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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 19, Issue 4 (April 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) GTPases control cellular processes by toggling between an active and an inactive state. The most [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Oxidative Stress and Space Biology: An Organ-Based Approach
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040959
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
The environment of space provides many challenges to the human physiology and therefore to extended habitation and exploration[...] Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Role of the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis in Health and Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040986
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
The Hypothalamic–Pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis describes a complex set of positive and negative feedback influences between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal gland.[...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial Emerging Non-Canonical Functions and Regulation of p53
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041015
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
The tumor suppressor p53 induces cell cycle arrest and/or apoptosis by transactivating numerous downstream target genes and also translocating to the mitochondrial outer membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Non-Canonical Functions and Regulation of p53)
Open AccessEditorial Ubiquitin System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1080; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041080
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
Ever since the discovery of ubiquitin in 1975[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitin System)
Open AccessEditorial Editorial—Special Issue “Nutraceuticals in Human Health and Disease”
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041213
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals in Human Health and Disease)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Candidate Genes Associated with Leaf Etiolation of a Cytoplasmic Male Sterility Line in Chinese Cabbage (Brassica Rapa L. ssp. Pekinensis)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040922
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) is universally utilized in cruciferous vegetables. However, the Chinese cabbage hau CMS lines, obtained by interspecific hybridization and multiple backcrosses of the Brassica juncea (B. juncea) CMS line and Chinese cabbage, show obvious leaf etiolation, and the
[...] Read more.
Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) is universally utilized in cruciferous vegetables. However, the Chinese cabbage hau CMS lines, obtained by interspecific hybridization and multiple backcrosses of the Brassica juncea (B. juncea) CMS line and Chinese cabbage, show obvious leaf etiolation, and the molecular mechanism of etiolation remains elusive. Here, the ultrastructural and phenotypic features of leaves from the Chinese cabbage CMS line 1409A and maintainer line 1409B are analyzed. The results show that chloroplasts of 1409A exhibit abnormal morphology and distribution. Next, RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) is used to identify 485 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between 1409A and 1409B, and 189 up-regulated genes and 296 down-regulated genes are found. Genes that affect chloroplasts development, such as GLK1 and GLK2, and chlorophyll biosynthesis, such as PORB, are included in the down-regulated DEGs. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis validate that the expression levels of these genes are significantly lower in 1409A than in 1409B. Taken together, these results demonstrate that leaf etiolation is markedly affected by chloroplast development and pigment biosynthesis. This study provides an effective foundation for research on the molecular mechanisms of leaf etiolation of the hau CMS line in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization of an Integrated Active Glu-1Ay Allele in Common Wheat from Wild Emmer and Its Potential Role in Flour Improvement
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040923
Received: 25 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Glu-1Ay, one of six genes encoding a high molecular weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS), is frequently silenced in hexaploid common wheat. Here, an active allele of Glu-1Ay was integrated from wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) accession D97 into the
[...] Read more.
Glu-1Ay, one of six genes encoding a high molecular weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS), is frequently silenced in hexaploid common wheat. Here, an active allele of Glu-1Ay was integrated from wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) accession D97 into the common wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivar Chuannong 16 via the repeated self-fertilization of the pentaploid interspecific hybrid, culminating in the selection of a line TaAy7-40 shown to express the wild emmer Glu-1Ay allele. The open reading frame of this allele was a 1830 bp long sequence, demonstrated by its heterologous expression in Escherichia coli to encode a 608-residue polypeptide. Its nucleotide sequence was 99.2% identical to that of the sequence within the wild emmer parent. The TaAy7-40 introgression line containing the active Glu-1Ay allele showed higher protein content, higher sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) sedimentation value, higher content of wet gluten in the flour, higher grain weight, and bigger grain size than Chuannong 16. The end-use quality parameters of the TaAy7-40 were superior to those of the medium gluten common wheat cultivars Mianmai 37 and Neimai 9. Thus, the active Glu-1Ay allele might be of potential value in breeding programs designed to improve wheat flour quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle PKC-Mediated Modulation of Astrocyte SNAT3 Glutamine Transporter Function at Synapses in Situ
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040924
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Astrocytes are glial cells that have an intimate physical and functional association with synapses in the brain. One of their main roles is to recycle the neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), as a component of the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle. They perform this function
[...] Read more.
Astrocytes are glial cells that have an intimate physical and functional association with synapses in the brain. One of their main roles is to recycle the neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), as a component of the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle. They perform this function by sequestering neurotransmitters and releasing glutamine via the neutral amino acid transporter SNAT3. In this way, astrocytes regulate the availability of neurotransmitters and subsequently influence synaptic function. Since many plasma membrane transporters are regulated by protein kinase C (PKC), the aim of this study was to understand how PKC influences SNAT3 glutamine transport in astrocytes located immediately adjacent to synapses. We studied SNAT3 transport by whole-cell patch-clamping and fluorescence pH imaging of single astrocytes in acutely isolated brainstem slices, adjacent to the calyx of the Held synapse. Activation of SNAT3-mediated glutamine transport in these astrocytes was reduced to 77 ± 6% when PKC was activated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). This effect was very rapid (within ~20 min) and eliminated by application of bisindolylmaleimide I (Bis I) or 7-hydroxystaurosporine (UCN-01), suggesting that activation of conventional isoforms of PKC reduces SNAT3 function. In addition, cell surface biotinylation experiments in these brain slices show that the amount of SNAT3 in the plasma membrane is reduced by a comparable amount (to 68 ± 5%) upon activation of PKC. This indicates a role for PKC in dynamically controlling the trafficking of SNAT3 transporters in astrocytes in situ. These data demonstrate that PKC rapidly regulates the astrocytic glutamine release mechanism, which would influence the glutamine availability for adjacent synapses and control levels of neurotransmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino Acids Transport and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle 212Pb-Labeled Antibody 225.28 Targeted to Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan 4 for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Therapy in Mouse Models
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040925
Received: 18 February 2018 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer with a poor prognosis. There is a clinical need for effective, targeted therapy strategies that destroy both differentiated TNBC cells and TNBC cancer initiating cells (CICs), as the latter are implicated in
[...] Read more.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer with a poor prognosis. There is a clinical need for effective, targeted therapy strategies that destroy both differentiated TNBC cells and TNBC cancer initiating cells (CICs), as the latter are implicated in the metastasis and recurrence of TNBC. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) is overexpressed on differentiated tumor cells and CICs obtained from TNBC patient specimens, suggesting that CSPG4 may be a clinically relevant target for the imaging and therapy of TNBC. The purpose of this study was to determine whether α-particle radioimmunotherapy (RIT) targeting TNBC cells using the CSPG4-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) 225.28 as a carrier was effective at eliminating TNBC tumors in preclinical models. To this end, mAb 225.28 labeled with 212Pb (212Pb-225.28) as a source of α-particles for RIT was used for in vitro Scatchard assays and clonogenic survival assays with human TNBC cells (SUM159 and 2LMP) grown as adherent cells or non-adherent CIC-enriched mammospheres. Immune-deficient mice bearing orthotopic SUM159 or 2LMP xenografts were injected i.v. with the targeted (225.28) or irrelevant isotype-matched control (F3-C25) mAbs, labeled with 99mTc, 125I, or 212Pb for in vivo imaging, biodistribution, or tumor growth inhibition studies. 212Pb-225.28 bound to adherent SUM159 and 2LMP cells and to CICs from SUM159 and 2LMP mammospheres with a mean affinity of 0.5 nM. Nearly ten times more binding sites per cell were present on SUM159 cells and CICs compared with 2LMP cells. 212Pb-225.28 was six to seven times more effective than 212Pb-F3-C25 at inhibiting SUM159 cell and CIC clonogenic survival (p < 0.05). Radiolabeled mAb 225.28 showed significantly higher uptake than radiolabeled mAb F3-C25 in SUM159 and 2LMP xenografts (p < 0.05), and the uptake of 212Pb-225.28 in TNBC xenografts was correlated with target epitope expression. 212Pb-225.28 caused dose-dependent growth inhibition of SUM159 xenografts; 0.30 MBq 212Pb-225.28 was significantly more effective than 0.33 MBq 212Pb-F3-C25 at inhibiting tumor growth (p < 0.01). These results suggest that CSPG4-specific 212Pb-225.28 is a useful reagent for RIT of CSPG4-expressing tumors, including metastatic TNBC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Receptor-Targeted Cancer Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Potassium Channels in Arabidopsis thaliana Long Distance Electrical Signalling: AKT2 Modulates Tissue Excitability While GORK Shapes Action Potentials
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040926
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Fast responses to an external threat depend on the rapid transmission of signals through a plant. Action potentials (APs) are proposed as such signals. Plant APs share similarities with their animal counterparts; they are proposed to depend on the activity of voltage-gated ion
[...] Read more.
Fast responses to an external threat depend on the rapid transmission of signals through a plant. Action potentials (APs) are proposed as such signals. Plant APs share similarities with their animal counterparts; they are proposed to depend on the activity of voltage-gated ion channels. Nonetheless, despite their demonstrated role in (a)biotic stress responses, the identities of the associated voltage-gated channels and transporters remain undefined in higher plants. By demonstrating the role of two potassium-selective channels in Arabidopsis thaliana in AP generation and shaping, we show that the plant AP does depend on similar Kv-like transport systems to those of the animal signal. We demonstrate that the outward-rectifying potassium-selective channel GORK limits the AP amplitude and duration, while the weakly-rectifying channel AKT2 affects membrane excitability. By computational modelling of plant APs, we reveal that the GORK activity not only determines the length of an AP but also the steepness of its rise and the maximal amplitude. Thus, outward-rectifying potassium channels contribute to both the repolarisation phase and the initial depolarisation phase of the signal. Additionally, from modelling considerations we provide indications that plant APs might be accompanied by potassium waves, which prime the excitability of the green cable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma-Membrane Transport)
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Open AccessArticle The Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) (Sapindales: Simaroubaceae), an Important Pantropical Tree
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040929
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (Simaroubaceae) is a deciduous tree widely distributed throughout temperate regions in China, hence suitable for genetic diversity and evolutionary studies. Previous studies in A. altissima have mainly focused on its biological activities, genetic diversity and genetic structure. However, until
[...] Read more.
Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (Simaroubaceae) is a deciduous tree widely distributed throughout temperate regions in China, hence suitable for genetic diversity and evolutionary studies. Previous studies in A. altissima have mainly focused on its biological activities, genetic diversity and genetic structure. However, until now there is no published report regarding genome of this plant species or Simaroubaceae family. Therefore, in this paper, we first characterized A. altissima complete chloroplast genome sequence. The tree of heaven chloroplast genome was found to be a circular molecule 160,815 base pairs (bp) in size and possess a quadripartite structure. The A. altissima chloroplast genome contains 113 unique genes of which 79 and 30 are protein coding and transfer RNA (tRNA) genes respectively and also 4 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA) with overall GC content of 37.6%. Microsatellite marker detection identified A/T mononucleotides as majority SSRs in all the seven analyzed genomes. Repeat analyses of seven Sapindales revealed a total of 49 repeats in A. altissima, Rhus chinensis, Dodonaea viscosa, Leitneria floridana, while Azadirachta indica, Boswellia sacra, and Citrus aurantiifolia had a total of 48 repeats. The phylogenetic analysis using protein coding genes revealed that A. altissima is a sister to Leitneria floridana and also suggested that Simaroubaceae is a sister to Rutaceae family. The genome information reported here could be further applied for evolution and invasion, population genetics, and molecular studies in this plant species and family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chloroplast)
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Open AccessArticle Mutagenesis Study of the Cytochrome c Subunit Responsible for the Direct Electron Transfer-Type Catalytic Activity of FAD-Dependent Glucose Dehydrogenase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040931
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1450 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The FAD-dependent glucose dehydrogenase from Burkholderia cepacia (FADGDH) is a hetero-oligomeric enzyme that is capable of direct electron transfer (DET) with an electrode. The cytochrome c (cyt c) subunit, which possesses three hemes (heme 1, heme 2, and heme 3, from the
[...] Read more.
