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 18, Issue 12 (December 2017)

  • 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 1-207
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Acute Myeloid Leukaemia: New Targets and Therapies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2577; doi:10.3390/ijms18122577
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The most common acute hematological malignancy in adults is acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), accounting for more than 80% of cases in patients over 60 years of age [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biology and Treatment of Myeloid Leukaemias)
Open AccessEditorial An Updated View of Translocator Protein (TSPO)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2640; doi:10.3390/ijms18122640
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (158 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decades of study on the role of mitochondria in living cells have evidenced the importance of the 18 kDa mitochondrial translocator protein (TSPO), first discovered in the 1977 as an alternative binding site for the benzodiazepine diazepam in the kidneys. This protein participates
[...] Read more.
Decades of study on the role of mitochondria in living cells have evidenced the importance of the 18 kDa mitochondrial translocator protein (TSPO), first discovered in the 1977 as an alternative binding site for the benzodiazepine diazepam in the kidneys. This protein participates in a variety of cellular functions, including cholesterol transport, steroid hormone synthesis, mitochondrial respiration, permeability transition pore opening, apoptosis, and cell proliferation. Thus, TSPO has become an extremely attractive subcellular target for the early detection of disease states that involve the overexpression of this protein and the selective mitochondrial drug delivery. This special issue was programmed with the aim of summarizing the latest findings about the role of TSPO in eukaryotic cells and as a potential subcellular target of diagnostics or therapeutics. A total of 9 papers have been accepted for publication in this issue, in particular, 2 reviews and 7 primary data manuscripts, overall describing the main advances in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translocator Protein (TSPO))

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Secondary Metabolic Profiles of Two Cultivars of Piper nigrum (Black Pepper) Resulting from Infection by Fusarium solani f. sp. piperis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2434; doi:10.3390/ijms18122434
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bragantina and Cingapura are the main black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) cultivars and the Pará state is the largest producer in Brazil with about 90% of national production, representing the third largest production in the world. The infection of Fusarium solani f.
[...] Read more.
Bragantina and Cingapura are the main black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) cultivars and the Pará state is the largest producer in Brazil with about 90% of national production, representing the third largest production in the world. The infection of Fusarium solani f. sp. piperis, the causal agent of Fusarium disease in black pepper, was monitored on the cultivars Bragantina (susceptible) and Cingapura (tolerant), during 45 days’ post infection (dpi). Gas Chromatography-Mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of the volatile concentrates of both cultivars showed that the Bragantina responded with the production of higher contents of α-bisabolol at 21 dpi and a decrease of elemol, mostly at 30 dpi; while Cingapura displayed an decrease of δ-elemene production, except at 15 dpi. The phenolic content determined by the Folin Ciocalteu method showed an increase in the leaves of plants inoculated at 7 dpi (Bragantina) and 7–15 dpi (Cingapura); in the roots, the infection caused a phenolic content decrease in Bragantina cultivar at 45 dpi and an increase in the Cingapura cultivar at 15, 30 and 45 dpi. High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) analysis of the root extracts showed a qualitative variation of alkamides during infection. The results indicated that there is a possible relationship between secondary metabolites and tolerance against phytopathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Identifying the Epitope Regions of Therapeutic Antibodies Based on Structure Descriptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2457; doi:10.3390/ijms18122457
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2085 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Therapeutic antibodies are widely used for disease detection and specific treatments. However, as an exogenous protein, these antibodies can be detected by the human immune system and elicit a response that can lead to serious illnesses. Therapeutic antibodies can be engineered through antibody
[...] Read more.
Therapeutic antibodies are widely used for disease detection and specific treatments. However, as an exogenous protein, these antibodies can be detected by the human immune system and elicit a response that can lead to serious illnesses. Therapeutic antibodies can be engineered through antibody humanization, which aims to maintain the specificity and biological function of the original antibodies, and reduce immunogenicity. However, the antibody drug effect is synchronously reduced as more exogenous parts are replaced by human antibodies. Hence, a major challenge in this area is to precisely detect the epitope regions in immunogenic antibodies and guide point mutations of exogenous antibodies to balance both humanization level and drug effect. In this article, the latest dataset of immunoglobulin complexes was collected from protein data bank (PDB) to discover the spatial features of immunogenic antibody. Furthermore, a series of structure descriptors were generated to characterize and distinguish epitope residues from non-immunogenic regions. Finally, a computational model was established based on structure descriptors, and results indicated that this model has the potential to precisely predict the epitope regions of therapeutic antibodies. With rapid accumulation of immunoglobulin complexes, this methodology could be used to improve and guide future antibody humanization and potential clinical applications. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Comparative Proteomics Analyses of Pollination Response in Endangered Orchid Species Dendrobium Chrysanthum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2496; doi:10.3390/ijms18122496
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pollination is a crucial stage in plant reproductive process. The self-compatibility (SC) and self-incompatibility (SI) mechanisms determined the plant genetic diversity and species survival. D. chrysanthum is a highly valued ornamental and traditional herbal orchid in Asia but has been declared endangered. The
[...] Read more.
Pollination is a crucial stage in plant reproductive process. The self-compatibility (SC) and self-incompatibility (SI) mechanisms determined the plant genetic diversity and species survival. D. chrysanthum is a highly valued ornamental and traditional herbal orchid in Asia but has been declared endangered. The sexual reproduction in D. chrysanthum relies on the compatibility of pollination. To provide a better understanding of the mechanism of pollination, the differentially expressed proteins (DEP) between the self-pollination (SP) and cross-pollination (CP) pistil of D. chrysanthum were investigated using proteomic approaches—two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry technique. A total of 54 DEP spots were identified in the two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) maps between the SP and CP. Gene ontology analysis revealed an array of proteins belonging to following different functional categories: metabolic process (8.94%), response to stimulus (5.69%), biosynthetic process (4.07%), protein folding (3.25%) and transport (3.25%). Identification of these DEPs at the early response stage of pollination will hopefully provide new insights in the mechanism of pollination response and help for the conservation of the orchid species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 6th National Plant Protein Research Congress)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Ionic Liquid-Mediated Homogeneous Esterification of Cinnamic Anhydride to Xylans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2502; doi:10.3390/ijms18122502
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new functional biopolymer was synthesized through an ionic liquid-mediated homogeneous grafting of cinnamic anhydride to xylans. The ionic liquid used was 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (AMIMCl) ionic liquid. Xylans with degrees of substitution (DS) between 0.11 and 0.57 were accessible in a completely homogeneous
[...] Read more.
A new functional biopolymer was synthesized through an ionic liquid-mediated homogeneous grafting of cinnamic anhydride to xylans. The ionic liquid used was 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (AMIMCl) ionic liquid. Xylans with degrees of substitution (DS) between 0.11 and 0.57 were accessible in a completely homogeneous system by changing catalysts (NaOH, KOH and LiOH), time, reaction temperature, and cinnamic anhydride/xylan molar ratio. The chemical structure and the thermal stability of the derivatives were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), 13C-NMR spectroscopy, and thermogravimetry. The thermal stability of the derivatives was reduced compared with the original xylan. Possible applications of the cinnamic anhydride-acylated xylan derivatives include wet-end papermaking, organic–inorganic composite films, and hydrogels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Liquids 2018 and Selected Papers from ILMAT IV)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Dissection of Resistance Genes to Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola in UI3 Common Bean Cultivar
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2503; doi:10.3390/ijms18122503
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3626 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Few quantitative trait loci have been mapped for resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola in common bean. Two F2 populations were developed from the host differential UI3 cultivar. The objective of this study was to further characterize the resistance to races 1,
[...] Read more.
Few quantitative trait loci have been mapped for resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola in common bean. Two F2 populations were developed from the host differential UI3 cultivar. The objective of this study was to further characterize the resistance to races 1, 5, 7 and 9 of Psp included in UI3. Using a QTL mapping approach, 16 and 11 main-effect QTLs for pod and primary leaf resistance were located on LG10, explaining up to 90% and 26% of the phenotypic variation, respectively. The homologous genomic region corresponding to primary leaf resistance QTLs detected tested positive for the presence of resistance-associated gene cluster encoding nucleotide-binding and leucine-rich repeat (NL), Natural Resistance Associated Macrophage (NRAMP) and Pentatricopeptide Repeat family (PPR) proteins. It is worth noting that the main effect QTLs for resistance in pod were located inside a 3.5 Mb genomic region that included the Phvul.010G021200 gene, which encodes a protein that has the highest sequence similarity to the RIN4 gene of Arabidopsis, and can be considered an important candidate gene for the organ-specific QTLs identified here. These results support that resistance to Psp from UI3 might result from the immune response activated by combinations of R proteins, and suggest the guard model as an important mechanism in pod resistance to halo blight. The candidate genes identified here warrant functional studies that will help in characterizing the actual defense gene(s) in UI3 genotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Effects of Commonly Used Pesticides in China on the Mitochondria and Ubiquitin-Proteasome System in Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2507; doi:10.3390/ijms18122507
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (11077 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evidence continues to accumulate that pesticides are the leading candidates of environmental toxins that may contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. The mechanisms, however, remain largely unclear. According to epidemiological studies, we selected nine representative pesticides (paraquat, rotenone, chlorpyrifos, pendimethalin, endosulfan, fenpyroximate,
[...] Read more.
Evidence continues to accumulate that pesticides are the leading candidates of environmental toxins that may contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. The mechanisms, however, remain largely unclear. According to epidemiological studies, we selected nine representative pesticides (paraquat, rotenone, chlorpyrifos, pendimethalin, endosulfan, fenpyroximate, tebufenpyrad, trichlorphon and carbaryl) which are commonly used in China and detected the effects of the pesticides on mitochondria and ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) function. Our results reveal that all the nine studied pesticides induce morphological changes of mitochondria at low concentrations. Paraquat, rotenone, chlorpyrifos, pendimethalin, endosulfan, fenpyroximate and tebufenpyrad induced mitochondria fragmentation. Furthermore, some of them (paraquat, rotenone, chlorpyrifos, fenpyroximate and tebufenpyrad) caused a significant dose-dependent decrease of intracellular ATP. Interestingly, these pesticides which induce mitochondria dysfunction also inhibit 26S and 20S proteasome activity. However, two out of the nine pesticides, namely trichlorphon and carbaryl, were found not to cause mitochondrial fragmentation or functional damage, nor inhibit the activity of the proteasome, which provides significant guidance for selection of pesticides in China. Moreover, our results demonstrate a potential link between inhibition of mitochondria and the UPS, and pesticide-induced Parkinsonism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Administration of Protocatechuic Acid Reduces Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Neuronal Death
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2510; doi:10.3390/ijms18122510
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (6280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Protocatechuic acid (PCA) was first purified from green tea and has shown numerous biological activities, including anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-atherosclerotic effects. The effect of PCA on traumatic brain injury (TBI)-induced neuronal death has not previously been evaluated. TBI is defined as damage to
[...] Read more.
Protocatechuic acid (PCA) was first purified from green tea and has shown numerous biological activities, including anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-atherosclerotic effects. The effect of PCA on traumatic brain injury (TBI)-induced neuronal death has not previously been evaluated. TBI is defined as damage to the brain resulting from external mechanical force, such as rapid acceleration or deceleration, impact, blast waves, or penetration by a projectile. TBI causes neuronal death in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. The present study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of PCA on TBI-induced neuronal death. Here, TBI was induced by a controlled cortical impact model using rats. PCA (30 mg/kg) was injected into the intraperitoneal (ip) space immediately after TBI. Neuronal death was evaluated with Fluoro Jade-B (FJB) staining at 24 h after TBI. Oxidative injury was detected by 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4HNE), glutathione (GSH) concentration was analyzed by glutathione adduct with N-ethylmaleimide (GS-NEM) staining at 24 h after TBI, and microglial activation in the hippocampus was detected by CD11b immunohistochemistry at one week after TBI. We found that the proportion of degenerating neurons, oxidative injury, GSH depletion, and microglia activation in the hippocampus and cortex were all reduced by PCA treatment following TBI. Therefore, our study suggests that PCA may have therapeutic potential in preventing TBI-induced neuronal death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotective Strategies 2017)
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle The Evaluation of Pro-Cognitive and Antiamnestic Properties of Berberine and Magnoflorine Isolated from Barberry Species by Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC), in Relation to QSAR Modelling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2511; doi:10.3390/ijms18122511
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2925 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Civilization diseases associated with memory disorders are important health problems occurring due to a prolonged life span. The manuscript shows the results of an in vivo study targeting the emergence of two drug candidates with anti-amnestic properties. The preceding quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR)
[...] Read more.
Civilization diseases associated with memory disorders are important health problems occurring due to a prolonged life span. The manuscript shows the results of an in vivo study targeting the emergence of two drug candidates with anti-amnestic properties. The preceding quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) studies provided information on the ability of berberine and magnoflorine to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB). In the light of these findings, both compounds were purified from crude plant extracts of barberries: berberine—from Berberis siberica using a method published earlier, and magnoflorine—from Berberis cretica by centrifugal partition chromatography (solvent system: ethyl acetate:butanol:water-0.6:1.5:3 v/v/v). Both the compounds were evaluated for their memory enhancing and scopolamine inhibitory properties in an in vivo passive avoidance (PA) test on mice towards short-term and long-term memory. Cognition enhancing properties were observed at the following doses: 5 mg/kg (i.p.) for berberine and 20 mg/kg (i.p.) for magnoflorine. In addition, both the tested isoquinolines with the co-administered scopolamine were found to block long-term but not short-term memory impairment. No influence on the locomotor activity was observed for the tested doses. The results confirmed a marked central activity of magnoflorine and showed the necessity to lower the dosage of berberine. Optimized purification conditions have been elaborated for magnoflorine. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Screening In Vitro Targets Related to Diabetes in Herbal Extracts from Peru: Identification of Active Compounds in Hypericum laricifolium Juss. by Offline High-Performance Liquid Chromatography
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2512; doi:10.3390/ijms18122512
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates in vitro targets related to diabetes in 30 herbal extracts from Peru, for the first time, using α-glucosidase, aldose reductase (AR) inhibitory assays and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) scavenging assays. Among the 30 herbal extracts, Hypericum laricifolium Juss.
[...] Read more.
This study investigates in vitro targets related to diabetes in 30 herbal extracts from Peru, for the first time, using α-glucosidase, aldose reductase (AR) inhibitory assays and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) scavenging assays. Among the 30 herbal extracts, Hypericum laricifolium Juss. (HL) was the herb which showed more than 50% inhibition in all assays, presenting 97.2 ± 2.0%, 56.9 ± 5.6%, 81.9 ± 2.5%, and 58.8 ± 4.6% inhibition for the α-glucosidase, AR, DPPH, and ABTS assays, respectively. Finally, six bioactive compounds, namely, protocatechuic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, kaempferol 3-O-glucuronide, quercetin, and kaempferol were identified in HL by offline high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Quercetin exhibited the strongest inhibition in all enzyme assays and the strongest antioxidant activity. The results suggest that HL shows great potential for the complementary treatment of diabetes and its complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Characterization of a Sea Buckthorn Extract and Its Effect on Free and Encapsulated Lactobacillus casei
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2513; doi:10.3390/ijms18122513
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1581 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Probiotics are bacteria that can provide health benefits to consumers and are suitable to be added to a variety of foods. In this research, viability of immobilized Lactobacillus casei in alginate with or without sea buckthorn lipid extract were studied during heat treatment
[...] Read more.
Probiotics are bacteria that can provide health benefits to consumers and are suitable to be added to a variety of foods. In this research, viability of immobilized Lactobacillus casei in alginate with or without sea buckthorn lipid extract were studied during heat treatment and with an in vitro gastrointestinal model. The characterization of the lipid extract was also done using the UV-Vis spectrometry (UV-Vis), high-performance liquid chromatography photodiode array detection method (HPLC-PDA), gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GS-MS) and Cryo scanning electron microscopy (Cryo-SEM). During heat treatment, the entrapped probiotic cells proved high viability (>6 CFU log/g), even at temperatures above 50 °C. The rich in monounsaturated fatty acids sea buckthorn fraction improved the in vitro digestion passage regarding the probiotic viability. The survival of the probiotic cells was 15% higher after 2 h in the acidic medium of the simulated gastric fluid in the sample where L. casei was encapsulated with the sea buckthorn extract compared with the samples where no extract was added. Thus, this approach may be effective for the future development of probiotic-supplemented foods as foods with health welfare for the consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Silencing of Carotenoid β-Hydroxylases by RNA Interference in Different Maize Genetic Backgrounds Increases the β-Carotene Content of the Endosperm
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2515; doi:10.3390/ijms18122515
Received: 28 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1807 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Maize (Zea mays L.) is a staple food in many parts of Africa, but the endosperm generally contains low levels of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid β-carotene, leading to vitamin A deficiency disease in populations relying on cereal-based diets. However, maize endosperm does
[...] Read more.
Maize (Zea mays L.) is a staple food in many parts of Africa, but the endosperm generally contains low levels of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid β-carotene, leading to vitamin A deficiency disease in populations relying on cereal-based diets. However, maize endosperm does accumulate high levels of other carotenoids, including zeaxanthin, which is derived from β-carotene via two hydroxylation reactions. Blocking these reactions could therefore improve the endosperm β-carotene content. Accordingly, we used RNA interference (RNAi) to silence the endogenous ZmBCH1 and ZmBCH2 genes, which encode two non-heme di-iron carotenoid β-hydroxylases. The genes were silenced in a range of maize genetic backgrounds by introgressing the RNAi cassette, allowing us to determine the impact of ZmBCH1/ZmBCH2 silencing in diverse hybrids. The β-carotene content of the endosperm increased substantially in all hybrids in which ZmBCH2 was silenced, regardless of whether or not ZmBCH1 was silenced simultaneously. However, the β-carotene content did not change significantly in C17 hybrids (M7 × C17 and M13 × C17) compared to C17 alone, because ZmBCH2 is already expressed at negligible levels in the C17 parent. Our data indicate that ZmBCH2 is primarily responsible for the conversion of β-carotene to zeaxanthin in maize endosperm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Transformations of Natural Products)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Ascorbic Acid Attenuates Senescence of Human Osteoarthritic Osteoblasts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2517; doi:10.3390/ijms18122517
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The accumulation of senescent cells is implicated in the pathology of several age-related diseases. While the clearance of senescent cells has been suggested as a therapeutic target for patients with osteoarthritis (OA), cellular senescence of bone-resident osteoblasts (OB) remains poorly explored. Since oxidative
[...] Read more.
