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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 19, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The IL-23/IL-17 axis mediates the initiation and persistence of inflammation during Psoriasis and [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Molecular Research on Emerging Viruses: Evolution, Diagnostics, Pathogenesis, and Therapeutics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020398
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Viruses are increasingly recognized as emerging infectious disease agents in both humans and animals.[...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial Special Protein Molecules Computational Identification
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020536
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 10 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
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Abstract
Computational identification of special protein molecules is a key issue in understanding protein function. It can guide molecular experiments and help to save costs. I assessed 18 papers published in the special issue of Int. J. Mol. Sci., and also discussed the
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Computational identification of special protein molecules is a key issue in understanding protein function. It can guide molecular experiments and help to save costs. I assessed 18 papers published in the special issue of Int. J. Mol. Sci., and also discussed the related works. The computational methods employed in this special issue focused on machine learning, network analysis, and molecular docking. New methods and new topics were also proposed. There were in addition several wet experiments, with proven results showing promise. I hope our special issue will help in protein molecules identification researches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Protein Molecules Computational Identification)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Crosstalk of PmCBFs and PmDAMs Based on the Changes of Phytohormones under Seasonal Cold Stress in the Stem of Prunus mume
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020015
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Plants facing the seasonal variations always need a growth restraining mechanism when temperatures turn down. C-repeat binding factor (CBF) genes work essentially in the cold perception. Despite lots of researches on CBFs, the multiple crosstalk is still interesting on their
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Plants facing the seasonal variations always need a growth restraining mechanism when temperatures turn down. C-repeat binding factor (CBF) genes work essentially in the cold perception. Despite lots of researches on CBFs, the multiple crosstalk is still interesting on their interaction with hormones and dormancy-associated MADS (DAM) genes in the growth and dormancy control. Therefore, this study highlights roles of PmCBFs in cold-induced dormancy from different orgens. And a sense-response relationship between PmCBFs and PmDAMs is exhibited in this process, jointly regulated by six PmCBFs and PmDAM4–6. Meantime, GA3 and ABA showed negative and positive correlation with PmCBFs expression levels, respectively. We also find a high correlation between IAA and PmDAM1–3. Finally, we display the interaction mode of PmCBFs and PmDAMs, especially PmCBF1-PmDAM1. These results can disclose another view of molecular mechanism in plant growth between cold-response pathway and dormancy regulation together with genes and hormones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Lasiodiplodia theobromae as a Producer of Biotechnologically Relevant Enzymes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020029
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Phytopathogenic fungi are known to produce several types of enzymes usually involved in plant cell wall degradation and pathogenesis. The increasing of global temperature may induce fungi, such as Lasiodiplodia theobromae (L. theobromae), to alter its behavior. Nonetheless, there is only
[...] Read more.
Phytopathogenic fungi are known to produce several types of enzymes usually involved in plant cell wall degradation and pathogenesis. The increasing of global temperature may induce fungi, such as Lasiodiplodia theobromae (L. theobromae), to alter its behavior. Nonetheless, there is only limited information regarding the effect of temperature on L. theobromae production of enzymes. The need for new, thermostable enzymes, that are biotechnologically relevant, led us to investigate the effect of temperature on the production of several extracellular enzymatic activities by different L. theobromae strains. Fungi were grown at 25 °C, 30 °C and 37 °C and the enzymatic activities were detected by plate assays, quantified by spectrophotometric methods and characterized by zymography. The thermostability (25–80 °C) of the enzymes produced was also tested. Strains CAA019, CBS339.90, LA-SOL3, LA-SV1 and LA-MA-1 produced amylases, gelatinases, caseinases, cellulases, lipases, laccases, xylanases, pectinases and pectin liases. Temperature modulated the expression of the enzymes, and this effect was more visible when fungi were grown at 37 °C than at lower temperatures. Contrary to proteolytic and endoglucanolytic activities, whose highest activities were detected when fungi were grown at 30 °C, lipolytic activity was not detected at this growth temperature. Profiles of proteases and endoglucanases of fungi grown at different temperatures were characterized by zymography. Enzymes were shown to be more thermostable when fungi were grown at 30 °C. Proteases were active up to 50 °C and endoglucanases up to 70 °C. Lipases were the least stable, with activities detected up to 45 °C. The enzymatic profiles detected for L. theobromae strains tested showed to be temperature and strain-dependent, making this species a good target for biotechnological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Enzymes)
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Open AccessArticle Peretinoin, an Acyclic Retinoid, Inhibits Hepatitis B Virus Replication by Suppressing Sphingosine Metabolic Pathway In Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020108
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) frequently develops from hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. We previously reported that peretinoin, an acyclic retinoid, inhibits HCV replication. This study aimed to examine the influence of peretinoin on the HBV lifecycle. HBV-DNA and covalently
[...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) frequently develops from hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. We previously reported that peretinoin, an acyclic retinoid, inhibits HCV replication. This study aimed to examine the influence of peretinoin on the HBV lifecycle. HBV-DNA and covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) were evaluated by a qPCR method in HepG2.2.15 cells. Peretinoin significantly reduced the levels of intracellular HBV-DNA, nuclear cccDNA, and HBV transcript at a concentration that did not induce cytotoxicity. Conversely, other retinoids, such as 9-cis, 13-cis retinoic acid (RA), and all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), had no effect or rather increased HBV replication. Mechanistically, although peretinoin increased the expression of HBV-related transcription factors, as observed for other retinoids, peretinoin enhanced the binding of histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) to cccDNA in the nucleus and negatively regulated HBV transcription. Moreover, peretinoin significantly inhibited the expression of SPHK1, a potential inhibitor of HDAC activity, and might be involved in hepatic inflammation, fibrosis, and HCC. SPHK1 overexpression in cells cancelled the inhibition of HBV replication induced by peretinoin. This indicates that peretinoin activates HDAC1 and thereby suppresses HBV replication by inhibiting the sphingosine metabolic pathway. Therefore, peretinoin may be a novel therapeutic agent for HBV replication and chemoprevention against HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammation and Cancer 2018)
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Open AccessArticle GC-MS Metabolomics to Evaluate the Composition of Plant Cuticular Waxes for Four Triticum aestivum Cultivars
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020249
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an important food crop, and biotic and abiotic stresses significantly impact grain yield. Wheat leaf and stem surface waxes are associated with traits of biological importance, including stress resistance. Past studies have characterized the composition of wheat
[...] Read more.
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an important food crop, and biotic and abiotic stresses significantly impact grain yield. Wheat leaf and stem surface waxes are associated with traits of biological importance, including stress resistance. Past studies have characterized the composition of wheat cuticular waxes, however protocols can be relatively low-throughput and narrow in the range of metabolites detected. Here, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics methods were utilized to provide a comprehensive characterization of the chemical composition of cuticular waxes in wheat leaves and stems. Further, waxes from four wheat cultivars were assayed to evaluate the potential for GC-MS metabolomics to describe wax composition attributed to differences in wheat genotype. A total of 263 putative compounds were detected and included 58 wax compounds that can be classified (e.g., alkanes and fatty acids). Many of the detected wax metabolites have known associations to important biological functions. Principal component analysis and ANOVA were used to evaluate metabolite distribution, which was attributed to both tissue type (leaf, stem) and cultivar differences. Leaves contained more primary alcohols than stems such as 6-methylheptacosan-1-ol and octacosan-1-ol. The metabolite data were validated using scanning electron microscopy of epicuticular wax crystals which detected wax tubules and platelets. Conan was the only cultivar to display alcohol-associated platelet-shaped crystals on its abaxial leaf surface. Taken together, application of GC-MS metabolomics enabled the characterization of cuticular wax content in wheat tissues and provided relative quantitative comparisons among sample types, thus contributing to the understanding of wax composition associated with important phenotypic traits in a major crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in the Plant Sciences 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Carrying Temozolomide for Melanoma Treatment. Preliminary In Vitro and In Vivo Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020255
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Aim: To develop an innovative delivery system for temozolomide (TMZ) in solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN), which has been preliminarily investigated for the treatment of melanoma. Materials and Methods: SLN-TMZ was obtained through fatty acid coacervation. Its pharmacological effects were assessed and compared with
[...] Read more.
Aim: To develop an innovative delivery system for temozolomide (TMZ) in solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN), which has been preliminarily investigated for the treatment of melanoma. Materials and Methods: SLN-TMZ was obtained through fatty acid coacervation. Its pharmacological effects were assessed and compared with free TMZ in in vitro and in vivo models of melanoma and glioblastoma. Results: Compared to the standard free TMZ, SLN-TMZ exerted larger effects, when cell proliferation of melanoma cells, and neoangiogeneis were evaluated. SLN-TMZ also inhibited growth and vascularization of B16-F10 melanoma in C57/BL6 mice, without apparent toxic effects. Conclusion: SLN could be a promising strategy for the delivery of TMZ, allowing an increased stability of the drug and thereby its employment in the treatment of aggressive malignacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle Role of Disulfide Bonds in Activity and Stability of Tigerinin-1R
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020288
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Tigerinin-1R (Arg–Val–Cys–Ser–Ala–Ile–Pro–Leu–Pro–Ile–Cys–His–NH2), a cationic 12-mer peptide containing a disulfide bond extracted from frog skin secretions, lacks antibacterial activity, but has the ability to stimulate insulin release both in vitro and in vivo. To study the structure–function relationships of tigerinin-1R, we designed
[...] Read more.
Tigerinin-1R (Arg–Val–Cys–Ser–Ala–Ile–Pro–Leu–Pro–Ile–Cys–His–NH2), a cationic 12-mer peptide containing a disulfide bond extracted from frog skin secretions, lacks antibacterial activity, but has the ability to stimulate insulin release both in vitro and in vivo. To study the structure–function relationships of tigerinin-1R, we designed and synthesized five analogs, including tigerinin-cyclic, tigerinin-1R-L4, tigerinin-linear, [C3K]tigerinin-1R, and [C11K]tigerinin-1R. Tigerinin-1R promoted insulin secretion in a concentration-dependent manner in INS-1 cells without obvious cytotoxicity. At a concentration of 10−5 M, [C11K]tigerinin-1R exhibited the highest stimulation ability, suggesting that the positive charge at the C-terminus may contribute to the in vitro insulin-releasing activity of tigerinin-1R. Tigerinin-1R peptides stimulated insulin release in INS-1 cells through a universal mechanism that involves mobilization of intracellular calcium without disrupting the cell membrane. In vivo experiments showed that both tigerinin-1R and [C11K]tigerinin-1R improved glucose tolerance in overnight-fasted mice. Due to its structural stability, tigerinin-1R showed superior hypoglycemic activity to [C11K]tigerinin-1R, which suggested a critical role of the disulfide bonds. In addition, we also identified a protective effect of tigerinin-1R peptides in apoptosis induced by oxidative stress. These results further confirm the potential for the development of tigerinin-1R as an anti-diabetic therapeutic agent in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Selective Blockade of the Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor mGluR5 Protects Mouse Livers in In Vitro and Ex Vivo Models of Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020314
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
2-Methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP), a negative allosteric modulator of the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) 5, protects hepatocytes from ischemic injury. In astrocytes and microglia, MPEP depletes ATP. These findings seem to be self-contradictory, since ATP depletion is a fundamental stressor in ischemia. This study attempted
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2-Methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP), a negative allosteric modulator of the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) 5, protects hepatocytes from ischemic injury. In astrocytes and microglia, MPEP depletes ATP. These findings seem to be self-contradictory, since ATP depletion is a fundamental stressor in ischemia. This study attempted to reconstruct the mechanism of MPEP-mediated ATP depletion and the consequences of ATP depletion on protection against ischemic injury. We compared the effects of MPEP and other mGluR5 negative modulators on ATP concentration when measured in rat hepatocytes and acellular solutions. We also evaluated the effects of mGluR5 blockade on viability in rat hepatocytes exposed to hypoxia. Furthermore, we studied the effects of MPEP treatment on mouse livers subjected to cold ischemia and warm ischemia reperfusion. We found that MPEP and 3-[(2-methyl-1,3-thiazol-4-yl)ethynyl]pyridine (MTEP) deplete ATP in hepatocytes and acellular solutions, unlike fenobam. This finding suggests that mGluR5s may not be involved, contrary to previous reports. MPEP, as well as MTEP and fenobam, improved hypoxic hepatocyte viability, suggesting that protection against ischemic injury is independent of ATP depletion. Significantly, MPEP protected mouse livers in two different ex vivo models of ischemia reperfusion injury, suggesting its possible protective deployment in the treatment of hepatic inflammatory conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Proteins Involved in Carbohydrate Metabolism and Energy Metabolism Pathways and Their Regulation of Cytoplasmic Male Sterility in Wheat
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020324
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) where no functional pollen is produced has important roles in wheat breeding. The anther is a unique organ for male gametogenesis and its abnormal development can cause male sterility. However, the mechanisms and regulatory networks related to plant male
[...] Read more.
Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) where no functional pollen is produced has important roles in wheat breeding. The anther is a unique organ for male gametogenesis and its abnormal development can cause male sterility. However, the mechanisms and regulatory networks related to plant male sterility are poorly understood. In this study, we conducted comparative analyses using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) of the pollen proteins in a CMS line and its wheat maintainer. Differentially abundant proteins (DAPs) were analyzed based on Gene Ontology classifications, metabolic pathways and transcriptional regulation networks using Blast2GO. We identified 5570 proteins based on 23,277 peptides, which matched with 73,688 spectra, including proteins in key pathways such as glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, pyruvate kinase and 6-phosphofructokinase 1 in the glycolysis pathway, isocitrate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)-dehydrogenase and adenosine-triphosphate (ATP) synthases in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. These proteins may comprise a network that regulates male sterility in wheat. Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis, ATP assays and total sugar assays validated the iTRAQ results. These DAPs could be associated with abnormal pollen grain formation and male sterility. Our findings provide insights into the molecular mechanism related to male sterility in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Regulation of Akt/FoxO3a/Skp2 Axis Is Critically Involved in Berberine-Induced Cell Cycle Arrest in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020327
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The maintenance of ordinal cell cycle phases is a critical biological process in cancer genesis, which is a crucial target for anti-cancer drugs. As an important natural isoquinoline alkaloid from Chinese herbal medicine, Berberine (BBR) has been reported to possess anti-cancer potentiality to
[...] Read more.
The maintenance of ordinal cell cycle phases is a critical biological process in cancer genesis, which is a crucial target for anti-cancer drugs. As an important natural isoquinoline alkaloid from Chinese herbal medicine, Berberine (BBR) has been reported to possess anti-cancer potentiality to induce cell cycle arrest in hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HCC). However, the underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated. In our present study, G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest was observed in berberine-treated Huh-7 and HepG2 cells. Mechanically, we observed that BBR could deactivate the Akt pathway, which consequently suppressed the S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2) expression and enhanced the expression and translocation of Forkhead box O3a (FoxO3a) into nucleus. The translocated FoxO3a on one hand could directly promote the transcription of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) p21Cip1 and p27Kip1, on the other hand, it could repress Skp2 expression, both of which lead to up-regulation of p21Cip1 and p27Kip1, causing G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest in HCC. In conclusion, BBR promotes the expression of CDKIs p21Cip1 and p27Kip1 via regulating the Akt/FoxO3a/Skp2 axis and further induces HCC G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest. This research uncovered a new mechanism of an anti-cancer effect of BBR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Growth Regulation)
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Open AccessArticle Pharmacokinetic Study of Bioactive Flavonoids in the Traditional Japanese Medicine Keigairengyoto Exerting Antibacterial Effects against Staphylococcus aureus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020328
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Recent studies have demonstrated that flavonoid glucuronides can be deconjugated to the active form aglycone by β-glucuronidase-expressing macrophages. Keigairengyoto (KRT) is a flavonoid-rich traditional Japanese medicine reported to enhance bacterial clearance through immune modulation. Our aims are to examine the pharmacokinetics of KRT
[...] Read more.
Recent studies have demonstrated that flavonoid glucuronides can be deconjugated to the active form aglycone by β-glucuronidase-expressing macrophages. Keigairengyoto (KRT) is a flavonoid-rich traditional Japanese medicine reported to enhance bacterial clearance through immune modulation. Our aims are to examine the pharmacokinetics of KRT flavonoids and to identify active flavonoids contributing to the adjuvant effects of KRT. KRT was evaluated at pharmacokinetic analysis to quantify absorbed flavonoids, and cutaneous infection assay induced in mice by inoculation of Staphylococcus aureus. Preventive or therapeutic KRT administration reduced the number of bacteria in the infection site as well as macroscopic and microscopic lesion scores with efficacies similar to antibiotics. Pharmacokinetic study revealed low plasma levels of flavonoid aglycones after KRT administration; however, plasma concentrations were enhanced markedly by β-glucuronidase treatment, with baicalein the most abundant (Cmax, 1.32 µg/mL). In random screening assays, flavonoids such as bacalein, genistein, and apigenin enhanced bacteria phagocytosis by macrophages. Glucuronide bacalin was converted to aglycone baicalein by incubation with living macrophages, macrophage lysate, or skin homogenate. Taken together, the adjuvant effect of KRT may be due to some blood-absorbed flavonoids which enhance macrophage functions in host defense. Flavonoid-rich KRT may be a beneficial treatment for infectious skin inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Phenolics and Polyphenols 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Biotherapeutic Effect of Gingival Stem Cells Conditioned Medium in Bone Tissue Restoration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020329
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Bone tissue engineering is one of the main branches of regenerative medicine. In this field, the use of a scaffold, which supported bone development, in combination with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), has promised better outcomes for bone regeneration. In particular, human gingival mesenchymal
[...] Read more.
Bone tissue engineering is one of the main branches of regenerative medicine. In this field, the use of a scaffold, which supported bone development, in combination with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), has promised better outcomes for bone regeneration. In particular, human gingival mesenchymal stem cells (hGMSCs) may present advantages compared to other MSCs, including the easier isolation. However, MSCs’ secretome has attracted much attention for its potential use in tissue regeneration, such as conditioned medium (CM) that contains different soluble factors proved to be useful for the regenerative purposes. In this study, we evaluated the osteogenic capacity of a poly-(lactide) (3D-PLA) scaffold enriched with hGMSCs and hGMSCs derived CM and its ability to regenerate bone defects in rat calvarias. 3D-PLA alone, 3D-PLA + CM or 3D-PLA + hGMSCs with/without CM were implanted in Wistar male rats subjected to calvarial defects. We observed that 3D-PLA scaffold enriched with hGMSCs and CM showed a better osteogenic capacity, being able to repair the calvarial defect as revealed in vivo by morphological evaluation. Moreover, transcriptomic analysis in vitro revealed the upregulation of genes involved in ossification and regulation of ossification in the 3D-PLA + CM + hGMSCs group. All of these results indicate the great osteogenic ability of 3D-PLA + CM + hGMSCs supporting its use in bone regenerative medicine, in particular in the repair of cranial bone defects. Especially, hGMSCs derived CM played a key role in the induction of the osteogenic process and in bone regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Colonization in Scaffolds)
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Open AccessArticle Involvement of Bradykinin B2 Receptor in Pathological Vascularization in Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy in Mice and Rabbit Cornea
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020330
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The identification of components of the kallikrein–kinin system in the vitreous from patients with microvascular retinal diseases suggests that bradykinin (BK) signaling may contribute to pathogenesis of retinal vascular complications. BK receptor 2 (B2R) signaling has been implicated in both pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic
[...] Read more.
The identification of components of the kallikrein–kinin system in the vitreous from patients with microvascular retinal diseases suggests that bradykinin (BK) signaling may contribute to pathogenesis of retinal vascular complications. BK receptor 2 (B2R) signaling has been implicated in both pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic effects promoted by BK. Here, we investigated the role of BK/B2R signaling in the retinal neovascularization in the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model. Blockade of B2R signaling by the antagonist fasitibant delayed retinal vascularization in mouse pups, indicating that the retinal endothelium is a target of the BK/B2R system. In the rabbit cornea assay, a model of pathological neoangiogenesis, the B2 agonist kallidin induced vessel sprouting and promoted cornea opacity, a sign of edema and tissue inflammation. In agreement with these results, in the OIR model, a blockade of B2R signaling significantly reduced retinal neovascularization, as determined by the area of retinal tufts, and, in the retinal vessel, it also reduced vascular endothelial growth factor and fibroblast growth factor-2 expression. All together, these findings show that B2R blockade reduces retinal neovascularization and inhibits the expression of proangiogenic and pro-inflammatory cytokines, suggesting that targeting B2R signaling may be an effective strategy for treating ischemic retinopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinal Diseases: Bridging Basic and Clinical Research)
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Open AccessArticle The Differentiation of Rat Oligodendroglial Cells Is Highly Influenced by the Oxygen Tension: In Vitro Model Mimicking Physiologically Normoxic Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020331
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) constitute one of the main populations of dividing cells in the central nervous system (CNS). Physiologically, OPCs give rise to mature, myelinating oligodendrocytes and confer trophic support to their neighboring cells within the nervous tissue. OPCs are known to
[...] Read more.
Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) constitute one of the main populations of dividing cells in the central nervous system (CNS). Physiologically, OPCs give rise to mature, myelinating oligodendrocytes and confer trophic support to their neighboring cells within the nervous tissue. OPCs are known to be extremely sensitive to the influence of exogenous clues which might affect their crucial biological processes, like survival, proliferation, differentiation, and the ability to generate a myelin membrane. Alterations in their differentiation influencing their final potential for myelinogenesis are usually the leading cause of CNS dys- and demyelination, contributing to the development of leukodystrophic disorders. The evaluation of the mechanisms that cause oligodendrocytes to malfunction requires detailed studies based on designed in vitro models. Since OPCs readily respond to changes in local homeostasis, it is crucial to establish restricted culture conditions to eliminate the potential stimuli that might influence oligodendrocyte biology. Additionally, the in vitro settings should mimic the physiological conditions to enable the obtained results to be translated to future preclinical studies. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate OPC differentiation in physiological normoxia (5% O2) and a restricted in vitro microenvironment. To evaluate the impact of the combined microenvironmental clues derived from other components of the nervous tissue, which are also influenced by the local oxygen concentration, the process of generating OPCs was additionally analyzed in organotypic hippocampal slices. The obtained results show that OPC differentiation, although significantly slowed down, proceeded correctly through its typical stages in the physiologically relevant conditions created in vitro. The established settings were also conducive to efficient cell proliferation, exerting also a neuroprotective effect by promoting the proliferation of neurons. In conclusion, the performed studies show how oxygen tension influences OPC proliferation, differentiation, and their ability to express myelin components, and should be taken into consideration while planning preclinical studies, e.g., to examine neurotoxic compounds or to test neuroprotective strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Neuroprotective Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle Visualization and Quantitative 3D Analysis of Intraocular Melanoma and Its Vascularization in a Hamster Eye
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020332
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
A tumor vasculature network undergoes intense growth and rebuilding during tumor growth. Traditionally, vascular networks are histologically examined using parameters such as vessel density determined from two-dimensional slices of the tumor. Two-dimensional probing of a complicated three-dimensional (3D) structure only provides partial information.
