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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 18, Issue 10 (October 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) A comprehensive screening effort was performed targeting the DNA damage-related kinase CK1. The [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Immunogenomic Classification of Colorectal Cancer and Therapeutic Implications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102229
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The immune system has a substantial effect on colorectal cancer (CRC) progression. Additionally, the response to immunotherapeutics and conventional treatment options (e.g., chemotherapy, radiotherapy and targeted therapies) is influenced by the immune system. The molecular characterization of colorectal cancer (CRC) has led to
[...] Read more.
The immune system has a substantial effect on colorectal cancer (CRC) progression. Additionally, the response to immunotherapeutics and conventional treatment options (e.g., chemotherapy, radiotherapy and targeted therapies) is influenced by the immune system. The molecular characterization of colorectal cancer (CRC) has led to the identification of favorable and unfavorable immunological attributes linked to clinical outcome. With the definition of consensus molecular subtypes (CMSs) based on transcriptomic profiles, multiple characteristics have been proposed to be responsible for the development of the tumor immune microenvironment and corresponding mechanisms of immune escape. In this review, a detailed description of proposed immune phenotypes as well as their interaction with different therapeutic modalities will be provided. Finally, possible strategies to shift the CRC immune phenotype towards a reactive, anti-tumor orientation are proposed per CMS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Coumestrol Epigenetically Suppresses Cancer Cell Proliferation: Coumestrol Is a Natural Haspin Kinase Inhibitor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102228
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Targeting epigenetic changes in gene expression in cancer cells may offer new strategies for the development of selective cancer therapies. In the present study, we investigated coumestrol, a natural compound exhibiting broad anti-cancer effects against skin melanoma, lung cancer and colon cancer cell
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Targeting epigenetic changes in gene expression in cancer cells may offer new strategies for the development of selective cancer therapies. In the present study, we investigated coumestrol, a natural compound exhibiting broad anti-cancer effects against skin melanoma, lung cancer and colon cancer cell growth. Haspin kinase was identified as a direct target protein of coumestrol using kinase profiling analysis. Histone H3 is a direct substrate of haspin kinase. We observed haspin kinase overexpression as well as greater phosphorylation of histone H3 at threonine 3 (Thr-3) in the cancer cells compared to normal cells. Computer modeling using the Schrödinger Suite program identified the binding interface within the ATP binding site. These findings suggest that the anti-cancer effect of coumestrol is due to the direct targeting of haspin kinase. Coumestrol has considerable potential for further development as a novel anti-cancer agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The MEK Inhibitors Trametinib and Cobimetinib Induce a Type I Interferon Response in Human Keratinocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102227
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MEK) 1 and 2 have crucial roles in tumorigenesis, cell proliferation, and protection from apoptosis, and their inhibition is therefore an attractive therapeutic strategy in cancer. Orally available and highly selective MEK inhibitors have been developed and assessed in
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Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MEK) 1 and 2 have crucial roles in tumorigenesis, cell proliferation, and protection from apoptosis, and their inhibition is therefore an attractive therapeutic strategy in cancer. Orally available and highly selective MEK inhibitors have been developed and assessed in numerous clinical trials, either alone or in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy and/or other targeted agents. Of note, a complex picture of class-specific adverse effects associates with these drugs, frequently including inflammatory skin rash. Here, we investigated the response of normal human keratinocytes to the MEK inhibitors trametinib and cobimetinib, alone and in combination with the v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF) inhibitors dabrafenib and vemurafenib, in terms of signal transduction and de novo gene expression. MEK inhibitors triggered enhanced expression of interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) and phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), and up-regulated the keratinocyte-specific type I interferon κ (IFN-κ), the anti-viral effectors interferon-induced tetratricopeptide repeats (IFIT) 1 and 2, and the pro-inflammatory chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) and the C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10), both at the mRNA and protein level. Impairment of IRF1 expression, or abrogation of STAT1 phosphorylation due to IFN-κ gene silencing, suppressed anti-viral and pro-inflammatory gene expression. These data suggest that, similar to what we observed for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) blockade, MEK inhibition activates a type I interferon response, which is now recognized as an effective anti-cancer response, in human epidermal keratinocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammatory Skin Conditions 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Diurnal Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Measures and Inflammatory Marker Correlates in Major Depressive Disorder
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102226
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1737 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory systems is a consistent finding in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Cortisol is often assessed by measurement of the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and/or diurnal cortisol levels. Some methods of cortisol measurement overestimate cortisol
[...] Read more.
Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory systems is a consistent finding in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Cortisol is often assessed by measurement of the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and/or diurnal cortisol levels. Some methods of cortisol measurement overestimate cortisol concentration due to detection of other glucocorticoids including the relatively inert cortisone, therefore this study aimed to assess the presence of both cortisol and cortisone, and the cortisol-cortisone catalyzing enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroiddehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), in depressed patients and controls. Because the HPA axis is known to regulate the body’s immune system, relationships between measures of cytokines and cortisol were also assessed. Saliva samples were collected from 57 MDD patients and 40 healthy controls at five post-wakening time points (0, +30, +60, +720 and +750 min). Glucocorticoid concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Whole blood mRNA expression of several inflammatory markers was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This study replicated the common finding of elevated morning cortisol and reduced CAR reactivity in MDD and found no differences in cortisone or 11β-HSD1 mRNA measures. There was a negative association between interleukin 1-β (IL-1β) mRNA and morning cortisol reactivity within the depressed group, indicating that dysregulation of the HPA axis and immune system may be interconnected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Transcriptomic Analysis of Gibberellin- and Paclobutrazol-Treated Rice Seedlings under Submergence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102225
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Submergence stress is a limiting factor for rice growing in rainfed lowland areas of the world. It is known that the phytohormone gibberellin (GA) has negative effects on submergence tolerance in rice, while its inhibitor paclobutrazol (PB) does the opposite. However, the physiological
[...] Read more.
