Open AccessReview
Critical Minireview: The Fate of tRNACys during Oxidative Stress in Bacillus subtilis
Biomolecules 2017, 7(1), 6; doi:10.3390/biom7010006 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Oxidative stress occurs when cells are exposed to elevated levels of reactive oxygen species that can damage biological molecules. One bacterial response to oxidative stress involves disulfide bond formation either between protein thiols or between protein thiols and low-molecular-weight (LMW) thiols. Bacillithiol was
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Oxidative stress occurs when cells are exposed to elevated levels of reactive oxygen species that can damage biological molecules. One bacterial response to oxidative stress involves disulfide bond formation either between protein thiols or between protein thiols and low-molecular-weight (LMW) thiols. Bacillithiol was recently identified as a major low-molecular-weight thiol in Bacillus subtilis and related Firmicutes. Four genes (bshA, bshB1, bshB2, and bshC) are involved in bacillithiol biosynthesis. The bshA and bshB1 genes are part of a seven-gene operon (ypjD), which includes the essential gene cca, encoding CCA-tRNA nucleotidyltransferase. The inclusion of cca in the operon containing bacillithiol biosynthetic genes suggests that the integrity of the 3′ terminus of tRNAs may also be important in oxidative stress. The addition of the 3′ terminal CCA sequence by CCA-tRNA nucleotidyltransferase to give rise to a mature tRNA and functional molecules ready for aminoacylation plays an essential role during translation and expression of the genetic code. Any defects in these processes, such as the accumulation of shorter and defective tRNAs under oxidative stress, might exert a deleterious effect on cells. This review summarizes the physiological link between tRNACys regulation and oxidative stress in Bacillus. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Shared Sulfur Mobilization Routes for tRNA Thiolation and Molybdenum Cofactor Biosynthesis in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes
Biomolecules 2017, 7(1), 5; doi:10.3390/biom7010005 -
Abstract
Modifications of transfer RNA (tRNA) have been shown to play critical roles in the biogenesis, metabolism, structural stability and function of RNA molecules, and the specific modifications of nucleobases with sulfur atoms in tRNA are present in pro- and eukaryotes. Here, especially the
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Modifications of transfer RNA (tRNA) have been shown to play critical roles in the biogenesis, metabolism, structural stability and function of RNA molecules, and the specific modifications of nucleobases with sulfur atoms in tRNA are present in pro- and eukaryotes. Here, especially the thiomodifications xm5s2U at the wobble position 34 in tRNAs for Lys, Gln and Glu, were suggested to have an important role during the translation process by ensuring accurate deciphering of the genetic code and by stabilization of the tRNA structure. The trafficking and delivery of sulfur nucleosides is a complex process carried out by sulfur relay systems involving numerous proteins, which not only deliver sulfur to the specific tRNAs but also to other sulfur-containing molecules including iron–sulfur clusters, thiamin, biotin, lipoic acid and molybdopterin (MPT). Among the biosynthesis of these sulfur-containing molecules, the biosynthesis of the molybdenum cofactor (Moco) and the synthesis of thio-modified tRNAs in particular show a surprising link by sharing protein components for sulfur mobilization in pro- and eukaryotes. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Biomolecules in 2016
Biomolecules 2017, 7(1), 4; doi:10.3390/biom7010004 -
Abstract The  editors of  Biomolecules would like  to  express  their sincere  gratitude  to  the  following  reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessReview
DNA Methylation Targeting: The DNMT/HMT Crosstalk Challenge
Biomolecules 2017, 7(1), 3; doi:10.3390/biom7010003 -
Abstract
Chromatin can adopt a decondensed state linked to gene transcription (euchromatin) and a condensed state linked to transcriptional repression (heterochromatin). These states are controlled by epigenetic modulators that are active on either the DNA or the histones and are tightly associated to each
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Chromatin can adopt a decondensed state linked to gene transcription (euchromatin) and a condensed state linked to transcriptional repression (heterochromatin). These states are controlled by epigenetic modulators that are active on either the DNA or the histones and are tightly associated to each other. Methylation of both DNA and histones is involved in either the activation or silencing of genes and their crosstalk. Since DNA/histone methylation patterns are altered in cancers, molecules that target these modifications are interesting therapeutic tools. We present herein a vast panel of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors classified according to their mechanism, as well as selected histone methyltransferase inhibitors sharing a common mode of action. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Hemoglobin-Based Blood Substitutes and the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease: More Harm than Help?