The accumulation of senescent cells is implicated in the pathology of several age-related diseases. While the clearance of senescent cells has been suggested as a therapeutic target for patients with osteoarthritis (OA), cellular senescence of bone-resident osteoblasts (OB) remains poorly explored. Since oxidative stress is a well-known inducer of cellular senescence, we here investigated the effect of antioxidant supplementation on the isolation efficiency, expansion, differentiation potential, and transcriptomic profile of OB from osteoarthritic subchondral bone. Bone chips were harvested from sclerotic and non-sclerotic regions of the subchondral bone of human OA joints. The application of 0.1 mM ascorbic acid-2-phosphate (AA) significantly increased the number of outgrowing cells and their proliferation capacity. This enhanced proliferative capacity showed a negative correlation with the amount of senescent cells and was accompanied by decreased expression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cultured OB. Expanded cells continued to express differentiated OB markers independently of AA supplementation and demonstrated no changes in their capacity to osteogenically differentiate. Transcriptomic analyses revealed that apoptotic, cell cycle–proliferation, and catabolic pathways were the main pathways affected in the presence of AA during OB expansion. Supplementation with AA can thus help to expand subchondral bone OB in vitro while maintaining their special cellular characteristics. The clearance of such senescent OB could be envisioned as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of OA. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Controlling the Molecular Weight of Lignosulfonates by an Alkaline Oxidative Treatment at Moderate Temperatures and Atmospheric Pressure: A Size-Exclusion and Reverse-Phase Chromatography Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2520; doi:10.3390/ijms18122520
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2682 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The molecular weights of lignosulfonates (LSs) are modified by a rather simple process involving an alkaline oxidative treatment at moderate temperatures (70–90 °C) and atmospheric pressure. Starting from LSs with an average molecular weight of 90,000 Da, and using such a treatment, one
[...] Read more.
The molecular weights of lignosulfonates (LSs) are modified by a rather simple process involving an alkaline oxidative treatment at moderate temperatures (70–90 °C) and atmospheric pressure. Starting from LSs with an average molecular weight of 90,000 Da, and using such a treatment, one can prepare controlled molecular weight LSs in the range of 30,000 to 3500 Da based on the average mass molecular weight. The LS depolymerisation was monitored via reverse-phase and size-exclusion chromatography. It has been shown that the combination of O2, H2O2 and Cu as a catalyst in alkaline conditions at 80 °C induces a high LS depolymerisation. The depolymerisation was systemically accompanied by a vanillin production, the yields of which reached 1.4 wt % (weight percentage on LS raw basis) in such conditions. Also, the average molecular weight and vanillin concentration were correlated and depended linearly on the temperature and reaction duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Lignin Challenge: Exploring Innovative Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Altered Leukocyte Sphingolipid Pathway in Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2521; doi:10.3390/ijms18122521
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sphingolipid metabolism pathway is essential in membrane homeostasis, and its dysfunction has been associated with favorable tumor microenvironment, disease progression, and chemotherapy resistance. Its major components have key functions on survival and proliferation, with opposing effects. We have profiled the components of the
[...] Read more.
Sphingolipid metabolism pathway is essential in membrane homeostasis, and its dysfunction has been associated with favorable tumor microenvironment, disease progression, and chemotherapy resistance. Its major components have key functions on survival and proliferation, with opposing effects. We have profiled the components of the sphingolipid pathway on leukocytes of breast cancer (BC) patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and without, including the five sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptors, the major functional genes, and cytokines, in order to better understand the S1P signaling in the immune cells of these patients. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first characterization of the sphingolipid pathway in whole blood of BC patients. Skewed gene profiles favoring high SPHK1 expression toward S1P production during BC development was observed, which was reversed by chemotherapy treatment, and reached similar levels to those found in healthy donors. Such levels were also correlated with high levels of TNF-α. Our data revealed an important role of the sphingolipid pathway in immune cells in BC with skewed signaling of S1P receptors, which favored cancer development even under chemotherapy, and may probably be a trigger of cancer resistance. Thus, these molecules must be considered as a target pathway for combined BC therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sphingolipids: Signals and Disease)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Impact of Antibiotics on the Proliferation and Differentiation of Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2522; doi:10.3390/ijms18122522
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (9573 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adipose tissue is a promising source of mesenchymal stem cells. Their potential to differentiate and regenerate other types of tissues may be affected by several factors. This may be due to in vitro cell-culture conditions, especially the supplementation with antibiotics. The aim of
[...] Read more.
Adipose tissue is a promising source of mesenchymal stem cells. Their potential to differentiate and regenerate other types of tissues may be affected by several factors. This may be due to in vitro cell-culture conditions, especially the supplementation with antibiotics. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of a penicillin-streptomycin mixture (PS), amphotericin B (AmB), a complex of AmB with copper (II) ions (AmB-Cu2+) and various combinations of these antibiotics on the proliferation and differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells in vitro. Normal human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC, Lonza) were routinely maintained in a Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) that was either supplemented with selected antibiotics or without antibiotics. The ADSC that were used for the experiment were at the second passage. The effect of antibiotics on proliferation was analyzed using the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and sulforhodamine-B (SRB) tests. Differentiation was evaluated based on Alizarin Red staining, Oil Red O staining and determination of the expression of ADSC, osteoblast and adipocyte markers by real-time RT-qPCR. The obtained results indicate that the influence of antibiotics on adipose-derived stem cells depends on the duration of exposure and on the combination of applied compounds. We show that antibiotics alter the proliferation of cells and also promote natural osteogenesis, and adipogenesis, and that this effect is also noticeable in stimulated osteogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Whole-Genome Re-Alignment Facilitates Development of Specific Molecular Markers for Races 1 and 4 of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, the Cause of Black Rot Disease in Brassica oleracea
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2523; doi:10.3390/ijms18122523
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3949 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Black rot, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), is a seed borne disease of Brassicaceae. Eleven pathogenic races have been identified based on the phenotype interaction pattern of differential brassica cultivars inoculated with different strains. Race 1 and 4
[...] Read more.
Black rot, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), is a seed borne disease of Brassicaceae. Eleven pathogenic races have been identified based on the phenotype interaction pattern of differential brassica cultivars inoculated with different strains. Race 1 and 4 are the two most frequent races found in Brassica oleracea crops. In this study, a PCR molecular diagnostic tool was developed for the identification of Xcc races 1 and 4 of this pathogen. Whole genomic sequences of races 1, 3, 4 and 9 and sequences of three other Xanthomonas pathovars/species (X. campestris pv. incanae (Xci), X. campestris pv. raphani (Xcr) and X. euvesicatoria (Xev) were aligned to identify variable regions among races. To develop specific markers for races 1 and 4, primers were developed from a region where sequences were dissimilar in other races. Sequence-characterized amplified regions (SCAR) and insertion or deletion of bases (InDel) were used to develop each specific set of primers. The specificity of the selected primers was confirmed by PCR tests using genomic DNA of seven different Xcc races, two strains of X. campestris pathovars and other species of bacteria. Bacterial samples of the races 1 and 4 isolates were collected from artificially inoculated cabbage leaves to conduct bio-PCR. Bio-PCR successfully detected the two Xcc isolates. By using our race-specific markers, a potential race 1 strain from the existing Korean Xcc collection was identified. The Xcc race 1 and 4-specific markers developed in this study are novel and can potentially be used for rapid detection of Xcc races through PCR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Synthetic Secoisolariciresinol Diglucoside (LGM2605) Protects Human Lung in an Ex Vivo Model of Proton Radiation Damage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2525; doi:10.3390/ijms18122525
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4834 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Radiation therapy for the treatment of thoracic malignancies has improved significantly by directing of the proton beam in higher doses on the targeted tumor while normal tissues around the tumor receive much lower doses. Nevertheless, exposure of normal tissues to protons is known
[...] Read more.
Radiation therapy for the treatment of thoracic malignancies has improved significantly by directing of the proton beam in higher doses on the targeted tumor while normal tissues around the tumor receive much lower doses. Nevertheless, exposure of normal tissues to protons is known to pose a substantial risk in long-term survivors, as confirmed by our work in space-relevant exposures of murine lungs to proton radiation. Thus, radioprotective strategies are being sought. We established that LGM2605 is a potent protector from radiation-induced lung toxicity and aimed in the current study to extend the initial findings of space-relevant, proton radiation-associated late lung damage in mice by looking at acute changes in human lung. We used an ex vivo model of organ culture where tissue slices of donor living human lung were kept in culture and exposed to proton radiation. We exposed donor human lung precision-cut lung sections (huPCLS), pretreated with LGM2605, to 4 Gy proton radiation and evaluated them 30 min and 24 h later for gene expression changes relevant to inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell cycle arrest, and determined radiation-induced senescence, inflammation, and oxidative tissue damage. We identified an LGM2605-mediated reduction of proton radiation-induced cellular senescence and associated cell cycle changes, an associated proinflammatory phenotype, and associated oxidative tissue damage. This is a first report on the effects of proton radiation and of the radioprotective properties of LGM2605 on human lung. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress and Space Biology: An Organ-Based Approach)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Genetic Polymorphism of miR-196a-2 is Associated with Bone Mineral Density (BMD)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2529; doi:10.3390/ijms18122529
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1990 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally regulate the translation of messenger RNAs. Given the crucial role of miRNAs in gene expression, genetic variants within miRNA-related sequences may affect miRNA function and contribute to disease risk. Osteoporosis is characterized by reduced
[...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally regulate the translation of messenger RNAs. Given the crucial role of miRNAs in gene expression, genetic variants within miRNA-related sequences may affect miRNA function and contribute to disease risk. Osteoporosis is characterized by reduced bone mass, and bone mineral density (BMD) is a major diagnostic proxy to assess osteoporosis risk. Here, we aimed to identify miRNAs that are involved in BMD using data from recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on femoral neck, lumbar spine and forearm BMD. Of 242 miRNA-variants available in the GWAS data, we found rs11614913:C > T in the precursor miR-196a-2 to be significantly associated with femoral neck-BMD (p-value = 9.9 × 10−7, β = −0.038) and lumbar spine-BMD (p-value = 3.2 × 10−11, β = −0.061). Furthermore, our sensitivity analyses using the Rotterdam study data showed a sex-specific association of rs11614913 with BMD only in women. Subsequently, we highlighted a number of miR-196a-2 target genes, expressed in bone and associated with BMD, that may mediate the miRNA function in BMD. Collectively, our results suggest that miR-196a-2 may contribute to variations in BMD level. Further biological investigations will give more insights into the mechanisms by which miR-196a-2 control expression of BMD-related genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Disease Diagnostics)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle BCL11A mRNA Targeting by miR-210: A Possible Network Regulating γ-Globin Gene Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2530; doi:10.3390/ijms18122530
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3788 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The involvement of microRNAs in the control of repressors of human γ-globin gene transcription has been firmly demonstrated, as described for the miR-486-3p mediated down-regulation of BCL11A. On the other hand, we have reported that miR-210 is involved in erythroid differentiation and, possibly,
[...] Read more.
The involvement of microRNAs in the control of repressors of human γ-globin gene transcription has been firmly demonstrated, as described for the miR-486-3p mediated down-regulation of BCL11A. On the other hand, we have reported that miR-210 is involved in erythroid differentiation and, possibly, in γ-globin gene up-regulation. In the present study, we have identified the coding sequence of BCL11A as a possible target of miR-210. The following results sustain this hypothesis: (a) interactions between miR-210 and the miR-210 BCL11A site were demonstrated by SPR-based biomolecular interaction analysis (BIA); (b) the miR-210 site of BCL11A is conserved through molecular evolution; (c) forced expression of miR-210 leads to decrease of BCL11A-XL and increase of γ-globin mRNA content in erythroid cells, including erythroid precursors isolated from β-thalassemia patients. Our study suggests that the coding mRNA sequence of BCL11A can be targeted by miR-210. In addition to the theoretical point of view, these data are of interest from the applied point of view, supporting a novel strategy to inhibit BCL11A by mimicking miR-210 functions, accordingly with the concept supported by several papers and patent applications that inhibition of BCL11A is an efficient strategy for fetal hemoglobin induction in the treatment of β-thalassemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Role of Vitamin D in Maintaining Renal Epithelial Barrier Function in Uremic Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2531; doi:10.3390/ijms18122531
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5620 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
As current kidney replacement therapies are not efficient enough for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) treatment, a bioartificial kidney (BAK) device, based on conditionally immortalized human proximal tubule epithelial cells (ciPTEC), could represent an attractive solution. The active transport activity of such a system
[...] Read more.
As current kidney replacement therapies are not efficient enough for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) treatment, a bioartificial kidney (BAK) device, based on conditionally immortalized human proximal tubule epithelial cells (ciPTEC), could represent an attractive solution. The active transport activity of such a system was recently demonstrated. In addition, endocrine functions of the cells, such as vitamin D activation, are relevant. The organic anion transporter 1 (OAT-1) overexpressing ciPTEC line presented 1α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1), 24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1) and vitamin D receptor (VDR), responsible for vitamin D activation, degradation and function, respectively. The ability to produce and secrete 1α,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3, was shown after incubation with the precursor, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3. The beneficial effect of vitamin D on cell function and behavior in uremic conditions was studied in the presence of an anionic uremic toxins mixture. Vitamin D could restore cell viability, and inflammatory and oxidative status, as shown by cell metabolic activity, interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, respectively. Finally, vitamin D restored transepithelial barrier function, as evidenced by decreased inulin-FITC leakage in biofunctionalized hollow fiber membranes (HFM) carrying ciPTEC-OAT1. In conclusion, the protective effects of vitamin D in uremic conditions and proven ciPTEC-OAT1 endocrine function encourage the use of these cells for BAK application. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Differential Expression of Nitric Oxide Synthase Isoforms nNOS and iNOS in Patients with Non-Segmental Generalized Vitiligo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2533; doi:10.3390/ijms18122533
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
PDF Full-text (7598 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in several biological processes, but its role in human melanogenesis is still not well understood. Exposure to UVA and UVB induces nitric oxide production in keratinocytes and melanocytes through the activation of constitutive nitric oxide synthase, increasing tyrosinase
[...] Read more.
Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in several biological processes, but its role in human melanogenesis is still not well understood. Exposure to UVA and UVB induces nitric oxide production in keratinocytes and melanocytes through the activation of constitutive nitric oxide synthase, increasing tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis, whereas inducible nitric oxide synthase over expression might be involved in hypopigmentary disorders. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether inducible nitric oxide synthase and neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression were modified in vitiligo skin compared to healthy controls. Skin biopsies were obtained from inflammatory/lesional and white/lesional skin in 12 patients with active, non-segmental vitiligo; site-matched biopsies of normal skin from eight patients were used as controls. Nitric oxide synthase isoforms expression was evaluated by confocal laser scanning microscopy and Western Blot analysis. Inducible nitric oxide synthase expression was significantly increased in inflammatory/lesional skin compared to healthy skin; melanocytes showed a moderate neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression in white/lesional skin, demonstrating that metabolic function still goes on. The obtained data demonstrated that vitiligo lesions were characterized by modifications of nitric oxide synthase isoforms, thus confirming the hypothesis that nitric oxide imbalance is involved in vitiligo and supporting the idea that nitric oxide synthase inhibitors might be used as a possible therapeutic approach for the management of vitiligo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammaging and Oxidative Stress in Aging and Age-Related Disorders)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dietary Supplementation with Lactobacillus casei Alleviates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Liver Injury in a Porcine Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2535; doi:10.3390/ijms18122535
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
PDF Full-text (768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aims to determine whether Lactobacillus casei (L. casei) could relieve liver injury in piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Piglets were randomly allocated into one of the three groups: control, LPS, and L. casei. The control and LPS groups
[...] Read more.
This study aims to determine whether Lactobacillus casei (L. casei) could relieve liver injury in piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Piglets were randomly allocated into one of the three groups: control, LPS, and L. casei. The control and LPS groups were fed a corn- and soybean meal-based diet, whereas the L. casei group was fed the basal diet supplemented with 6 × 106 cfu/g L. casei. On Day 31 of the trial, piglets in the LPS and L. casei groups received intraperitoneal administration of LPS (100 µg/kg body weight), while the control group received the same volume of saline. Blood and liver samples were collected for analysis. Results showed that L. casei supplementation decreased the feed/gain ratio (p = 0.027) and diarrhea incidence (p < 0.001), and attenuated LPS-induced liver histomorphological abnormalities. Compared with the control group, LPS challenge dramatically increased glutamyl transpeptidase activity (p = 0.001) in plasma as well as the concentrations of Interleukin 6 (IL-6) (p = 0.048), Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) (p = 0.041), and Malondialdehyde (MDA) (p = 0.001) in the liver, while decreasing the hepatic SOD activity. LPS also increased (p < 0.05) the mRNA levels for IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, Toll-like receptors 4 (TLR4), Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) in the liver. The adverse effects of LPS challenge were ameliorated by L. casei supplementation. In conclusion, dietary L. casei alleviates LPS-induced liver injury via reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-oxidative capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication Could −79 °C Spray-Type Cryotherapy Be an Effective Monotherapy for the Treatment of Keloid?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2536; doi:10.3390/ijms18122536
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2366 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cryotherapy has been regarded as an effective modality for the treatment of keloids, and the spray-type device is one of the novel cryotherapeutic units. However, the biological mechanisms and therapeutic effects of this technique are incompletely studied. We evaluated the clinical efficacy of
[...] Read more.