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A tumor vasculature network undergoes intense growth and rebuilding during tumor growth. Traditionally, vascular networks are histologically examined using parameters such as vessel density determined from two-dimensional slices of the tumor. Two-dimensional probing of a complicated three-dimensional (3D) structure only provides partial information. Therefore, we propose the use of microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) imaging to analyze the evolution of a tumor vasculature in an experimental ocular tumor model. A Bomirski Hamster Melanoma was implanted in the anterior chamber of a hamster eye. Ultrasound (US) imaging of the same tumor was performed in vivo, and the vascular results obtained using the two methods were compared. Normal ocular tissues, a tumor, and a tumor vascular structure were revealed with high accuracy using micro-CT. The vessels that grew within the tumor were chaotic, leaky, and contained many convoluted micro-vessels and embolizations. They comprised 20–38% of the tumor mass. The blood flow in the larger functional vessels was in the range from 10 to 25 mm/s, as determined by in vivo Doppler US. The micro-CT imaging of the hamster eyeball enabled both qualitative and quantitative 3D analyses of the globe at a histological level. Although the presented images were obtained ex vivo, micro-CT noninvasive imaging is being developed intensively, and high-resolution in vivo imaging is feasible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Models of Melanoma)
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Open AccessArticle Unveiling a Selective Mechanism for the Inhibition of α-Synuclein Aggregation by β-Synuclein
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020334
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
α-Synuclein (αS) is an intrinsically disordered protein that is associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) through its ability to self-assemble into oligomers and fibrils. Inhibition of this oligomerization cascade is an interesting approach to developing therapeutical strategies and β-synuclein (βS) has been described as
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α-Synuclein (αS) is an intrinsically disordered protein that is associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) through its ability to self-assemble into oligomers and fibrils. Inhibition of this oligomerization cascade is an interesting approach to developing therapeutical strategies and β-synuclein (βS) has been described as a natural negative regulator of this process. However, the biological background and molecular mechanisms by which this inhibition occurs is unclear. Herein, we focused on assessing the effect of βS on the aggregation of five αS pathological mutants linked to early-onset PD (A30P, E46K, H50Q, G51D and A53T). By coupling single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy to a cell-free protein expression system, we validated the ability of βS to act as a chaperone of αS, effectively inhibiting its aggregation. Interestingly, we found that βS does so in a selective manner, i.e., is a more effective inhibitor for certain αS pathological mutants—A30P and G51D—as compared to E46K, H50Q and A53T. Moreover, two-color coincidence experiments proved that this discrepancy is due to a preferential incorporation of βS into smaller oligomers of αS. This was validated by showing that the chaperoning effect was lost when proteins were mixed after being expressed individually. This study highlights the potential of fluorescence spectroscopy to deconstruct αS aggregation cascade and its interplay with βS. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Protein Folding)
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Open AccessArticle An in Vitro Study on the Effect of Combined Treatment with Photodynamic and Chemical Therapies on Candida albicans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020337
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Candida albicans is the most commonly encountered human fungal pathogen, and it is traditionally treated with antimicrobial chemical agents. The antimicrobial effect of these agents is largely weakened by drug resistance and biofilm-associated virulence. Enhancement of the antimicrobial activity of existing agents is
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Candida albicans is the most commonly encountered human fungal pathogen, and it is traditionally treated with antimicrobial chemical agents. The antimicrobial effect of these agents is largely weakened by drug resistance and biofilm-associated virulence. Enhancement of the antimicrobial activity of existing agents is needed for effective candidiasis treatment. Our aim was to develop a therapy that combined biofilm disruption with existing antimicrobial agents. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) utilizing curcumin and blue light was tested as an independent therapy and in combination with fluconazole treatment. Viability assays and morphology analysis were used to assess the effectiveness of C. albicans treatment. Results showed that fluconazole treatment decreased the viability of planktonic C. albicans, but the decrease was not as pronounced in adherent C. albicans because its biofilm form was markedly more resistant to the antimicrobiotic. PDT effectively eradicated C. albicans biofilms, and when combined with fluconazole, PDT significantly inhibited C. albicans to a greater extent. This study suggests that the addition of PDT to fluconazole to treat C. albicans infection enhances its effectiveness and can potentially be used clinically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Application in Life Sciences 2018)
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Open AccessArticle The Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in Estonian Bariatric Surgery Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020338
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Helicobacter pylori (Hp) is one of the most important human pathogens that can cause duodenal and gastric ulcers, gastritis and stomach cancer. Hp infection is considered to be a cause of limiting access to bariatric surgery. The aim of this study
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Helicobacter pylori (Hp) is one of the most important human pathogens that can cause duodenal and gastric ulcers, gastritis and stomach cancer. Hp infection is considered to be a cause of limiting access to bariatric surgery. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Hp in patients with obesity going into bariatric surgery and to reveal the relationship between Hp and clinical data. The study group was formed of 68 preoperative bariatric surgery patients (body mass index (BMI) 44.7 ± 4.8). Gastric biopsies (antrum and corpus) were used for histological and molecular (caqA and glmM genes) examinations. The PCR method revealed Hp infection in 64.7% of obese patients that is higher in comparison with histological analysis (55.9%). The prevalence of cagA and glmM genes in antrum mucosa was 45.6% and 47.0% while in the corpus it was 41.2% and 38.3%, respectively. The coincidence of both cagA and glmM virulence genes in the antrum and corpus mucosa was 33.8% and 22.1%, respectively. Either of the genes was found in 58.8% of antrum and 57.3% of corpus mucosa. Presence of caqA and glmM genes was in association with active and atrophic chronic gastritis. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that two thirds of morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery are infected with Hp and have a high prevalence of cagA and glmM virulence genes that points out the necessity for diagnostics and treatment of this infection before surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Helicobacter pylori Research)
Open AccessArticle Elucidating the Role of CD84 and AHR in Modulation of LPS-Induced Cytokines Production by Cruciferous Vegetable-Derived Compounds Indole-3-Carbinol and 3,3′-Diindolylmethane
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020339
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Modulation of the immune system by cancer protective food bioactives has preventive and therapeutic importance in prostate cancer, but the mechanisms remain largely unclear. The current study tests the hypothesis that the diet-derived cancer protective compounds, indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), affect the
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Modulation of the immune system by cancer protective food bioactives has preventive and therapeutic importance in prostate cancer, but the mechanisms remain largely unclear. The current study tests the hypothesis that the diet-derived cancer protective compounds, indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), affect the tumor microenvironment by regulation of inflammatory responses in monocytes and macrophages. We also ask whether I3C and DIM act through the aryl hydrocarbon (AHR)-dependent pathway or the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) family protein CD84-mediated pathway. The effect of I3C and DIM was examined using the human THP-1 monocytic cell in its un-differentiated (monocyte) and differentiated (macrophage) state. We observed that I3C and DIM inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induction of IL-1β mRNA and protein in the monocyte form but not the macrophage form of THP-1. Interestingly, CD84 mRNA but not protein was inhibited by I3C and DIM. AHR siRNA knockdown experiments confirmed that the inhibitory effects of I3C and DIM on IL-1β as well as CD84 mRNA are regulated through AHR-mediated pathways. Additionally, the AHR ligand appeared to differentially regulate other LPS-induced cytokines expression. Hence, cross-talk between AHR and inflammation-mediated pathways, but not CD84-mediated pathways, in monocytes but not macrophages may contribute to the modulation of tumor environments by I3C and DIM in prostate cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Bioactives and Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020341
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Antidepressant-like effects of ethanolic extract of Hericium erinaceus (HE) mycelium enriched in erinacine A on depressive mice challenged by repeated restraint stress (RS) were examined. HE at 100, 200 or 400 mg/kg body weight/day was orally given to mice for four weeks. After
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Antidepressant-like effects of ethanolic extract of Hericium erinaceus (HE) mycelium enriched in erinacine A on depressive mice challenged by repeated restraint stress (RS) were examined. HE at 100, 200 or 400 mg/kg body weight/day was orally given to mice for four weeks. After two weeks of HE administration, all mice except the control group went through with 14 days of RS protocol. Stressed mice exhibited various behavioral alterations, such as extending immobility time in the tail suspension test (TST) and forced swimming test (FST), and increasing the number of entries in open arm (POAE) and the time spent in the open arm (PTOA). Moreover, the levels of norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) were decreased in the stressed mice, while the levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were increased. These changes were significantly inverted by the administration of HE, especially at the dose of 200 or 400 mg/kg body weight/day. Additionally, HE was shown to activate the BDNF/TrkB/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β pathways and block the NF-κB signals in mice. Taken together, erinacine A-enriched HE mycelium could reverse the depressive-like behavior caused by RS and was accompanied by the modulation of monoamine neurotransmitters as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines, and regulation of BDNF pathways. Therefore, erinacine A-enriched HE mycelium could be an attractive agent for the treatment of depressive disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle Molecular Understanding of the Activation of CB1 and Blockade of TRPV1 Receptors: Implications for Novel Treatment Strategies in Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020342
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease in which cartilage degenerates as a result of mechanical and biochemical changes. The main OA symptom is chronic pain involving both peripheral and central mechanisms of nociceptive processing. Our previous studies have implicated the benefits of dual-
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease in which cartilage degenerates as a result of mechanical and biochemical changes. The main OA symptom is chronic pain involving both peripheral and central mechanisms of nociceptive processing. Our previous studies have implicated the benefits of dual- over single-acting compounds interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in OA treatment. In the present study, we focused on the specific molecular alterations associated with pharmacological treatment. OA was induced in Wistar rats by intra-articular injection of 3 mg of monoiodoacetate (MIA). Single target compounds (URB597, an FAAH inhibitor, and SB366791, a TRPV1 antagonist) and a dual-acting compound OMDM198 (FAAH inhibitor/TRPV1 antagonist) were used in the present study. At day 21 post-MIA injection, rats were sacrificed 1 h after i.p. treatment, and changes in mRNA expression were evaluated in the lumbar spinal cord by RT-qPCR. Following MIA administration, we observed 2-4-fold increase in mRNA expression of targeted receptors (Cnr1, Cnr2, and Trpv1), endocannabinoid degradation enzymes (Faah, Ptgs2, and Alox12), and TRPV1 sensitizing kinases (Mapk3, Mapk14, Prkcg, and Prkaca). OMDM198 treatment reversed some of the MIA effects on the spinal cord towards intact levels (Alox12, Mapk14, and Prkcg). Apparent regulation of ECS and TRPV1 in response to pharmacological intervention is a strong justification for novel ECS-based multi-target drug treatment in OA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabinoid Signaling in Nervous System)
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Open AccessArticle Disrupting the Btk Pathway Suppresses COPD-Like Lung Alterations in Atherosclerosis Prone ApoE−/− Mice Following Regular Exposure to Cigarette Smoke
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020343
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with severe chronic inflammation that promotes irreversible tissue destruction. Moreover, the most broadly accepted cause of COPD is exposure to cigarette smoke. There is no effective cure and significantly, the mechanism behind the development and progression
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with severe chronic inflammation that promotes irreversible tissue destruction. Moreover, the most broadly accepted cause of COPD is exposure to cigarette smoke. There is no effective cure and significantly, the mechanism behind the development and progression of this disease remains unknown. Our laboratory has demonstrated that Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a critical regulator of pro-inflammatory processes in the lungs and that Btk controls expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in the alveolar compartment. For this study apolipoprotein E null (ApoE−/−) mice were exposed to SHS to facilitate study in a COPD/atherosclerosis comorbidity model. We applied two types of treatments, animals received either a pharmacological inhibitor of Btk or MMP-9 specific siRNA to minimize MMP-9 expression in endothelial cells or neutrophils. We have shown that these treatments had a protective effect in the lung. We have noted a decrease in alveolar changes related to SHS induced inflammation in treated animals. In summary, we are presenting a novel concept in the field of COPD, i.e., that Btk may be a new drug target for this disease. Moreover, cell specific targeting of MMP-9 may also benefit patients affected by this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Diseases: Chronic Respiratory Infections)
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Open AccessArticle Lycopene Attenuates Tulathromycin and Diclofenac Sodium-Induced Cardiotoxicity in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020344
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Recent experiments showed a potential cardiotoxic effect of the macrolide antibiotic (tulathromycin). This study was performed to investigate whether diclofenac sodium (DFS) potentiates the cardiotoxicity of tulathromycin and increases the cardioprotective effects of lycopene against DFS and tulathromycin. Seven groups (eight per group)
[...] Read more.