The FAD-dependent glucose dehydrogenase from Burkholderia cepacia (FADGDH) is a hetero-oligomeric enzyme that is capable of direct electron transfer (DET) with an electrode. The cytochrome c (cyt c) subunit, which possesses three hemes (heme 1, heme 2, and heme 3, from the N-terminal sequence), is known to enable DET; however, details of the electron transfer pathway remain unknown. A mutagenesis investigation of the heme axial ligands was carried out to elucidate the electron transfer pathway to the electron mediators and/or the electrode. The sixth axial ligand for each of the three heme irons, Met109, Met263, and Met386 were substituted with His. The catalytic activities of the wild-type (WT) and mutant enzymes were compared by investigating their dye-mediated dehydrogenase activities and their DET abilities toward the electrode. The results suggested that (1) heme 1 with Met109 as an axial ligand is mainly responsible for the electron transfer with electron acceptors in the solution, but not for the DET with the electrode; (2) heme 2 with Met263 is responsible for the DET-type reaction with the electrode; and (3) heme 3 with Met386 seemed to be the electron acceptor from the catalytic subunit. From these results, two electron transfer pathways were proposed depending on the electron acceptors. Electrons are transferred from the catalytic subunit to heme 3, then to heme 2, to heme 1 and, finally, to electron acceptors in solution. However, if the enzyme complex is immobilized on the electrode and is used as electron acceptors, electrons are passed to the electrode from heme 2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Immune-Specific Expression and Estrogenic Regulation of the Four Estrogen Receptor Isoforms in Female Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040932
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Genomic actions of estrogens in vertebrates are exerted via two intracellular estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes, ERα and ERβ, which show cell- and tissue-specific expression profiles. Mammalian immune cells express ERs and are responsive to estrogens. More recently, evidence became available that ERs are
[...] Read more.
Genomic actions of estrogens in vertebrates are exerted via two intracellular estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes, ERα and ERβ, which show cell- and tissue-specific expression profiles. Mammalian immune cells express ERs and are responsive to estrogens. More recently, evidence became available that ERs are also present in the immune organs and cells of teleost fish, suggesting that the immunomodulatory function of estrogens has been conserved throughout vertebrate evolution. For a better understanding of the sensitivity and the responsiveness of the fish immune system to estrogens, more insight is needed on the abundance of ERs in the fish immune system, the cellular ratios of the ER subtypes, and their autoregulation by estrogens. Consequently, the aims of the present study were (i) to determine the absolute mRNA copy numbers of the four ER isoforms in the immune organs and cells of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, and to compare them to the hepatic ER numbers; (ii) to analyse the ER mRNA isoform ratios in the immune system; and, (iii) finally, to examine the alterations of immune ER mRNA expression levels in sexually immature trout exposed to 17β-estradiol (E2), as well as the alterations of immune ER mRNA expression levels in sexually mature trout during the reproductive cycle. All four ER isoforms were present in immune organs—head kidney, spleen-and immune cells from head kidney and blood of rainbow trout, but their mRNA levels were substantially lower than in the liver. The ER isoform ratios were tissue- and cell-specific, both within the immune system, but also between the immune system and the liver. Short-term administration of E2 to juvenile female trout altered the ER mRNA levels in the liver, but the ERs of the immune organs and cells were not responsive. Changes of ER gene transcript numbers in immune organs and cells occurred during the reproductive cycle of mature female trout, but the changes in the immune ER profiles differed from those in the liver and gonads. The correlation between ER gene transcript numbers and serum E2 concentrations was only moderate to low. In conclusion, the low mRNA numbers of nuclear ER in the trout immune system, together with their limited estrogen-responsiveness, suggest that the known estrogen actions on trout immunity may be not primarily mediated through genomic actions, but may involve other mechanisms, such as non-genomic pathways or indirect effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Pathways of Estrogen Receptor Action)
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Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of Tyrosine Kinases in the Silkworm, Bombyx mori
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040934
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
The tyrosine kinases (TKs) are important parts of metazoan signaling pathways and play significant roles in cell growth, development, apoptosis and disease. Genome-wide characterization of TKs has been conducted in many metazoans, however, systematic information about this family in Lepidoptera is still lacking.
[...] Read more.
The tyrosine kinases (TKs) are important parts of metazoan signaling pathways and play significant roles in cell growth, development, apoptosis and disease. Genome-wide characterization of TKs has been conducted in many metazoans, however, systematic information about this family in Lepidoptera is still lacking. We retrieved 33 TK-encoding genes in silkworm and classified them into 25 subfamilies by sequence analysis, without members in AXL, FRK, PDGFR, STYK1 and TIE subfamilies. Although domain sequences in each subfamily are conserved, TKs in vertebrates tend to be remarkably conserved and stable. Our results of phylogenetic analysis supported the previous conclusion for the second major expansion of TK family. Gene-Ontology (GO) analysis revealed that a higher proportion of BmTKs played roles in binding, catalysis, signal transduction, metabolism, biological regulation and response to stimulus, compared to all silkworm genes annotated in GO. Moreover, the expression profile analysis of BmTKs among multiple tissues and developmental stages demonstrated that many genes exhibited stage-specific and/or sex-related expression during embryogenesis, molting and metamorphosis, and that 8 BmTKs presented tissue-specific high expression. Our study provides systematic description of silkworm tyrosine kinases, and may also provide further insights into metazoan TKs and assist future studies addressing their functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Entomology of Insects of Economic Importance)
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Open AccessArticle Automated Exploration of Free Energy Landscapes Based on Umbrella Integration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040937
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
We present a new approach for automated exploration of free energy landscapes on the basis of the umbrella integration (UI) method. The method to search points in the landscape relies on the normal distributions and gradients of the potential of mean force (PMF)
[...] Read more.
We present a new approach for automated exploration of free energy landscapes on the basis of the umbrella integration (UI) method. The method to search points in the landscape relies on the normal distributions and gradients of the potential of mean force (PMF) obtained from UI calculations. We applied this approach to the alanine dipeptide in solution and demonstrated that the equilibrium and the transition states were efficiently found in the ascending order of the PMF values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hinokitiol Inhibits Migration of A549 Lung Cancer Cells via Suppression of MMPs and Induction of Antioxidant Enzymes and Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040939
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Hinokitiol, a natural monoterpenoid from the heartwood of Calocedrus formosana, has been reported to have anticancer effects against various cancer cell lines. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms and the inhibiting roles of hinokitiol on adenocarcinoma A549 cells remain to be fully elucidated.
[...] Read more.
Hinokitiol, a natural monoterpenoid from the heartwood of Calocedrus formosana, has been reported to have anticancer effects against various cancer cell lines. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms and the inhibiting roles of hinokitiol on adenocarcinoma A549 cells remain to be fully elucidated. Thus, the current study was designed to evaluate the effect of hinokitiol on the migration of human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells in vitro. The data demonstrates that hinokitiol does not effectively inhibit the viability of A549 cells at up to a 10 µM concentration. When treated with non-toxic doses (1–5 µM) of hinokitiol, the cell migration is markedly suppressed at 5 µM. Hinokitiol significantly reduced p53 expression, followed by attenuation of Bax in A549 cells. A dose-dependent inhibition of activated caspase-9 and -3 was observed in the presence of hinokitiol. An observed increase in protein expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) -2/-9 in A549 cells was significantly inhibited by hinokitiol. Remarkably, when A549 cells were subjected to hinokitiol (1–5 µM), there was an increase in the activities of antioxidant enzymes catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) from the reduction in cells. In addition, the incubation of A549 cells with hinokitiol significantly activated the cytochrome c expression, which may be triggered by activation of caspase-9 followed by caspase-3. These observations indicate that hinokitiol inhibited the migration of lung cancer A549 cells through several mechanisms, including the activation of caspases-9 and -3, induction of p53/Bax and antioxidant CAT and SOD, and reduction of MMP-2 and -9 activities. It also induces cytochrome c expression. These findings demonstrate a new therapeutic potential for hinokitiol in lung cancer chemoprevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Overexpression of a SBP-Box Gene (VpSBP16) from Chinese Wild Vitis Species in Arabidopsis Improves Salinity and Drought Stress Tolerance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040940
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Salinity and drought are two major abiotic stresses that limit grape productivity. Responses to stress in grape are known to be regulated by several families of transcription factors. However, little is known about the role of grape Squamosa promoter binding protein (SBP)-box transcription
[...] Read more.
Salinity and drought are two major abiotic stresses that limit grape productivity. Responses to stress in grape are known to be regulated by several families of transcription factors. However, little is known about the role of grape Squamosa promoter binding protein (SBP)-box transcription factor genes in response to abiotic stress. To better understand the functions of the grape SBP-box genes in abiotic stress tolerance, a full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) sequence of the putative SBP-box transcription factor gene, VpSBP16 was amplified from Chinese wild grapevine Vitis pseudoreticulata clone “Baihe-35-1”. We observed that the VpSBP16 protein fused to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter accumulated in the nucleus when transiently expressed in onion epidermal cells. Moreover, VpSBP16 was shown to have transcriptional activation activity using a yeast trans-activation assay. We performed a VpSBP16 functional analysis through the characterization of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants constitutively over-expressing VpSBP16. The transgenic lines had longer roots and the seeds had a higher germination rate than the wild type (WT) under osmotic stress. In addition, the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) of transgenic seedlings was significantly lower than WT in the transgenic lines, as was electrolyte leakage. VpSBP16 overexpression also elevated expression levels of stress-response genes involved in the salt overly sensitive (SOS) pathway. These results indicate that overexpression VpSBP16 in A. thaliana enhances tolerance of salt and drought stress during seed germination, as well in seedlings and mature plants, by regulating SOS and ROS signaling cascades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle α-Ketoglutarate Promotes Pancreatic Progenitor-Like Cell Proliferation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040943
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
A major source of β cell generation is pancreatic progenitor-like cell differentiation. Multiple studies have confirmed that stem cell metabolism plays important roles in self-renewal and proliferation. In the absence of glucose, glutamine provides the energy for cell division and growth. Furthermore, α-ketoglutarate
[...] Read more.
