Open AccessArticle
Bioconversion of Tyrosine and Tryptophan Derived Biogenic Amines by Neuropathogenic Bacteria
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/biom8010010 -
Abstract
The biochemical potential of pathogenic bacteria may cause alteration in the neurophysiological environment; consequently, neuroendocrine and immune responses of the host are modulated by endogenously produced metabolic products of neuropathogenic bacteria. The present study was designed to detect the derived biogenic amines in
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The biochemical potential of pathogenic bacteria may cause alteration in the neurophysiological environment; consequently, neuroendocrine and immune responses of the host are modulated by endogenously produced metabolic products of neuropathogenic bacteria. The present study was designed to detect the derived biogenic amines in spent culture media of Bacillus cereus (Bc), Clostridium tetani (Ct), Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), and Neisseria meningitidis (Nm). Overnight grown culture in different culture media i.e., Nutrient broth (NB), Luria basal broth (LB), Brain Heart Infusion broth (BHI), and human serum supplemented RPMI 1640 medium (RPMI) were used to prepare filter-sterilized, cell-free cultural broths (SCFBs) and subjected to high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-EC) along with the control SCFBs. Comparative analysis of biogenic amines in neuropathogenic bacterial SCFBs with their respective control (SCFB) revealed the complete degradation of dopamine (DA) into its metabolic products by Bc, Ct, and Nm, whereas Lm showed negligible degradation of DA. A relatively high concentration of 5-hydroxyindol acetic acid (5HIAA) by Bc in NB and LB indicated the tryptophan metabolism by the serotonin (5HT) pathway. Our study suggests that microbial endocrinology could help unravel new perspectives to the progression of infectious diseases. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Attenuation of Glucose-Induced Myoglobin Glycation and the Formation of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) by (R)-α-Lipoic Acid In Vitro
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 9; doi:10.3390/biom8010009 -
Abstract
High-carbohydrate containing diets have become a precursor to glucose-mediated protein glycation which has been linked to an increase in diabetic and cardiovascular complications. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the protective effect of (R)-α-lipoic acid (ALA) against glucose-induced
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High-carbohydrate containing diets have become a precursor to glucose-mediated protein glycation which has been linked to an increase in diabetic and cardiovascular complications. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the protective effect of (R)-α-lipoic acid (ALA) against glucose-induced myoglobin glycation and the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in vitro. Methods: The effect of ALA on myoglobin glycation was determined via the formation of AGEs fluorescence intensity, iron released from the heme moiety of myoglobin and the level of fructosamine. The extent of glycation-induced myoglobin oxidation was measured via the levels of protein carbonyl and thiol. Results: The results showed that the co-incubation of ALA (1, 2 and 4 mM) with myoglobin (1 mg/mL) and glucose (1 M) significantly decreased the levels of fructosamine, which is directly associated with the decrease in the formation of AGEs. Furthermore, ALA significantly reduced the release of free iron from myoglobin which is attributed to the protection of myoglobin from glucose-induced glycation. The results also demonstrated a significant protective effect of ALA on myoglobin from oxidative damage, as seen from the decreased protein carbonyls and increased protein thiols. Conclusion: The anti-glycation properties of ALA suggest that ALA supplementation may be beneficial in the prevention of AGEs-mediated diabetic and cardiovascular complications. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Elsinopirins A–D, Decalin Polyketides from the Ascomycete Elsinoё pyri
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/biom8010008 -
Abstract
In course of our screening for new secondary metabolites from ecological niche specialized, phytopathogenic fungi, the plant pathogen Elsinoё pyri, strain 2203C, was found to produce four novel compounds (14), which were named elsinopirins A–D, in addition to
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In course of our screening for new secondary metabolites from ecological niche specialized, phytopathogenic fungi, the plant pathogen Elsinoё pyri, strain 2203C, was found to produce four novel compounds (14), which were named elsinopirins A–D, in addition to the known metabolite elsinochrome A (5). After isolation by preparative high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), their structures, including relative stereochemistry, were elucidated by 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) data. Finally, absolute stereochemistry was assigned by chemical shifts of Mosher’s esters (α-methoxy-α-trifluoromethylphenylacetic acid; MTPA) derivatives of elsinopirin B (2). The compounds were found to be devoid of significant antibacterial, antifungal, and cytotoxic activities. Full article
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Open AccessReview
PIM Kinases and Their Relevance to the PI3K/AKT/mTOR Pathway in the Regulation of Ovarian Cancer
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/biom8010007 -
Abstract
Ovarian cancer is a medical term that includes a number of tumors with different molecular biology, phenotypes, tumor progression, etiology, and even different diagnosis. Some specific treatments are required to address this heterogeneity of ovarian cancer, thus molecular characterization may provide an important
