Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15272-15286; doi:10.3390/ijms150915272 (registering DOI) - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Chinese boxthorn or matrimony vine (Lycium chinense Mill) is found primarily in southeastern Europe and Asia, including Korea. The dried ripe fruits are commonly used as oriental medicinal purposes. Endophytic fungi were isolated from surface sterilized tissues and fruits of the medicinal plant in 2013 to identify the new or unreported species in Korea. Among 14 isolates, 10 morphospecies were selected for molecular identification with the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all isolates belonged to Ascomycota including the genera Acremonium, Colletotrichum, Cochliobolus, Fusarium, Hypocrea and Nemania. Two Colletotrichum species were identified at the species level, using three genes including internal transcribed spacer (ITS), glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and Actin (ACT) for PCR and molecular data analysis along with morphological observations. The fungal isolates, CNU122031 and CNU122032 were identified as Colletotrichum fructicola and C. brevisporum, respectively. Morphological observations also well supported the molecular identification. C. brevisporum is represented unrecorded species in Korea and C. fructicola is the first record from the host plant.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15259-15271; doi:10.3390/ijms150915259 (registering DOI) - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Adenosine (Ado) is an important cardioprotective agent. Since endogenous Ado levels are affected by the enzyme Ado deaminase (ADA), polymorphisms within the ADA gene may exert some effect on chronic heart failure (CHF). This study applied a case-control investigation to 300 northern Chinese Han CHF patients and 400 ethnicity-matched healthy controls in which nine single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ADA were genotyped and association analyses were performed. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to assess the association. Overall, rs452159 polymorphism in ADA gene was significantly associated with susceptibility to CHF under the dominant model (p = 0.013, OR = 1.537, 95% CI = 1.10–2.16), after adjustment for age, sex, and traditional cardiovascular risk factors. No difference in genotype distribution and allele frequency for the rs452159 according to the functional New York Heart Association class was found. Furthermore, the values of left ventricular ejection fraction, left-ventricle end-diastolic diameter or left-ventricle end-systolic diameter did not differ significantly among the different rs452159 genotype CHF patients. Although further studies with larger cohorts and other ethnicities are required to validate the conclusions, the findings of this study potentially provide novel insight into the pathogenesis of CHF.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15244-15258; doi:10.3390/ijms150915244 (registering DOI) - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents the synthesis of structured phosphatidylcholine (PC) enriched with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) by transesterification of DHA/EPA-rich ethyl esters with PC using immobilized phospholipsase A1 (PLA1) in solvent-free medium. Firstly, liquid PLA1 was immobilized on resin D380, and it was found that a pH of 5 and a support/PLA1 ratio (w/v) of 1:3 were the best conditions for the adsorption. Secondly, the immobilized PLA1 was used to catalyze transesterification of PC and DHA/EPA-rich ethyl esters. The maximal incorporation of DHA and EPA achieved was 30.7% for 24 h of reaction at 55 °C using a substrate mass ratio (PC/ethyl esters) of 1:6, an immobilized PLA1 loading of 15% and water dosage of 1.25%. Then the reaction mixture was analyzed by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The composition of reaction product included 16.5% PC, 26.3% 2-diacyl-sn-glycero-3-lysophosphatidylcholine (1-LPC), 31.4% 1-diacyl-sn-glycero-3-lysophosphatidylcholine (2-LPC), and 25.8% sn-glycerol-3-phosphatidylcholine (GPC).
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15225-15243; doi:10.3390/ijms150915225 (registering DOI) - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cell therapy now constitutes an important area of regenerative medicine. The aging of the population has mandated the discovery and development of new and innovative therapeutic modalities to combat devastating disorders such as stroke. Menstrual blood and Sertoli cells represent two sources of viable transplantable cells that are gender-specific, both of which appear to have potential as donor cells for transplantation in stroke. During the subacute phase of stroke, the use of autologous cells offers effective and practical clinical application and is suggestive of the many benefits of using the aforementioned gender-specific cells. For example, in addition to being exceptionally immunosuppressive, testis-derived Sertoli cells secrete many growth and trophic factors and have been shown to aid in the functional recovery of animals transplanted with fetal dopaminergic cells. Correspondingly, menstrual blood cells are easily obtainable and exhibit angiogenic characteristics, proliferative capability, and pluripotency. Of further interest is the ability of menstrual blood cells, following transplantation in stroke models, to migrate to the infarct site, secrete neurotrophic factors, regulate the inflammatory response, and be steered towards neural differentiation. From cell isolation to transplantation, we emphasize in this review paper the practicality and relevance of the experimental and clinical use of gender-specific stem cells, such as Sertoli cells and menstrual blood cells, in the treatment of stroke.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15210-15224; doi:10.3390/ijms150915210 (registering DOI) - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A protease of sperm in the newt Cynops pyrrhogaster that is released after the acrosome reaction (AR) is proposed to lyse the sheet structure on the outer surface of egg jelly and release sperm motility-initiating substance (SMIS). Here, we found that protease activity in the sperm head was potent to widely digest substrates beneath the sperm. The protease activity measured by fluorescein thiocarbamoyl-casein digestion was detected in the supernatant of the sperm after the AR and the activity was inhibited by 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzenesulfonyl fluoride (AEBSF), an inhibitor for serine or cysteine protease, suggesting the release of serine and/or cysteine proteases by AR. In an in silico analysis of the testes, acrosins and 20S proteasome were identified as possible candidates of the acrosomal proteases. We also detected another AEBSF-sensitive protease activity on the sperm surface. Fluorescence staining with AlexaFluor 488-labeled AEBSF revealed a cysteine protease in the principal piece; it is localized in the joint region between the axial rod and undulating membrane, which includes an axoneme and produces powerful undulation of the membrane for forward sperm motility. These results indicate that AEBSF-sensitive proteases in the acrosome and principal piece may participate in the initiation of sperm motility on the surface of egg jelly.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15188-15209; doi:10.3390/ijms150915188 (registering DOI) - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Previously, we showed improved shelf life for agrobacterial isopentenyltransferase (ipt) transgenic broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica), with yield comparable to commercial varieties, because of the protection mechanism offered by molecular chaperones and stress-related proteins. Here, we used proximate analysis to examine macronutrients, chemical and mineral constituents as well as anti-nutrient and protein changes of ipt-transgenic broccoli and corresponding controls. We also preliminarily assessed safety in mice. Most aspects were comparable between ipt-transgenic broccoli and controls, except for a significant increase in carbohydrate level and a decrease in magnesium content in ipt-transgenic lines 101, 102 and 103, as compared with non-transgenic controls. In addition, the anti-nutrient glucosinolate content was increased and crude fat content decreased in inbred control 104 and transgenic lines as compared with the parental control, “Green King”. Gel-based proteomics detected more than 50 protein spots specifically found in ipt-transgenic broccoli at harvest and after cooking; one-third of these proteins showed homology to potential allergens that also play an important role in plant defense against stresses and senescence. Mice fed levels of ipt-transgenic broccoli mimicking the 120 g/day of broccoli eaten by a 60-kg human adult showed normal growth and immune function. In conclusion, the compositional and proteomic changes attributed to the transgenic ipt gene did not affect the growth and immune response of mice under the feeding regimes examined.