Cryotherapy has been regarded as an effective modality for the treatment of keloids, and the spray-type device is one of the novel cryotherapeutic units. However, the biological mechanisms and therapeutic effects of this technique are incompletely studied. We evaluated the clinical efficacy of our cryotherapy protocol with molecular and pathologic evidence for the treatment of keloids. We evenly split each of ten keloid lesions into a non-treated (C−) and treated (C+) area; the C+ area was subjected to two freeze-thaw cycles of spray-type cryotherapy using −79 °C spray-type CryoPen™. This treatment was repeated after an interval of two weeks. The proliferation and migration abilities of the fibroblasts isolated from the dermis under the cryotherapy-treated or untreated keloid tissues (at least 5 mm deep) were compared and pathologic findings of the full layer were evaluated. Molecular analysis revealed that the number of dermal fibroblasts was significantly higher in C+ group as compared with C− group. The dermal fibroblasts from C+ group showed more than two-fold increase in the migration ability as compared with the fibroblasts from C− group. The expression of matrix metallopeptidase 9 was increased by more than two-fold and a significant increase in transforming growth factor beta 1 expression and Smad2/3 phosphorylation level was observed in C+ group. C+ group showed more extensive lymphoplasmacytic infiltration with thicker fibrosis and occasional “proliferating core collagen” as compared with C− group. Thus, −79 °C spray-type cryotherapy is ineffective as a monotherapy and should be used in combination with intralesional corticosteroids or botulinum toxin A for favourable outcomes in the treatment of thick keloids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Scar Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Protective Effects of Liquiritigenin against Citrinin-Triggered, Oxidative-Stress-Mediated Apoptosis and Disruption of Embryonic Development in Mouse Blastocysts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2538; doi:10.3390/ijms18122538
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3119 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mycotoxin citrinin (CTN), a natural contaminant in foodstuffs and animal feeds, exerts cytotoxic and genotoxic effects on various mammalian cells and embryos. A previous investigation by our group revealed potentially hazardous effects of CTN on mouse oocyte maturation and pre- and post-implantation
[...] Read more.
The mycotoxin citrinin (CTN), a natural contaminant in foodstuffs and animal feeds, exerts cytotoxic and genotoxic effects on various mammalian cells and embryos. A previous investigation by our group revealed potentially hazardous effects of CTN on mouse oocyte maturation and pre- and post-implantation embryo development via the induction of apoptosis. The present study showed that CTN induces apoptosis and inhibits cell proliferation in the inner cell mass of mouse blastocysts. Notably, we observed for the first time that both these effects are suppressed by liquiritigenin (LQ). LQ is a type of flavonoid isolated from Glycyrrhiza radix with several biochemical and pharmacological activities, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The preincubation of blastocysts with LQ clearly prevented CTN-induced disruption of pre- and post-implantation embryonic development and fetal weight loss, both in vitro and in vivo. CTN-induced damage processes directly promoted reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, which were effectively blocked by LQ. Moreover, in an animal model, intravenous injection of dams with CTN (3 mg/kg/day) triggered apoptosis of blastocysts, disruption of embryonic development from the zygote to the blastocyst stage and a decrease in fetal weight. Pre-injection with LQ (5 mg/kg/day) effectively reduced apoptosis and impaired the cytotoxic effects of CTN on development. Our in vivo findings further confirm that CTN exposure via injection has the potential to impair pre- and post-implantation development, leading to apoptosis and the suppression of sequent embryonic development, which can be effectively prevented by LQ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Ketamine, a Clinically Used Anesthetic, Inhibits Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation via PP2A-Activated PI3K/Akt/ERK Inhibition
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2545; doi:10.3390/ijms18122545
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) gives rise to major pathological processes involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases. The use of anti-proliferative agents for VSMCs offers potential for the treatment of vascular disorders. Intravenous anesthetics are firmly established to have
[...] Read more.
Abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) gives rise to major pathological processes involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases. The use of anti-proliferative agents for VSMCs offers potential for the treatment of vascular disorders. Intravenous anesthetics are firmly established to have direct effects on VSMCs, resulting in modulation of blood pressure. Ketamine has been used for many years in the intensive care unit (ICU) for sedation, and has recently been considered for adjunctive therapy. In the present study, we investigated the effects of ketamine on platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB)-induced VSMC proliferation and the associated mechanism. Ketamine concentration-dependently inhibited PDGF-BB-induced VSMC proliferation without cytotoxicity, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) inhibitors, LY294002 and PD98059, respectively, have similar inhibitory effects. Ketamine was shown to attenuate PI3K, Akt, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation induced by PDGF-BB. Okadaic acid, a selective protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibitor, significantly reversed ketamine-mediated PDGF-BB-induced PI3K, Akt, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation; a transfected protein phosphatse 2a (pp2a) siRNA reversed Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation; and 3-O-Methyl-sphingomyeline (3-OME), an inhibitor of sphingomyelinase, also significantly reversed ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Moreover, ketamine alone significantly inhibited tyrosine phosphorylation and demethylation of PP2A in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, the pp2a siRNA potently reversed the ketamine-activated catalytic subunit (PP2A-C) of PP2A. These results provide evidence of an anti-proliferating effect of ketamine in VSMCs, showing activation of PP2A blocks PI3K, Akt, and ERK phosphorylation that subsequently inhibits the proliferation of VSMCs. Thus, ketamine may be considered a potential effective therapeutic agent for reducing atherosclerotic process by blocking the proliferation of VSMCs. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle RNA Chaperone Function of a Universal Stress Protein in Arabidopsis Confers Enhanced Cold Stress Tolerance in Plants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2546; doi:10.3390/ijms18122546
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 25 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3703 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The physiological function of Arabidopsis thaliana universal stress protein (AtUSP) in plant has remained unclear. Thus, we report here the functional role of the Arabidopsis universal stress protein, AtUSP (At3g53990). To determine how AtUSP affects physiological responses towards cold stress, AtUSP overexpression (AtUSP
[...] Read more.
The physiological function of Arabidopsis thaliana universal stress protein (AtUSP) in plant has remained unclear. Thus, we report here the functional role of the Arabidopsis universal stress protein, AtUSP (At3g53990). To determine how AtUSP affects physiological responses towards cold stress, AtUSP overexpression (AtUSP OE) and T-DNA insertion knock-out (atusp, SALK_146059) mutant lines were used. The results indicated that AtUSP OE enhanced plant tolerance to cold stress, whereas atusp did not. AtUSP is localized in the nucleus and cytoplasm, and cold stress significantly affects RNA metabolism such as by misfolding and secondary structure changes of RNA. Therefore, we investigated the relationship of AtUSP with RNA metabolism. We found that AtUSP can bind nucleic acids, including single- and double-stranded DNA and luciferase mRNA. AtUSP also displayed strong nucleic acid-melting activity. We expressed AtUSP in RL211 Escherichia coli, which contains a hairpin-loop RNA structure upstream of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT), and observed that AtUSP exhibited anti-termination activity that enabled CAT gene expression. AtUSP expression in the cold-sensitive Escherichia coli (E. coli) mutant BX04 complemented the cold sensitivity of the mutant cells. As these properties are typical characteristics of RNA chaperones, we conclude that AtUSP functions as a RNA chaperone under cold-shock conditions. Thus, the enhanced tolerance of AtUSP OE lines to cold stress is mediated by the RNA chaperone function of AtUSP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Chaperones)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Nodule-Enriched GRETCHEN HAGEN 3 Enzymes Have Distinct Substrate Specificities and Are Important for Proper Soybean Nodule Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2547; doi:10.3390/ijms18122547
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2909 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Legume root nodules develop as a result of a symbiotic relationship between the plant and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia bacteria in soil. Auxin activity is detected in different cell types at different stages of nodule development; as well as an enhanced sensitivity to auxin inhibits,
[...] Read more.
Legume root nodules develop as a result of a symbiotic relationship between the plant and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia bacteria in soil. Auxin activity is detected in different cell types at different stages of nodule development; as well as an enhanced sensitivity to auxin inhibits, which could affect nodule development. While some transport and signaling mechanisms that achieve precise spatiotemporal auxin output are known, the role of auxin metabolism during nodule development is unclear. Using a soybean root lateral organ transcriptome data set, we identified distinct nodule enrichment of three genes encoding auxin-deactivating GRETCHEN HAGEN 3 (GH3) indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) amido transferase enzymes: GmGH3-11/12, GmGH3-14 and GmGH3-15. In vitro enzymatic assays showed that each of these GH3 proteins preferred IAA and aspartate as acyl and amino acid substrates, respectively. GmGH3-15 showed a broad substrate preference, especially with different forms of auxin. Promoter:GUS expression analysis indicated that GmGH3-14 acts primarily in the root epidermis and the nodule primordium where as GmGH3-15 might act in the vasculature. Silencing the expression of these GH3 genes in soybean composite plants led to altered nodule numbers, maturity, and size. Our results indicate that these GH3s are needed for proper nodule maturation in soybean, but the precise mechanism by which they regulate nodule development remains to be explained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auxin)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Human Skin Permeation Studies with PPARγ Agonist to Improve Its Permeability and Efficacy in Inflammatory Processes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2548; doi:10.3390/ijms18122548
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Rosacea is the most common inflammatory skin disease. It is characterized by erythema, inflammatory papules and pustules, visible blood vessels, and telangiectasia. The current treatment has limitations and unsatisfactory results. Pioglitazone (PGZ) is an agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), a nuclear receptor
[...] Read more.
Rosacea is the most common inflammatory skin disease. It is characterized by erythema, inflammatory papules and pustules, visible blood vessels, and telangiectasia. The current treatment has limitations and unsatisfactory results. Pioglitazone (PGZ) is an agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), a nuclear receptor that regulates important cellular functions, including inflammatory responses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the permeation of PGZ with a selection of penetration enhancers and to analyze its effectiveness for treating rosacea. The high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method was validated for the quantitative determination of PGZ. Ex vivo permeation experiments were realized in Franz diffusion cells using human skin, in which PGZ with different penetration enhancers were assayed. The results showed that the limonene was the most effective penetration enhancer that promotes the permeation of PGZ through the skin. The cytotoxicity studies and the Draize test detected cell viability and the absence of skin irritation, respectively. The determination of the skin color using a skin colorimetric probe and the results of histopathological studies confirmed the ability of PGZ-limonene to reduce erythema and vasodilation. This study suggests new pharmacological indications of PGZ and its possible application in the treatment of skin diseases, namely rosacea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammatory Skin Conditions 2017)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Graphene Oxide–Silver Nanoparticles Nanocomposite Stimulates Differentiation in Human Neuroblastoma Cancer Cells (SH-SY5Y)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2549; doi:10.3390/ijms18122549
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3826 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Recently, graphene and graphene related nanocomposite receive much attention due to high surface-to-volume ratio, and unique physiochemical and biological properties. The combination of metallic nanoparticles with graphene-based materials offers a promising method to fabricate novel graphene–silver hybrid nanomaterials with unique functions in biomedical
[...] Read more.
Recently, graphene and graphene related nanocomposite receive much attention due to high surface-to-volume ratio, and unique physiochemical and biological properties. The combination of metallic nanoparticles with graphene-based materials offers a promising method to fabricate novel graphene–silver hybrid nanomaterials with unique functions in biomedical nanotechnology, and nanomedicine. Therefore, this study was designed to prepare graphene oxide (GO) silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) nanocomposite (GO-AgNPs) containing two different nanomaterials in single platform with distinctive properties using luciferin as reducing agents. In addition, we investigated the effect of GO-AgNPs on differentiation in SH-SY5Y cells. The synthesized GO-AgNPs were characterized by ultraviolet-visible absorption spectroscopy (UV-vis), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Raman spectroscopy. The differentiation was confirmed by series of cellular and biochemical assays. The AgNPs were distributed uniformly on the surface of graphene oxide with an average size of 25 nm. As prepared GO-AgNPOs induces differentiation by increasing the expression of neuronal differentiation markers and decreasing the expression of stem cell markers. The results indicated that the redox biology involved the expression of various signaling molecules, which play an important role in differentiation. This study suggests that GO-AgNP nanocomposite could stimulate differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, understanding the mechanisms of differentiation of neuroblastoma cells could provide new strategies for cancer and stem cell therapies. Therefore, these studies suggest that GO-AgNPs could target specific chemotherapy-resistant cells within a tumor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterial Sciences)
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Aberrant Lipid Metabolism in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Revealed by Liver Lipidomics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2550; doi:10.3390/ijms18122550
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to characterize the disorder of lipid metabolism in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC is a worldwide disease. The research into the disorder of lipid metabolism in HCC is very limited. Study of lipid metabolism in liver cancer
[...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to characterize the disorder of lipid metabolism in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC is a worldwide disease. The research into the disorder of lipid metabolism in HCC is very limited. Study of lipid metabolism in liver cancer tissue may have the potential to provide new insight into HCC mechanisms. Methods: A lipidomics study of HCC based on Ultra high performance liquid chromatography-electronic spray ionization-QTOF mass spectrometer (UPLC-ESI-QTOF MS) and Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (MALDI-FTICR MS) was performed. Results: Triacylglycerols (TAGs) with the number of double bond (DB) > 2 (except 56:5 and 56:4 TAG) were significantly down-regulated; conversely, others (except 52:2 TAG) were greatly up-regulated in HCC tissues. Moreover, the more serious the disease was, the higher the saturated TAG concentration and the lower the polyunsaturated TAG concentration were in HCC tissues. The phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylinositol (PI) were altered in a certain way. Sphingomyelin (SM) was up-regulated and ceramide (Cer) were down-regulated in HCC tissues. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first such report showing a unique trend of TAG, PC, PE and PI. The use of polyunsaturated fatty acids, like eicosapentanoic and docosahexanoic acid, as supplementation, proposed for the treatment of Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), may also be effective for the treatment of HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Insights into Insulin Fibril Assembly at Physiological and Acidic pH and Related Amyloid Intrinsic Fluorescence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2551; doi:10.3390/ijms18122551
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Human insulin is a widely used model protein for the study of amyloid formation as both associated to insulin injection amyloidosis in type II diabetes and highly prone to form amyloid fibrils in vitro. In this study, we aim to gain new structural
[...] Read more.
Human insulin is a widely used model protein for the study of amyloid formation as both associated to insulin injection amyloidosis in type II diabetes and highly prone to form amyloid fibrils in vitro. In this study, we aim to gain new structural insights into insulin fibril formation under two different aggregating conditions at neutral and acidic pH, using a combination of fluorescence, circular dichroism, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron miscroscopy. We reveal that fibrils formed at neutral pH are morphologically different from those obtained at lower pH. Moreover, differences in FTIR spectra were also detected. In addition, only insulin fibrils formed at neutral pH showed the characteristic blue-green fluorescence generally associated to amyloid fibrils. So far, the molecular origin of this fluorescence phenomenon has not been clarified and different hypotheses have been proposed. In this respect, our data provide experimental evidence that allow identifying the molecular origin of such intrinsic property. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Protein Folding)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Analysis of MicroRNA Expression in Newborns with Differential Birth Weight Using Newborn Screening Cards
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2552; doi:10.3390/ijms18122552
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Birth weight is an early predictor for metabolic diseases and microRNAs (miRNAs) are proposed as fetal programming participants. To evaluate the use of dried blood spots (DBS) on newborn screening cards (NSC) as a source of analyzable miRNAs, we optimized a commercial protocol
[...] Read more.
Birth weight is an early predictor for metabolic diseases and microRNAs (miRNAs) are proposed as fetal programming participants. To evaluate the use of dried blood spots (DBS) on newborn screening cards (NSC) as a source of analyzable miRNAs, we optimized a commercial protocol to recover total miRNA from normal birth weight (NBW, n = 17–20), low birth weight (LBW, n = 17–20) and high birth weight (macrosomia, n = 17–20) newborns and analyzed the relative expression of selected miRNAs by stem-loop RT-qPCR. The possible role of miRNAs on the fetal programming of metabolic diseases was explored by bioinformatic tools. The optimized extraction of RNA resulted in a 1.2-fold enrichment of miRNAs respect to the commercial kit. miR-33b and miR-375 were overexpressed in macrosomia 9.8-fold (p < 0.001) and 1.7-fold, (p < 0.05), respectively and miR-454-3p was overexpressed in both LBW and macrosomia (19.7-fold, p < 0.001 and 10.8-fold, p < 0.001, respectively), as compared to NBW. Potential target genes for these miRNAs are associated to cyclic-guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKG), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), type 2 diabetes, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)and Forkhead box O protein (FoxO) pathways. In summary, we improved a protocol for analyzing miRNAs from NSC and provide the first evidence that birth weight modifies the expression of miRNAs associated to adult metabolic dysfunctions. Our work suggests archived NSC are an invaluable resource in the search for fetal programming biomarkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Bioinspired versus Enzymatic Oxidation of Some Homologous Thionine Dyes in the Presence of Immobilized Metalloporphyrin Catalysts and Ligninolytic Enzymes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2553; doi:10.3390/ijms18122553
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Thionines are recalcitrant and polluting textile dyes presenting various degrees of N-methylation. In this paper, a complete series of homologous thionines was used as the substrates for oxidation in the presence of a bioinspired commercial iron-porphyrin immobilized on to imidazole- and pyridine-functionalized
[...] Read more.
