revised: 9 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 January 2012 / Published: 20 January 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To design ARC-111 analogues with improved efficiency, we constructed the QSAR of 22 ARC-111 analogues with RPMI8402 tumor cells. First, the optimized support vector regression (SVR) model based on the literature descriptors and the worst descriptor elimination multi-roundly (WDEM) method had similar [...] Read more.
To design ARC-111 analogues with improved efficiency, we constructed the QSAR of 22 ARC-111 analogues with RPMI8402 tumor cells. First, the optimized support vector regression (SVR) model based on the literature descriptors and the worst descriptor elimination multi-roundly (WDEM) method had similar generalization as the artificial neural network (ANN) model for the test set. Secondly, seven and 11 more effective descriptors out of 2,923 features were selected by the high-dimensional descriptor selection nonlinearly (HDSN) and WDEM method, and the SVR models (SVR3 and SVR4) with these selected descriptors resulted in better evaluation measures and a more precise predictive power for the test set. The interpretability system of better SVR models was further established. Our analysis offers some useful parameters for designing ARC-111 analogues with enhanced antitumor activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle microRNA Response to Listeria monocytogenes Infection in Epithelial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1173-1185; doi:10.3390/ijms13011173
Received: 2 December 2011 / Revised: 5 January 2012 / Accepted: 13 January 2012 / Published: 20 January 2012
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (354 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
microRNAs represent a family of very small non-coding RNAs that control several physiologic and pathologic processes, including host immune response and cancer by antagonizing a number of target mRNAs. There is limited knowledge about cell expression and the regulatory role of microRNAs [...] Read more.
microRNAs represent a family of very small non-coding RNAs that control several physiologic and pathologic processes, including host immune response and cancer by antagonizing a number of target mRNAs. There is limited knowledge about cell expression and the regulatory role of microRNAs following bacterial infections. We investigated whether infection with a Gram-positive bacterium leads to altered expression of microRNAs involved in the host cell response in epithelial cells. Caco-2 cells were infected with Listeria monocytogenes EGD-e, a mutant strain (∆inlAB or ∆hly) or incubated with purified listeriolysin (LLO). Total RNA was isolated and microRNA and target gene expression was compared to the expression in non-infected cells using microRNA microarrays and qRT-PCR. We identified and validated five microRNAs (miR-146b, miR-16, let-7a1, miR-145 and miR-155) that were significantly deregulated following listerial infection. We show that expression patterns of particular microRNAs strongly depend on pathogen localization and the presence of bacterial effector proteins. Strikingly, miR-155 which was shown to have an important role in inflammatory responses during infection was induced by wild-type bacteria, by LLO-deficient bacteria and following incubation with purified LLO. It was downregulated following ∆inlAB infection indicating a new potent role for internalins in listerial pathogenicity and miRNA regulation. Concurrently, we observed differences in target transcript expression of the investigated miRNAs. We provide first evidence that L. monocytogenes infection leads to deregulation of a set of microRNAs with important roles in host response. Distinct microRNA expression depends on both LLO and pathogen localization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs)
Open AccessArticle Inhibition of AKT2 Enhances Sensitivity to Gemcitabine via Regulating PUMA and NF-κB Signaling Pathway in Human Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1186-1208; doi:10.3390/ijms13011186
Received: 1 October 2011 / Revised: 8 December 2011 / Accepted: 21 December 2011 / Published: 20 January 2012
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Invasion, metastasis and resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents are obstacles to successful treatment of pancreatic cancer, and a better understanding of the molecular basis of this malignancy may lead to improved therapeutics. In the present study, we investigated whether AKT2 silencing [...] Read more.