A major source of β cell generation is pancreatic progenitor-like cell differentiation. Multiple studies have confirmed that stem cell metabolism plays important roles in self-renewal and proliferation. In the absence of glucose, glutamine provides the energy for cell division and growth. Furthermore, α-ketoglutarate (αKG), a precursor for glutamine synthesis, is sufficient for enabling glutamine-independent cell proliferation. We have demonstrated that αKG contributes to the large-scale proliferation of pancreatic progenitor-like cells that can provide an ample amount of clinically relevant β cells. We compared the mRNA expression of a subset of genes, the abundance of ATP, reactive oxide species, mitochondrial number, and the colony-forming frequency between mouse pancreatic CD133+ and CD133 cells. We employed Real-Time PCR, immunostaining and passage assays to investigate self-renewal and proliferation of pancreatic progenitor-like cells in a 3D culture system in the presence and absence of αKG. The energy metabolism of CD133+ cells was more prone to oxidative phosphorylation. However, in the 3D culture system, when αKG was supplemented to the culture medium, the proliferation of the pancreatic progenitor-like cells was significantly elevated. We confirmed that the presence of αKG correlated with the up-regulation of Ten-Eleven Translocation (Tet). αKG can promote the proliferation of pancreatic progenitor-like cells via the up-regulation of Tet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Imine Deaminase Activity and Conformational Stability of UK114, the Mammalian Member of the Rid Protein Family Active in Amino Acid Metabolism
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040945
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Reactive intermediate deaminase (Rid) protein family is a recently discovered group of enzymes that is conserved in all domains of life and is proposed to play a role in the detoxification of reactive enamines/imines. UK114, the mammalian member of RidA subfamily, was identified
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Reactive intermediate deaminase (Rid) protein family is a recently discovered group of enzymes that is conserved in all domains of life and is proposed to play a role in the detoxification of reactive enamines/imines. UK114, the mammalian member of RidA subfamily, was identified in the early 90s as a component of perchloric acid-soluble extracts from goat liver and exhibited immunomodulatory properties. Multiple activities were attributed to this protein, but its function is still unclear. This work addressed the question of whether UK114 is a Rid enzyme. Biochemical analyses demonstrated that UK114 hydrolyzes α-imino acids generated by l- or d-amino acid oxidases with a preference for those deriving from Ala > Leu = l-Met > l-Gln, whereas it was poorly active on l-Phe and l-His. Circular Dichroism (CD) analyses of UK114 conformational stability highlighted its remarkable resistance to thermal unfolding, even at high urea concentrations. The half-life of heat inactivation at 95 °C, measured from CD and activity data, was about 3.5 h. The unusual conformational stability of UK114 could be relevant in the frame of a future evaluation of its immunogenic properties. In conclusion, mammalian UK114 proteins are RidA enzymes that may play an important role in metabolism homeostasis also in these organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino Acids Transport and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle CRISPR/Cas9-Based Cellular Engineering for Targeted Gene Overexpression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040946
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Gene and cellular therapies hold tremendous promise as agents for treating genetic disorders. However, the effective delivery of genes, particularly large ones, and expression at therapeutic levels can be challenging in cells of clinical relevance. To address this engineering hurdle, we sought to
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Gene and cellular therapies hold tremendous promise as agents for treating genetic disorders. However, the effective delivery of genes, particularly large ones, and expression at therapeutic levels can be challenging in cells of clinical relevance. To address this engineering hurdle, we sought to employ the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system to insert powerful regulatory elements upstream of an endogenous gene. We achieved robust activation of the COL7A1 gene in primary human umbilical cord blood CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells and peripheral blood T-cells. CD34+ cells retained their colony forming potential and, in a second engineering step, we disrupted the T-cell receptor complex in T-cells. These cellular populations are of high translational impact due to their engraftment potential, broad circulatory properties, and favorable immune profile that supports delivery to multiple recipients. This study demonstrates the feasibility of targeted knock in of a ubiquitous chromatin opening element, promoter, and marker gene that doubles as a suicide gene for precision gene activation. This system merges the specificity of gene editing with the high level, sustained gene expression achieved with gene therapy vectors. We predict that this design concept will be highly transferrable to most genes in multiple model systems representing a facile cellular engineering platform for promoting gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Editing 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase Family Genes Involved in Ethylene-Induced Natural Rubber Production in Different Hevea brasiliensis Cultivars
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040947
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Natural rubber latex production can be improved by ethylene stimulation in the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). However, the expression levels of most functional proteins for natural rubber biosynthesis are not induced after ethylene application, indicating that post-translational modifications, especially protein phosphorylation,
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Natural rubber latex production can be improved by ethylene stimulation in the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). However, the expression levels of most functional proteins for natural rubber biosynthesis are not induced after ethylene application, indicating that post-translational modifications, especially protein phosphorylation, may play important roles in ethylene signaling in Hevea. Here, we performed a comprehensive investigation on evolution, ethylene-induced expression and protein–protein interaction of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CPKs), an important serine/threonine protein kinase family, in Hevea. Nine duplication events were determined in the 30 identified HbCPK genes. Expression profiling of HbCPKs in three rubber tree cultivars with low, medium and high ethylene sensitivity showed that HbCPK6, 17, 20, 22, 24, 28 and 30 are induced by ethylene in at least one cultivar. Evolution rate analysis suggested accelerated evolution rates in two paralogue pairs, HbCPK9/18 and HbCPK19/20. Analysis of proteomic data for rubber latex after ethylene treatment showed that seven HbCPK proteins could be detected, including six ethylene-induced ones. Protein–protein interaction analysis of the 493 different abundant proteins revealed that protein kinases, especially calcium-dependent protein kinases, possess most key nodes of the interaction network, indicating that protein kinase and protein phosphorylation play important roles in ethylene signaling in latex of Hevea. In summary, our data revealed the expression patterns of HbCPK family members and functional divergence of two HbCPK paralogue pairs, as well as the potential important roles of HbCPKs in ethylene-induced rubber production improvement in Hevea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Renoprotective Effects of Hypoxylonol C and F Isolated from Hypoxylon truncatum against Cisplatin-Induced Cytotoxicity in LLC-PK1 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040948
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Although cisplatin is the standard platinum-based anticancer drug used to treat various solid tumors, it can cause damage in normal kidney cells. Protective strategies against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity are, therefore, clinically important and urgently required. To address this challenge, we investigated the renoprotective effects
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Although cisplatin is the standard platinum-based anticancer drug used to treat various solid tumors, it can cause damage in normal kidney cells. Protective strategies against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity are, therefore, clinically important and urgently required. To address this challenge, we investigated the renoprotective effects of Hypoxylon truncatum, a ball-shaped wood-rotting fungus. Chemical investigation of the active fraction from the methanol extract of H. truncatum resulted in the isolation and identification of the renoprotective compounds, hypoxylonol C and F, which ameliorated cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity to approximately 80% of the control value at 5 μM. The mechanism of this effect was further investigated using hypoxylonol F, which showed a protective effect at the lowest concentration. Upregulated phosphorylation of p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinases, and c-Jun N-terminal kinases following cisplatin treatment were markedly decreased after pre-treatment with hypoxylonol F. In addition, the protein expression level of cleaved caspase-3 was significantly reduced after co-treatment with hypoxylonol F. These results show that blocking the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascade plays a critical role in mediating the renoprotective effect of hypoxylonol F isolated from H. truncatum fruiting bodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
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Open AccessArticle Time-Resolved Measurement of the ATP-Dependent Motion of the Group II Chaperonin by Diffracted Electron Tracking
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040950
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Previously, we demonstrated the ATP-dependent dynamics of a group II chaperonin at the single-molecule level by diffracted X-ray tracking (DXT). The disadvantage of DXT is that it requires a strong X-ray source and also perfect gold nano-crystals. To resolve this problem, we developed
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Previously, we demonstrated the ATP-dependent dynamics of a group II chaperonin at the single-molecule level by diffracted X-ray tracking (DXT). The disadvantage of DXT is that it requires a strong X-ray source and also perfect gold nano-crystals. To resolve this problem, we developed diffracted electron tracking (DET). Electron beams have scattering cross-sections that are approximately 1000 times larger than those of X-rays. Thus, DET enables us to perform super-accurate measurements of the time-resolved 3D motion of proteins labeled with commercially available gold nanorods using a scanning electron microscope. In this study, we compared DXT and DET using the group II chaperonin from Methanococcus maripaludis (MmCpn) as a model protein. In DET, the samples are prepared in an environmental cell (EC). To reduce the electron beam-induced protein damage, we immobilized MmCpn on the bottom of the EC to expose gold nanorods close to the carbon thin film. The sample setup worked well, and the motions of gold nanorods were clearly traced. Compared with the results of DXT, the mobility in DET was significantly higher, which is probably due to the difference in the method for immobilization. In DET, MmCpn was immobilized on a film of triacetyl cellulose. Whereas proteins are directly attached on the surface of solid support in DXT. Therefore, MmCpn could move relatively freely in DET. DET will be a state-of-the-art technology for analyzing protein dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Chaperones)
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Open AccessArticle Antioxidative Effect of Quetiapine on Acute Ultraviolet-B-Induced Skin and HaCaT Cell Damage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040953
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Quetiapine is a new type of antipsychotic drug, with effective protection of pheochromocytoma PC12 cells from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Ultraviolet-B radiation can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, resulting in significant inflammatory responses in damaged skin. Thus, the purpose of this study is
[...] Read more.
Quetiapine is a new type of antipsychotic drug, with effective protection of pheochromocytoma PC12 cells from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Ultraviolet-B radiation can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, resulting in significant inflammatory responses in damaged skin. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore whether quetiapine protects the skin from intermediate-wave ultraviolet (UVB)-induced damage through antioxidant stress. In vivo, we found quetiapine treatment was able to significantly decrease skin thickness, erythema, and edema, as well as inflammation compared to control group. Moreover, quetiapine treatment increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). In addition, it reduced the production of malondialdehyde (MDA), a kind of oxidized lipid. In vitro, we found that quetiapine blocked UVB-induced intracellular ROS generation and maintained the cell activity at a normal level. Furthermore, we tested the phosphorylation of p38 both in vivo and in vitro, and we found that quetiapine could inhibit phosphorylation of p38, which is caused by UVB irradiation. We concluded that quetiapine was able to relieve UVB-induced skin damage through its antioxidative properties. These effects might be associated with p38 MAPK signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Transcriptomic and GC-MS Metabolomic Analyses Reveal the Sink Strength Changes during Petunia Anther Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040955
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Petunia, which has been prevalently cultivated in landscaping, is a dicotyledonous herbaceous flower of high ornamental value. Annually, there is a massive worldwide market demand for petunia seeds. The normal development of anther is the necessary prerequisite for the plants to generate
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Petunia, which has been prevalently cultivated in landscaping, is a dicotyledonous herbaceous flower of high ornamental value. Annually, there is a massive worldwide market demand for petunia seeds. The normal development of anther is the necessary prerequisite for the plants to generate seeds. However, the knowledge of petunia anther development processes is still limited. To better understand the mechanisms of petunia anther development, the transcriptomes and metabolomes of petunia anthers at three typical development stages were constructed and then used to detect the gene expression patterns and primary metabolite profiles during the anther development processes. Results suggested that there were many differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) that mainly participated in photosynthesis and starch and sucrose metabolism when DEGs were compared between the different development stages of anthers. In this study, fructose and glucose, which were involved in starch and sucrose metabolism, were taken as the most important metabolites by partial least-squares discriminate analysis (PLS-DA). Additionally, the qRT-PCR analysis of the photosynthetic-related genes all showed decreased expression trends along with the anther development. These pieces of evidence indicated that the activities of energy and carbohydrate metabolic pathways were gradually reduced during all the development stages of anther, which affects the sink strength. Overall, this work provides a novel and comprehensive understanding of the metabolic processes in petunia anthers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube and Plant Reproduction)
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Open AccessArticle Angiotensin II-Induced Mesangial Cell Damage Is Preceded by Cell Membrane Permeabilization Due to Upregulation of Non-Selective Channels
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040957
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Connexin43 (Cx43), pannexin1 (Panx1) and P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) are expressed in kidneys and are known to constitute a feedforward mechanism leading to inflammation in other tissues. However, the possible functional relationship between these membrane channels and their role in damaged
[...] Read more.
Connexin43 (Cx43), pannexin1 (Panx1) and P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) are expressed in kidneys and are known to constitute a feedforward mechanism leading to inflammation in other tissues. However, the possible functional relationship between these membrane channels and their role in damaged renal cells remain unknown. In the present work, we found that MES-13 cells, from a cell line derived from mesangial cells, stimulated with angiotensin II (AngII) developed oxidative stress (OS, thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS) and generated pro-inflammatory cytokines (ELISA; IL-1β and TNF-α). The membrane permeability increased progressively several hours before the latter outcome, which was a response prevented by Losartan, indicating the involvement of AT1 receptors. Western blot analysis showed that the amount of phosphorylated MYPT (a substrate of RhoA/ROCK) and Cx43 increased progressively and in parallel in cells treated with AngII, a response followed by an increase in the amount in Panx1 and P2X7R. Greater membrane permeability was partially explained by opening of Cx43 hemichannels (Cx43 HCs) and Panx1 channels (Panx1 Chs), as well as P2X7Rs activation by extracellular ATP, which was presumably released via Cx HCs and Panx1 Chs. Additionally, inhibition of RhoA/ROCK blocked the progressive increase in membrane permeability, and the remaining response was explained by the other non-selective channels. The rise of activity in the RhoA/ROCK-dependent pathway, as well as in Cx HCs, P2X7R, and to a minor extent in Panx1 Chs led to higher amounts of TBARS and pro-inflammatory cytokines. We propose that AngII-induced mesangial cell damage could be effectively inhibited by concomitantly inhibiting the RhoA/ROCK-dependent pathway and one or more non-selective channel(s) activated through this pathway. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Differential Tissue Fatty Acids Profiling between Colorectal Cancer Patients with and without Synchronous Metastasis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040962
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
The early detection of colorectal cancer and determination of its metastatic potential are important factors to set up more efficacious therapeutic strategies. In the present study, we hypothesize that fatty acids analysis in colorectal cancer patients can discriminate between metastatic and non-metastatic patients.