Recent experiments showed a potential cardiotoxic effect of the macrolide antibiotic (tulathromycin). This study was performed to investigate whether diclofenac sodium (DFS) potentiates the cardiotoxicity of tulathromycin and increases the cardioprotective effects of lycopene against DFS and tulathromycin. Seven groups (eight per group) of adult Swiss albino mice received saline (control), tulathromycin (a single subcutaneous dose of 28 mg/kg/bw on day 14), DFS (a single oral dose of 100 mg/kg/bw on day 14), tulathromycin plus DFS, or lycopene (oral, 10 mg/kg/bw daily for 15 d) combined with tulathromycin, DFS, or both. Compared to the control group, the administration of tulathromycin or DFS (individually or in combination) caused significantly elevated (p < 0.05) serum levels of Creatine kinase-myocardial B fraction (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase, and cardiac-specific troponin-T and tissue levels of nitric oxide and malondialdehyde that were accompanied by significantly decreased tissue reduced glutathione content and glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase antioxidant enzyme activity. Upon histopathological and immunohistochemical examination, the mean pathology scores and the percentages of caspase-3-, Bax-, and CK-positive regions were significantly higher in the tulathromycin- and/or DFS-treated groups than in control mice. For all these parameters, the pathological changes were more significant in the tulathromycin–DFS combination group than in mice treated with either drug individually. Interestingly, co-administration of lycopene with tulathromycin and/or DFS significantly ameliorated the changes described above. In conclusion, DFS could potentiate the cardiotoxic effects of tulathromycin, whereas lycopene can serve as a cardioprotective agent against DFS and tulathromycin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Mechanism of Action of Food Components in Disease Prevention 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Deciphering the Functional Composition of Fusogenic Liposomes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020346
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Cationic liposomes are frequently used as carrier particles for nucleic acid delivery. The most popular formulation is the equimolar mixture of two components, a cationic lipid and a neutral phosphoethanolamine. Its uptake pathway has been described as endocytosis. The presence of an aromatic
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Cationic liposomes are frequently used as carrier particles for nucleic acid delivery. The most popular formulation is the equimolar mixture of two components, a cationic lipid and a neutral phosphoethanolamine. Its uptake pathway has been described as endocytosis. The presence of an aromatic molecule as a third component strongly influences the cellular uptake process and results in complete membrane fusion instead of endocytosis. Here, we systematically varied all three components of this lipid mixture and determined how efficiently the resulting particles fused with the plasma membrane of living mammalian cells. Our results show that an aromatic molecule and a cationic lipid component with conical molecular shape are essential for efficient fusion induction. While a neutral lipid is not mandatory, it can be used to control fusion efficiency and, in the most extreme case, to revert the uptake mechanism back to endocytosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Fusion)
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Open AccessArticle Cytoprotective Mechanisms in Fatty Liver Preservation against Cold Ischemia Injury: A Comparison between IGL-1 and HTK
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020348
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Institute Goeorges Lopez 1 (IGL-1) and Histidine-Tryptophan-Ketoglutarate (HTK) preservation solutions are regularly used in clinical for liver transplantation besides University of Wisconsin (UW) solution and Celsior. Several clinical trials and experimental works have been carried out comparing all the solutions, however the comparative
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Institute Goeorges Lopez 1 (IGL-1) and Histidine-Tryptophan-Ketoglutarate (HTK) preservation solutions are regularly used in clinical for liver transplantation besides University of Wisconsin (UW) solution and Celsior. Several clinical trials and experimental works have been carried out comparing all the solutions, however the comparative IGL-1 and HTK appraisals are poor; especially when they deal with the underlying protection mechanisms of the fatty liver graft during cold storage. Fatty livers from male obese Zücker rats were conserved for 24 h at 4 °C in IGL-1 or HTK preservation solutions. After organ recovery and rinsing of fatty liver grafts with Ringer Lactate solution, we measured the changes in mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling activation, liver autophagy markers (Beclin-1, Beclin-2, LC3B and ATG7) and apoptotic markers (caspase 3, caspase 9 and TUNEL). These determinations were correlated with the prevention of liver injury (aspartate and alanine aminostransferase (AST/ALT), histology) and mitochondrial damage (glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH) and confocal microscopy findings). Liver grafts preserved in IGL-1 solution showed a marked reduction on p-TOR/mTOR ratio when compared to HTK. This was concomitant with significant increased cyto-protective autophagy and prevention of liver apoptosis, including inflammatory cytokines such as HMGB1. Together, our results revealed that IGL-1 preservation solution better protected fatty liver grafts against cold ischemia damage than HTK solution. IGL-1 protection was associated with a reduced liver damage, higher induced autophagy and decreased apoptosis. All these effects would contribute to limit the subsequent extension of reperfusion injury after graft revascularization in liver transplantation procedures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Workers’ Exposure to Nano-Objects with Different Dimensionalities in R&D Laboratories: Measurement Strategy and Field Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020349
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
With the increasing interest in the potential benefits of nanotechnologies, concern is still growing that they may present emerging risks for workers. Various strategies have been developed to assess the exposure to nano-objects and their agglomerates and aggregates (NOAA) in the workplace, integrating
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With the increasing interest in the potential benefits of nanotechnologies, concern is still growing that they may present emerging risks for workers. Various strategies have been developed to assess the exposure to nano-objects and their agglomerates and aggregates (NOAA) in the workplace, integrating different aerosol measurement instruments and taking into account multiple parameters that may influence NOAA toxicity. The present study proposes a multi-metric approach for measuring and sampling NOAA in the workplace, applied to three case studies in laboratories each dedicated to materials with different shapes and dimensionalities: graphene, nanowires, and nanoparticles. The study is part of a larger project with the aim of improving risk management tools in nanomaterials research laboratories. The harmonized methodology proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been applied, including information gathering about materials and processes, measurements with easy-to-use and hand-held real-time devices, air sampling with personal samplers, and off-line analysis using scanning electron microscopy. Significant values beyond which an emission can be attributed to the NOAA production process were identified by comparison of the particle number concentration (PNC) time series and the corresponding background levels in the three laboratories. We explored the relations between background PNC and microclimatic parameters. Morphological and elemental analysis of sampled filters was done to identify possible emission sources of NOAA during the production processes: rare particles, spherical, with average diameter similar to the produced NOAA were identified in the nanoparticles laboratory, so further investigation is recommended to confirm the potential for worker exposure. In conclusion, the information obtained should provide a valuable basis for improving risk management strategies in the laboratory at work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology and Nanosafety)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Digital Gene Expression Analysis of Tissue-Cultured Plantlets of Highly Resistant and Susceptible Banana Cultivars in Response to Fusarium oxysporum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020350
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
PDF Full-text (2541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Banana Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) is one of the most destructive soil-borne diseases. In this study, young tissue-cultured plantlets of banana (Musa spp. AAA) cultivars differing in Foc susceptibility were used to reveal their
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Banana Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) is one of the most destructive soil-borne diseases. In this study, young tissue-cultured plantlets of banana (Musa spp. AAA) cultivars differing in Foc susceptibility were used to reveal their differential responses to this pathogen using digital gene expression (DGE). Data were evaluated by various bioinformatic tools (Venn diagrams, gene ontology (GO) annotation and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses) and immunofluorescence labelling method to support the identification of gene candidates determining the resistance of banana against Foc. Interestingly, we have identified MaWRKY50 as an important gene involved in both constitutive and induced resistance. We also identified new genes involved in the resistance of banana to Foc, including several other transcription factors (TFs), pathogenesis-related (PR) genes and some genes related to the plant cell wall biosynthesis or degradation (e.g., pectinesterases, β-glucosidases, xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase and endoglucanase). The resistant banana cultivar shows activation of PR-3 and PR-4 genes as well as formation of different constitutive cell barriers to restrict spreading of the pathogen. These data suggest new mechanisms of banana resistance to Foc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid Protects against the Effects of P-Cresol-Induced Reactive Oxygen Species via the Expression of Cellular Prion Protein
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020352
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could be a promising solution in the treatment of various diseases including chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induced by ischemia in the area of application limits the integration and survival of MSCs in patients. In
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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could be a promising solution in the treatment of various diseases including chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induced by ischemia in the area of application limits the integration and survival of MSCs in patients. In our study, we generated ER stress-induced conditions in MSCs using P-cresol. As P-cresol is a toxic compound accumulated in the body of CKD patients and induces apoptosis and inflammation through reactive oxygen species (ROS), we observed ER stress-induced MSC apoptosis activated by oxidative stress, which in turn resulted from ROS generation. To overcome stress-induced apoptosis, we investigated the protective effects of tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), a bile acid, on ER stress in MSCs. In ER stress, TUDCA treatment of MSCs reduced ER stress-associated protein activation, including GRP78, PERK, eIF2α, ATF4, IRE1α, and CHOP. Next, to explore the protective mechanism adopted by TUDCA, TUDCA-mediated cellular prion protein (PrPC) activation was assessed. We confirmed that PrPC expression significantly increased ROS, which was eliminated by superoxide dismutase and catalase in MSCs. These findings suggest that TUDCA protects from inflammation and apoptosis in ER stress via PrPC expression. Our study demonstrates that TUDCA protects MSCs against inflammation and apoptosis in ER stress by PrPC expression in response to P-cresol exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Mitochondrial BK Channel Openers CGS7181 and CGS7184 Exhibit Cytotoxic Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020353
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Potassium channel openers (KCOs) have been shown to play a role in cytoprotection through the activation of mitochondrial potassium channels. Recently, in several reports, a number of data has been described as off-target actions for KCOs. In the present study, we investigated the
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Potassium channel openers (KCOs) have been shown to play a role in cytoprotection through the activation of mitochondrial potassium channels. Recently, in several reports, a number of data has been described as off-target actions for KCOs. In the present study, we investigated the effects of BKCa channel openers CGS7181, CGS7184, NS1619, and NS004 in neuronal cells. For the purpose of this research, we used a rat brain, the mouse hippocampal HT22 cells, and the human astrocytoma U-87 MG cell line. We showed that CGS7184 activated the mitochondrial BKCa (mitoBKCa) channel in single-channel recordings performed on astrocytoma mitoplasts. Moreover, when applied to the rat brain homogenate or isolated rat brain mitochondria, CGS7184 increased the oxygen consumption rate, and can thus be considered a potentially cytoprotective agent. However, experiments on intact neuronal HT22 cells revealed that both CGS7181 and CGS7184 induced HT22 cell death in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. By contrast, we did not observe cell death when NS1619 or NS004 was applied. CGS7184 toxicity was not abolished by BKCa channel inhibitors, suggesting that the observed effects were independent of a BKCa-type channel activity. CGS7184 treatment resulted in an increase of cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration that likely involved efflux from internal calcium stores and the activation of calpains (calcium-dependent proteases). The cytotoxic effect of the channel opener was partially reversed by a calpain inhibitor. Our data show that KCOs under study not only activate mitoBKCa channels from brain tissue, but also induce cell death when used in cellular models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Transporters and Channels in Physiology and Pathophysiology)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Varying Degree of MWCNT Carboxylation on Bioactivity in Various In Vivo and In Vitro Exposure Models
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020354
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Functionalization has been shown to alter toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) in several studies. This study varied the degree of functionalization (viz., amount of MWCNT surface carboxylation) to define the relationship between the extent of carboxylation and effects in a variety of
[...] Read more.