Invasion, metastasis and resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents are obstacles to successful treatment of pancreatic cancer, and a better understanding of the molecular basis of this malignancy may lead to improved therapeutics. In the present study, we investigated whether AKT2 silencing sensitized pancreatic cancer L3.6pl, BxPC-3, PANC-1 and MIAPaCa-2 cells to gemcitabine via regulating PUMA (p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling pathway. MTT, TUNEL, EMSA and NF-κB reporter assays were used to detect tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis and NF-κB activity. Western blotting was used to detect different protein levels. Xenograft of established tumors was used to evaluate primary tumor growth and apoptosis after treatment with gemcitabine alone or in combination with AKT2 siRNA. Gemcitabine activated AKT2 and NF-κB in MIAPaCa-2 and L3.6pl cells in vitro or in vivo, and in PANC-1 cells only in vivo. Gemcitabine only activated NF-κB in BxPC-3 cells in vitro. The presence of PUMA was necessary for gemcitabine-induced apoptosis only in BxPC-3 cells in vitro. AKT2 inhibition sensitized gemcitabine-induced apoptosis via PUMA upregulation in MIAPaCa-2 cells in vitro, and via NF-κB activity inhibition in L3.6pl cells in vitro. In PANC-1 and MIAPaCa-2 cells in vivo, AKT2 inhibition sensitized gemcitabine-induced apoptosis and growth inhibition via both PUMA upregulation and NF-κB inhibition. We suggest that AKT2 inhibition abrogates gemcitabine-induced activation of AKT2 and NF-κB, and promotes gemcitabine-induced PUMA upregulation, resulting in chemosensitization of pancreatic tumors to gemcitabine, which is probably an important strategy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
Open AccessArticle Targeting Protective Autophagy Exacerbates UV-Triggered Apoptotic Cell Death
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1209-1224; doi:10.3390/ijms13011209
Received: 12 December 2011 / Revised: 10 January 2012 / Accepted: 12 January 2012 / Published: 20 January 2012
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Autophagy is activated by various stresses, including DNA damage, and previous studies of DNA damage-induced autophagy have focused on the response to chemotherapeutic drugs, ionizing radiation, and reactive oxygen species. In this study, we investigated the biological significance of autophagic response to [...] Read more.
Autophagy is activated by various stresses, including DNA damage, and previous studies of DNA damage-induced autophagy have focused on the response to chemotherapeutic drugs, ionizing radiation, and reactive oxygen species. In this study, we investigated the biological significance of autophagic response to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation in A549 and H1299 cells. Our results indicated that UV induces on-rate autophagic flux in these cells. Autophagy inhibition resulting from the knockdown of beclin-1 and Atg5 reduced cell viability and enhanced apoptosis. Moreover, we found that ATR phosphorylation was accompanied by microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3B II (LC3B-II) expression during the early phases following UV irradiation, which is a well-established inducer of ATR. Knocking down ATR further attenuated the reduction in LC3B-II at early stages in response to UV treatment. Despite the potential role of ATR in autophagic response, reduced ATR expression does not affect autophagy induction during late phases (24 and 48 h after UV treatment). The result is consistent with the reduced ATR phosphorylation at the same time points and suggests that autophagic response at this stage is activated via a distinct pathway. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that autophagy acts as a cytoprotective mechanism against UV-induced apoptosis and that autophagy induction accompanied with apoptosis at late stages is independent of ATR activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Secretory Factors of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells on Human Keratinocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1239-1257; doi:10.3390/ijms13011239
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 12 January 2012 / Accepted: 13 January 2012 / Published: 23 January 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (507 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The beneficial effects of adipose-derived stem cell conditioned medium (ADSC-CM) on skin regeneration have been reported. Although the mechanism of how ADSC-CM promotes skin regeneration is unclear, ADSC-CM contained various growth factors and it is an excellent raw material for skin treatment. ADSC-CM produced in a hypoxia condition of ADSC—in other words, Advanced Adipose-Derived Stem cell Protein Extract (AAPE)—has great merits for skin regeneration. In this study, human primary keratinocytes (HKs), which play fundamental roles in skin tissue, was used to examine how AAPE affects HK. HK proliferation was significantly higher in the experimental group (1.22 μg/mL) than in the control group. DNA gene chip demonstrated that AAPE in keratinocytes (p < 0.05) notably affected expression of 290 identified transcripts, which were associated with cell proliferation, cycle and migration. More keratinocyte wound healing and migration was shown in the experimental group (1.22 μg/mL). AAPE treatment significantly stimulated stress fiber formation, which was linked to the RhoA-ROCK pathway. We identified 48 protein spots in 2-D gel analysis and selected proteins were divided into 64% collagen components and 30% non-collagen components as shown by the MALDI-TOF analysis. Antibody array results contained growth factor/cytokine such as HGF, FGF-1, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IL-6, VEGF, and TGF-β3 differing from that shown by 2-D analysis. Conclusion: AAPE activates HK proliferation and migration. These results highlight the potential of the topical application of AAPE in the treatment of skin regeneration. Full article
Open AccessArticle Prunella vulgaris Suppresses HG-Induced Vascular Inflammation via Nrf2/HO-1/eNOS Activation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1258-1268; doi:10.3390/ijms13011258
Received: 9 October 2011 / Revised: 11 January 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 23 January 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (490 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Vascular inflammation is an important factor which can promote diabetic complications. In this study, the inhibitory effects of aqueous extract from Prunella vulgaris (APV) on high glucose (HG)-induced expression of cell adhesion molecules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) are reported. [...] Read more.