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The early detection of colorectal cancer and determination of its metastatic potential are important factors to set up more efficacious therapeutic strategies. In the present study, we hypothesize that fatty acids analysis in colorectal cancer patients can discriminate between metastatic and non-metastatic patients. Fifty-one consecutive patients with histologically proven colorectal cancer were enrolled in the study and the presence of synchronous metastasis was detected in 25 of these 51 patients. Fatty acid profile analysis in red blood cell membranes was not able to discriminate the metastatic colorectal cancer patients from those without metastasis. However, significant differences in the tumor tissue fatty acid profile were found in metastatic cancer patients when compared to patients without metastasis. Metastatic patients showed significantly lower percentages of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and higher levels of γ-linolenic acid (GLA), a n-3- and n-6-Polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), respectively. Our findings, suggesting that membrane lipid rearrangement could influence the cellular function and make the cell more prone to metastasis, offer the opportunity to develop nutritional strategies that may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translational Research in Colorectal Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Oxymatrine Inhibits Influenza A Virus Replication and Inflammation via TLR4, p38 MAPK and NF-κB Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040965
Received: 28 January 2018 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Oxymatrine (OMT) is a strong immunosuppressive agent that has been used in the clinic for many years. In the present study, by using plaque inhibition, luciferase reporter plasmids, qRT-PCR, western blotting, and ELISA assays, we have investigated the effect and mechanism of OMT
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Oxymatrine (OMT) is a strong immunosuppressive agent that has been used in the clinic for many years. In the present study, by using plaque inhibition, luciferase reporter plasmids, qRT-PCR, western blotting, and ELISA assays, we have investigated the effect and mechanism of OMT on influenza A virus (IAV) replication and IAV-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo. The results showed that OMT had excellent anti-IAV activity on eight IAV strains in vitro. OMT could significantly decrease the promoter activity of TLR3, TLR4, TLR7, MyD88, and TRAF6 genes, inhibit IAV-induced activations of Akt, ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, and NF-κB pathways, and suppress the expressions of inflammatory cytokines and MMP-2/-9. Activators of TLR4, p38 MAPK and NF-κB pathways could significantly antagonize the anti-IAV activity of OMT in vitro, including IAV replication and IAV-induced cytopathogenic effect (CPE). Furthermore, OMT could reduce the loss of body weight, significantly increase the survival rate of IAV-infected mice, decrease the lung index, pulmonary inflammation and lung viral titter, and improve pulmonary histopathological changes. In conclusion, OMT possesses anti-IAV and anti-inflammatory activities, the mechanism of action may be linked to its ability to inhibit IAV-induced activations of TLR4, p38 MAPK, and NF-κB pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle St. John’s Wort Regulates Proliferation and Apoptosis in MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells by Inhibiting AMPK/mTOR and Activating the Mitochondrial Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040966
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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St. John’s Wort (SJW) has been used as an estrogen agonist in the systems affected by menopause. Also, hypericin, a bioactive compound of SJW, has been used as a photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy. In the present study, we investigate the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic
[...] Read more.
St. John’s Wort (SJW) has been used as an estrogen agonist in the systems affected by menopause. Also, hypericin, a bioactive compound of SJW, has been used as a photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy. In the present study, we investigate the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of SJW to demonstrate the chemo-preventive effect in human breast cancer cells. MCF-7 cells were cultured with DMSO or various concentrations of SJW ethanol extract (SJWE). Cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, the expression of proteins involved in cell growth and apoptosis, and caspase-3/7 activity were examined. SJWE dose-dependently suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis of MCF-7 cells. Mechanistically, SJWE enhanced the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and decreased the expression of p-mammalian target of rapamycin (p-mTOR) and p-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). Also, SJWE inhibited the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt) and showed increases in the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bad with decreases in the expression of anti-apoptotic proteins including B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL), and p-Bcl-2-associated death promoter (p-Bad). SJWE at 50 μg/mL showed markedly enhanced caspase-7 activation. Taken together, our results provide evidence that SJWE shows anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects via inhibition of AMPK/mTOR and activation of a mitochondrial pathway. Therefore, SJWE can be used as a chemo-preventive agent without photo-activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Bioactives and Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of the NO-Sensitive Guanylyl Cyclase 1 and 2 on Renal Blood Flow and Systemic Blood Pressure in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 967; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040967
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Nitric oxide (NO) modulates renal blood flow (RBF) and kidney function and is involved in blood pressure (BP) regulation predominantly via stimulation of the NO-sensitive guanylyl cyclase (NO-GC), existing in two isoforms, NO-GC1 and NO-GC2. Here, we used isoform-specific knockout (KO) mice and
[...] Read more.
Nitric oxide (NO) modulates renal blood flow (RBF) and kidney function and is involved in blood pressure (BP) regulation predominantly via stimulation of the NO-sensitive guanylyl cyclase (NO-GC), existing in two isoforms, NO-GC1 and NO-GC2. Here, we used isoform-specific knockout (KO) mice and investigated their contribution to renal hemodynamics under normotensive and angiotensin II-induced hypertensive conditions. Stimulation of the NO-GCs by S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) reduced BP in normotensive and hypertensive wildtype (WT) and NO-GC2-KO mice more efficiently than in NO-GC1-KO. NO-induced increase of RBF in normotensive mice did not differ between the genotypes, but the respective increase under hypertensive conditions was impaired in NO-GC1-KO. Similarly, inhibition of endogenous NO increased BP and reduced RBF to a lesser extent in NO-GC1-KO than in NO-GC2-KO. These findings indicate NO-GC1 as a target of NO to normalize RBF in hypertension. As these effects were not completely abolished in NO-GC1-KO and renal cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels were decreased in both NO-GC1-KO and NO-GC2-KO, the results suggest an additional contribution of NO-GC2. Hence, NO-GC1 plays a predominant role in the regulation of BP and RBF, especially in hypertension. However, renal NO-GC2 appears to compensate the loss of NO-GC1, and is able to regulate renal hemodynamics under physiological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue cGMP-Signalling in Cells: Molecular and Functional Features)
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Open AccessArticle Protective Effects of Gomisin N against Hepatic Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptor-Induced Insulin Resistance and Gluconeogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040968
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Activation of the hepatic cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) induces insulin resistance and gluconeogenesis via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, thereby contributing to hyperglycemia. Gomisin N (GN) is a phytochemical derived from Schisandra chinensis. In the current study, we investigated the inhibitory effects
[...] Read more.
Activation of the hepatic cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) induces insulin resistance and gluconeogenesis via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, thereby contributing to hyperglycemia. Gomisin N (GN) is a phytochemical derived from Schisandra chinensis. In the current study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of GN on hepatic CB1R-mediated insulin resistance and gluconeogenesis in 2-arachidonoylglycerol (AG; an agonist of CB1R)-treated HepG2 cells and in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice. Treatment with 2-AG induced the expression of ER stress markers, serine/threonine phosphatase PHLPP1, Lipin1, and ceramide synthesis genes, but reduced the expression of ceramide degradation genes in HepG2 cells. However, GN reversed 2-AG-mediated effects and improved the 2-AG-mediated impairment of insulin signaling. Furthermore, GN inhibited 2-AG-induced intracellular triglyceride accumulation and glucose production in HepG2 cells by downregulation of lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis genes, respectively. In vivo, GN administration to HFD obese mice reduced the HFD-induced increase in fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, which was accompanied with downregulation of HFD-induced expression of CB1R, ER stress markers, ceramide synthesis gene, and gluconeogenesis genes in the livers of HFD obese mice. These findings demonstrate that GN protects against hepatic CB1-mediated impairment of insulin signaling and gluconeogenesis, thereby contributing to the amelioration of hyperglycemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Preclinical Evaluation of Vemurafenib as Therapy for BRAFV600E Mutated Sarcomas
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 969; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040969
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
The BRAFV600E mutation, which in melanoma is targetable with vemurafenib, is also found in sarcomas and we here evaluate the therapeutic potential in sarcoma cell lines. Methods: Four sarcoma cell lines harboring the BRAFV600E mutation, representing liposarcomas (SA-4 and SW872), Ewing sarcoma
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The BRAFV600E mutation, which in melanoma is targetable with vemurafenib, is also found in sarcomas and we here evaluate the therapeutic potential in sarcoma cell lines. Methods: Four sarcoma cell lines harboring the BRAFV600E mutation, representing liposarcomas (SA-4 and SW872), Ewing sarcoma (A673) and atypical synovial sarcoma (SW982), were treated with vemurafenib and the effects on cell growth, apoptosis, cell cycle progression and cell signaling were determined. Results: Vemurafenib induced a strong cytostatic effect in SA-4 cells, mainly due to cell cycle arrest, whereas only moderate levels of apoptosis were observed. However, a high dose was required compared to BRAFV600E mutated melanoma cells, and removal of vemurafenib demonstrated that the continuous presence of drug was required for sustained growth inhibition. A limited growth inhibition was observed in the other three cell lines. Protein analyses demonstrated reduced phosphorylation of ERK during treatment with vemurafenib in all the four sarcoma cell lines confirming that the MAPK pathway is active in these cell lines, and that the pathway can be inhibited by vemurafenib, but also that these cells can proliferate despite this. Conclusions: These findings indicate that vemurafenib alone would not be an efficient therapy against BRAFV600E mutated sarcomas. However, further investigations of combination with other drugs are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Advances in Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Two Liver Treatment Strategies in a Mouse Model of Niemann–Pick-Disease Type C1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040972
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
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Niemann–Pick-disease type C1 (NPC1) is an autosomal-recessive cholesterol-storage disorder. Besides other symptoms, NPC1 patients develop liver dysfunction and hepatosplenomegaly. The mechanisms of hepatomegaly and alterations of lipid metabolism-related genes in NPC1 disease are still poorly understood. Here, we used an NPC1 mouse model
[...] Read more.
