Abstract: α-Helices often recognize their target proteins at protein–protein interfaces through more than one recognition face. This review describes the state-of-the-art in the design of non-peptidic α-helix mimetics that reproduce functionality from multiple faces of an α-helix.
Abstract: Teleost fish possess an adaptive immune system associated with each of their mucosal body surfaces. Evidence obtained from mucosal vaccination and mucosal infection studies reveal that adaptive immune responses take place at the different mucosal surfaces of teleost. The main mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (MALT) of teleosts are the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), skin-associated lymphoid tissue (SALT), the gill-associated lymphoid tissue (GIALT) and the recently discovered nasopharynx-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT). Teleost MALT includes diffuse B cells and T cells with specific phenotypes different from their systemic counterparts that have co-evolved to defend the microbe-rich mucosal environment. Both B and T cells respond to mucosal infection or vaccination. Specific antibody responses can be measured in the gills, gut and skin mucosal secretions of teleost fish following mucosal infection or vaccination. Rainbow trout studies have shown that IgT antibodies and IgT+ B cells are the predominant B cell subset in all MALT and respond in a compartmentalized manner to mucosal infection. Our current knowledge on adaptive immunity in teleosts is limited compared to the mammalian literature. New research tools and in vivo models are currently being developed in order to help reveal the great intricacy of teleost mucosal adaptive immunity and help improve mucosal vaccination protocols for use in aquaculture.
Abstract: It has long been believed that fish lack antibody affinity maturation, in part because they were thought to lack germinal centers. Recent research done on sharks and bony fishes indicates that these early vertebrates are able to affinity mature their antibodies. This article reviews the functionality of the fish homologue of the immunoglobulin (Ig) mutator enzyme activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID). We also consider the protein and molecular evidence for Ig somatic hypermutation and antibody affinity maturation. In the context of recent evidence for a putative proto-germinal center in fishes we propose some possible reasons that observed affinity maturation in fishes often seems lacking and propose future work that might shed further light on this process in fishes.
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that have the ability to post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. Hundreds of miRNAs have been identified in humans and they are involved in the regulation of almost every process, including cholesterol transport, metabolism, and maintenance of cholesterol homeostasis. Because of their small size and their ability to very specifically regulate gene expression, miRNAs are attractive targets for the regulation of dyslipidemias and other lipid-related disorders. However, the complex interactions between miRNAs, transcription factors, and gene expression raise great potential for side effects as a result of miRNA overexpression or inhibition. Many dietary components can also target specific miRNAs, altering the expression of downstream genes. Therefore, much more research is necessary to fully understand the role(s) of each miRNA in the body and how they may be impacted by diet and health. The present review aims to summarize the known roles of miRNAs in the regulation of reverse cholesterol transport and the maintenance of cholesterol homeostasis, as well as the potential clinical consequences of their manipulation.
Abstract: Viruses produce nucleic acids during their replication, either during genomic replication or transcription. These nucleic acids are present in the cytoplasm or endosome of an infected cell, or in the extracellular space to be sensed by neighboring cells during lytic infections. Cells have mechanisms of sensing virus-generated nucleic acids; these nucleic acids act as flags to the cell, indicating an infection requiring defense mechanisms. The viral nucleic acids are called pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and the sensors that bind them are called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). This review article focuses on the most recent findings regarding nucleic acids PRRs in fish, including: Toll-like receptors (TLRs), RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs), cytoplasmic DNA sensors (CDSs) and class A scavenger receptors (SR-As). It also discusses what is currently known of the downstream signaling molecules for each PRR family and the resulting antiviral response, either type I interferons (IFNs) or pro-inflammatory cytokine production. The review highlights what is known but also defines what still requires elucidation in this economically important animal. Understanding innate immune systems to virus infections will aid in the development of better antiviral therapies and vaccines for the future.
Abstract: In contrast to the probabilistic way of thinking about pleiotropy as the random expression of a single gene that generates two or more distinct phenotypic traits, it is actually a deterministic consequence of the evolution of complex physiology from the unicellular state. Pleiotropic novelties emerge through recombinations and permutations of cell-cell signaling exercised during reproduction based on both past and present physical and physiologic conditions, in service to the future needs of the organism for its continued survival. Functional homologies ranging from the lung to the kidney, skin, brain, thyroid and pituitary exemplify the evolutionary mechanistic strategy of pleiotropy. The power of this perspective is exemplified by the resolution of evolutionary gradualism and punctuated equilibrium in much the same way that Niels Bohr resolved the paradoxical duality of light as Complementarity.