Submergence stress is a limiting factor for rice growing in rainfed lowland areas of the world. It is known that the phytohormone gibberellin (GA) has negative effects on submergence tolerance in rice, while its inhibitor paclobutrazol (PB) does the opposite. However, the physiological and molecular basis underlying the GA- and PB-regulated submergence response remains largely unknown. In this study, we reveal that PB could significantly enhance rice seedling survival by retaining a higher level of chlorophyll content and alcohol dehydrogenase activity, and decelerating the consumption of non-structure carbohydrate when compared with the control and GA-treated samples. Further transcriptomic analysis identified 3936 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) among the GA- and PB-treated samples and control, which are extensively involved in the submergence and other abiotic stress responses, phytohormone biosynthesis and signaling, photosynthesis, and nutrient metabolism. The results suggested that PB enhances rice survival under submergence through maintaining the photosynthesis capacity and reducing nutrient metabolism. Taken together, the current study provided new insight into the mechanism of phytohormone-regulated submergence response in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress and Gene Networks in Plants 2017)
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Open AccessReview Stress and the HPA Axis: Balancing Homeostasis and Fertility
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102224
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (878 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An organism’s reproductive fitness is sensitive to the environment, integrating cues of resource availability, ecological factors, and hazards within its habitat. Events that challenge the environment of an organism activate the central stress response system, which is primarily mediated by the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)
[...] Read more.
An organism’s reproductive fitness is sensitive to the environment, integrating cues of resource availability, ecological factors, and hazards within its habitat. Events that challenge the environment of an organism activate the central stress response system, which is primarily mediated by the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. The regulatory functions of the HPA axis govern the cardiovascular and metabolic system, immune functions, behavior, and reproduction. Activation of the HPA axis by various stressors primarily inhibits reproductive function and is able to alter fetal development, imparting a biological record of stress experienced in utero. Clinical studies and experimental data indicate that stress signaling can mediate these effects through direct actions in the brain, gonads, and embryonic tissues. This review focuses on the mechanisms by which stress activation of the HPA axis impacts fertility and fetal development. Full article
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Open AccessReview Reduced Abundance and Subverted Functions of Proteins in Prion-Like Diseases: Gained Functions Fascinate but Lost Functions Affect Aetiology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2223; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102223
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Prions have served as pathfinders that reveal many aspects of proteostasis in neurons. The recent realization that several prominent neurodegenerative diseases spread via a prion-like mechanism illuminates new possibilities for diagnostics and therapeutics. Thus, key proteins in Alzheimer Disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
[...] Read more.
Prions have served as pathfinders that reveal many aspects of proteostasis in neurons. The recent realization that several prominent neurodegenerative diseases spread via a prion-like mechanism illuminates new possibilities for diagnostics and therapeutics. Thus, key proteins in Alzheimer Disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), including amyloid-β precursor protein, Tau and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), spread to adjacent cells in their misfolded aggregated forms and exhibit template-directed misfolding to induce further misfolding, disruptions to proteostasis and toxicity. Here we invert this comparison to ask what these prion-like diseases can teach us about the broad prion disease class, especially regarding the loss of these key proteins’ function(s) as they misfold and aggregate. We also consider whether functional amyloids might reveal a role for subverted protein function in neurodegenerative disease. Our synthesis identifies SOD1 as an exemplar of protein functions being lost during prion-like protein misfolding, because SOD1 is inherently unstable and loses function in its misfolded disease-associated form. This has under-appreciated parallels amongst the canonical prion diseases, wherein the normally folded prion protein, PrPC, is reduced in abundance in fatal familial insomnia patients and during the preclinical phase in animal models, apparently via proteostatic mechanisms. Thus while template-directed misfolding and infectious properties represent gain-of-function that fascinates proteostasis researchers and defines (is required for) the prion(-like) diseases, loss and subversion of the functions attributed to hallmark proteins in neurodegenerative disease needs to be integrated into design towards effective therapeutics. We propose experiments to uniquely test these ideas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuronal Protein Homeostasis in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview Zinc Signals and Immunity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102222
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Zinc homeostasis is crucial for an adequate function of the immune system. Zinc deficiency as well as zinc excess result in severe disturbances in immune cell numbers and activities, which can result in increased susceptibility to infections and development of especially inflammatory diseases.
[...] Read more.