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Ovarian cancer is a medical term that includes a number of tumors with different molecular biology, phenotypes, tumor progression, etiology, and even different diagnosis. Some specific treatments are required to address this heterogeneity of ovarian cancer, thus molecular characterization may provide an important tool for this purpose. On a molecular level, proviral-integration site for Moloney-murine leukemia virus (PIM) kinases are over expressed in ovarian cancer and play a vital role in the regulation of different proteins responsible for this tumorigenesis. Likewise, the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is also a central regulator of the ovarian cancer. Interestingly, recent research has linked the PIM kinases to the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in several types of cancers, but their connection in ovarian cancer has not been studied yet. Once the exact relationship of PIM kinases with the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is acquired in ovarian cancer, it will hopefully provide effective treatments on a molecular level. This review mainly focuses on the role of PIM kinases in ovarian cancer and their interactions with proteins involved in its progression. In addition, this review suggests a connection between the PIM kinases and the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway and their parallel mechanism in the regulation of ovarian cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Functional Amyloid Curli Protects Escherichia coli against Complement-Mediated Bactericidal Activity
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/biom8010005 -
Abstract
Escherichia coli strains may be beneficial or pathogenic. Many E. coli strains that cause human disease, especially those responsible for bacteremia and sepsis, express virulence factors that impart resistance to the complement system. The bacterial amyloid curli functions in bacterial adherence and enhances
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Escherichia coli strains may be beneficial or pathogenic. Many E. coli strains that cause human disease, especially those responsible for bacteremia and sepsis, express virulence factors that impart resistance to the complement system. The bacterial amyloid curli functions in bacterial adherence and enhances the formation of biofilms. Survival of curli-producing parental and curli-deficient mutant E. coli in the context of a human complement response was evaluated using an in vivo murine model of bacteremia. Results showed that curli production enhanced E. coli survival, which suggests that curli defends against complement-mediated killing. This observation was supported by the results of in vitro assays comparing bacterial survival in human serum. Experiments in which the classical or alternative complement pathways were blocked indicated that the classical pathway is the major contributor to complement activation and that curli inhibits this activity. Our analyses indicate that curli does not appear to play a role in protecting E. coli against alternative pathway complement activation. We found that curli increases binding of E. coli cells to complement component Complement component 1q (C1q) but does not affect Complement component 3b (C3b) binding. We conclude that curli defends E. coli against complement-mediated killing via inhibition of the classical complement pathway. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Biomolecules in 2017
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/biom8010006 -
Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Biomolecules maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Antimicrobial Peptides: Diversity, Mechanism of Action and Strategies to Improve the Activity and Biocompatibility In Vivo
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/biom8010004 -
Abstract
Antibiotic resistance is projected as one of the greatest threats to human health in the future and hence alternatives are being explored to combat resistance. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have shown great promise, because use of AMPs leads bacteria to develop no or low
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Antibiotic resistance is projected as one of the greatest threats to human health in the future and hence alternatives are being explored to combat resistance. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have shown great promise, because use of AMPs leads bacteria to develop no or low resistance. In this review, we discuss the diversity, history and the various mechanisms of action of AMPs. Although many AMPs have reached clinical trials, to date not many have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to issues with toxicity, protease cleavage and short half-life. Some of the recent strategies developed to improve the activity and biocompatibility of AMPs, such as chemical modifications and the use of delivery systems, are also reviewed in this article. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Rodent Models of Alcoholic Liver Disease: Role of Binge Ethanol Administration
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 3; doi:10.3390/biom8010003 -
Abstract
Both chronic and acute (binge) alcohol drinking are important health and economic concerns worldwide and prominent risk factors for the development of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). There are no FDA-approved medications to prevent or to treat any stage of ALD. Therefore, discovery of
