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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 18, Issue 6 (June 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Nerve Growth Factor and Related Substances: A Brief History and an Introduction to the International NGF Meeting Series
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1143; doi:10.3390/ijms18061143
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a protein whose importance to research and its elucidation of fundamental mechanisms in cell and neurobiology far outstrips its basic physiological roles. It was the first of a broad class of cell regulators, largely acting through autocrine and
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Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a protein whose importance to research and its elucidation of fundamental mechanisms in cell and neurobiology far outstrips its basic physiological roles. It was the first of a broad class of cell regulators, largely acting through autocrine and paracrine interactions which will be described herein. It was of similar significance in establishing the identity and unique roles of neurotrophic factors in the development and maintenance of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Finally, it contributed to many advances in the elaboration of cell surface receptor mechanisms and intracellular cell signaling. As such, it can be considered to be a “molecular Rosetta Stone”. In this brief review, the highlights of these various studies are summarized, particularly as illustrated by their coverage in the 13 NGF international meetings that have been held since 1986. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurotrophic Factors—Historical Perspective and New Directions)
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Research

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Open AccessArticle B-Myb Is Up-Regulated and Promotes Cell Growth and Motility in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 860; doi:10.3390/ijms18060860
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 26 March 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
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Abstract
B-Myb is a transcription factor that is overexpressed and plays an oncogenic role in several types of human cancers. However, its potential implication in lung cancer remains elusive. In the present study, we have for the first time investigated the expression profile of
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B-Myb is a transcription factor that is overexpressed and plays an oncogenic role in several types of human cancers. However, its potential implication in lung cancer remains elusive. In the present study, we have for the first time investigated the expression profile of B-Myb and its functional impact in lung cancer. Expression analysis by quantificational real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that B-Myb expression is aberrantly overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and positively correlated with pathologic grade and clinical stage of NSCLC. A gain-of-function study revealed that overexpression of B-Myb significantly increases lung cancer cell growth, colony formation, migration, and invasion. Conversely, a loss-of-function study showed that knockdown of B-Myb decreases cell growth, migration, and invasion. B-Myb overexpression also promoted tumor growth in vivo in a NSCLC xenograft nude mouse model. A molecular mechanistic study by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis showed that B-Myb overexpression causes up-regulation of various downstream genes (e.g., COL11A1, COL6A1, FN1, MMP2, NID1, FLT4, INSR, and CCNA1) and activation of multiple critical pathways (e.g., extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) and phosphorylated-protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathways) involved in cell proliferation, tumorigenesis, and metastasis. Collectively, our results indicate a tumor-promoting role for B-Myb in NSCLC and thus imply its potential as a target for the diagnosis and/or treatment of NSCLC. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advances in Molecular Oncology)
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Open AccessArticle Ficus umbellata Vahl. (Moraceae) Stem Bark Extracts Exert Antitumor Activities In Vitro and In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1073; doi:10.3390/ijms18061073
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 29 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract
A Ficus umbellata is used to treat cancer. The present work was therefore designed to assess antitumor potentials of F. umbellata extracts in nine different cell lines. Cell cycle, apoptosis, cell migration/invasion, levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), caspases
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A Ficus umbellata is used to treat cancer. The present work was therefore designed to assess antitumor potentials of F. umbellata extracts in nine different cell lines. Cell cycle, apoptosis, cell migration/invasion, levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), caspases activities as well as Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL protein content were assessed in MDA-MB-231 cells. The 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced carcinogenesis in rats were also used to investigate antitumor potential of F. umbellata extracts. The F. umbellata methanol extract exhibited a CC50 of 180 μg/mL in MDA-MB-231 cells after 24 h. It induced apoptosis in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, while it did not alter their cell cycle phases. Further, it induced a decrease in MMP, an increase in ROS levels and caspases activities as well as a downregulation in Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL protein contents in MDA-MB-231 cells. In vivo, F. umbellata aqueous (200 mg/kg) and methanol (50 mg/kg) extracts significantly (p < 0.001) reduced ovarian tumor incidence (10%), total tumor burden (58% and 46%, respectively), average tumor weight (57.8% and 45.6%, respectively) as compared to DMBA control group. These results suggest antitumor potential of F. umbellata constituents possibly due to apoptosis induction mediated through ROS-dependent mitochondrial pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle C1q/TNF-Related Protein-9 Ameliorates Ox-LDL-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction via PGC-1α/AMPK-Mediated Antioxidant Enzyme Induction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1097; doi:10.3390/ijms18061097
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) accumulation is one of the critical determinants in endothelial dysfunction in many cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. C1q/TNF-related protein 9 (CTRP9) is identified to be an adipocytokine with cardioprotective properties. However, the potential roles of CTRP9 in endothelial function
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Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) accumulation is one of the critical determinants in endothelial dysfunction in many cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. C1q/TNF-related protein 9 (CTRP9) is identified to be an adipocytokine with cardioprotective properties. However, the potential roles of CTRP9 in endothelial function remain largely elusive. In the present study, the effects of CTRP9 on the proliferation, apoptosis, migration, angiogenesis, nitric oxide (NO) production and oxidative stress in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) exposed to ox-LDL were investigated. We observed that treatment with ox-LDL inhibited the proliferation, migration, angiogenesis and the generation of NO, while stimulated the apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in HUVECs. Incubation of HUVECs with CTRP9 rescued ox-LDL-induced endothelial injury. CTRP9 treatment reversed ox-LDL-evoked decreases in antioxidant enzymes including heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)H) dehydrogenase quinone 1, and glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL), as well as endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Furthermore, CTRP9 induced activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1α (PGC1-α) and phosphorylation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Of interest, AMPK inhibition or PGC1-α silencing abolished CTRP9-mediated antioxidant enzymes levels, eNOS expressions, and endothelial protective effects. Collectively, we provided the first evidence that CTRP9 attenuated ox-LDL-induced endothelial injury by antioxidant enzyme inductions dependent on PGC-1α/AMPK activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress in Vascular Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Emergence of CD26+ Cancer Stem Cells with Metastatic Properties in Colorectal Carcinogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1106; doi:10.3390/ijms18061106
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer results from genetic aberrations which accumulate over a long period of time, with malignant and metastatic properties acquired at a relatively late stage. A subpopulation of CD26+ colorectal cancer stem cells are known to be implicated in metastasis. We quantified CD26+
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Colorectal cancer results from genetic aberrations which accumulate over a long period of time, with malignant and metastatic properties acquired at a relatively late stage. A subpopulation of CD26+ colorectal cancer stem cells are known to be implicated in metastasis. We quantified CD26+ cancer cells in 11 primary tumor samples by flow cytometry, and showed that tumors having confirmed or suspected metastases harbored a relatively high CD26+ level in these samples. We hypothesized that this subpopulation of cancer stem cells arises in the late stage of carcinogenesis from the bulk of tumor daughter cells which are CD26−. The manipulation of PIK3CA and TP53, two genes commonly deregulated in the late stage, had an effect on the maintenance of the CD26+ cell population. When CD26− tumor daughter cells were sorted and cultured, the emergence of tumor spheres containing CD26+ cells occurred. These findings shed light to the origin of colorectal cancer stem cells with metastatic properties, which has an implication on conventional treatments by surgery or adjuvant chemotherapy for tumor debulking. Full article
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Open AccessArticle NANOG Plays a Hierarchical Role in the Transcription Network Regulating the Pluripotency and Plasticity of Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1107; doi:10.3390/ijms18061107
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract
The stromal vascular cell fraction (SVF) of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT and SAT) has increasingly come into focus in stem cell research, since these compartments represent a rich source of multipotent adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs). ASCs exhibit a self-renewal potential and
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The stromal vascular cell fraction (SVF) of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT and SAT) has increasingly come into focus in stem cell research, since these compartments represent a rich source of multipotent adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs). ASCs exhibit a self-renewal potential and differentiation capacity. Our aim was to study the different expression of the embryonic stem cell markers NANOG (homeobox protein NANOG), SOX2 (SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 2) and OCT4 (octamer-binding transcription factor 4) and to evaluate if there exists a hierarchal role in this network in ASCs derived from both SAT and VAT. ASCs were isolated from SAT and VAT biopsies of 72 consenting patients (23 men, 47 women; age 45 ± 10; BMI between 25 ± 5 and 30 ± 5 range) undergoing elective open-abdominal surgery. Sphere-forming capability was evaluated by plating cells in low adhesion plastic. Stem cell markers CD90, CD105, CD29, CD31, CD45 and CD146 were analyzed by flow cytometry, and the stem cell transcription factors NANOG, SOX2 and OCT4 were detected by immunoblotting and real-time PCR. NANOG, SOX2 and OCT4 interplay was explored by gene silencing. ASCs from VAT and SAT confirmed their mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) phenotype expressing the specific MSC markers CD90, CD105, NANOG, SOX2 and OCT4. NANOG silencing induced a significant OCT4 (70 ± 0.05%) and SOX2 (75 ± 0.03%) downregulation, whereas SOX2 silencing did not affect NANOG gene expression. Adipose tissue is an important source of MSC, and siRNA experiments endorse a hierarchical role of NANOG in the complex transcription network that regulates pluripotency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Marker-Assisted Molecular Profiling, Deletion Mutant Analysis, and RNA-Seq Reveal a Disease Resistance Cluster Associated with Uromyces appendiculatus Infection in Common Bean Phaseolus vulgaris L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1109; doi:10.3390/ijms18061109
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an important legume, useful for its high protein and dietary fiber. The fungal pathogen Uromyces appendiculatus (Pers.) Unger can cause major loss in susceptible varieties of the common bean. The Ur-3 locus provides race specific resistance
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Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an important legume, useful for its high protein and dietary fiber. The fungal pathogen Uromyces appendiculatus (Pers.) Unger can cause major loss in susceptible varieties of the common bean. The Ur-3 locus provides race specific resistance to virulent strains or races of the bean rust pathogen along with Crg, (Complements resistance gene), which is required for Ur-3-mediated rust resistance. In this study, we inoculated two common bean genotypes (resistant “Sierra” and susceptible crg) with rust race 53 of U. appendiculatus, isolated leaf RNA at specific time points, and sequenced their transcriptomes. First, molecular markers were used to locate and identify a 250 kb deletion on chromosome 10 in mutant crg (which carries a deletion at the Crg locus). Next, we identified differential expression of several disease resistance genes between Mock Inoculated (MI) and Inoculated (I) samples of “Sierra” leaf RNA within the 250 kb delineated region. Both marker assisted molecular profiling and RNA-seq were used to identify possible transcriptomic locations of interest regarding the resistance in the common bean to race 53. Identification of differential expression among samples in disease resistance clusters in the bean genome may elucidate significant genes underlying rust resistance. Along with preserving favorable traits in the crop, the current research may also aid in global sustainability of food stocks necessary for many populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Defense Genes Against Biotic Stresses)
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Open AccessArticle Validation of Splicing Events in Transcriptome Sequencing Data
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1110; doi:10.3390/ijms18061110
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract
Genomic alignments of sequenced cellular messenger RNA contain gapped alignments which are interpreted as consequence of intron removal. The resulting gap-sites, genomic locations of alignment gaps, are landmarks representing potential splice-sites. As alignment algorithms report gap-sites with a considerable false discovery rate, validations
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Genomic alignments of sequenced cellular messenger RNA contain gapped alignments which are interpreted as consequence of intron removal. The resulting gap-sites, genomic locations of alignment gaps, are landmarks representing potential splice-sites. As alignment algorithms report gap-sites with a considerable false discovery rate, validations are required. We describe two quality scores, gap quality score (gqs) and weighted gap information score (wgis), developed for validation of putative splicing events: While gqs solely relies on alignment data wgis additionally considers information from the genomic sequence. FASTQ files obtained from 54 human dermal fibroblast samples were aligned against the human genome (GRCh38) using TopHat and STAR aligner. Statistical properties of gap-sites validated by gqs and wgis were evaluated by their sequence similarity to known exon-intron borders. Within the 54 samples, TopHat identifies 1,000,380 and STAR reports 6,487,577 gap-sites. Due to the lack of strand information, however, the percentage of identified GT-AG gap-sites is rather low. While gap-sites from TopHat contain ≈89% GT-AG, gap-sites from STAR only contain ≈42% GT-AG dinucleotide pairs in merged data from 54 fibroblast samples. Validation with gqs yields 156,251 gap-sites from TopHat alignments and 166,294 from STAR alignments. Validation with wgis yields 770,327 gap-sites from TopHat alignments and 1,065,596 from STAR alignments. Both alignment algorithms, TopHat and STAR, report gap-sites with considerable false discovery rate, which can drastically be reduced by validation with gqs and wgis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Regulatory Plasticity of Earthworm wMT-2 Gene Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1113; doi:10.3390/ijms18061113
Received: 15 April 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 21 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract
Metallothioneins (MTs) are multifunctional proteins occurring throughout the animal kingdom. While the expression and transcriptional regulation of MTs is well-studied in vertebrates, the mechanism of MT activation is still unknown for most invertebrates. Therefore, we examined wMT-2 gene regulation and expression patterns in
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Metallothioneins (MTs) are multifunctional proteins occurring throughout the animal kingdom. While the expression and transcriptional regulation of MTs is well-studied in vertebrates, the mechanism of MT activation is still unknown for most invertebrates. Therefore, we examined wMT-2 gene regulation and expression patterns in Lumbricus rubellus and L. terrestris. Transcription levels, the occupation of DNA binding sites, the expression of putative transcriptional regulators, and promotor DNA methylation were determined. We found that wMT-2 expression does not follow a circadian pattern. However, Cd-induced wMT-2 induction was observed, and was, interestingly, suppressed by physical injury. Moreover, the promotor region that is responsible for the wMT-2 gene regulation was elucidated. ATF, a putative transcriptional regulator, showed increased phosphorylation upon Cd exposure, suggesting that it plays a major role in wMT-2 gene activation. The promotor methylation of wMT-2, on the other hand, is probably not involved in transcriptional regulation. Elucidating the regulatory mechanism of the earthworm MT gene activation might provide insights into the molecular coordination of the environmental stress response in invertebrates, and might also reveal a link to wound repair and, in a broader sense, to immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metallothioneins in Bioinorganic Chemistry: Recent Developments)
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Open AccessArticle Mass Spectrometry Based Profiling and Imaging of Various Ginsenosides from Panax ginseng Roots at Different Ages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1114; doi:10.3390/ijms18061114
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: Panax ginseng root is one of the most important herbal products, and the profiling of ginsenosides is critical for the quality control of ginseng roots at different ages in the herbal markets. Furthermore, interest in assessing the contents as well as
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(1) Background: Panax ginseng root is one of the most important herbal products, and the profiling of ginsenosides is critical for the quality control of ginseng roots at different ages in the herbal markets. Furthermore, interest in assessing the contents as well as the localization of biological compounds has been growing. The objective of this study is to carry out the mass spectrometry (MS)-based profiling and imaging of ginsenosides to assess ginseng roots at different ages; (2) Methods: Optimal ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time of flight/MS (UPLC-QTOF/MS) was used to profile various ginsenosides from P. ginseng roots. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI)-time of flight (TOF)/MS-based imaging was also optimized to visualize ginsenosides in ginseng roots; (3) Results: UPLC-QTOF/MS was used to profile 30 ginsenosides with high mass accuracy, with an in-house library constructed for the fast and exact identification of ginsenosides. Using this method, the levels of 14 ginsenosides were assessed in P. ginseng roots cultivated for 4, 5, and 6 years. The optimal MALDI-imaging MS (IMS) was also applied to visualize the 14 ginsenosides in ginseng roots. As a result, the MSI cross sections showed the localization of 4 ginsenoside ions ([M + K]+) in P. ginseng roots at different ages; (4) Conclusions: The contents and localization of various ginsenosides differ depending on the cultivation years of P. ginseng roots. Furthermore, this study demonstrated the utility of MS-based profiling and imaging of ginsenosides for the quality control of ginseng roots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in the Plant Sciences 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Essential Role of Growth Hormone and IGF-1 in Therapeutic Effect of Ghrelin in the Course of Acetic Acid-Induced Colitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1118; doi:10.3390/ijms18061118
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract
Previous studies have shown that ghrelin exhibits a protective and therapeutic effect in the gut. The aim of the present study was to examine whether administration of ghrelin affects the course of acetic acid-induced colitis and to determine what is the role of
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Previous studies have shown that ghrelin exhibits a protective and therapeutic effect in the gut. The aim of the present study was to examine whether administration of ghrelin affects the course of acetic acid-induced colitis and to determine what is the role of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in this effect. In sham-operated or hypophysectomized male Wistar rats, colitis was induced by enema with 1 mL of 3% solution of acetic acid. Saline or ghrelin (given at the dose of 8 nmol/kg/dose) was administered intraperitoneally twice a day. Seven days after colitis induction, rats were anesthetized and the severity of the colitis was assessed. Treatment with ghrelin reduced the area of colonic mucosa damage in pituitary-intact rat. This effect was associated with increase in serum levels of GH and IGF-1. Moreover, administration of ghrelin improved blood flow in colonic mucosa and mucosal cell proliferation, as well as reduced mucosal concentration of proinflammatory interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and activity of myeloperoxidase. Hypophysectomy reduced serum levels of GH and IGF-1 and increased the area of colonic damage in rats with colitis. These effects were associated with additional reduction in mucosal blood follow and DNA synthesis when compared to pituitary-intact rats. Mucosal concentration of IL-1β and mucosal activity of myeloperoxidase were maximally increased. Moreover, in hypophysectomized rats, administration of ghrelin failed to affect serum levels of GH or IGF-1, as well as the healing rate of colitis, mucosal cell proliferation, and mucosal concentration of IL-1β, or activity of myeloperoxidase. We conclude that administration of ghrelin accelerates the healing of the acetic acid-induced colitis. Therapeutic effect of ghrelin in experimental colitis is mainly mediated by the release of endogenous growth hormone and IGF-1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth Hormone: Therapeutic Possibilities)
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Open AccessArticle Stability Profiles and Therapeutic Effect of Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase Chemically Coupled to O-Quaternary Chitosan Derivatives against Dextran Sodium Sulfate-Induced Colitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1121; doi:10.3390/ijms18061121
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) has attracted considerable attention on treatment of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related disorders. We previously conjugated Cu/Zn SOD to O-quaternary chitosan derivatives (O-HTCC) to yield a polymer–enzyme conjugate O-HTCC-SOD that demonstrated superior therapeutic effect to native SOD.