Vascular inflammation is an important factor which can promote diabetic complications. In this study, the inhibitory effects of aqueous extract from Prunella vulgaris (APV) on high glucose (HG)-induced expression of cell adhesion molecules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) are reported. APV decreased HG-induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin. APV also dose-dependently inhibited HG-induced adhesion of HL-60 monocytic cells. APV suppressed p65 NF-κB activation in HG-treated cells. APV significantly inhibited the formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). HG-stimulated HUVEC secreted gelatinases, however, APV inhibited it. APV induced Akt phosphorylation as well as activation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), eNOS, and nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which may protect vascular inflammation caused by HG. In conclusion, APV exerts anti-inflammatory effect via inhibition of ROS/NF-κB pathway by inducing HO-1 and eNOS expression mediated by Nrf2, thereby suggesting that Prunella vulgaris may be a possible therapeutic approach to the inhibition of diabetic vascular diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Oral Drug Delivery Systems Comprising Altered Geometric Configurations for Controlled Drug Delivery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 18-43; doi:10.3390/ijms13010018
Received: 16 November 2011 / Revised: 6 December 2011 / Accepted: 6 December 2011 / Published: 22 December 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent pharmaceutical research has focused on controlled drug delivery having an advantage over conventional methods. Adequate controlled plasma drug levels, reduced side effects as well as improved patient compliance are some of the benefits that these systems may offer. Controlled delivery systems [...] Read more.
Recent pharmaceutical research has focused on controlled drug delivery having an advantage over conventional methods. Adequate controlled plasma drug levels, reduced side effects as well as improved patient compliance are some of the benefits that these systems may offer. Controlled delivery systems that can provide zero-order drug delivery have the potential for maximizing efficacy while minimizing dose frequency and toxicity. Thus, zero-order drug release is ideal in a large area of drug delivery which has therefore led to the development of various technologies with such drug release patterns. Systems such as multilayered tablets and other geometrically altered devices have been created to perform this function. One of the principles of multilayered tablets involves creating a constant surface area for release. Polymeric materials play an important role in the functioning of these systems. Technologies developed to date include among others: Geomatrix® multilayered tablets, which utilizes specific polymers that may act as barriers to control drug release; Procise®, which has a core with an aperture that can be modified to achieve various types of drug release; core-in-cup tablets, where the core matrix is coated on one surface while the circumference forms a cup around it; donut-shaped devices, which possess a centrally-placed aperture hole and Dome Matrix® as well as “release modules assemblage”, which can offer alternating drug release patterns. This review discusses the novel altered geometric system technologies that have been developed to provide controlled drug release, also focusing on polymers that have been employed in such developments. Full article
Open AccessReview Bioinformatics Tools and Novel Challenges in Long Non-Coding RNAs (lncRNAs) Functional Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 97-114; doi:10.3390/ijms13010097
Received: 21 November 2011 / Revised: 2 December 2011 / Accepted: 5 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (502 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The advent of next generation sequencing revealed that a fraction of transcribed RNAs (short and long RNAs) is non-coding. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have a crucial role in regulating gene expression and in epigenetics (chromatin and histones remodeling). LncRNAs may have different [...] Read more.
