Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(3), 5271-5284; doi:10.3390/ijms16035271 (registering DOI) - published 6 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We carried out molecular orbital theory calculations for the homogeneous gas‑phase formation of dibenzofuran from phenanthrene, fluorene, 9-methylfluorene and 9-fluorenone. Dibenzofuran will be formed if ∙OH adds to C8a, and the order of reactivity follows as 9-fluorenone > 9-methylfluorene > fluorene > phenanthrene. The oxidations initiated by ClO∙ are more favorable processes, considering that the standard reaction Gibbs energies are at least 21.63 kcal/mol lower than those of the equivalent reactions initiated by ∙OH. The adding of ∙OH and then O2 to phenanthrene is a more favorable route than adding ∙OH to C8a of phenanthrene, when considering the greater reaction extent. The reaction channel from fluorene and O2 to 9-fluorenone and H2O seems very important, not only because it contains only three elementary reactions, but because the standard reaction Gibbs energies are lower than −80.07 kcal/mol.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(3), 5254-5270; doi:10.3390/ijms16035254 (registering DOI) - published 6 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as a powerful tool for studying target identification and holds promise for the development of therapeutic gene silencing. Recent advances in RNAi delivery and target selection provide remarkable opportunities for translational medical research. The induction of RNAi relies on small silencing RNAs, which affect specific messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation. Two types of small RNA molecules, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs), have a central function in RNAi technology. The success of RNAi-based therapeutic delivery may be dependent upon uncovering a delivery route, sophisticated delivery carriers, and nucleic acid modifications. Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, for which novel therapeutic strategies are critically needed. Recently, we have reported a novel platform (PnkRNA™ and nkRNA®) to promote naked RNAi approaches through inhalation without delivery vehicles in lung cancer xenograft models. We suggest that a new class of RNAi therapeutic agent and local drug delivery system could also offer a promising RNAi-based strategy for clinical applications in cancer therapy. In this article, we show recent strategies for an RNAi delivery system and suggest the possible clinical usefulness of RNAi-based therapeutics for lung cancer treatment.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(3), 5235-5253; doi:10.3390/ijms16035235 (registering DOI) - published 6 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Dual specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation-regulated kinase-1A (DYRK1A) is an enzyme directly involved in Alzheimer’s disease, since its increased expression leads to β-amyloidosis, Tau protein aggregation, and subsequent formation of neurofibrillary tangles. Hologram quantitative structure-activity relationship (HQSAR, 2D fragment-based) models were developed for a series of 6-arylquinazolin-4-amine inhibitors (36 training, 10 test) of DYRK1A. The best HQSAR model (q2 = 0.757; SEcv = 0.493; R2 = 0.937; SE = 0.251; R2pred = 0.659) presents high goodness-of-fit (R2 > 0.9), as well as high internal (q2 > 0.7) and external (R2pred > 0.5) predictive power. The fragments that increase and decrease the biological activity values were addressed using the colored atomic contribution maps provided by the method. The HQSAR contribution map of the best model is an important tool to understand the activity profiles of new derivatives and may provide information for further design of novel DYRK1A inhibitors.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(3), 5216-5234; doi:10.3390/ijms16035216 (registering DOI) - published 6 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, the causal agent of pine wilt disease, causes huge economic losses in pine forests. The high expression of cytochrome P450 genes in B. xylophilus during infection in P. thunbergii indicated that these genes had a certain relationship with the pathogenic process of B. xylophilus. Thus, we attempted to identify the molecular characterization and functions of cytochrome P450 genes in B. xylophilus. In this study, full-length cDNA of three cytochrome P450 genes, BxCYP33C9, BxCYP33C4 and BxCYP33D3 were first cloned from B. xylophilus using 3' and 5' RACE PCR amplification. Sequence analysis showed that all of them contained a highly-conserved cytochrome P450 domain. The characteristics of the three putative proteins were analyzed with bioinformatic methods. RNA interference (RNAi) was used to assess the functions of BxCYP33C9, BxCYP33C4 and BxCYP33D3. The results revealed that these cytochrome P450 genes were likely to be associated with the vitality, dispersal ability, reproduction, pathogenicity and pesticide metabolism of B. xylophilus. This discovery confirmed the molecular characterization and functions of three cytochrome P450 genes from B. xylophilus and provided fundamental information in elucidating the molecular interaction mechanism between B. xylophilus and its host plant.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(3), 5194-5215; doi:10.3390/ijms16035194 (registering DOI) - published 6 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Interactions between proteins and DNA play an important role in many essential biological processes such as DNA replication, transcription, splicing, and repair. The identification of amino acid residues involved in DNA-binding sites is critical for understanding the mechanism of these biological activities. In the last decade, numerous computational approaches have been developed to predict protein DNA-binding sites based on protein sequence and/or structural information, which play an important role in complementing experimental strategies. At this time, approaches can be divided into three categories: sequence-based DNA-binding site prediction, structure-based DNA-binding site prediction, and homology modeling and threading. In this article, we review existing research on computational methods to predict protein DNA-binding sites, which includes data sets, various residue sequence/structural features, machine learning methods for comparison and selection, evaluation methods, performance comparison of different tools, and future directions in protein DNA-binding site prediction. In particular, we detail the meta-analysis of protein DNA-binding sites. We also propose specific implications that are likely to result in novel prediction methods, increased performance, or practical applications.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(3), 5180-5193; doi:10.3390/ijms16035180 (registering DOI) - published 6 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Curcumenol and curcumenone are two major constituents of the plants of medicinally important genus of Curcuma, and often govern the pharmacological effect of these plant extracts. These two compounds, isolated from C. zedoaria rhizomes were studied for their binding to human serum albumin (HSA) using the fluorescence quench titration method. Molecular docking was also performed to get a more detailed insight into their interaction with HSA at the binding site. Additions of these sesquiterpenes to HSA produced significant fluorescence quenching and blue shifts in the emission spectra of HSA. Analysis of the fluorescence data pointed toward moderate binding affinity between the ligands and HSA, with curcumenone showing a relatively higher binding constant (2.46 × 105 M−1) in comparison to curcumenol (1.97 × 104 M−1). Cluster analyses revealed that site I is the preferred binding site for both molecules with a minimum binding energy of −6.77 kcal·mol−1. However, binding of these two molecules to site II cannot be ruled out as the binding energies were found to be −5.72 and −5.74 kcal·mol−1 for curcumenol and curcumenone, respectively. The interactions of both ligands with HSA involved hydrophobic interactions as well as hydrogen bonding.