Open AccessCase Report
High Levels of Serum Ubiquitin and Proteasome in a Case of HLA-B27 Uveitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 505; doi:10.3390/ijms18030505 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, the authors describe a case of high serum levels of ubiquitin and proteasome in a woman under an acute attack of autoimmune uveitis. The woman was 52 years old, diagnosed as positive for the Human leukocyte antigen-B27 gene, and came
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In this paper, the authors describe a case of high serum levels of ubiquitin and proteasome in a woman under an acute attack of autoimmune uveitis. The woman was 52 years old, diagnosed as positive for the Human leukocyte antigen-B27 gene, and came to our observation in January 2013 claiming a severe uveitis attack that involved the right eye. During the acute attack of uveitis, this woman had normal serum biochemical parameters but higher levels of serum ubiquitin and proteasome 20S subunit, with respect to a healthy volunteer matched for age and sex. These levels correlated well with the clinical score attributed to uveitis. After the patient was admitted to therapy, she received oral prednisone in a de-escalation protocol (doses from 50 to 5 mg/day) for four weeks. Following this therapy, she had an expected reduction of clinical signs and score for uveitis, but concomitantly she had a reduction of the serum levels of ubiquitin, poliubiquitinated proteins (MAb-FK1) and proteasome 20S activity. Therefore, a role for ubiquitin and proteasome in the development of human autoimmune uveitis has been hypothesized. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Basis of Native CXCL7 Monomer Binding to CXCR2 Receptor N-Domain and Glycosaminoglycan Heparin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 508; doi:10.3390/ijms18030508 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
CXCL7, a chemokine highly expressed in platelets, orchestrates neutrophil recruitment during thrombosis and related pathophysiological processes by interacting with CXCR2 receptor and sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAG). CXCL7 exists as monomers and dimers, and dimerization (~50 μM) and CXCR2 binding (~10 nM) constants indicate that
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CXCL7, a chemokine highly expressed in platelets, orchestrates neutrophil recruitment during thrombosis and related pathophysiological processes by interacting with CXCR2 receptor and sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAG). CXCL7 exists as monomers and dimers, and dimerization (~50 μM) and CXCR2 binding (~10 nM) constants indicate that CXCL7 is a potent agonist as a monomer. Currently, nothing is known regarding the structural basis by which receptor and GAG interactions mediate CXCL7 function. Using solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, we characterized the binding of CXCL7 monomer to the CXCR2 N-terminal domain (CXCR2Nd) that constitutes a critical docking site and to GAG heparin. We found that CXCR2Nd binds a hydrophobic groove and that ionic interactions also play a role in mediating binding. Heparin binds a set of contiguous basic residues indicating a prominent role for ionic interactions. Modeling studies reveal that the binding interface is dynamic and that GAG adopts different binding geometries. Most importantly, several residues involved in GAG binding are also involved in receptor interactions, suggesting that GAG-bound monomer cannot activate the receptor. Further, this is the first study that describes the structural basis of receptor and GAG interactions of a native monomer of the neutrophil-activating chemokine family. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Role of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and miRNAs in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 507; doi:10.3390/ijms18030507 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women worldwide, and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) represents 90% of cases. Nerve growth factor (NGF) and its high affinity receptor tyrosine kinase A receptor (TRKA) have been associated with the development of several types
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Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women worldwide, and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) represents 90% of cases. Nerve growth factor (NGF) and its high affinity receptor tyrosine kinase A receptor (TRKA) have been associated with the development of several types of cancer, including EOC; both NGF and TRKA levels are elevated in this pathology. EOC presents high angiogenesis and several molecules have been reported to induce this process. NGF increases angiogenesis through its TRKA receptor on endothelial cells, and by indirectly inducing vascular endothelial growth factor expression. Other molecules controlled by NGF include ciclooxigenase-2, disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 17 (ADAM17) and calreticulin (CRT), proteins involved in crucial processes needed for EOC progression. These molecules could be modified through microRNA regulation, which could be regulated by NGF. MicroRNAs are the widest family of non-coding RNAs; they bind to 3′-UTR of mRNAs to inhibit their translation, to deadenilate or to degraded them. In EOC, a deregulation in microRNA expression has been described, including alterations of miR-200 family, cluster-17-92, and miR-23b, among others. Since the NGF-microRNA relationship in pathologies has not been studied, this review proposes that some microRNAs could be associated with NGF/TRKA activation, modifying protein levels needed for EOC progression. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bioavailability Comparison of Nine Bioselenocompounds In Vitro and In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 506; doi:10.3390/ijms18030506 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Selenium (Se) shows biologically ambivalent characteristics in animals. It is an essential element but becomes severely toxic when the amount ingested exceeds the adequate intake level. Its biological, nutritional, and toxicological effects are strongly dependent on its chemical form. In this study, we