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Superoxide dismutase (SOD) has attracted considerable attention on treatment of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related disorders. We previously conjugated Cu/Zn SOD to O-quaternary chitosan derivatives (O-HTCC) to yield a polymer–enzyme conjugate O-HTCC-SOD that demonstrated superior therapeutic effect to native SOD. The present study demonstrated that O-HTCC-SOD had wider pH activity range, better thermal stability, excellent long-term stability for storage, as well as unique reinstatement of activity exposure to proteolytic degradation that was helpful for longer half-life in vivo. O-HTCC-SOD exerted significant anti-inflammatory effects on lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-stimulated mouse peritoneal macrophages by down-regulating production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and intracellular ROS. O-HTCC-SOD significantly attenuated dextran sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice as observed by the colitis severity, neutrophil infiltration and histopathological damage, whereas native SOD failed to do so. In conclusion, conjugation of O-HTCC conferred SOD with better stability and enhanced therapeutic potential, offering a promising option in treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chlorpromazine Increases the Expression of Polysialic Acid (PolySia) in Human Neuroblastoma Cells and Mouse Prefrontal Cortex
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1123; doi:10.3390/ijms18061123
Received: 22 April 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract
The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is modified by polysialic acid (polySia or PSA) in embryonic brains. In adult brains, polySia modification of NCAM is only observed in restricted areas where neural plasticity, remodeling of neural connections, or neural generation is ongoing although
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The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is modified by polysialic acid (polySia or PSA) in embryonic brains. In adult brains, polySia modification of NCAM is only observed in restricted areas where neural plasticity, remodeling of neural connections, or neural generation is ongoing although the amount of NCAM remains unchanged. Impairments of the polySia-expression and several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the polysialyltransferase (polyST) ST8SIA2 gene are reported to be associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Chlorpromazine (CPZ) is well-known as an agent for treating schizophrenia, and our hypothesis is that CPZ may affect the polySia expression or the gene expression of polySTs or NCAM. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the effects of CPZ on the expression of polySia-NCAM on human neuroblastoma cell line, IMR-32 cells, by immunochemical and chemical methods. Interestingly, the cell surface expression of polySia, especially those with lower chain lengths, was significantly increased on the CPZ-treated cells, while mRNAs for polySTs and NCAM, and the amounts of total polySia-NCAM remained unchanged. The addition of brefeldin A, an inhibitor of endocytosis, suppressed the CPZ-induced cell surface polySia expression. In addition, polySia-NCAM was also observed in the vesicle compartment inside the cell. All these data suggest that the level of cell surface expression of polySia in IMR-32 is highly regulated and that CPZ changes the rate of the recycling of polySia-NCAM, leading to the up-regulation of polySia-NCAM on the cell surface. We also analyzed the effect of CPZ on polySia-expression in various brain regions in adult mice and found that CPZ only influenced the total amounts of polySia-NCAM in prefrontal cortex. These results suggest a brain-region-specific effect of CPZ on the expression of total polySia in mouse brain. Collectively, anti-schizophrenia agent CPZ consistently up-regulates the expression polySia at both cellular and animal levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosylation and Glycoproteins 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Melatonin Attenuates Pulmonary Hypertension in Chronically Hypoxic Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1125; doi:10.3390/ijms18061125
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract
Chronic hypoxia induces pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling, which are clinically relevant to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with a decreased level of nitric oxide (NO). Oxidative stress and inflammation play important roles in the pathophysiological processes in COPD. We
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Chronic hypoxia induces pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling, which are clinically relevant to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with a decreased level of nitric oxide (NO). Oxidative stress and inflammation play important roles in the pathophysiological processes in COPD. We examined the hypothesis that daily administration of melatonin (10 mg/kg) mitigates the pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling in chronically hypoxic rats. The right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) and the thickness of pulmonary arteriolar wall were measured from normoxic control, vehicle- and melatonin-treated hypoxic rats exposed to 10% O2 for 14 days. Levels of markers for oxidative stress (malondialdhyde) and inflammation (tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)) and the expressions of total endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and phosphorylated eNOS at serine1177 (ser1177) were determined in the lung tissue. We found that the RVSP and the thickness of the arteriolar wall were significantly increased in the vehicle-treated hypoxic animals with elevated levels of malondialdhyde and mRNA expressions of the inflammatory mediators, when compared with the normoxic control. In addition, the phosphorylated eNOS (ser1177) level was significantly decreased, despite an increased eNOS expression in the vehicle-treated hypoxic group. Melatonin treatment significantly attenuated the levels of RVSP, thickness of the arteriolar wall, oxidative and inflammatory markers in the hypoxic animals with a marked increase in the eNOS phosphorylation in the lung. These results suggest that melatonin attenuates pulmonary hypertension by antagonizing the oxidative injury and restoration of NO production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects)
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Open AccessArticle Tdrd12 Is Essential for Germ Cell Development and Maintenance in Zebrafish
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1127; doi:10.3390/ijms18061127
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
The regularity of Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) biogenesis is crucial to germline development. Functioning as Piwi-interacting proteins, Tudor domain-related proteins (Tdrds) have been demonstrated to be involved in spermatogenesis and the piRNA pathway. In this study, zebrafish tdrd12 was identified, and the maternal and
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The regularity of Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) biogenesis is crucial to germline development. Functioning as Piwi-interacting proteins, Tudor domain-related proteins (Tdrds) have been demonstrated to be involved in spermatogenesis and the piRNA pathway. In this study, zebrafish tdrd12 was identified, and the maternal and germ cell-specific expression patterns of zebrafish tdrd12 were observed. Utilizing TALEN (transcription activator-like effector nuclease) techniques, two independent tdrd12 mutant zebrafish lines were generated. Although no defects were found during the generation of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) in the tdrd12-null fish progenies obtained from the heterozygous tdrd12 mutant parents, all Tdrd12-deficient fish developed into infertile males. The reduced numbers and eventually loss of the germ cells by 35 days post fertilization (dpf) led to masculinization and infertility of the Tdrd12-deficient fish. Meiosis defects of the germ cells in the tdrd12 mutants during the gonad-transitioning period were observed, revealing the indispensable functions of Tdrd12 in gametogenesis. Our studies demonstrated that zebrafish Tdrd12 is essential for germ cell development and maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Polymorphisms and Nitric Oxide Levels in Individuals with Chronic Periodontitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1128; doi:10.3390/ijms18061128
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 20 May 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to investigate whether the −1026(A>C)(rs2779249) and +2087(A>G)(2297518) polymorphisms in the NOS2 gene were associated with chronic periodontitis (CP) and with salivary levels of nitrite (NO2) and/or nitrate + nitrite (NOx). A group of 113 mixed-race patients were
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This study aimed to investigate whether the −1026(A>C)(rs2779249) and +2087(A>G)(2297518) polymorphisms in the NOS2 gene were associated with chronic periodontitis (CP) and with salivary levels of nitrite (NO2) and/or nitrate + nitrite (NOx). A group of 113 mixed-race patients were subjected to periodontal, genetic, and biochemical evaluations (65 CP/48 periodontally healthy subjects). DNA was extracted from oral epithelial cells and used for genotyping by polymerase chain reaction (real-time). Salivary NOx concentrations were determined using an ozone-based chemiluminescence assay. Association of CP with alleles and genotypes of the −1026(A>C) polymorphism was found (X2 test, p = 0.0075; 0.0308), but this was not maintained after multiple logistic regression, performed to estimate the effect of covariates and polymorphisms in CP. This analysis demonstrated, after correction for multiple comparisons, that only the female gender was significantly associated with CP. Polymorphisms analyzed as haplotypes were not associated with CP. NOx levels were significantly higher in the control group of heterozygous individuals for both polymorphisms. In conclusion, the female gender was significantly associated with CP, and higher levels of salivary NOx were found in control subjects and associated with the heterozygous state of the NOS2 polymorphisms, reinforcing the potential of NO metabolites as markers of periodontitis status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Open AccessArticle Melatonin Inhibits Androgen Receptor Splice Variant-7 (AR-V7)-Induced Nuclear Factor-Kappa B (NF-κB) Activation and NF-κB Activator-Induced AR-V7 Expression in Prostate Cancer Cells: Potential Implications for the Use of Melatonin in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC) Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1130; doi:10.3390/ijms18061130
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
A major current challenge in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, which can be initially controlled by medical or surgical castration, is the development of effective, safe, and affordable therapies against progression of the disease to the stage of castration resistance. Here, we
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A major current challenge in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, which can be initially controlled by medical or surgical castration, is the development of effective, safe, and affordable therapies against progression of the disease to the stage of castration resistance. Here, we showed that in LNCaP and 22Rv1 prostate cancer cells transiently overexpressing androgen receptor splice variant-7 (AR-V7), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) was activated and could result in up-regulated interleukin (IL)-6 gene expression, indicating a positive interaction between AR-V7 expression and activated NF-κB/IL-6 signaling in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) pathogenesis. Importantly, both AR-V7-induced NF-κB activation and IL-6 gene transcription in LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells could be inhibited by melatonin. Furthermore, stimulation of AR-V7 mRNA expression in LNCaP cells by betulinic acid, a pharmacological NF-κB activator, was reduced by melatonin treatment. Our data support the presence of bi-directional positive interactions between AR-V7 expression and NF-κB activation in CRPC pathogenesis. Of note, melatonin, by inhibiting NF-κB activation via the previously-reported MT1 receptor-mediated antiproliferative pathway, can disrupt these bi-directional positive interactions between AR-V7 and NF-κB and thereby delay the development of castration resistance in advanced prostate cancer. Apparently, this therapeutic potential of melatonin in advanced prostate cancer/CRPC management is worth translation in the clinic via combined androgen depletion and melatonin repletion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects)
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Open AccessArticle Prostaglandin E2-Induced COX-2 Expressions via EP2 and EP4 Signaling Pathways in Human LoVo Colon Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1132; doi:10.3390/ijms18061132
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
Metastasis is the most dangerous risk faced by patients with hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC). The expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) has been observed in several types of human cancers and regulates the efficacy of many therapies. Here, we show that treatment with
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Metastasis is the most dangerous risk faced by patients with hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC). The expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) has been observed in several types of human cancers and regulates the efficacy of many therapies. Here, we show that treatment with various concentrations of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2; 0, 1, 5 or 10 μM) promotes the migration ability of the human LoVo colon cancer cell line. As demonstrated by mRNA and protein expression analyses, EP2 and EP4 are the major PGE2 receptors expressed on the LoVo cell membrane. The Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt cell survival pathway was upregulated by EP2 and EP4 activation. Following the activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway, β-catenin translocated into the nucleus and triggered COX2 transcription via LEF-1 and TCF-4 and its subsequent translation. COX2 expression correlated with the elevation in the migration ability of LoVo cells. The experimental evidence shows a possible mechanism by which PGE2 induces cancer cell migration and further suggests PGE2 to be a potential therapeutic target in colon cancer metastasis. On inhibition of PGE2, in order to determine the downstream pathway, the levels of PI3K/Akt pathway were suppressed and the β-catenin expression was also modulated. Inhibition of EP2 and EP4 shows that PGE2 induces protein expression of COX-2 through EP2 and EP4 receptors in LoVo colon cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Function of Metallothionein-3 in Neuronal Cells: Do Metal Ions Alter Expression Levels of MT3?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1133; doi:10.3390/ijms18061133
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
A study of factors proposed to affect metallothionein-3 (MT3) function was carried out to elucidate the opaque role MT3 plays in human metalloneurochemistry. Gene expression of Mt2 and Mt3 was examined in tissues extracted from the dentate gyrus of mouse brains and in
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A study of factors proposed to affect metallothionein-3 (MT3) function was carried out to elucidate the opaque role MT3 plays in human metalloneurochemistry. Gene expression of Mt2 and Mt3 was examined in tissues extracted from the dentate gyrus of mouse brains and in human neuronal cell cultures. The whole-genome gene expression analysis identified significant variations in the mRNA levels of genes associated with zinc homeostasis, including Mt2 and Mt3. Mt3 was found to be the most differentially expressed gene in the identified groups, pointing to the existence of a factor, not yet identified, that differentially controls Mt3 expression. To examine the expression of the human metallothioneins in neurons, mRNA levels of MT3 and MT2 were compared in BE(2)C and SH-SY5Y cell cultures treated with lead, zinc, cobalt, and lithium. MT2 was highly upregulated by Zn2+ in both cell cultures, while MT3 was not affected, and no other metal had an effect on either MT2 or MT3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metallothioneins in Bioinorganic Chemistry: Recent Developments)
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Open AccessArticle A Relative Deficiency of Lysosomal Acid Lypase Activity Characterizes Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1134; doi:10.3390/ijms18061134
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
Lysosomal acid lipase (LAL) is a key enzyme in lipid metabolism. Initial reports have suggested a role for a relative acquired LAL deficiency in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)—however, it is still unclear whether this mechanism is specific for NAFLD. We aimed to
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Lysosomal acid lipase (LAL) is a key enzyme in lipid metabolism. Initial reports have suggested a role for a relative acquired LAL deficiency in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)—however, it is still unclear whether this mechanism is specific for NAFLD. We aimed to determine LAL activity in a cohort of NAFLD subjects and in a control group of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients, investigating the role of liver cirrhosis. A total of 81 patients with a diagnosis of NAFLD, and 78 matched controls with HCV-related liver disease were enrolled. For each patient, LAL activity was determined on peripheral dried blood spots (DBS) and correlated with clinical and laboratory data. A subgroup analysis among cirrhotic patients was also performed. LAL activity is significantly reduced in NAFLD, compared to that in HCV patients. This finding is particularly evident in the pre-cirrhotic stage of disease. LAL activity is also correlated with platelet and white blood cell count, suggesting an analytic interference of portal-hypertension-induced pancytopenia on DBS-determined LAL activity. NAFLD is characterized by a specific deficit in LAL activity, suggesting a pathogenetic role of LAL. We propose that future studies on this topic should rely on tissue specific analyses, as peripheral blood tests are also influenced by confounding factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Predicting Zoonotic Risk of Influenza A Viruses from Host Tropism Protein Signature Using Random Forest
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1135; doi:10.3390/ijms18061135
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
Influenza A viruses remain a significant health problem, especially when a novel subtype emerges from the avian population to cause severe outbreaks in humans. Zoonotic viruses arise from the animal population as a result of mutations and reassortments, giving rise to novel strains
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Influenza A viruses remain a significant health problem, especially when a novel subtype emerges from the avian population to cause severe outbreaks in humans. Zoonotic viruses arise from the animal population as a result of mutations and reassortments, giving rise to novel strains with the capability to evade the host species barrier and cause human infections. Despite progress in understanding interspecies transmission of influenza viruses, we are no closer to predicting zoonotic strains that can lead to an outbreak. We have previously discovered distinct host tropism protein signatures of avian, human and zoonotic influenza strains obtained from host tropism predictions on individual protein sequences. Here, we apply machine learning approaches on the signatures to build a computational model capable of predicting zoonotic strains. The zoonotic strain prediction model can classify avian, human or zoonotic strains with high accuracy, as well as providing an estimated zoonotic risk. This would therefore allow us to quickly determine if an influenza virus strain has the potential to be zoonotic using only protein sequences. The swift identification of potential zoonotic strains in the animal population using the zoonotic strain prediction model could provide us with an early indication of an imminent influenza outbreak. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Study of Lectin Domains in Model Species: New Insights into Evolutionary Dynamics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1136; doi:10.3390/ijms18061136