The advent of next generation sequencing revealed that a fraction of transcribed RNAs (short and long RNAs) is non-coding. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have a crucial role in regulating gene expression and in epigenetics (chromatin and histones remodeling). LncRNAs may have different roles: gene activators (signaling), repressors (decoy), cis and trans gene expression regulators (guides) and chromatin modificators (scaffolds) without the need to be mutually exclusive. LncRNAs are also implicated in a number of diseases. The huge amount of inhomogeneous data produced so far poses several bioinformatics challenges spanning from the simple annotation to the more complex functional annotation. In this review, we report and discuss several bioinformatics resources freely available and dealing with the study of lncRNAs. To our knowledge, this is the first review summarizing all the available bioinformatics resources on lncRNAs appeared in the literature after the completion of the human genome project. Therefore, the aim of this review is to provide a little guide for biologists and bioinformaticians looking for dedicated resources, public repositories and other tools for lncRNAs functional analysis. Full article
Open AccessReview Protein Kinases and Transcription Factors Activation in Response to UV-Radiation of Skin: Implications for Carcinogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 142-172; doi:10.3390/ijms13010142
Received: 20 November 2011 / Revised: 14 December 2011 / Accepted: 16 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an important environmental factor that leads to immune suppression, inflammation, photoaging, and skin carcinogenesis. Here, we reviewed the specific signal transduction pathways and transcription factors involved in the cellular response to UV-irradiation. Increasing experimental data supporting a [...] Read more.
Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an important environmental factor that leads to immune suppression, inflammation, photoaging, and skin carcinogenesis. Here, we reviewed the specific signal transduction pathways and transcription factors involved in the cellular response to UV-irradiation. Increasing experimental data supporting a role for p38, MAPK, JNK, ERK1/2, and ATM kinases in the response network to UV exposure is discussed. We also reviewed the participation of NF-κB, AP-1, and NRF2 transcription factors in the control of gene expression after UV-irradiation. In addition, we discussed the promising chemotherapeutic intervention of transcription factors signaling by natural compounds. Finally, we focused on the review of data emerging from the use of DNA microarray technology to determine changes in global gene expression in keratinocytes and melanocytes in response to UV treatment. Efforts to obtain a comprehensive portrait of the transcriptional events regulating photodamage of intact human epidermis after UV exposure reveals the existence of novel factors participating in UV-induced cell death. Progress in understanding the multitude of mechanisms induced by UV-irradiation could lead to the potential use of protein kinases and novel proteins as specific targets for the prevention and control of skin cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UV-Induced Cell Death)
Open AccessReview Significance of Dietary Antioxidants for Health
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 173-179; doi:10.3390/ijms13010173
Received: 17 November 2011 / Revised: 2 December 2011 / Accepted: 8 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since evidence became available that free radicals were involved in mechanisms for the development of major diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, there has been considerable research into the properties of natural dietary antioxidants. However, it has become clear that dietary antioxidants [...] Read more.
Since evidence became available that free radicals were involved in mechanisms for the development of major diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, there has been considerable research into the properties of natural dietary antioxidants. However, it has become clear that dietary antioxidants can only have beneficial effects in vivo by radical scavenging or effects on redox potential if they are present in tissues or bodily fluids at sufficient concentrations. For many dietary components, absorption is limited or metabolism into derivatives reduces the antioxidant capacity. For many dietary phytochemicals, direct antioxidant effects may be less important for health than other effects including effects on cell signalling or gene expression in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessReview Molecular Basis of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma: The Role of RET Polymorphisms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 221-239; doi:10.3390/ijms13010221
Received: 10 October 2011 / Revised: 29 November 2011 / Accepted: 20 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Medullary thyroid carcinoma is a rare malignant tumor originating in parafollicular C cells. It accounts for 5 to 8% of all thyroid cancers. MTC develops in either sporadic (75%) or hereditary form (25%). Genetic and molecular studies have demonstrated the involvement of [...] Read more.
Medullary thyroid carcinoma is a rare malignant tumor originating in parafollicular C cells. It accounts for 5 to 8% of all thyroid cancers. MTC develops in either sporadic (75%) or hereditary form (25%). Genetic and molecular studies have demonstrated the involvement of the RET proto-oncogene in hereditary MTC and, less often, in its sporadic form. Although a strong genotype-phenotype correlation has been described, wide clinical heterogeneity is observed among families with the same RET mutation or even in carriers of the same kindred. In recent years, several single nucleotide polymorphisms of the RET gene have been described in the general population as well as in patients with MTC. Some studies have reported associations between the presence of polymorphisms and development or progression of MTC. Nonetheless, other studies failed to demonstrate any effect of the RET variants. Differences in the genetic background of distinct populations or methodological approaches have been suggested as potential reasons for the conflicting results. Here, we review current knowledge concerning the molecular pathogenesis of sporadic and hereditary MTC. In particular, we analyze the role of RET polymorphisms in the clinical presentation and prognosis of MTC based on the current literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessReview Human Gene Control by Vital Oncogenes: Revisiting a Theoretical Model and Its Implications for Targeted Cancer Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 316-335; doi:10.3390/ijms13010316
Received: 28 October 2011 / Revised: 18 December 2011 / Accepted: 20 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
An important assumption of our current understanding of the mechanisms of carcinogenesis has been the belief that clarification of the cancer process would inevitably reveal some of the crucial mechanisms of normal human gene regulation. Since the momentous work of Bishop and [...] Read more.
