Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(9), 20896-20912; doi:10.3390/ijms160920896 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) with its nutraceutical characteristics substantially contributes as a major nutrient to the health benefit of the Mediterranean diet. Unfortunately, the adulteration of EVOO with less expensive oils (e.g., peanut and corn oils), has become one of the biggest source of agricultural fraud in the European Union, with important health implications for consumers, mainly due to the introduction of seed oil-derived allergens causing, especially in children, severe food allergy phenomena. In this regard, revealing adulterations of EVOO is of fundamental importance for health care and prevention reasons, especially in children. To this aim, effective analytical methods to assess EVOO purity are necessary. Here, we propose a simple, rapid, robust and very sensitive method for non-specialized mass spectrometric laboratory, based on the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) coupled to unsupervised hierarchical clustering (UHC), principal component (PCA) and Pearson’s correlation analyses, to reveal corn oil (CO) adulterations in EVOO at very low levels (down to 0.5%).
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(9), 20873-20895; doi:10.3390/ijms160920873 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The conversion of somatic cells to hepatocytes has fundamentally re-shaped traditional concepts regarding the limited resources for hepatocyte therapy. With the various induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) generation routes, most somatic cells can be effectively directed to functional stem cells, and this strategy will supply enough pluripotent material to generate promising functional hepatocytes. However, the major challenges and potential applications of reprogrammed hepatocytes remain under investigation. In this review, we provide a summary of two effective routes including direct reprogramming and indirect reprogramming from somatic cells to hepatocytes and the general potential applications of the resulting hepatocytes. Through these approaches, we are striving toward the goal of achieving a robust, mature source of clinically relevant lineages.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(9), 20859-20872; doi:10.3390/ijms160920859 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) combined with chitosan has been shown as a promising antimicrobial approach. The purpose of this study was to develop a chitosan hydrogel containing hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), chitosan and toluidine blue O (TBO) to improve the bactericidal efficacy for topical application in clinics. The PDI efficacy of hydrogel was examined in vitro against the biofilms of Staphylococcusaureus (S. aureus) and Pseudomonasaeruginosa(P. aeruginosa). Confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) was performed to investigate the penetration level of TBO into viable S. aureus biofilms. Incorporation of HMPC could increase the physicochemical properties of chitosan hydrogel including the hardness, viscosity as well as bioadhesion; however, higher HMPC concentration also resulted in reduced antimicrobial effect. CSLM analysis further demonstrated that higher HPMC concentration constrained TBO diffusion into the biofilm. The incubation of biofilm and hydrogel was further performed at an angle of 90 degrees. After light irradiation, compared to the mixture of TBO and chitosan, the hydrogel treated sample showed increased PDI efficacy indicated that incorporation of HPMC did improve antimicrobial effect. Finally, the bactericidal efficacy could be significantly augmented by prolonged retention of hydrogel in the biofilm as well as in the animal model of rat skin burn wounds after light irradiation.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(9), 20841-20858; doi:10.3390/ijms160920841 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by wasting and chronic intestinal inflammation triggered by various cytokine-mediated pathways. In recent years, it was shown that T helper 17 (Th17) cells are involved in the pathogenesis of IBD, which makes them an attractive therapeutic target. Th17 cells preferentially produce interleukin (IL)-17A–F as signature cytokines. The role of the interplay between host genetics and intestinal microbiota in the pathogenesis of IBD was demonstrated. Probiotics are live microorganisms that when orally ingested in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host by modulating the enteric flora or by stimulating the local immune system. Several studies indicated the effectiveness of probiotics in preventing and treating IBD (ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease). Furthermore, there is mounting evidence of probiotics selectively targeting the Th17 lineage in the prevention and management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as IBD. This review highlights critical roles of Th17 cells in the pathogenesis of IBD and the rationale for using probiotics as a novel therapeutic approach for IBD through manipulation of Th17 cells. The potential molecular mechanisms by which probiotics modulate Th17 cells differentiation and production are also discussed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(9), 20774-20840; doi:10.3390/ijms160920774 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Lipases and phospholipases are interfacial enzymes that hydrolyze hydrophobic ester linkages of triacylglycerols and phospholipids, respectively. In addition to their role as esterases, these enzymes catalyze a plethora of other reactions; indeed, lipases also catalyze esterification, transesterification and interesterification reactions, and phospholipases also show acyltransferase, transacylase and transphosphatidylation activities. Thus, lipases and phospholipases represent versatile biocatalysts that are widely used in various industrial applications, such as for biodiesels, food, nutraceuticals, oil degumming and detergents; minor applications also include bioremediation, agriculture, cosmetics, leather and paper industries. These enzymes are ubiquitous in most living organisms, across animals, plants, yeasts, fungi and bacteria. For their greater availability and their ease of production, microbial lipases and phospholipases are preferred to those derived from animals and plants. Nevertheless, traditional purification strategies from microbe cultures have a number of disadvantages, which include non-reproducibility and low yields. Moreover, native microbial enzymes are not always suitable for biocatalytic processes. The development of molecular techniques for the production of recombinant heterologous proteins in a host system has overcome these constraints, as this allows high-level protein expression and production of new redesigned enzymes with improved catalytic properties. These can meet the requirements of specific industrial process better than the native enzymes. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of the structural and functional features of lipases and phospholipases, to describe the recent advances in optimization of the production of recombinant lipases and phospholipases, and to summarize the information available relating to their major applications in industrial processes.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(9), 20748-20773; doi:10.3390/ijms160920748 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A common subsequence is a fragment of the amino acid chain that occurs in more than one protein. Common subsequences may be an object of interest for food scientists as biologically active peptides, epitopes, and/or protein markers that are used in comparative proteomics. An individual bioactive fragment, in particular the shortest fragment containing two or three amino acid residues, may occur in many protein sequences. An individual linear epitope may also be present in multiple sequences of precursor proteins. Although recent recommendations for prediction of allergenicity and cross-reactivity include not only sequence identity, but also similarities in secondary and tertiary structures surrounding the common fragment, local sequence identity may be used to screen protein sequence databases for potential allergens in silico. The main weakness of the screening process is that it overlooks allergens and cross-reactivity cases without identical fragments corresponding to linear epitopes. A single peptide may also serve as a marker of a group of allergens that belong to the same family and, possibly, reveal cross-reactivity. This review article discusses the benefits for food scientists that follow from the common subsequences concept.