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Both chronic and acute (binge) alcohol drinking are important health and economic concerns worldwide and prominent risk factors for the development of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). There are no FDA-approved medications to prevent or to treat any stage of ALD. Therefore, discovery of novel therapeutic strategies remains a critical need for patients with ALD. Relevant experimental animal models that simulate human drinking patterns and mimic the spectrum and severity of alcohol-induced liver pathology in humans are critical to our ability to identify new mechanisms and therapeutic targets. There are several animal models currently in use, including the most widely utilized chronic ad libitum ethanol (EtOH) feeding (Lieber–DeCarli liquid diet model), chronic intragastric EtOH administration (Tsukamoto–French model), and chronic-plus-binge EtOH challenge (Bin Gao—National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) model). This review provides an overview of recent advances in rodent models of binge EtOH administration which help to recapitulate different features and etiologies of progressive ALD. These models include EtOH binge alone, and EtOH binge coupled with chronic EtOH intake, a high fat diet, or endotoxin challenge. We analyze the strengths, limitations, and translational relevance of these models, as well as summarize the liver injury outcomes and mechanistic insights. We further discuss the application(s) of binge EtOH models in examining alcohol-induced multi-organ pathology, sex- and age-related differences, as well as circadian rhythm disruption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Simultaneous Production of Xylitol and Ethanol from Sisal Fiber
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/biom8010002 -
Abstract
Recent years have seen an increase in the use of lignocellulosic materials in the development of bioproducts. Because sisal fiber is a low cost raw material and is readily available, this work aimed to evaluate its hemicellulose fraction for the simultaneous production of
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Recent years have seen an increase in the use of lignocellulosic materials in the development of bioproducts. Because sisal fiber is a low cost raw material and is readily available, this work aimed to evaluate its hemicellulose fraction for the simultaneous production of xylitol and ethanol. The sisal fiber presented a higher hemicellulose content than other frequently-employed biomasses, such as sugarcane bagasse. A pretreatment with dilute acid and low temperatures was conducted in order to obtain the hemicellulose fraction. The highest xylose contents (0.132 g·g−1 of sisal fiber) were obtained at 120 °C with 2.5% (v/v) of sulfuric acid. The yeast Candida tropicalis CCT 1516 was used in the fermentation. In the sisal fiber hemicellulose hydrolysate, the maximum production of xylitol (0.32 g·g−1) and of ethanol (0.27 g·g−1) was achieved in 60 h. Thus, sisal fiber presents as a potential biomass for the production of ethanol and xylitol, creating value with the use of hemicellulosic liquor without detoxification and without the additional steps of alkaline pretreatment. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Emerging Roles for VEGF-D in Human Disease
Biomolecules 2018, 8(1), 1; doi:10.3390/biom8010001 -
Abstract
Blood vessels and lymphatic vessels are located in many tissues and organs throughout the body, and play important roles in a wide variety of prevalent diseases in humans. Vascular endothelial growth factor-D (VEGF-D) is a secreted protein that can promote the remodeling of
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Blood vessels and lymphatic vessels are located in many tissues and organs throughout the body, and play important roles in a wide variety of prevalent diseases in humans. Vascular endothelial growth factor-D (VEGF-D) is a secreted protein that can promote the remodeling of blood vessels and lymphatics in development and disease. Recent fundamental and translational studies have provided insight into the molecular mechanisms by which VEGF-D exerts its effects in human disease. Hence this protein is now of interest as a therapeutic and/or diagnostic target, or as a potential therapeutic agent, in a diversity of indications in cardiovascular medicine, cancer and the devastating pulmonary condition lymphangioleiomyomatosis. This has led to clinical trial programs to assess the effect of targeting VEGF-D signaling pathways, or delivering VEGF-D, in angina, cancer and ocular indications. This review summarizes our understanding of VEGF-D signaling in human disease, which is largely based on animal disease models and clinicopathological studies, and provides information about the outcomes of recent clinical trials testing agonists or antagonists of VEGF-D signaling. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Significance and Diagnostic Role of Antimicrobial Cathelicidins (LL-37) Peptides in Oral Health
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 80; doi:10.3390/biom7040080 -
Abstract
Cathelicidins are a group of oral antimicrobial peptides that play multiple vital roles in the human body, such as their antimicrobial (broad spectrum) role against oral microbes, wound healing, and angiogenesis, with recent evidences about their role in cancer regulation. Cathelicidins are present
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Cathelicidins are a group of oral antimicrobial peptides that play multiple vital roles in the human body, such as their antimicrobial (broad spectrum) role against oral microbes, wound healing, and angiogenesis, with recent evidences about their role in cancer regulation. Cathelicidins are present in humans and other mammals as well. By complex interactions with the microenvironment, it results in pro-inflammatory effects. Many in vitro and in vivo experiments have been conducted to ultimately conclude that these unique peptides play an essential role in innate immunity. Peptides are released in the precursor form (defensins), which after cleavage results in cathelicidins formation. Living in the era where the major focus is on non-invasive and nanotechnology, this ultimately leads to further advancements in the field of salivaomics. Based on current spotlight innovations, we have highlighted the biochemistry, mode of action, and the importance of cathelicidins in the oral cavity. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Is Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy Effective as an Adjunct to Scaling and Root Planing in Patients with Chronic Periodontitis? A Systematic Review