Received: 6 May 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
Lectins are present throughout the plant kingdom and are reported to be involved in diverse biological processes. In this study, we provide a comparative analysis of the lectin families from model species in a phylogenetic framework. The analysis focuses on the different plant
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Lectins are present throughout the plant kingdom and are reported to be involved in diverse biological processes. In this study, we provide a comparative analysis of the lectin families from model species in a phylogenetic framework. The analysis focuses on the different plant lectin domains identified in five representative core angiosperm genomes (Arabidopsis thaliana, Glycine max, Cucumis sativus, Oryza sativa ssp. japonica and Oryza sativa ssp. indica). The genomes were screened for genes encoding lectin domains using a combination of Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST), hidden Markov models, and InterProScan analysis. Additionally, phylogenetic relationships were investigated by constructing maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees. The results demonstrate that the majority of the lectin families are present in each of the species under study. Domain organization analysis showed that most identified proteins are multi-domain proteins, owing to the modular rearrangement of protein domains during evolution. Most of these multi-domain proteins are widespread, while others display a lineage-specific distribution. Furthermore, the phylogenetic analyses reveal that some lectin families evolved to be similar to the phylogeny of the plant species, while others share a closer evolutionary history based on the corresponding protein domain architecture. Our results yield insights into the evolutionary relationships and functional divergence of plant lectins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Lectins: From Model Species to Crop Plants)
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Open AccessCommunication Transfection of Antisense Oligonucleotides Mediated by Cationic Vesicles Based on Non-Ionic Surfactant and Polycations Bearing Quaternary Ammonium Moieties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1139; doi:10.3390/ijms18061139
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
Three different ionene polymers with varying quaternary ammonium moieties were used as a proof of concept for the formulation of antisense oligonucleotides, which are capable of inhibiting Renilla luciferase messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). Cationic vesicles, consisting of cationic polymer, antisense oligonucleotide (Luc
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Three different ionene polymers with varying quaternary ammonium moieties were used as a proof of concept for the formulation of antisense oligonucleotides, which are capable of inhibiting Renilla luciferase messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). Cationic vesicles, consisting of cationic polymer, antisense oligonucleotide (Luc) and non-ionic surfactant polysorbate 80, were investigated regarding their ζ potential, cytotoxicity and transfection efficiency. Deoxyribonucleic acid- (DNA) forming complexes in the presence of cationic vesicles were also investigated in terms of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The studied cationic vesicles showed very little, if any, toxicity against HeLa cells. Transfection abilities proved to vary strongly depending on the present quaternary ammonium moiety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterial Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Changes of Microrna Levels in Plasma of Patients with Rectal Cancer during Chemoradiotherapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1140; doi:10.3390/ijms18061140
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
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Abstract
Since the response to chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer is heterogeneous, valid biomarkers are needed to monitor tumor response. Circulating microRNAs are promising candidates, however analyses of circulating microRNAs in rectal cancer are still rare. 111 patients with rectal cancer
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Since the response to chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer is heterogeneous, valid biomarkers are needed to monitor tumor response. Circulating microRNAs are promising candidates, however analyses of circulating microRNAs in rectal cancer are still rare. 111 patients with rectal cancer and 46 age-matched normal controls were enrolled. The expression levels of 30 microRNAs were analyzed in 17 pre-treatment patients’ plasma samples. Differentially regulated microRNAs were validated in 94 independent patients. For 52 of the 94 patients a paired comparison between pre-treatment and post-treatment samples was performed. miR-17, miR-18b, miR-20a, miR-31, and miR-193a_3p, were significantly downregulated in pre-treatment plasma samples of patients with rectal cancer (p < 0.05). miR-29c, miR-30c, and miR-195 showed a trend of differential regulation. After validation, miR-31 and miR-30c were significantly deregulated by a decrease of expression. In 52 patients expression analyses of the 8 microRNAs in matched pre-treatment and post-treatment samples showed a significant decrease for all microRNAs (p < 0.05) after treatment. Expression levels of miR-31 and miR-30c could serve as valid biomarkers if validated in a prospective study. Plasma microRNA expression levels do not necessarily represent miRNA expression levels in tumor tissue. Also, expression levels of microRNAs change during multimodal therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNA Regulation 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Brazilian Green Propolis Encapsulated in a γ-Cyclodextrin Complex in Mice Fed a Western-Type Diet
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1141; doi:10.3390/ijms18061141
Received: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
Ageing is often accompanied by chronic inflammation. A fat- and sugar-rich Western-type diet (WTD) may accelerate the ageing phenotype. Cell culture studies have indicated that artepillin C-containing Brazilian green propolis exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. However, little is known regarding its anti-inflammatory potential in mouse
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Ageing is often accompanied by chronic inflammation. A fat- and sugar-rich Western-type diet (WTD) may accelerate the ageing phenotype. Cell culture studies have indicated that artepillin C-containing Brazilian green propolis exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. However, little is known regarding its anti-inflammatory potential in mouse liver in vivo. In this study, female C57BL/6NRj wild-type mice were fed a WTD, a WTD supplemented with Brazilian green propolis supercritical extract (GPSE) encapsulated in γ-cyclodextrin (γCD) or a WTD plus γCD for 10 weeks. GPSE-γCD did not affect the food intake, body weight or body composition of the mice. However, mRNA levels of the tumour necrosis factor α were significantly downregulated (p < 0.05) in these mice compared to those in the WTD-fed controls. Furthermore, the gene expression levels of other pro-inflammatory markers, including serum amyloid P, were significantly (p < 0.001) decreased following GPSE-γCD treatment. GPSE-γCD significantly induced hepatic ferritin gene expression (p < 0.01), which may contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. Conversely, GPSE-γCD did not affect the biomarkers of endogenous antioxidant defence, including catalase, glutathione peroxidase-4, paraoxonase-1, glutamate cysteine ligase and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2). Overall, the present data suggest that dietary GPSE-γCD exhibits anti-inflammatory, but not antioxidant activity in mouse liver in vivo. Thus, GPSE-γCD has the potential to serve as a natural hepatoprotective bioactive compound for dietary-mediated strategies against chronic inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Suppression of Osteoclastogenesis by Melatonin: A Melatonin Receptor-Independent Action
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1142; doi:10.3390/ijms18061142
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
In vertebrates, melatonin is primarily secreted from the pineal gland but it affects various biological processes including the sleep-wake cycle, vasomotor control, immune system and bone homeostasis. Melatonin has been known to promote osteoblast differentiation and bone maturation, but a direct role of
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In vertebrates, melatonin is primarily secreted from the pineal gland but it affects various biological processes including the sleep-wake cycle, vasomotor control, immune system and bone homeostasis. Melatonin has been known to promote osteoblast differentiation and bone maturation, but a direct role of melatonin on osteoclast differentiation is still elusive. The present study investigated the effect of melatonin on the differentiation of macrophages to osteoclasts. The presence of melatonin significantly reduced receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclastogenesis and the siRNA-mediated knockdown of the melatonin receptor failed to overcome the anti-osteoclastogenic effect of melatonin. Although melatonin treatment did not affect the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), it markedly inhibited the activation of NF-κB and subsequent induction of nuclear factor of activated T cell cytoplasmic 1(NFATc1). Thus, our results suggest that melatonin could suppress osteoclast differentiation through downregulation of NF-κB pathway with concomitant decrease in the NFATc1 transcription factor induction. Furthermore, melatonin seems to have an anti-osteoclastogenic effect independent of plasma membrane melatonin receptors. In addition to previously reported properties of melatonin, our study proposes another aspect of melatonin and bone homeostasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Thrombin, Factor Xa and U46619 Inhibitory Effects of Non-Amidino and Amidino N2-Thiophenecarbonyl- and N2-Tosylanthranilamides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1144; doi:10.3390/ijms18061144
Received: 2 February 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
Thrombin (factor IIa) and factor Xa (FXa) are key enzymes at the junction of the intrinsic and extrinsic coagulation pathways and are the most attractive pharmacological targets for the development of novel anticoagulants. Twenty non-amidino N2-thiophencarbonyl- and N2-tosyl anthranilamides
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Thrombin (factor IIa) and factor Xa (FXa) are key enzymes at the junction of the intrinsic and extrinsic coagulation pathways and are the most attractive pharmacological targets for the development of novel anticoagulants. Twenty non-amidino N2-thiophencarbonyl- and N2-tosyl anthranilamides 120 and six amidino N2-thiophencarbonyl- and N2-tosylanthranilamides 2126 were synthesized to evaluate their activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and prothrombin time (PT) using human plasma at a concentration of 30 µg/mL in vitro. As a result, compounds 5, 9, and 2123 were selected to study the further antithrombotic activity. The anticoagulant properties of 5, 9, and 2123 significantly exhibited a concentration-dependent prolongation of in vitro PT and aPTT, in vivo bleeding time, and ex vivo clotting time. These compounds concentration-dependently inhibited the activities of thrombin and FXa and inhibited the generation of thrombin and FXa in human endothelial cells. In addition, data showed that 5, 9, and 2123 significantly inhibited thrombin catalyzed fibrin polymerization and mouse platelet aggregation and inhibited platelet aggregation induced by U46619 in vitro and ex vivo. Among the derivatives evaluated, N-(3′-amidinophenyl)-2-((thiophen-2′′-yl)carbonylamino)benzamide (21) was the most active compound. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessCommunication Mutual Regulation of NOD2 and RIG-I in Zebrafish Provides Insights into the Coordination between Innate Antibacterial and Antiviral Signaling Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1147; doi:10.3390/ijms18061147
Received: 1 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
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Abstract
Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2 (NOD2) and retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) are two important cytosolic pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), initiating innate antibacterial and antiviral signaling pathways. However, the relationship between these PRRs, especially in
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Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2 (NOD2) and retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) are two important cytosolic pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), initiating innate antibacterial and antiviral signaling pathways. However, the relationship between these PRRs, especially in teleost fish models, is rarely reported. In this article, we describe the mutual regulation of zebrafish NOD2 (DrNOD2) and RIG-I (DrRIG-I) in innate immune responses. Luciferase assays were conducted to determine the activation of NF-κB and interferon signaling. Morpholino-mediated knockdown and mRNA-mediated rescue were performed to further confirm the regulatory roles between DrNOD2 and DrRIG-I. Results showed that DrNOD2 and DrRIG-I shared conserved structural hallmarks with their mammalian counterparts, and activated DrRIG-I signaling can induce DrNOD2 production. Surprisingly, DrNOD2-initiated signaling can also induce DrRIG-I expression, indicating that a mutual regulatory mechanism may exist between them. Studies conducted using HEK293T cells and zebrafish embryos showed that DrRIG-I could negatively regulate DrNOD2-activated NF-κB signaling, and DrNOD2 could inhibit DrRIG-I-induced IFN signaling. Moreover, knocking down DrRIG-I expression by morpholino could enhance DrNOD2-initiated NF-κB activation, and vice versa, which could be rescued by their corresponding mRNAs. Results revealed a mutual feedback regulatory mechanism underlying NOD2 and RIG-I signaling pathways in teleosts. This mechanism reflects the coordination between cytosolic antibacterial and antiviral PRRs in the complex network of innate immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle N-Caffeoyltryptamine, a Potent Anti-Inflammatory Phenolic Amide, Suppressed MCP-1 Expression in LPS-stimulated THP-1 Cells and Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1148; doi:10.3390/ijms18061148
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
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Abstract
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is a well-known chemokine critically involved in the pathophysiological progression of several inflammatory diseases including arthrosclerosis. N-caffeoyltryptamine is a phenolic amide with strong anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, in this paper, the potential effect of N-caffeoyltryptamine on MCP-1 expression
[...] Read more.
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is a well-known chemokine critically involved in the pathophysiological progression of several inflammatory diseases including arthrosclerosis. N-caffeoyltryptamine is a phenolic amide with strong anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, in this paper, the potential effect of N-caffeoyltryptamine on MCP-1 expression was investigated as a potential p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase inhibitor in vitro and in vivo. At the concentration of 20 μM, N-caffeoyltryptamine significantly inhibited p38 MAP kinase α, β, γ and δ by 15–50% (p < 0.05), particularly p38 MAP kinase α (IC50 = 16.7 μM) and β (IC50 = 18.3 μM). Also, the pretreatment of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated THP-1 cells with N-caffeoyltryptamine (10, 20 and 40 μM) led to significant suppression of MCP-1 production by 10–45% (p < 0.05) in the cells. Additionally, N-caffeoyltryptamine was also able to significantly downregulate MCP-1 mRNA expression in the THP-1 cells (p < 0.05). On the basis of this strong inhibition in vitro, an animal study was conducted to confirm this inhibitory effect in vivo. Rats were divided into three groups (n = 8): a normal control diet (C), a high-fat diet (HF), or a high-fat diet supplemented with N-caffeoyltryptamine (2 mg per day) (HFS). After 16 weeks, blood samples were collected from the rats in each group, and MCP-1 levels were determined in plasma with other atherogenic markers (C-reactive protein and soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin)). As expected, the average MCP-1 levels of the HF group were found to be higher than those of the C group (p < 0.05). However, the MCP-1 levels of the HFS group were significantly lower than those of the HF group (p < 0.05), suggesting that N-caffeoyltryptamine could decrease MCP-1 expression in vivo. Related to other atherogenic markers such as C-reactive protein and sE-selectin, there was no significant difference in their levels between the HF and HFS groups. These data suggest that N-caffeoyltryptamine may specifically suppress MCP-1 expression in vitro and in vivo, possibly by inhibiting p38 MAP kinase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle Strawberry (cv. Romina) Methanolic Extract and Anthocyanin-Enriched Fraction Improve Lipid Profile and Antioxidant Status in HepG2 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1149; doi:10.3390/ijms18061149
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
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Abstract
Dyslipidemia and oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) are recognized as critical factors in the development of atherosclerosis. Healthy dietary patterns, with abundant fruit and vegetable consumption, may prevent the onset of these risk factors due to the presence of phytochemical compounds. Strawberries
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Dyslipidemia and oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) are recognized as critical factors in the development of atherosclerosis. Healthy dietary patterns, with abundant fruit and vegetable consumption, may prevent the onset of these risk factors due to the presence of phytochemical compounds. Strawberries are known for their high content of polyphenols; among them, flavonoids are the major constituents, and it is presumed that they are responsible for the biological activity of the fruit. Nevertheless, there are only a few studies that actually evaluate the effects of different fractions isolated from strawberries. In order to assess the effects of two different strawberry extracts (whole methanolic extract/anthocyanin-enriched fraction) on the lipid profile and antioxidant status in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells, the triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol content, lipid peroxidation, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) content and antioxidant enzymes’ activity on cell lysates were determined. Results demonstrated that both strawberry extracts not only improved the lipid metabolism by decreasing triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol contents, but also improved the redox state of HepG2 cells by modulating thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances production, antioxidant enzyme activity and ROS generation. The observed effects were more pronounced for the anthocyanin-enriched fraction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Dry Eye Disease on Scar Formation in Rabbit Glaucoma Filtration Surgery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1150; doi:10.3390/ijms18061150
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
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Abstract
The success rate of glaucoma filtration surgery is closely related to conjunctival inflammation, and the main mechanism of dry eye disease (DED) is inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of DED on bleb scar formation after rabbit glaucoma
[...] Read more.