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Selenium (Se) shows biologically ambivalent characteristics in animals. It is an essential element but becomes severely toxic when the amount ingested exceeds the adequate intake level. Its biological, nutritional, and toxicological effects are strongly dependent on its chemical form. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity and bioavailability of nine naturally occurring Se compounds, or the so-called bioselenocompounds, in vivo and in vitro. Selenite and selenocystine showed higher toxicity than the other bioselenocompounds in vitro. In an in vitro membrane permeability study using Caco-2 cells, selenomethionine and Se-methylselenocysteine were more efficiently transported than the other bioselenocompounds. The effect of bioselenocompounds on nutritional availability was quantitatively determined from the recovery of serum selenoproteins in Se-deficient rats by speciation analysis. In contrast to the in vitro study, there were no significant differences in the assimilation of Se into serum selenoproteins among the bioselenocompounds, including selenoamino acids, selenosugar, and inorganic Se species, such as selenite, selenate, and selenocyanate, except trimethylselenonium ion. These results indicate that animals can equally assimilate both inorganic and organic naturally occurring selenocompounds except trimethylselenonium ion, which is the urinary metabolite of excess Se. We confirmed that the bioselenocompounds except trimethylselenonium ion had equivalent nutritional availabilities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of the Effects of Benzalkonium Chloride on Ocular Surfaces between C57BL/6 and BALB/c Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 509; doi:10.3390/ijms18030509 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Models of benzalkonium chloride (BAC)-induced ocular disruption have been created and are widely used in various animals. This study aimed to compare the effects of BAC on the ocular surfaces of C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice were treated separately with
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Models of benzalkonium chloride (BAC)-induced ocular disruption have been created and are widely used in various animals. This study aimed to compare the effects of BAC on the ocular surfaces of C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice were treated separately with BAC eye-drops at different concentrations. Eyes were evaluated by scoring epithelial disruption, corneal opacity and neovascularization in vivo, and by histological assays with hematoxylin/eosin (H/E) and periodic acid-Schiff stainings and by determining the expression of inflammatory factors in vitro on Days 7 and 14. The in vivo corneal epithelial disruption, corneal edema/opacity and neovascularization, which were in accordance with the results of the H/E staining and peaked at Day 7, were observed in a dose-dependent manner in the BAC-treated mice, with more severe signs in the C57BL/6 mice than the BALB/c mice. The loss of conjunctival goblet cells in the conjunctivas and the increasing expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), growth-regulated protein alpha (GROa) and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1a) in the corneas were found in a dose-dependent manner in both strains of mice. Topical application of BAC can dramatically disrupt the ocular surfaces of C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, and the disruptions were much more severe in the C57BL/6 mice that received high doses of BAC. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Complex Roles of Microglial Cells in Ischemic Stroke Pathobiology: New Insights and Future Directions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 496; doi:10.3390/ijms18030496 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Ischemic stroke constitutes the major cause of death and disability in the industrialized world. The interest in microglia arose from the evidence outlining the role of neuroinflammation in ischemic stroke pathobiology. Microglia constitute the powerhouse of innate immunity in the brain. Microglial cells
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Ischemic stroke constitutes the major cause of death and disability in the industrialized world. The interest in microglia arose from the evidence outlining the role of neuroinflammation in ischemic stroke pathobiology. Microglia constitute the powerhouse of innate immunity in the brain. Microglial cells are highly ramified, and use these ramifications as sentinels to detect changes in brain homeostasis. Once a danger signal is recognized, cells become activated and mount specialized responses that range from eliminating cell debris to secreting inflammatory signals and trophic factors. Originally, it was suggested that microglia play essentially a detrimental role in ischemic stroke. However, recent reports are providing evidence that the role of these cells is more complex than what was originally thought. Although these cells play detrimental role in the acute phase, they are required for tissue regeneration in the post-acute phases. This complex role of microglia in ischemic stroke pathobiology constitutes a major challenge for the