Zinc homeostasis is crucial for an adequate function of the immune system. Zinc deficiency as well as zinc excess result in severe disturbances in immune cell numbers and activities, which can result in increased susceptibility to infections and development of especially inflammatory diseases. This review focuses on the role of zinc in regulating intracellular signaling pathways in innate as well as adaptive immune cells. Main underlying molecular mechanisms and targets affected by altered zinc homeostasis, including kinases, caspases, phosphatases, and phosphodiesterases, will be highlighted in this article. In addition, the interplay of zinc homeostasis and the redox metabolism in affecting intracellular signaling will be emphasized. Key signaling pathways will be described in detail for the different cell types of the immune system. In this, effects of fast zinc flux, taking place within a few seconds to minutes will be distinguish from slower types of zinc signals, also designated as “zinc waves”, and late homeostatic zinc signals regarding prolonged changes in intracellular zinc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Signaling in Physiology and Pathogenesis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Intermittent Administration of Parathyroid Hormone 1–34 Enhances Osteogenesis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Regulating Protein Kinase Cδ
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102221
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) can differentiate into osteoblasts and are regulated by chemical cues. The recombinant N-terminal (1–34 amino acids) fragment of the parathyroid hormone (PTH (1–34)) is identified to promote osteogenesis. The osteoanabolic effects of intermittent PTH (1–34) treatment are linked
[...] Read more.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) can differentiate into osteoblasts and are regulated by chemical cues. The recombinant N-terminal (1–34 amino acids) fragment of the parathyroid hormone (PTH (1–34)) is identified to promote osteogenesis. The osteoanabolic effects of intermittent PTH (1–34) treatment are linked to a complex consisting of signaling pathways; additionally, protein kinase C (PKC) act as mediators of multifunctional signaling transduction pathways, but the role of PKC δ (PKCδ), a downstream target in regulating osteoblast differentiation during intermittent administration of PTH (1–34) is less studied and still remains elusive. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of PKCδ during intermittent and continuous PTH (1–34) administration using osteoblast-lineage-committed hMSCs. Relative gene expression of osteoblast-specific genes demonstrated significant upregulation of RUNX2, type I Collagen, ALP, and Osterix and increased alkaline phosphatase activity in the presence of PTH (1–34). Intermittent PTH (1–34) administration increased PKC activity at day 7 of osteogenic differentiation, whereas inhibition of PKC activity attenuated these effects. In addition, the specific isoform PKCδ was activated upon treatment. These findings demonstrate that intermittent PTH (1–34) treatment enhances the osteogenesis of hMSCs by upregulating osteoblast-specific genes via PKCδ activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
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Open AccessArticle Argan Oil-Mediated Attenuation of Organelle Dysfunction, Oxidative Stress and Cell Death Induced by 7-Ketocholesterol in Murine Oligodendrocytes 158N
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2220; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102220
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (949 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Argan oil is widely used in Morocco in traditional medicine. Its ability to treat cardiovascular diseases is well-established. However, nothing is known about its effects on neurodegenerative diseases, which are often associated with increased oxidative stress leading to lipid peroxidation and the formation
[...] Read more.
Argan oil is widely used in Morocco in traditional medicine. Its ability to treat cardiovascular diseases is well-established. However, nothing is known about its effects on neurodegenerative diseases, which are often associated with increased oxidative stress leading to lipid peroxidation and the formation of 7-ketocholesterol (7KC) resulting from cholesterol auto-oxidation. As 7KC induces oxidative stress, inflammation and cell death, it is important to identify compounds able to impair its harmful effects. These compounds may be either natural or synthetic molecules or mixtures of molecules such as oils. In this context: (i) the lipid profiles of dietary argan oils from Berkane and Agadir (Morocco) in fatty acids, phytosterols, tocopherols and polyphenols were determined by different chromatographic techniques; and (ii) their anti-oxidant and cytoprotective effects in 158N murine oligodendrocytes cultured with 7KC (25–50 µM; 24 h) without and with argan oil (0.1% v/v) or α-tocopherol (400 µM, positive control) were evaluated with complementary techniques of cellular and molecular biology. Among the unsaturated fatty acids present in argan oils, oleate (C18:1 n-9) and linoleate (C18:1 n-6) were the most abundant; the highest quantities of saturated fatty acids were palmitate (C16:0) and stearate (C18:0). Several phytosterols were found, mainly schottenol and spinasterol (specific to argan oil), cycloartenol, β-amyrin and citrostadienol. α- and γ-tocopherols were also present. Tyrosol and protocatechic acid were the only polyphenols detected. Argan and extra virgin olive oils have many compounds in common, principally oleate and linoleate, and tocopherols. Kit Radicaux Libres (KRL) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) tests showed that argan and extra virgin olive oils have anti-oxidant properties. Argan oils were able to attenuate the cytotoxic effects of 7KC on 158N cells: loss of cell adhesion, cell growth inhibition, increased plasma membrane permeability, mitochondrial, peroxisomal and lysosomal dysfunction, and the induction of oxiapoptophagy (OXIdation + APOPTOsis + autoPHAGY). Altogether, our data obtained in 158N oligodendrocytes provide evidence that argan oil is able to counteract the toxic effects of 7KC on nerve cells, thus suggesting that some of its compounds could prevent or mitigate neurodegenerative diseases to the extent that they are able to cross the blood‐brain barrier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Beneficial Effects of Plant Oil on Human Health)
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Open AccessReview The Interactive Roles of Lipopolysaccharides and dsRNA/Viruses on Respiratory Epithelial Cells and Dendritic Cells in Allergic Respiratory Disorders: The Hygiene Hypothesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2219; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102219
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
The original hygiene hypothesis declares “more infections in early childhood protect against later atopy”. According to the hygiene hypothesis, the increased incidence of allergic disorders in developed countries is explained by the decrease of infections. Epithelial cells and dendritic cells play key roles
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The original hygiene hypothesis declares “more infections in early childhood protect against later atopy”. According to the hygiene hypothesis, the increased incidence of allergic disorders in developed countries is explained by the decrease of infections. Epithelial cells and dendritic cells play key roles in bridging the innate and adaptive immune systems. Among the various pattern-recognition receptor systems of epithelial cells and dendritic cells, including toll-like receptors (TLRs), nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NLRs) and others, TLRs are the key systems of immune response regulation. In humans, TLRs consist of TLR1 to TLR10. They regulate cellular responses through engagement with TLR ligands, e.g., lipopolysaccharides (LPS) acts through TLR4 and dsRNA acts through TLR3, but there are certain common components between these two TLR pathways. dsRNA activates epithelial cells and dendritic cells in different directions, resulting in allergy-related Th2-skewing tendency in epithelial cells, and Th1-skewing tendency in dendritic cells. The Th2-skewing effect by stimulation of dsRNA on epithelial cells could be suppressed by the presence of LPS above some threshold. When LPS level decreases, the Th2-skewing effect increases. It may be via these interrelated networks and related factors that LPS modifies the allergic responses and provides a plausible mechanism of the hygiene hypothesis. Several hygiene hypothesis-related phenomena, seemingly conflicting, are also discussed in this review, along with their proposed mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipopolysaccharides (LPSs))
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Open AccessArticle Protective Effects of Red Ginseng Oil against Aβ25–35-Induced Neuronal Apoptosis and Inflammation in PC12 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102218
Received: 10 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
One of pathological characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), aggregation and deposition of β amyloid (Aβ), has been accepted as a potent activator of neuronal cell death. Red ginseng is well-known for various pharmacological activities, but most studies have been focused on red ginseng
[...] Read more.