Niemann–Pick-disease type C1 (NPC1) is an autosomal-recessive cholesterol-storage disorder. Besides other symptoms, NPC1 patients develop liver dysfunction and hepatosplenomegaly. The mechanisms of hepatomegaly and alterations of lipid metabolism-related genes in NPC1 disease are still poorly understood. Here, we used an NPC1 mouse model to study an additive hepatoprotective effect of a combination of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD), miglustat and allopregnanolone (combination therapy) with the previously established monotherapy using HPβCD. We examined transgene effects as well as treatment effects on liver morphology and hepatic lipid metabolism, focusing on hepatic cholesterol transporter genes. Livers of Npc1−/− mice showed hepatic cholesterol sequestration with consecutive liver injury, an increase of lipogenetic gene expression, e.g., HMG-CoA, a decrease of lipolytic gene expression, e.g., pparα and acox1, and a decrease of lipid transporter gene expression, e.g., acat1, abca1 and fatp2. Both, combination therapy and monotherapy, led to a reduction of hepatic lipids and an amelioration of NPC1 liver disease symptoms. Monotherapy effects were related to pparα- and acox1-associated lipolysis/β-oxidation and to fatp2-induced fatty acid transport, whereas the combination therapy additionally increased the cholesterol transport via abca1 and apoE. However, HPβCD monotherapy additionally increased cholesterol synthesis as indicated by a marked increase of the HMG-CoA and srebp-2 mRNA expression, probably as a result of increased hepatocellular proliferation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rare Diseases: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle Baicalein Rescues Delayed Cooling via Preservation of Akt Activation and Akt-Mediated Phospholamban Phosphorylation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040973
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
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Abstract
Cooling reduces the ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury seen in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by decreasing the burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Its cardioprotection is diminished when delay in reaching the target temperature occurs. Baicalein, a flavonoid derived from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis
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Cooling reduces the ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury seen in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by decreasing the burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Its cardioprotection is diminished when delay in reaching the target temperature occurs. Baicalein, a flavonoid derived from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, possesses antioxidant properties. Therefore, we hypothesized that baicalein can rescue cooling cardioprotection when cooling is delayed. Two murine cardiomyocyte models, an I/R model (90 min ischemia/3 h reperfusion) and stunning model (30 min ischemia/90 min reperfusion), were used to assess cell survival and contractility, respectively. Cooling (32 °C) was initiated either during ischemia or during reperfusion. Cell viability and ROS generation were measured. Cell contractility was evaluated by real-time phase-contrast imaging. Our results showed that cooling reduced cell death and ROS generation, and this effect was diminished when cooling was delayed. Baicalein (25 µM), given either at the start of reperfusion or start of cooling, resulted in a comparable reduction of cell death and ROS production. Baicalein improved phospholamban phosphorylation, contractility recovery, and cell survival. These effects were Akt-dependent. In addition, no synergistic effect was observed with the combined treatments of cooling and baicalein. Our data suggest that baicalein may serve as a novel adjunct therapeutic strategy for SCA resuscitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress in Cardiovascular Disease 2018)
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Open AccessArticle An SCFFBXO28 E3 Ligase Protects Pancreatic β-Cells from Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 975; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040975
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
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Abstract
Loss of pancreatic β-cell function and/or mass is a central hallmark of all forms of diabetes but its molecular basis is incompletely understood. β-cell apoptosis contributes to the reduced β-cell mass in diabetes. Therefore, the identification of important signaling molecules that promote β-cell
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Loss of pancreatic β-cell function and/or mass is a central hallmark of all forms of diabetes but its molecular basis is incompletely understood. β-cell apoptosis contributes to the reduced β-cell mass in diabetes. Therefore, the identification of important signaling molecules that promote β-cell survival in diabetes could lead to a promising therapeutic intervention to block β-cell decline during development and progression of diabetes. In the present study, we identified F-box protein 28 (FBXO28), a substrate-recruiting component of the Skp1-Cul1-F-box (SCF) ligase complex, as a regulator of pancreatic β-cell survival. FBXO28 was down-regulated in β-cells and in isolated human islets under diabetic conditions. Consistently, genetic silencing of FBXO28 impaired β-cell survival, and restoration of FBXO28 protected β-cells from the harmful effects of the diabetic milieu. Although FBXO28 expression positively correlated with β-cell transcription factor NEUROD1 and FBXO28 depletion also reduced insulin mRNA expression, neither FBXO28 overexpression nor depletion had any significant impact on insulin content, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) or on other genes involved in glucose sensing and metabolism or on important β-cell transcription factors in isolated human islets. Consistently, FBXO28 overexpression did not further alter insulin content and GSIS in freshly isolated islets from patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Our data show that FBXO28 improves pancreatic β-cell survival under diabetogenic conditions without affecting insulin secretion, and its restoration may be a novel therapeutic tool to promote β-cell survival in diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Functional Characterization of Novel Atrial Fibrillation-Linked GJA5 (Cx40) Mutants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040977
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia. Recently, four novel heterozygous Cx40 mutations—K107R, L223M, Q236H, and I257L—were identified in 4 of 310 unrelated AF patients and a followup genetic analysis of the mutant carriers’ families showed that the mutants
[...] Read more.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia. Recently, four novel heterozygous Cx40 mutations—K107R, L223M, Q236H, and I257L—were identified in 4 of 310 unrelated AF patients and a followup genetic analysis of the mutant carriers’ families showed that the mutants were present in all the affected members. To study possible alterations associated with these Cx40 mutants, including their cellular localization and gap junction (GJ) function, we expressed GFP-tagged and untagged mutants in connexin-deficient model cells. All four Cx40 mutants showed clustered localization at cell–cell junctions similar to that observed of wildtype Cx40. However, cell pairs expressing Cx40 Q236H, but not the other individual mutants, displayed a significantly lower GJ coupling conductance (Gj) than wildtype Cx40. Similarly, co-expression of Cx40 Q236H with Cx43 resulted in a significantly lower Gj. Transjunctional voltage-dependent gating (Vj gating) properties were also altered in the GJs formed by Q236H. Reduced GJ function and altered Vj gating may play a role in promoting the Q236H carriers to AF. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Protein Expression in Tonsillar and Base of Tongue Cancer and in Relation to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Clinical Outcome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040978
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major etiological factor for tonsillar and the base of tongue cancer (TSCC/BOTSCC). HPV-positive and HPV-negative TSCC/BOTSCC present major differences in mutations, mRNA expression and clinical outcome. Earlier protein studies on TSCC/BOTSCC have mainly analyzed individual proteins. Here, the
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major etiological factor for tonsillar and the base of tongue cancer (TSCC/BOTSCC). HPV-positive and HPV-negative TSCC/BOTSCC present major differences in mutations, mRNA expression and clinical outcome. Earlier protein studies on TSCC/BOTSCC have mainly analyzed individual proteins. Here, the aim was to compare a larger set of cancer and immune related proteins in HPV-positive and HPV-negative TSCC/BOTSCC in relation to normal tissue, presence of HPV, and clinical outcome. Fresh frozen tissue from 42 HPV-positive and 17 HPV-negative TSCC/BOTSCC, and corresponding normal samples, were analyzed for expression of 167 proteins using two Olink multiplex immunoassays. Major differences in protein expression between TSCC/BOTSCC and normal tissue were identified, especially in chemo- and cytokines. Moreover, 34 proteins, mainly immunoregulatory proteins and chemokines, were differently expressed in HPV-positive vs HPV-negative TSCC/BOTSCC. Several proteins were potentially related to clinical outcome for HPV-positive or HPV-negative tumors. For HPV-positive tumors, these were mostly related to angiogenesis and hypoxia. Correlation with clinical outcome of one of these, VEGFA, was validated by immunohistochemistry. Differences in immune related proteins between HPV-positive and HPV-negative TSCC/BOTSCC reflect the stronger activity of the immune defense in the former. Angiogenesis related proteins might serve as potential targets for therapy in HPV-positive TSCC/BOTSCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Polyomaviruses and Papillomaviruses)
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Open AccessArticle Inactivation of SREBP-1a Phosphorylation Prevents Fatty Liver Disease in Mice: Identification of Related Signaling Pathways by Gene Expression Profiles in Liver and Proteomes of Peroxisomes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040980
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
The key lipid metabolism transcription factor sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1a integrates gene regulatory effects of hormones, cytokines, nutrition and metabolites as lipids, glucose, or cholesterol via phosphorylation by different mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. We have previously reported the impact of
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The key lipid metabolism transcription factor sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1a integrates gene regulatory effects of hormones, cytokines, nutrition and metabolites as lipids, glucose, or cholesterol via phosphorylation by different mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. We have previously reported the impact of SREBP-1a phosphorylation on the phenotype in transgenic mouse models with liver-specific overexpression of the N-terminal transcriptional active domain of SREBP-1a (alb-SREBP-1a) or a MAPK phosphorylation site-deficient variant (alb-SREBP-1a∆P; (S63A, S117A, T426V)), respectively. In this report, we investigated the molecular basis of the systemic observations by holistic analyses of gene expression in liver and of proteome patterns in lipid-degrading organelles involved in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome, i.e., peroxisomes, using 2D-DIGE and mass spectrometry. The differences in hepatic gene expression and peroxisomal protein patterns were surprisingly small between the control and alb-SREBP-1a mice, although the latter develop a severe phenotype with visceral obesity and fatty liver. In contrast, phosphorylation site-deficient alb-SREBP-1a∆P mice, which are protected from fatty liver disease, showed marked differences in hepatic gene expression and peroxisomal proteome patterns. Further knowledge-based analyses revealed that disruption of SREBP-1a phosphorylation resulted in massive alteration of cellular processes, including signs for loss of targeting lipid pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional Regulation in Lipid Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Dysregulated microRNA Networks in Schwann Cell-Like Cultures Exposed to Immune Challenge: Potential Crosstalk with the Protective VIP/PACAP Neuropeptide System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040981
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
Following peripheral nerve injury, dysregulations of certain non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) occur in Schwann cells. Whether these alterations are the result of local inflammation and/or correlate with perturbations in the expression profile of the protective vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)/pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) system
[...] Read more.
Following peripheral nerve injury, dysregulations of certain non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) occur in Schwann cells. Whether these alterations are the result of local inflammation and/or correlate with perturbations in the expression profile of the protective vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)/pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) system is currently unknown. To address these issues, we aimed at profiling the expression of selected miRNAs in the rat RT4 Schwann cell line. Cells exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), to mimic the local inflammatory milieu, were appraised by real-time qPCR, Western blot and ELISAs. We found that upon LPS treatment, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, -6, -18, -17A, MCP-1 and TNFα) increased in a time-dependent manner. Unexpectedly, the expression levels of VIP and PACAP were also increased. Conversely, levels of VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptors were reduced. Downregulated miRNAs included miR-181b, -145, -27a, -340 and -132 whereas upregulated ones were miR-21, -206, -146a, -34a, -155, -204 and -29a, respectively. Regression analyses revealed that a subset of the identified miRNAs inversely correlated with the expression of VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptors. In conclusion, these findings identified a novel subset of miRNAs that are dysregulated by immune challenge whose activities might elicit a regulatory function on the VIP/PACAP system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: From Bench to Bedside 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Blueberry miRNAs and Their Targets Based on High-Throughput Sequencing and Degradome Analyses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040983
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
miRNAs are important regulators of plant gene expression. To better characterize their functions, we applied high-throughput sequencing and degradome analyses to investigate three blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) tissues. A total of 127 known and 101 novel miRNAs were identified. Moreover, 141 targets
[...] Read more.