development of efficient immunomodulatory therapies. This review aims at providing an overview regarding the role of resident microglia and peripherally recruited macrophages in ischemic pathobiology. Furthermore, the review will highlight future directions towards the development of novel fine-tuning immunomodulatory therapeutic interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Distinct Antigen Delivery Systems Induce Dendritic Cells’ Divergent Transcriptional Response: New Insights from a Comparative and Reproducible Computational Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 494; doi:10.3390/ijms18030494 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Vaccination is the most successful and cost-effective method to prevent infectious diseases. However, many vaccine antigens have poor in vivo immunogenic potential and need adjuvants to enhance immune response. The application of systems biology to immunity and vaccinology has yielded crucial insights about
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Vaccination is the most successful and cost-effective method to prevent infectious diseases. However, many vaccine antigens have poor in vivo immunogenic potential and need adjuvants to enhance immune response. The application of systems biology to immunity and vaccinology has yielded crucial insights about how vaccines and adjuvants work. We have previously characterized two safe and powerful delivery systems derived from non-pathogenic prokaryotic organisms: E2 and fd filamentous bacteriophage systems. They elicit an in vivo immune response inducing CD8+ T-cell responses, even in absence of adjuvants or stimuli for dendritic cells’ maturation. Nonetheless, a systematic and comparative analysis of the complex gene expression network underlying such activation is missing. Therefore, we compared the transcriptomes of ex vivo isolated bone marrow-derived dendritic cells exposed to these antigen delivery systems. Significant differences emerged, especially for genes involved in innate immunity, co-stimulation, and cytokine production. Results indicate that E2 drives polarization toward the Th2 phenotype, mainly mediated by Irf4, Ccl17, and Ccr4 over-expression. Conversely, fd-scαDEC-205 triggers Th1 T cells’ polarization through the induction of Il12b, Il12rb, Il6, and other molecules involved in its signal transduction. The data analysis was performed using RNASeqGUI, hence, addressing the increasing need of transparency and reproducibility of computational analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Acute Inflammatory Response to Absorbed Collagen Sponge Is Not Enhanced by BMP-2
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 498; doi:10.3390/ijms18030498 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Absorbed collagen sponge (ACS)/bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) are widely used in clinical practise for bone regeneration. However, the application of this product was found to be associated with a significant pro-inflammatory response, particularly in the early phase after implantation. This study aimed to
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Absorbed collagen sponge (ACS)/bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) are widely used in clinical practise for bone regeneration. However, the application of this product was found to be associated with a significant pro-inflammatory response, particularly in the early phase after implantation. This study aimed to clarify if the pro-inflammatory activities, associated with BMP-2 added to ACS, were related to the physical state of the carrier itself, i.e., a wet or a highly dehydrated state of the ACS, to the local degree of vascularisation and/or to local biomechanical factors. ACS (0.8 cm diameter)/BMP-2 were implanted subcutaneously in the back of 12 eight-week-old Sprague Dawley rats. Two days after surgery, the implanted materials were retrieved and analysed histologically and histomorphometrically. The acute inflammatory response following implantation of ACS was dependent of neither the presence or absence of BMP-2 nor the degree of vascularization in the surrounding tissue nor the hydration state (wet versus dry) of the ACS material at the time of implantation. Differential micro biomechanical factors operating at the implantation site appeared to have an influence on the thickness of inflammation. We conclude that the degree of the early inflammatory response of the ACS/BMP-2 may be associated with the physical and chemical properties of the carrier material itself. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
De Novo Transcriptome Analysis of Plant Pathogenic Fungus Myrothecium roridum and Identification of Genes Associated with Trichothecene Mycotoxin Biosynthesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 497; doi:10.3390/ijms18030497 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Myrothecium roridum is a plant pathogenic fungus that infects different crops and decreases the yield of economical crops, including soybean, cotton, corn, pepper, and tomato. Until now, the pathogenic mechanism of M. roridum has remained unclear. Different types of trichothecene mycotoxins were isolated