Functionalization has been shown to alter toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) in several studies. This study varied the degree of functionalization (viz., amount of MWCNT surface carboxylation) to define the relationship between the extent of carboxylation and effects in a variety of in vitro cell models and short-term ex vivo/in vivo particle exposures. Studies with vitamin D3 plus phorbol ester transformed THP-1 macrophages demonstrated that functionalization, regardless of amount, corresponded with profoundly decreased NLRP3 inflammasome activation. However, all MWCNT variants were slightly toxic in this model. Alternatively, studies with A549 epithelial cells showed some varied effects. For example, IL-33 and TNF-α release were related to varying amounts of functionalization. For in vivo particle exposures, autophagy of alveolar macrophages, measured using green fluorescent protein (GFP)- fused-LC3 transgenic mice, increased for all MWCNT tested three days after exposure, but, by Day 7, autophagy was clearly dependent on the amount of carboxylation. The instilled source MWCNT continued to produce cellular injury in alveolar macrophages over seven days. In contrast, the more functionalized MWCNT initially showed similar effects, but reduced over time. Dark-field imaging showed the more functionalized MWCNTs were distributed more uniformly throughout the lung and not isolated to macrophages. Taken together, the results indicated that in vitro and in vivo bioactivity of MWCNT decreased with increased carboxylation. Functionalization by carboxylation eliminated the bioactive potential of the MWCNT in the exposure models tested. The observation that maximally functionalized MWCNT distribute more freely throughout the lung with the absence of cellular damage, and extended deposition, may establish a practical use for these particles as a safer alternative for unmodified MWCNT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macrophages in Inflammation)
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Open AccessArticle The Anti-Stress Effect of Mentha arvensis in Immobilized Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020355
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Stress can lead to inflammation, accelerated aging, and some chronic diseases condition. Mentha arvensis (MA) is a traditional medicine having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The present study investigated the anti-stress role of MA and fermented MA (FMA) extract in immobilized rats. We studied
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Stress can lead to inflammation, accelerated aging, and some chronic diseases condition. Mentha arvensis (MA) is a traditional medicine having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The present study investigated the anti-stress role of MA and fermented MA (FMA) extract in immobilized rats. We studied the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation in RAW 264.7 cells and rats were immobilized for 2 h per day for 14 days using a restraining cage. MA (100 mg/kg) and FMA (100 mg/kg) were orally administered to rats 1 h prior to immobilization. Using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis, we determined the rosmarinic acid content of MA and FMA. The generation of malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) in RAW 246.7 cells were suppressed by both MA and FMA. In rats, MA and FMA notably improved the body weight, daily food intake, and duodenum histology. MDA and NO level were gradually decreased by MA and FMA treatment. MA and FMA significantly controlled the stress-related hormones by decreasing corticosterone and β-endorphin and increasing serotonin level. Moreover, protein expression levels of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) were markedly downregulated by MA and FMA. Taken together, MA and FMA could ameliorate immobilized-stress by reducing oxidative stress, regulating stress-related hormones, and MAPK/COX-2 signaling pathways in rats. Particularly, FMA has shown greater anti-stress activities than MA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle Genotyping by Sequencing Highlights a Polygenic Resistance to Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum in Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020357
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Eggplant cultivation is limited by numerous diseases, including the devastating bacterial wilt (BW) caused by the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC). Within the RSSC, Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum (including phylotypes I and III) causes severe damage to all solanaceous crops, including eggplant. Therefore, the creation
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Eggplant cultivation is limited by numerous diseases, including the devastating bacterial wilt (BW) caused by the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC). Within the RSSC, Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum (including phylotypes I and III) causes severe damage to all solanaceous crops, including eggplant. Therefore, the creation of cultivars resistant to R. pseudosolanacearum strains is a major goal for breeders. An intraspecific eggplant population, segregating for resistance, was created from the cross between the susceptible MM738 and the resistant EG203 lines. The population of 123 doubled haploid lines was challenged with two strains belonging to phylotypes I (PSS4) and III (R3598), which both bypass the published EBWR9 BW-resistance quantitative trait locus (QTL). Ten and three QTLs of resistance to PSS4 and to R3598, respectively, were detected and mapped. All were strongly influenced by environmental conditions. The most stable QTLs were found on chromosomes 3 and 6. Given their estimated physical position, these newly detected QTLs are putatively syntenic with BW-resistance QTLs in tomato. In particular, the QTLs’ position on chromosome 6 overlaps with that of the major broad-spectrum tomato resistance QTL Bwr-6. The present study is a first step towards understanding the complex polygenic system, which underlies the high level of BW resistance of the EG203 line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Defense Genes Against Biotic Stresses)
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Open AccessArticle Aging Donor-Derived Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Exhibit Reduced Reactive Oxygen Species Loads and Increased Differentiation Potential Following Serial Expansion on a PEG-PCL Copolymer Substrate
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020359
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have been widely studied for therapeutic development in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. They can be harvested from human donors via tissue biopsies, such as bone marrow aspiration, and cultured to reach clinically relevant cell numbers. However, an
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Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have been widely studied for therapeutic development in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. They can be harvested from human donors via tissue biopsies, such as bone marrow aspiration, and cultured to reach clinically relevant cell numbers. However, an unmet issue lies in the fact that the hMSC donors for regenerative therapies are more likely to be of advanced age. Their stem cells are not as potent compared to those of young donors, and continue to lose healthy, stemness-related activities when the hMSCs are serially passaged in tissue culture plates. Here, we have developed a cheap, scalable, and effective copolymer film to culture hMSCs obtained from aged human donors over several passages without loss of reactive oxygen species (ROS) handling or differentiation capacity. Assays of cell morphology, reactive oxygen species load, and differentiation potential demonstrate the effectiveness of copolymer culture on reduction in senescence-related activities of aging donor-derived hMSCs that could hinder the therapeutic potential of autologous stem cell therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering 2018)
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Open AccessArticle A Pilot Study of Stress System Activation in Children Enrolled in a Targeted Prevention Program: Implications for Personalization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020361
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Empirically validated interventions addressing childhood psychological problems are now readily available, but success likely depends in part on accurately identifying which children will benefit from which intervention. This pilot study examined the stress activation and response system, first as a way to differentiate
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Empirically validated interventions addressing childhood psychological problems are now readily available, but success likely depends in part on accurately identifying which children will benefit from which intervention. This pilot study examined the stress activation and response system, first as a way to differentiate high versus low-risk children, and second to explore indicators of the stress system associated with favorable intervention response. Method. Participants (N = 43, 58% male) were school-aged children who qualified for inclusion in the Early Risers “Skills for Success” Prevention Program based on their elevated levels of aggressive and/or socially withdrawn behavior and a normally developing comparison group. Compared to the normally developing group, children who were participants in the intervention exhibited a more blunted cortisol response to the stress paradigm. However, for the children in the intervention group, elevated cortisol levels at the start of the stress paradigm were concurrently associated with internalizing problems and predictive of improvement in internalizing problems over time. These findings provide preliminary evidence that hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis biological variables may be helpful tools for identifying children who would benefit from intervention and personalizing interventions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Acidic Chitinase-Chitin Complex Is Dissociated in a Competitive Manner by Acetic Acid: Purification of Natural Enzyme for Supplementation Purposes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020362
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Acidic chitinase (Chia) has been implicated in asthma, allergic inflammations, and food processing. We have purified Chia enzymes with striking acid stability and protease resistance from chicken and pig stomach tissues using a chitin column and 8 M urea (urea-Chia). Here, we report
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Acidic chitinase (Chia) has been implicated in asthma, allergic inflammations, and food processing. We have purified Chia enzymes with striking acid stability and protease resistance from chicken and pig stomach tissues using a chitin column and 8 M urea (urea-Chia). Here, we report that acetic acid is a suitable agent for native Chia purification from the stomach tissues using a chitin column (acetic acid-Chia). Chia protein can be eluted from a chitin column using 0.1 M acetic acid (pH 2.8), but not by using Gly-HCl (pH 2.5) or sodium acetate (pH 4.0 or 5.5). The melting temperatures of Chia are not affected substantially in the elution buffers, as assessed by differential scanning fluorimetry. Interestingly, acetic acid appears to be more effective for Chia-chitin dissociation than do other organic acids with similar structures. We propose a novel concept of this dissociation based on competitive interaction between chitin and acetic acid rather than on acid denaturation. Acetic acid-Chia also showed similar chitinolytic activity to urea-Chia, indicating that Chia is extremely stable against acid, proteases, and denaturing agents. Both acetic acid- and urea-Chia seem to have good potential for supplementation or compensatory purposes in agriculture or even biomedicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Ethanol Extract of Oldenlandia diffusa Herba Attenuates Scopolamine-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Mice via Activation of BDNF, P-CREB and Inhibition of Acetylcholinesterase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020363
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Though Oldenlandia diffusa Herba (ODH) has been known to exhibit anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, its anti-amnestic effect has never been reported so far. The aim of this present study was to elucidate the anti-amnestic effect of ODH. ODH pretreatment significantly reduced escape latency
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Though Oldenlandia diffusa Herba (ODH) has been known to exhibit anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, its anti-amnestic effect has never been reported so far. The aim of this present study was to elucidate the anti-amnestic effect of ODH. ODH pretreatment significantly reduced escape latency of scopolamine treated Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice compared to untreated control groups in a Morris water maze test. Similarly, the passive avoidance test showed that ODH treatment recovered the scopolamine induced amnesia in the ICR mouse model. Concentration of Ach in brains of ODH treated mice was increased compared to that of scopolamine treated mice. In addition, activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) was notably decreased by ODH. The protein expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and phospho-cAMP response element-binding protein (p-CREB) (Ser133) was increased in ODH pretreated group compared to control group. Consistently, immunohistochemistry (IHC) revealed the elevated expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and p-CREB in brains of ODH treated mice compared to the control group. Overall, these findings suggest that ODH has anti-amnestic potential via activation of BDNF and p-CREB and inhibition of AChE in mice with scopolamine induced amnesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle Inadequate Dietary Phosphorus Levels Cause Skeletal Anomalies and Alter Osteocalcin Gene Expression in Zebrafish
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020364
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Phosphorus (P) is an essential mineral for the development and maintenance of the vertebrate skeletal system. Modulation of P levels is believed to influence metabolism and the physiological responses of gene expression. In this study, we investigated the influence of dietary P on