Thionines are recalcitrant and polluting textile dyes presenting various degrees of N-methylation. In this paper, a complete series of homologous thionines was used as the substrates for oxidation in the presence of a bioinspired commercial iron-porphyrin immobilized on to imidazole- and pyridine-functionalized fumed silica, to emulate the active site of ligninolytic peroxidases. The obtained catalytic adducts showed a remarkable ability to catalyze thionine dye oxidation in the presence of different oxidants such as potassium monopersulfate and hydrogen peroxide. Different oxidation patterns were obtained and mechanistically discussed, in comparison with those observed in the presence of some ligninolytic oxidizing enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Antarctic Krill Oil Diet Protects against Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Oxidative Stress, Neuroinflammation and Cognitive Impairment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2554; doi:10.3390/ijms18122554
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3154 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are implicated in the development and pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of krill oil. Oil from Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill), an Antarctic marine species, is rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and
[...] Read more.
Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are implicated in the development and pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of krill oil. Oil from Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill), an Antarctic marine species, is rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We examined whether krill oil diet (80 mg/kg/day for one month) prevents amyloidogenesis and cognitive impairment induced by intraperitoneal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (250 µg/kg, seven times daily) injections in AD mice model and found that krill oil treatment inhibited the LPS-induced memory loss. We also found that krill oil treatment inhibited the LPS-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde levels. Krill oil also suppresses IκB degradation as well as p50 and p65 translocation into the nuclei of LPS-injected mice brain cells. In association with the inhibitory effect on neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, krill oil suppressed amyloid beta (1–42) peptide generation by the down-regulating APP and BACE1 expression in vivo. We found that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (50 and 100 µM) dose-dependently decreased LPS-induced nitric oxide and ROS generation, and COX-2 and iNOS expression as well as nuclear factor-κB activity in cultured microglial BV-2 cells. These results suggest that krill oil ameliorated impairment via anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and anti-amyloidogenic mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurological Injuries’ Monitoring, Tracking and Treatment 2017)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Pharmacokinetics of Chlorin e6-Cobalt Bis(Dicarbollide) Conjugate in Balb/c Mice with Engrafted Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2556; doi:10.3390/ijms18122556
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The necessary precondition for efficient boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is control over the content of isotope 10B in the tumor and normal tissues. In the case of boron-containing porphyrins, the fluorescent part of molecule can be used for quantitative assessment of
[...] Read more.
The necessary precondition for efficient boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is control over the content of isotope 10B in the tumor and normal tissues. In the case of boron-containing porphyrins, the fluorescent part of molecule can be used for quantitative assessment of the boron content. Study Objective: We performed a study of the biodistribution of the chlorin e6-Cobalt bis(dicarbollide) conjugate in carcinoma-bearing Balb/c mice using ex vivo fluorescence imaging, and developed a mathematical model describing boron accumulation and release based on the obtained experimental data. Materials and Methods: The study was performed on Balb/c tumor-bearing mice (CT-26 tumor model). A solution of the chlorin e6-Cobalt bis(dicarbollide) conjugate (CCDC) was injected into the blood at a dose of 10 mg/kg of the animal’s weight. Analysis of the fluorescence signal intensity was performed at several time points by spectrofluorimetry in blood and by laser scanning microscopy in muscle, liver, and tumor tissues. The boron content in the same samples was determined by mass spectroscopy with inductively coupled plasma. Results: Analysis of a linear approximation between the fluorescence intensity and boron content in the tissues demonstrated a satisfactory value of approximation reliability with a Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient of r = 0.938, p < 0.01. The dynamics of the boron concentration change in various organs, calculated on the basis of the fluorescence intensity, enabled the development of a model describing the accumulation of the studied compound and its distribution in tissues. The obtained results reveal a high level of correspondence between the model and experimental data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Effect of Dietary Acidolysis-Oxidized Konjac Glucomannan Supplementation on Serum Immune Parameters and Intestinal Immune-Related Gene Expression of Schizothorax prenanti
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2558; doi:10.3390/ijms18122558
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1066 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary acidolysis-oxidized konjac glucomannan (A-OKGM) (0%, 0.4%, 0.8%, and 1.6%) supplementation on the immunity and expression of immune-related genes in Schizothorax prenanti. After feeding for eight weeks, the serum and guts were
[...] Read more.
The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary acidolysis-oxidized konjac glucomannan (A-OKGM) (0%, 0.4%, 0.8%, and 1.6%) supplementation on the immunity and expression of immune-related genes in Schizothorax prenanti. After feeding for eight weeks, the serum and guts were used for measurement of biochemical parameters, and immune-related gene expression in the gut were also analyzed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). C-reactive protein and IgM levels were significantly higher in the A-OKGM fed groups than in the control group, regardless of the dosage. The 0.4% and 1.6% A-OKGM groups showed significant up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) in the anterior gut. The 0.8% and 1.6% A-OKGM groups also showed significantly enhanced TNFα expression in the mid- and distal guts. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) expression in the anterior gut of fish fed with 0.4% and 1.6% A-OKGM diets was significantly enhanced. The 0.8% and 1.6% A-OKGM diets resulted in significantly increased the expression of IL-1β in the distal gut. Similarly, the interleukin-6 (IL-6) messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in the 0.4% and 1.6% diet groups were significantly higher in the anterior gut. The 0.8% and 1.6% A-OKGM diet groups showed significant induction of IL-6 gene expression in the distal gut. A-OKGM modified from KGM can act as an immunostimulant to enhance the immunity of S. prenanti. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle PPARγ Modulates Long Chain Fatty Acid Processing in the Intestinal Epithelium
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2559; doi:10.3390/ijms18122559
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nuclear receptor PPARγ affects lipid metabolism in several tissues, but its role in intestinal lipid metabolism has not been explored. As alterations have been observed in the plasma lipid profile of ad libitum fed intestinal epithelium-specific PPARγ knockout mice (iePPARγKO), we submitted these
[...] Read more.
Nuclear receptor PPARγ affects lipid metabolism in several tissues, but its role in intestinal lipid metabolism has not been explored. As alterations have been observed in the plasma lipid profile of ad libitum fed intestinal epithelium-specific PPARγ knockout mice (iePPARγKO), we submitted these mice to lipid gavage challenges. Within hours after gavage with long chain unsaturated fatty acid (FA)-rich canola oil, the iePPARγKO mice had higher plasma free FA levels and lower gastric inhibitory polypeptide levels than their wild-type (WT) littermates, and altered expression of incretin genes and lipid metabolism-associated genes in the intestinal epithelium. Gavage with the medium chain saturated FA-rich coconut oil did not result in differences between the two genotypes. Furthermore, the iePPARγKO mice did not exhibit defective lipid uptake and stomach emptying; however, their intestinal transit was more rapid than in WT mice. When fed a canola oil-rich diet for 4.5 months, iePPARγKO mice had higher body lean mass than the WT mice. We conclude that intestinal epithelium PPARγ is activated preferentially by long chain unsaturated FAs compared to medium chain saturated FAs. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the iePPARγKO phenotype originates from altered lipid metabolism and release in epithelial cells, as well as changes in intestinal motility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PPARs in Cellular and Whole Body Energy Metabolism)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Estrogen Metabolism-Associated CYP2D6 and IL6-174G/C Polymorphisms in Schistosoma haematobium Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2560; doi:10.3390/ijms18122560
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2011 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Schistosoma haematobium is a human blood fluke causing a chronic infection called urogenital schistosomiasis. Squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (SCC) constitutes chronic sequelae of this infection, and S. haematobium infection is accounted as a risk factor for this type of cancer.
[...] Read more.
Schistosoma haematobium is a human blood fluke causing a chronic infection called urogenital schistosomiasis. Squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (SCC) constitutes chronic sequelae of this infection, and S. haematobium infection is accounted as a risk factor for this type of cancer. This infection is considered a neglected tropical disease and is endemic in numerous countries in Africa and the Middle East. Schistosome eggs produce catechol-estrogens. These estrogenic molecules are metabolized to active quinones that induce modifications in DNA. The cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes are a superfamily of mono-oxygenases involved in estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism, the generation of DNA damaging procarcinogens, and the response to anti-estrogen therapies. IL6 Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine expressed in various tissues. This cytokine is largely expressed in the female urogenital tract as well as reproductive organs. Very high or very low levels of IL-6 are associated with estrogen metabolism imbalance. In the present study, we investigated the polymorphic variants in the CYP2D6 gene and the C-174G promoter polymorphism of the IL-6 gene on S. haematobium-infected children patients from Guine Bissau. CYP2D6 inactivated alleles (28.5%) and IL6G-174C (13.3%) variants were frequent in S. haematobium-infected patients when compared to previously studied healthy populations (4.5% and 0.05%, respectively). Here we discuss our recent findings on these polymorphisms and whether they can be predictive markers of schistosome infection and/or represent potential biomarkers for urogenital schistosomiasis associated bladder cancer and infertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Pathways of Estrogen Receptor Action)
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Bioaccumulation and Toxicity of Carbon Nanoparticles Suspension Injection in Intravenously Exposed Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2562; doi:10.3390/ijms18122562
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (15878 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon nanoparticles suspension injection (CNSI) has been widely used in tumor drainage lymph node mapping, and its new applications in drug delivery, photothermal therapy, and so on have been extensively investigated. To develop new clinical applications, the toxicity of CNSI after intravenous exposure
[...] Read more.
Carbon nanoparticles suspension injection (CNSI) has been widely used in tumor drainage lymph node mapping, and its new applications in drug delivery, photothermal therapy, and so on have been extensively investigated. To develop new clinical applications, the toxicity of CNSI after intravenous exposure should be thoroughly investigated to ensure its safe use. Herein, we studied the bioaccumulation of CNSI in reticuloendothelial system (RES) organs and the corresponding toxicity to mice. After the intravenous injection of CNSI, no abnormal behavior of mice was observed during the 28-day observation period. The body weight increases were similar among the exposed groups and the control group. The parameters of hematology and serum biochemistry remained nearly unchanged, with very few of them showing significant changes. The low toxicity of CNSI was also reflected by the unchanged histopathological characteristics of these organs. The injection of CNSI did not induce higher apoptosis levels either. The slight oxidative stress was observed in RES organs at high dosages at day 7 post-exposure. The implication to the clinical applications and toxicological evaluations of carbon nanomaterials is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Bioactive Nanoparticles)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Buprofezin Is Metabolized by CYP353D1v2, a Cytochrome P450 Associated with Imidacloprid Resistance in Laodelphax striatellus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2564; doi:10.3390/ijms18122564
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2059 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
CYP353D1v2 is a cytochrome P450 related to imidacloprid resistance in Laodelphax striatellus. This work was conducted to examine the ability of CYP353D1v2 to metabolize other insecticides. Carbon monoxide difference spectra analysis indicates that CYP353D1v2 was successfully expressed in insect cell Sf9. The
[...] Read more.
CYP353D1v2 is a cytochrome P450 related to imidacloprid resistance in Laodelphax striatellus. This work was conducted to examine the ability of CYP353D1v2 to metabolize other insecticides. Carbon monoxide difference spectra analysis indicates that CYP353D1v2 was successfully expressed in insect cell Sf9. The catalytic activity of CYP353D1v2 relating to degrading buprofezin, chlorpyrifos, and deltamethrin was tested by measuring substrate depletion and analyzing the formation of metabolites. The results showed the nicotinamide–adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-dependent depletion of buprofezin (eluting at 8.7 min) and parallel formation of an unknown metabolite (eluting 9.5 min). However, CYP353D1v2 is unable to metabolize deltamethrin and chlorpyrifos. The recombinant CYP353D1v2 protein efficiently catalyzed the model substrate p-nitroanisole with a maximum velocity of 9.24 nmol/min/mg of protein and a Michaelis constant of Km = 6.21 µM. In addition, imidacloprid was metabolized in vitro by the recombinant CYP353D1v2 microsomes (catalytic constant Kcat) 0.064 pmol/min/pmol P450, Km = 6.41 µM. The mass spectrum of UPLC-MS analysis shows that the metabolite was a product of buprofezin, which was buprofezin sulfone. This result provided direct evidence that L. striatellus cytochrome P450 CYP353D1v2 is capable of metabolizing imidacloprid and buprofezin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytochromes P450: Drug Metabolism and Bioactivation)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Lipopolysaccharide Modifies Glycerol Permeability and Metabolism in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2566; doi:10.3390/ijms18122566
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 25 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aquaglyceroporins—aquaporin membrane channels (AQP) that conduct glycerol and other small neutral solutes in addition to water—play major roles in obesity. In adipocytes, aquaglyceroporins mediate glycerol uptake and release across the plasma membrane, which are two key steps for triacylglycerols (TAGs) synthesis (lipogenesis) and
[...] Read more.
Aquaglyceroporins—aquaporin membrane channels (AQP) that conduct glycerol and other small neutral solutes in addition to water—play major roles in obesity. In adipocytes, aquaglyceroporins mediate glycerol uptake and release across the plasma membrane, which are two key steps for triacylglycerols (TAGs) synthesis (lipogenesis) and hydrolysis (lipolysis). The aim of this study was to assess both glycerol permeability and metabolism in undifferentiated 3T3-L1 cells (UDCs) as well as in untreated (CTL-DCs) versus lipopolysaccharide (LPS-DCs)-treated differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Glycerol release, TAGs content and whole membrane glycerol permeability were significantly increased in DCs as compared to UDCs. Moreover, in DCs, LPS treatment significantly increased TAGs content and decreased glycerol permeability. In addition, a significant reduction in whole membrane glycerol permeability was observed in LPS-DCs as compared to CTL-DCs. The relative contributions of AQP3, AQP7 and AQP9 (facilitated diffusion), as well as that of the phospholipid bilayer (simple diffusion), to the whole membrane glycerol permeability, were estimated biophysically in UDCs, CTL-DCs and LPS-DCs, using selective AQP inhibitors. Further studies will be required to determine if modifications in either subcellular localization and/or activity of aquaglyceroporins could account for the data herein. Nevertheless, our findings provide novel insights in understanding the LPS-induced adipocyte hypertrophy that accompanies obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins: Water Channels Essential for Living Organisms)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Immunohistochemical Characterization of Connexin43 Expression in a Mouse Model of Diabetic Retinopathy and in Human Donor Retinas
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2567; doi:10.3390/ijms18122567
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4830 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) develops due to hyperglycemia and inflammation-induced vascular disruptions in the retina with connexin43 expression patterns in the disease still debated. Here, the effects of hyperglycemia and inflammation on connexin43 expression in vitro in a mouse model of DR and in
[...] Read more.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) develops due to hyperglycemia and inflammation-induced vascular disruptions in the retina with connexin43 expression patterns in the disease still debated. Here, the effects of hyperglycemia and inflammation on connexin43 expression in vitro in a mouse model of DR and in human donor tissues were evaluated. Primary human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (hRMECs) were exposed to high glucose (HG; 25 mM) or pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α (10 ng/mL each) or both before assessing connexin43 expression. Additionally, connexin43, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and plasmalemma vesicular associated protein (PLVAP) were labeled in wild-type (C57BL/6), Akita (diabetic), and Akimba (DR) mouse retinas. Finally, connexin43 and GFAP expression in donor retinas with confirmed DR was compared to age-matched controls. Co-application of HG and cytokines increased connexin43 expression in hRMECs in line with results seen in mice, with no significant difference in connexin43 or GFAP expression in Akita but higher expression in Akimba compared to wild-type mice. On PLVAP-positive vessels, connexin43 was higher in Akimba but unchanged in Akita compared to wild-type mice. Connexin43 expression appeared higher in donor retinas with confirmed DR compared to age-matched controls, similar to the distribution seen in Akimba mice and correlating with the in vitro results. Although connexin43 expression seems reduced in diabetes, hyperglycemia and inflammation present in the pathology of DR seem to increase connexin43 expression, suggesting a causal role of connexin43 channels in the disease progression. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Volasertib Enhances Sensitivity to TRAIL in Renal Carcinoma Caki Cells through Downregulation of c-FLIP Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2568; doi:10.3390/ijms18122568
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) plays major roles in cell cycle control and DNA damage response. Therefore, PLK1 has been investigated as a target for cancer therapy. Volasertib is the second-in class dihydropteridinone derivate that is a specific PLK1 inhibitor. In this study, we
[...] Read more.
Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) plays major roles in cell cycle control and DNA damage response. Therefore, PLK1 has been investigated as a target for cancer therapy. Volasertib is the second-in class dihydropteridinone derivate that is a specific PLK1 inhibitor. In this study, we examined that combining PLK1 inhibitor with tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) would have an additive and synergistic effect on induction of apoptosis in cancer cells. We found that volasertib alone and TRAIL alone had no effect on apoptosis, but the combined treatment of volasertib and TRAIL markedly induced apoptosis in Caki (renal carcinoma), A498 (renal carcinoma) and A549 (lung carcinoma) cells, but not in normal cells (human skin fibroblast cells and mesangial cells). Combined treatment induced accumulation of sub-G1 phase, DNA fragmentation, cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and activation of caspase 3 activity in Caki cells. Interestingly, combined treatment induced downregulation of cellular-FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) expression and ectopic expression of c-FLIP markedly blocked combined treatment-induced apoptosis. Therefore, this study demonstrates that volasertib may sensitize TRAIL-induced apoptosis in Caki cells via downregulation of c-FLIP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle A New Bone Substitute Developed from 3D-Prints of Polylactide (PLA) Loaded with Collagen I: An In Vitro Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2569; doi:10.3390/ijms18122569
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (10738 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although a lot of research has been performed, large segmental bone defects caused by trauma, infection, bone tumors or revision surgeries still represent big challenges for trauma surgeons. New and innovative bone substitutes are needed. Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a novel procedure to
[...] Read more.