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 79; doi:10.3390/biom7040079 -
Abstract
The aim of this systematic review was to investigate whether antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) as either a primary mode of treatment or an adjunct to non-surgical treatment was more effective than scaling and root planing (SRP) alone in treating chronic periodontitis in terms
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The aim of this systematic review was to investigate whether antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) as either a primary mode of treatment or an adjunct to non-surgical treatment was more effective than scaling and root planing (SRP) alone in treating chronic periodontitis in terms of clinical attachment level (CAL) gain and probing depth (PD) reduction. The focused question was developed using the Patient, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome (PICO) format, and two authors independently searched the Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases for relevant studies from January 2008 to December 2016. Twenty studies included in this systematic review were randomized clinical trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs of aPDT compared to placebo, no intervention, or non-surgical treatment in an adult population. Basic study characteristics, photosensitizing agents and wavelengths used in aPDT, frequency of aPDT application, effect of aPDT on clinical parameters, antimicrobial effect of aPDT in chronic periodontitis, effect of immunological parameters following aPDT and patient-based outcome measures were collected from the studies. Although there was a wide range of heterogeneity in the included studied, they all indicated that aPDT has the potential to be an effective adjunct in the treatment of chronic periodontitis. Long-term, multicenter studies with larger sample sizes are needed before aPDT can be recommended as an effective treatment modality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Extracellular Domain of Human High Affinity Copper Transporter (hNdCTR1), Synthesized by E. coli Cells, Chelates Silver and Copper Ions In Vivo
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 78; doi:10.3390/biom7040078 -
Abstract
There is much interest in effective copper chelators to correct copper dyshomeostasis in neurodegenerative and oncological diseases. In this study, a recombinant fusion protein for expression in Escherichia coli cells was constructed from glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and the N-terminal domain (ectodomain) of human high
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There is much interest in effective copper chelators to correct copper dyshomeostasis in neurodegenerative and oncological diseases. In this study, a recombinant fusion protein for expression in Escherichia coli cells was constructed from glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and the N-terminal domain (ectodomain) of human high affinity copper transporter CTR1 (hNdCTR1), which has three metal-bound motifs. Several biological properties of the GST-hNdCTR1 fusion protein were assessed. It was demonstrated that in cells, the protein was prone to oligomerization, formed inclusion bodies and displayed no toxicity. Treatment of E. coli cells with copper and silver ions reduced cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Cells expressing GST-hNdCTR1 protein demonstrated resistance to the metal treatments. These cells accumulated silver ions and formed nanoparticles that contained AgCl and metallic silver. In this bacterial population, filamentous bacteria with a length of about 10 µm were often observed. The possibility for the fusion protein carrying extracellular metal binding motifs to integrate into the cell’s copper metabolism and its chelating properties are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Revealing Accessibility of Cryptic Protein Binding Sites within the Functional Collagen Fibril
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 76; doi:10.3390/biom7040076 -
Abstract
Fibrillar collagens are the most abundant proteins in the extracellular matrix. Not only do they provide structural integrity to all of the connective tissues in the human body, but also their interactions with multiple cell receptors and other matrix molecules are essential to
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Fibrillar collagens are the most abundant proteins in the extracellular matrix. Not only do they provide structural integrity to all of the connective tissues in the human body, but also their interactions with multiple cell receptors and other matrix molecules are essential to cell functions, such as growth, repair, and cell adhesion. Although specific binding sequences of several receptors have been determined along the collagen monomer, processes by which collagen binding partners recognize their binding sites in the collagen fibril, and the critical driving interactions, are poorly understood. The complex molecular assembly of bundled triple helices within the collagen fibril makes essential ligand binding sites cryptic or hidden from the molecular surface. Yet, critical biological processes that require collagen ligands to have access to interaction sites still occur. In this contribution, we will discuss the molecular packing of the collagen I fibril from the perspective of how collagen ligands access their known binding regions within the fibril, and we will present our analysis of binding site accessibility from the fibril surface. Understanding the basis of these interactions at the atomic level sets the stage for developing drug targets against debilitating collagen diseases and using collagen as drug delivery systems and new biomaterials. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Evolutionary Conservation of the Components in the TOR Signaling Pathways