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Phosphorus (P) is an essential mineral for the development and maintenance of the vertebrate skeletal system. Modulation of P levels is believed to influence metabolism and the physiological responses of gene expression. In this study, we investigated the influence of dietary P on skeletal deformities and osteocalcin gene expression in zebrafish (Danio rerio), and sought to determine appropriate levels in a diet. We analyzed a total of 450 zebrafish within 31 days of hatching. Animals were distributed in a completely randomized experimental design that consisted of five replications. After an eight-week experiment, fish were diaphanized to evaluate cranial and spinal bone deformities. Increases in dietary phosphorus were inversely proportional to the occurrence of partial spine fusions, the absence of spine fusions, absence of parallelism between spines, intervertebral spacing, vertebral compression, scoliosis, lordosis, ankylosis, fin caudal insertion, and craniofacial deformities. Additionally, osteocalcin expression was inversely correlated to P levels, suggesting a physiological recovery response for bone mineralization deficiency. Our data showed that dietary P concentration was a critical factor in the occurrence of zebrafish skeletal abnormalities. We concluded that 1.55% P in the diet significantly reduces the appearance of skeletal deformities and favors adequate bone mineralization through the adjustment of osteocalcin expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Size-Dependent Affinity of Glycine and Its Short Oligomers to Pyrite Surface: A Model for Prebiotic Accumulation of Amino Acid Oligomers on a Mineral Surface
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020365
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
The interaction strength of progressively longer oligomers of glycine, (Gly), di-Gly, tri-Gly, and penta-Gly, with a natural pyrite surface was directly measured using the force mode of an atomic force microscope (AFM). In recent years, selective activation of abiotically formed amino acids on
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The interaction strength of progressively longer oligomers of glycine, (Gly), di-Gly, tri-Gly, and penta-Gly, with a natural pyrite surface was directly measured using the force mode of an atomic force microscope (AFM). In recent years, selective activation of abiotically formed amino acids on mineral surfaces, especially that of pyrite, has been proposed as an important step in many origins of life scenarios. To investigate such notions, we used AFM-based force measurements to probe possible non-covalent interactions between pyrite and amino acids, starting from the simplest amino acid, Gly. Although Gly itself interacted with the pyrite surface only weakly, progressively larger unbinding forces and binding frequencies were obtained using oligomers from di-Gly to penta-Gly. In addition to an expected increase of the configurational entropy and size-dependent van der Waals force, the increasing number of polar peptide bonds, among others, may be responsible for this observation. The effect of chain length was also investigated by performing similar experiments using l-lysine vs. poly-l-lysine (PLL), and l-glutamic acid vs. poly-l-glutamic acid. The results suggest that longer oligomers/polymers of amino acids can be preferentially adsorbed on pyrite surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atomic Force Microscopy for Biological Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Protection Associated with Intermittent Hypobaric Hypoxia Exposure in a Rat Model: Role of Oxidative Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020366
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
More than 140 million people live and works (in a chronic or intermittent form) above 2500 m worldwide and 35 million live in the Andean Mountains. Furthermore, in Chile, it is estimated that 55,000 persons work in high altitude shifts, where stays at
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More than 140 million people live and works (in a chronic or intermittent form) above 2500 m worldwide and 35 million live in the Andean Mountains. Furthermore, in Chile, it is estimated that 55,000 persons work in high altitude shifts, where stays at lowlands and interspersed with working stays at highlands. Acute exposure to high altitude has been shown to induce oxidative stress in healthy human lowlanders, due to an increase in free radical formation and a decrease in antioxidant capacity. However, in animal models, intermittent hypoxia (IH) induce preconditioning, like responses and cardioprotection. Here, we aimed to describe in a rat model the responses on cardiac and vascular function to 4 cycles of intermittent hypobaric hypoxia (IHH). Twelve adult Wistar rats were randomly divided into two equal groups, a four-cycle of IHH, and a normobaric hypoxic control. Intermittent hypoxia was induced in a hypobaric chamber in four continuous cycles (1 cycle = 4 days hypoxia + 4 days normoxia), reaching a barometric pressure equivalent to 4600 m of altitude (428 Torr). At the end of the first and fourth cycle, cardiac structural, and functional variables were determined by echocardiography. Thereafter, ex vivo vascular function and biomechanical properties were determined in femoral arteries by wire myography. We further measured cardiac oxidative stress biomarkers (4-Hydroxy-nonenal, HNE; nytrotirosine, NT), reactive oxygen species (ROS) sources (NADPH and mitochondrial), and antioxidant enzymes activity (catalase, CAT; glutathione peroxidase, GPx, and superoxide dismutase, SOD). Our results show a higher ejection and shortening fraction of the left ventricle function by the end of the 4th cycle. Further, femoral vessels showed an improvement of vasodilator capacity and diminished stiffening. Cardiac tissue presented a higher expression of antioxidant enzymes and mitochondrial ROS formation in IHH, as compared with normobaric hypoxic controls. IHH exposure determines a preconditioning effect on the heart and femoral artery, both at structural and functional levels, associated with the induction of antioxidant defence mechanisms. However, mitochondrial ROS generation was increased in cardiac tissue. These findings suggest that initial states of IHH are beneficial for cardiovascular function and protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation to Chronic Hypoxia: The Last Word Has Not yet Been Said)
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Open AccessArticle Skeleton-Controlled pDNA Delivery of Renewable Steroid-Based Cationic Lipids, the Endocytosis Pathway Analysis and Intracellular Localization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020369
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Using renewable and biocompatible natural-based resources to construct functional biomaterials has attracted great attention in recent years. In this work, we successfully prepared a series of steroid-based cationic lipids by integrating various steroid skeletons/hydrophobes with (l-)-arginine headgroups via facile and efficient
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Using renewable and biocompatible natural-based resources to construct functional biomaterials has attracted great attention in recent years. In this work, we successfully prepared a series of steroid-based cationic lipids by integrating various steroid skeletons/hydrophobes with (l-)-arginine headgroups via facile and efficient synthetic approach. The plasmid DNA (pDNA) binding affinity of the steroid-based cationic lipids, average particle sizes, surface potentials, morphologies and stability of the steroid-based cationic lipids/pDNA lipoplexes were disclosed to depend largely on the steroid skeletons. Cellular evaluation results revealed that cytotoxicity and gene transfection efficiency of the steroid-based cationic lipids in H1299 and HeLa cells strongly relied on the steroid hydrophobes. Interestingly, the steroid lipids/pDNA lipoplexes inclined to enter H1299 cells mainly through caveolae and lipid-raft mediated endocytosis pathways, and an intracellular trafficking route of “lipid-raft-mediated endocytosis→lysosome→cell nucleic localization” was accordingly proposed. The study provided possible approach for developing high-performance steroid-based lipid gene carriers, in which the cytotoxicity, gene transfection capability, endocytosis pathways, and intracellular trafficking/localization manners could be tuned/controlled by introducing proper steroid skeletons/hydrophobes. Noteworthy, among the lipids, Cho-Arg showed remarkably high gene transfection efficacy, even under high serum concentration (50% fetal bovine serum), making it an efficient gene transfection agent for practical application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Cyclic Dynamic Compressive Loading on Chondrocytes and Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Co-Cultured in Highly Elastic Cryogel Scaffolds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020370
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
In this study, we first used gelatin/chondroitin-6-sulfate/hyaluronan/chitosan highly elastic cryogels, which showed total recovery from large strains during repeated compression cycles, as 3D scaffolds to study the effects of cyclic dynamic compressive loading on chondrocyte gene expression and extracellular matrix (ECM) production. Dynamic
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In this study, we first used gelatin/chondroitin-6-sulfate/hyaluronan/chitosan highly elastic cryogels, which showed total recovery from large strains during repeated compression cycles, as 3D scaffolds to study the effects of cyclic dynamic compressive loading on chondrocyte gene expression and extracellular matrix (ECM) production. Dynamic culture of porcine chondrocytes was studied at 1 Hz, 10% to 40% strain and 1 to 9 h/day stimulation duration, in a mechanical-driven multi-chamber bioreactor for 14 days. From the experimental results, we could identify the optimum dynamic culture condition (20% and 3 h/day) to enhance the chondrocytic phenotype of chondrocytes from the expression of marker (Col I, Col II, Col X, TNF-α, TGF-β1 and IGF-1) genes by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reactions (qRT-PCR) and production of ECM (GAGs and Col II) by biochemical analysis and immunofluorescence staining. With up-regulated growth factor (TGF-β1 and IGF-1) genes, co-culture of chondrocytes with porcine adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) was employed to facilitate chondrogenic differentiation of ASCs during dynamic culture in cryogel scaffolds. By replacing half of the chondrocytes with ASCs during co-culture, we could obtain similar production of ECM (GAGs and Col II) and expression of Col II, but reduced expression of Col I, Col X and TNF-α. Subcutaneous implantation of cells/scaffold constructs in nude mice after mono-culture (chondrocytes or ASCs) or co-culture (chondrocytes + ASCs) and subject to static or dynamic culture condition in vitro for 14 days was tested for tissue-engineering applications. The constructs were retrieved 8 weeks post-implantation for histological analysis by Alcian blue, Safranin O and Col II immunohistochemical staining. The most abundant ectopic cartilage tissue was found for the chondrocytes and chondrocytes + ASCs groups using dynamic culture, which showed similar neo-cartilage formation capability with half of the chondrocytes replaced by ASCs for co-culture. This combined co-culture/dynamic culture strategy is expected to cut down the amount of donor chondrocytes needed for cartilage-tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Science)
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Open AccessArticle Frame-Insensitive Expression Cloning of Fluorescent Protein from Scolionema suvaense
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020371
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Expression cloning from cDNA is an important technique for acquiring genes encoding novel fluorescent proteins. However, the probability of in-frame cDNA insertion following the first start codon of the vector is normally only 1/3, which is a cause of low cloning efficiency. To
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Expression cloning from cDNA is an important technique for acquiring genes encoding novel fluorescent proteins. However, the probability of in-frame cDNA insertion following the first start codon of the vector is normally only 1/3, which is a cause of low cloning efficiency. To overcome this issue, we developed a new expression plasmid vector, pRSET-TriEX, in which transcriptional slippage was induced by introducing a DNA sequence of (dT)14 next to the first start codon of pRSET. The effectiveness of frame-insensitive cloning was validated by inserting the gene encoding eGFP with all three possible frames to the vector. After transformation with one of these plasmids, E. coli cells expressed eGFP with no significant difference in the expression level. The pRSET-TriEX vector was then used for expression cloning of a novel fluorescent protein from Scolionema suvaense. We screened 3658 E. coli colonies transformed with pRSET-TriEX containing Scolionema suvaense cDNA, and found one colony expressing a novel green fluorescent protein, ScSuFP. The highest score in protein sequence similarity was 42% with the chain c of multi-domain green fluorescent protein like protein “ember” from Anthoathecata sp. Variations in the N- and/or C-terminal sequence of ScSuFP compared to other fluorescent proteins indicate that the expression cloning, rather than the sequence similarity-based methods, was crucial for acquiring the gene encoding ScSuFP. The absorption maximum was at 498 nm, with an extinction efficiency of 1.17 × 105 M−1·cm−1. The emission maximum was at 511 nm and the fluorescence quantum yield was determined to be 0.6. Pseudo-native gel electrophoresis showed that the protein forms obligatory homodimers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Proteins)
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Open AccessArticle Poly-N-Acetyllactosamine Neo-Glycoproteins as Nanomolar Ligands of Human Galectin-3: Binding Kinetics and Modeling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020372
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is recognized as a prognostic marker in several cancer types. Its involvement in tumor development and proliferation makes this lectin a promising target for early cancer diagnosis and anti-cancer therapies. Gal-3 recognizes poly-N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc)-based carbohydrate motifs of glycoproteins and