The success rate of glaucoma filtration surgery is closely related to conjunctival inflammation, and the main mechanism of dry eye disease (DED) is inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of DED on bleb scar formation after rabbit glaucoma filtration surgery. Sixteen New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into control and DED groups. A DED model was induced by twice-daily topical administration of 0.1% benzalkonium chloride (BAC) drops for three weeks. Ocular examinations were performed to verify the DED model. Surgical effects were assessed, and histologic assessments were performed on the 28th postoperative day. Higher fluorescein staining scores, lower basal tear secretion levels and goblet cell counts, and increased interleukin 1β (IL-1β) levels were observed in the DED group. The DED eyes displayed significantly higher intraocular pressure (IOP)% on the 14th postoperative day; a smaller bleb area on days 14, 21 and 28; and a shorter bleb survival time. Moreover, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) levels were significantly increased in the DED group. These results demonstrate that DED promotes filtering bleb scar formation and shortens bleb survival time; these effects may be mediated via IL-1β. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sensitivity of HOXB13 as a Diagnostic Immunohistochemical Marker of Prostatic Origin in Prostate Cancer Metastases: Comparison to PSA, Prostein, Androgen Receptor, ERG, NKX3.1, PSAP, and PSMA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1151; doi:10.3390/ijms18061151
Received: 16 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
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Abstract
Aims: Determining the origin of metastases is an important task of pathologists to allow for the initiation of a tumor-specific therapy. Recently, homeobox protein Hox-B13 (HOXB13) has been suggested as a new marker for the detection of prostatic origin. The aim of this
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Aims: Determining the origin of metastases is an important task of pathologists to allow for the initiation of a tumor-specific therapy. Recently, homeobox protein Hox-B13 (HOXB13) has been suggested as a new marker for the detection of prostatic origin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic sensitivity of HOXB13 in comparison to commonly used immunohistochemical markers for prostate cancer. Materials and methods: Histologically confirmed prostate cancer lymph node metastases from 64 cases were used to test the diagnostic value of immunohistochemical markers: prostate specific antigen (PSA), Prostatic acid phosphatase (PSAP), prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), homeobox gene NKX3.1, prostein, androgen receptor (AR), HOXB13, and ETS-related gene (ERG). All markers were evaluated semi-quantitatively using Remmele's immune reactive score. Results: The detection rate of prostate origin of metastasis for single markers was 100% for NKX3.1, 98.1% for AR, 84.3% for PSMA, 80.8% for PSA, 66% for PSAP, 60.4% for HOXB13, 59.6% for prostein, and 50.0% for ERG. Conclusions: Our data suggest that HOXB13 on its own lacks sensitivity for the detection of prostatic origin. Therefore, this marker should be only used in conjunction with other markers, preferably the highly specific PSA. The combination of PSA with NKX3.1 shows a higher sensitivity and thus appears preferable in this setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic, Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Knockdown of XBP1 by RNAi in Mouse Granulosa Cells Promotes Apoptosis, Inhibits Cell Cycle, and Decreases Estradiol Synthesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1152; doi:10.3390/ijms18061152
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
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Abstract
Granulosa cells are crucial for follicular growth, development, and follicular atresia. X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1), a basic region-leucine zipper protein, is widely involved in cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, cellular stress response, and other signaling pathways. In this study, RNA interference, flow cytometry,
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Granulosa cells are crucial for follicular growth, development, and follicular atresia. X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1), a basic region-leucine zipper protein, is widely involved in cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, cellular stress response, and other signaling pathways. In this study, RNA interference, flow cytometry, western blot, real-time PCR, Cell Counting Kit (CCK8), and ELISA were used to investigate the effect of XBP1 on steroidogenesis, apoptosis, cell cycle, and proliferation of mouse granulosa cells. ELISA analysis showed that XBP1 depletion significantly decreased the concentrations of estradiol (E2). Additionally, the expression of estrogen synthesis enzyme Cyp19a1 was sharply downregulated. Moreover, flow cytometry showed that knockdown of XBP1 increased the apoptosis rate and arrests the cell cycle in S-phase in granulosa cells (GCs). Further study confirmed these results. The expression of CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), cysteinyl aspartate specific proteases-3 (caspase-3), cleaved caspase-3, and Cyclin E was upregulated, while that of Bcl-2, Cyclin A1, and Cyclin B1 was downregulated. Simultaneously, CCK8 analysis indicated that XBP1 disruption inhibited cell proliferation. In addition, XBP1 knockdown also alters the expression of Has2 and Ptgs2, two essential genes for folliculogenesis. Collectively, these data reveal a novel critical role of XBP1 in folliculogenesis by regulating the cell cycle, apoptosis, and steroid synthesis of mouse granulosa cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle De Novo Transcriptome Sequencing and the Hypothetical Cold Response Mode of Saussurea involucrata in Extreme Cold Environments
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1155; doi:10.3390/ijms18061155
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
Saussurea involucrata grows in high mountain areas covered by snow throughout the year. The temperature of this habitat can change drastically in one day. To gain a better understanding of the cold response signaling pathways and molecular metabolic reactions involved in cold stress
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Saussurea involucrata grows in high mountain areas covered by snow throughout the year. The temperature of this habitat can change drastically in one day. To gain a better understanding of the cold response signaling pathways and molecular metabolic reactions involved in cold stress tolerance, genome-wide transcriptional analyses were performed using RNA-Seq technologies. A total of 199,758 transcripts were assembled, producing 138,540 unigenes with 46.8 Gb clean data. Overall, 184,416 (92.32%) transcripts were successfully annotated. The 365 transcription factors identified (292 unigenes) belonged to 49 transcription factor families associated with cold stress responses. A total of 343 transcripts on the signal transduction (132 upregulated and 212 downregulated in at least any one of the conditions) were strongly affected by cold temperature, such as the CBL-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase (CIPKs), receptor-like protein kinases, and protein kinases. The circadian rhythm pathway was activated by cold adaptation, which was necessary to endure the severe temperature changes within a day. There were 346 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to transport, of which 138 were upregulated and 22 were downregulated in at least any one of the conditions. Under cold stress conditions, transcriptional regulation, molecular transport, and signal transduction were involved in the adaptation to low temperature in S. involucrata. These findings contribute to our understanding of the adaptation of plants to harsh environments and the survival traits of S. involucrata. In addition, the present study provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of chilling and freezing tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle Impaired Insulin Signaling is Associated with Hepatic Mitochondrial Dysfunction in IR+/−-IRS-1+/− Double Heterozygous (IR-IRS1dh) Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1156; doi:10.3390/ijms18061156
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
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Abstract
Mitochondria play a pivotal role in energy metabolism, but whether insulin signaling per se could regulate mitochondrial function has not been identified yet. To investigate whether mitochondrial function is regulated by insulin signaling, we analyzed muscle and liver of insulin receptor (IR)+/−
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Mitochondria play a pivotal role in energy metabolism, but whether insulin signaling per se could regulate mitochondrial function has not been identified yet. To investigate whether mitochondrial function is regulated by insulin signaling, we analyzed muscle and liver of insulin receptor (IR)+/−-insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1)+/− double heterozygous (IR-IRS1dh) mice, a well described model for insulin resistance. IR-IRS1dh mice were studied at the age of 6 and 12 months and glucose metabolism was determined by glucose and insulin tolerance tests. Mitochondrial enzyme activities, oxygen consumption, and membrane potential were assessed using spectrophotometric, respirometric, and proton motive force analysis, respectively. IR-IRS1dh mice showed elevated serum insulin levels. Hepatic mitochondrial oxygen consumption was reduced in IR-IRS1dh animals at 12 months of age. Furthermore, 6-month-old IR-IRS1dh mice demonstrated enhanced mitochondrial respiration in skeletal muscle, but a tendency of impaired glucose tolerance. On the other hand, 12-month-old IR-IRS1dh mice showed improved glucose tolerance, but normal muscle mitochondrial function. Our data revealed that deficiency in IR/IRS-1 resulted in normal or even elevated skeletal muscle, but impaired hepatic mitochondrial function, suggesting a direct cross-talk between insulin signaling and mitochondria in the liver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondria Crosstalks with other Organelles in Pathophysiology)
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Open AccessArticle Loss of BAX by miR-365 Promotes Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Progression by Suppressing Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1157; doi:10.3390/ijms18061157
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
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Abstract
Pro-apoptotic BCL2 associated X (BAX) is traditionally thought to be regulated by anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family members, like BCL2-like 1 (BCL-XL), at the protein level. However, the posttranscriptional regulation of BAX is under explored. In this study, we identified BAX as the novel downstream
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Pro-apoptotic BCL2 associated X (BAX) is traditionally thought to be regulated by anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family members, like BCL2-like 1 (BCL-XL), at the protein level. However, the posttranscriptional regulation of BAX is under explored. In this study, we identified BAX as the novel downstream target of miR-365, which is supported by gain- and loss-of-function studies of onco-miR-365. Loss of BAX by either RNA interference or highly-expressed miR-365 in cells of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) enhanced the tumor resistance against apoptosis, while repressing cell proliferation, migration, and invasiveness. In vivo experiment confirmed that BAX knockdown promotes the growth of CSCC xenografts. Collectively, our results find a miR-365-BAX axis for alleviating the pro-apoptotic effects of BAX, which promotes CSCC development and may facilitate the generation of novel therapeutic regimens to the clinical treatment of CSCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
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Open AccessArticle The Instrumentation of a Microfluidic Analyzer Enabling the Characterization of the Specific Membrane Capacitance, Cytoplasm Conductivity, and Instantaneous Young’s Modulus of Single Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1158; doi:10.3390/ijms18061158
Received: 16 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents the instrumentation of a microfluidic analyzer enabling the characterization of single-cell biophysical properties, which includes seven key components: a microfluidic module, a pressure module, an imaging module, an impedance module, two LabVIEW platforms for instrument operation and raw data processing,
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This paper presents the instrumentation of a microfluidic analyzer enabling the characterization of single-cell biophysical properties, which includes seven key components: a microfluidic module, a pressure module, an imaging module, an impedance module, two LabVIEW platforms for instrument operation and raw data processing, respectively, and a Python code for data translation. Under the control of the LabVIEW platform for instrument operation, the pressure module flushes single cells into the microfluidic module with raw biophysical parameters sampled by the imaging and impedance modules and processed by the LabVIEW platform for raw data processing, which were further translated into intrinsic cellular biophysical parameters using the code developed in Python. Based on this system, specific membrane capacitance, cytoplasm conductivity, and instantaneous Young’s modulus of three cell types were quantified as 2.76 ± 0.57 μF/cm2, 1.00 ± 0.14 S/m, and 3.79 ± 1.11 kPa for A549 cells (ncell = 202); 1.88 ± 0.31 μF/cm2, 1.05 ± 0.16 S/m, and 3.74 ± 0.75 kPa for 95D cells (ncell = 257); 2.11 ± 0.38 μF/cm2, 0.87 ± 0.11 S/m, and 5.39 ± 0.89 kPa for H460 cells (ncell = 246). As a semi-automatic instrument with a throughput of roughly 1 cell per second, this prototype instrument can be potentially used for the characterization of cellular biophysical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Single Cell Technology)
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Open AccessArticle Significance of Phosphorylated Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Its Signal Transducers in Human Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1159; doi:10.3390/ijms18061159
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
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Abstract
Previous studies have shown that total epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein is highly expressed in soft tissue sarcoma (STS). We aimed to investigate the significance of phosphorylated-EGFR (pEGFR) and its activated-downstream signal transducers in STS tissue samples. A tissue microarray comprising 87
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Previous studies have shown that total epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein is highly expressed in soft tissue sarcoma (STS). We aimed to investigate the significance of phosphorylated-EGFR (pEGFR) and its activated-downstream signal transducers in STS tissue samples. A tissue microarray comprising 87 STS samples was assessed for total EGFR, pEGFR and its phosphorylated signal transducers and expression was correlated with clinicopathlogical parameters including patient outcome. Although the expression of total EGFR was significantly associated with adverse STS histologic grade (p = 0.004) and clinical stage (p = 0.012) similar to pEGFR, phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAkt) and phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated kinase (pERK), it is not a prognostic factor for survival. By contrast, the expression of pEGFR is an independent factor for cancer specific survival, while pERK is an independent prognostic factor for both overall and cancer specific survival in STS (p < 0.05, Cox proportional hazard model and log-rank test) in addition to the recognised factors of tumour grade and clinical stage. pERK and pEGFR are new independent prognostic factors for overall and/or cancer specific survival in STS. The expression of EGFR/pEGFR, and their associated downstream signal transducers, was associated with STS progression, suggesting that EGFR downstream signalling pathways may jointly support STS cell survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alterations to Signalling Pathways in Cancer Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Sugar-Binding Profiles of Chitin-Binding Lectins from the Hevein Family: A Comprehensive Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1160; doi:10.3390/ijms18061160
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 21 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
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Abstract
Chitin-binding lectins form the hevein family in plants, which are defined by the presence of single or multiple structurally conserved GlcNAc (N-acetylglucosamine)-binding domains. Although they have been used as probes for chito-oligosaccharides, their detailed specificities remain to be investigated. In this
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Chitin-binding lectins form the hevein family in plants, which are defined by the presence of single or multiple structurally conserved GlcNAc (N-acetylglucosamine)-binding domains. Although they have been used as probes for chito-oligosaccharides, their detailed specificities remain to be investigated. In this study, we analyzed six chitin-binding lectins, DSA, LEL, PWM, STL, UDA, and WGA, by quantitative frontal affinity chromatography. Some novel features were evident: WGA showed almost comparable affinity for pyridylaminated chitotriose and chitotetraose, while LEL and UDA showed much weaker affinity, and DSA, PWM, and STL had no substantial affinity for the former. WGA showed selective affinity for hybrid-type N-glycans harboring a bisecting GlcNAc residue. UDA showed extensive binding to high-mannose type N-glycans, with affinity increasing with the number of Man residues. DSA showed the highest affinity for highly branched N-glycans consisting of type II LacNAc (N-acetyllactosamine). Further, multivalent features of these lectins were investigated by using glycoconjugate and lectin microarrays. The lectins showed substantial binding to immobilized LacNAc as well as chito-oligosaccharides, although the extents to which they bound varied among them. WGA showed strong binding to heavily sialylated glycoproteins. The above observations will help interpret lectin-glycoprotein interactions in histochemical studies and glyco-biomarker investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Lectins: From Model Species to Crop Plants)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Differentially Expressed Micrornas Associate with Glucose Metabolism in Different Organs of Blunt Snout Bream (Megalobrama amblycephala)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1161; doi:10.3390/ijms18061161
Received: 11 May 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
Blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) is a widely favored herbivorous fish species and is a frequentlyused fish model for studying the metabolism physiology. This study aimed to provide a comprehensive illustration of the mechanisms of a high-starch diet (HSD) induced lipid
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Blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) is a widely favored herbivorous fish species and is a frequentlyused fish model for studying the metabolism physiology. This study aimed to provide a comprehensive illustration of the mechanisms of a high-starch diet (HSD) induced lipid metabolic disorder by identifying microRNAs (miRNAs) controlled pathways in glucose and lipid metabolism in fish using high-throughput sequencing technologies. Small RNA libraries derived from intestines, livers, and brains of HSD and normal-starch diet (NSD) treated M. amblycephala were sequenced and 79, 124 and 77 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) in intestines, livers, and brains of HSD treated fish were identified, respectively. Bioinformatics analyses showed that these DEMs targeted hundreds of predicted genes were enriched into metabolic pathways and biosynthetic processes, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR), glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, and insulin signaling pathway. These analyses confirmed that miRNAs play crucial roles in glucose and lipid metabolism related to high wheat starch treatment. These results provide information on further investigation of a DEM-related mechanism dysregulated by a high carbohydrate diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNA Regulation 2017)
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Open AccessArticle TRAV7-2*02 Expressing CD8+ T Cells Are Responsible for Palladium Allergy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1162; doi:10.3390/ijms18061162
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
While metallic biomaterials have led to an improvement in the quality of life, metal allergies, especially to palladium (Pd), has caused a recent increase in allergic patients. Metal allergy is known to be a T cell-mediated delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH); however, the pathogenic T
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While metallic biomaterials have led to an improvement in the quality of life, metal allergies, especially to palladium (Pd), has caused a recent increase in allergic patients. Metal allergy is known to be a T cell-mediated delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH); however, the pathogenic T cell subsets and the specific T cell receptor (TCR) have not been identified. Therefore, we attempted to identify the pathogenic T cells responsible for Pd allergy. We found that activating CD8+ T cells significantly increased and that the TRAV (TCRα variable) 7-2*02 chain skewed in Pd allergic mice. Furthermore, adoptive transfer experiments revealed that in vitro-cultured Pd-stimulated antigen presenting cells (APCs) function as memory APCs with recipient mice developing Pd allergy and that the frequency of TRAV7-2*02 increases the same as conventional Pd allergic mice. In contrast, neither proliferation of CD8+ T cells nor increasing of TRAV7-2*02 was observed in major histocompatibility complex I (MHC I)-deficient Pd-APCs transferred to mice. Taken together, we revealed that TRAV7-2*02-expressing CD8+ T cells are the pathogenic T cells for the development of Pd allergy. We also identified the CDR3 consensus motif of pathogenic TCRs as CAAXSGSWQLIF in TRAV7-2*02/TRAJ (TCRα junction)22*01 positive cells. These results suggest that the specific TCRs represent novel targets for the development of diagnostics and treatments for metal allergy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Metabolism in Animals II)
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Open AccessArticle The Complete Structure of the Core Oligosaccharide from Edwardsiella tarda EIB 202 Lipopolysaccharide
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1163; doi:10.3390/ijms18061163
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
The chemical structure and genomics of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) core oligosaccharide of pathogenic Edwardsiella tarda strain EIB 202 were studied for the first time. The complete gene assignment for all LPS core biosynthesis gene functions was acquired. The complete structure of core oligosaccharide
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The chemical structure and genomics of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) core oligosaccharide of pathogenic Edwardsiella tarda strain EIB 202 were studied for the first time. The complete gene assignment for all LPS core biosynthesis gene functions was acquired. The complete structure of core oligosaccharide was investigated by 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry MSn, and matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The following structure of the undecasaccharide was established: The heterogeneous appearance of the core oligosaccharide structure was due to the partial lack of β-d-Galp and the replacement of α-d-GlcpNAcGly by α-d-GlcpNGly. The glycine location was identified by mass spectrometry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipopolysaccharides (LPSs))
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Open AccessArticle Role of Free Radicals and Biotransformation in Trichloronitrobenzene-Induced Nephrotoxicity In Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1165; doi:10.3390/ijms18061165
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