miRNAs are important regulators of plant gene expression. To better characterize their functions, we applied high-throughput sequencing and degradome analyses to investigate three blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) tissues. A total of 127 known and 101 novel miRNAs were identified. Moreover, 141 targets for 42 known and 19 novel miRNAs were experimentally validated by degradome sequencing. A functional analysis of these miRNA targets revealed they were associated with diverse biological activities and several pathways, e.g., anthocyanin biosynthesis and cytokinin signal transduction. The data presented herein expand our understanding of the regulation of blueberry miRNAs during floral and fruit development stages. They may also provide new insights into the roles of miRNAs during anthocyanin biosynthesis in blueberry fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Knocking down Insulin Receptor in Pancreatic Beta Cell lines with Lentiviral-Small Hairpin RNA Reduces Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Secretion via Decreasing the Gene Expression of Insulin, GLUT2 and Pdx1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040985
Received: 3 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a metabolic disorder characterized by beta cell dysfunction and insulin resistance in fat, muscle and liver cells. Recent studies have shown that the development of insulin resistance in pancreatic beta cell lines may contribute to beta cell dysfunction
[...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a metabolic disorder characterized by beta cell dysfunction and insulin resistance in fat, muscle and liver cells. Recent studies have shown that the development of insulin resistance in pancreatic beta cell lines may contribute to beta cell dysfunction in T2D. However, there still is a lack of detailed investigations regarding the mechanisms by which insulin deficiency may contribute in diabetes. In this study, we firstly established a stable insulin receptor knockdown cell line in pancreatic beta cells INS-1 (InsRβKD cells) using anti InsRβ small hairpin RNA (InsRβ-shRNA) encoded by lentiviral vectors. The resultant InsRβKD cells demonstrated a significantly reduced expression of InsRβ as determined by real-time PCR and Western blotting analyses. Upon removing glucose from the medium, these cells exhibited a significant decrease in insulin gene expression and protein secretion in response to 20 mM glucose stimulation. In accordance with this insulin reduction, the glucose uptake efficiency as indicated by a 3[H]-2-deoxy-d-glucose assay also decreased. Furthermore, InsRβKD cells showed a dramatic decrease in glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2, encoded by SLC2A2) and pancreatic duodenal homeobox (Pdx1) mRNA expression compared to the controls. These data collectively suggest that pancreatic beta cell insulin resistance contributes to the development of beta cell dysfunction by impairing pancreatic beta cell glucose sensation through the Pdx1- GLUT2 pathway. InsRβKD cells provide a good model to further investigate the mechanism of β-cell dysfunction in T2D. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell and Molecular Biology of Pancreatic Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Identification, Expression, and Functional Analysis of the Sugar Transporter Gene Family in Cassava (Manihot esculenta)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040987
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
The sugar transporter (STP) gene family encodes monosaccharide transporters that contain 12 transmembrane domains and belong to the major facilitator superfamily. STP genes play critical roles in monosaccharide distribution and participate in diverse plant metabolic processes. To investigate the potential roles
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The sugar transporter (STP) gene family encodes monosaccharide transporters that contain 12 transmembrane domains and belong to the major facilitator superfamily. STP genes play critical roles in monosaccharide distribution and participate in diverse plant metabolic processes. To investigate the potential roles of STPs in cassava (Manihot esculenta) tuber root growth, genome-wide identification and expression and functional analyses of the STP gene family were performed in this study. A total of 20 MeSTP genes (MeSTP120) containing the Sugar_tr conserved motifs were identified from the cassava genome, which could be further classified into four distinct groups in the phylogenetic tree. The expression profiles of the MeSTP genes explored using RNA-seq data showed that most of the MeSTP genes exhibited tissue-specific expression, and 15 out of 20 MeSTP genes were mainly expressed in the early storage root of cassava. qRT-PCR analysis further confirmed that most of the MeSTPs displayed higher expression in roots after 30 and 40 days of growth, suggesting that these genes may be involved in the early growth of tuber roots. Although all the MeSTP proteins exhibited plasma membrane localization, variations in monosaccharide transport activity were found through a complementation analysis in a yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) mutant, defective in monosaccharide uptake. Among them, MeSTP2, MeSTP15, and MeSTP19 were able to efficiently complement the uptake of five monosaccharides in the yeast mutant, while MeSTP3 and MeSTP16 only grew on medium containing galactose, suggesting that these two MeSTP proteins are transporters specific for galactose. This study provides significant insights into the potential functions of MeSTPs in early tuber root growth, which possibly involves the regulation of monosaccharide distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Linum flavum (L.) Hairy Root Cultures for the Production of Anticancer Aryltetralin Lignans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040990
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
Linum flavum hairy root lines were established from hypocotyl pieces using Agrobacterium rhizogenes strains LBA 9402 and ATCC 15834. Both strains were effective for transformation but induction of hairy root phenotype was more stable with strain ATCC 15834. Whereas similar accumulation patterns were
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Linum flavum hairy root lines were established from hypocotyl pieces using Agrobacterium rhizogenes strains LBA 9402 and ATCC 15834. Both strains were effective for transformation but induction of hairy root phenotype was more stable with strain ATCC 15834. Whereas similar accumulation patterns were observed in podophyllotoxin-related compounds (6-methoxy-podophyllotoxin, podophyllotoxin and deoxypodophyllotoxin), significant quantitative variations were noted between root lines. The influence of culture medium and various treatments (hormone, elicitation and precursor feeding) were evaluated. The highest accumulation was obtained in Gamborg B5 medium. Treatment with methyl jasmonate, and feeding using ferulic acid increased the accumulation of aryltetralin lignans. These results point to the use of hairy root culture lines of Linum flavum as potential sources for these valuable metabolites as an alternative, or as a complement to Podophyllum collected from wild stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Phenolics and Polyphenols 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Low Serum Levels of (Dihydro-)Ceramides Reflect Liver Graft Dysfunction in a Real-World Cohort of Patients Post Liver Transplantation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040991
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
Patients after orthopic liver transplantation (OLT) are at risk of developing graft dysfunction. Sphingolipids (SL’s) have been identified to play a pivotal role in the regulation of hepatocellular apoptosis, inflammation and immunity. We aimed to investigate the serum SL profile in a prospective
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Patients after orthopic liver transplantation (OLT) are at risk of developing graft dysfunction. Sphingolipids (SL’s) have been identified to play a pivotal role in the regulation of hepatocellular apoptosis, inflammation and immunity. We aimed to investigate the serum SL profile in a prospective real-world cohort of post-OLT patients. From October 2015 until July 2016, 149 well-characterized post-OLT patients were analyzed. SL’s were assessed in serum probes via Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Twenty-nine (20%) patients had a biopsy proven graft rejection with decreased C20-ceramide (Cer) (p = 0.042), C18-dihydroceramide (DHC) (p = 0.022) and C24DHC (p = 0.060) levels. Furthermore, C18DHC (p = 0.044) and C24DHC (p = 0.011) were significantly down-regulated in patients with ischemic type biliary lesions (ITBL; n = 15; 10%). One-hundred and thirty-three patients (89%) have so far received tacrolimus as the main immunosuppressive agent with observed elevations of C14Cer (p = 0.052), C18Cer (p = 0.049) and C18:1Cer (p = 0.024). Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) pre-OLT was associated with increases in C24:1Cer (p = 0.024) and C24:1DHC (p = 0.024). In this large prospective cross-sectional study of patients, post-OLT serum levels of (very-)long chain (dihydro-)ceramides associate with graft rejection, ITBL, tacrolimus intake and HCC pre-OLT. Hence, serum SL’s may be indicative of graft complications. Further research is necessary to identify their diverse mechanistic role in regulating immunity and inflammation in patients post-OLT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sphingolipids: Signals and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Seed Hydropriming and Smoke Water Significantly Improve Low-Temperature Germination of Lupinus angustifolius L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040992
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
Seed imbibition under cold temperature is dangerous when dry seeds have relatively low water content. The aim of this study was to investigate germination of 20 lines/cultivars of narrow-leaf lupine at 7 °C (cold) and 13 °C (control) under the influence of smoke
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Seed imbibition under cold temperature is dangerous when dry seeds have relatively low water content. The aim of this study was to investigate germination of 20 lines/cultivars of narrow-leaf lupine at 7 °C (cold) and 13 °C (control) under the influence of smoke water and following seed hydropriming for 3 h at 20 °C. The efficacy of individual treatments was examined with regard to seed protection during low-temperature germination. Based on seed germination, vigour at cold was evaluated four days after sowing by means of hypocotyl length, the studied lines/cultivars were divided into three groups with low, high and very high germination rates. Germination vigour correlated with cell membrane permeability, dehydrogenase activity and abscisic acid (ABA) content and was analysed in the seeds one day after sowing. Gibberellin content did not correlate with germination vigour. The seeds of weakly germinating lines/cultivars had the highest cell permeability and ABA content as well as the lowest amylolytic activity at both studied temperatures. Additionally, the vigour of weakly germinating seeds at 7 °C correlated with dehydrogenase activity. Three-hour hydropriming was the most effective for seed germination under cold due to reduced cell membrane permeability and ABA level. Stimulating effects of smoke water on germination under cold could be explained by enhanced dehydrogenase activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle MicroRNA-146a Deficiency Protects against Listeria monocytogenes Infection by Modulating the Gut Microbiota
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040993
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
The gut microbiota and microRNAs play important roles in the defense against infection. However, the role of miR-146a in L. monocytogenes infection and gut microbiota remains unclear. We tried to determine whether miR-146a controlled L. monocytogenes infection by regulating the gut microbiota. Wild-type
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The gut microbiota and microRNAs play important roles in the defense against infection. However, the role of miR-146a in L. monocytogenes infection and gut microbiota remains unclear. We tried to determine whether miR-146a controlled L. monocytogenes infection by regulating the gut microbiota. Wild-type and miR-146a-deficient mice or macrophages were used to characterize the impact of miR-146a on animal survival, cell death, bacterial clearance, and gut microbiota following L. monocytogenes challenge. We found that L. monocytogenes infection induced miR-146a expression both in vitro and in vivo. When compared to wild-type mice, miR-146a-deficient mice were more resistant to L. monocytogenes infection. MiR-146a deficiency in macrophages resulted in reduced invasion and intracellular survival of L. monocytogenes. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA revealed that the gut microbiota composition differed between miR-146a-deficient and wild-type mice. Relative to wild-type mice, miR-146a-deficient mice had decreased levels of the Proteobacteria phylum, Prevotellaceae family, and Parasutterella genus, and significantly increased short-chain fatty acid producing bacteria, including the genera Alistipes, Blautia, Coprococcus_1, and Ruminococcus_1. Wild-type mice co-housed with miR-146a-deficient mice had increased resistance to L. monocytogenes, indicating that miR-146a deficiency guides the gut microbiota to alleviate infection. Together, these results suggest that miR-146a deficiency protects against L. monocytogenes infection by regulating the gut microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Microbe Interaction 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Co-Culture with Human Osteoblasts and Exposure to Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Improve Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040994
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (Ad-MSCs) have been proposed as suitable option for cell-based therapies to support bone regeneration. In the bone environment, Ad-MSCs will receive stimuli from resident cells that may favor their osteogenic differentiation. There is recent evidence that this process
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Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (Ad-MSCs) have been proposed as suitable option for cell-based therapies to support bone regeneration. In the bone environment, Ad-MSCs will receive stimuli from resident cells that may favor their osteogenic differentiation. There is recent evidence that this process can be further improved by extremely low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMFs). Thus, the project aimed at (i) investigating whether co-culture conditions of human osteoblasts (OBs) and Ad-MSCs have an impact on their proliferation and osteogenic differentiation; (ii) whether this effect can be further improved by repetitive exposure to two specific ELF-PEMFs (16 and 26 Hz); (iii) and the effect of these ELF-PEMFs on human osteoclasts (OCs). Osteogenic differentiation was improved by co-culturing OBs and Ad-MSCs when compared to the individual mono-cultures. An OB to Ad-MSC ratio of 3:1 had best effects on total protein content, alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity, and matrix mineralization. Osteogenic differentiation was further improved by both ELF-PEMFs investigated. Interestingly, only repetitive exposure to 26 Hz ELF-PEMF increased Trap5B activity in OCs. Considering this result, a treatment with gradually increasing frequency might be of interest, as the lower frequency (16 Hz) could enhance bone formation, while the higher frequency (26 Hz) could enhance bone remodeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adipose Stem Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Molecular Binding Contributes to Concentration Dependent Acrolein Deposition in Rat Upper Airways: CFD and Molecular Dynamics Analyses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040997
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
Existing in vivo experiments show significantly decreased acrolein uptake in rats with increasing inhaled acrolein concentrations. Considering that high-polarity chemicals are prone to bond with each other, it is hypothesized that molecular binding between acrolein and water will contribute to the experimentally observed
