Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(9), 1438; doi:10.3390/ijms17091438 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In pigment cells, melanin synthesis takes place in specialized organelles, called melanosomes. The biogenesis and maturation of melanosomes is initiated by an unpigmented step that takes place prior to the initiation of melanin synthesis and leads to the formation of luminal fibrils deriving from the pigment cell-specific pre-melanosomal protein (PMEL). In the lumen of melanosomes, PMEL fibrils optimize sequestration and condensation of the pigment melanin. Interestingly, PMEL fibrils have been described to adopt a typical amyloid-like structure. In contrast to pathological amyloids often associated with neurodegenerative diseases, PMEL fibrils represent an emergent category of physiological amyloids due to their beneficial cellular functions. The formation of PMEL fibrils within melanosomes is tightly regulated by diverse mechanisms, such as PMEL traffic, cleavage and sorting. These mechanisms revealed increasing analogies between the formation of physiological PMEL fibrils and pathological amyloid fibrils. In this review we summarize the known mechanisms of PMEL fibrillation and discuss how the recent understanding of physiological PMEL amyloid formation may help to shed light on processes involved in pathological amyloid formation.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(9), 1440; doi:10.3390/ijms17091440 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Nanocarriers, due to their unique features, are of increased interest among researchers working with pharmaceutical formulations. Polymeric nanoparticles and nanocapsules, involving non-toxic biodegradable polymers, liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles, and inorganic–organic nanomaterials, are among the most used carriers for drugs for a broad spectrum of targeted diseases. In fact, oral, injectable, transdermal-dermal and ocular formulations mainly consist of the aforementioned nanomaterials demonstrating promising characteristics such as long circulation, specific targeting, high drug loading capacity, enhanced intracellular penetration, and so on. Over the last decade, huge advances in the development of novel, safer and less toxic nanocarriers with amended properties have been made. In addition, multifunctional nanocarriers combining chemical substances, vitamins and peptides via coupling chemistry, inorganic particles coated by biocompatible materials seem to play a key role considering that functionalization can enhance characteristics such as biocompatibility, targetability, environmental friendliness, and intracellular penetration while also have limited side effects. This review aims to summarize the “state of the art” of drug delivery carriers in nanosize, paying attention to their surface functionalization with ligands and other small or polymeric compounds so as to upgrade active and passive targeting, different release patterns as well as cell targeting and stimuli responsibility. Lastly, future aspects and potential uses of nanoparticulated drug systems are outlined.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(9), 1430; doi:10.3390/ijms17091430 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Warburg effect describes the phenomenon by which cancer cells obtain energy from glycolysis even under normoxic (O2-sufficient) conditions. Tumor tissues are generally exposed to hypoxia owing to inefficient and aberrant vasculature. Cancer cells have multiple molecular mechanisms to adapt to such stress conditions by reprogramming the cellular metabolism. Hypoxia-inducible factors are major transcription factors induced in cancer cells in response to hypoxia that contribute to the metabolic changes. In addition, cancer cells within hypoxic tumor areas have reduced access to serum components such as nutrients and lipids. However, the effect of such serum factor deprivation on cancer cell biology in the context of tumor hypoxia is not fully understood. Cancer cells are lipid-rich under normoxia and hypoxia, leading to the increased generation of a cellular organelle, the lipid droplet (LD). In recent years, the LD-mediated stress response mechanisms of cancer cells have been revealed. This review focuses on the production and functions of LDs in various types of cancer cells in relation to the associated cellular environment factors including tissue oxygenation status and metabolic mechanisms. This information will contribute to the current understanding of how cancer cells adapt to diverse tumor environments to promote their survival.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(9), 1385; doi:10.3390/ijms17091385 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Severe bioprosthetic mitral valve calcification is a significant problem in cardiovascular surgery. Unfortunately, clinical markers did not demonstrate efficacy in prediction of severe bioprosthetic mitral valve calcification. Here, we examined whether a genomics-based approach is efficient in predicting the risk of severe bioprosthetic mitral valve calcification. A total of 124 consecutive Russian patients who underwent mitral valve replacement surgery were recruited. We investigated the associations of the inherited variation in innate immunity, lipid metabolism and calcium metabolism genes with severe bioprosthetic mitral valve calcification. Genotyping was conducted utilizing the TaqMan assay. Eight gene polymorphisms were significantly associated with severe bioprosthetic mitral valve calcification and were therefore included into stepwise logistic regression which identified male gender, the T/T genotype of the rs3775073 polymorphism within the TLR6 gene, the C/T genotype of the rs2229238 polymorphism within the IL6R gene, and the A/A genotype of the rs10455872 polymorphism within the LPA gene as independent predictors of severe bioprosthetic mitral valve calcification. The developed genomics-based model had fair predictive value with area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.73. In conclusion, our genomics-based approach is efficient for the prediction of severe bioprosthetic mitral valve calcification.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(9), 1432; doi:10.3390/ijms17091432 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) displays higher risk of recurrence and distant metastasis. Due to absence of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), TNBC lacks clinically established targeted therapies. Therefore, understanding of the mechanism underlying the aggressive behaviors of TNBC is required for the design of individualized strategies and the elongation of overall survival duration. Here, we supported a positive correlation between β1 integrin and malignant behaviors such as cell migration, invasion, and drug resistance. We found that silencing of β1 integrin inhibited cell migration, invasion, and increased the sensitivity to anti-cancer drug. In contrast, activation of β1 integrin increased cell migration, invasion, and decreased the sensitivity to anti-cancer drug. Furthermore, we found that silencing of β1 integrin abolished Focal adhesion kinese (FAK) mediated cell survival. Overexpression of FAK could restore cisplatin-induced apoptosis in β1 integrin-depleted cells. Consistent to in vitro data, β1 integrin expression was also positively correlated with FAK (p = 0.031) in clinical tissue. More importantly, β1 integrin expression was significantly correlated with patient outcome. In summary, our study indicated that β1 integrin could regulate TNBC cells migration, invasion, drug sensitivity, and be a potential prognostic biomarker in TNBC patient survival.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(9), 1435; doi:10.3390/ijms17091435 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a common malignancy with a growing worldwide incidence and prevalence. The N-myc downstream regulated gene (NDRG) family of NDRG1, 2, 3, and mammary serine protease inhibitor (Maspin) gene are well-known modulators in the neoplasia process. Current research has considered iron chelators as new anti-cancer agents; however, the anticancer activities of iron chelators and their target genes in OSCC have not been well investigated. We showed that iron chelators (Dp44mT, desferrioxamine (DFO), and deferasirox) all significantly inhibit SAS cell growth. Flow cytometry further indicated that Dp44mT inhibition of SAS cells growth was partly due to induction of G1 cell cycle arrest. Iron chelators enhanced expressions of NDRG1 and NDRG3 while repressing cyclin D1 expression in OSCC cells. The in vivo antitumor effect on OSCC and safety of Dp44mT were further confirmed through a xenograft animal model. The Dp44mT treatment also increased Maspin protein levels in SAS and OECM-1 cells. NDRG3 knockdown enhanced the growth of OECM-1 cells in vitro and in vivo. Our results indicated that NDRG3 is a tumor suppressor gene in OSCC cells, and Dp44mT could be a promising therapeutic agent for OSCC treatment.