Although a lot of research has been performed, large segmental bone defects caused by trauma, infection, bone tumors or revision surgeries still represent big challenges for trauma surgeons. New and innovative bone substitutes are needed. Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a novel procedure to create 3D porous scaffolds that can be used for bone tissue engineering. In the present study, solid discs as well as porous cage-like 3D prints made of polylactide (PLA) are coated or filled with collagen, respectively, and tested for biocompatibility and endotoxin contamination. Microscopic analyses as well as proliferation assays were performed using various cell types on PLA discs. Stromal-derived factor (SDF-1) release from cages filled with collagen was analyzed and the effect on endothelial cells tested. This study confirms the biocompatibility of PLA and demonstrates an endotoxin contamination clearly below the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) limit. Cells of various cell types (osteoblasts, osteoblast-like cells, fibroblasts and endothelial cells) grow, spread and proliferate on PLA-printed discs. PLA cages loaded with SDF-1 collagen display a steady SDF-1 release, support cell growth of endothelial cells and induce neo-vessel formation. These results demonstrate the potential for PLA scaffolds printed with an inexpensive desktop printer in medical applications, for example, in bone tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering 2017)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Sulfur-Mediated-Alleviation of Aluminum-Toxicity in Citrus grandis Seedlings
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2570; doi:10.3390/ijms18122570
Received: 28 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Limited data are available on the sulfur (S)-mediated-alleviation of aluminum (Al)-toxicity in higher plants. Citrus grandis seedlings were irrigated for 18 weeks with 0.5 mM MgSO4 or 0.5 mM MgSO4 + 0.5 mM Na2SO4, and 0 (−Al)
[...] Read more.
Limited data are available on the sulfur (S)-mediated-alleviation of aluminum (Al)-toxicity in higher plants. Citrus grandis seedlings were irrigated for 18 weeks with 0.5 mM MgSO4 or 0.5 mM MgSO4 + 0.5 mM Na2SO4, and 0 (−Al) or 1 mM AlCl3·6H2O (+Al, Al-toxicity). Under Al-toxicity, S decreased the level of Al in leaves; increased the relative water content (RWC) of roots and leaves, the contents of phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) per plant, the dry weights (DW) of roots and shoots, the ratios of root DW/shoot DW, and the Al-induced secretion of citrate from root; and alleviated the Al-induced inhibition of photosynthesis via mitigating the Al-induced decrease of electron transport capacity resulting from the impaired photosynthetic electron transport chain. In addition to decreasing the Al-stimulated H2O2 production, the S-induced upregulation of both S metabolism-related enzymes and antioxidant enzymes also contributed to the S-mediated-alleviation of oxidative damage in Al-treated roots and leaves. Decreased transport of Al from roots to shoots and relatively little accumulation of Al in leaves, and increased leaf and root RWC and P, Ca, and Mg contents per plant might also play a role in the S-mediated-alleviation of Al-toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in the Plant Sciences 2017)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Structural Masquerade of Plesiomonas shigelloides Strain CNCTC 78/89 O-Antigen—High-Resolution Magic Angle Spinning NMR Reveals the Modified d-galactan I of Klebsiella pneumoniae
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2572; doi:10.3390/ijms18122572
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 25 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The high-resolution magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR-MAS NMR) analysis of Plesiomonas shigelloides 78/89 lipopolysaccharide directly on bacteria revealed the characteristic structural features of the O-acetylated polysaccharide in the NMR spectra. The O-antigen profiles were unique, yet the pattern
[...] Read more.
The high-resolution magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR-MAS NMR) analysis of Plesiomonas shigelloides 78/89 lipopolysaccharide directly on bacteria revealed the characteristic structural features of the O-acetylated polysaccharide in the NMR spectra. The O-antigen profiles were unique, yet the pattern of signals in the, spectra along with their 1H,13C chemical shift values, resembled these of d-galactan I of Klebsiella pneumoniae. The isolated O-specific polysaccharide (O-PS) of P. shigelloides strain CNCTC 78/89 was investigated by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and chemical methods. The analyses demonstrated that the P. shigelloides 78/89 O-PS is composed of →3)-α-d-Galp-(1→3)-β-d-Galf2OAc-(1→ disaccharide repeating units. The O-acetylation was incomplete and resulted in a microheterogeneity of the O-antigen. This O-acetylation generates additional antigenic determinants within the O-antigen, forms a new chemotype, and contributes to the epitopes recognized by the O-serotype specific antibodies. The serological cross-reactivities further confirmed the inter-specific structural similarity of these O-antigens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipopolysaccharides (LPSs))
Figures

Open AccessArticle Identification and Characterization of Hyphantria cunea Aminopeptidase N as a Binding Protein of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab35 Toxin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2575; doi:10.3390/ijms18122575
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Drury) is a major invasive pest in China. Aminopeptidase N (APN) isoforms in lepidopteran larvae midguts are known for their involvement in the mode of action of insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis. In the present
[...] Read more.
The fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Drury) is a major invasive pest in China. Aminopeptidase N (APN) isoforms in lepidopteran larvae midguts are known for their involvement in the mode of action of insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis. In the present work, we identified a putative Cry1Ab toxin-binding protein, an APN isoform designated HcAPN3, in the midgut of H. cunea by ligand blot and mass spectrometry. HcAPN3 was highly expressed throughout all larval developmental stages and was abundant in the midgut and hindgut tissues. HcAPN3 was down-regulated at 6 h, then was up-regulated significantly at 12 h and 24 h after Cry1Ab toxin treatment. We expressed HcAPN3 in insect cells and detected its interaction with Cry1Ab toxin by ligand blot assays. Furthermore, RNA interference (RNAi) against HcAPN3 using oral delivery and injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) resulted in a 61–66% decrease in transcript level. Down-regulating of the expression of HcAPN3 was closely associated with reduced susceptibility of H. cunea to Cry1Ab. In addition, the HcAPN3E fragment peptide expressed in Escherichia coli enhanced Cry1Ab toxicity against H. cunea larvae. This work represents the first evidence to suggest that an APN in H. cunea is a putative binding protein involved in Cry1Ab susceptibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Entomology of Insects of Economic Importance)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effect of Low Temperature Cultivation on the Phytochemical Profile and Bioactivity of Arctic Plants: A Case of Dracocephalum palmatum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2579; doi:10.3390/ijms18122579
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2761 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The influence of climatic factors, e.g., low temperature, on the phytochemical composition and bioactivity of the arctic plant Dracocephalum palmatum Steph. ax Willd. (palmate dragonhead), a traditional food and medical herb of Northern Siberia, was investigated. D. palmatum seedlings were grown in a
[...] Read more.
The influence of climatic factors, e.g., low temperature, on the phytochemical composition and bioactivity of the arctic plant Dracocephalum palmatum Steph. ax Willd. (palmate dragonhead), a traditional food and medical herb of Northern Siberia, was investigated. D. palmatum seedlings were grown in a greenhouse experiment at normal (20 °C, NT) and low (1 °C, LT) temperature levels and five groups of components that were lipophilic and hydrophilic in nature were characterized. The analyses indicated that D. palmatum under NT demonstrates high content of photosynthetic pigments, specific fatty acid (FA) profile with domination of saturated FA (53.3%) and the essential oil with trans-pinocamphone as a main component (37.9%). Phenolic compounds were identified using a combination of high performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection and electrospray ionization mass-spectrometric detection (HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS) techniques, as well as free carbohydrates and water soluble polysaccharides. For the first time, it was established that the cold acclimation of D. palmatum seedlings resulted in various changes in physiological and biochemical parameters such as membrane permeability, photosynthetic potential, membrane fluidity, leaf surface secretory function, reactive oxygen species–antioxidant balance, osmoregulator content and cell wall polymers. In brief, results showed that the adaptive strategy of D. palmatum under LT was realized on the accumulation of membrane or surface components with more fluid properties (unsaturated FA and essential oils), antioxidants (phenolic compounds and enzymes), osmoprotectants (free sugars) and cell wall components (polysaccharides). In addition, the occurrence of unusual flavonoids including two new isomeric malonyl esters of eriodictyol-7-O-glucoside was found in LT samples. Data thus obtained allow improving our understanding of ecophysiological mechanisms of cold adaptation of arctic plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in the Plant Sciences 2017)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Elevated Systemic IL-6 Levels in Patients with Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Is an Unspecific Marker for Post-SAH Complications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2580; doi:10.3390/ijms18122580
Received: 8 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is still a fatal and morbid disease, although bleeding aneurysms can be secured in almost all cases. Occurrence of post-SAH complications including cerebral vasospasm, delayed cerebral ischemia, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, and infections are the main determinants of clinical outcome.
[...] Read more.
Background: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is still a fatal and morbid disease, although bleeding aneurysms can be secured in almost all cases. Occurrence of post-SAH complications including cerebral vasospasm, delayed cerebral ischemia, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, and infections are the main determinants of clinical outcome. Hence, it is important to search for early predictors for specific post-SAH complications to treat these complications properly. Both cellular and molecular (cytokines) inflammation play a key role after aSAH during the phase of occurrence of post-SAH complications. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a well-known cytokine that has been extensively analyzed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients after aSAH, but detailed studies exploring the role of systemic IL-6 in aSAH associated complications and its impact on early clinical outcome prediction are lacking. The current study aims to analyze the systemic IL-6 levels over two weeks after bleeding and its role in post-SAH complications. Methods: We recruited 80 aSAH patients prospectively who underwent peripheral venous blood withdrawal in serum gel tubes. The blood was centrifuged to harvest the serum, which was immediately frozen at −80 °C until analysis. Serum IL-6 levels were quantified using Immulite immunoassay system. Patient records including age, gender, post-SAH complications, aneurysm treatment, and clinical outcome (modified Rankin scale and Glasgow outcome scale) were retrieved to allow different subgroup analysis. Results: Serum IL-6 levels were significantly raised after aSAH compared to healthy controls over the first two weeks after hemorrhage. Serum IL-6 levels were found to be significantly elevated in aSAH patients presenting with higher Hunt and Hess grades, increasing age, and both intraventricular and intracerebral hemorrhage. Interestingly, serum IL-6 was also significantly raised in aSAH patients who developed seizures, cerebral vasospasm (CVS), and chronic hydrocephalus. IL-6 levels were sensitive to the development of infections and showed an increase in patients who developed pneumoniae. Intriguingly, we found a delayed increase in serum IL-6 in patients developing cerebral infarction. Finally, IL-6 levels were significantly higher in patients presenting with poor clinical outcome in comparison to good clinical outcome at discharge from hospital. Conclusion: Serum IL-6 levels were elevated early after aSAH and remained high over the two weeks after initial bleeding. Serum IL-6 was elevated in different aSAH associated complications, acting as a non-specific marker for post-SAH complications and an important biomarker for clinical outcome at discharge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Interleukins in Health and Disease)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The E3 Ubiquitin Ligase RNF7 Negatively Regulates CARD14/CARMA2sh Signaling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2581; doi:10.3390/ijms18122581
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4456 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The three CARD-containing MAGUK (CARMA) proteins function as scaffolding molecules that regulate activation of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB. Recently, mutations in CARMA2 have been linked to psoriasis susceptibility due to their acquired altered capacity to activate NF-κB. By means of two-hybrid screening
[...] Read more.
The three CARD-containing MAGUK (CARMA) proteins function as scaffolding molecules that regulate activation of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB. Recently, mutations in CARMA2 have been linked to psoriasis susceptibility due to their acquired altered capacity to activate NF-κB. By means of two-hybrid screening with yeast, we identified RING finger protein 7 (RNF7) as an interactor of CARMA2. We present evidence that RNF7 functions as a negative regulator of the NF-κB-activating capacity of CARMA2. Mechanistically, RNF7 influences CARMA2 signaling by regulating the ubiquitination state of MALT1 and the NF-κB-regulatory molecule NEMO. Interestingly, CARMA2short (CARMA2sh) mutants associated with psoriasis susceptibility escape the negative control exerted by RNF7. In conclusion, our findings identify a new mechanism through which the ability of CARMA2 to activate NF-κB is regulated, which could have significant implications for our understanding of why mutations of this protein trigger human psoriasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitin System)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Tunisian Milk Thistle: An Investigation of the Chemical Composition and the Characterization of Its Cold-Pressed Seed Oils
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2582; doi:10.3390/ijms18122582
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, milk thistle seeds growing in different areas in Tunisia were cold pressed and the extracted oils were examined for their chemical and antioxidant properties. The major fatty acids were linoleic acid (C18:2) (57.0%, 60.0%, and 60.3% for the milk thistle
[...] Read more.
In this study, milk thistle seeds growing in different areas in Tunisia were cold pressed and the extracted oils were examined for their chemical and antioxidant properties. The major fatty acids were linoleic acid (C18:2) (57.0%, 60.0%, and 60.3% for the milk thistle seed oils native to Bizerte, Zaghouan and Sousse, respectively) and oleic acid (C18:1) (15.5%, 21.5%, and 22.4% for the milk thistle seed oils originating from Bizerte, Zaghouan and Sousse, respectively). High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed the richness of the milk thistle seed oils (MTSO) in α-tocopherol. The highest content was recorded for that of the region of Zaghouan (286.22 mg/kg). The total phenolic contents (TPC) of Zaghouan, Bizerte, and Sousse were 1.59, 8.12, and 4.73 Gallic Acid Equivalent (GAE) mg/g, respectively. Three phenolic acids were also identified (vanillic, p-coumaric, and silybine), with a predominance of the vanillic acid. The highest value was recorded for the Zaghouan milk thistle seed oil (83 mg/100 g). Differences in outcomes between regions may be due to climatic differences in areas. Zaghouan’s cold-pressed milk thistle seed oil had a better quality than those of Bizerte and Sousse, and can be considered as a valuable source for new multi-purpose products or by-products for industrial, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Beneficial Effects of Plant Oil on Human Health)
Figures

Open AccessArticle In Vivo Imaging of Prostate Cancer Tumors and Metastasis Using Non-Specific Fluorescent Nanoparticles in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2584; doi:10.3390/ijms18122584
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
With the growing interest in the use of nanoparticles (NPs) in nanomedicine, there is a crucial need for imaging and targeted therapies to determine NP distribution in the body after systemic administration, and to achieve strong accumulation in tumors with low background in
[...] Read more.
With the growing interest in the use of nanoparticles (NPs) in nanomedicine, there is a crucial need for imaging and targeted therapies to determine NP distribution in the body after systemic administration, and to achieve strong accumulation in tumors with low background in other tissues. Accumulation of NPs in tumors results from different mechanisms, and appears extremely heterogeneous in mice models and rather limited in humans. Developing new tumor models in mice, with their low spontaneous NP accumulation, is thus necessary for screening imaging probes and for testing new targeting strategies. In the present work, accumulation of LipImageTM 815, a non-specific nanosized fluorescent imaging agent, was compared in subcutaneous, orthotopic and metastatic tumors of RM1 cells (murine prostate cancer cell line) by in vivo and ex vivo fluorescence imaging techniques. LipImageTM 815 mainly accumulated in liver at 24 h but also in orthotopic tumors. Limited accumulation occurred in subcutaneous tumors, and very low fluorescence was detected in metastasis. Altogether, these different tumor models in mice offered a wide range of NP accumulation levels, and a panel of in vivo models that may be useful to further challenge NP targeting properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical and Molecular Approach to Tumor Metastases)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Subcellular Interactions during Vascular Morphogenesis in 3D Cocultures between Endothelial Cells and Fibroblasts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2590; doi:10.3390/ijms18122590
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (28489 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Increasing the complexity of in vitro systems to mimic three-dimensional tissues and the cellular interactions within them will increase the reliability of data that were previously collected with in vitro systems. In vivo vascularization is based on complex and clearly defined cell–matrix
[...] Read more.
Background: Increasing the complexity of in vitro systems to mimic three-dimensional tissues and the cellular interactions within them will increase the reliability of data that were previously collected with in vitro systems. In vivo vascularization is based on complex and clearly defined cell–matrix and cell–cell interactions, where the extracellular matrix (ECM) seems to play a very important role. The aim of this study was to monitor and visualize the subcellular and molecular interactions between endothelial cells (ECs), fibroblasts, and their surrounding microenvironment during vascular morphogenesis in a three-dimensional coculture model. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative analyses during the generation of a coculture tissue construct consisting of endothelial cells and fibroblasts were done using transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. Results: Dynamic interactions were found in cocultures between ECs, between fibroblasts (FBs), between ECs and FBs, and between the cells and the ECM. Microvesicles were involved in intercellular information transfer. FBs took an active and physical part in the angiogenesis process. The ECM deposited by the cells triggered endothelial angiogenic activity. Capillary-like tubular structures developed and matured. Moreover, some ECM assembled into a basement membrane (BM) having three different layers equivalent to those seen in vivo. Finally, the three-dimensional in vitro construct mirrored the topography of histological tissue sections. Conclusion: Our results visualize the importance of the physical contact between all cellular and acellular components of the cocultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-cell Interactions in Blood Vessels)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Impaired Osteogenesis of Disease-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived from a CFC Syndrome Patient
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2591; doi:10.3390/ijms18122591
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (31050 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cardiofaciocutaneous (CFC) syndrome is a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations in the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling. However, little is known about how aberrant ERK signaling is associated with the defective bone development manifested in most CFC syndrome patients. In this study,
[...] Read more.
Cardiofaciocutaneous (CFC) syndrome is a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations in the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling. However, little is known about how aberrant ERK signaling is associated with the defective bone development manifested in most CFC syndrome patients. In this study, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were generated from dermal fibroblasts of a CFC syndrome patient having rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma kinase B (BRAF) gain-of-function mutation. CFC-iPSCs were differentiated into mesenchymal stem cells (CFC-MSCs) and further induced to osteoblasts in vitro. The osteogenic defects of CFC-MSCs were revealed by alkaline phosphatase activity assay, mineralization assay, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and western blotting. Osteogenesis of CFC-MSCs was attenuated compared to wild-type (WT)-MSCs. In addition to activated ERK signaling, increased p-SMAD2 and decreased p-SMAD1 were observed in CFC-MSCs during osteogenesis. The defective osteogenesis of CFC-MSCs was rescued by inhibition of ERK signaling and SMAD2 signaling or activation of SMAD1 signaling. Importantly, activation of ERK signaling and SMAD2 signaling or inhibition of SMAD1 signaling recapitulated the impaired osteogenesis in WT-MSCs. Our findings indicate that SMAD2 signaling and SMAD1 signaling as well as ERK signaling are responsible for defective early bone development in CFC syndrome, providing a novel insight on the pathological mechanism and therapeutic targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Developing a Novel Parameter Estimation Method for Agent-Based Model in Immune System Simulation under the Framework of History Matching: A Case Study on Influenza A Virus Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2592; doi:10.3390/ijms18122592
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (10362 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since they can provide a natural and flexible description of nonlinear dynamic behavior of complex system, Agent-based models (ABM) have been commonly used for immune system simulation. However, it is crucial for ABM to obtain an appropriate estimation for the key parameters of
[...] Read more.