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Existing in vivo experiments show significantly decreased acrolein uptake in rats with increasing inhaled acrolein concentrations. Considering that high-polarity chemicals are prone to bond with each other, it is hypothesized that molecular binding between acrolein and water will contribute to the experimentally observed deposition decrease by decreasing the effective diffusivity. The objective of this study is to quantify the probability of molecular binding for acrolein, as well as its effects on acrolein deposition, using multiscale simulations. An image-based rat airway geometry was used to predict the transport and deposition of acrolein using the chemical species model. The low Reynolds number turbulence model was used to simulate the airflows. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulations were used to study the molecular binding of acrolein in different media and at different acrolein concentrations. MD results show that significant molecular binding can happen between acrolein and water molecules in human and rat airways. With 72 acrolein embedded in 800 water molecules, about 48% of acrolein compounds contain one hydrogen bond and 10% contain two hydrogen bonds, which agreed favorably with previous MD results. The percentage of hydrogen-bonded acrolein compounds is higher at higher acrolein concentrations or in a medium with higher polarity. Computational dosimetry results show that the size increase caused by the molecular binding reduces the effective diffusivity of acrolein and lowers the chemical deposition onto the airway surfaces. This result is consistent with the experimentally observed deposition decrease at higher concentrations. However, this size increase can only explain part of the concentration-dependent variation of the acrolein uptake and acts as a concurrent mechanism with the uptake-limiting tissue ration rate. Intermolecular interactions and associated variation in diffusivity should be considered in future dosimetry modeling of high-polarity chemicals such as acrolein. Full article
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Open AccessArticle ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter VcaM from Vibrio cholerae is Dependent on the Outer Membrane Factor Family for Its Function
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041000
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 25 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
PDF Full-text (11556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Vibrio cholerae ATP-binding cassette transporter VcaM (V. cholerae ABC multidrug resistance pump) has previously been shown to confer resistance to a variety of medically important drugs. In this study, we set to analyse its properties both in vitro in detergent-solubilised state and
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Vibrio cholerae ATP-binding cassette transporter VcaM (V. cholerae ABC multidrug resistance pump) has previously been shown to confer resistance to a variety of medically important drugs. In this study, we set to analyse its properties both in vitro in detergent-solubilised state and in vivo to differentiate its dependency on auxiliary proteins for its function. We report the first detailed kinetic parameters of purified VcaM and the rate of phosphate (Pi) production. To determine the possible functional dependencies of VcaM on the tripartite efflux pumps we then utilized different E. coli strains lacking the principal secondary transporter AcrB (Acriflavine resistance protein), as well as cells lacking the outer membrane factor (OMF) TolC (Tolerance to colicins). Consistent with the ATPase function of VcaM we found it to be susceptible to sodium orthovanadate (NaOV), however, we also found a clear dependency of VcaM function on TolC. Inhibitors targeting secondary active transporters had no effects on either VcaM-conferred resistance or Hoechst 33342 accumulation, suggesting that VcaM might be capable of engaging with the TolC-channel without periplasmic mediation by additional transporters. Our findings are indicative of VcaM being capable of a one-step substrate translocation from cytosol to extracellular space utilising the TolC-channel, making it the only multidrug ABC-transporter outside of the MacB-family with demonstrable TolC-dependency. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Proteins and Protein-Ligand Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Development and Characterisation of a Human Chronic Skin Wound Cell Line—Towards an Alternative for Animal Experimentation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041001
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
Background: Chronic skin wounds are a growing financial burden for healthcare providers, causing discomfort/immobility to patients. Whilst animal chronic wound models have been developed to allow for mechanistic studies and to develop/test potential therapies, such systems are not good representations of the
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Background: Chronic skin wounds are a growing financial burden for healthcare providers, causing discomfort/immobility to patients. Whilst animal chronic wound models have been developed to allow for mechanistic studies and to develop/test potential therapies, such systems are not good representations of the human chronic wound state. As an alternative, human chronic wound fibroblasts (CWFs) have permitted an insight into the dysfunctional cellular mechanisms that are associated with these wounds. However, such cells strains have a limited replicative lifespan and therefore a limited reproducibility/usefulness. Objectives: To develop/characterise immortalised cell lines of CWF and patient-matched normal fibroblasts (NFs). Methods and Results: Immortalisation with human telomerase resulted in both CWF and NF proliferating well beyond their replicative senescence end-point (respective cell strains senesced as normal). Gene expression analysis demonstrated that, whilst proliferation-associated genes were up-regulated in the cell lines (as would be expected), the immortalisation process did not significantly affect the disease-specific genotype. Immortalised CWF (as compared to NF) also retained a distinct impairment in their wound repopulation potential (in line with CWF cell strains). Conclusions: These novel CWF cell lines are a credible animal alternative and could be a valuable research tool for understanding both the aetiology of chronic skin wounds and for therapeutic pre-screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Innovations in Wound Healing and Repair)
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Open AccessArticle Regulated Mesenchymal Stem Cells Mediated Colon Cancer Therapy Assessed by Reporter Gene Based Optical Imaging
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041002
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 25 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in both men and women and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Suicide gene-based therapy with suicide gene-transduced mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is a promising therapeutic strategy. A tetracycline-controlled Tet-On inducible system used to
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Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in both men and women and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Suicide gene-based therapy with suicide gene-transduced mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is a promising therapeutic strategy. A tetracycline-controlled Tet-On inducible system used to regulate gene expression may be a useful tool for gene-based therapies. The aim of this study was to develop therapeutic MSCs with a suicide gene that is induced by an artificial stimulus, to validate therapeutic gene expression, and to monitor the MSC therapy for colon cancer using optical molecular imaging. For our study, we designed the Tet-On system using a retroviral vector and developed a response plasmid RetroX-TRE (tetracycline response element) expressing a mutant form of herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV1-sr39TK) with dual reporters (eGFP-Fluc2). Bone marrow-derived MSCs were transduced using a RetroX-Tet3G (Clontech, CA, USA) regulatory plasmid and RetroX-TRE-HSV1-sr39TK-eGFP-IRES-Fluc2, for a system with a Tet-On (MSC-Tet-TK/Fluc2 or MSC-Tet-TK) or without a Tet-On (MSC-TK/Fluc2 or MSC-TK) function. Suicide gene engineered MSCs were co-cultured with colon cancer cells (CT26/Rluc) in the presence of the prodrug ganciclovir (GCV) after stimulation with or without doxycycline (DOX). Treatment efficiency was monitored by assessing Rluc (CT26/Rluc) and Fluc (MSC-Tet-TK and MSC-TK) activity using optical imaging. The bystander effect of therapeutic MSCs was confirmed in CT26/Rluc cells after GCV treatment. Rluc activity in CT26/Rluc cells decreased significantly with GCV treatment of DOX(+) cells (p < 0.05 and 0.01) whereas no significant changes were observed in DOX(−) cells. In addition, Fluc activity in also decreased significantly with DOX(+) MSC-Tet-TK cells, but no signal was observed in DOX(−) cells. In addition, an MSC-TK bystander effect was also confirmed. We assessed therapy with this system in a colon cancer xenograft model (CT26/Rluc). We successfully transduced cells and developed a Tet-On system with the suicide gene HSV1-sr39TK. Our results confirmed the therapeutic efficiency of a suicide gene with the Tet-On system for colon cancer. In addition, our results provide an innovative therapeutic approach using the Tet-On system to eradicate tumors by administration of MSC-Tet-TK cells with DOX and GCV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle β4 and β6 Integrin Expression Is Associated with the Subclassification and Clinicopathological Features of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041004
Received: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a heterogeneous group of cancers of the intrahepatic biliary tract. However, few studies have evaluated integrin expression according to an ICC subgroup. We immunohistochemically investigated α6β4 (β4) and αvβ6 (β6) integrin expressions in 48 ICCs, and evaluated their relationship
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Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a heterogeneous group of cancers of the intrahepatic biliary tract. However, few studies have evaluated integrin expression according to an ICC subgroup. We immunohistochemically investigated α6β4 (β4) and αvβ6 (β6) integrin expressions in 48 ICCs, and evaluated their relationship with clinical and pathological parameters and ligand expression, as well as transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1. β4 and β6 expressions were detected in 46 (96%) and 35 (73%) ICC cases, respectively. We classified ICC into negative, low (β4, 29 cases; β6, 36 cases), or high (β4, 19 cases; β6, 12 cases) integrin expression groups. β4 and β6 integrin levels were higher in the non-peripheral central localization type ICC than in the peripheral localization type; they were also higher in the periductal-infiltrating or intraductal-growth types than in the mass-forming type ICC; lastly, they were higher in the well-differentiated type than in the poorly-differentiated type ICC. High expression was related to bile duct invasion. In addition, β4 and β6 expressions were associated with mucin production and the expression of cytoplasmic epithelial membrane antigen, laminin-5, and tenascin-C. TGF-β1 was correlated with β6 expression and poor overall survival. These results suggest that integrin expression is associated with subclassification and clinicopathological features of ICC through the coincident expression of their ligands and TGF-β1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrins and Human Pathologies)
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Open AccessArticle PON-tstab: Protein Variant Stability Predictor. Importance of Training Data Quality
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041009
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Several methods have been developed to predict effects of amino acid substitutions on protein stability. Benchmark datasets are essential for method training and testing and have numerous requirements including that the data is representative for the investigated phenomenon. Available machine learning algorithms for
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Several methods have been developed to predict effects of amino acid substitutions on protein stability. Benchmark datasets are essential for method training and testing and have numerous requirements including that the data is representative for the investigated phenomenon. Available machine learning algorithms for variant stability have all been trained with ProTherm data. We noticed a number of issues with the contents, quality and relevance of the database. There were errors, but also features that had not been clearly communicated. Consequently, all machine learning variant stability predictors have been trained on biased and incorrect data. We obtained a corrected dataset and trained a random forests-based tool, PON-tstab, applicable to variants in any organism. Our results highlight the importance of the benchmark quality, suitability and appropriateness. Predictions are provided for three categories: stability decreasing, increasing and those not affecting stability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Human Mitochondrial HMG-CoA Synthase Deficiency: Role of Enzyme Dimerization Surface and Characterization of Three New Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041010
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase deficiency (mitochondrial HMG-CoA synthase deficiency or mHS deficiency, OMIM #605911) is an inborn error of metabolism that affects ketone body synthesis. Acute episodes include vomiting, lethargy, hepatomegaly, hypoglycemia and dicarboxylic aciduria. The diagnosis is difficult due to the relatively unspecific
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Mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase deficiency (mitochondrial HMG-CoA synthase deficiency or mHS deficiency, OMIM #605911) is an inborn error of metabolism that affects ketone body synthesis. Acute episodes include vomiting, lethargy, hepatomegaly, hypoglycemia and dicarboxylic aciduria. The diagnosis is difficult due to the relatively unspecific clinical and biochemical presentation, and fewer than 30 patients have been described. This work describes three new patients with mHS deficiency and two missense mutations c.334C>T (p.R112W) and c.430G>T (p.V144L) previously not reported. We developed a new method to express and measure the activity of the enzyme and in this work the study is extended to ten new missense variants including those of our patients. Enzymatic assays showed that three of the mutant proteins retained some but seven completely lacked activity. The identification of a patient homozygous for a mutation that retains 70% of enzyme activity opens the door to a new interpretation of the disease by demonstrating that a modest impairment of enzyme function can actually produce symptoms. This is also the first study employing molecular dynamics modelling of the enzyme mutations. We show that the correct maintenance of the dimerization surface is crucial for retaining the structure of the active center and therefore the activity of the enzyme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rare Diseases: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle Opposite Genetic Effects of CMIP Polymorphisms on the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity: A Family-Based Study in China
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041011
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
C-Maf Inducing Protein (CMIP) gene polymorphisms were reported to be associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Whether the association between CMIP and T2DM is mediated via obesity-related phenotypes is still unclear. We analyzed the association of CMIP rs2925979 with T2DM