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Myrothecium roridum is a plant pathogenic fungus that infects different crops and decreases the yield of economical crops, including soybean, cotton, corn, pepper, and tomato. Until now, the pathogenic mechanism of M. roridum has remained unclear. Different types of trichothecene mycotoxins were isolated from M. roridum, and trichothecene was considered as a plant pathogenic factor of M. roridum. In this study, the transcriptome of M. roridum in different incubation durations was sequenced using an Illumina Hiseq 2000. A total of 35,485 transcripts and 25,996 unigenes for M. roridum were obtained from 8.0 Gb clean reads. The protein–protein network of the M. roridum transcriptome indicated that the mitogen-activated protein kinases signal pathway also played an important role in the pathogenicity of M. roridum. The genes related to trichothecene biosynthesis were annotated. The expression levels of these genes were also predicted and validated through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Tri5 gene encoding trichodiene synthase was cloned and expressed, and the purified trichodiene synthase was able to catalyze farnesyl pyrophosphate into different kinds of sesquiterpenoids.Tri4 and Tri11 genes were expressed in Escherichia coli, and their corresponding enzymatic properties were characterized. The phylogenetic tree of trichodiene synthase showed a great discrepancy between the trichodiene synthase from M. roridum and other species. Our study on the genes related to trichothecene biosynthesis establishes a foundation for the M. roridum hazard prevention, thus improving the yields of economical crops. Full article
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Open AccessReview
From Lysosomal Storage Diseases to NKT Cell Activation and Back
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 502; doi:10.3390/ijms18030502 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) are inherited metabolic disorders characterized by the accumulation of different types of substrates in the lysosome. With a multisystemic involvement, LSDs often present a very broad clinical spectrum. In many LSDs, alterations of the immune system were described. Special
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Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) are inherited metabolic disorders characterized by the accumulation of different types of substrates in the lysosome. With a multisystemic involvement, LSDs often present a very broad clinical spectrum. In many LSDs, alterations of the immune system were described. Special emphasis was given to Natural Killer T (NKT) cells, a population of lipid-specific T cells that is activated by lipid antigens bound to CD1d (cluster of differentiation 1 d) molecules at the surface of antigen-presenting cells. These cells have important functions in cancer, infection, and autoimmunity and were altered in a variety of LSDs’ mouse models. In some cases, the observed decrease was attributed to defects in either lipid antigen availability, trafficking, processing, or loading in CD1d. Here, we review the current knowledge about NKT cells in the context of LSDs, including the alterations detected, the proposed mechanisms to explain these defects, and the relevance of these findings for disease pathology. Furthermore, the effect of enzyme replacement therapy on NKT cells is also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Gene Expression in Osteolysis: Review on the Identification of Altered Molecular Pathways in Preclinical and Clinical Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 499; doi:10.3390/ijms18030499 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Aseptic loosening (AL) due to osteolysis is the primary cause of joint prosthesis failure. Currently, a second surgery is still the only available treatment for AL, with its associated drawbacks. The present review aims at identifying genes whose expression is altered in osteolysis,
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Aseptic loosening (AL) due to osteolysis is the primary cause of joint prosthesis failure. Currently, a second surgery is still the only available treatment for AL, with its associated drawbacks. The present review aims at identifying genes whose expression is altered in osteolysis, and that could be the target of new pharmacological treatments, with the goal of replacing surgery. This review also aims at identifying the molecular pathways altered by different wear particles. We reviewed preclinical and clinical studies from 2010 to 2016, analyzing gene expression of tissues or cells affected by osteolysis. A total of 32 in vitro, 16 in vivo and six clinical studies were included. These studies revealed that genes belonging to both inflammation and osteoclastogenesis pathways are mainly involved in osteolysis. More precisely, an increase in genes encoding for the following factors were observed: Interleukins 6 and 1β (IL16 and β), Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNFα), nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFκB), Nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic 1 (NFATC1), Cathepsin K (CATK) and Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP). Titanium (Ti) and Polyethylene (PE) were the most studied particles, showing that Ti up-regulated inflammation and osteoclastogenesis related genes, while PE up-regulated primarily osteoclastogenesis related genes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Impacts of Cellular Senescence in Elderly Pneumonia and in Age-Related Lung Diseases That Increase the Risk of Respiratory Infections
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 503; doi:10.3390/ijms18030503 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Pneumonia generates considerable negative impacts on the elderly. Despite the widespread uses of vaccines and appropriate antibiotics, the morbidity and mortality of elderly pneumonia are significantly higher compared to the counterparts of young populations. The definitive mechanisms of high vulnerability in the elderly