Biomolecules 2017, 7(1), 2; doi:10.3390/biom7010002 -
Abstract
Intense efforts have been made by both industry and academia over the last three decades to produce viable hemoglobin (Hb)-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs), also known as “blood substitutes”. Human trials conducted so far by several manufactures in a variety of clinical indications, including
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Intense efforts have been made by both industry and academia over the last three decades to produce viable hemoglobin (Hb)-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs), also known as “blood substitutes”. Human trials conducted so far by several manufactures in a variety of clinical indications, including trauma, and elective surgeries have failed and no product has gained the Food and Drug Administration approval for human use. Safety concerns due to frequent incidences of hemodynamic, cardiac events, and even death led to the termination of some of these trials. Several second generation HBOC products that have been chemically and/or genetically modified (or in some cases ligated with carbon monoxide (CO)) found a new clinical application in conditions as complex as sickle cell disease (SCD). By virtue of higher oxygen affinity (P50) (R-state), and smaller size, HBOCs may be able to reach the microvasculature unload of oxygen to reverse the cycles of sickling/unsickling of the deoxy-sickle cell Hb (HbS) (T-state), thus preventing vaso-occlusion, a central event in SCD pathophysiology. However, biochemically, it is thought that outside the red blood cell (due to frequent hemolysis), free HbS or infused HBOCs are capable of interfering with a number of oxidative and signaling pathways and may, thus, negate any benefit that HBOCs may provide. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using HBOCs in SCD. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Emerging Roles for Ciz1 in Cell Cycle Regulation and as a Driver of Tumorigenesis
Biomolecules 2017, 7(1), 1; doi:10.3390/biom7010001 -
Abstract
Precise duplication of the genome is a prerequisite for the health and longevity of multicellular organisms. The temporal regulation of origin specification, replication licensing, and firing at replication origins is mediated by the cyclin-dependent kinases. Here the role of Cip1 interacting Zinc finger
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Precise duplication of the genome is a prerequisite for the health and longevity of multicellular organisms. The temporal regulation of origin specification, replication licensing, and firing at replication origins is mediated by the cyclin-dependent kinases. Here the role of Cip1 interacting Zinc finger protein 1 (Ciz1) in regulation of cell cycle progression is discussed. Ciz1 contributes to regulation of the G1/S transition in mammalian cells. Ciz1 contacts the pre-replication complex (pre-RC) through cell division cycle 6 (Cdc6) interactions and aids localization of cyclin A- cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) activity to chromatin and the nuclear matrix during initiation of DNA replication. We discuss evidence that Ciz1 serves as a kinase sensor that regulates both initiation of DNA replication and prevention of re-replication. Finally, the emerging role for Ciz1 in cancer biology is discussed. Ciz1 is overexpressed in common tumors and tumor growth is dependent on Ciz1 expression, suggesting that Ciz1 is a driver of tumor growth. We present evidence that Ciz1 may contribute to deregulation of the cell cycle due to its ability to alter the CDK activity thresholds that are permissive for initiation of DNA replication. We propose that Ciz1 may contribute to oncogenesis by induction of DNA replication stress and that Ciz1 may be a multifaceted target in cancer therapy. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Repair of DNA Double-Strand Breaks in Heterochromatin
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 47; doi:10.3390/biom6040047 -
Abstract
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are among the most damaging lesions in DNA, since, if not identified and repaired, they can lead to insertions, deletions or chromosomal rearrangements. DSBs can be in the form of simple or complex breaks, and may be repaired by
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DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are among the most damaging lesions in DNA, since, if not identified and repaired, they can lead to insertions, deletions or chromosomal rearrangements. DSBs can be in the form of simple or complex breaks, and may be repaired by one of a number of processes, the nature of which depends on the complexity of the break or the position of the break within the chromatin. In eukaryotic cells, nuclear DNA is maintained as either euchromatin (EC) which is loosely packed, or in a denser form, much of which is heterochromatin (HC). Due to the less accessible nature of the DNA in HC as compared to that in EC, repair of damage in HC is not as straightforward as repair in EC. Here we review the literature on how cells deal with DSBs in HC. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Epigenetic Impact on EBV Associated B-Cell Lymphomagenesis