This study determined the comparative nephrotoxic potential of four trichloronitrobenzenes (TCNBs) (2,3,4-; 2,4,5-; 2,4,6-; and 3,4,5-TCNB) and explored the effects of antioxidants and biotransformation inhibitors on TCNB-induced cytotoxicity in isolated renal cortical cells (IRCC) from male Fischer 344 rats. IRCC were incubated with
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This study determined the comparative nephrotoxic potential of four trichloronitrobenzenes (TCNBs) (2,3,4-; 2,4,5-; 2,4,6-; and 3,4,5-TCNB) and explored the effects of antioxidants and biotransformation inhibitors on TCNB-induced cytotoxicity in isolated renal cortical cells (IRCC) from male Fischer 344 rats. IRCC were incubated with a TCNB up to 1.0 mM for 15–120 min. Pretreatment with an antioxidant or cytochrome P450 (CYP), flavin monooxygenase (FMO), or peroxidase inhibitor was used in some experiments. Among the four TCNBs, the order of decreasing nephrotoxic potential was approximately 3,4,5- > 2,4,6- > 2,3,4- > 2,4,5-TCNB. The four TCNBs exhibited a similar profile of attenuation of cytotoxicity in response to antioxidant pretreatments. 2,3,4- and 3,4,5-TCNB cytotoxicity was attenuated by most of the biotransformation inhibitors tested, 2,4,5-TCNB cytotoxicity was only inhibited by isoniazid (CYP 2E1 inhibitor), and 2,4,6-TCNB-induced cytotoxicity was inhibited by one CYP inhibitor, one FMO inhibitor, and one peroxidase inhibitor. All of the CYP specific inhibitors tested offered some attenuation of 3,4,5-TCNB cytotoxicity. These results indicate that 3,4,5-TCNB is the most potent nephrotoxicant, free radicals play a role in the TCNB cytotoxicity, and the role of biotransformation in TCNB nephrotoxicity in vitro is variable and dependent on the position of the chloro groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nephrotoxicity)
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Open AccessArticle Utilization of Multi-Immunization and Multiple Selection Strategies for Isolation of Hapten-Specific Antibodies from Recombinant Antibody Phage Display Libraries
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1169; doi:10.3390/ijms18061169
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
Phage display technology provides a powerful tool for the development of novel recombinant antibodies. In this work, we optimized and streamlined the recombinant antibody discovery process for haptens as an example. A multi-immunization approach was used in order to avoid the need for
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Phage display technology provides a powerful tool for the development of novel recombinant antibodies. In this work, we optimized and streamlined the recombinant antibody discovery process for haptens as an example. A multi-immunization approach was used in order to avoid the need for construction of multiple antibody libraries. Selection methods were developed to utilize the full potential of the recombinant antibody library by applying four different elution conditions simultaneously. High-throughput immunoassays were used to analyse the binding properties of the individual antibody clones. Different carrier proteins were used in the immunization, selection, and screening phases to avoid enrichment of the antibodies for the carrier protein epitopes. Novel recombinant antibodies against mycophenolic acid and ochratoxin A, with affinities up to 39 nM and 34 nM, respectively, were isolated from a multi-immunized fragment antigen-binding (Fab) library. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Ontogeny of Sex-Related Differences in Foetal Developmental Features, Lipid Availability and Fatty Acid Composition
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1171; doi:10.3390/ijms18061171
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
Sex-related differences in lipid availability and fatty acid composition during swine foetal development were investigated. Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in the mother were strongly related to the adequacy or inadequacy of foetal development and concomitant activation of protective growth in some organs
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Sex-related differences in lipid availability and fatty acid composition during swine foetal development were investigated. Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in the mother were strongly related to the adequacy or inadequacy of foetal development and concomitant activation of protective growth in some organs (brain, heart, liver and spleen). Cholesterol and triglyceride availability was similar in male and female offspring, but female foetuses showed evidence of higher placental transfer of essential fatty acids and synthesis of non-essential fatty acids in muscle and liver. These sex-related differences affected primarily the neutral lipid fraction (triglycerides), which may lead to sex-related postnatal differences in energy partitioning. These results illustrate the strong influence of the maternal lipid profile on foetal development and homeorhesis, and they confirm and extend previous reports that female offspring show better adaptive responses to maternal malnutrition than male offspring. These findings may help guide dietary interventions to ensure adequate fatty acid availability for postnatal development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrigenomics of Risk Factors for Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Differential Sarcomere and Electrophysiological Maturation of Human iPSC-Derived Cardiac Myocytes in Monolayer vs. Aggregation-Based Differentiation Protocols
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1173; doi:10.3390/ijms18061173
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represent a powerful human model to study cardiac disease in vitro, notably channelopathies and sarcomeric cardiomyopathies. Different protocols for cardiac differentiation of iPSCs have been proposed either based on embroid body formation (3D) or, more recently, on
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Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represent a powerful human model to study cardiac disease in vitro, notably channelopathies and sarcomeric cardiomyopathies. Different protocols for cardiac differentiation of iPSCs have been proposed either based on embroid body formation (3D) or, more recently, on monolayer culture (2D). We performed a direct comparison of the characteristics of the derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) on day 27 ± 2 of differentiation between 3D and 2D differentiation protocols with two different Wnt-inhibitors were compared: IWR1 (inhibitor of Wnt response) or IWP2 (inhibitor of Wnt production). We firstly found that the level of Troponin T (TNNT2) expression measured by FACS was significantly higher for both 2D protocols as compared to the 3D protocol. In the three methods, iPSC-CM show sarcomeric structures. However, iPSC-CM generated in 2D protocols constantly displayed larger sarcomere lengths as compared to the 3D protocol. In addition, mRNA and protein analyses reveal higher cTNi to ssTNi ratios in the 2D protocol using IWP2 as compared to both other protocols, indicating a higher sarcomeric maturation. Differentiation of cardiac myocytes with 2D monolayer-based protocols and the use of IWP2 allows the production of higher yield of cardiac myocytes that have more suitable characteristics to study sarcomeric cardiomyopathies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
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Open AccessArticle The Combination of Arginine Deprivation and 5-Fluorouracil Improves Therapeutic Efficacy in Argininosuccinate Synthetase Negative Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1175; doi:10.3390/ijms18061175
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
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Abstract
Argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS), a key enzyme to synthesize arginine is down regulated in many tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Similar to previous reports, we have found the decrease in ASS expression in poorly differentiated HCC. These ASS(-) tumors are auxotrophic for arginine. Pegylated
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Argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS), a key enzyme to synthesize arginine is down regulated in many tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Similar to previous reports, we have found the decrease in ASS expression in poorly differentiated HCC. These ASS(-) tumors are auxotrophic for arginine. Pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20), which degrades arginine, has shown activity in these tumors, but the antitumor effect is not robust and hence combination treatment is needed. Herein, we have elucidated the effectiveness of ADI-PEG20 combined with 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) in ASS(-)HCC by targeting urea cycle and pyrimidine metabolism using four HCC cell lines as model. SNU398 and SNU387 express very low levels of ASS or ASS(-) while Huh-1, and HepG2 express high ASS similar to normal cells. Our results showed that the augmented cytotoxic effect of combination treatment only occurs in SNU398 and SNU387, and not in HepG2 and Huh-1 (ASS(+)) cells, and is partly due to reduced anti-apoptotic proteins X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), myeloid leukemia cell differentiation protein (Mcl-1) and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2). Importantly, lack of ASS also influences essential enzymes in pyrimidine synthesis (carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase2, aspartate transcarbamylase and dihydrooratase (CAD) and thymidylate synthase (TS)) and malate dehydrogenase-1 (MDH-1) in TCA cycle. ADI-PEG20 treatment decreased these enzymes and made them more vulnerable to 5-FU. Transfection of ASS restored these enzymes and abolished the sensitivity to ADI-PEG20 and combination treatment. Overall, our data suggest that ASS influences multiple enzymes involved in 5-FU sensitivity. Combining ADI-PEG20 and 5-FU may be effective to treat ASS(-)hepatoma and warrants further clinical investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Dynamic In Vivo Profiling of DNA Damage and Repair after Radiotherapy Using Canine Patients as a Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1176; doi:10.3390/ijms18061176
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
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Abstract
Time resolved data of DNA damage and repair after radiotherapy elucidates the relation between damage, repair, and cell survival. While well characterized in vitro, little is known about the time-course of DNA damage response in tumors sampled from individual patients. Kinetics of DNA
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Time resolved data of DNA damage and repair after radiotherapy elucidates the relation between damage, repair, and cell survival. While well characterized in vitro, little is known about the time-course of DNA damage response in tumors sampled from individual patients. Kinetics of DNA damage after radiotherapy was assessed in eight dogs using repeated in vivo samples of tumor and co-irradiated normal tissue analyzed with comet assay and phosphorylated H2AX (γH2AX) immunohistochemistry. In vivo results were then compared (in silico) with a dynamic mathematical model for DNA damage formation and repair. Maximum %DNA in tail was observed at 15–60 min after irradiation, with a rapid decrease. Time-courses of γH2AX-foci paralleled these findings with a small time delay and were not influenced by covariates. The evolutionary parameter search based on %DNA in tail revealed a good fit of the DNA repair model to in vivo data for pooled sarcoma time-courses, but fits for individual sarcoma time-courses suffer from the heterogeneous nature of the in vivo data. It was possible to follow dynamics of comet tail intensity and γH2AX-foci during a course of radiation using a minimally invasive approach. DNA repair can be quantitatively investigated as time-courses of individual patients by integrating this resulting data into a dynamic mathematical model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Injury and Repair Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Low-Symmetry Mixed Fluorinated Subphthalocyanines as Fluorescence Imaging Probes in MDA-MB-231 Breast Tumor Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1177; doi:10.3390/ijms18061177
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
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Abstract
Boron subphthalocyanines (SPcs) are aromatic macrocycles that possess a combination of physical and optical properties that make them excellent candidates for application as fluorescent imaging probes. These molecules have intense electronic absorption and emission, and structural versatility that allows for specific tuning of
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Boron subphthalocyanines (SPcs) are aromatic macrocycles that possess a combination of physical and optical properties that make them excellent candidates for application as fluorescent imaging probes. These molecules have intense electronic absorption and emission, and structural versatility that allows for specific tuning of physical properties. Herein, we report the synthesis of a series of low-symmetry fluorinated SPcs and compare them to analogous compounds with varying numbers of peripheral fluorine atoms and varied aromaticity. Across the series, with increasing addition of fluorine atoms to the periphery of the ring, a downfield chemical shift in 19F NMR and a bathochromic shift of electronic absorption were observed. Expanding the size of the aromatic ring by replacing peripheral benzo- groups with naphtho- groups prompted a far more drastic bathochromic shift to absorption and emission. Fluorescence quantum yields (Φf) proved to be sufficiently high to observe intracellular fluorescence from MDA-MB-231 breast tumor cells in vitro by epifluorescence microscopy; fluorination proved vital for this purpose to improve solubility. This report lays the groundwork for the future development of these promising SPcs for their ultimate application as near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent imaging probes in biological systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinorganic Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Meta-Analyses of QTLs Associated with Protein and Oil Contents and Compositions in Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] Seed
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1180; doi:10.3390/ijms18061180
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
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Abstract
Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a valuable and nutritious crop in part due to the high protein meal and vegetable oil produced from its seed. Soybean producers desire cultivars with both elevated seed protein and oil concentrations as well as specific
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Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a valuable and nutritious crop in part due to the high protein meal and vegetable oil produced from its seed. Soybean producers desire cultivars with both elevated seed protein and oil concentrations as well as specific amino acid and fatty acid profiles. Numerous studies have identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with seed composition traits, but validation of these QTLs has rarely been carried out. In this study, we have collected information, including genetic location and additive effects, on each QTL for seed contents of protein and oil, as well as amino acid and fatty acid compositions from over 80 studies. Using BioMercator V. 4.2, a meta-QTL analysis was performed with genetic information comprised of 175 QTLs for protein, 205 QTLs for oil, 156 QTLs for amino acids, and 113 QTLs for fatty acids. A total of 55 meta-QTL for seed composition were detected on 6 out of 20 chromosomes. Meta-QTL possessed narrower confidence intervals than the original QTL and candidate genes were identified within each meta-QTL. These candidate genes elucidate potential natural genetic variation in genes contributing to protein and oil biosynthesis and accumulation, providing meaningful information to further soybean breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
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Open AccessArticle Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of Vascular Changes in Diabetic Macular Edema after Dexamethasone Implant Using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1181; doi:10.3390/ijms18061181
Received: 15 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate retinal and choriocapillaris vessel changes in diabetic macular edema (DME) after the intravitreal dexamethasone implant (IDI) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Moreover, a comparison between morphological and functional parameters of DME and healthy patients
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The aim of this study was to investigate retinal and choriocapillaris vessel changes in diabetic macular edema (DME) after the intravitreal dexamethasone implant (IDI) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Moreover, a comparison between morphological and functional parameters of DME and healthy patients was performed. Twenty-five eyes of 25 type 2 diabetic retinopathy patients complicated by macular edema (DME group) and 25 healthy subjects (control group) were enrolled. Superficial capillary plexus density (SCPD) and deep capillary plexus density (DCPD) in the foveal and parafoveal areas, choricapillary density (CCD) and optic disc vessel density (ODVD) were detected using OCTA at baseline and after 7, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days post injection. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), retinal sensitivity, and central retinal thickness (CMT) were also evaluated in both groups of patients. A statistically significant difference between the two groups (DME and controls) was found in terms of functional (MP, p < 0.001 and BCVA, p < 0.001) and morphological (CMT, p < 0.001; SCPD in the parafoveal area, p < 0.001; DCPD in the foveal area, p < 0.05 and parafoveal area, p < 0.001; CCD, p < 0.001) parameters. After the treatment, SCPD and DCPD in the foveal and parafoveal areas did not modify significantly during the follow up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinal Diseases: Bridging Basic and Clinical Research)
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Open AccessArticle Gene Expression (mRNA) Markers for Differentiating between Malignant and Benign Follicular Thyroid Tumours
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1184; doi:10.3390/ijms18061184
Received: 3 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 28 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
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Abstract
Distinguishing between follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) and follicular thyroid adenoma (FTA) constitutes a long-standing diagnostic problem resulting in equivocal histopathological diagnoses. There is therefore a need for additional molecular markers. To identify molecular differences between FTC and FTA, we analyzed the gene expression
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Distinguishing between follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) and follicular thyroid adenoma (FTA) constitutes a long-standing diagnostic problem resulting in equivocal histopathological diagnoses. There is therefore a need for additional molecular markers. To identify molecular differences between FTC and FTA, we analyzed the gene expression microarray data of 52 follicular neoplasms. We also performed a meta-analysis involving 14 studies employing high throughput methods (365 follicular neoplasms analyzed). Based on these two analyses, we selected 18 genes differentially expressed between FTA and FTC. We validated them by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in an independent set of 71 follicular neoplasms from formaldehyde-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue material. We confirmed differential expression for 7 genes (CPQ, PLVAP, TFF3, ACVRL1, ZFYVE21, FAM189A2, and CLEC3B). Finally, we created a classifier that distinguished between FTC and FTA with an accuracy of 78%, sensitivity of 76%, and specificity of 80%, based on the expression of 4 genes (CPQ, PLVAP, TFF3, ACVRL1). In our study, we have demonstrated that meta-analysis is a valuable method for selecting possible molecular markers. Based on our results, we conclude that there might exist a plausible limit of gene classifier accuracy of approximately 80%, when follicular tumors are discriminated based on formalin-fixed postoperative material. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Expression Profiling of Strawberry Allergen Fra a during Fruit Ripening Controlled by Exogenous Auxin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1186; doi:10.3390/ijms18061186
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
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Abstract
Strawberry fruit contain the allergenic Fra a proteins, members of the pathogenesis-related 10 protein family that causes oral allergic syndrome symptoms. Fra a proteins are involved in the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway, which might be important for color development in fruits. Auxin is an
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Strawberry fruit contain the allergenic Fra a proteins, members of the pathogenesis-related 10 protein family that causes oral allergic syndrome symptoms. Fra a proteins are involved in the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway, which might be important for color development in fruits. Auxin is an important plant hormone in strawberry fruit that controls fruit fleshiness and ripening. In this study, we treated strawberry fruits with exogenous auxin or auxin inhibitors at pre- and post-harvest stages, and analyzed Fra a transcriptional and translational expression levels during fruit development by real-time PCR and immunoblotting. Pre-harvest treatment with 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) alone did not affect Fra a expression, but applied in conjunction with achene removal NAA promoted fruit pigmentation and Fra a protein accumulation. The response was developmental stage-specific: Fra a 1 was highly expressed in immature fruit, whereas Fra a 2 was expressed in young to ripe fruit. In post-harvest treatments, auxin did not contribute to Fra a induction. Auxin inhibitors delayed fruit ripening; as a result, they seemed to influence Fra a 1 expression. Thus, Fra a expression was not directly regulated by auxin, but might be associated with the ripening process and/or external factors in a paralog-specific manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ripening Control and Induction of the Defence and Antioxidant Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Stability of BDNF in Human Samples Stored Up to 6 Months and Correlations of Serum and EDTA-Plasma Concentrations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1189; doi:10.3390/ijms18061189
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
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Abstract
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), an important neural growth factor, has gained growing interest in neuroscience, but many influencing physiological and analytical aspects still remain unclear. In this study we assessed the impact of storage time at room temperature, repeated freeze/thaw cycles, and storage
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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), an important neural growth factor, has gained growing interest in neuroscience, but many influencing physiological and analytical aspects still remain unclear. In this study we assessed the impact of storage time at room temperature, repeated freeze/thaw cycles, and storage at −80 °C up to 6 months on serum and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-plasma BDNF. Furthermore, we assessed correlations of serum and plasma BDNF concentrations in two independent sets of samples. Coefficients of variations (CVs) for serum BDNF concentrations were significantly lower than CVs of plasma concentrations (n = 245, p = 0.006). Mean serum and plasma concentrations at all analyzed time points remained within the acceptable change limit of the inter-assay precision as declared by the manufacturer. Serum and plasma BDNF concentrations correlated positively in both sets of samples and at all analyzed time points of the stability assessment (r = 0.455 to rs = 0.596; p < 0.004). In summary, when considering the acceptable change limit, BDNF was stable in serum and in EDTA-plasma up to 6 months. Due to a higher reliability, we suggest favoring serum over EDTA-plasma for future experiments assessing peripheral BDNF concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor)
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Open AccessArticle Cross-Kingdom Regulation of Putative miRNAs Derived from Happy Tree in Cancer Pathway: A Systems Biology Approach