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C-Maf Inducing Protein (CMIP) gene polymorphisms were reported to be associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Whether the association between CMIP and T2DM is mediated via obesity-related phenotypes is still unclear. We analyzed the association of CMIP rs2925979 with T2DM and a comprehensive set of obesity-related phenotypes in 1576 families ascertained from a Chinese population. These families included a total of 3444 siblings (1582 with T2DM, 963 with prediabetes, and 899 with a normal glucose level). Using multi-level mixed effects regression models, we found that each copy of CMIP rs2925979_T allele was associated with a 29% higher risk of T2DM in females (p = 9.30 × 10−4), while it was not significantly associated with T2DM in males (p = 0.705). Meanwhile, rs2925979_T allele was associated with lower levels of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), percentage of body fat (PBF), PBF of arms, PBF of legs, and PBF of trunk in nondiabetes females (all p < 0.05). The opposite associations of rs2925979_T allele with T2DM and obesity-related phenotypes suggest that CMIP may exert independent pleiotropic effects on T2DM and obesity-related phenotypes in females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Molecular Signatures of Luteoloside Accumulation in Senescing Leaves of Lonicera macranthoides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041012
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Lonicera macranthoides is an important medicinal plant widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. Luteoloside is a critical bioactive compound in L. macranthoides. To date, the molecular mechanisms underlying luteoloside biosynthesis are still largely unknown. In this work, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
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Lonicera macranthoides is an important medicinal plant widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. Luteoloside is a critical bioactive compound in L. macranthoides. To date, the molecular mechanisms underlying luteoloside biosynthesis are still largely unknown. In this work, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was employed to determine the luteoloside contents in leaves, stems, and flowers at different developmental stages. Results showed that senescing leaves can accumulate large amounts of luteoloside, extremely higher than that in young and semi-lignified leaves and other tissues. RNA-Seq analysis identified that twenty-four differentially expressed unigenes (DEGs) associated with luteoloside biosynthesis were significantly up-regulated in senescing leaves, which are positively correlated with luteoloside accumulation. These DEGs include phenylalanine ammonia lyase 2, cinnamate 4-hydroxylase 2, thirteen 4-coumarate-CoA ligases, chalcone synthase 2, six flavonoid 3′-monooxygenase (F3′H) and two flavone 7-O-β-glucosyltransferase (UFGT) genes. Further analysis demonstrated that two F3′Hs (CL11828.Contig1 and CL11828.Contig2) and two UFGTs (Unigene2918 and Unigene97915) might play vital roles in luteoloside generation. Furthermore, several transcription factors (TFs) related to flavonoid biosynthesis including MYB, bHLH and WD40, were differentially expressed during leaf senescence. Among these TFs, MYB12, MYB75, bHLH113 and TTG1 were considered to be key factors involved in the regulation of luteoloside biosynthesis. These findings provide insights for elucidating the molecular signatures of luteoloside accumulation in L. macranthoides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Silkworm Pupa Protein Hydrolysate Induces Mitochondria-Dependent Apoptosis and S Phase Cell Cycle Arrest in Human Gastric Cancer SGC-7901 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1013; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041013
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Silkworm pupae (Bombyx mori) are a high-protein nutrition source consumed in China since more than 2 thousand years ago. Recent studies revealed that silkworm pupae have therapeutic benefits to treat many diseases. However, the ability of the compounds of silkworm pupae
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Silkworm pupae (Bombyx mori) are a high-protein nutrition source consumed in China since more than 2 thousand years ago. Recent studies revealed that silkworm pupae have therapeutic benefits to treat many diseases. However, the ability of the compounds of silkworm pupae to inhibit tumourigenesis remains to be elucidated. Here, we separated the protein of silkworm pupae and performed alcalase hydrolysis. Silkworm pupa protein hydrolysate (SPPH) can specifically inhibit the proliferation and provoke abnormal morphologic features of human gastric cancer cells SGC-7901 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Moreover, flow cytometry indicated that SPPH can induce apoptosis and arrest the cell-cycle in S phase. Furthermore, SPPH was shown to provoke accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential. Western blotting analysis indicated that SPPH inhibited Bcl-2 expression and promoted Bax expression, and subsequently induced apoptosis-inducing factor and cytochrome C release, which led to the activation of initiator caspase-9 and executioner caspase-3, cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), eventually caused cell apoptosis. Moreover, SPPH-induced S-phase arrest was mediated by up-regulating the expression of E2F1 and down-regulating those of cyclin E, CDK2 and cyclin A2. Transcriptome sequencing and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) also revealed that SPPH treatment could affect gene expression and pathway regulation related to tumourigenesis, apoptosis and cell cycle. In summary, our results suggest that SPPH could specifically suppress cell growth of SGC-7901 through an intrinsic apoptotic pathway, ROS accumulation and cell cycle arrest, and silkworm pupae have a potential to become a source of anticancer agents in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Probing Interactions between AuNPs/AgNPs and Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs) Using Hyperspectral Dark-field Microscopy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041014
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 17 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Noble metallic nanoparticles (NPs) such as gold and silver nanoparticles (AuNPs and AgNPs) have been shown to exhibit anti-tumor effect in anti-angiogenesis, photothermal and radio therapeutics. On the other hand, cell membranes are critical locales for specific targeting of cancerous cells. Therefore, NP-membrane
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Noble metallic nanoparticles (NPs) such as gold and silver nanoparticles (AuNPs and AgNPs) have been shown to exhibit anti-tumor effect in anti-angiogenesis, photothermal and radio therapeutics. On the other hand, cell membranes are critical locales for specific targeting of cancerous cells. Therefore, NP-membrane interactions need be studied at molecular level to help better understand the underlying physicochemical mechanisms for future applications in cancer nanotechnology. Herein, we report our study on the interactions between citrate stabilized colloidal AuNPs/AgNPs (10 nm in size) and giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) using hyperspectral dark-field microscopy. GUVs are large model vesicle systems well established for the study of membrane dynamics. GUVs used in this study were prepared with dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and doped with cholesterol at various molar concentrations. Both imaging and spectral results support that AuNPs and AgNPs interact very differently with GUVs, i.e., AuNPs tend to integrate in between the lipid bilayer and form a uniform golden-brown crust on vesicles, whereas AgNPs are bejeweled on the vesicle surface as isolated particles or clusters with much varied configurations. The more disruptive capability of AuNPs is hypothesized to be responsible for the formation of golden brown crusts in AuNP-GUV interaction. GUVs of 20 mol% CHOL:DMPC were found to be a most economical concentration for GUVs to achieve the best integrity and the least permeability, consistent with the finding from other phase studies of lipid mixture that the liquid-ordered domains have the largest area fraction of the entire membrane at around 20 mol% of cholesterol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology in Cancer Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle Aged (Black) versus Raw Garlic against Ischemia/Reperfusion-Induced Cardiac Complications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041017
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Recent evidence from studies suggests that aged black garlic also has an effect on health. The major aim of the present study is to compare the effect of raw and aged black garlic on postischemic cardiac recovery. Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly
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Recent evidence from studies suggests that aged black garlic also has an effect on health. The major aim of the present study is to compare the effect of raw and aged black garlic on postischemic cardiac recovery. Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups. Animals of the first group were fed with raw garlic, animals of the second group received aged black garlic, while the third group served as vehicle-treated controls. Upon conclusion of the treatment, isolated hearts were undertaken to ischemia/reperfusion. Heart function and infarct size were measured and the level of HO-1 and iNOS were studied. Superior postischemic cardiac function and reduced infarct size in both garlic treated groups compared to the drug-free control group, indicated cardioprotective effects. However, no significant differences between the garlic treated groups were observed. Western blot analysis revealed that raw garlic enhanced the level of HO-1 before ischemia, while in ischemic samples, we found elevated HO-1 expression in both garlic treated groups. The level of iNOS was the same before ischemia in all groups, however, a markedly reduced iNOS level in ischemic/reperfused hearts originating from control and raw garlic treated animals was observed. Samples from aged black garlic treated animals demonstrated that the level of iNOS was not significantly reduced after ischemia/reperfusion. Taken together these results indicate that not only raw but also aged black garlic possess a cardioprotective effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Phasor-Based Endogenous NAD(P)H Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Unravels Specific Enzymatic Activity of Neutrophil Granulocytes Preceding NETosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041018
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Abstract
Time-correlated single-photon counting combined with multi-photon laser scanning microscopy has proven to be a versatile tool to perform fluorescence lifetime imaging in biological samples and, thus, shed light on cellular functions, both in vitro and in vivo. Here, by means of phasor-analyzed endogenous
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Time-correlated single-photon counting combined with multi-photon laser scanning microscopy has proven to be a versatile tool to perform fluorescence lifetime imaging in biological samples and, thus, shed light on cellular functions, both in vitro and in vivo. Here, by means of phasor-analyzed endogenous NAD(P)H (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (phosphate)) fluorescence lifetime imaging, we visualize the shift in the cellular metabolism of healthy human neutrophil granulocytes during phagocytosis of Staphylococcus aureus pHrodo™ beads. We correlate this with the process of NETosis, i.e., trapping of pathogens by DNA networks. Hence, we are able to directly show the dynamics of NADPH oxidase activation and its requirement in triggering NETosis in contrast to other pathways of cell death and to decipher the dedicated spatio-temporal sequence between NADPH oxidase activation, nuclear membrane disintegration and DNA network formation. The endogenous FLIM approach presented here uniquely meets the increasing need in the field of immunology to monitor cellular metabolism as a basic mechanism of cellular and tissue functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Application in Life Sciences 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Distribution of Glutathione-Stabilized Gold Nanoparticles in Feline Fibrosarcomas and Their Role as a Drug Delivery System for Doxorubicin—Preclinical Studies in a Murine Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041021
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Feline injection site sarcomas (FISS) are malignant skin tumors with high recurrence rates despite the primary treatment of radical surgical resections. Adjunctive radiotherapy or chemotherapy with doxorubicin is mostly ineffective. Cellular and molecular causes of multidrug resistance, specific physio-chemical properties of solid tumors
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Feline injection site sarcomas (FISS) are malignant skin tumors with high recurrence rates despite the primary treatment of radical surgical resections. Adjunctive radiotherapy or chemotherapy with doxorubicin is mostly ineffective. Cellular and molecular causes of multidrug resistance, specific physio-chemical properties of solid tumors impairing drug transport, and the tumor microenvironment have been indicated for causing standard chemotherapy failure. Gold nanoparticles are promising imaging tools, nanotherapeutics, and drug delivery systems (DDS) for chemotherapeutics, improving drug transport within solid tumors. This study was conducted to assess the distribution of 4-nm glutathione-stabilized gold nanoparticles in FISS and their influence on kidney and liver parameters in nude mice. The role of gold nanoparticles as a doxorubicin DDS in FISS was examined to determine the potential reasons for failure to translate results from in vitro to in vivo studies. Grade III tumors characterized by a large area of necrosis at their core displayed positive immuneexpression of tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) at both the periphery and within the tumor core near the area of necrosis. Gold nanoparticles did not cause necrosis at the injection site and had no negative effect on liver and kidney parameters in nude mice. Gold nanoparticles accumulated in the tumor core and at the periphery and co-internalized with TAM—an important observation and potential therapeutic target warranting further investigation. The large area of necrosis and high immunoexpression of TAM, indicating “pro-tumor macrophages”, may be responsible for FISS tumor progression and therapeutic failure. However, further studies are required to test this hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translating Gold Nanoparticles to Diagnostics and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Biofunctionalized Scaffold in Bone Tissue Repair
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041022
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Abstract
Bone tissue engineering is based on bone grafting to repair bone defects. Bone graft substitutes can contribute to the addition of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in order to enhance the rate and the quality of defect regeneration. The stem cell secretome contains many
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Bone tissue engineering is based on bone grafting to repair bone defects. Bone graft substitutes can contribute to the addition of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in order to enhance the rate and the quality of defect regeneration. The stem cell secretome contains many growth factors and chemokines, which could affect cellular characteristics and behavior. Conditioned medium (CM) could be used in tissue regeneration avoiding several problems linked to the direct use of MSCs. In this study, we investigated the effect of human periodontal ligament stem cells (hPDLSCs) and their CM on bone regeneration using a commercially available membrane scaffold Evolution (EVO) implanted in rat calvarias. EVO alone or EVO + hPDLSCs with or without CM were implanted in Wistar male rats subjected to calvarial defects. The in vivo results revealed that EVO membrane enriched with hPDLSCs and CM showed a better osteogenic ability to repair the calvarial defect. These results were confirmed by acquired micro-computed tomography (CT) images and the increased osteopontin levels. Moreover, RT-PCR in vitro revealed the upregulation of three genes (Collagen (COL)5A1, COL16A1 and transforming growth factor (TGF)β1) and the down regulation of 26 genes involved in bone regeneration. These results suggest a promising potential application of CM from hPDLSCs and scaffolds for bone defect restoration and in particular for calvarial repair in case of trauma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Biomaterial Interaction)
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