One of pathological characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), aggregation and deposition of β amyloid (Aβ), has been accepted as a potent activator of neuronal cell death. Red ginseng is well-known for various pharmacological activities, but most studies have been focused on red ginseng water extract (RGW), which has resulted in the conception of the present study of red ginseng oil (RGO) against Aβ25–35-induced neurotoxicity. Cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction by Aβ were verified and the underlying mechanism by which RGO inhibited neuronal cell death, mitochondria dysfunction and NF-κB pathway related protein markers were evaluated. RGO attenuated Aβ25–35-induced apoptosis, not only by inhibiting calcium influx, but also by reducing mitochondrial membrane potential loss. RGO significantly decreased Bax, whereas increased Bcl-2 and inactivated of caspase-3 and -9 and PARP-1 stimulated by Aβ25–35. Anti-neuroinflammatory effect of RGO was demonstrated by downregulating c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38, resulting in inhibiting of the NF-κB pathway and thereby suppressing the expressions of pro-inflammatory mediators such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). The present study revealed that RGO is a potential natural resource of the functional foods industry as well as a promising candidate of multi-target neuronal protective agent for the prevention of AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Beneficial Effects of Plant Oil on Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Molecular Docking and Screening Studies of New Natural Sortase A Inhibitors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2217; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102217
Received: 23 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
To date, multi-drug resistant bacteria represent an increasing health threat, with a high impact on mortality, morbidity, and health costs on a global scale. The ability of bacteria to rapidly and permanently acquire new virulence factors and drug-resistance elements requires the development of
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To date, multi-drug resistant bacteria represent an increasing health threat, with a high impact on mortality, morbidity, and health costs on a global scale. The ability of bacteria to rapidly and permanently acquire new virulence factors and drug-resistance elements requires the development of new antimicrobial agents and selection of new proper targets, such as sortase A. This specific bacterial target plays an important role in the virulence of many Gram-positive pathogens, and its inhibition should produce a mild evolutionary pressure which will not favor the development of resistance. A primary screening using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay was used to experimentally evaluate the inhibitory activity of several compounds on sortase A. Using molecular docking and structure-activity relationship analyses, several lead inhibitors were identified, which were further tested for antimicrobial activity using the well diffusion test and minimum inhibitory concentration. The toxicity was assessed using the Daphnia magna test and used as a future screening filter. Three natural compounds were identified in this study as promising candidates for further development into therapeutically useful anti-infective agents that could be used to treat infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens which include sortase A in their enzymatic set. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Enzymes)
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Open AccessReview The Role of MDM2 in Promoting Genome Stability versus Instability
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102216
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In cancer, the mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) is an oncoprotein that contributes to the promotion of cell growth, survival, invasion, and therapeutic resistance. The impact of MDM2 on cell survival versus cell death is complex and dependent on levels of MDM2 isoforms,
[...] Read more.
In cancer, the mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) is an oncoprotein that contributes to the promotion of cell growth, survival, invasion, and therapeutic resistance. The impact of MDM2 on cell survival versus cell death is complex and dependent on levels of MDM2 isoforms, p53 status, and cellular context. Extensive investigations have demonstrated that MDM2 protein–protein interactions with p53 and other p53 family members (p63 and p73) block their ability to function as transcription factors that regulate cell growth and survival. Upon genotoxic insults, a dynamic and intricately regulated DNA damage response circuitry is activated leading to release of p53 from MDM2 and activation of cell cycle arrest. What ensues following DNA damage, depends on the extent of DNA damage and if the cell has sufficient DNA repair capacity. The well-known auto-regulatory loop between p53-MDM2 provides an additional layer of control as the cell either repairs DNA damage and survives (i.e., MDM2 re-engages with p53), or undergoes cell death (i.e., MDM2 does not re-engage p53). Furthermore, the decision to live or die is also influenced by chromatin-localized MDM2 which directly interacts with the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 complex and inhibits DNA damage-sensing giving rise to the potential for increased genome instability and cellular transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms Leading to Genomic Instability)
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Open AccessReview Metallothioneins: Emerging Modulators in Immunity and Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2197; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102197
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 14 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
Metallothioneins (MTs) are a family of metal-binding proteins virtually expressed in all organisms including prokaryotes, lower eukaryotes, invertebrates and mammals. These proteins regulate homeostasis of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu), mitigate heavy metal poisoning, and alleviate superoxide stress. In recent years, MTs have
[...] Read more.