Since they can provide a natural and flexible description of nonlinear dynamic behavior of complex system, Agent-based models (ABM) have been commonly used for immune system simulation. However, it is crucial for ABM to obtain an appropriate estimation for the key parameters of the model by incorporating experimental data. In this paper, a systematic procedure for immune system simulation by integrating the ABM and regression method under the framework of history matching is developed. A novel parameter estimation method by incorporating the experiment data for the simulator ABM during the procedure is proposed. First, we employ ABM as simulator to simulate the immune system. Then, the dimension-reduced type generalized additive model (GAM) is employed to train a statistical regression model by using the input and output data of ABM and play a role as an emulator during history matching. Next, we reduce the input space of parameters by introducing an implausible measure to discard the implausible input values. At last, the estimation of model parameters is obtained using the particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSO) by fitting the experiment data among the non-implausible input values. The real Influeza A Virus (IAV) data set is employed to demonstrate the performance of our proposed method, and the results show that the proposed method not only has good fitting and predicting accuracy, but it also owns favorable computational efficiency. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Whole Body and CNS Biodistribution of rhHNS in Cynomolgus Monkeys after Intrathecal Lumbar Administration: Treatment Implications for Patients with MPS IIIA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2594; doi:10.3390/ijms18122594
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mucopolysaccharidosis III type A (MPS IIIA; Sanfilippo syndrome), a genetic lysosomal disorder causing a deficiency of heparan N-sulfatase (HNS), leads to progressive cognitive decline from an early age. An effective enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for MPS IIIA requires central nervous system (CNS) biodistribution.
[...] Read more.
Mucopolysaccharidosis III type A (MPS IIIA; Sanfilippo syndrome), a genetic lysosomal disorder causing a deficiency of heparan N-sulfatase (HNS), leads to progressive cognitive decline from an early age. An effective enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for MPS IIIA requires central nervous system (CNS) biodistribution. Recombinant human heparan N-sulfatase (rhHNS), an investigatory ERT for MPS IIIA, has been formulated for intrathecal (IT) administration since intravenous (IV) administration cannot cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) in sufficient amounts to have a therapeutic effect. In this study, systemic and CNS distribution of rhHNS in cynomolgus monkeys following IV and IT administration was evaluated by quantitation of rhHNS in serum, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and various tissues, and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of live animals. Following IV administration, rhHNS levels were low to non-detectable in the CSF, and systemic clearance was rapid (≤2 h). With IT administration, rhHNS was observable in CNS tissues in ≤1 h, with varying Tmax (1–24 h). Appreciable systemic distribution was observed up to 7 days. This provides evidence that in this animal model, intrathecal administration of rhHNS delivers the replacement enzyme to therapeutically relevant tissues for the treatment of Sanfilippo Syndrome type A. Penetration into grey matter and cortex was 3–4 times greater than concentrations in white matter and deeper parenchymal regions, suggesting some limitations of this ERT strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Ethanol (E) Impairs Fetal Brain GSH Homeostasis by Inhibiting Excitatory Amino-Acid Carrier 1 (EAAC1)-Mediated Cysteine Transport
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2596; doi:10.3390/ijms18122596
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Central among the fetotoxic responses to in utero ethanol (E) exposure is redox-shift related glutathione (GSH) loss and apoptosis. Previously, we reported that despite an E-generated Nrf2 upregulation, fetal neurons still succumb. In this study, we investigate if the compromised GSH results from
[...] Read more.
Central among the fetotoxic responses to in utero ethanol (E) exposure is redox-shift related glutathione (GSH) loss and apoptosis. Previously, we reported that despite an E-generated Nrf2 upregulation, fetal neurons still succumb. In this study, we investigate if the compromised GSH results from an impaired inward transport of cysteine (Cys), a precursor of GSH in association with dysregulated excitatory amino acid carrier1 (EAAC1), a cysteine transporter. In utero binge model involves administration of isocaloric dextrose or 20% E (3.5 g/kg)/ by gavage at 12 h intervals to pregnant Sprague Dawley (SD) rats, starting gestation day (gd) 17 with a final dose on gd19, 2 h prior to sacrifice. Primary cerebral cortical neurons (PCNs) from embryonic day 16–17 fetal SD rats were the in vitro model. E reduced both PCN and cerebral cortical GSH and Cys up to 50% and the abridged GSH could be blocked by administration of N-acetylcysteine. E reduced EAAC1 protein expression in utero and in PCNs (p < 0.05). This was accompanied by a 60–70% decrease in neuron surface expression of EAAC1 along with significant reductions of EAAC1/Slc1a1 mRNA (p < 0.05). In PCNs, EAAC1 knockdown significantly decreased GSH but not oxidized glutathione (GSSG) illustrating that while not the sole provider of Cys, EAAC1 plays an important role in neuron GSH homeostasis. These studies strongly support the concept that in both E exposed intact fetal brain and cultured PCNs a mechanism underlying E impairment of GSH homeostasis is reduction of import of external Cys which is mediated by perturbations of EAAC1 expression/function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Switching between Successful and Dead-End Intermediates in Membrane Fusion
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2598; doi:10.3390/ijms18122598
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4065 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fusion of cellular membranes during normal biological processes, including proliferation, or synaptic transmission, is mediated and controlled by sophisticated protein machinery ensuring the preservation of the vital barrier function of the membrane throughout the process. Fusion of virus particles with host cell membranes
[...] Read more.
Fusion of cellular membranes during normal biological processes, including proliferation, or synaptic transmission, is mediated and controlled by sophisticated protein machinery ensuring the preservation of the vital barrier function of the membrane throughout the process. Fusion of virus particles with host cell membranes is more sparingly arranged and often mediated by a single fusion protein, and the virus can afford to be less discriminative towards the possible different outcomes of fusion attempts. Formation of leaky intermediates was recently observed in some fusion processes, and an alternative trajectory of the process involving formation of π-shaped structures was suggested. In this study, we apply the methods of elasticity theory and Lagrangian formalism augmented by phenomenological and molecular geometry constraints and boundary conditions to investigate the traits of this trajectory and the drivers behind the choice of one of the possible scenarios depending on the properties of the system. The alternative pathway proved to be a dead end, and, depending on the parameters of the participating membranes and fusion proteins, the system can either reversibly enter the corresponding “leaky” configuration or be trapped in it. A parametric study in the biologically relevant range of variables emphasized the fusion protein properties crucial for the choice of the fusion scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Fusion)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Profiling of Small RNAs and Degradome Revealed Conserved Regulations of miRNAs on Auxin-Responsive Genes during Fruit Enlargement in Peaches
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2599; doi:10.3390/ijms18122599 (registering DOI)
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3112 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Auxin has long been known as a critical phytohormone that regulates fruit development in plants. However, due to the lack of an enlarged ovary wall in the model plants Arabidopsis and rice, the molecular regulatory mechanisms of fruit division and enlargement remain unclear.
[...] Read more.
Auxin has long been known as a critical phytohormone that regulates fruit development in plants. However, due to the lack of an enlarged ovary wall in the model plants Arabidopsis and rice, the molecular regulatory mechanisms of fruit division and enlargement remain unclear. In this study, we performed small RNA sequencing and degradome sequencing analyses to systematically explore post-transcriptional regulation in the mesocarp at the hard core stage following treatment of the peach (Prunus persica L.) fruit with the synthetic auxin α-naphthylacetic acid (NAA). Our analyses identified 24 evolutionarily conserved miRNA genes as well as 16 predicted genes. Experimental verification showed that the expression levels of miR398 and miR408b were significantly upregulated after NAA treatment, whereas those of miR156, miR160, miR166, miR167, miR390, miR393, miR482, miR535 and miR2118 were significantly downregulated. Degradome sequencing coupled with miRNA target prediction analyses detected 119 significant cleavage sites on several mRNA targets, including SQUAMOSA promoter binding protein–like (SPL), ARF, (NAM, ATAF1/2 and CUC2) NAC, Arabidopsis thaliana homeobox protein (ATHB), the homeodomain-leucine zipper transcription factor revoluta(REV), (teosinte-like1, cycloidea and proliferating cell factor1) TCP and auxin signaling F-box protein (AFB) family genes. Our systematic profiling of miRNAs and the degradome in peach fruit suggests the existence of a post-transcriptional regulation network of miRNAs that target auxin pathway genes in fruit development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Glycoprotein 90K Promotes E-Cadherin Degradation in a Cell Density-Dependent Manner via Dissociation of E-Cadherin–p120-Catenin Complex
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2601; doi:10.3390/ijms18122601
Received: 14 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5935 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Glycoprotein 90K (also known as LGALS3BP or Mac-2BP) is a tumor-associated protein, and high 90K levels are associated with poor prognosis in some cancers. To clarify the role of 90K as an indicator for poor prognosis and metastasis in epithelial cancers, the present
[...] Read more.
Glycoprotein 90K (also known as LGALS3BP or Mac-2BP) is a tumor-associated protein, and high 90K levels are associated with poor prognosis in some cancers. To clarify the role of 90K as an indicator for poor prognosis and metastasis in epithelial cancers, the present study investigated the effect of 90K on an adherens junctional protein, E-cadherin, which is frequently absent or downregulated in human epithelial cancers. Treatment of certain cancer cells with 90K significantly reduced E-cadherin levels in a cell-population-dependent manner, and these cells showed decreases in cell adhesion and increases in invasive cell motility. Mechanistically, 90K-induced E-cadherin downregulation occurred via ubiquitination-mediated proteasomal degradation. 90K interacted with the E-cadherin–p120-catenin complex and induced its dissociation, altering the phosphorylation status of p120-catenin, whereas it did not associate with β-catenin. In subconfluent cells, 90K decreased membrane-localized p120-catenin and the membrane fraction of the p120-catenin. Particularly, 90K-induced E-cadherin downregulation was diminished in p120-catenin knocked-down cells. Taken together, 90K upregulation promotes the dissociation of the E-cadherin–p120-catenin complex, leading to E-cadherin proteasomal degradation, and thereby destabilizing adherens junctions in less confluent tumor cells. Our results provide a potential mechanism to explain the poor prognosis of cancer patients with high serum 90K levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycan–Receptor Interaction 2017)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Rapid Non-Enzymatic Glycation of the Insulin Receptor under Hyperglycemic Conditions Inhibits Insulin Binding In Vitro: Implications for Insulin Resistance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2602; doi:10.3390/ijms18122602
Received: 28 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3720 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The causes of insulin resistance are not well-understood in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Insulin (INS) is known to undergo rapid non-enzymatic covalent conjugation to glucose or other sugars (glycation). Because the insulin receptor (IR) has INS-like regions associated with both
[...] Read more.
The causes of insulin resistance are not well-understood in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Insulin (INS) is known to undergo rapid non-enzymatic covalent conjugation to glucose or other sugars (glycation). Because the insulin receptor (IR) has INS-like regions associated with both glucose and INS binding, we hypothesize that hyperglycemic conditions may rapidly glycate the IR, chronically interfering with INS binding. IR peptides were synthesized spanning IR- associated INS-binding regions. Glycation rates of peptides under hyperglycemic conditions were followed over six days using matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. INS conjugated to horse-radish peroxidase was used to determine INS binding to IR peptides in glycated and non-glycated forms. Several IR peptides were glycated up to 14% within days of exposure to 20–60 mM glucose. Rates of IR-peptide glycation were comparable to those of insulin. Glycation of four IR peptides significantly inhibits INS binding to them. Glycation of intact IR also decreases INS binding by about a third, although it was not possible to confirm the glycation sites on the intact IR. Glycation of the IR may therefore provide a mechanism by which INS resistance develops in diabetes. Demonstration of glycation of intact IR in vivo is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulin Receptor in Diseases)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Quinacrine Inhibits ICAM-1 Transcription by Blocking DNA Binding of the NF-κB Subunit p65 and Sensitizes Human Lung Adenocarcinoma A549 Cells to TNF-α and the Fas Ligand
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2603; doi:10.3390/ijms18122603
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quinacrine has been used for therapeutic drugs in some clinical settings. In the present study, we demonstrated that quinacrine decreased the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin-1 (IL-1) α in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells.
[...] Read more.
Quinacrine has been used for therapeutic drugs in some clinical settings. In the present study, we demonstrated that quinacrine decreased the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin-1 (IL-1) α in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells. Quinacrine inhibited ICAM-1 mRNA expression and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)-responsive luciferase reporter activity following a treatment with TNF-α and IL-1α. In the NF-κB signaling pathway, quinacrine did not markedly affect the TNF-α-induced degradation of the inhibitor of NF-κB or the TNF-α-induced phosphorylation of the NF-κB subunit, p65, at Ser-536 and its subsequent translocation to the nucleus. In contrast, a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that quinacrine prevented the binding of p65 to the ICAM-1 promoter following TNF-α stimulation. Moreover, TNF-α and the Fas ligand effectively reduced the viability of A549 cells in the presence of quinacrine only. Quinacrine down-regulated the constitutive and TNF-α-induced expression of c-FLIP and Mcl-1 in A549 cells. These results revealed that quinacrine inhibits ICAM-1 transcription by blocking the DNA binding of p65 and sensitizes A549 cells to TNF-α and the Fas ligand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NF-κB and Cancer)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Preparation of A Spaceflight: Apoptosis Search in Sutured Wound Healing Models
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2604; doi:10.3390/ijms18122604
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
PDF Full-text (12520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To prepare the ESA (European Space Agency) spaceflight project “Wound healing and Sutures in Unloading Conditions”, we studied mechanisms of apoptosis in wound healing models based on ex vivo skin tissue cultures, kept for 10 days alive in serum-free DMEM/F12 medium supplemented with
[...] Read more.
To prepare the ESA (European Space Agency) spaceflight project “Wound healing and Sutures in Unloading Conditions”, we studied mechanisms of apoptosis in wound healing models based on ex vivo skin tissue cultures, kept for 10 days alive in serum-free DMEM/F12 medium supplemented with bovine serum albumin, hydrocortisone, insulin, ascorbic acid and antibiotics at 32 °C. The overall goal is to test: (i) the viability of tissue specimens; (ii) the gene expression of activators and inhibitors of apoptosis and extracellular matrix components in wound and suture models; and (iii) to design analytical protocols for future tissue specimens after post-spaceflight download. Hematoxylin-Eosin and Elastica-van-Gieson staining showed a normal skin histology with no signs of necrosis in controls and showed a normal wound suture. TdT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling for detecting DNA fragmentation revealed no significant apoptosis. No activation of caspase-3 protein was detectable. FASL, FADD, CASP3, CASP8, CASP10, BAX, BCL2, CYC1, APAF1, LAMA3 and SPP1 mRNAs were not altered in epidermis and dermis samples with and without a wound compared to 0 day samples (specimens investigated directly post-surgery). BIRC5, CASP9, and FN1 mRNAs were downregulated in epidermis/dermis samples with and/or without a wound compared to 0 day samples. BIRC2, BIRC3 were upregulated in 10 day wound samples compared to 0 day samples in epidermis/dermis. RELA/FAS mRNAs were elevated in 10 day wound and no wound samples compared to 0 day samples in dermis. In conclusion, we demonstrate that it is possible to maintain live skin tissue cultures for 10 days. The viability analysis showed no significant signs of cell death in wound and suture models. The gene expression analysis demonstrated the interplay of activators and inhibitors of apoptosis and extracellular matrix components, thereby describing important features in ex vivo sutured wound healing models. Collectively, the performed methods defining analytical protocols proved to be applicable for post-flight analyzes of tissue specimens after sample return. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Programmed Cell Death and Apoptosis)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Glycosaminoglycan-Mediated Downstream Signaling of CXCL8 Binding to Endothelial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2605; doi:10.3390/ijms18122605
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The recruitment of leukocytes, mediated by endothelium bound chemokine gradients, is a vital process in inflammation. The highly negatively charged, unbranched polysaccharide family of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate mediate chemokine immobilization. Specifically the binding of CXCL8 (interleukin 8)
[...] Read more.
The recruitment of leukocytes, mediated by endothelium bound chemokine gradients, is a vital process in inflammation. The highly negatively charged, unbranched polysaccharide family of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate mediate chemokine immobilization. Specifically the binding of CXCL8 (interleukin 8) to GAGs on endothelial cell surfaces is known to regulate neutrophil recruitment. Currently, it is not clear if binding of CXCL8 to GAGs leads to endothelial downstream signaling in addition to the typical CXCR1/CXCR2 (C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 1 and 2)-mediated signaling which activates neutrophils. Here we have investigated the changes in protein expression of human microvascular endothelial cells induced by CXCL8. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) stimulation was used to mimic an inflammatory state which allowed us to identify syndecan-4 (SDC4) as the potential proteoglycan co-receptor of CXCL8 by gene array, real-time PCR and flow cytometry experiments. Enzymatic GAG depolymerization via heparinase III and chondroitinase ABC was used to emulate the effect of glycocalyx remodeling on CXCL8-induced endothelial downstream signaling. Proteomic analyses showed changes in the expression pattern of a number of endothelial proteins such as Zyxin and Caldesmon involved in cytoskeletal organization, cell adhesion and cell mobility. These results demonstrate for the first time a potential role of GAG-mediated endothelial downstream signaling in addition to the well-known CXCL8-CXCR1/CXCR2 signaling pathways in neutrophils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Recognition of Carbohydrates)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Plasma Sphingolipids in Acute Pancreatitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2606; doi:10.3390/ijms18122606
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a prevalent gastrointestinal disorder associated with systemic inflammatory response syndrome and, in the case of severe AP, a mortality rate ranging from 36% to 50%. Standard clinical treatment of AP includes intensive hydration, analgesia, and management of complications. Unfortunately,
[...] Read more.
Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a prevalent gastrointestinal disorder associated with systemic inflammatory response syndrome and, in the case of severe AP, a mortality rate ranging from 36% to 50%. Standard clinical treatment of AP includes intensive hydration, analgesia, and management of complications. Unfortunately, the direct treatment of AP at the level of its molecular pathomechanism has not yet been established. Recent studies indicate that the sphingolipid signaling pathway may be one of the important factors contributing to the development of inflammation in pancreatic diseases. In the current study, we sought to investigate this promising route. We examined the plasma sphingolipid profile of 44 patients with acute pancreatitis, dividing them into three groups: mild, moderate and severe AP. Samples were collected from these groups at days 1, 3 and 7 following their hospital admission. We demonstrated significant changes in blood plasma sphingolipids in relation to the time course of AP. We also found an inhibition of de novo ceramide synthesis in mild and moderate AP. However, the most important and novel finding was a significant elevation in sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) (a downstream metabolite of ceramide) in mild AP, as well as a dramatic reduction in the lipid molecule content in the early stage (days 1 and 3) of severe AP. This strongly indicates that plasma S1P could serve as a prognostic marker of AP severity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sphingolipids: Signals and Disease)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Efficient Generation of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer-Competent Porcine Cells with Mutated Alleles at Multiple Target Loci by Using CRISPR/Cas9 Combined with Targeted Toxin-Based Selection System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2610; doi:10.3390/ijms18122610
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (24905 KB) | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The recent advancement in genome editing such a CRISPR/Cas9 system has enabled isolation of cells with knocked multiple alleles through a one-step transfection. Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has been frequently employed as one of the efficient tools for the production of genetically
[...] Read more.
The recent advancement in genome editing such a CRISPR/Cas9 system has enabled isolation of cells with knocked multiple alleles through a one-step transfection. Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has been frequently employed as one of the efficient tools for the production of genetically modified (GM) animals. To use GM cells as SCNT donor, efficient isolation of transfectants with mutations at multiple target loci is often required. The methods for the isolation of such GM cells largely rely on the use of drug selection-based approach using selectable genes; however, it is often difficult to isolate cells with mutations at multiple target loci. In this study, we used a novel approach for the efficient isolation of porcine cells with at least two target loci mutations by one-step introduction of CRISPR/Cas9-related components. A single guide (sg) RNA targeted to GGTA1 gene, involved in the synthesis of cell-surface α-Gal epitope (known as xenogenic antigen), is always a prerequisite. When the transfected cells were reacted with toxin-labeled BS-I-B4 isolectin for 2 h at 37 °C to eliminate α-Gal epitope-expressing cells, the surviving clones lacked α-Gal epitope expression and were highly expected to exhibit induced mutations at another target loci. Analysis of these α-Gal epitope-negative surviving cells demonstrated a 100% occurrence of genome editing at target loci. SCNT using these cells as donors resulted in the production of cloned blastocysts with the genotype similar to that of the donor cells used. Thus, this novel system will be useful for SCNT-mediated acquisition of GM cloned piglets, in which multiple target loci may be mutated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Editing 2018)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Contribution of Oxidative Stress and Inflamm-Aging in Human and Equine Asthma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2612; doi:10.3390/ijms18122612
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1074 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aging is associated with a dysregulation of the immune system, leading to a general pro-inflammatory state of the organism, a process that has been named inflamm-aging. Oxidative stress has an important role in aging and in the regulation of immune responses, probably playing
[...] Read more.
Aging is associated with a dysregulation of the immune system, leading to a general pro-inflammatory state of the organism, a process that has been named inflamm-aging. Oxidative stress has an important role in aging and in the regulation of immune responses, probably playing a role in the development of age-related diseases. The respiratory system function physiologically declines with the advancement of age. In elderly asthmatic patients, this may contribute to disease expression. In this review, we will focus on age-related changes affecting the immune system and in respiratory structure and function that could contribute to asthma occurrence, and/or clinical presentation in the elderly. Also, naturally occurring equine asthma will be discussed as a possible model for studying the importance of oxidative stress and immun-aging/inflamm-aging in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammaging and Oxidative Stress in Aging and Age-Related Disorders)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Bioconverted Orostachys japonicas Extracts Suppress Angiogenic Activity of Ms-1 Endothelial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2615; doi:10.3390/ijms18122615
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4909 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Orostachys japonicus A. Berger (), known as Wa-song in Korea, has been reported to exert various biological effects, such as anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, and anti-febrile effects. However, the anti-angiogenic effects of O. japonicus extracts remain to be investigated. In the present study, we demonstrated
[...] Read more.
Orostachys japonicus A. Berger (), known as Wa-song in Korea, has been reported to exert various biological effects, such as anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, and anti-febrile effects. However, the anti-angiogenic effects of O. japonicus extracts remain to be investigated. In the present study, we demonstrated the anti-angiogenic effects of bioconverted O. japonicus extract (BOE) in Ms-1 mouse endothelial cells and compared them with the bioactivities of O. japonicus extract (OE). BOE, but not OE, were found to exert anti-angiogenic effects, including inhibition of cell migration, cell adhesion, tube formation of Ms-1 cells, and blood vessel formation of matrigel plug assay in vivo. Furthermore, protein levels of phosphorylated Src kinase were lower in BOE-treated cells than in OE-treated cells. Treatment with OE or BOE did not influence cell viability during the experimental period. Bioconverted extract of O. japonicus have anti-angiogenic effects in vitro and vivo, but non-bioconverted extract do not. We suggest that these observed anti-angiogenic effects are caused by the changes in the composition of bioactive compounds in the extracts as a result of biological conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
Figures

Open AccessArticle New Therapeutic Agent against Arterial Thrombosis: An Iridium(III)-Derived Organometallic Compound
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2616; doi:10.3390/ijms18122616
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Platelet activation plays a major role in cardio and cerebrovascular diseases, and cancer progression. Disruption of platelet activation represents an attractive therapeutic target for reducing the bidirectional cross talk between platelets and tumor cells. Platinum (Pt) compounds have been used for treating cancer.
[...] Read more.
Platelet activation plays a major role in cardio and cerebrovascular diseases, and cancer progression. Disruption of platelet activation represents an attractive therapeutic target for reducing the bidirectional cross talk between platelets and tumor cells. Platinum (Pt) compounds have been used for treating cancer. Hence, replacing Pt with iridium (Ir) is considered a potential alternative. We recently developed an Ir(III)-derived complex, [Ir(Cp*)1-(2-pyridyl)-3-(2-hydroxyphenyl)imidazo[1,5-a]pyridine Cl]BF4 (Ir-11), which exhibited strong antiplatelet activity; hence, we assessed the therapeutic potential of Ir-11 against arterial thrombosis. In collagen-activated platelets, Ir-11 inhibited platelet aggregation, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) release, intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, P-selectin expression, and OH· formation, as well as the phosphorylation of phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2), protein kinase C (PKC), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and Akt. Neither the adenylate cyclase inhibitor nor the guanylate cyclase inhibitor reversed the Ir-11-mediated antiplatelet effects. In experimental mice, Ir-11 prolonged the bleeding time and reduced mortality associated with acute pulmonary thromboembolism. Ir-11 plays a crucial role by inhibiting platelet activation through the inhibition of the PLCγ2–PKC cascade, and the subsequent suppression of Akt and MAPK activation, ultimately inhibiting platelet aggregation. Therefore, Ir-11 can be considered a new therapeutic agent against either arterial thrombosis or the bidirectional cross talk between platelets and tumor cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Pharmacology and Pathology of Strokes)
Figures

Open AccessArticle l-Glutamine Attenuates Apoptosis Induced by Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress by Activating the IRE1α-XBP1 Axis in IPEC-J2: A Novel Mechanism of l-Glutamine in Promoting Intestinal Health
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2617; doi:10.3390/ijms18122617
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Intestinal absorption and barrier malfunctions are associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) in the intestine. We induced ERS by exposing the intestinal porcine epithelial cell line J2 (IPEC-J2) to tunicamycin (TUNI) to explore the potential of l-glutamine to reduce ERS-induced apoptosis. Our
[...] Read more.
Intestinal absorption and barrier malfunctions are associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) in the intestine. We induced ERS by exposing the intestinal porcine epithelial cell line J2 (IPEC-J2) to tunicamycin (TUNI) to explore the potential of l-glutamine to reduce ERS-induced apoptosis. Our experiments demonstrated that exposing cells to TUNI results in spontaneous ERS and encourages the upregulation of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78). Prolonged TUNI-induced ERS was found to increase apoptosis mediated by C/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), accompanied by GRP78 downregulation. Treatment with l-glutamine was found to promote cell proliferation within the growth medium but to have little effect in basic Dulbecco’s modified Eagle medium. Finally, in the milieu of TUNI-induced ERS, l-glutamine was found to maintain a high level of GRP78, alleviate CHOP-mediated apoptosis and activate the inositol requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α)-X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) axis. A specific inhibitor of the IRE1α-XBP1 axis reversed the protective effect of l-glutamine by blocking the expression of IRE1α/XBP1s. We propose that the functional effect of l-glutamine on intestinal health may be partly due to its modulation of ERS and CHOP-mediated apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino Acids Transport and Metabolism)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Selection on the Major Color Gene Melanocortin-1-Receptor Shaped the Evolution of the Melanocortin System Genes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2618; doi:10.3390/ijms18122618
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4550 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Modular genetic systems and networks have complex evolutionary histories shaped by selection acting on single genes as well as on their integrated function within the network. However, uncovering molecular coevolution requires the detection of coevolving sites in sequences. Detailed knowledge of the functions
[...] Read more.
Modular genetic systems and networks have complex evolutionary histories shaped by selection acting on single genes as well as on their integrated function within the network. However, uncovering molecular coevolution requires the detection of coevolving sites in sequences. Detailed knowledge of the functions of each gene in the system is also necessary to identify the selective agents driving coevolution. Using recently developed computational tools, we investigated the effect of positive selection on the coevolution of ten major genes in the melanocortin system, responsible for multiple physiological functions and human diseases. Substitutions driven by positive selection at the melanocortin-1-receptor (MC1R) induced more coevolutionary changes on the system than positive selection on other genes in the system. Contrarily, selection on the highly pleiotropic POMC gene, which orchestrates the activation of the different melanocortin receptors, had the lowest coevolutionary influence. MC1R and possibly its main function, melanin pigmentation, seems to have influenced the evolution of the melanocortin system more than functions regulated by MC2-5Rs such as energy homeostasis, glucocorticoid-dependent stress and anti-inflammatory responses. Although replication in other regulatory systems is needed, this suggests that single functional aspects of a genetic network or system can be of higher importance than others in shaping coevolution among the genes that integrate it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melanins and Melanogenesis: From Nature to Applications)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Kisspeptin-10 Induces β-Casein Synthesis via GPR54 and Its Downstream Signaling Pathways in Bovine Mammary Epithelial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2621; doi:10.3390/ijms18122621
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (9710 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Kisspeptins (Kps) play a key role in the regulation of GnRH axis and as an anti-metastasis agent by binding with GPR54. Recently, we observed that the expression of GPR54 was higher in the lactating mammary tissues of dairy cows with high-quality milk
[...] Read more.
Kisspeptins (Kps) play a key role in the regulation of GnRH axis and as an anti-metastasis agent by binding with GPR54. Recently, we observed that the expression of GPR54 was higher in the lactating mammary tissues of dairy cows with high-quality milk (0.81 ± 0.13 kg/day of milk protein yield; 1.07 ± 0.18 kg/day of milk fat yield) than in those with low-quality milk (0.51 ± 0.14 kg/day of milk protein yield; 0.67 ± 0.22 kg/day of milk fat yield). We hypothesized that Kp-10 might regulate the milk protein, β-casein (CSN2) synthesis via GPR54 and its downstream signaling. First, we isolated the bovine mammary epithelial cells (bMECs) from lactating Holstein dairy cows, and treated them with different concentrations of Kp-10. Compared with the control cells, the synthesis of CSN2 is significantly increased at a concentration of 100 nM of Kp-10. In addition, the increased effect of CSN2 synthesis was blocked when the cells were pre-treated with the selective inhibitor of GPR54 Peptide-234 (P-234). Mechanistic study revealed that Kp-10 activated ERK1/2, AKT, mTOR and STAT5 in bMECs. Moreover, inhibiting ERK1/2, AKT, mTOR and STAT5 with U0126, MK2206, Rapamycin and AG490 could block the effects of Kp-10. Together, these results demonstrate that Kp-10 facilitates the synthesis of CSN2 via GPR54 and its downstream signaling pathways mTOR, ERK1/2, STAT5 and AKT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle High-Density Linkage Map Construction and Mapping of Salt-Tolerant QTLs at Seedling Stage in Upland Cotton Using Genotyping by Sequencing (GBS)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2622; doi:10.3390/ijms18122622
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Over 6% of agricultural land is affected by salinity. It is becoming obligatory to use saline soils, so growing salt-tolerant plants is a priority. To gain an understanding of the genetic basis of upland cotton tolerance to salinity at seedling stage, an intra-specific
[...] Read more.
Over 6% of agricultural land is affected by salinity. It is becoming obligatory to use saline soils, so growing salt-tolerant plants is a priority. To gain an understanding of the genetic basis of upland cotton tolerance to salinity at seedling stage, an intra-specific cross was developed from CCRI35, tolerant to salinity, as female with Nan Dan (NH), sensitive to salinity, as the male. A genetic map of 5178 SNP markers was developed from 277 F2:3 populations. The map spanned 4768.098 cM, with an average distance of 0.92 cM. A total of 66 QTLs for 10 traits related to salinity were detected in three environments (0, 110, and 150 mM salt treatment). Only 14 QTLs were consistent, accounting for 2.72% to 9.87% of phenotypic variation. Parental contributions were found to be in the ratio of 3:1, 10 QTLs from the sensitive and four QTLs from the resistant parent. Five QTLs were located in At and nine QTLs in the Dt sub-genome. Moreover, eight clusters were identified, in which 12 putative key genes were found to be related to salinity. The GBS-SNPs-based genetic map developed is the first high-density genetic map that has the potential to provide deeper insights into upland cotton salinity tolerance. The 12 key genes found in this study could be used for QTL fine mapping and cloning for further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
Figures

Open AccessArticle A RNA-Seq Analysis of the Response of Photosynthetic System to Low Nitrogen Supply in Maize Leaf
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2624; doi:10.3390/ijms18122624
Received: 28 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nitrogen is a major limiting factor for crop productivity. The relationship between photosynthesis and nitrogen nutrition has been widely studied. However, the molecular response of leaf photosynthesis to low nitrogen supply in crops is less clear. In this study, RNA sequencing technology (RNA-Seq)
[...] Read more.
Nitrogen is a major limiting factor for crop productivity. The relationship between photosynthesis and nitrogen nutrition has been widely studied. However, the molecular response of leaf photosynthesis to low nitrogen supply in crops is less clear. In this study, RNA sequencing technology (RNA-Seq) was used to investigate the gene expressions related to photosynthesis in maize in response to low nitrogen supply. It was found that low nitrogen supply down-regulated the expression of genes involved in photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII). Thus, low nitrogen supply down-regulated the expression of genes related to the antenna system, reduced light absorption, light transport, and electron transport. Correspondingly, the parameters related to chlorophyll fluorescence were very sensitive to nitrogen deficiency. Under low nitrogen supply, leaf chlorophyll content, actual quantum yield of PSII photochemistry, photochemical quenching, and electron transport rate, were reduced. However, the thermal diffusion and chlorophyll fluorescence were increased. RNA-Seq was used to analyze the genes involved in the response of leaf photosynthesis to low nitrogen supply in maize. These results highlight the possibility of utilizing chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, and the related genes, as indicators for plant nitrogen nutrition. This could lead to the development of new tools to make precise nitrogen fertilizer recommendations and select nitrogen-efficient genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthesis)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Immortalization of Porcine 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1-Transgenic Liver Cells Using SV40 Large T Antigen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2625; doi:10.3390/ijms18122625
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2690 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cortisol is a steroid hormone essential to the maintenance of homeostasis that is released in response to stress and low blood glucose concentration. Cortisol is converted from cortisone by 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD11B1). It has been reported that too much cortisol or
[...] Read more.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone essential to the maintenance of homeostasis that is released in response to stress and low blood glucose concentration. Cortisol is converted from cortisone by 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD11B1). It has been reported that too much cortisol or overexpression of HSD11B1 induces obesity and the insulin resistance that accompanies metabolic syndrome in rodent adipose tissue. In our previous study, HSD11B1-transgenic (TG) fibroblasts were established, and a porcine model was generated by SCNT using those fibroblasts. Hepatocytes overexpressing HSD11B1 were obtained from livers of this porcine model and cultured in vitro. However, the primary hepatocytes were found to have a short life span or low proliferation rate. To overcome these problems, the SV40 large T antigen was transduced into primary HSD11B1-TG hepatocytes, and those cells were immortalized. Immortalized HSD11B1-TG hepatocytes showed restored morphology, more rapid proliferation rate, and more expression of HSD11B1 than primary hepatocytes. As well, these cells kept the hepatic characteristics such as gluconeogenic response to cortisone and increased expression of hepatic makers. The immortalized HSD11B1-TG hepatocytes may be useful for studying traits and potential therapeutic drugs for treatment of metabolic disorders induced by overexpression of HSD11B1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Duloxetine Protects against Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathic Pain and Spinal Neuron Hyperexcitability in Rodents
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2626; doi:10.3390/ijms18122626
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1881 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Oxaliplatin is a widely used chemotherapy agent, but induces serious peripheral neuropathy. Duloxetine is a dual reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine, and is shown to be effective against pain. However, whether and how duloxetine can attenuate oxaliplatin-induced allodynia in rodents is not
[...] Read more.
