Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15552-15570; doi:10.3390/ijms150915552 (registering DOI) - published 2 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Qβ replicase is a unique RNA polymerase complex, comprising Qβ virus-encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (the catalytic β-subunit) and three host-derived factors: translational elongation factor (EF) -Tu, EF-Ts and ribosomal protein S1. For almost fifty years, since the isolation of Qβ replicase, there have been several unsolved, important questions about the mechanism of RNA polymerization by Qβ replicase. Especially, the detailed functions of the host factors, EF-Tu, EF-Ts, and S1, in Qβ replicase, which are all essential in the Escherichia coli (E. coli) host for protein synthesis, had remained enigmatic, due to the absence of structural information about Qβ replicase. In the last five years, the crystal structures of the core Qβ replicase, consisting of the β-subunit, EF-Tu and Ts, and those of the core Qβ replicase representing RNA polymerization, have been reported. Recently, the structure of Qβ replicase comprising the β-subunit, EF-Tu, EF-Ts and the N-terminal half of S1, which is capable of initiating Qβ RNA replication, has also been reported. In this review, based on the structures of Qβ replicase, we describe our current understanding of the alternative functions of the host translational elongation factors and ribosomal protein S1 in Qβ replicase as replication factors, beyond their established functions in protein synthesis.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15530-15551; doi:10.3390/ijms150915530 (registering DOI) - published 2 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cellular genetic materials, such as microRNAs (miRNAs), mRNAs and proteins, are packaged inside exosomes, small membrane vesicles of endocytic origin that are released into the extracellular environment. These cellular genetic materials can be delivered into recipient cells, where they exert their respective biological effects. However, the miRNA profiles and biological functions of exosomes secreted by cancer cells remain unknown. The present study explored the miRNA expression profile and distribution characteristics of exosomes derived from human esophageal cancer cells through Solexa high-throughput sequencing. Results showed that 56,421 (2.94%) unique sequences in cells and 7727 (0.63%) in exosomes matched known miRNAs. A total of 342 and 48 known miRNAs were identified in cells and exosomes, respectively. Moreover, 64 and 32 novel miRNAs were predicted in cells and exosomes, respectively. Significant differences in miRNA expression profiles were found between human esophageal cancer cells and exosomes. These findings provided new insights into the characteristics of miRNAs in exosomes derived from human esophageal cancer cells and the specific roles of miRNAs in intercellular communication mediated by exosomes in esophageal cancer.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15512-15529; doi:10.3390/ijms150915512 (registering DOI) - published 2 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Microglia are the resident macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS) and play an important role in neuronal recovery by scavenging damaged neurons. However, overactivation of microglia leads to neuronal death that is associated with CNS disorders. Therefore, regulation of microglial activation has been suggested to be an important target for treatment of CNS diseases. In the present study, we investigated the beneficial effect of resveratrol, a natural phenol with antioxidant effects, in the microglial cell line, BV2, in a model of hypoxia injury. Resveratrol suppressed the mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory molecule, tumor necrosis factor-α, and promoted the mRNA expression of the anti-inflammatory molecule, interleukin-10, in BV2 microglia under hypoxic conditions. In addition, resveratrol inhibited the activation of the transcription factor, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), which is upstream in the control of inflammatory reactions in hypoxia-injured BV2 microglia. Moreover, resveratrol promoted the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in BV2 microglia under hypoxic stress. Overall, resveratrol may promote the beneficial function of microglia in ischemic brain injury.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15503-15511; doi:10.3390/ijms150915503 (registering DOI) - published 2 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this study, an extrusion-spheronization method was applied successfully to fabricate propafenone hydrochloride (PPF) sustained-release pellets. Using scanning electron microscopy, it was shown that the PPF pellets had a mean size of approximately 950 µm with a spherical shape. The in vitro release profiles indicated that the release of PPF from the pellets exhibited a sustained release behavior. The relatively high correlation coefficient (r) values obtained from the analysis of the amount of the drug released versus the square root of time indicated that the release followed a zero order kinetic model. A similar phenomenon was also observed in a pharmacokinetic study in dogs, in which the area under the curve (AUC) of the pellet formulation was 1.2-fold higher than that of PPF tablets. The present work demonstrated the feasibility of controlled delivery of PPF utilizing microcrystalline cellulose (MCC)-based pellets.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15475-15502; doi:10.3390/ijms150915475 - published 1 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1), a crucial regulator of energy homeostasis involved in the control of feeding and energy metabolism, is a promising target for treatment of obesity. In the present work, the up-to-date largest set of 181 quinoline/quinazoline derivatives as MCHR1 antagonists was subjected to both ligand- and receptor-based three-dimensional quantitative structure–activity (3D-QSAR) analysis applying comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity indices analysis (CoMSIA). The optimal predictable CoMSIA model exhibited significant validity with the cross-validated correlation coefficient (Q2) = 0.509, non-cross-validated correlation coefficient (R2ncv) = 0.841 and the predicted correlation coefficient (R2pred) = 0.745. In addition, docking studies and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were carried out for further elucidation of the binding modes of MCHR1 antagonists. MD simulations in both water and lipid bilayer systems were performed. We hope that the obtained models and information may help to provide an insight into the interaction mechanism of MCHR1 antagonists and facilitate the design and optimization of novel antagonists as anti-obesity agents.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(9), 15456-15474; doi:10.3390/ijms150915456 - published 1 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Expression of the pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates angiogenesis and correlates with the progression of osteoarthritis. Mechanical joint loading seems to contribute to this cartilage pathology. Cyclic equibiaxial strains of 1% to 16% for 12 h, respectively, induced expression of VEGF in human chondrocytes dose- and frequency-dependently. Stretch-mediated VEGF induction was more prominent in the human chondrocyte cell line C-28/I2 than in primary articular chondrocytes. Twelve hours of 8% stretch induced VEGF expression to 175% of unstrained controls for at least 24 h post stretching, in promoter reporter and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) studies. High affinity soluble VEGF-receptor, sVEGFR-1/sFlt-1 was less stretch-inducible than its ligand, VEGF-A, in these cells. ELISA assays demonstrated, for the first time, a stretch-mediated suppression of sVEGFR-1 secretion 24 h after stretching. Overall, strained chondrocytes activate their VEGF expression, but in contrast, strain appears to suppress the secretion of the major VEGF decoy receptor (sVEGFR-1/sFlt-1). The latter may deplete a biologically relevant feedback regulation to inhibit destructive angiogenesis in articular cartilage. Our data suggest that mechanical stretch can induce morphological changes in human chondrocytes in vitro. More importantly, it induces disturbed VEGF signaling, providing a molecular mechanism for a stress-induced increase in angiogenesis in cartilage pathologies.