Metallothioneins (MTs) are a family of metal-binding proteins virtually expressed in all organisms including prokaryotes, lower eukaryotes, invertebrates and mammals. These proteins regulate homeostasis of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu), mitigate heavy metal poisoning, and alleviate superoxide stress. In recent years, MTs have emerged as an important, yet largely underappreciated, component of the immune system. Innate and adaptive immune cells regulate MTs in response to stress stimuli, cytokine signals and microbial challenge. Modulation of MTs in these cells in turn regulates metal ion release, transport and distribution, cellular redox status, enzyme function and cell signaling. While it is well established that the host strictly regulates availability of metal ions during microbial pathogenesis, we are only recently beginning to unravel the interplay between metal-regulatory pathways and immunological defenses. In this perspective, investigation of mechanisms that leverage the potential of MTs to orchestrate inflammatory responses and antimicrobial defenses has gained momentum. The purpose of this review, therefore, is to illumine the role of MTs in immune regulation. We discuss the mechanisms of MT induction and signaling in immune cells and explore the therapeutic potential of the MT-Zn axis in bolstering immune defenses against pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Signaling in Physiology and Pathogenesis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview A Mini-Review of Reactive Oxygen Species in Urological Cancer: Correlation with NADPH Oxidases, Angiogenesis, and Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102214
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 22 October 2017
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Abstract
Oxidative stress refers to elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and NADPH oxidases (NOXs), which are one of the most important sources of ROS. Oxidative stress plays important roles in the etiologies, pathological mechanisms, and treatment strategies of vascular diseases. Additionally, oxidative stress
[...] Read more.
Oxidative stress refers to elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and NADPH oxidases (NOXs), which are one of the most important sources of ROS. Oxidative stress plays important roles in the etiologies, pathological mechanisms, and treatment strategies of vascular diseases. Additionally, oxidative stress affects mechanisms of carcinogenesis, tumor growth, and prognosis in malignancies. Nearly all solid tumors show stimulation of neo-vascularity, termed angiogenesis, which is closely associated with malignant aggressiveness. Thus, cancers can be seen as a type of vascular disease. Oxidative stress-induced functions are regulated by complex endogenous mechanisms and exogenous factors, such as medication and diet. Although understanding these regulatory mechanisms is important for improving the prognosis of urothelial cancer, it is not sufficient, because there are controversial and conflicting opinions. Therefore, we believe that this knowledge is essential to discuss observations and treatment strategies in urothelial cancer. In this review, we describe the relationships between members of the NOX family and tumorigenesis, tumor growth, and pathological mechanisms in urological cancers including prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and urothelial cancer. In addition, we introduce natural compounds and chemical agents that are associated with ROS-induced angiogenesis or apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress in Vascular Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Kinases of eIF2a Switch Translation of mRNA Subset during Neuronal Plasticity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102213
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 22 October 2017
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Abstract
Compared to other types of cells, neurons express the largest number of diverse mRNAs, including neuron-specific ones. This mRNA diversity is required for neuronal function, memory storage, maintenance and retrieval. Regulation of translation in neurons is very complicated and involves various proteins. Some
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Compared to other types of cells, neurons express the largest number of diverse mRNAs, including neuron-specific ones. This mRNA diversity is required for neuronal function, memory storage, maintenance and retrieval. Regulation of translation in neurons is very complicated and involves various proteins. Some proteins, implementing translational control in other cell types, are used by neurons for synaptic plasticity. In this review, we discuss the neuron-specific activity of four kinases: protein kinase R (PKR), PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), general control nonderepressible 2 kinase (GCN2), and heme-reguated eIF2α kinase (HRI), the substrate for which is α-subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). Phosphorylation of eIF2α is necessary for the cell during stress conditions, such as lack of amino acids, energy stress or viral infection. We propose that, during memory formation, neurons use some mechanisms similar to those involved in the cellular stress. The four eIF2α kinases regulate translation of certain mRNAs containing upstream open reading frames (uORFs). These mRNAs encode proteins involved in the processes of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). The review examines some neuronal proteins for which translation regulation by eIF2 was suggested and checked experimentally. Of such proteins, we pay close attention to protein kinase Mζ, which is involved in memory storage and regulated at the translational level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Signal Transduction 2017)
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Open AccessReview Aptamers for DNA Damage and Repair
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2212; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102212
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 22 October 2017
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Abstract
DNA is damaged on a daily basis, which can lead to heritable mutations and the activation of proto-oncogenes. Therefore, DNA damage and repair are critical risk factors in cancer, aging and disease, and are the underlying bases of most frontline cancer therapies. Much
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DNA is damaged on a daily basis, which can lead to heritable mutations and the activation of proto-oncogenes. Therefore, DNA damage and repair are critical risk factors in cancer, aging and disease, and are the underlying bases of most frontline cancer therapies. Much of our current understanding of the mechanisms that maintain DNA integrity has been obtained using antibody-based assays. The oligonucleotide equivalents of antibodies, known as aptamers, have emerged as potential molecular recognition rivals. Aptamers possess several ideal properties including chemical stability, in vitro selection and lack of batch-to-batch variability. These properties have motivated the incorporation of aptamers into a wide variety of analytical, diagnostic, research and therapeutic applications. However, their use in DNA repair studies and DNA damage therapies is surprisingly un-tapped. This review presents an overview of the progress in selecting and applying aptamers for DNA damage and repair research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamers) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Psoriasis and Cardiovascular Comorbidities: Focusing on Severe Vascular Events, Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Implications for Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102211
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Psoriasis is a common and chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. It may impair the physical and psychosocial function of patients and lead to decreased quality of life. Traditionally, psoriasis has been regarded as a disease affecting only the skin and joints. More