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Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is recognized as a prognostic marker in several cancer types. Its involvement in tumor development and proliferation makes this lectin a promising target for early cancer diagnosis and anti-cancer therapies. Gal-3 recognizes poly-N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc)-based carbohydrate motifs of glycoproteins and glycolipids with a high specificity for internal LacNAc epitopes. This study analyzes the mode and kinetics of binding of Gal-3 to a series of multivalent neo-glycoproteins presenting complex poly-LacNAc-based oligosaccharide ligands on a scaffold of bovine serum albumin. These neo-glycoproteins rank among the strongest Gal-3 ligands reported, with Kd reaching sub-nanomolar values as determined by surface plasmon resonance. Significant differences in the binding kinetics were observed within the ligand series, showing the tetrasaccharide capped with N,N′-diacetyllactosamine (LacdiNAc) as the strongest ligand of Gal-3 in this study. A molecular model of the Gal-3 carbohydrate recognition domain with docked oligosaccharide ligands is presented that shows the relations in the binding site at the molecular level. The neo-glycoproteins presented herein may be applied for selective recognition of Gal-3 both on the cell surface and in blood serum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Galectins in Cancer and Translational Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle Transcriptome Analysis of Kiwifruit in Response to Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020373
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Kiwifruit bacterial canker caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) has brought about a severe threat to the kiwifruit industry worldwide since its first outbreak in 2008. Studies on other pathovars of P. syringae are revealing the pathogenesis of these pathogens, but little
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Kiwifruit bacterial canker caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) has brought about a severe threat to the kiwifruit industry worldwide since its first outbreak in 2008. Studies on other pathovars of P. syringae are revealing the pathogenesis of these pathogens, but little about the mechanism of kiwifruit bacterial canker is known. In order to explore the species-specific interaction between Psa and kiwifruit, we analyzed the transcriptomic profile of kiwifruit infected by Psa. After 48 h, 8255 differentially expressed genes were identified, including those involved in metabolic process, secondary metabolites metabolism and plant response to stress. Genes related to biosynthesis of terpens were obviously regulated, indicating terpens may play roles in suppressing the growth of Psa. We identified 283 differentially expressed resistant genes, of which most U-box domain containing genes were obviously up regulated. Expression of genes involved in plant immunity was detected and some key genes showed differential expression. Our results suggest that Psa induced defense response of kiwifruit, including PAMP (pathogen/microbe-associated molecular patterns)-triggered immunity, effector-triggered immunity and hypersensitive response. Metabolic process was adjusted to adapt to these responses and production of secondary metabolites may be altered to suppress the growth of Psa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization and Oral Delivery of Proinsulin-Transferrin Fusion Protein Expressed Using ExpressTec
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020378
Received: 26 November 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Proinsulin-transferrin fusion protein (ProINS-Tf) has been designed and successfully expressed from the mammalian HEK293 cells (HEK-ProINS-Tf). It was found that HEK-ProINS-Tf could be converted into an activated form in the liver. Furthermore, HEK-ProINS-Tf was demonstrated as an extra-long acting insulin analogue with liver-specific
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Proinsulin-transferrin fusion protein (ProINS-Tf) has been designed and successfully expressed from the mammalian HEK293 cells (HEK-ProINS-Tf). It was found that HEK-ProINS-Tf could be converted into an activated form in the liver. Furthermore, HEK-ProINS-Tf was demonstrated as an extra-long acting insulin analogue with liver-specific insulin action in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetic mice. However, due to the low production yield from transfected HEK293 cells, there are other interesting features, including the oral bioavailability, which have not been fully explored and characterized. To improve the protein production yield, an alternative protein expression system, ExpressTec using transgenic rice (Oryza sativa L.), was used. The intact and active rice-derived ProINS-Tf (ExpressTec-ProINS-Tf) was successfully expressed from the transgenic rice expression system. Our results suggested that, although the insulin-like bioactivity of ExpressTec-ProINS-Tf was slightly lower in vitro, its potency of in vivo blood glucose control was considerably stronger than that of HEK-ProINS-Tf. The oral delivery studies in type 1 diabetic mice demonstrated a prolonged control of blood glucose to near-normal levels after oral administration of ExpressTec-ProINS-Tf. Results in this report suggest that ExpressTec-ProINS-Tf is a promising insulin analog with advantages including low cost, prolonged and liver targeting effects, and most importantly, oral bioactivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Proteins)
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Open AccessArticle Corylin Suppresses Hepatocellular Carcinoma Progression via the Inhibition of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, Mediated by Long Noncoding RNA GAS5
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020380
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Corylin is a flavonoid extracted from the nuts of Psoralea corylifolia L. (Fabaceae), which is a widely used anti-inflammatory and anticancer herb in China. Recent studies revealed antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and bone differentiation–promoting effects of corylin. However, there are no studies examining the anticancer
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Corylin is a flavonoid extracted from the nuts of Psoralea corylifolia L. (Fabaceae), which is a widely used anti-inflammatory and anticancer herb in China. Recent studies revealed antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and bone differentiation–promoting effects of corylin. However, there are no studies examining the anticancer activity of corylin. In this study, we used cells and animal models to examine the antitumor effects of corylin on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and then studied its downstream regulatory mechanisms. The results showed that corylin significantly inhibited the proliferation, migration, and invasiveness of HCC cells and suppressed epithelial–mesenchymal transition. We found that the anti-HCC mechanism of corylin’s action lies in the upregulation of tumor suppressor long noncoding RNA growth arrest-specific transcript 5 (GAS5) and the activation of its downstream anticancer pathways. In animal experiments, we also found that corylin can significantly inhibit tumor growth without significant physiological toxicity. The above results suggest that corylin has anti-HCC effects and good potential as a clinical treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Resistance to the Antiproliferative In Vitro Effect of PI3K-Akt-mTOR Inhibition in Primary Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells Is Associated with Altered Cell Metabolism
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020382
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Constitutive signaling through the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-Akt-mechanistic target of rapamycin (PI3K-Akt-mTOR) pathway is present in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. However, AML is a heterogeneous disease, and we therefore investigated possible associations between cellular metabolism and sensitivity to PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway inhibitors. We performed non-targeted metabolite
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Constitutive signaling through the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-Akt-mechanistic target of rapamycin (PI3K-Akt-mTOR) pathway is present in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. However, AML is a heterogeneous disease, and we therefore investigated possible associations between cellular metabolism and sensitivity to PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway inhibitors. We performed non-targeted metabolite profiling to compare the metabolome differences of primary human AML cells derived from patients susceptible or resistant to the in vitro antiproliferative effects of mTOR and PI3K inhibitors. In addition, the phosphorylation status of 18 proteins involved in PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling and the effect of the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin on their phosphorylation status was investigated by flow cytometry. Strong antiproliferative effects by inhibitors were observed only for a subset of patients. We compared the metabolite profiles for responders and non-responders towards PI3K-mTOR inhibitors, and 627 metabolites could be detected. Of these metabolites, 128 were annotated and 15 of the annotated metabolites differed significantly between responders and non-responders, including metabolites involved in energy, amino acid, and lipid metabolism. To conclude, leukemia cells that are susceptible or resistant to PI3K-Akt-mTOR inhibitors differ in energy, amino acid, and arachidonic acid metabolism, and modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism alters the activation of mTOR and its downstream mediators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue mTOR in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle VEGF Triggers the Activation of Cofilin and the Arp2/3 Complex within the Growth Cone
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020384
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
A crucial neuronal structure for the development and regeneration of neuronal networks is the axonal growth cone. Affected by different guidance cues, it grows in a predetermined direction to reach its final destination. One of those cues is the vascular endothelial growth factor
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A crucial neuronal structure for the development and regeneration of neuronal networks is the axonal growth cone. Affected by different guidance cues, it grows in a predetermined direction to reach its final destination. One of those cues is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which was identified as a positive effector for growth cone movement. These positive effects are mainly mediated by a reorganization of the actin network. This study shows that VEGF triggers a tight colocalization of cofilin and the Arp2/3 complex to the actin cytoskeleton within chicken dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Live cell imaging after microinjection of GFP (green fluorescent protein)-cofilin and RFP (red fluorescent protein)-LifeAct revealed that both labeled proteins rapidly redistributed within growth cones, and showed a congruent distribution pattern after VEGF supplementation. Disruption of signaling upstream of cofilin via blocking LIM-kinase (LIMK) activity resulted in growth cones displaying regressive growth behavior. Microinjection of GFP-p16b (a subunit of the Arp2/3 complex) and RFP-LifeAct revealed that both proteins redistributed into lamellipodia of the growth cone within minutes after VEGF stimulation. Disruption of the signaling to the Arp2/3 complex in the presence of VEGF by inhibition of N-WASP (neuronal Wiskott–Aldrich–Scott protein) caused retraction of growth cones. Hence, cofilin and the Arp2/3 complex appear to be downstream effector proteins of VEGF signaling to the actin cytoskeleton of DRG growth cones. Our data suggest that VEGF simultaneously affects different pathways for signaling to the actin cytoskeleton, since activation of cofilin occurs via inhibition of LIMK, whereas activation of Arp2/3 is achieved by stimulation of N-WASP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Simple Method to Reduce both Lactic Acid and Ammonium Production in Industrial Animal Cell Culture
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020385
Received: 23 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
Fed-batch animal cell culture is the most common method for commercial production of recombinant proteins. However, higher cell densities in these platforms are still limited due to factors such as excessive ammonium production, lactic acid production, nutrient limitation, and/or hyperosmotic stress related to
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Fed-batch animal cell culture is the most common method for commercial production of recombinant proteins. However, higher cell densities in these platforms are still limited due to factors such as excessive ammonium production, lactic acid production, nutrient limitation, and/or hyperosmotic stress related to nutrient feeds and base additions to control pH. To partly overcome these factors, we investigated a simple method to reduce both ammonium and lactic acid production—termed Lactate Supplementation and Adaptation (LSA) technology—through the use of CHO cells adapted to a lactate-supplemented medium. Using this simple method, we achieved a reduction of nearly 100% in lactic acid production with a simultaneous 50% reduction in ammonium production in batch shaker flasks cultures. In subsequent fed-batch bioreactor cultures, lactic acid production and base addition were both reduced eight-fold. Viable cell densities of 35 million cells per mL and integral viable cell days of 273 million cell-days per mL were achieved, both among the highest currently reported for a fed-batch animal cell culture. Investigating the benefits of LSA technology in animal cell culture is worthy of further consideration and may lead to process conditions more favorable for advanced industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Proteins)
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Open AccessArticle Structural Studies of Predicted Ligand Binding Sites and Molecular Docking Analysis of Slc2a4 as a Therapeutic Target for the Treatment of Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020386
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
Presently, many studies have focused on exploring in silico approaches in the identification and development of alternative therapy for the treatment and management of cancer. Solute carrier family-2-member-4-gene (Slc2a4) which encodes glucose transporter 4 protein (GLUT4), has been identified as a