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1191; doi:10.3390/ijms18061191
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
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Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are well-known key regulators of gene expression primarily at the post-transcriptional level. Plant-derived miRNAs may pass through the gastrointestinal tract, entering into the body fluid and regulate the expression of endogenous mRNAs. Camptotheca acuminata, a highly important medicinal plant known
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are well-known key regulators of gene expression primarily at the post-transcriptional level. Plant-derived miRNAs may pass through the gastrointestinal tract, entering into the body fluid and regulate the expression of endogenous mRNAs. Camptotheca acuminata, a highly important medicinal plant known for its anti-cancer potential was selected to investigate cross-kingdom regulatory mechanism and involvement of miRNAs derived from this plant in cancer-associated pathways through in silico systems biology approach. In this study, total 33 highly stable putative novel miRNAs were predicted from the publically available 53,294 ESTs of C. acuminata, out of which 14 miRNAs were found to be regulating 152 target genes in human. Functional enrichment, gene-disease associations and network analysis of these target genes were carried out and the results revealed their association with prominent types of cancers like breast cancer, leukemia and lung cancer. Pathways like focal adhesion, regulation of lipolysis in adipocytes and mTOR signaling pathways were found significantly associated with the target genes. The regulatory network analysis showed the association of some important hub proteins like GSK3B, NUMB, PEG3, ITGA2 and DLG2 with cancer-associated pathways. Based on the analysis results, it can be suggested that the ingestion of the C. acuminata miRNAs may have a functional impact on tumorigenesis in a cross-kingdom way and may affect the physiological condition at genetic level. Thus, the predicted miRNAs seem to hold potentially significant role in cancer pathway regulation and therefore, may be further validated using in vivo experiments for a better insight into their mechanism of epigenetic action of miRNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNA Regulation 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Conformational Flexibility Differentiates Naturally Occurring Bet v 1 Isoforms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1192; doi:10.3390/ijms18061192
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
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Abstract
The protein Bet v 1 represents the main cause for allergic reactions to birch pollen in Europe and North America. Structurally homologous isoforms of Bet v 1 can have different properties regarding allergic sensitization and Th2 polarization, most likely due to differential susceptibility
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The protein Bet v 1 represents the main cause for allergic reactions to birch pollen in Europe and North America. Structurally homologous isoforms of Bet v 1 can have different properties regarding allergic sensitization and Th2 polarization, most likely due to differential susceptibility to proteolytic cleavage. Using NMR relaxation experiments and molecular dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that the initial proteolytic cleavage sites in two naturally occurring Bet v 1 isoforms, Bet v 1.0101 (Bet v 1a) and Bet v 1.0102 (Bet v 1d), are conformationally flexible. Inaccessible cleavage sites in helices and strands are highly flexible on the microsecond-millisecond time scale, whereas those located in loops display faster nanosecond-microsecond flexibility. The data consistently show that Bet v 1.0102 is more flexible and conformationally heterogeneous than Bet v 1.0101. Moreover, NMR hydrogen-deuterium exchange measurements reveal that the backbone amides in Bet v 1.0102 are significantly more solvent exposed, in agreement with this isoform’s higher susceptibility to proteolytic cleavage. The differential conformational flexibility of Bet v 1 isoforms, along with the transient exposure of inaccessible sites to the protein surface, may be linked to proteolytic susceptibility, representing a potential structure-based rationale for the observed differences in Th2 polarization and allergic sensitization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proteolysis in Allergic Sensitization and Th2 Response)
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Open AccessArticle Photoreceptor PhyB Involved in Arabidopsis Temperature Perception and Heat-Tolerance Formation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1194; doi:10.3390/ijms18061194
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
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Abstract
The influence of temperature on plants is essential. However, our knowledge on the intricate regulation process underlying heat stress (HS) response in plants is limited. Recently, information about thermal sensors in vivo has begun to emerge. In this study, another primary environmental stimulus,
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The influence of temperature on plants is essential. However, our knowledge on the intricate regulation process underlying heat stress (HS) response in plants is limited. Recently, information about thermal sensors in vivo has begun to emerge. In this study, another primary environmental stimulus, light, was verified once again to work with temperature synergistically on plants, through the modulation of numerous biological processes. With the application of transcriptomic analysis, a substantial number of heat-responsive genes were detected involved in both light- and phytohormone-mediated pathways in Arabidopsis. During this process, phytoreceptor phyB acts as a molecular switch to turn on or turn off several other genes HS response, under different light conditions. Furthermore, a morphological study showed the afunction of phyB enhanced plants thermal tolerance, confirming the important role of this phytochrome in temperature perception and response in plants. This study adds data to the picture of light and temperature signaling cross-talk in plants, which is important for the exploration of complicated HS responses or light-mediated mechanisms. Furthermore, based on its influence on Arabidopsis thermal response in both morphological and physiological levels, phyB is a photoreceptor, as revealed before, as well as an essential thermal sensor in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress and Gene Networks in Plants 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry) Reduces Ethanol-Induced Gastric Damage via Regulation of HSP-70, NF-κB, and MCP-1 Signaling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1195; doi:10.3390/ijms18061195
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
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Abstract
Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Ell. belongs to the Rosaceae family. The purpose of this study is to explore the gastroprotective effect of the Aronia melanocarpa hydro-alcoholic extract (AMHAE) against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in a rat model. Different concentrations (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) of
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Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Ell. belongs to the Rosaceae family. The purpose of this study is to explore the gastroprotective effect of the Aronia melanocarpa hydro-alcoholic extract (AMHAE) against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in a rat model. Different concentrations (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) of AMHAE, or 30 mg/kg of omeprazole, significantly inhibited the gastric injury formation. The ethanol-induced ulcer group showed significant increases of malondialdehyde (MDA), myeloperoxidase (MPO), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, nuclear factor-kappaB p65 (NF-κB p65), and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and decreased activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-px), and interleukin (IL)-4. However, AMHAE (200 mg/kg) pretreatment significantly reversed the altered pathophysiological levels of these biomolecules to near normal stages. The gastroprotective activity of AMHAE was abolished by pretreatment with l-NAME, naloxone, capsazepine, and indomethacin, demonstrating the participation of nitric oxide (NO), opioids, TRPV (vanilloid receptor-related transient receptor potential), and prostaglandins in AMHAE-assisted gastroprotection against ethanol-induced gastric injuries. This gastroprotective effect of AMHAE might be due to the downregulation of TNF-α-based NF-κB, MCP-1 signaling and strong antioxidant properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle Hepatoprotective Effect of Aqueous Extract from the Seeds of Orychophragmus violaceus against Liver Injury in Mice and HepG2 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1197; doi:10.3390/ijms18061197
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
Orychophragmus violaceus (O. violaceus) is a kind of edible wild herb in north China and its seeds have medical potential, however, the effect of O. violaceus seeds on liver injury and the mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Thus, the purpose
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Orychophragmus violaceus (O. violaceus) is a kind of edible wild herb in north China and its seeds have medical potential, however, the effect of O. violaceus seeds on liver injury and the mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Thus, the purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of O. violaceus seeds on liver injury and further explore the molecular mechanism of the beneficial effects using aqueous extract from the seeds of O. violaceus (AEOV). Mice were orally administrated with saline, AEOV, and biphenyldicarboxylate for 4 days, and were then injected subcutaneously with 0.1% carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) dissolved in corn oil. Sixteen hours later, mice were sacrificed and blood samples were collected. Then, the serum was separated and used for biochemical assay. Livers were excised and were routinely processed for histological examinations. Enzyme activities and protein levels in liver homogenates were detected using commercial kits or by western blot analysis. Additionally, the hepatoprotective effect of AEOV in vitro was evaluated using epigoitrin, the major alkaloid compound isolated from AEOV. We found that AEOV attenuated liver injury induced by CCl4 as evidenced by decreased levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aminotransferase (AST) in serum, improvement of liver histopathological changes, and substantial attenuation of oxidative stress and inflammation via regulation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and nuclear factor κB (NFκB) pathways. These effects of AEOV were comparable to that of biphenyldicarboxylate which was commonly used as a hepatoprotective reference. Moreover, pretreatment of HepG2 cells with epigoitrin improved cell viability, decreased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity, attenuated the NFκB pathway, and elevated the Nrf2 pathway after exposure to H2O2. These results suggest that AEOV could effectively prevent CCl4-induced liver injury in mice via regulating the Nrf2 and NFκB pathways, and reveal the cytoprotective effects of epigoitrin against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in HepG2 cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biochemical and Computational Insights on a Novel Acid-Resistant and Thermal-Stable Glucose 1-Dehydrogenase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1198; doi:10.3390/ijms18061198
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
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Abstract
Due to the dual cofactor specificity, glucose 1-dehydrogenase (GDH) has been considered as a promising alternative for coenzyme regeneration in biocatalysis. To mine for potential GDHs for practical applications, several genes encoding for GDH had been heterogeneously expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3)
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Due to the dual cofactor specificity, glucose 1-dehydrogenase (GDH) has been considered as a promising alternative for coenzyme regeneration in biocatalysis. To mine for potential GDHs for practical applications, several genes encoding for GDH had been heterogeneously expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) for primary screening. Of all the candidates, GDH from Bacillus sp. ZJ (BzGDH) was one of the most robust enzymes. BzGDH was then purified to homogeneity by immobilized metal affinity chromatography and characterized biochemically. It displayed maximum activity at 45 °C and pH 9.0, and was stable at temperatures below 50 °C. BzGDH also exhibited a broad pH stability, especially in the acidic region, which could maintain around 80% of its initial activity at the pH range of 4.0–8.5 after incubating for 1 hour. Molecular dynamics simulation was conducted for better understanding the stability feature of BzGDH against the structural context. The in-silico simulation shows that BzGDH is stable and can maintain its overall structure against heat during the simulation at 323 K, which is consistent with the biochemical studies. In brief, the robust stability of BzGDH made it an attractive participant for cofactor regeneration on practical applications, especially for the catalysis implemented in acidic pH and high temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Protein Molecules Computational Identification)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Proteases and Protease Inhibitors in Allergenic and Non-Allergenic Pollen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1199; doi:10.3390/ijms18061199
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (829 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Pollen is one of the most common causes of allergy worldwide, making the study of their molecular composition crucial for the advancement of allergy research. Despite substantial efforts in this field, it is not yet clear why some plant pollens strongly provoke allergies
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Pollen is one of the most common causes of allergy worldwide, making the study of their molecular composition crucial for the advancement of allergy research. Despite substantial efforts in this field, it is not yet clear why some plant pollens strongly provoke allergies while others do not. However, proteases and protease inhibitors from allergen sources are known to play an important role in the development of pollen allergies. In this study, we aim to uncover differences in the transcriptional pattern of proteases and protease inhibitors in Betula verrucosa and Pinus sylvestris pollen as models for high and low allergenic potential, respectively. We applied RNA sequencing to Betula verrucosa and Pinus sylvestris pollen. After de-novo assembly we derived general functional profiles of the protein coding transcripts. By utilization of domain based functional annotation we identified potential proteases and protease inhibitors and compared their expression in the two types of pollen. Functional profiles are highly similar between Betula verrucosa and Pinus sylvestris pollen. Both pollen contain proteases and inhibitors from 53 and 7 Pfam families, respectively. Some of the members comprised within those families are implicated in facilitating allergen entry, while others are known allergens themselves. Our work revealed several candidate proteins which, with further investigation, represent exciting new leads in elucidating the process behind allergic sensitization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proteolysis in Allergic Sensitization and Th2 Response)
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Open AccessArticle Ulmus macrocarpa Hance Extracts Attenuated H2O2 and UVB-Induced Skin Photo-Aging by Activating Antioxidant Enzymes and Inhibiting MAPK Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1200; doi:10.3390/ijms18061200
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
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Abstract
To protect from reactive oxygen species (ROS) damages, skin cells have evolved to have antioxidant enzymes, such as copper and zinc-dependent superoxide dismutase (SOD1), mitochondrial manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (SOD2), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and glutathione reductase (GR), and suppressed the expression of
[...] Read more.
To protect from reactive oxygen species (ROS) damages, skin cells have evolved to have antioxidant enzymes, such as copper and zinc-dependent superoxide dismutase (SOD1), mitochondrial manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (SOD2), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and glutathione reductase (GR), and suppressed the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) through the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, such as c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38. Bioactive compounds analyses were performed using a high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detector (HPLC-PDA) system. The antioxidant activity of Ulmus macrocarpa Hance (UMH) extracts was estimated in vitro. The anti-aging activity of UMH extracts was estimated in vivo using the SKH-1 hairless mice. The UMH extracts reduced the H2O2-induced intracellular ROS production and the cell damages in human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). Moreover, the H2O2-induced phosphorylation of JNK and p38 was detected in HDF and UMH extracts blocked the phosphorylation. These results suggest that UMH extracts can reduce the expression of MMPs and the reduced MMPs lead to the inhibition of collagen degradation. In addition, oral administration of the UMH extracts decreased the depth, thickness, and length of wrinkles on UVB exposed hairless mice. Therefore, UMH extracts play an advantage of the functional materials in antioxidant and anti-aging of skin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and Phytochemicals for Skin Health)
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Open AccessArticle Insulin Treatment May Alter Fatty Acid Carriers in Placentas from Gestational Diabetes Subjects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1203; doi:10.3390/ijms18061203
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
There is little information available on the effect of Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) treatment (diet or insulin) on placental lipid carriers, which may influence fetal fat accretion. Insulin may activate placental insulin receptors protein kinase (AKT) and extracellular signal regulated kinase ERK mediators,
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There is little information available on the effect of Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) treatment (diet or insulin) on placental lipid carriers, which may influence fetal fat accretion. Insulin may activate placental insulin receptors protein kinase (AKT) and extracellular signal regulated kinase ERK mediators, which might affect lipid metabolism. Placenta was collected from 25 control women, 23 GDM-Diet and 20 GDM-Insulin. Western blotting of insulin signaling mediators and lipid carriers was performed. The human choricarcinoma-derived cell line BeWo was preincubated with insulin inhibitors protein kinase (AKT) and extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) and ERK inhibitors to evaluate insulin regulation of lipid carriers. Maternal serum insulin at recruitment correlated to ultrasound fetal abdominal circumference in offspring of GDM and placental endothelial lipase (EL). Lipoprotein lipase in placenta was significantly reduced in both GDM, while most of the other lipid carriers tended to higher values, although not significantly. There was a significant increase in both phosphorylated-Akt and ERK in placentas from GDM-Insulin patients; both were associated to placental fatty acid translocase (FAT), fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP), and EL. BeWo cells treated with insulin pathway inhibitors significantly reduced A-FABP, fatty acid transport protein (FATP-1), and EL levels, confirming the role of insulin on these carriers. We conclude that insulin promotes the phosphorylation of placental insulin mediators contributing to higher levels of some specific fatty acid carriers in the placenta and fetal adiposity in GDM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Proteases of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1204; doi:10.3390/ijms18061204
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
Since the discovery that Der p 1 is a cysteine protease, the role of proteolytic activity in allergic sensitization has been explored. There are many allergens with proteolytic activity; however, exposure from dust mites is not limited to allergens. In this paper, genomic,
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Since the discovery that Der p 1 is a cysteine protease, the role of proteolytic activity in allergic sensitization has been explored. There are many allergens with proteolytic activity; however, exposure from dust mites is not limited to allergens. In this paper, genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data on Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DP) was mined for information regarding the complete degradome of this house dust mite. D. pteronyssinus has more proteases than the closely related Acari, Dermatophagoides farinae (DF) and Sarcoptes scabiei (SS). The group of proteases in D. pteronyssinus is found to be more highly transcribed than the norm for this species. The distribution of protease types is dominated by the cysteine proteases like Der p 1 that account for about half of protease transcription by abundance, and Der p 1 in particular accounts for 22% of the total protease transcripts. In an analysis of protease stability, the group of allergens (Der p 1, Der p 3, Der p 6, and Der p 9) is found to be more stable than the mean. It is also statistically demonstrated that the protease allergens are simultaneously more highly expressed and more stable than the group of D. pteronyssinus proteases being examined, consistent with common assumptions about allergens in general. There are several significant non-allergen outliers from the normal group of proteases with high expression and high stability that should be examined for IgE binding. This paper compiles the first holistic picture of the D. pteronyssinus degradome to which humans may be exposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proteolysis in Allergic Sensitization and Th2 Response)
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Open AccessArticle Genetic Variation Controlling Wrinkled Seed Phenotypes in Pisum: How Lucky Was Mendel?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1205; doi:10.3390/ijms18061205
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
One of the traits studied by Mendel in pea (Pisum sativum L.) was the wrinkled-seeded phenotype, and the molecular basis for a mutation underlying this phenotype was discovered in the 1990s. Although the starch-branching enzyme gene mutation identified at the genetic locus
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One of the traits studied by Mendel in pea (Pisum sativum L.) was the wrinkled-seeded phenotype, and the molecular basis for a mutation underlying this phenotype was discovered in the 1990s. Although the starch-branching enzyme gene mutation identified at the genetic locus r is most likely to be that in seeds available to Mendel in the mid-1800s, it has remained an open question as to whether or not additional natural mutations in this gene exist within Pisum germplasm collections. Here, we explore this question and show that all but two wrinkled-seeded variants in one such collection correspond to either the mutant allele described previously for the r locus or a mutation at a second genetic locus, rb, affecting the gene encoding the large subunit of Adenosine diphosphoglucose (ADP-glucose) pyrophosphorylase; the molecular basis for the rb mutation is described here. The genetic basis for the phenotype of one (JI 2110) of the two lines which are neither r nor rb has been studied in crosses with a round-seeded variant (JI 281); for which extensive genetic marker data were expected. In marked contrast to the trait studied by Mendel and the rb phenotype; the data suggest that the wrinkled-seeded phenotype in JI 2110 is maternally determined, controlled by two genetic loci, and the extent to which it is manifested is very sensitive to the environment. Metabolite analysis of the cotyledons of JI 2110 revealed a profile for sucrose and sucrose-derived compounds that was more similar to that of wild-type round-seeded, than that of wrinkled-seeded r, pea lines. However, the metabolite profile of the seed coat (testa) of JI 2110 was distinct from that of other round-seeded genotypes tested which, together with analysis of recombinant inbred progeny lines, suggests an explanation for the seed phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