An important assumption of our current understanding of the mechanisms of carcinogenesis has been the belief that clarification of the cancer process would inevitably reveal some of the crucial mechanisms of normal human gene regulation. Since the momentous work of Bishop and Varmus, both the molecular and the biochemical processes underlying the events in the development of cancer have become increasingly clear. The identification of cellular signaling pathways and the role of protein kinases in the events leading to gene activation have been critical to our understanding not only of normal cellular gene control mechanisms, but also have clarified some of the important molecular and biochemical events occurring within a cancer cell. We now know that oncogenes are dysfunctional proto-oncogenes and that dysfunctional tumor suppressor genes contribute to the cancer process. Furthermore, Weinstein and others have hypothesized the phenomenon of oncogene addiction as a distinct characteristic of the malignant cell. It can be assumed that cancer cells, indeed, become dependent on such vital oncogenes. The products of these vital oncogenes, such as c-myc, may well be the Achilles heel by which targeted molecular therapy may lead to truly personalized cancer therapy. The remaining problem is the need to introduce relevant molecular diagnostic tests such as genome microarray analysis and proteomic methods, especially protein kinase identification arrays, for each individual patient. Genome wide association studies on cancers with gene analysis of single nucleotide and other mutations in functional proto-oncogenes will, hopefully, identify dysfunctional proto-oncogenes and allow the development of more specific targeted drugs directed against the protein products of these vital oncogenes. In 1984 Willis proposed a molecular and biochemical model for eukaryotic gene regulation suggesting how proto-oncogenes might function within the normal cell. That model predicted the existence of vital oncogenes and can now be used to hypothesize the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that drive the processes leading to disruption of the gene regulatory machinery, resulting in the transformation of normal cells into cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessReview Adaptation of High-Throughput Screening in Drug Discovery—Toxicological Screening Tests
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 427-452; doi:10.3390/ijms13010427
Received: 16 September 2011 / Revised: 11 December 2011 / Accepted: 19 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High-throughput screening (HTS) is one of the newest techniques used in drug design and may be applied in biological and chemical sciences. This method, due to utilization of robots, detectors and software that regulate the whole process, enables a series of analyses [...] Read more.
High-throughput screening (HTS) is one of the newest techniques used in drug design and may be applied in biological and chemical sciences. This method, due to utilization of robots, detectors and software that regulate the whole process, enables a series of analyses of chemical compounds to be conducted in a short time and the affinity of biological structures which is often related to toxicity to be defined. Since 2008 we have implemented the automation of this technique and as a consequence, the possibility to examine 100,000 compounds per day. The HTS method is more frequently utilized in conjunction with analytical techniques such as NMR or coupled methods e.g., LC-MS/MS. Series of studies enable the establishment of the rate of affinity for targets or the level of toxicity. Moreover, researches are conducted concerning conjugation of nanoparticles with drugs and the determination of the toxicity of such structures. For these purposes there are frequently used cell lines. Due to the miniaturization of all systems, it is possible to examine the compound’s toxicity having only 1–3 mg of this compound. Determination of cytotoxicity in this way leads to a significant decrease in the expenditure and to a reduction in the length of the study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Computational Toxicology)
Open AccessReview Non Coding RNAs and Viruses in the Framework of the Phylogeny of the Genes, Epigenesis and Heredity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 477-490; doi:10.3390/ijms13010477
Received: 23 November 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 23 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The origin of genes is one of the most enigmatic events in the origin of life. It has been suggested that noncoding (nc) RNA was probably a precursor in the formation of the first polypeptide, and also at the origin of the [...] Read more.