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Presently, many studies have focused on exploring in silico approaches in the identification and development of alternative therapy for the treatment and management of cancer. Solute carrier family-2-member-4-gene (Slc2a4) which encodes glucose transporter 4 protein (GLUT4), has been identified as a promising therapeutic target for cancer. Though Slc2a4 is known to play a major regulatory role in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes, emerging evidence suggests that successful pharmacological inhibition of this protein may lead to the development of a novel drug candidate for the treatment of cancer. In this study, Slc2a4 protein sequence was retrieved and analysed using in silico approaches, and we identified seven putative antimicrobial peptides (AMPs; RAB1-RAB7) as anti-cancer. The structures of the protein and AMPs were modelled using I-TASSER server, and the overall quality of the Slc2a4 model was validated using PROCHECK. Subsequently, the probable motifs and active site of the protein were forecasted. Also, the molecular interaction between the AMPs and Slc2a4 was ascertained using PatchDock. The result revealed that, all the AMPs are good Slc2a4 inhibitors with RAB1 having the highest binding affinity of 12,392 and binding energy of −39.13 kcal/mol. Hence, this study reveals that all the generated AMPs can serve as therapeutic drug in treating cancer by inhibiting Slc2a4 which is responsible for the production of energy for cancer cells during angiogenesis. This is the first report on AMPs as inhibitors of Slc2a4 for the treatment of cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Multifunctional Tannic Acid/Silver Nanoparticle-Based Mucoadhesive Hydrogel for Improved Local Treatment of HSV Infection: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020387
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
Mucoadhesive gelling systems with tannic acid modified silver nanoparticles were developed for effective treatment of herpes virus infections. To increase nanoparticle residence time after local application, semi solid formulations designed from generally regarded as safe (GRAS) excipients were investigated for their rheological and
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Mucoadhesive gelling systems with tannic acid modified silver nanoparticles were developed for effective treatment of herpes virus infections. To increase nanoparticle residence time after local application, semi solid formulations designed from generally regarded as safe (GRAS) excipients were investigated for their rheological and mechanical properties followed with ex vivo mucoadhesive behavior to the porcine vaginal mucosa. Particular effort was made to evaluate the activity of nanoparticle-based hydrogels toward herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and 2 infection in vitro in immortal human keratinocyte cell line and in vivo using murine model of HSV-2 genital infection. The effect of infectivity was determined by real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, plaque assay, inactivation, attachment, penetration and cell-to-cell assessments. All analyzed nanoparticle-based hydrogels exhibited pseudoplastic and thixotropic properties. Viscosity and mechanical measurements of hydrogels were found to correlate with the mucoadhesive properties. The results confirmed the ability of nanoparticle-based hydrogels to affect viral attachment, impede penetration and cell-to-cell transmission, although profound differences in the activity evoked by tested preparations toward HSV-1 and HSV-2 were noted. In addition, these findings demonstrated the in vivo potential of tannic acid modified silver nanoparticle-based hydrogels for vaginal treatment of HSV-2 genital infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomedicine/Molecular Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Human Dermal Fibroblasts and HaCat Cells Cultured in Medium with or without Serum via a Generic Tissue Engineering Research Platform
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020388
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
A generic research platform with 2-dimensional (2D) cell culture technology, a 3-dimensional (3D) in vitro tissue model, and a scaled-down cell culture and imaging system in between, was utilized to address the problematic issues associated with the use of serum in skin tissue
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A generic research platform with 2-dimensional (2D) cell culture technology, a 3-dimensional (3D) in vitro tissue model, and a scaled-down cell culture and imaging system in between, was utilized to address the problematic issues associated with the use of serum in skin tissue engineering. Human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) and immortalized keratinocytes (HaCat cells) mono- or co-cultured in serum or serum-free medium were compared and analyzed via the platform. It was demonstrated that serum depletion had significant influence on the attachment of HaCat cells onto tissue culture plastic (TCP), porous substrates and cellulosic scaffolds, which was further enhanced by the pre-seeded HDFs. The complex structures formed by the HDFs colonized within the porous substrates and scaffolds not only prevented the seeded HaCat cells from filtering through the open pores, but also acted as cellular substrates for HaCat cells to attach onto. When mono-cultured on TCP, both HDFs and HaCat cells were less proliferative in medium without serum than with serum. However, both cell types were successfully co-cultured in 2D using serum-free medium if the initial cell seeding density was higher than 80,000 cells/cm2 (with 1:1 ratio). Based on the results from 2D cultures, co-culture of both cell types on modular substrates with small open pores (125 μm) and cellulosic scaffolds with open pores of varying sizes (50–300 µm) were then conducted successfully in serum-free medium. This study demonstrated that the generic research platform had great potential for in-depth understanding of HDFs and HaCat cells cultivated in serum-free medium, which could inform the processes for manufacturing skin cells or tissues for clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Colonization in Scaffolds)
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Open AccessArticle S1P Signalling Differentially Affects Migration of Peritoneal B Cell Populations In Vitro and Influences the Production of Intestinal IgA In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020391
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Introduction: Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) regulates the migration of follicular B cells (B2 cells) and directs the positioning of Marginal zone B cells (MZ B cells) within the spleen. The function of S1P signalling in the third B cell lineage, B1 B cells, mainly present
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Introduction: Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) regulates the migration of follicular B cells (B2 cells) and directs the positioning of Marginal zone B cells (MZ B cells) within the spleen. The function of S1P signalling in the third B cell lineage, B1 B cells, mainly present in the pleural and peritoneal cavity, has not yet been determined. Methods: S1P receptor expression was analysed in peritoneal B cells by real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The chemotactic response to S1P was studied in vitro. The role of S1P signalling was further explored in a s1p4−/− mouse strain. Results: Peritoneal B cells expressed considerable amounts of the S1P receptors 1 and 4 (S1P1 and S1P4, respectively). S1P1 showed differential expression between the distinct peritoneal B cell lineages. While B2 cells showed no chemotactic response to S1P, B1 B cells showed a migration response to S1P. s1p4−/− mice displayed significant alterations in the composition of peritoneal B cell populations, as well as a significant reduction of mucosal immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the gut. Discussion: S1P signalling influences peritoneal B1 B cell migration. S1P4 deficiency alters the composition of peritoneal B cell populations and reduces secretory IgA levels. These findings suggest that S1P signalling may be a target to modulate B cell function in inflammatory intestinal pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sphingolipids: Signals and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Cancerous Effect of Inonotus taiwanensis Polysaccharide Extract on Human Acute Monocytic Leukemia Cells through ROS-Independent Intrinsic Mitochondrial Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020393
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Acute leukemia is one of the commonly diagnosed neoplasms and causes human death. However, the treatment for acute leukemia is not yet satisfactory. Studies have shown that mushroom-derived polysaccharides display low toxicity and have been used clinically for cancer therapy. Therefore, we set
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Acute leukemia is one of the commonly diagnosed neoplasms and causes human death. However, the treatment for acute leukemia is not yet satisfactory. Studies have shown that mushroom-derived polysaccharides display low toxicity and have been used clinically for cancer therapy. Therefore, we set out to evaluate the anti-cancerous efficacy of a water-soluble polysaccharide extract from Inonotus taiwanensis (WSPIS) on human acute monocytic leukemia THP-1 and U937 cell lines in vitro. Under our experimental conditions, WSPIS elicited dose-dependent growth retardation and induced apoptotic cell death. Further analysis showed that WSPIS-induced apoptosis was associated with a mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, such as the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), followed by the activation of caspase-9, caspase-3, and PARP (poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase) cleavage. However, a broad caspase inhibitor, Z-VAD.fmk, could not prevent WSPIS-induced apoptosis. These data imply that mechanism(s) other than caspase might be involved. Thus, the involvement of endonuclease G (endoG), a mediator arbitrating caspase-independent oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation, was examined. Western blotting demonstrated that WSPIS could elicit nuclear translocation of endoG. MMP disruption after WSPIS treatment was accompanied by intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. However, pretreatment with N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) could not attenuate WSPIS-induced apoptosis. In addition, our data also show that WSPIS could inhibit autophagy. Activation of autophagy by rapamycin decreased WSPIS-induced apoptosis and cell death. Taken together, our findings suggest that cell cycle arrest, endonuclease G-mediated apoptosis, and autophagy inhibition contribute to the anti-cancerous effect of WSPIS on human acute monocytic leukemia cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Transcriptome Analyses Uncover Key Candidate Genes Mediating Flight Capacity in Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) and Bactrocera correcta (Bezzi) (Diptera: Tephritidae)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020396
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Flight capacity is important for invasive pests during entry, establishment and spreading. Both Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel and Bactrocera correcta Bezzi are invasive fruit flies but their flight capacities differ. Here, a tethered flight mill test demonstrated that B. dorsalis exhibits a greater flight
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Flight capacity is important for invasive pests during entry, establishment and spreading. Both Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel and Bactrocera correcta Bezzi are invasive fruit flies but their flight capacities differ. Here, a tethered flight mill test demonstrated that B. dorsalis exhibits a greater flight capacity than B. correcta. RNA-Seq was used to determine the transcriptomic differences associated with the flight capacity of two Bactrocera species. Transcriptome data showed that 6392 unigenes were differentially expressed between the two species in the larval stage, whereas in the adult stage, 4104 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in females, and 3445 DEGs were observed in males. The flight capacity appeared to be correlated with changes in the transcriptional levels of genes involved in wing formation, flight muscle structure, energy metabolism, and hormonal control. Using RNA interference (RNAi) to verify the function of one DEG, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), we confirmed the role of this gene in regulating wing development, and thereby flight capacity, in both species. This work reveals the flight mechanism of fruit flies and provides insight into fundamental transcriptomics for further studies on the flight performance of insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Sex Hormone Receptors in Benign and Malignant Salivary Gland Tumors: Prognostic and Predictive Role
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020399
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
The role of sex hormone receptors in human cancer development and progression has been well documented in numerous studies, as has the success of sex hormone antagonists in the biological therapy of many human tumors. In salivary gland tumors (SGTs), little and conflicting
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The role of sex hormone receptors in human cancer development and progression has been well documented in numerous studies, as has the success of sex hormone antagonists in the biological therapy of many human tumors. In salivary gland tumors (SGTs), little and conflicting information about the role of the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), progesterone receptor (PgR) and androgen receptor (AR) has been described and in most cases the use of sex hormone antagonists is not contemplated in clinical practice. In this study, we analyzed a panel of sex hormone receptors that have not been widely investigated in SGTs—ERα, PgR, AR, but also ERβ and GPR30—to define their expression pattern and their prognostic and predictive value in a case series of 69 benign and malignant SGTs. We showed the aberrant expression of AR in mucoepidermoid and oncocytic carcinoma, a strong relation between cytoplasmic ERβ expression and tumor grade, and a strong correlation between nuclear GPR30 expression and disease-free survival (DFS) of SGT patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex Hormone Receptor Signals in Human Malignancies)
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