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 46; doi:10.3390/biom6040046 -
Abstract
Epigenetic modifications leading to either transcriptional repression or activation, play an indispensable role in the development of human cancers. Epidemiological study revealed that approximately 20% of all human cancers are associated with tumor viruses. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the first human tumor virus, demonstrates
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Epigenetic modifications leading to either transcriptional repression or activation, play an indispensable role in the development of human cancers. Epidemiological study revealed that approximately 20% of all human cancers are associated with tumor viruses. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the first human tumor virus, demonstrates frequent epigenetic alterations on both viral and host genomes in associated cancers—both of epithelial and lymphoid origin. The cell type-dependent different EBV latent gene expression patterns appear to be determined by the cellular epigenetic machinery and similarly viral oncoproteins recruit epigenetic regulators in order to deregulate the cellular gene expression profile resulting in several human cancers. This review elucidates the epigenetic consequences of EBV–host interactions during development of multiple EBV-induced B-cell lymphomas, which may lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic interventions against EBV-associated B-cell lymphomas by alteration of reversible patho-epigenetic markings. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Emergence of Pan-Cancer CIMP and Its Elusive Interpretation
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 45; doi:10.3390/biom6040045 -
Abstract
Epigenetic dysregulation is recognized as a hallmark of cancer. In the last 16 years, a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) has been documented in tumors originating from different tissues. However, a looming question in the field is whether or not CIMP is a
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Epigenetic dysregulation is recognized as a hallmark of cancer. In the last 16 years, a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) has been documented in tumors originating from different tissues. However, a looming question in the field is whether or not CIMP is a pan-cancer phenomenon or a tissue-specific event. Here, we give a synopsis of the history of CIMP and describe the pattern of DNA methylation that defines the CIMP phenotype in different cancer types. We highlight new conceptual approaches of classifying tumors based on CIMP in a cancer type-agnostic way that reveal the presence of distinct CIMP tumors in a multitude of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets, suggesting that this phenotype may transcend tissue-type specificity. Lastly, we show evidence supporting the clinical relevance of CIMP-positive tumors and suggest that a common CIMP etiology may define new mechanistic targets in cancer treatment. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of miRNAs in Common Inflammatory Arthropathies: Osteoarthritis and Gouty Arthritis
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 44; doi:10.3390/biom6040044 -
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA species that are highly evolutionarily conserved, from higher invertebrates to man. Up to 1000 miRNAs have been identified in human cells thus far, where they are key regulators of the expression of numerous targets at the post-transcriptional
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA species that are highly evolutionarily conserved, from higher invertebrates to man. Up to 1000 miRNAs have been identified in human cells thus far, where they are key regulators of the expression of numerous targets at the post-transcriptional level. They are implicated in various processes, including cell differentiation, metabolism, and inflammation. An expanding list of miRNAs is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of common, non-autoimmune inflammatory diseases. Interestingly, osteoarthritis (OA) is now being conceptualized as a metabolic disease, as there is a correlation among hyperuricemia and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Experimental evidence suggests that metabolic deregulation is a commonality between these different pathological entities, and that miRNAs are key players in the modulation of metabolic routes. In light of these findings, this review discusses the role of miRNAs in OA and gouty arthritis, as well as the possible therapeutic targetability of miRNAs in these diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
CoverageAnalyzer (CAn): A Tool for Inspection of Modification Signatures in RNA Sequencing Profiles
