Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(10), 17806-17826; doi:10.3390/ijms151017806 - published 1 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Atrazine, a member of the 2-chloro-s-triazine family of herbicides, is the most widely used pesticide in the world and often detected in agriculture watersheds. Although it was generally considered as an endocrine disruptor, posing a potential threat to human health, the molecular mechanisms of atrazine effects remain unclear. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, we identified a panel of differentially expressed phosphoproteins and total proteins in human breast epithelial MCF-10A cells after being exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine. Atrazine treatments for 6 h resulted in differential expression of 4 phosphoproteins and 8 total-proteins as compared to the control cells (>1.5-fold, p < 0.05). MALDI-TOF MS/MS analysis revealed that the differentially expressed proteins belong to various cellular compartments (nucleus, cytosol, membrane) and varied in function, including those regulating the stress response such as peroxiredoxin I, HSP70 and HSP27; structural proteins such as tropomyosin and profilin 1; and oncogenesis proteins such as ANP32A. Six of the 12 identified proteins were verified by quantitative PCR for their transcript levels. The most up-regulated phosphoprotein by atrazine treatment, ANP32A, was further analyzed for its expression, distribution and cellular localization using Western blot and immunocytochemical approaches. The results revealed that ANP32 expression after atrazine treatment increased dose and time dependently and was primarily located in the nucleus. This study may provide new evidence on the potential toxicity of atrazine in human cells.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(10), 17790-17805; doi:10.3390/ijms151017790 - published 1 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The growth and viability of three Lactobacillus strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillusplantarum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, after their passage through simulated gastric and pancreatic juices were studied as a function of their presence in the growth medium of rocket salad (Eruca sativa). The presence of E. sativa affected some of the biological properties of the strains. For example, L.acidophilus and L. plantarum worked more efficiently in the presence of E. sativa, increasing not only the antioxidant activity of the medium, but also their own antioxidant power and antimicrobial activity; L. rhamnosus was not affected in the same manner. Overall, the presence of vegetables might help to boost, in specific cases, some of the characteristics of lactobacilli, including antioxidant and antimicrobial power.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(10), 17778-17789; doi:10.3390/ijms151017778 - published 30 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study investigated the effects of combined grape pomace and omija fruit extracts (GO) on diabetes-related metabolic changes in type 2 diabetic db/db mice. The effects of GO were compared with those of a resveratrol and schizandrin mixture (RS), which is a mixture of major components of GO. Mice were fed a normal diet with RS (0.005% resveratrol and 0.02% schizandrin in diet, w/w) or GO (0.3% grape pomace ethanol extract and 0.05% omija fruit ethanol extract in diet, w/w) for seven weeks. RS and GO not only lowered the levels of blood and plasma glucose, HbA1c, insulin and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) with a simultaneous decrease in hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes activities and adiposity, but also improved preservation of the pancreatic β-cells. Plasma leptin and resistin levels were lower while the plasma adiponectin level was higher in the RS and GO groups than in the control group. Especially, GO increased hepatic glucokinase activity and gene expression and improved hepatic steatosis by elevating fatty acid oxidation compared to RS. These findings suggest that GO ameliorates hyperglycemia, adiposity and hepatic steatosis in type 2 diabetic mice.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(10), 17765-17777; doi:10.3390/ijms151017765 - published 30 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The combination of an antifungal agent and drug carrier with adjunctive antimicrobial properties represents novel strategy of complex therapy in pharmaceutical technology. The goal of this study was to investigate the unmodified and ion cross-linked chitosan’s influence on anti-Candida activity of clotrimazole used as a model drug in hydrogels. It was particularly crucial to explore whether the chitosans’ structure modification by β-glycerophosphate altered its antifungal properties. Antifungal studies (performed by plate diffusion method according to CLSI reference protocol) revealed that hydrogels obtained with chitosan/β-glycerophosphate displayed lower anti-Candida effect, probably as a result of weakened polycationic properties of chitosan in the presence of ion cross-linker. Designed chitosan hydrogels with clotrimazole were found to be more efficient against tested Candida strains and showed more favorable drug release profile compared to commercially available product. These observations indicate that novel chitosan formulations may be considered as promising semi-solid delivery system of clotrimazole.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(10), 17751-17764; doi:10.3390/ijms151017751 - published 30 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: To our best knowledge, all of the fungal immunomodulatory proteins (FIPs) have been successfully extracted and identified in Basidomycetes, with only the exception of FIP from ascomycete Nectria haematococca (FIP-nha) discovered through homology alignment most recently. In this work, a gene encoding FIP-nha was synthesized and recombinantly expressed in an Escherichia coli expression system. SDS-PAGE and MALDI-MS analyses of recombinant FIP-nha (rFIP-nha) indicated that the gene was successfully expressed. The yield of the bioactive FIP-nha protein was 42.7 mg/L. In vitro assays of biological activity indicated that the rFIP-nha caused hemagglutination of human and rabbit red blood cells, signiﬁcantly stimulated mouse spleen lymphocyte proliferation, and enhanced expression of interleukin-2 (IL-2) released from mouse splenocytes, revealing a strong antitumor effect against HL60, HepG2 and MGC823. Through this work, we constructed a rapid and efficient method of FIP production, and suggested that FIP-nha is a valuable candidate for use in future medical care and pharmaceutical products.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(10), 17733-17750; doi:10.3390/ijms151017733 - published 30 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The exposure to dioxin can compromise pregnancy outcomes and increase the risk of preterm births. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) has been demonstrated to induce placental hypoxia at the end of pregnancy in a rat model, and hypoxia has been suggested to be the cause of abnormal trophoblast differentiation and placental insufficiency syndromes. In this study, we demonstrate that the non-hypoxic stimulation of human trophoblastic cells by TCDD strongly increased hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) stabilization. TCDD exposure induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide. TCDD-induced HIF-1α stabilization and Akt phosphorylation was inhibited by pretreatment with wortmannin (a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor) or N-acetylcysteine (a ROS scavenger). The augmented HIF-1α stabilization by TCDD occurred via the ROS-dependent activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Additionally, a significant increase in invasion and metallomatrix protease-9 activity was found in TCDD-treated cells. The gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and placental growth factor was induced upon TCDD stimulation, whereas the protein levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), PPARγ coactivator-1α, mitochondrial transcription factor, and uncoupling protein 2 were decreased. Our results indicate that an activated HIF-1α pathway, elicited oxidative stress, and induced metabolic stress contribute to TCDD-induced trophoblastic toxicity. These findings may provide molecular insight into the TCDD-induced impairment of trophoblast function and placental development.