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Pneumonia generates considerable negative impacts on the elderly. Despite the widespread uses of vaccines and appropriate antibiotics, the morbidity and mortality of elderly pneumonia are significantly higher compared to the counterparts of young populations. The definitive mechanisms of high vulnerability in the elderly against pathogen threats are unclear. Age-associated, chronic low-grade inflammation augments the susceptibility and severity of pneumonia in the elderly. Cellular senescence, one of the hallmarks of aging, has its own characteristics, cell growth arrest and senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). These properties are beneficial if the sequence of senescence–clearance–regeneration is transient in manner. However, persisting senescent cell accumulation and excessive SASP might induce sustained low-grade inflammation and disruption of normal tissue microenvironments in aged tissue. Emerging evidence indicates that cellular senescence is a key component in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), which are known to be age-related and increase the risk of pneumonia. In addition to their structural collapses, COPD and IPF might increase the vulnerability to pathogen insults through SASP. Here, we discuss the current advances in understanding of the impacts of cellular senescence in elderly pneumonia and in these chronic lung disorders that heighten the risk of respiratory infections. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Diverse Roles of Microglia in the Neurodegenerative Aspects of Central Nervous System (CNS) Autoimmunity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 504; doi:10.3390/ijms18030504 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) involve inflammatory components and result in neurodegenerative processes. Microglia, the resident macrophages of the CNS, are the first responders after insults to the CNS and comprise a major link between the inflammation and neurodegeneration. Here,
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Autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) involve inflammatory components and result in neurodegenerative processes. Microglia, the resident macrophages of the CNS, are the first responders after insults to the CNS and comprise a major link between the inflammation and neurodegeneration. Here, we will focus on the roles of microglia in two autoimmune diseases: the prevalent condition of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the much rarer Rasmussen’s encephalitis (RE). Although there is an abundance of evidence that microglia actively contribute to neuronal damage in pathological states such as MS and RE, there is also evidence of important reparative functions. As current research supports a more complex and diverse array of functions and phenotypes that microglia can assume, it is an especially interesting time to examine what is known about both the damaging and restorative roles that microglia can play in the inflammatory CNS setting. We will also discuss the pharmacological approaches to modulating microglia towards a more neuroprotective state. Full article
Open AccessReview
Progranulin and Its Related MicroRNAs after Status Epilepticus: Possible Mechanisms of Neuroprotection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 490; doi:10.3390/ijms18030490 -
Abstract
The current knowledge about neuroprotective mechanisms in humans after status epilepticus is scarce. One reason is the difficulty to measure possible mediators of these neuroprotective mechanisms. The dawn of microRNA detection in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the recent advancements in measuring proteins
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The current knowledge about neuroprotective mechanisms in humans after status epilepticus is scarce. One reason is the difficulty to measure possible mediators of these neuroprotective mechanisms. The dawn of microRNA detection in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the recent advancements in measuring proteins in the CSF such as progranulin, which is, e.g., responsible for neurite outgrowth and limiting exceeding neuroinflammatory responses, have given us new insights into putative neuroprotective mechanisms following status epilepticus. This should complement the animal data. In this review, we cover what is known about the role of progranulin as well as the links between microRNA changes and the progranulin pathway following status epilepticus in humans and animals hypothesizing neuroprotective and neurorehabilitative effects. Progranulin has also been found to feature prominently in the neuroprotective processes under hypoxic conditions and initiating neurorehabilitative processes. These properties may be used therapeutically, e.g., through drugs that raise the progranulin levels and therefore the cerebral progranulin levels as well with the goal of improving the outcome after status epilepticus. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Hotspot Selective Preference of the Chimeric Sequences Formed in Multiple Displacement Amplification
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 492; doi:10.3390/ijms18030492 -
Abstract
Multiple displacement amplification (MDA) is considered to be a conventional approach to comprehensive amplification from low input DNA. The chimeric reads generated in MDA lead to severe disruption in some studies, including those focusing on heterogeneity, structural variation, and genetic recombination. Meanwhile, the