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 77; doi:10.3390/biom7040077 -
Abstract
Target of rapamycin (TOR) is an evolutionarily conserved protein kinase that controls multiple cellular processes upon various intracellular and extracellular stimuli. Since its first discovery, extensive studies have been conducted both in yeast and animal species including humans. Those studies have revealed that
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Target of rapamycin (TOR) is an evolutionarily conserved protein kinase that controls multiple cellular processes upon various intracellular and extracellular stimuli. Since its first discovery, extensive studies have been conducted both in yeast and animal species including humans. Those studies have revealed that TOR forms two structurally and physiologically distinct protein complexes; TOR complex 1 (TORC1) is ubiquitous among eukaryotes including animals, yeast, protozoa, and plants, while TOR complex 2 (TORC2) is conserved in diverse eukaryotic species other than plants. The studies have also identified two crucial regulators of mammalian TORC1 (mTORC1), Ras homolog enriched in brain (RHEB) and RAG GTPases. Of these, RAG regulates TORC1 in yeast as well and is conserved among eukaryotes with the green algae and land plants as apparent exceptions. RHEB is present in various eukaryotes but sporadically missing in multiple taxa. RHEB, in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, appears to be extremely divergent with concomitant loss of its function as a TORC1 regulator. In this review, we summarize the evolutionarily conserved functions of the key regulatory subunits of TORC1 and TORC2, namely RAPTOR, RICTOR, and SIN1. We also delve into the evolutionary conservation of RHEB and RAG and discuss the conserved roles of these GTPases in regulating TORC1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Production of Curli Amyloid Fibers Is Deeply Integrated into the Biology of Escherichia coli
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 75; doi:10.3390/biom7040075 -
Abstract
Curli amyloid fibers are the major protein component of the extracellular matrix produced by Enterobacteriaceae during biofilm formation. Curli are required for proper biofilm development and environmental persistence by Escherichia coli. Here, we present a complete and vetted genetic analysis of functional
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Curli amyloid fibers are the major protein component of the extracellular matrix produced by Enterobacteriaceae during biofilm formation. Curli are required for proper biofilm development and environmental persistence by Escherichia coli. Here, we present a complete and vetted genetic analysis of functional amyloid fiber biogenesis. The Keio collection of single gene deletions was screened on Congo red indicator plates to identify E. coli mutants that had defective amyloid production. We discovered that more than three hundred gene products modulated curli production. These genes were involved in fundamental cellular processes such as regulation, environmental sensing, respiration, metabolism, cell envelope biogenesis, transport, and protein turnover. The alternative sigma factors, σS and σE, had opposing roles in curli production. Mutations that induced the σE or Cpx stress response systems had reduced curli production, while mutant strains with increased σS levels had increased curli production. Mutations in metabolic pathways, including gluconeogenesis and the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), produced less curli. Regulation of the master biofilm regulator, CsgD, was diverse, and the screen revealed several proteins and small RNAs (sRNA) that regulate csgD messenger RNA (mRNA) levels. Using previously published studies, we found minimal overlap between the genes affecting curli biogenesis and genes known to impact swimming or swarming motility, underlying the distinction between motile and sessile lifestyles. Collectively, the diversity and number of elements required suggest curli production is part of a highly regulated and complex developmental pathway in E. coli. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Friends Turned Foes: Angiogenic Growth Factors beyond Angiogenesis
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 74; doi:10.3390/biom7040074 -
Abstract
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones is a biological process that ensures an adequate blood flow is maintained to provide the cells with a sufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen within the body. Numerous soluble growth factors and inhibitors,
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Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones is a biological process that ensures an adequate blood flow is maintained to provide the cells with a sufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen within the body. Numerous soluble growth factors and inhibitors, cytokines, proteases as well as extracellular matrix proteins and adhesion molecules stringently regulate the multi-factorial process of angiogenesis. The properties and interactions of key angiogenic molecules such as vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs), fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and angiopoietins have been investigated in great detail with respect to their molecular impact on angiogenesis. Since the discovery of angiogenic growth factors, much research has been focused on their biological actions and their potential use as therapeutic targets for angiogenic or anti-angiogenic strategies in a context-dependent manner depending on the pathologies. It is generally accepted that these factors play an indispensable role in angiogenesis. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that this is not their only role and it is likely that the angiogenic factors have important functions in a wider range of biological and pathological processes. The additional roles played by these molecules in numerous pathologies and biological processes beyond angiogenesis are discussed in this review. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Peptidylprolyl Isomerases as In Vivo Carriers for Drugs That Target Various Intracellular Entities
