Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(8), 13275-13298; doi:10.3390/ijms150813275 - published online 29 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: p53 protein has about thirty phosphorylation sites located at the N- and C-termini and in the core domain. The phosphorylation sites are relatively less mutated than other residues in p53. To understand why and how p53 phosphorylation sites are rarely mutated in human cancer, using a bioinformatics approaches, we examined the phosphorylation site and its nearby flanking residues, focusing on the consensus phosphorylation motif pattern, amino-acid correlations within the phosphorylation motifs, the propensity of structural disorder of the phosphorylation motifs, and cancer mutations observed within the phosphorylation motifs. Many p53 phosphorylation sites are targets for several kinases. The phosphorylation sites match 17 consensus sequence motifs out of the 29 classified. In addition to proline, which is common in kinase specificity-determining sites, we found high propensity of acidic residues to be adjacent to phosphorylation sites. Analysis of human cancer mutations in the phosphorylation motifs revealed that motifs with adjacent acidic residues generally have fewer mutations, in contrast to phosphorylation sites near proline residues. p53 phosphorylation motifs are mostly disordered. However, human cancer mutations within phosphorylation motifs tend to decrease the disorder propensity. Our results suggest that combination of acidic residues Asp and Glu with phosphorylation sites provide charge redundancy which may safe guard against loss-of-function mutations, and that the natively disordered nature of p53 phosphorylation motifs may help reduce mutational damage. Our results further suggest that engineering acidic amino acids adjacent to potential phosphorylation sites could be a p53 gene therapy strategy.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(8), 13267-13274; doi:10.3390/ijms150813267 - published online 29 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Acrodysostosis is a rare skeletal dysplasia, which has not been reported previously in patients of Chinese origin. The PRKAR1A gene and PDE4D gene have been found to be causative genes of acrodysostosis. A Chinese girl with acrodysostosis and concomitant multiple hormone resistance was recruited for our study. Clinical and biochemical characters were analyzed. DNA was extracted from leukocytes and was sequenced for GNAS, PDE4D and PRKAR1A gene mutations. A de novo heterozygous missense mutation (c.866G>A/p.G289E) was identified in the PRKAR1A gene. This mutation coincided with a mutation that had been found in a patient from another ethnic group. Our findings further suggest that the c.866G>A/p.G289E mutation in the PRKAR1A gene may be the cause of acrodysostosis with concomitant multiple hormone resistance. Moreover, it is the first report of acrodysostosis genetic analysis of Chinese origin.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(8), 13247-13266; doi:10.3390/ijms150813247 - published online 29 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Hybrid materials constituted by peptides and synthetic polymers have nowadays a great interest since they can combine the properties and functions of each constitutive block, being also possible to modify the final characteristics by using different topologies. Poly(l-lactide-b-l-phenylalanine) copolymers with various block lengths were synthesized by sequential ring-opening polymerization of l-lactide and the N-carboxyanhydride of l-phenylalanine. The resulting block copolymers were characterized by NMR spectrometry, IR spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, MALDI-TOF and UV-vis, revealing the successful incorporation of the polyphenylalanine (PPhe) peptide into the previously formed poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) polymer chain. X-ray diffraction and DSC data also suggested that the copolymers were phase-separated in domains containing either crystalline PLLA or PPhe phases. A peculiar thermal behavior was also found by thermogravimetric analysis when polyphenylalanine blocks were incorporated into polylactide.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(8), 13236-13246; doi:10.3390/ijms150813236 - published online 28 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterized by articular cartilage degradation including extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation and cell loss. It is known that phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase γ1 (PLCγ1) can trigger several signaling pathways to regulate cell metabolism. However, whether this kinase is expressive and active in human OA chondrocytes and its role in the pathological progression of OA have not been investigated. The current study was designed to investigate the PLCγ1 expression in human OA cartilage, and whether PLCγ1 was involved in the ECM synthesis had been further explored using cultured human OA chondrocytes. Our results indicated that PLCγ1 was highly expressed in human OA chondrocytes. In our further study using the cultured human OA chondrocytes, the results demonstrated that the disruption of PLCγ1 by its inhibitor, U73122, and siRNA contributed to the ECM synthesis of human OA chondrocytes through regulating the expression of ECM-related signaling molecules, including MMP-13, Col II, TIMP1, Sox-9, and AGG. Furthermore, PLCγ1/IP3/Ca(2+)/CaMK II signaling axis regulated the ECM synthesis of human chondrocytes through triggering mTOR/P70S6K/S6 pathway. In summary, our results suggested that PLC-γ1 activities played an important role in the ECM synthesis of human OA chondrocytes, and may serve as a therapeutic target for treating OA.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(8), 13223-13235; doi:10.3390/ijms150813223 - published online 28 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Major depressive disorder and cardiovascular disease are common serious illnesses worldwide. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors may reduce the mortality of cardiovascular disease patients with comorbid depression. Interferon-γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), a type 1 T helper cell (Th1)-related chemokine, contributes to manifestations of atherosclerosis during cardiovascular inflammations; however, the pathophysiological mechanisms linking cardiovascular disease and effective antidepressants have remained elusive. We investigated the in vitro effects of six different classes of antidepressants on the IP-10 chemokine expression in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated monocytes, and their detailed intracellular mechanisms. The human monocytes were pretreated with antidepressants (10−8–10−5 M) before LPS-stimulation. IP-10 was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay(ELISA) and then intracellular signaling was investigated using Western blotting and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Fluoxetine and bupropion suppressed LPS-induced IP-10 expression in monocytes, and they had no cytotoxic effects. Furthermore, fluoxetine inhibited LPS-induced IP-10 expression via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-p38 pathway. Fluoxetine and bupropion could not only treat depression but also reduce Th1-related chemokine IP-10 production in human monocytes. Our results may indicate a possible mechanism related to how particular antidepressants reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(8), 13209-13222; doi:10.3390/ijms150813209 - published online 28 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Studies have shown that saponins from Panax japonicus (SPJ) possess neuroprotective effects. However, whether Chikusetsu saponin V (CsV), the most abundant member of SPJ, can exert neuroprotective effects against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+)-induced cytotoxicity is not known. In this study, we aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effects of CsV on MPP+-induced cytotoxicity in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and explore its possible mechanisms. Our results show that CsV attenuates MPP+-induced cytotoxicity, inhibits ROS accumulation, and increases mitochondrial membrane potential dose-dependently. We also found that levels of Sirt1 protein and Mn-SOD mRNA significantly decreased in MPP+-treated group but were restored with CsV treatment in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, GRP78 protein and Caspase-12 mRNA levels were elevated by MPP+ exposure but reversed by CsV treatment. CsV inhibited the MPP+-induced downregulation of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of Bax in a dose-dependent manner and, thus, increased the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax. Overall, these results suggest that Sirt1/Mn-SOD and GRP78/Caspase-12 pathways might be involved in the CsV-mediated neuroprotective effects.