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Psoriasis is a common and chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. It may impair the physical and psychosocial function of patients and lead to decreased quality of life. Traditionally, psoriasis has been regarded as a disease affecting only the skin and joints. More recently, studies have shown that psoriasis is a systemic inflammatory disorder which can be associated with various comorbidities. In particular, psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of developing severe vascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke. In addition, the prevalence rates of cardiovascular risk factors are increased, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Consequently, mortality rates have been found to be increased and life expectancy decreased in patients with psoriasis, as compared to the general population. Various studies have also shown that systemic treatments for psoriasis, including methotrexate and tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors, may significantly decrease cardiovascular risk. Mechanistically, the presence of common inflammatory pathways, secretion of adipokines, insulin resistance, angiogenesis, oxidative stress, microparticles, and hypercoagulability may explain the association between psoriasis and cardiometabolic disorders. In this article, we review the evidence regarding the association between psoriasis and cardiovascular comorbidities, focusing on severe vascular events, cardiovascular risk factors and implications for treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psoriasis)
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Open AccessArticle Collagen-Based Medical Device as a Stem Cell Carrier for Regenerative Medicine
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102210
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 14 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Maintenance of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) requires a tissue-specific microenvironment (i.e., niche), which is poorly represented by the typical plastic substrate used for two-dimensional growth of MSCs in a tissue culture flask. The objective of this study was to address the potential use
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Maintenance of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) requires a tissue-specific microenvironment (i.e., niche), which is poorly represented by the typical plastic substrate used for two-dimensional growth of MSCs in a tissue culture flask. The objective of this study was to address the potential use of collagen-based medical devices (HEMOCOLLAGENE®, Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France) as mimetic niche for MSCs with the ability to preserve human MSC stemness in vitro. With a chemical composition similar to type I collagen, HEMOCOLLAGENE® foam presented a porous and interconnected structure (>90%) and a relative low elastic modulus of around 60 kPa. Biological studies revealed an apparently inert microenvironment of HEMOCOLLAGENE® foam, where 80% of cultured human MSCs remained viable, adopted a flattened morphology, and maintained their undifferentiated state with basal secretory activity. Thus, three-dimensional HEMOCOLLAGENE® foams present an in vitro model that mimics the MSC niche with the capacity to support viable and quiescent MSCs within a low stiffness collagen I scaffold simulating Wharton’s jelly. These results suggest that haemostatic foam may be a useful and versatile carrier for MSC transplantation for regenerative medicine applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering 2018)
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Open AccessReview A Summary of New Findings on the Biological Effects of Selenium in Selected Animal Species—A Critical Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2209; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102209
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Selenium is an essential trace element important for many physiological processes, especially for the functions of immune and reproductive systems, metabolism of thyroid hormones, as well as antioxidant defense. Selenium deficiency is usually manifested by an increased incidence of retention of placenta, metritis,
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Selenium is an essential trace element important for many physiological processes, especially for the functions of immune and reproductive systems, metabolism of thyroid hormones, as well as antioxidant defense. Selenium deficiency is usually manifested by an increased incidence of retention of placenta, metritis, mastitis, aborts, lowering fertility and increased susceptibility to infections. In calves, lambs and kids, the selenium deficiency demonstrates by WMD (white muscle disease), in foals and donkey foals, it is associated with incidence of WMD and yellow fat disease, and in pigs it causes VESD (vitamin E/selenium deficiency) syndrome. The prevention of these health disorders can be achieved by an adequate selenium supplementation to the diet. The review summarizes the survey of knowledge on selenium, its biological significance in the organism, the impact of its deficiency in mammalian livestock (comparison of ruminants vs. non-ruminants, herbivore vs. omnivore) and possibilities of its peroral administration. The databases employed were as follows: Web of Science, PubMed, MEDLINE and Google Scholar. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Human Globozoospermia-Related Gene Spata16 Is Required for Sperm Formation Revealed by CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Mouse Models
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102208
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2776 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A recent genetic analysis of infertile globozoospermic patients identified causative mutations in three genes: a protein interacting with C kinase 1 (PICK1), dpy 19-like 2 (DPY19L2), and spermatogenesis associated 16 (SPATA16). Although mouse models have clarified the
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A recent genetic analysis of infertile globozoospermic patients identified causative mutations in three genes: a protein interacting with C kinase 1 (PICK1), dpy 19-like 2 (DPY19L2), and spermatogenesis associated 16 (SPATA16). Although mouse models have clarified the physiological functions of Pick1 and Dpy19l2 during spermatogenesis, Spata16 remains to be determined. Globozoospermic patients carried a homozygous point mutation in SPATA16 at 848G→A/R283Q. We generated CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutant mice with the same amino acid substitution in the fourth exon of Spata16 to analyze the mutation site at R284Q, which corresponded with R283Q of mutated human SPATA16. We found that the point mutation in Spata16 was not essential for male fertility; however, deletion of the fourth exon of Spata16 resulted in infertile male mice due to spermiogenic arrest but not globozoospermia. This study demonstrates that Spata16 is indispensable for male fertility in mice, as well as in humans, as revealed by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mouse models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Editing 2018)
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Open AccessReview Tubulin Post-Translational Modifications and Microtubule Dynamics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2207; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102207
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Microtubules are hollow tube-like polymeric structures composed of α,β-tubulin heterodimers. They play an important role in numerous cellular processes, including intracellular transport, cell motility and segregation of the chromosomes during cell division. Moreover, microtubule doublets or triplets form a scaffold of a cilium,