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 42; doi:10.3390/biom6040042 -
Abstract
Combination of reverse transcription (RT) and deep sequencing has emerged as a powerful instrument for the detection of RNA modifications, a field that has seen a recent surge in activity because of its importance in gene regulation. Recent studies yielded high-resolution RT signatures
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Combination of reverse transcription (RT) and deep sequencing has emerged as a powerful instrument for the detection of RNA modifications, a field that has seen a recent surge in activity because of its importance in gene regulation. Recent studies yielded high-resolution RT signatures of modified ribonucleotides relying on both sequence-dependent mismatch patterns and reverse transcription arrests. Common alignment viewers lack specialized functionality, such as filtering, tailored visualization, image export and differential analysis. Consequently, the community will profit from a platform seamlessly connecting detailed visual inspection of RT signatures and automated screening for modification candidates. CoverageAnalyzer (CAn) was developed in response to the demand for a powerful inspection tool. It is freely available for all three main operating systems. With SAM file format as standard input, CAn is an intuitive and user-friendly tool that is generally applicable to the large community of biomedical users, starting from simple visualization of RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) data, up to sophisticated modification analysis with significance-based modification candidate calling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chronic Binge Alcohol Administration Dysregulates Hippocampal Genes Involved in Immunity and Neurogenesis in Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Macaques
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 43; doi:10.3390/biom6040043 -
Abstract
Alcohol use disorders (AUD) exacerbate neurocognitive dysfunction in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV+) patients. We have shown that chronic binge alcohol (CBA) administration (13–14 g EtOH/kg/wk) prior to and during simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in rhesus macaques unmasks learning deficits in operant learning
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Alcohol use disorders (AUD) exacerbate neurocognitive dysfunction in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV+) patients. We have shown that chronic binge alcohol (CBA) administration (13–14 g EtOH/kg/wk) prior to and during simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in rhesus macaques unmasks learning deficits in operant learning and memory tasks. The underlying mechanisms of neurocognitive alterations due to alcohol and SIV are not known. This exploratory study examined the CBA-induced differential expression of hippocampal genes in SIV-infected (CBA/SIV+; n = 2) macaques in contrast to those of sucrose administered, SIV-infected (SUC/SIV+; n = 2) macaques. Transcriptomes of hippocampal samples dissected from brains obtained at necropsy (16 months post-SIV inoculation) were analyzed to determine differentially expressed genes. MetaCore from Thomson Reuters revealed enrichment of genes involved in inflammation, immune responses, and neurodevelopment. Functional relevance of these alterations was examined in vitro by exposing murine neural progenitor cells (NPCs) to ethanol (EtOH) and HIV trans-activator of transcription (Tat) protein. EtOH impaired NPC differentiation as indicated by decreased βIII tubulin expression. These findings suggest a role for neuroinflammation and neurogenesis in CBA/SIV neuropathogenesis and warrant further investigation of their potential contribution to CBA-mediated neurobehavioral deficits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Continuous Reusability using Immobilized HasApf in Chemoenzymatic Deracemization: A New Heterogeneous Enzyme Catalysis
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 41; doi:10.3390/biom6040041 -
Abstract
This study found that the calibration curve of heme acquisition system A (HasA, a new reactive active species) immobilized by a porous ceramic particle (ImHApf; immobilized HasA from Pseudomonas fluorescens) can be constructed in the range of 1750–1450 cm−1 using Fourier