The origin of genes is one of the most enigmatic events in the origin of life. It has been suggested that noncoding (nc) RNA was probably a precursor in the formation of the first polypeptide, and also at the origin of the first manifestation of life and genes. ncRNAs are also becoming central for understanding gene expression and silencing. Indeed, before the discovery of ncRNAs, proteins were viewed as the major molecules in the regulation of gene expression and gene silencing; however, recent findings suggest that ncRNA also plays an important role in gene expression. Reverse transcription of RNA viruses and their integration into the genome of eukaryotes and also their relationship with the ncRNA suggest that their origin is basal in genome evolution, and also probably constitute the first mechanism of gene regulation. I am to review the different roles of ncRNAs in the framework of gene evolution, as well as the importance of ncRNAs and viruses in the epigenesis and in the non-Mendelian model of heredity and evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs)
Figures

Open AccessReview Occurrence and Biodegradation of Nonylphenol in the Environment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 491-505; doi:10.3390/ijms13010491
Received: 25 November 2011 / Revised: 8 December 2011 / Accepted: 20 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (161 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nonylphenol (NP) is an ultimate degradation product of nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPE) that is primarily used in cleaning and industrial processes. Its widespread use has led to the wide existence of NP in various environmental matrices, such as water, sediment, air and soil. NP [...] Read more.
Nonylphenol (NP) is an ultimate degradation product of nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPE) that is primarily used in cleaning and industrial processes. Its widespread use has led to the wide existence of NP in various environmental matrices, such as water, sediment, air and soil. NP can be decreased by biodegradation through the action of microorganisms under aerobic or anaerobic conditions. Half-lives of biodegradation ranged from a few days to almost one hundred days. The degradation rate for NP was influenced by temperature, pH and additions of yeast extracts, surfactants, aluminum sulfate, acetate, pyruvate, lactate, manganese dioxide, ferric chloride, sodium chloride, hydrogen peroxide, heavy metals, and phthalic acid esters. Although NP is present at low concentrations in the environment, as an endocrine disruptor the risks of long-term exposure to low concentrations remain largely unknown. This paper reviews the occurrence of NP in the environment and its aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation in natural environments and sewage treatment plants, which is essential for assessing the potential risk associated with low level exposure to NP and other endocrine disruptors. Full article
Open AccessReview Non-Coding RNAs in Retinal Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 558-578; doi:10.3390/ijms13010558
Received: 3 December 2011 / Revised: 20 December 2011 / Accepted: 21 December 2011 / Published: 5 January 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Retinal development is dependent on an accurately functioning network of transcriptional and translational regulators. Among the diverse classes of molecules involved, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play a significant role. Members of this family are present in the cell as transcripts, but are not [...] Read more.
Retinal development is dependent on an accurately functioning network of transcriptional and translational regulators. Among the diverse classes of molecules involved, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play a significant role. Members of this family are present in the cell as transcripts, but are not translated into proteins. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small ncRNAs that act as post-transcriptional regulators. During the last decade, they have been implicated in a variety of biological processes, including the development of the nervous system. On the other hand, long-ncRNAs (lncRNAs) represent a different class of ncRNAs that act mainly through processes involving chromatin remodeling and epigenetic mechanisms. The visual system is a prominent model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying neurogenesis or circuit formation and function, including the differentiation of retinal progenitor cells to generate the seven principal cell classes in the retina, pathfinding decisions of retinal ganglion cell axons in order to establish the correct connectivity from the eye to the brain proper, and activity-dependent mechanisms for the functionality of visual circuits. Recent findings have associated ncRNAs in several of these processes and uncovered a new level of complexity for the existing regulatory mechanisms. This review summarizes and highlights the impact of ncRNAs during the development of the vertebrate visual system, with a specific focus on the role of miRNAs and a synopsis regarding recent findings on lncRNAs in the retina. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs)
Figures

Open AccessReview Nutraceutical Approach for Preventing Obesity-Related Colorectal and Liver Carcinogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 579-595; doi:10.3390/ijms13010579
Received: 28 November 2011 / Revised: 20 December 2011 / Accepted: 27 December 2011 / Published: 5 January 2012
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity and its related metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, alterations in the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)/IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) axis, and the state of chronic inflammation, increase the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, these findings also indicate that [...] Read more.