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Microtubules are hollow tube-like polymeric structures composed of α,β-tubulin heterodimers. They play an important role in numerous cellular processes, including intracellular transport, cell motility and segregation of the chromosomes during cell division. Moreover, microtubule doublets or triplets form a scaffold of a cilium, centriole and basal body, respectively. To perform such diverse functions microtubules have to differ in their properties. Post-translational modifications are one of the factors that affect the properties of the tubulin polymer. Here we focus on the direct and indirect effects of post-translational modifications of tubulin on microtubule dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessCommunication Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Transforming Growth Factor-β Isoforms and Soluble Endoglin Concentration in Different States of Wound Healing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102206
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Venous leg ulcer (VLU) is a huge healthcare problem with poorly understood pathophysiology. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and endoglin (Eng), are inflammatory and wound healing mediators. Eng, co-receptor for TGF-β type-II receptors, may be cleaved forming soluble Eng (sEng), antagonizing TGF-β signaling, a
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Venous leg ulcer (VLU) is a huge healthcare problem with poorly understood pathophysiology. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and endoglin (Eng), are inflammatory and wound healing mediators. Eng, co-receptor for TGF-β type-II receptors, may be cleaved forming soluble Eng (sEng), antagonizing TGF-β signaling, a crucial process in vascular pathologies. We evaluated the accumulation in wound fluid (WF) of TGF-β isoforms and sEng in healing stages, showing the effects of sulodexide treatments, a glycosaminoglycan with clinical efficacy in VLU healing. Patients with inflammatory (Infl) and granulating (Gran) VLU were recruited. WFs and THP-1 monocytes exposed to Infl and Gran WF (treated/untreated with sulodexide) were analyzed for TGF-β isoforms and sEng by multiplex immunoassay. In both Infl and Gran WF, TGF-β1 and β2 were similar; TGF-β3 was significantly increased in Infl compared to Gran WFs (p = 0.033). sEng was significantly elevated in Gran compared to Infl WFs (p = 0.002). In THP-1 monocytes there was a significant increase in sEng after co-treatment of WF and sulodexide. The increase in TGF-β3 found in Infl WF highlights its negative effect on wound healing, while the increased levels of sEng in Gran WF affects the leukocyte adhesion/transmigration through the endothelium, reducing the inflammatory response and favoring the wound healing. Glycosaminoglycan sulodexide potentiates the effects of sEng release from monocyte, representing an important therapeutic option for wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Chronic Venous Disease)
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Open AccessReview The Roles of Matricellular Proteins in Oncogenic Virus-Induced Cancers and Their Potential Utilities as Therapeutic Targets
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102198
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Matricellular proteins differ from other classical extracellular matrix proteins; for instance, they are transiently expressed as soluble proteins rather than being constitutively expressed in pathological conditions, such as acute viral infections. Accumulating studies have revealed that matricellular proteins, including osteopontin and tenascin-C, both
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Matricellular proteins differ from other classical extracellular matrix proteins; for instance, they are transiently expressed as soluble proteins rather than being constitutively expressed in pathological conditions, such as acute viral infections. Accumulating studies have revealed that matricellular proteins, including osteopontin and tenascin-C, both of which interact with integrin heterodimers, are involved in inflammatory diseases, autoimmune disorders, and cancers. The concentrations of these matricellular proteins are elevated in the plasma of patients with certain types of cancers, indicating that they play important roles in oncogenesis. Chronic viral infections are associated with certain cancers, which are distinct from non-viral cancers. Viral oncogenes play critical roles in the development and progression of such cancers. It is vital to investigate the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and, particularly, the mechanism by which viral proteins induce tumor progression. Viral proteins have been shown to influence not only the viral-infected cancer cells, but also the stromal cells and matricellular proteins that constitute the extracellular matrix that surrounds tumor tissues. In this review, we summarize the recent progress on the involvement of matricellular proteins in oncogenic virus-induced cancers to elucidate the mechanism of oncogenesis and consider the possible role of matricellular proteins as therapeutic targets in virus-induced cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanism of Infectious Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Towards Better Understanding of Pea Seed Dormancy Using Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102196
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Seed coats of six pea genotypes contrasting in dormancy were studied by laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS). Multivariate statistical analysis discriminated dormant and non-dormant seeds in mature dry state. Separation between dormant and non-dormant types was observed despite important markers of particular dormant
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Seed coats of six pea genotypes contrasting in dormancy were studied by laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS). Multivariate statistical analysis discriminated dormant and non-dormant seeds in mature dry state. Separation between dormant and non-dormant types was observed despite important markers of particular dormant genotypes differ from each other. Normalized signals of long-chain hydroxylated fatty acids (HLFA) in dormant JI64 genotype seed coats were significantly higher than in other genotypes. These compounds seem to be important markers likely influencing JI64 seed imbibition and germination. HLFA importance was supported by study of recombinant inbred lines (JI64xJI92) contrasting in dormancy but similar in other seed properties. Furthemore HLFA distribution in seed coat was studied by mass spectrometry imaging. HLFA contents in strophiole and hilum are significantly lower compared to other parts indicating their role in water uptake. Results from LDI-MS experiments are useful in understanding (physical) dormancy (first phases of germination) mechanism and properties related to food processing technologies (e.g., seed treatment by cooking). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in the Plant Sciences 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Antioxidant Defence, Oxidative Stress and Oxidative Damage in Saliva, Plasma and Erythrocytes of Dementia Patients. Can Salivary AGE be a Marker of Dementia?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102205
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in dementia pathogenesis; however, its impact on salivary secretion and salivary qualities is still unknown. This study included 80 patients with moderate dementia and 80 healthy age- and sex-matched individuals. Salivary flow, antioxidants (salivary peroxidase, catalase, superoxide