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Open AccessArticle MicroRNA-223-3p Regulates Ovarian Cancer Cell Proliferation and Invasion by Targeting SOX11 Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1208; doi:10.3390/ijms18061208
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) often display different expression in many cancers and other diseases in current research studies. miR-223 expression is upregulated in rheumatoid arthritis. Also, miR-223 expression has been demonstrated to be highly expressed in pancreatic cancer and gastric cancer in comparison with normal
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) often display different expression in many cancers and other diseases in current research studies. miR-223 expression is upregulated in rheumatoid arthritis. Also, miR-223 expression has been demonstrated to be highly expressed in pancreatic cancer and gastric cancer in comparison with normal tissue. However, whether miR-223 displays different expression in ovarian cancer and what its underlying functions are in ovarian cancer have remained unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that miR-223-3p was upregulated in ovarian cancer tissue. Next, we explored the functional role of miR-223-3p in ovarian cancer using SKOV3 and OVCAR3 cell lines. Our results suggested that miR-223-3p mimic promoted ovarian cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in vitro. However, miR-223-3p inhibitor displayed the opposite effects. In addition, we demonstrated that miR-223-3p mimic promoted tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, we found SOX11 (sex determining region Y-box 11) was inversely expressed with miR-223-3p in ovarian cancer (OC) cell lines and tissue specimens. miR-223-3p mimic decreased SOX11 expression. Overexpressing SOX11 inhibited ovarian cancer cell proliferation and invasion, which indicated that miR-223-3p regulated OC cell proliferation and invasion through targeting SOX11 expression. In conclusion, the findings of the present study demonstrated that miR-223-3p could be a potential therapeutic for ovarian cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Pathological Analysis of Ocular Lesions in a Murine Model of Sjögren’s Syndrome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1209; doi:10.3390/ijms18061209
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 3 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by severe inflammation of exocrine glands such as the salivary and lacrimal glands. When it affects the lacrimal glands, many patients experience keratoconjunctivitis due to severely dry eyes. This study investigated the pathological and
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Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by severe inflammation of exocrine glands such as the salivary and lacrimal glands. When it affects the lacrimal glands, many patients experience keratoconjunctivitis due to severely dry eyes. This study investigated the pathological and immunological characteristics of ocular lesions in a mouse model of SS. Corneal epithelial injury and hyperplasia were confirmed pathologically. The number of conjunctival mucin-producing goblet cells was significantly decreased in the SS model mice compared with control mice. Expression levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and C-X-C motif chemokine (CXCL) 12 were significantly higher in the corneal epithelium of the SS model mice than in control mice. Inflammatory lesions were observed in the Harderian, intraorbital, and extraorbital lacrimal glands in the SS model mice, suggesting that the ocular glands were targeted by an autoimmune response. The lacrimal glands of the SS model mice were infiltrated by cluster of differentiation (CD)4+ T cells. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) revealed significantly increased mRNA expression of TNF-α, TGF-β, CXCL9, and lysozyme in the extraorbital lacrimal glands of the SS model mice compared with control mice. These results add to the understanding of the complex pathogenesis of SS and may facilitate development of new therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Structurally Related Flavones Augment Cell Death Induced by rhsTRAIL
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1211; doi:10.3390/ijms18061211
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) was identified as a powerful activator of apoptosis in tumor cells and one of the most promising candidates for cancer therapy with no toxicity against normal tissues. However, many tumor cells are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The
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TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) was identified as a powerful activator of apoptosis in tumor cells and one of the most promising candidates for cancer therapy with no toxicity against normal tissues. However, many tumor cells are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The aim of this work was to analyze the improvement of the anticancer effect of rhsTRAIL (recombinant human soluble TRAIL) by nine flavones: 5-Hydroxyflavone, 6-Hydroxyflavone, 7-Hydroxyflavone and their new synthetic derivatives 5-acetoxyflavone, 5-butyryloxyflavone, 6-acetoxyflavone, 6-butyryloxyflavone, 7-acetoxyflavone and 7-butyryloxyflavone. We examined the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of rhsTRAIL enhanced by novel structurally-related flavones on SW480 and SW620 colon cancer cells using the3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide test, the lactate dehydrogenase assay and annexin V-FITC fluorescence staining. We observed a slight difference in the activities of the flavones that was dependent on their chemical structure. Our study indicates that all nine flavones significantly augment cell death by rhsTRAIL (cytotoxicity range 36.8 ± 1.7%–91.4 ± 1.7%; apoptosis increase of 33.0 ± 0.7%–78.5 ± 0.9%). Our study demonstrates the potential use of tested flavones in TRAIL-based anticancer therapy and prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumor Targeting Therapy and Selective Killing)
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Evaluation of the Antioxidant, Cytoprotective, and Antimicrobial Properties of Essential Oil from Pistacia vera L. Variety Bronte Hull
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1212; doi:10.3390/ijms18061212
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
Although the chemical composition and biological properties of some species of the genus Pistacia has been investigated, studies on hull essential oil of Pistacia vera L. variety Bronte (HEO) are currently lacking. In this work, we have carried out an in-depth phytochemical profile
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Although the chemical composition and biological properties of some species of the genus Pistacia has been investigated, studies on hull essential oil of Pistacia vera L. variety Bronte (HEO) are currently lacking. In this work, we have carried out an in-depth phytochemical profile elucidation by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, and an evaluation of antioxidant scavenging properties of HEO, using several different in vitro methods, checking also its cytoprotective potential on lymphocytes treated with tert-butyl hydroperoxide. Moreover, the antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains, both American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and clinical isolates, was also investigated. GC-MS analysis highlighted the richness of this complex matrix, with the identification of 40 derivatives. The major components identified were 4-Carene (31.743%), α-Pinene (23.584%), d-Limonene (8.002%), and 3-Carene (7.731%). The HEO showed a strong iron chelating activity and was found to be markedly active against hydroxyl radical, while scarce effects were found against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. Moreover, pre-treatment with HEO was observed to significantly increase the cell viability, decreasing the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. HEO was bactericidal against all the tested strains at the concentration of 7.11 mg/mL, with the exception of Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027. The obtained results demonstrate the strong free-radical scavenging activity of HEO along with remarkable cytoprotective and antimicrobial properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activity of Natural Secondary Metabolite Products)
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Open AccessArticle Depigmenting Effect of Resveratrol Is Dependent on FOXO3a Activation without SIRT1 Activation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1213; doi:10.3390/ijms18061213
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
Resveratrol exhibits not only anti-melanogenic property by inhibiting microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), but also anti-aging property by activating sirtuin-1 (SIRT1). In this study, the relationship between depigmenting effect of resveratrol and SIRT1/forkhead box O (FOXO) 3a activation and was investigated. Resveratrol suppressed melanogenesis
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Resveratrol exhibits not only anti-melanogenic property by inhibiting microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), but also anti-aging property by activating sirtuin-1 (SIRT1). In this study, the relationship between depigmenting effect of resveratrol and SIRT1/forkhead box O (FOXO) 3a activation and was investigated. Resveratrol suppressed melanogenesis by the downregulation of MITF and tyrosinase via ERK pathway. Results showed that the expression of both SIRT1 and FOXO3a were increased. It is reported that SIRT1 is critical regulator of FOXO-mediated transcription in response to oxidative stress. However in our study, FOXO3a activation appeared earlier than that of SIRT1. Furthermore, the effect of resveratrol on the levels of MITF and tyrosinase was suppressed when melanocytes were pre-treated with SP600125 (JNK inhibitor). However, pre-treatment with SIRT1 inhibitor (EX527, or sirtinol) did not affect the levels of MITF and tyrosinase. Therefore, resveratrol inhibits melanogenesis through the activation of FOXO3a but not by the activation of SIRT1. Although SIRT1 activation by resveratrol is a well-known mechanism of resveratrol-induced antiaging effects, our study showed that not SIRT1 but FOXO3a activation is involved in depigmenting effects of resveratrol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle A Conjugate of Pentamethine Cyanine and 18F as a Positron Emission Tomography/Near-Infrared Fluorescence Probe for Multimodality Tumor Imaging
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1214; doi:10.3390/ijms18061214
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 3 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
The novel synthesis of a dual-modality, pentamethine cyanine (Cy5) fluorescent, 18F positron emission tomography (PET) imaging probe is reported. The probe shows a large extinction coefficient and large quantum yield in the biologically transparent, near-infrared window (650–900 nm) for in vivo fluorescent
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The novel synthesis of a dual-modality, pentamethine cyanine (Cy5) fluorescent, 18F positron emission tomography (PET) imaging probe is reported. The probe shows a large extinction coefficient and large quantum yield in the biologically transparent, near-infrared window (650–900 nm) for in vivo fluorescent imaging. This fluorophore bears the isotope, 18F, giving a 18F-PET/near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF), bi-modal imaging probe, that combines the long-term stability of NIRF and the unlimited penetration depth of PET imaging. The bi-modal probe is labeled with 18F in a quick, one-step reaction, which is important in working with the rapid decay of 18F. The bi-modal probe bears a free carboxyl group, highlighting a PET/NIRF synthon that can be conjugated onto many advanced biomolecules for biomarker-specific in vivo dual-modal PET/NIR tumor imaging, confocal histology, and utility in multi-fluorophore, fluorescence-guided surgery. Its potential in vivo biocompatibility is explored in a quick proof-of-principal in vivo study. The dye is delivered to A549 xenograft flank-tumors to generate PET and NIRF signals at the tumor site. The tumor distribution is confirmed in ex vivo gamma counting and imaging. Pentamethine cyanine (Cy5) has the ability to preferentially accumulate in tumor xenografts. We substitute the PET/NIRF probe for Cy5, and explore this phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Synthesis of Non-Peptide Mimetics Mapping the Immunodominant Myelin Basic Protein (MBP83–96) Epitope to Function as T-Cell Receptor Antagonists
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1215; doi:10.3390/ijms18061215
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7993 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Encephalitogenic T cells are heavily implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Their stimulation is triggered by the formation of a trimolecular complex between the human leukocyte antigen (HLA), an immunodominant myelin basic
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Encephalitogenic T cells are heavily implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Their stimulation is triggered by the formation of a trimolecular complex between the human leukocyte antigen (HLA), an immunodominant myelin basic protein (MBP) epitope, and the T cell receptor (TCR). We detail herein our studies directed towards the rational design and synthesis of non-peptide mimetic molecules, based on the immunodominant MBP83–96 epitope that is recognized by the TCR in complex with HLA. We focused our attention on the inhibition of the trimolecular complex formation and consequently the inhibition of proliferation of activated T cells. A structure-based pharmacophore model was generated, in view of the interactions between the TCR and the HLA-MBP83–96 complex. As a result, new candidate molecules were designed based on lead compounds obtained through the ZINC database. Moreover, semi-empirical and density functional theory methods were applied for the prediction of the binding energy between the proposed non-peptide mimetics and the TCR. We synthesized six molecules that were further evaluated in vitro as TCR antagonists. Analogues 15 and 16 were able to inhibit to some extent the stimulation of T cells by the immunodominant MBP83–99 peptide from immunized mice. Inhibition was followed to a lesser degree by analogues 17 and 18 and then by analogue 19. These studies show that lead compounds 15 and 16 may be used for immunotherapy against MS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Machine-Learned Data Structures of Lipid Marker Serum Concentrations in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Differ from Those in Healthy Subjects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1217; doi:10.3390/ijms18061217
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
Lipid signaling has been suggested to be a major pathophysiological mechanism of multiple sclerosis (MS). With the increasing knowledge about lipid signaling, acquired data become increasingly complex making bioinformatics necessary in lipid research. We used unsupervised machine-learning to analyze lipid marker serum concentrations,
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Lipid signaling has been suggested to be a major pathophysiological mechanism of multiple sclerosis (MS). With the increasing knowledge about lipid signaling, acquired data become increasingly complex making bioinformatics necessary in lipid research. We used unsupervised machine-learning to analyze lipid marker serum concentrations, pursuing the hypothesis that for the most relevant markers the emerging data structures will coincide with the diagnosis of MS. Machine learning was implemented as emergent self-organizing feature maps (ESOM) combined with the U*-matrix visualization technique. The data space consisted of serum concentrations of three main classes of lipid markers comprising eicosanoids (d = 11 markers), ceramides (d = 10), and lyosophosphatidic acids (d = 6). They were analyzed in cohorts of MS patients (n = 102) and healthy subjects (n = 301). Clear data structures in the high-dimensional data space were observed in eicosanoid and ceramides serum concentrations whereas no clear structure could be found in lysophosphatidic acid concentrations. With ceramide concentrations, the structures that had emerged from unsupervised machine-learning almost completely overlapped with the known grouping of MS patients versus healthy subjects. This was only partly provided by eicosanoid serum concentrations. Thus, unsupervised machine-learning identified distinct data structures of bioactive lipid serum concentrations. These structures could be superimposed with the known grouping of MS patients versus healthy subjects, which was almost completely possible with ceramides. Therefore, based on the present analysis, ceramides are first-line candidates for further exploration as drug-gable targets or biomarkers in MS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle mtDNA as a Mediator for Expression of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α and ROS in Hypoxic Neuroblastoma Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1220; doi:10.3390/ijms18061220
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
Mitochondria consume O2 to produce ATP and are critical for adaption of hypoxia, but the role of mitochondria in HIF-1α pathway is as yet unclear. In this study, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) enriched (SK-N-AS) and depleted (ρ0) cells of neuroblastoma were
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Mitochondria consume O2 to produce ATP and are critical for adaption of hypoxia, but the role of mitochondria in HIF-1α pathway is as yet unclear. In this study, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) enriched (SK-N-AS) and depleted (ρ0) cells of neuroblastoma were cultured in a hypoxic chamber to simulate a hypoxic condition and then the major components involved in mitochondrial related pathways, hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured. The results showed that hypoxia-stimulated exposure elevated expression of HIF-1α, which was additionally influenced by level of generated ROS within the cytosol. Moreover, elevation of HIF-1α also resulted in increases of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDH-A) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1) in both hypoxic cells. The expression of mitochondrial biogenesis related proteins and metabolic components were noted to increase significantly in hypoxic SK-N-AS cells, indicating that mtDNA was involved in mitochondrial retrograde signaling and metabolic pathways. An analysis of dynamic proteins found elevated levels of HIF-1α causing an increased expression of dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) during hypoxia; further, the existence of mtDNA also resulted in higher expression of DRP1 during hypoxia. By using siRNA of HIF-1α or DRP1, expression of DRP1 decreased after suppression of HIF-1α; moreover, the expression of HIF-1α was also affected by the suppression of DRP1. In this study, we demonstrated that mtDNA is a mediator of HIF-1α in eliciting metabolic reprogramming, and mitochondrial biogenesis. Identification of a mutual relationship between HIF-1α and DRP1 may be a critical tool in the future development of clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Activation of Magnesium Lignosulfonate and Kraft Lignin: Influence on the Properties of Phenolic Resin-Based Composites for Potential Applications in Abrasive Materials
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1224; doi:10.3390/ijms18061224
Received: 3 April 2017 / Revised: 28 May 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
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Abstract
Magnesium lignosulfonate and kraft lignin were activated by different oxidizing agents for use in phenolic resin composites used for the production of abrasive components. The physicochemical properties of the oxidized materials were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS),
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Magnesium lignosulfonate and kraft lignin were activated by different oxidizing agents for use in phenolic resin composites used for the production of abrasive components. The physicochemical properties of the oxidized materials were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), dynamic mechanical-thermal analysis (DMTA) and inverse gas chromatography (IGC). The homogeneity of the model abrasive composites containing the studied products was assessed based on observations obtained using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). FTIR and XPS analysis of the oxidized products indicated that the activation process leads mainly to the formation of carbonyl groups. The IGC technique was used to assess changes in the surface energy and the acid–base properties of the studied biopolymers. The changes in the acid–base properties suggest that more groups acting as electron donors appear on the oxidized surface of the materials. DMTA studies showed that the model composites with 5% magnesium lignosulfonate oxidized by H2O2 had the best thermomechanical properties. Based on the results it was possible to propose a hypothetical mechanism of the oxidation of the natural polymers. The use of such oxidized products may improve the thermomechanical properties of abrasive articles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Lignin Challenge: Exploring Innovative Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Comparing Proteolytic Fingerprints of Antigen-Presenting Cells during Allergen Processing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1225; doi:10.3390/ijms18061225
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
PDF Full-text (4904 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Endolysosomal processing has a critical influence on immunogenicity as well as immune polarization of protein antigens. In industrialized countries, allergies affect around 25% of the population. For the rational design of protein-based allergy therapeutics for immunotherapy, a good knowledge of T cell-reactive regions
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Endolysosomal processing has a critical influence on immunogenicity as well as immune polarization of protein antigens. In industrialized countries, allergies affect around 25% of the population. For the rational design of protein-based allergy therapeutics for immunotherapy, a good knowledge of T cell-reactive regions on allergens is required. Thus, we sought to analyze endolysosomal degradation patterns of inhalant allergens. Four major allergens from ragweed, birch, as well as house dust mites were produced as recombinant proteins. Endolysosomal proteases were purified by differential centrifugation from dendritic cells, macrophages, and B cells, and combined with allergens for proteolytic processing. Thereafter, endolysosomal proteolysis was monitored by protein gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. We found that the overall proteolytic activity of specific endolysosomal fractions differed substantially, whereas the degradation patterns of the four model allergens obtained with the different proteases were extremely similar. Moreover, previously identified T cell epitopes were assigned to endolysosomal peptides and indeed showed a good overlap with known T cell epitopes for all four candidate allergens. Thus, we propose that the degradome assay can be used as a predictor to determine antigenic peptides as potential T cell epitopes, which will help in the rational design of protein-based allergy vaccine candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proteolysis in Allergic Sensitization and Th2 Response)
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Open AccessArticle Cellular Consequences of Diminished Protein O-Mannosyltransferase Activity in Baker’s Yeast
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1226; doi:10.3390/ijms18061226
Received: 6 May 2017 / Revised: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
PDF Full-text (8140 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
O-Mannosylation is a type of protein glycosylation initiated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by the protein O-mannosyltransferase (PMT) family. Despite the vital role of O-mannosylation, its molecular functions and regulation are not fully characterized. To further explore the cellular impact
[...] Read more.