Oxaliplatin is a widely used chemotherapy agent, but induces serious peripheral neuropathy. Duloxetine is a dual reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine, and is shown to be effective against pain. However, whether and how duloxetine can attenuate oxaliplatin-induced allodynia in rodents is not clearly understood. A single injection of oxaliplatin (6 mg/kg, intraperitoneal; i.p.) induced a cold and mechanical allodynia, which was assessed by acetone and von Frey filament tests, respectively. When significant allodynic signs were observed, three different doses of duloxetine (10, 30, and 60 mg/kg, i.p.) were injected. Administration of 30 and 60 mg/kg of duloxetine significantly reduced the allodynia, whereas 10 mg/kg did not. By using an in vivo extracellular recording method, we further confirmed that 30 mg/kg of duloxetine could significantly inhibit the hyperexcitability of spinal wide dynamic range (WDR) cells. The anti-allodynic effect of duloxetine was completely blocked by an intrathecal injection of phentolamine (non-selective α-adrenergic receptor antagonist, 20 μg), or prazosin (α1-adrenergic receptor antagonists, 10 μg); however, idazoxan (α2-adrenergic receptor antagonist, 10 μg) did not block it. In conclusion, we suggest that duloxetine may have an effective protective action against oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain and spinal hyperexcitability, which is mediated by spinal α1-adrenergic receptors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotective Strategies 2017)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Glucocorticoids Improve Myogenic Differentiation In Vitro by Suppressing the Synthesis of Versican, a Transitional Matrix Protein Overexpressed in Dystrophic Skeletal Muscles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2629; doi:10.3390/ijms18122629
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (7731 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a dysregulated extracellular matrix (ECM) directly exacerbates pathology. Glucocorticoids are beneficial therapeutics in DMD, and have pleiotropic effects on the composition and processing of ECM proteins in other biological contexts. The synthesis and remodelling of a transitional versican-rich
[...] Read more.
In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a dysregulated extracellular matrix (ECM) directly exacerbates pathology. Glucocorticoids are beneficial therapeutics in DMD, and have pleiotropic effects on the composition and processing of ECM proteins in other biological contexts. The synthesis and remodelling of a transitional versican-rich matrix is necessary for myogenesis; whether glucocorticoids modulate this transitional matrix is not known. Here, versican expression and processing were examined in hindlimb and diaphragm muscles from mdx dystrophin-deficient mice and C57BL/10 wild type mice. V0/V1 versican (Vcan) mRNA transcripts and protein levels were upregulated in dystrophic compared to wild type muscles, especially in the more severely affected mdx diaphragm. Processed versican (versikine) was detected in wild type and dystrophic muscles, and immunoreactivity was highly associated with newly regenerated myofibres. Glucocorticoids enhanced C2C12 myoblast fusion by modulating the expression of genes regulating transitional matrix synthesis and processing. Specifically, Tgfβ1, Vcan and hyaluronan synthase-2 (Has2) mRNA transcripts were decreased by 50% and Adamts1 mRNA transcripts were increased three-fold by glucocorticoid treatment. The addition of exogenous versican impaired myoblast fusion, whilst glucocorticoids alleviated this inhibition in fusion. In dystrophic mdx muscles, versican upregulation correlated with pathology. We propose that versican is a novel and relevant target gene in DMD, given its suppression by glucocorticoids and that in excess it impairs myoblast fusion, a process key for muscle regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Characterization of the Asiatic Acid Glucosyltransferase, UGT73AH1, Involved in Asiaticoside Biosynthesis in Centella asiatica (L.) Urban
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2630; doi:10.3390/ijms18122630
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Centella asiatica (L.) Urban contains two ursane-type triterpene saponins, asiaticoside and madecassoside, as major secondary metabolites. In order to select candidate genes encoding UDP-glucosyltransferases (UGTs) involved in asiaticoside biosynthesis, we performed transcriptomic analysis of leaves elicited by methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Among the unigenes,
[...] Read more.
Centella asiatica (L.) Urban contains two ursane-type triterpene saponins, asiaticoside and madecassoside, as major secondary metabolites. In order to select candidate genes encoding UDP-glucosyltransferases (UGTs) involved in asiaticoside biosynthesis, we performed transcriptomic analysis of leaves elicited by methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Among the unigenes, 120 isotigs and 13 singletons of unique sequences were annotated as UGTs, including 37 putative full-length cDNAs, and 15 of the putative UGT genes were named according to the UGT committee nomenclature protocols. One of them, UGT73AH1, was characterized by heterologous expression in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) cells. After induction with IPTG, a total protein extract was assayed with UDP-glucose and asiatic acid. UPLC-QTOF/MS analysis showed that UGT73AH1 catalyzes the glycosylation of asiatic acid to its monoglucoside. It remains unclear whether glycosylation occurs on the triterpene C-2α, C-3β, C-23, or C-28 position. However, it is very likely that UGT73AH1 glucosylates the C-28 position, because only C-28 bears a glucose moiety in the final pathway product of asiatic acid, while C-2α, C-3β, and C-23 remain un-conjugated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Transformations of Natural Products)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Aberrant N-Glycosylation Profile of Serum Immunoglobulins is a Diagnostic Biomarker of Urothelial Carcinomas
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2632; doi:10.3390/ijms18122632
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study to determine whether the aberrant N-glycosylated serum immunoglobulins (Igs) can be applied as a diagnostic marker of urothelial carcinoma (UC). Between 2009 and 2016, we randomly obtained serum available from 237 UC and also 96 prostate cancer
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study to determine whether the aberrant N-glycosylated serum immunoglobulins (Igs) can be applied as a diagnostic marker of urothelial carcinoma (UC). Between 2009 and 2016, we randomly obtained serum available from 237 UC and also 96 prostate cancer as other cancer controls from our serum bank and also obtained—from 339 healthy volunteers (HV)—controls obtained from community-dwelling volunteers in Iwaki Health Promotion Project. A total of 32 types of N-glycan levels on Igs were determined by high-throughput N-glycomics and analyzed by multivariable discriminant analysis. We found five UC-associated aberrant N-glycans changes on Igs and also found that asialo-bisecting GlcNAc type N-glycan on Igs were significantly accumulated in UC patients. The diagnostic N-glycan Score (dNGScore) established by combination of five N-glycans on Igs discriminated UC patients from HV and prostate cancer (PC) patients with 92.8% sensitivity and 97.2% specificity. The area under the curve (AUC) for of the dNGScore was 0.969 for UC detection that was much superior to that of urine cytology (AUC, 0.707) and hematuria (AUC, 0.892). Furthermore, dNGScore can detect hematuria and urine cytology negative patients. The dNGscore based on aberrant N-glycosylation signatures of Igs were found to be promising diagnostic biomarkers of UCs. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Frequency-Dependent Multi-Well Cardiotoxicity Screening Enabled by Optogenetic Stimulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2634; doi:10.3390/ijms18122634
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Side effects on cardiac ion channels causing lethal arrhythmias are one major reason for drug withdrawals from the market. Field potential (FP) recording from cardiomyocytes, is a well-suited tool to assess such cardiotoxic effects of drug candidates in preclinical drug development, but it
[...] Read more.
Side effects on cardiac ion channels causing lethal arrhythmias are one major reason for drug withdrawals from the market. Field potential (FP) recording from cardiomyocytes, is a well-suited tool to assess such cardiotoxic effects of drug candidates in preclinical drug development, but it is currently limited to the spontaneous beating of the cardiomyocytes and manual analysis. Herein, we present a novel optogenetic cardiotoxicity screening system suited for the parallel automated frequency-dependent analysis of drug effects on FP recorded from human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. For the expression of the light-sensitive cation channel Channelrhodopsin-2, we optimised protocols using virus transduction or transient mRNA transfection. Optical stimulation was performed with a new light-emitting diode lid for a 96-well FP recording system. This enabled reliable pacing at physiologically relevant heart rates and robust recording of FP. Thereby we detected rate-dependent effects of drugs on Na+, Ca2+ and K+ channel function indicated by FP prolongation, FP shortening and the slowing of the FP downstroke component, as well as generation of afterdepolarisations. Taken together, we present a scalable approach for preclinical frequency-dependent screening of drug effects on cardiac electrophysiology. Importantly, we show that the recording and analysis can be fully automated and the technology is readily available using commercial products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optogenetic Approaches in Neuroscience)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Diphlorethohydroxycarmalol from Ishige okamurae Suppresses Osteoclast Differentiation by Downregulating the NF-κB Signaling Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2635; doi:10.3390/ijms18122635
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Marine algae possess a variety of beneficial effects on human health. In this study, we investigated whether diphlorethohydroxycarmalol (DPHC), isolated from Ishige okamurae, a brown alga, suppresses receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast differentiation. DPHC significantly suppressed RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation
[...] Read more.
Marine algae possess a variety of beneficial effects on human health. In this study, we investigated whether diphlorethohydroxycarmalol (DPHC), isolated from Ishige okamurae, a brown alga, suppresses receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast differentiation. DPHC significantly suppressed RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation and macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) expression in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, it significantly inhibited actin ring formation, the expression of osteoclast marker genes, such as tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic 1 (Nfatc1), cathepsin K (Ctsk), and dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (Dcstamp), and osteoclast-induced bone resorption. Analysis of the RANKL-mediated signaling pathway showed that the phosphorylation of both IκB and p65 was specifically inhibited by DPHC. These results suggest that DPHC substantially suppresses osteoclastogenesis by downregulating the RANK-NF-κB signaling pathway. Thus, it holds significant potential for the treatment of skeletal diseases associated with an enhanced osteoclast activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, Tolerability, and Food Effect of Cenerimod, a Selective S1P1 Receptor Modulator in Healthy Subjects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2636; doi:10.3390/ijms18122636
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, tolerability, and food effect of cenerimod, a potent sphingosine-1-phosphate subtype 1 receptor modulator, were investigated in three sub-studies. Two double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised studies in healthy male subjects were performed. Cenerimod was administered either as single dose (1, 3, 10 or
[...] Read more.
The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, tolerability, and food effect of cenerimod, a potent sphingosine-1-phosphate subtype 1 receptor modulator, were investigated in three sub-studies. Two double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised studies in healthy male subjects were performed. Cenerimod was administered either as single dose (1, 3, 10 or 25 mg; Study 1) or once daily for 35 days (0.5, 1, 2 or 4 mg; Study 2). A two-period cross-over, open-label study was performed to assess the food effect (1 mg, Study 3). The pharmacokinetic profile of cenerimod was characterised by a tmax of 5.0–6.2 h. Terminal half-life after single and multiple doses ranged from 170 to 199 h and 283 to 539 h, respectively. Food had no relevant effect on the pharmacokinetics of cenerimod. A dose-dependent decrease in lymphocyte count was observed after initiation of cenerimod and reached a plateau (maximum change from baseline: −64%) after 20–23 days of treatment. Lymphocyte counts returned to baseline values at end-of-study examination. One serious adverse event of circulatory collapse (25 mg dose group, maximum tolerated dose: 10 mg) and adverse events of mild-to-moderate intensity were reported. Treatment initiation was associated with transient decreases in heart rate and blood pressure at doses >1 and ≥10 mg, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sphingolipids: Signals and Disease)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Nitric Oxide, Prostaglandin E2, and Cytokine Production of Mouse and Human Macrophages Are Suppressed by Pheophytin-b
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2637; doi:10.3390/ijms18122637
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sepsis is an overwhelming systemic response to infection that frequently results in tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. Nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and cytokine overproduction are thought to be associated with the immunostimulatory cascade in sepsis. In the present study,
[...] Read more.
Sepsis is an overwhelming systemic response to infection that frequently results in tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. Nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and cytokine overproduction are thought to be associated with the immunostimulatory cascade in sepsis. In the present study, we analyzed the anti-inflammatory efficacy of the pheophytin-b on both RAW 264.7 murine macrophage and purified human CD14+ monocytes stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and elucidated the mechanisms by analyzing the cell signaling pathways known to be activated in sepsis. Pheophytin-b suppressed the overexpression of NO, PGE2, and cytokines in LPS-stimulated macrophages without inducing cytotoxicity. It also reduced NOS2 and COX-2 mRNA and protein levels. The inhibitory effects on NO, PGE2, and cytokine overproduction arose from the suppression of STAT-1 and PI3K/Akt pathways; no changes in NF-κB, MAPK, and AP-1 signaling were detected. Thus, pheophytin-b may represent a potential candidate to beneficially modulate the inflammatory response in sepsis. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle In Vitro Effect of 3D Plates Used for Surgical Treatment of Condylar Fractures on Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and Thromboxane B2 (TXB2) Concentration in THP-1 Macrophages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2638; doi:10.3390/ijms18122638
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1770 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent studies have shown promising results concerning the effectiveness of 3D plates in terms of stabilization of condylar fractures. Despite the use of new techniques and new materials, we can still observe certain side effects, including the immune reaction of the body, which
[...] Read more.
Recent studies have shown promising results concerning the effectiveness of 3D plates in terms of stabilization of condylar fractures. Despite the use of new techniques and new materials, we can still observe certain side effects, including the immune reaction of the body, which may lead to the excessive inflammation. The aim of this paper was to determine how the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and thromboxane B2 (TXB2) in THP-1 monocytes/macrophages is influenced by the titanium 3D plates and dedicated screws. The experiments were conducted on THP-1 monocytic cell line and macrophages derived from a THP-1cells. The concentrations of PGE2 and TXB2 released were measured by using immunoassay kit. Verification of plate-induced activation of THP-1 monocytes and macrophages and initiation of inflammatory reaction was conducted by flow cytometry. Despite some differences in the content of the implant devices our results showed that these plates did not statistically significantly increase the production of these prostanoids. Osteosynthesis of condylar fractures using 3D titanium mini-plates seems to be a good alternative to traditional plates due to their lack of stimulating the cyclooxygenase-dependent production of prostanoids; limiting the development of inflammatory reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Expression Profiling of Autophagy Genes BxATG1 and BxATG8 under Biotic and Abiotic Stresses in Pine Wood Nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2639; doi:10.3390/ijms18122639
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is the pathogen of pine wilt disease (PWD) and causes huge economic losses in pine forests and shows a remarkable ability to survive under unfavorable and changing environmental conditions. This ability may be related to
[...] Read more.
The pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is the pathogen of pine wilt disease (PWD) and causes huge economic losses in pine forests and shows a remarkable ability to survive under unfavorable and changing environmental conditions. This ability may be related to autophagy, which is still poorly understood in B. xylophilus. Our previous studies showed that autophagy exists in PWN. Therefore, we tested the effects of autophagy inducer rapamycin on PWN and the results revealed that the feeding rate and reproduction were significantly promoted on fungal mats. The gene expression patterns of BxATG1 and BxATG8 under the different stress were determined by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). We tested the effects of RNA interference on BxATG1 and BxATG8 in PWN during different periods of infection in Pinus thunbergii. The results revealed that BxATG1 and BxATG8 may play roles in allowing PWN to adapt to changing environmental conditions and the virulence of PWN was influenced by the silence of autophagy-related genes BxATG1 and BxATG8. These results provided fundamental information on the relationship between autophagy and PWN, and on better understanding of gene function of BxATG1 and BxATG8 in PWN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Anti-Diabetic Effect of Organo-Chalcogen (Sulfur and Selenium) Zinc Complexes with Hydroxy-Pyrone Derivatives on Leptin-Deficient Type 2 Diabetes Model ob/ob Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2647; doi:10.3390/ijms18122647
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2766 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Since the discovery of the anti-diabetic effects of zinc (Zn) complex, we synthesized several Zn complexes and evaluated their effects using the KKAy type 2 diabetes mouse model. Recently, we demonstrated that organo-chalcogen (sulfur and selenium) Zn complexes elicit strong anti-diabetic effects.
[...] Read more.
Since the discovery of the anti-diabetic effects of zinc (Zn) complex, we synthesized several Zn complexes and evaluated their effects using the KKAy type 2 diabetes mouse model. Recently, we demonstrated that organo-chalcogen (sulfur and selenium) Zn complexes elicit strong anti-diabetic effects. In this study, we treated leptin-deficient ob/ob mice with organo-chalcogen Zn complexes, and evaluated the resulting anti-diabetic effects in a mouse model of diabetes arising from pathogenic mechanisms different from those in KKAy mice. C57BL/6J ob/ob mice orally received either bis(3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4(H)-pyran-4-thiono)Zn, [Zn(hmpt)2] or bis(3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4(H)-pyran-4-seleno)Zn, [Zn(hmps)2], daily for 28 days. Both Zn complexes elicited potent blood glucose-lowering effects and improved HbA1c values. Moreover, glucose intolerance improved as evidenced by the oral glucose tolerance test, and fasting plasma insulin levels decreased in both types of Zn complex-treated mice. Zn concentrations in the liver and pancreas of [Zn(hmpt)2]-treated mice and in the pancreas of [Zn(hmps)2]-treated mice were increased, respectively. The results suggest that the present Zn complexes mainly exerted an anti-diabetic effect in the liver or pancreas. This study is the first to demonstrate that potent Zn complexes elicit anti-diabetic effects in not only KKAy but also ob/ob mice via a normalizing effect on insulin secretion and fasting blood glucose levels. Full article
Figures