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This study found that the calibration curve of heme acquisition system A (HasA, a new reactive active species) immobilized by a porous ceramic particle (ImHApf; immobilized HasA from Pseudomonas fluorescens) can be constructed in the range of 1750–1450 cm−1 using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, and evaluated its catalytic efficiency. In the asymmetric oxidation of rac-1-(6-methoxynaphthalen-2-yl)ethanol (rac-1: a naproxen precursor), a product ketone from the (R)-isomer is desymmetrized using NaBH4 and continuously reused even if treated with an organic solvent in 50 mM glycine–NaOH buffer at 40 °C in the absence of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(P)), leading to >99% enantiomeric excess and >90% chemical yield; the activity was calculated at 0.74 ± 0.03 mU/(mg·min) and the turnover number was determined to be approximately 2 × 106. It was confirmed that the other sec-alcohols such as rac-1-(2-naphthyl)ethanol (rac-2) and m- and p-substituted rac-1-phenyl ethanols (rac-3ab6ab) using ImHApf can also yield a single stereoisomer from a racemate. Therefore, HasA immobilization can be expected to become an important tool for building an environmentally friendly system that promotes industrial sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Pennisi, R., et al. Hsp90: A New Player in DNA Repair? Biomolecules 2015, 5, 2589–2618
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 40; doi:10.3390/biom6040040 -
Open AccessReview
Intra- and Extra-Cellular Events Related to Altered Glycosylation of MUC1 Promote Chronic Inflammation, Tumor Progression, Invasion, and Metastasis
Biomolecules 2016, 6(4), 39; doi:10.3390/biom6040039 -
Abstract
Altered glycosylation of mucin 1 (MUC1) on tumor cells compared to normal epithelial cells was previously identified as an important antigenic modification recognized by the immune system in the process of tumor immunosurveillance. This tumor form of MUC1 is considered a viable target
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Altered glycosylation of mucin 1 (MUC1) on tumor cells compared to normal epithelial cells was previously identified as an important antigenic modification recognized by the immune system in the process of tumor immunosurveillance. This tumor form of MUC1 is considered a viable target for cancer immunotherapy. The importance of altered MUC1 glycosylation extends also to its role as a promoter of chronic inflammatory conditions that lead to malignant transformation and cancer progression. We review here what is known about the role of specific cancer-associated glycans on MUC1 in protein-protein interactions and intracellular signaling in cancer cells and in their adhesion to each other and the tumor stroma. The tumor form of MUC1 also creates a different landscape of inflammatory cells in the tumor microenvironment by controlling the recruitment of inflammatory cells, establishing specific interactions with dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, and facilitating tumor escape from the immune system. Through multiple types of short glycans simultaneously present in tumors, MUC1 acquires multiple oncogenic properties that control tumor development, progression, and metastasis at different steps of the process of carcinogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inhibition of Bacterial RNase P RNA by Phenothiazine Derivatives
Biomolecules 2016, 6(3), 38; doi:10.3390/biom6030038 -
Abstract
There is a need to identify novel scaffolds and targets to develop new antibiotics. Methylene blue is a phenothiazine derivative, and it has been shown to possess anti-malarial and anti-trypanosomal activities. Here, we show that different phenothiazine derivatives and pyronine G inhibited the
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There is a need to identify novel scaffolds and targets to develop new antibiotics. Methylene blue is a phenothiazine derivative, and it has been shown to possess anti-malarial and anti-trypanosomal activities. Here, we show that different phenothiazine derivatives and pyronine G inhibited the activities of three structurally different bacterial RNase P RNAs (RPRs), including that from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with Ki values in the lower μM range. Interestingly, three antipsychotic phenothiazines (chlorpromazine, thioridazine, and trifluoperazine), which are known to have antibacterial activities, also inhibited the activity of bacterial RPRs, albeit with higher Ki values than methylene blue. Phenothiazines also affected lead(II)-induced cleavage of bacterial RPR and inhibited yeast tRNAPhe, indicating binding of these drugs to functionally important regions. Collectively, our findings provide the first experimental data showing that long, noncoding RNAs could be targeted by different phenothiazine derivatives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Epigenomic Approach to Improving Response to Neoadjuvant Cisplatin Chemotherapy in Bladder Cancer
Biomolecules 2016, 6(3), 37; doi:10.3390/biom6030037 -
Abstract
Bladder cancer is among the five most common cancers diagnosed in the Western world and causes significant mortality and morbidity rates in affected patients. Therapeutic options to treat the disease in advanced muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) include cystectomy and chemotherapy. Neoadjuvant cisplatin-based combination