O-Mannosylation is a type of protein glycosylation initiated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by the protein O-mannosyltransferase (PMT) family. Despite the vital role of O-mannosylation, its molecular functions and regulation are not fully characterized. To further explore the cellular impact of protein O-mannosylation, we performed a genome-wide screen to identify Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants with increased sensitivity towards the PMT-specific inhibitor compound R3A-5a. We identified the cell wall and the ER as the cell compartments affected most upon PMT inhibition. Especially mutants with defects in N-glycosylation, biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins and cell wall β-1,6-glucan showed impaired growth when O-mannosylation became limiting. Signaling pathways that counteract cell wall defects and unbalanced ER homeostasis, namely the cell wall integrity pathway and the unfolded protein response, were highly crucial for the cell growth. Moreover, among the most affected mutants, we identified Ost3, one of two homologous subunits of the oligosaccharyltransferase complexes involved in N-glycosylation, suggesting a functional link between the two pathways. Indeed, we identified Pmt2 as a substrate for Ost3 suggesting that the reduced function of Pmt2 in the absence of N-glycosylation promoted sensitivity to the drug. Interestingly, even though S. cerevisiae Pmt1 and Pmt2 proteins are highly similar on the sequence, as well as the structural level and act as a complex, we identified only Pmt2, but not Pmt1, as an Ost3-specific substrate protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosylation and Glycoproteins 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Novel Placentally Expressed Aspartic Proteinase in Humans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1227; doi:10.3390/ijms18061227
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3937 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study presents pioneering data concerning the human pregnancy-associated glycoprotein-Like family, identified in the genome, of the term placental transcriptome and proteome. RNA-seq allowed the identification of 1364 bp hPAG-L/pep cDNA with at least 56.5% homology with other aspartic proteinases (APs). In silico
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This study presents pioneering data concerning the human pregnancy-associated glycoprotein-Like family, identified in the genome, of the term placental transcriptome and proteome. RNA-seq allowed the identification of 1364 bp hPAG-L/pep cDNA with at least 56.5% homology with other aspartic proteinases (APs). In silico analyses revealed 388 amino acids (aa) of full-length hPAG-L polypeptide precursor, with 15 aa-signal peptide, 47 aa-blocking peptide and 326 aa-mature protein, and two Asp residues (D), specific for a catalytic cleft of the APs (VVFDTGSSNLWV91-102 and AIVDTGTSLLTG274-285). Capillary sequencing identified 9330 bp of the hPAG-L gene (Gen Bank Acc. No. KX533473), composed of nine exons and eight introns. Heterologous Western blotting revealed the presence of one dominant 60 kDa isoform of the hPAG-L amongst cellular placental proteins. Detection with anti-pPAG-P and anti-Rec pPAG2 polyclonals allowed identification of the hPAG-L proteins located within regions of chorionic villi, especially within the syncytiotrophoblast of term singleton placentas. Our novel data extend the present knowledge about the human genome, as well as placental transcriptome and proteome during term pregnancy. Presumably, this may contribute to establishing a new diagnostic tool for examination of some disturbances during human pregnancy, as well as growing interest from both scientific and clinical perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle BrWRKY65, a WRKY Transcription Factor, Is Involved in Regulating Three Leaf Senescence-Associated Genes in Chinese Flowering Cabbage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1228; doi:10.3390/ijms18061228
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
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Abstract
Plant-specific WRKY transcription factors (TFs) have been implicated to function as regulators of leaf senescence, but their association with postharvest leaf senescence of economically important leafy vegetables, is poorly understood. In this work, the characterization of a Group IIe WRKY TF, BrWRKY65, from
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Plant-specific WRKY transcription factors (TFs) have been implicated to function as regulators of leaf senescence, but their association with postharvest leaf senescence of economically important leafy vegetables, is poorly understood. In this work, the characterization of a Group IIe WRKY TF, BrWRKY65, from Chinese flowering cabbage (Brassica rapa var. parachinensis) is reported. The expression of BrWRKY65 was up-regulated following leaf chlorophyll degradation and yellowing during postharvest senescence. Subcellular localization and transcriptional activation assays showed that BrWRKY65 was localized in the nucleus and exhibited trans-activation ability. Further electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and transient expression analysis clearly revealed that BrWRKY65 directly bound to the W-box motifs in the promoters of three senescence-associated genes (SAGs) such as BrNYC1 and BrSGR1 associated with chlorophyll degradation, and BrDIN1, and subsequently activated their expressions. These findings demonstrate that BrWRKY65 may be positively associated with postharvest leaf senescence, at least partially, by the direct activation of SAGs. Taken together, these findings provide new insights into the transcriptional regulatory mechanism of postharvest leaf senescence in Chinese flowering cabbage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress and Gene Networks in Plants 2017)
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Open AccessArticle The Roles of Reactive Oxygen Species and Nitric Oxide in Perfluorooctanoic Acid-Induced Developmental Cardiotoxicity and l-Carnitine Mediated Protection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1229; doi:10.3390/ijms18061229
Received: 13 May 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
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Abstract
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an environmental contaminant that could induce developmental cardiotoxicity in a chicken embryo, which may be alleviated by l-carnitine. To explore the roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) in such changes and the potential effects
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Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an environmental contaminant that could induce developmental cardiotoxicity in a chicken embryo, which may be alleviated by l-carnitine. To explore the roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) in such changes and the potential effects of l-carnitine, fertile chicken eggs were exposed to PFOA via an air cell injection, with or without l-carnitine co-treatment. The ROS and NO levels in chicken embryo hearts were determined with electron spin resonance (ESR), and the protein levels of the nuclear factor κ-light chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) p65 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in chicken embryo hearts were assessed with western blotting. The results of ESR indicated that PFOA exposure induced an elevation in the ROS levels in ED19 chicken embryo hearts and hatchling chicken hearts, while l-carnitine could alleviate such changes. Meanwhile, increased NO levels were observed in ED19 embryo hearts and hatchling hearts following PFOA exposure, while l-carnitine co-treatment exerted modulatory effects. Western blotting revealed that p65 translocation in ED19 embryo hearts and hatchling hearts was enhanced by PFOA, while l-carnitine co-treatment alleviated such changes. iNOS expression levels in ED19 embryo hearts followed the same pattern as NO levels, while a suppression of expression was observed in hatchling hearts exposed to PFOA. ROS/NF-κB p65 and iNOS/NO seem to be involved in the late stage (ED19 and post hatch) of PFOA-induced developmental cardiotoxicity in a chicken embryo. l-carnitine could exert anti-oxidant and NO modulatory effects in the developing chicken embryo hearts, which likely contribute to its cardioprotective effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correlation between Nutrition, Oxidative Stress and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Galectins-1, -3, and -7 Are Prognostic Markers for Survival of Ovarian Cancer Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1230; doi:10.3390/ijms18061230
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
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Abstract
There is a tremendous need for developing new useful prognostic factors in ovarian cancer. Galectins are a family of carbohydrate binding proteins which have been suggested to serve as prognostic factors for various cancer types. In this study, the presence of Galectin-1, -3,
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There is a tremendous need for developing new useful prognostic factors in ovarian cancer. Galectins are a family of carbohydrate binding proteins which have been suggested to serve as prognostic factors for various cancer types. In this study, the presence of Galectin-1, -3, and -7 was investigated in 156 ovarian cancer specimens by immunochemical staining. Staining was evaluated in the cytoplasm and nucleus of cancer cells as well as the peritumoral stroma using a semi quantitative score (Remmele (IR) score). Patients’ overall survival was compared between different groups of Galectin expression. Galectin (Gal)-1 and -3 staining was observed in the peritumoral stroma as well as the nucleus and cytoplasm of tumor cells, while Gal-7 was only present in the cytoplasm of tumor cells. Patients with Gal-1 expression in the cytoplasm or high Gal-1 expression in the peritumoral stroma showed reduced overall survival. Nuclear Gal-3 staining correlated with a better outcome. We observed a significantly reduced overall survival for cases with high Gal-7 expression and a better survival for Gal-7 negative cases, when compared to cases with low expression of Gal-7. We were able to show that both tumor and stroma staining of Gal-1 could serve as negative prognostic factors for ovarian cancer. We were able to confirm cytoplasmic Gal-7 as a negative prognostic factor. Gal-3 staining in the nucleus could be a new positive prognosticator for ovarian cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Galectins in Cancer and Translational Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle Micro-Electromechanical Affinity Sensor for the Monitoring of Glucose in Bioprocess Media
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1235; doi:10.3390/ijms18061235
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
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Abstract
An affinity-viscometry-based micro-sensor probe for continuous glucose monitoring was investigated with respect to its suitability for bioprocesses. The sensor operates with glucose and dextran competing as binding partner for concanavalin A, while the viscosity of the assay scales with glucose concentration. Changes in
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An affinity-viscometry-based micro-sensor probe for continuous glucose monitoring was investigated with respect to its suitability for bioprocesses. The sensor operates with glucose and dextran competing as binding partner for concanavalin A, while the viscosity of the assay scales with glucose concentration. Changes in viscosity are determined with a micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) in the measurement cavity of the sensor probe. The study aimed to elucidate the interactions between the assay and a typical phosphate buffered bacterial cultivation medium. It turned out that contact with the medium resulted in a significant long-lasting drift of the assay’s viscosity at zero glucose concentration. Adding glucose to the medium lowers the drift by a factor of eight. The cglc values measured off-line with the glucose sensor for monitoring of a bacterial cultivation were similar to the measurements with an enzymatic assay with a difference of less than ±0.15 g·L−1. We propose that lectin agglomeration, the electro-viscous effect, and constitutional changes of concanavalin A due to exchanges of the incorporated metal ions may account for the observed viscosity increase. The study has demonstrated the potential of the MEMS sensor to determine sensitive viscosity changes within very small sample volumes, which could be of interest for various biotechnological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomolecular Engineering and Bioelectronics)
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Open AccessArticle Right- vs. Left-Sided Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Differences in Tumor Biology and Bevacizumab Efficacy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1240; doi:10.3390/ijms18061240
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 29 May 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
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Abstract
There is evidence of a different response to treatment with regard to the primary tumor localization (right-sided or left-sided) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). We analyzed the different outcomes and biomolecular characteristics in relation to tumor localization in 122 of the
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There is evidence of a different response to treatment with regard to the primary tumor localization (right-sided or left-sided) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). We analyzed the different outcomes and biomolecular characteristics in relation to tumor localization in 122 of the 370 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer enrolled onto the phase III prospective multicenter “Italian Trial in Advanced Colorectal Cancer (ITACa)”, randomized to receive first-line chemotherapy (CT) or CT plus bevacizumab (CT + B). RAS and BRAF mutations; baseline expression levels of circulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), ephrin type-B receptor 4 (EPHB4), hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hs-CRP); and inflammatory indexes such as the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, platelet-lymphocyte rate and systemic immune-inflammation index were evaluated. Patients with right-sided tumors showed a longer median progression-free survival in the CT + B arm than in the CT group (12.6 vs. 9.0 months, respectively, p = 0.017). Baseline inflammatory indexes were significantly higher in left-sided tumors, whereas eNOS and EPHB4 expression was significantly higher and BRAF mutation more frequent in right-sided tumors. Our data suggest a greater efficacy of the CT + B combination in right-sided mCRC, which might be attributable to the lower inflammatory status and higher expression of pro-angiogenic factors that appear to characterize these tumors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Implication of Substance P in the Development of Tendinopathy: A Case Control Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1241; doi:10.3390/ijms18061241
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
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Abstract
It was reported that substance P had beneficial effects in the healing of acute tendon injury. However, the relationship between substance P and degenerative tendinopathy development remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of substance P in the
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It was reported that substance P had beneficial effects in the healing of acute tendon injury. However, the relationship between substance P and degenerative tendinopathy development remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of substance P in the pathogenesis of tendinopathy. Healthy and tendinopathy tendon were harvested from human and tenocytes were cultured individually. The expression levels of genes associated with tendinopathy were compared. Next, substance P was exogenously administered to the healthy tenocyte and the effect was evaluated. The results showed that tendinopathy tenocytes had higher levels of COL3A1, MMP1, COX2, SCX, ACTA2, and substance P gene expression compared to healthy tenocytes. Next, substance P treatment on the healthy tenocyte displayed similar changes to that of the tendinopathy tenocytes. These differences between the two groups were also determined by Western blot. Additionally, cells with substance P had the tendinopathy change morphologically although cellular proliferation was significantly higher compared to that of the control group. In conclusion, substance P enhanced cellular proliferation, but concomitantly increased immature collagen (type 3 collagen). Substance P plays a crucial role in tendinopathy development and could be a future therapeutic target for treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessCommunication Transcriptional Responses in the Murine Spleen after Toxoplasma gondii Infection: Inflammasome and Mucus-Associated Genes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1245; doi:10.3390/ijms18061245
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 3 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
The spleen plays an important role in coordinating both adaptive and innate immune responses. Here, the transcriptional response to T. gondii infection in the murine spleen was characterized concerning inflammasome sensors (two different models: seven days after oral or four weeks after intraperitoneal
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The spleen plays an important role in coordinating both adaptive and innate immune responses. Here, the transcriptional response to T. gondii infection in the murine spleen was characterized concerning inflammasome sensors (two different models: seven days after oral or four weeks after intraperitoneal infection). Additionally, Tff1KO and Tff3KO mice were investigated because TFF genes are often upregulated during inflammation. The expression of the pattern-recognition receptors Nlrp3, Nlrp12, and Nlrp1a was significantly increased after infection. This increase was diminished in Tff1KO and Tff3KO mice pointing towards a positive regulation of the inflammatory response by Tff1 and Tff3. Furthermore, the transcription of Tff1 (encoding a motogenic lectin) and other secretory genes was analyzed, i.e., gastrokines (Gkn), IgG Fc binding protein (Fcgbp), and the mucin Muc2. The corresponding gene products belong to an interactome protecting mucous epithelia. Tff1 was significantly induced after infection, which might increase the motility of immune cells. In contrast, Gkn3, Fcgbp, and Muc2 were downregulated seven days after oral infection; whereas four weeks after i.p. infection only Gkn3 remained downregulated. This might be an indication that Gkn3, Fcgbp, and Muc2 are involved in the transient disruption of the splenic architecture and its reorganization, which is characteristic after T. gondii infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Light- and Dark-Germination on the Phenolic Biosynthesis, Phytochemical Profiles, and Antioxidant Activities in Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.) Sprouts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1246; doi:10.3390/ijms18061246
Received: 23 April 2017 / Revised: 3 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
Sweet corn is one of the most widely planted crops in China. Sprouting of grains is a new processes to increase the nutritional value of grain products. The present study explores the effects of light on the nutritional quality of sweet corn sprouts.
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Sweet corn is one of the most widely planted crops in China. Sprouting of grains is a new processes to increase the nutritional value of grain products. The present study explores the effects of light on the nutritional quality of sweet corn sprouts. Gene expression of phenolic biosynthesis, phytochemical profiles and antioxidant activity were studied. Two treatments (light and dark) were selected and the morphological structure of sweet corn sprouts, as well as their biochemical composition were investigated to determine the effects of light on the regulation of genes responsible for nutritional compounds. Transcription analyses for three key-encoding genes in the biosynthesis of the precursors of phenolic were studied. Results revealed a negative regulation in the expression of ZmPAL with total phenolic content (TPC) in the light group. TPC and total flavonoid content (TFC) increased during germination and this was correlated with an increase in antioxidant activity (r = 0.95 and 1.0). The findings illustrate that the nutritional value of sweet corn for the consumer can be improved through germination to the euphylla stage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eplerenone-Resistant Salt-Sensitive Hypertension in Nedd4-2 C2 KO Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1250; doi:10.3390/ijms18061250
Received: 29 January 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 11 June 2017
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Abstract
The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) plays critical roles in maintaining fluid and electrolyte homeostasis and is located in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron (ASDN). We previously found that Nedd4-2 C2 knockout (KO) mice showed salt-sensitive hypertension with paradoxically enhanced ENaC gene expression in ASDN
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The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) plays critical roles in maintaining fluid and electrolyte homeostasis and is located in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron (ASDN). We previously found that Nedd4-2 C2 knockout (KO) mice showed salt-sensitive hypertension with paradoxically enhanced ENaC gene expression in ASDN under high oral salt intake. Eplerenone (EPL), a selective aldosterone blocker, is a promising therapeutic option for resistant or/and salt-sensitive hypertension. We examined the effect of EPL on Nedd4-2 C2 KO mice with respect to blood pressure, metabolic parameters, and molecular level changes in ASDN under high oral salt intake. We found that EPL failed to reduce blood pressure in KO mice with high oral salt intake and upregulated ENaC expression in ASDN. Thus, salt-sensitive hypertension in Nedd4-2 C2 KO was EPL-resistant. Gene expression analyses of laser-captured specimens in ASDN suggested the presence of non-aldosterone-dependent activation of ENaC transcription in ASDN of Nedd4-2 C2 KO mice, which was abolished by amiloride treatment. Our results from Nedd4-2 C2 KO mice suggest that enhanced ENaC gene expression is critically involved in salt-sensitive hypertension under certain conditions of specific enzyme isoforms for their ubiquitination. Full article
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Open AccessArticle AA-NAT, MT1 and MT2 Correlates with Cancer Stem-Like Cell Markers in Colorectal Cancer: Study of the Influence of Stage and p53 Status of Tumors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1251; doi:10.3390/ijms18061251
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 11 June 2017
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Abstract
The characterization of colon cancer stem cells (CSCs) may help to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. p53 loss increases the pool of CSCs in colorectal cancer (CRC). Recent reports suggest that the oncostatic effects of melatonin could be related to its ability
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The characterization of colon cancer stem cells (CSCs) may help to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. p53 loss increases the pool of CSCs in colorectal cancer (CRC). Recent reports suggest that the oncostatic effects of melatonin could be related to its ability to kill CSCs. Although there are no data linking the loss of p53 function and melatonin synthesis or signaling in cancer, melatonin does activate the p53 tumor-suppressor pathway in this disease. In this work, we analyze whether the expression of melatonin synthesis and signaling genes are related to the expression of CSC markers and the implication of p53 status in samples from patients with CRC. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT), MT1, and MT2 expression decreased in tumor samples versus normal mucosa samples in mutated p53 (mtp53) tumors versus those with wild-type p53 (wtp53). Further, AA-NAT and MT2 expression were lower in advanced stages of the disease in wtp53 tumors. On the contrary, CD44 and CD66c expression was higher in tumor versus normal mucosa in wtp53 tumors. Additionally, CD44 expression was higher in advanced stages of the disease regardless of the p53 status. Patients with CD44highCD66chigh and wtp53 tumors in advanced stages showed low expression of AA-NAT and MT2 in wtp53 tumors. These results could indicate a possible interaction of these pathways in CRC. Full article