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Multiple displacement amplification (MDA) is considered to be a conventional approach to comprehensive amplification from low input DNA. The chimeric reads generated in MDA lead to severe disruption in some studies, including those focusing on heterogeneity, structural variation, and genetic recombination. Meanwhile, the generation of by-products gives a new approach to gain insights into the reaction process of φ29 polymerase. Here, we analyzed 36.7 million chimeras and screened 196 billion chimeric hotspots in the human genome, as well as evaluating the hotspot selective preference of chimeras. No significant preference was captured in the distributions of chimeras and hotspots among chromosomes. Hotspots with overlaps for 12–13 nucleotides (nt) were most likely to be selected as templates in chimera generation. Meanwhile, a regularly selective preference was noticed in overlap GC content. The preferences in overlap length and GC content was shown to be pertinent to the sequence denaturation temperature, which pointed out the optimization direction for reducing chimeras. Distance preference between two segments of chimeras was 80–280 nt. The analysis is beneficial for reducing the chimeras in MDA, and the characterization of MDA chimeras is helpful in distinguishing MDA chimeras from chimeric sequences caused by disease. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Role of Netrin-1 Signaling in Nerve Regeneration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 491; doi:10.3390/ijms18030491 -
Abstract
Netrin-1 was the first axon guidance molecule to be discovered in vertebrates and has a strong chemotropic function for axonal guidance, cell migration, morphogenesis and angiogenesis. It is a secreted axon guidance cue that can trigger attraction by binding to its canonical receptors
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Netrin-1 was the first axon guidance molecule to be discovered in vertebrates and has a strong chemotropic function for axonal guidance, cell migration, morphogenesis and angiogenesis. It is a secreted axon guidance cue that can trigger attraction by binding to its canonical receptors Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) and Neogenin or repulsion through binding the DCC/Uncoordinated (Unc5) A–D receptor complex. The crystal structures of Netrin-1/receptor complexes have recently been revealed. These studies have provided a structure based explanation of Netrin-1 bi-functionality. Netrin-1 and its receptor are continuously expressed in the adult nervous system and are differentially regulated after nerve injury. In the adult spinal cord and optic nerve, Netrin-1 has been considered as an inhibitor that contributes to axon regeneration failure after injury. In the peripheral nervous system, Netrin-1 receptors are expressed in Schwann cells, the cell bodies of sensory neurons and the axons of both motor and sensory neurons. Netrin-1 is expressed in Schwann cells and its expression is up-regulated after peripheral nerve transection injury. Recent studies indicated that Netrin-1 plays a positive role in promoting peripheral nerve regeneration, Schwann cell proliferation and migration. Targeting of the Netrin-1 signaling pathway could develop novel therapeutic strategies to promote peripheral nerve regeneration and functional recovery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
TNFα Increases RANKL Expression via PGE2-Induced Activation of NFATc1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 495; doi:10.3390/ijms18030495 -
Abstract
Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) is known to upregulate the expression of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). We investigated the role of the calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) signaling pathway in TNFα-induced RANKL expression in C2C12 and primary cultured
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Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) is known to upregulate the expression of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). We investigated the role of the calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) signaling pathway in TNFα-induced RANKL expression in C2C12 and primary cultured mouse calvarial cells. TNFα-induced RANKL expression was blocked by the calcineurin/NFAT pathway inhibitors. TNFα increased NFAT transcriptional activity and subsequent RANKL promoter binding. Mutations in the NFAT-binding element (MT(N)) suppressed TNFα-induced RANKL promoter activity. TNFα increased prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production, which in turn enhanced NFAT transcriptional activity and binding to the RANKL promoter. MT(N) suppressed PGE2-induced RANKL promoter activity. TNFα and PGE2 increased the expression of RANKL, NFAT cytoplasmic-1 (NFATc1), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2); which increment was suppressed by indomethacin, a COX inhibitor. Mutations in the CRE-like element blocked PGE2-induced RANKL promoter activity. PGE2 induced the binding of CREB to the RANKL promoter, whereas TNFα increased the binding of both CREB and NFATc1 to this promoter through a process blocked by indomethacin. The PGE2 receptor antagonists AH6809 and AH23848 blocked TNFα-induced expression of RANKL, NFATc1, and CREB; transcriptional activity of NFAT; and binding of NFATc1 or CREB to the RANKL promoter. These results suggest that TNFα-induced RANKL expression depends on PGE2 production and subsequent transcriptional activation/enhanced binding of NFATc1 and CREB to the RANKL promoter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Supercritical-Carbon Dioxide Fluid Extract from Chrysanthemum indicum Enhances Anti-Tumor Effect and Reduces Toxicity of Bleomycin in Tumor-Bearing Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 465; doi:10.3390/ijms18030465 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Bleomycin (BLM), a family of anti-tumor drugs, was reported to exhibit severe side effects limiting its usage in clinical treatment. Therefore, finding adjuvants that enhance the anti-tumor effect and reduce the detrimental effect of BLM is a prerequisite. Chrysanthemum indicum, an edible