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Bladder cancer is among the five most common cancers diagnosed in the Western world and causes significant mortality and morbidity rates in affected patients. Therapeutic options to treat the disease in advanced muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) include cystectomy and chemotherapy. Neoadjuvant cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy is effective in MIBC; however, it has not been widely adopted by the community. One reason is that many patients do not respond to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and no biomarker currently exists to identify these patients. It is also not clear whether a strategy to sensitize chemoresistant patients may exist. We sought to identify cisplatin-resistance patterns in preclinical models of bladder cancer, and test whether treatment with the epigenetic modifier decitabine is able to sensitize cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer cell lines. Using a screening approach in cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer cell lines, we identified dysregulated genes by RNA sequencing (RNAseq) and DNA methylation assays. DNA methylation analysis of tumors from 18 patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy was used to confirm in vitro results. Cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer cells were treated with decitabine to investigate epigenetic sensitization of resistant cell lines. Our results show that HOXA9 promoter methylation status is associated with response to cisplatin-based chemotherapy in bladder cancer cell lines and in metastatic bladder cancer. Bladder cancer cells resistant to cisplatin chemotherapy can be sensitized to cisplatin by the DNA methylation inhibitor decitabine. Our data suggest that HOXA9 promoter methylation could serve as potential predictive biomarker and decitabine might sensitize resistant tumors in patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Internalization of the Extracellular Full-Length Tau Inside Neuro2A and Cortical Cells Is Enhanced by Phosphorylation
Biomolecules 2016, 6(3), 36; doi:10.3390/biom6030036 -
Abstract
Tau protein is mainly intracellular. However, several studies have demonstrated that full-length Tau can be released into the interstitial fluid of the brain. The physiological or pathological function of this extracellular Tau remains unknown. Moreover, as evidence suggests, extracellular Tau aggregates can be
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Tau protein is mainly intracellular. However, several studies have demonstrated that full-length Tau can be released into the interstitial fluid of the brain. The physiological or pathological function of this extracellular Tau remains unknown. Moreover, as evidence suggests, extracellular Tau aggregates can be internalized by neurons, seeding Tau aggregation. However, much less is known about small species of Tau. In this study, we hypothesized that the status of phosphorylation could alter the internalization of recombinant Tau in Neuro2A and cortical cells. Our preliminary results revealed that the highly phosphorylated form of Tau entered the cells ten times more easily than a low phosphorylated one. This suggests that hyperphosphorylated Tau protein could spread between neurons in pathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Lai, R.Y.K.; Harrington, C.R.; Wischik, C.M. Absence of a Role for Phosphorylation in the Tau Pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease. Biomolecules 2016, 6, 19
Biomolecules 2016, 6(3), 35; doi:10.3390/biom6030035 -
Abstract The authors wish to correct their affiliations in this paper [1] as follows:[...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Functional Consequences of Differential O-glycosylation of MUC1, MUC4, and MUC16 (Downstream Effects on Signaling)
Biomolecules 2016, 6(3), 34; doi:10.3390/biom6030034 -
Abstract
Glycosylation is one of the most abundant post-translational modifications that occur within the cell. Under normal physiological conditions, O-linked glycosylation of extracellular proteins is critical for both structure and function. During the progression of cancer, however, the expression of aberrant and truncated
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Glycosylation is one of the most abundant post-translational modifications that occur within the cell. Under normal physiological conditions, O-linked glycosylation of extracellular proteins is critical for both structure and function. During the progression of cancer, however, the expression of aberrant and truncated glycans is commonly observed. Mucins are high molecular weight glycoproteins that contain numerous sites of O-glycosylation within their extracellular domains. Transmembrane mucins also play a functional role in monitoring the surrounding microenvironment and transducing these signals into the cell. In cancer, these mucins often take on an oncogenic role and promote a number of pro-tumorigenic effects, including pro-survival, migratory, and invasive behaviors. Within this review, we highlight both the processes involved in the expression of aberrant glycan structures on mucins, as well as the potential downstream impacts on cellular signaling. Full article
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