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 72; doi:10.3390/biom7040072 -
Abstract
Analyses of sequences and structures of the cyclosporine A (CsA)-binding proteins (cyclophilins) and the immunosuppressive macrolide FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs) have revealed that they exhibit peculiar spatial distributions of charges, their overall hydrophobicity indexes vary within a considerable level whereas their points isoelectric (pIs)
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Analyses of sequences and structures of the cyclosporine A (CsA)-binding proteins (cyclophilins) and the immunosuppressive macrolide FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs) have revealed that they exhibit peculiar spatial distributions of charges, their overall hydrophobicity indexes vary within a considerable level whereas their points isoelectric (pIs) are contained from 4 to 11. These two families of peptidylprolyl cis/trans isomerases (PPIases) have several distinct functional attributes such as: (1) high affinity binding to some pharmacologically-useful hydrophobic macrocyclic drugs; (2) diversified binding epitopes to proteins that may induce transient manifolds with altered flexibility and functional fitness; and (3) electrostatic interactions between positively charged segments of PPIases and negatively charged intracellular entities that support their spatial integration. These three attributes enhance binding of PPIase/pharmacophore complexes to diverse intracellular entities, some of which perturb signalization pathways causing immunosuppression and other system-altering phenomena in humans. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Why are Functional Amyloids Non-Toxic in Humans?
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 71; doi:10.3390/biom7040071 -
Abstract
Amyloids were first identified in association with amyloidoses, human diseases in which proteins and peptides misfold into amyloid fibrils. Subsequent studies have identified an array of functional amyloid fibrils that perform physiological roles in humans. Given the potential for the production of toxic
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Amyloids were first identified in association with amyloidoses, human diseases in which proteins and peptides misfold into amyloid fibrils. Subsequent studies have identified an array of functional amyloid fibrils that perform physiological roles in humans. Given the potential for the production of toxic species in amyloid assembly reactions, it is remarkable that cells can produce these functional amyloids without suffering any obvious ill effect. Although the precise mechanisms are unclear, there are a number of ways in which amyloid toxicity may be prevented. These include regulating the level of the amyloidogenic peptides and proteins, minimising the production of prefibrillar oligomers in amyloid assembly reactions, sequestrating amyloids within membrane bound organelles, controlling amyloid assembly by other molecules, and disassembling the fibrils under physiological conditions. Crucially, a better understanding of how toxicity is avoided in the production of functional amyloids may provide insights into the prevention of amyloid toxicity in amyloidoses. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Physiological and Pathological Implications of the Formation of Hydrogels, with a Specific Focus on Amyloid Polypeptides
Biomolecules 2017, 7(4), 70; doi:10.3390/biom7040070 -
Abstract
Hydrogels are water-swollen and viscoelastic three-dimensional cross-linked polymeric network originating from monomer polymerisation. Hydrogel-forming polypeptides are widely found in nature and, at a cellular and organismal level, they provide a wide range of functions for the organism making them. Amyloid structures, arising from
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Hydrogels are water-swollen and viscoelastic three-dimensional cross-linked polymeric network originating from monomer polymerisation. Hydrogel-forming polypeptides are widely found in nature and, at a cellular and organismal level, they provide a wide range of functions for the organism making them. Amyloid structures, arising from polypeptide aggregation, can be damaging or beneficial to different types of organisms. Although the best-known amyloids are those associated with human pathologies, this underlying structure is commonly used by higher eukaryotes to maintain normal cellular activities, and also by microbial communities to promote their survival and growth. Amyloidogenesis occurs by nucleation-dependent polymerisation, which includes several species (monomers, nuclei, oligomers, and fibrils). Oligomers of pathological amyloids are considered the toxic species through cellular membrane perturbation, with the fibrils thought to represent a protective sink for toxic species. However, both functional and disease-associated amyloids use fibril cross-linking to form hydrogels. The properties of amyloid hydrogels can be exploited by organisms to fulfil specific physiological functions. Non-physiological hydrogelation by pathological amyloids may provide additional toxic mechanism(s), outside of membrane toxicity by oligomers, such as physical changes to the intracellular and extracellular environments, with wide-spread consequences for many structural and dynamic processes, and overall effects on cell survival. Full article
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