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Bleomycin (BLM), a family of anti-tumor drugs, was reported to exhibit severe side effects limiting its usage in clinical treatment. Therefore, finding adjuvants that enhance the anti-tumor effect and reduce the detrimental effect of BLM is a prerequisite. Chrysanthemum indicum, an edible flower, possesses abundant bioactivities; the supercritical-carbon dioxide fluid extract from flowers and buds of C. indicum (CISCFE) have strong anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and lung protective effects. However, the role of CISCFE combined with BLM treatment on tumor-bearing mice remains unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the potential synergistic effect and the underlying mechanism of CISCFE combined with BLM in the treatment of hepatoma 22 (H22) tumor-bearing mice. The results suggested that the oral administration of CISCFE combined with BLM could markedly prolong the life span, attenuate the BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis, suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6), tumor necrosis factor-α, activities of myeloperoxidase, and malondiadehyde. Moreover, CISCFE combined with BLM promoted the ascites cell apoptosis, the activities of caspases 3 and 8, and up-regulated the protein expression of p53 and down-regulated the transforming growth factor-β1 by activating the gene expression of miR-29b. Taken together, these results indicated that CISCFE could enhance the anti-cancer activity of BLM and reduce the BLM-induced pulmonary injury in H22 tumor-bearing mice, rendering it as a potential adjuvant drug with chemotherapy after further investigation in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
L1198F Mutation Resensitizes Crizotinib to ALK by Altering the Conformation of Inhibitor and ATP Binding Sites
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 482; doi:10.3390/ijms18030482 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The efficacy of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment with small molecule inhibitors is greatly challenged by acquired resistance. A recent study reported the newest generation inhibitor resistant mutation L1198F led to the resensitization to crizotinib, which is the
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The efficacy of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment with small molecule inhibitors is greatly challenged by acquired resistance. A recent study reported the newest generation inhibitor resistant mutation L1198F led to the resensitization to crizotinib, which is the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug for the treatment of ALK-positive NSCLC. It is of great importance to understand how this extremely rare event occurred for the purpose of overcoming the acquired resistance of such inhibitors. In this study, we exploited molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to dissect the molecular mechanisms. Our MD results revealed that L1198F mutation of ALK resulted in the conformational change at the inhibitor site and altered the binding affinity of ALK to crizotinib and lorlatinib. L1198F mutation also affected the autoactivation of ALK as supported by the identification of His1124 and Tyr1278 as critical amino acids involved in ATP binding and phosphorylation. Our findings are valuable for designing more specific and potent inhibitors for the treatment of ALK-positive NSCLC and other types of cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Regulations of Deubiquitinase USP15 and Its Pathophysiological Mechanisms in Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 483; doi:10.3390/ijms18030483 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Deubiquitinases (DUBs) play a critical role in ubiquitin-directed signaling by catalytically removing the ubiquitin from substrate proteins. Ubiquitin-specific protease 15 (USP15), a member of the largest subfamily of cysteine protease DUBs, contains two conservative cysteine (Cys) and histidine (His) boxes. USP15 harbors two
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Deubiquitinases (DUBs) play a critical role in ubiquitin-directed signaling by catalytically removing the ubiquitin from substrate proteins. Ubiquitin-specific protease 15 (USP15), a member of the largest subfamily of cysteine protease DUBs, contains two conservative cysteine (Cys) and histidine (His) boxes. USP15 harbors two zinc-binding motifs that are essential for recognition of poly-ubiquitin chains. USP15 is grouped into the same category with USP4 and USP11 due to high degree of homology in an N-terminal region consisting of domains present in ubiquitin-specific proteases (DUSP) domain and ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain. USP15 cooperates with COP9 signalosome complex (CSN) to maintain the stability of cullin-ring ligase (CRL) adaptor proteins by removing the conjugated ubiquitin chains from RBX1 subunit of CRL. USP15 is also implicated in the stabilization of the human papillomavirus type 16 E6 oncoprotein, adenomatous polyposis coli, and IκBα. Recently, reports have suggested that USP15 acts as a key regulator of TGF-β receptor-signaling pathways by deubiquitinating the TGF-β receptor itself and its downstream transducers receptor-regulated SMADs (R-SMADs), including SMAD1, SMAD2, and SMAD3, thus activating the TGF-β target genes. Although the importance of USP15 in pathologic processes remains ambiguous so far, in this review, we endeavor to summarize the literature regarding the relationship of the deubiquitinating action of USP15 with the proteins involved in the regulation of Parkinson’s disease, virus infection, and cancer-related signaling networks. Full article
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