Obesity and its related metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, alterations in the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)/IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) axis, and the state of chronic inflammation, increase the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, these findings also indicate that the metabolic disorders caused by obesity might be effective targets to prevent the development of CRC and HCC in obese individuals. Green tea catechins (GTCs) possess anticancer and chemopreventive properties against cancer in various organs, including the colorectum and liver. GTCs have also been known to exert anti-obesity, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory effects, indicating that GTCs might be useful for the prevention of obesity-associated colorectal and liver carcinogenesis. Further, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which improve protein malnutrition and prevent progressive hepatic failure in patients with chronic liver diseases, might be also effective for the suppression of obesity-related carcinogenesis because oral supplementation with BCAA reduces the risk of HCC in obese cirrhotic patients. BCAA shows these beneficial effects because they can improve insulin resistance. Here, we review the detailed relationship between metabolic abnormalities and the development of CRC and HCC. We also review evidence, especially that based on our basic and clinical research using GTCs and BCAA, which indicates that targeting metabolic abnormalities by either pharmaceutical or nutritional intervention may be an effective strategy to prevent the development of CRC and HCC in obese individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutraceutical Research)
Open AccessReview Probing Kinetic Mechanisms of Protein Function and Folding with Time-Resolved Natural and Magnetic Chiroptical Spectroscopies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 683-697; doi:10.3390/ijms13010683
Received: 23 December 2011 / Revised: 5 January 2012 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 10 January 2012
PDF Full-text (223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent and ongoing developments in time-resolved spectroscopy have made it possible to monitor circular dichroism, magnetic circular dichroism, optical rotatory dispersion, and magnetic optical rotatory dispersion with nanosecond time resolution. These techniques have been applied to determine structural changes associated with the [...] Read more.
Recent and ongoing developments in time-resolved spectroscopy have made it possible to monitor circular dichroism, magnetic circular dichroism, optical rotatory dispersion, and magnetic optical rotatory dispersion with nanosecond time resolution. These techniques have been applied to determine structural changes associated with the function of several proteins as well as to determine the nature of early events in protein folding. These studies have required new approaches in triggering protein reactions as well as the development of time-resolved techniques for polarization spectroscopies with sufficient time resolution and sensitivity to probe protein structural changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Circular Dichroism)
Open AccessReview Nanostructured Biomaterials for Tissue Engineered Bone Tissue Reconstruction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 737-757; doi:10.3390/ijms13010737
Received: 2 December 2011 / Revised: 30 December 2011 / Accepted: 31 December 2011 / Published: 11 January 2012
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (427 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Bone tissue engineering strategies are emerging as attractive alternatives to autografts and allografts in bone tissue reconstruction, in particular thanks to their association with nanotechnologies. Nanostructured biomaterials, indeed, mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the natural bone, creating an artificial microenvironment that [...] Read more.
Bone tissue engineering strategies are emerging as attractive alternatives to autografts and allografts in bone tissue reconstruction, in particular thanks to their association with nanotechnologies. Nanostructured biomaterials, indeed, mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the natural bone, creating an artificial microenvironment that promotes cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. At the same time, the possibility to easily isolate mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from different adult tissues together with their multi-lineage differentiation potential makes them an interesting tool in the field of bone tissue engineering. This review gives an overview of the most promising nanostructured biomaterials, used alone or in combination with MSCs, which could in future be employed as bone substitutes. Recent works indicate that composite scaffolds made of ceramics/metals or ceramics/polymers are undoubtedly more effective than the single counterparts in terms of osteoconductivity, osteogenicity and osteoinductivity. A better understanding of the interactions between MSCs and nanostructured biomaterials will surely contribute to the progress of bone tissue engineering. Full article
Open AccessReview Clinical Significance of Serum Biomarkers in Pediatric Solid Mediastinal and Abdominal Tumors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1126-1153; doi:10.3390/ijms13011126
Received: 7 December 2011 / Revised: 1 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 20 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between infancy and age 15. Despite successes in treating solid tumors such as Wilms tumor, disappointments in the outcomes of high-risk solid tumors like neuroblastoma have precipitated efforts towards [...] Read more.
Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between infancy and age 15. Despite successes in treating solid tumors such as Wilms tumor, disappointments in the outcomes of high-risk solid tumors like neuroblastoma have precipitated efforts towards the early and accurate detection of these malignancies. This review summarizes available solid tumor serum biomarkers with a special focus on mediastinal and abdominal cancers in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessReview Disruption of Axonal Transport in Motor Neuron Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 1225-1238; doi:10.3390/ijms13011225
Received: 2 November 2011 / Revised: 11 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 23 January 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Motor neurons typically have very long axons, and fine-tuning axonal transport is crucial for their survival. The obstruction of axonal transport is gaining attention as a cause of neuronal dysfunction in a variety of neurodegenerative motor neuron diseases. Depletions in dynein and [...] Read more.
Motor neurons typically have very long axons, and fine-tuning axonal transport is crucial for their survival. The obstruction of axonal transport is gaining attention as a cause of neuronal dysfunction in a variety of neurodegenerative motor neuron diseases. Depletions in dynein and dynactin-1, motor molecules regulating axonal trafficking, disrupt axonal transport in flies, and mutations in their genes cause motor neuron degeneration in humans and rodents. Axonal transport defects are among the early molecular events leading to neurodegeneration in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gene expression profiles indicate that dynactin-1 mRNA is downregulated in degenerating spinal motor neurons of autopsied patients with sporadic ALS. Dynactin-1 mRNA is also reduced in the affected neurons of a mouse model of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a motor neuron disease caused by triplet CAG repeat expansion in the gene encoding the androgen receptor. Pathogenic androgen receptor proteins also inhibit kinesin-1 microtubule-binding activity and disrupt anterograde axonal transport by activating c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Disruption of axonal transport also underlies the pathogenesis of spinal muscular atrophy and hereditary spastic paraplegias. These observations suggest that the impairment of axonal transport is a key event in the pathological processes of motor neuron degeneration and an important target of therapy development for motor neuron diseases. Full article
Figures

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessShort Note A Set of Novel Microsatellite Markers Developed for Luculia yunnanensis (Rubiaceae), an Endangered Plant Endemic to Yunnan, China
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 534-539; doi:10.3390/ijms13010534
Received: 31 October 2011 / Revised: 23 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The genus Luculia Sweet contains about five species of small trees or shrubs and is a member of the family Rubiaceae (tribe Cinchoneae). Luculia yunnanensis is an endangered ornamental shrub endemic to southwest China. Only two natural populations of L. yunnanensis [...] Read more.
The genus Luculia Sweet contains about five species of small trees or shrubs and is a member of the family Rubiaceae (tribe Cinchoneae). Luculia yunnanensis is an endangered ornamental shrub endemic to southwest China. Only two natural populations of L. yunnanensis exist in the wild according to our field investigation. It can be inferred that L. yunnanensis is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild and an urgent conservation strategy is required. By using a modified biotin-sterptavidin capture method, 24 primer sets were identified in two wild populations. Of these primers, 11 displayed polymorphisms and 13 were monomorphic. The number of alleles per locus ranged from two to four, values for observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.000 to 0.833 and from 0.431 to 0.771, with averages of 0.389 and 0.614, respectively. These markers will be useful for further investigation of conservation of resources, selecting parental types in cross-breeding, evolution of this species at the molecular level and related research in Luculia species. Full article
Open AccessShort Note Development of Novel Microsatellite Markers in the Omei Treefrog (Rhacophorus omeimontis)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 552-557; doi:10.3390/ijms13010552
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 5 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eleven novel microsatellite markers were developed and characterized for the Omei treefrog (Rhacophorus omeimontis) using the fast isolation by AFLP of sequences containing repeats method. Polymorphism of each locus was tested in 24 individuals from two wild populations. The number [...] Read more.
Eleven novel microsatellite markers were developed and characterized for the Omei treefrog (Rhacophorus omeimontis) using the fast isolation by AFLP of sequences containing repeats method. Polymorphism of each locus was tested in 24 individuals from two wild populations. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 4 to 15, the average observed and expected heterozygosity per locus ranged from 0.250 to 0.839 and from 0.562 to 0.914, respectively. Two of the 11 microsatellite loci showed significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Two locus pairs showed significant linkage disequilibrium. Neither evidence of scoring error due to stuttering nor evidence of large allele dropout was found at all of the 11 loci, but evidence of null alleles was indicated at two loci because of general excess of homozygotes for most allele size classes. These polymorphic loci will be useful markers in studying mate choice of the Omei treefrog. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
IJMS Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
ijms@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to IJMS
Back to Top