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Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in dementia pathogenesis; however, its impact on salivary secretion and salivary qualities is still unknown. This study included 80 patients with moderate dementia and 80 healthy age- and sex-matched individuals. Salivary flow, antioxidants (salivary peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, uric acid and total antioxidant capacity), and oxidative damage products (advanced oxidation protein products, advanced glycation end products (AGE), 8-isoprostanes, 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine and total oxidant status) were estimated in non-stimulated and stimulated saliva, as well as in plasma and erythrocytes. We show that in dementia patients the concentration/activity of major salivary antioxidants changes, and the level of oxidative damage to DNA, proteins and lipids is increased compared to healthy controls. Non-stimulated and stimulated salivary secretions were significantly reduced in dementia patients. The deterioration in mini mental state examination (MMSE) score correlated with salivary AGE levels, which when considered with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, suggests their potential role in the non-invasive diagnosis of dementia. In conclusion, dementia is associated with disturbed salivary redox homeostasis and impaired secretory function of the salivary glands. Salivary AGE may be useful in the diagnosis of dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammaging and Oxidative Stress in Aging and Age-Related Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Isoproterenol Increases RANKL Expression in a ATF4/NFATc1-Dependent Manner in Mouse Osteoblastic Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102204
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Sympathetic nervous system stimulation-induced β-adrenergic signal transduction is known to induce bone loss and increase of osteoclast activity. Although isoproterenol, a nonspecific β-adrenergic receptor agonist, has been shown to increase receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), the details of the regulatory mechanisms remain
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Sympathetic nervous system stimulation-induced β-adrenergic signal transduction is known to induce bone loss and increase of osteoclast activity. Although isoproterenol, a nonspecific β-adrenergic receptor agonist, has been shown to increase receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), the details of the regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated the role of the nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) in isoproterenol-induced RANKL expression in C2C12 and in primary cultured mouse calvarial cells. Isoproterenol increased nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1) and RANKL expressions at both mRNA and protein levels and increased NFAT reporter activity. NFATc1 knockdown blocked isoproterenol-mediated RANKL expression. Isoproterenol also promoted cAMP response element-binding protein 1 (CREB1) and activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) phosphorylation. Isoproterenol-mediated transcriptional activation of NFAT was blocked by protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H89. Isoproterenol-induced CREB1, ATF4, NFATc1, and RANKL expressions were suppressed by H89. Mutations in cAMP response element-like or NFAT-binding element suppressed isoproterenol-induced RANKL promoter activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated that isoproterenol increased NFAT-binding and ATF4-binding activities on the mouse RANKL promoter, but did not increase CREB1-binding activity. Association of NFATc1 and ATF4 was not observed in a co-immunoprecipitation study. ATF4 knockdown suppressed isoproterenol-induced NFAT binding to the RANKL promoter, whereas NFATc1 knockdown did not suppress isoproterenol-induced ATF4 binding to the RANKL promoter. ATF4 knockdown suppressed isoproterenol-induced expressions of NFATc1 and RANKL. These results suggest that isoproterenol increases RANKL expression in an ATF4/NFATc1-dependent manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessReview Gut Fermentation of Dietary Fibres: Physico-Chemistry of Plant Cell Walls and Implications for Health
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2203; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102203
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
The majority of dietary fibre (DF) originates from plant cell walls. Chemically, DF mostly comprise carbohydrate polymers, which resist hydrolysis by digestive enzymes in the mammalian small intestine, but can be fermented by large intestinal bacteria. One of the main benefits of DF
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The majority of dietary fibre (DF) originates from plant cell walls. Chemically, DF mostly comprise carbohydrate polymers, which resist hydrolysis by digestive enzymes in the mammalian small intestine, but can be fermented by large intestinal bacteria. One of the main benefits of DF relate to its fermentability, which affects microbial diversity and function within the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT), as well as the by-products of the fermentation process. Much work examining DF tends to focus on various purified ingredients, which have been extracted from plants. Increasingly, the validity of this is being questioned in terms of human nutrition, as there is evidence to suggest that it is the actual complexity of DF which affects the complexity of the GIT microbiota. Here, we review the literature comparing results of fermentation of purified DF substrates, with whole plant foods. There are strong indications that the more complex and varied the diet (and its ingredients), the more complex and varied the GIT microbiota is likely to be. Therefore, it is proposed that as the DF fermentability resulting from this complex microbial population has such profound effects on human health in relation to diet, it would be appropriate to include DF fermentability in its characterization—a functional approach of immediate relevance to nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fibre: New Insights on Biochemistry and Health Benefits)
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Open AccessReview Treatment with Synthetic Glucocorticoids and the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102201
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chronic glucocorticoid (GC) treatment represents a widely-prescribed therapy for several diseases in consideration of both anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activity but, if used at high doses for prolonged periods, it can determine the systemic effects characteristic of Cushing’s syndrome. In addition to signs and
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Chronic glucocorticoid (GC) treatment represents a widely-prescribed therapy for several diseases in consideration of both anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activity but, if used at high doses for prolonged periods, it can determine the systemic effects characteristic of Cushing’s syndrome. In addition to signs and symptoms of hypercortisolism, patients on chronic GC therapy are at risk to develop tertiary adrenal insufficiency after the reduction or the withdrawal of corticosteroids or during acute stress. This effect is mediated by the negative feedback loop on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which mainly involves corticotropin-release hormone (CRH), which represents the most important driver of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) release. In fact, after withdrawal of chronic GC treatment, reactivation of CRH secretion is a necessary prerequisite for the recovery of the HPA axis. In addition to the well-known factors which regulate the degree of inhibition of the HPA during synthetic GC therapy (type of compound, method of administration, cumulative dose, duration of the treatment, concomitant drugs which can increase the bioavailability of GCs), there is a considerable variation in individual physiology, probably related to different genetic profiles which regulate GC receptor activity. This may represent an interesting basis for possible future research fields. Full article
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