Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(2), 2747-2766; doi:10.3390/ijms16022747 (registering DOI) - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. Several signaling pathways have been implicated as causative and progression agents. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α protein plays a dual role in promoting and inhibiting cancer depending largely on the pathway initiated by the binding of the protein to its receptor. Zerumbone, an active constituent of Zingiber zerumbet, Smith, is known to act on the tumor necrosis factor pathway upregulating tumour necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) death receptors and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. Zerumbone is a sesquiterpene that is able to penetrate into the hydrophobic pockets of proteins to exert its inhibiting activity with several proteins. We found a good binding with the tumor necrosis factor, kinase κB (IKKβ) and the Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) component proteins along the TNF pathway. Our results suggest that zerumbone can exert its apoptotic activities by inhibiting the cytoplasmic proteins. It inhibits the IKKβ kinase that activates the NF-κB and also binds to the NF-κB complex in the TNF pathway. Blocking both proteins can lead to inhibition of cell proliferating proteins to be downregulated and possibly ultimate induction of apoptosis.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(2), 2732-2746; doi:10.3390/ijms16022732 (registering DOI) - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The causes of chronic heart failure (CHF) and its progression are likely to be due to complex genetic factors. Adenosine receptors A2A and A2B (ADORA2A and ADORA2B, respectively) play an important role in cardio-protection. Therefore, polymorphisms in the genes encoding those receptors may affect the risk and severity of CHF. This study was a case-control comparative investigation of 300 northern Chinese Han CHF patients and 400 ethnicity-matched healthy controls. Four common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ADORA2A (rs2236625, rs2236624, rs4822489, and rs5751876) and one SNP of ADORA2B (rs7208480) were genotyped and an association between SNPs and clinical outcomes was evaluated. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the association. The rs4822489 was significantly associated with the severity of CHF after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors (p = 0.040, OR = 1.912, 95% CI = 1.029–3.550). However, the five SNPs as well as the haplotypes were not found to be associated with CHF susceptibility. The findings of this study suggest that rs4822489 may contribute to the severity of CHF in the northern Chinese. However, further studies performed in larger populations and aimed at better defining the role of this gene are required.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(2), 2717-2731; doi:10.3390/ijms16022717 (registering DOI) - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study explored the inhibiting effect and mechanism of myricanol on lung adenocarcinoma A549 xenografts in nude mice. Forty nude mice with subcutaneous A549 xenografts were randomly divided into five groups: high-dose myricanol (40 mg/kg body weight) group; middle-dose myricanol (20 mg/kg body weight) group; low-dose myricanol (10 mg/kg body weight) group; polyethylene glycol 400 vehicle group (1 mL/kg); and tumor model group. Nude mice were sacrificed after 14 days of treatment and the tumor inhibition rate (TIR, %) was then calculated. The relative mRNA expression levels of Bax, Bcl-2, VEGF, HIF-1α, and survivin in the tumor tissues were determined by real-time PCR. TUNEL assay was applied to determine cellular apoptosis, while IHC test was performed to detect the protein expression levels of Bax, Bcl-2, VEGF, HIF-1α, and survivin. The TIR of the three myricanol-treated groups ranged from 14.9% to 38.5%. The IHC results showed that the protein expression of Bcl-2, VEGF, HIF-1α, and survivin were consistently downregulated, whereas that of Bax was upregulated after myricanol treatment. Myricanol also significantly upregulated the mRNA expression of Bax and downregulated that of Bcl-2, VEGF, HIF-1α, and survivin in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.05 to 0.001). These results are consistent with those of IHC. The TUNEL assay results indicated that apoptotic-positive cells significantly increased in the myricanol-treated tumor tissues compared with the cells of the vehicle control group (p < 0.01 to 0.001). These data suggest that myricanol could significantly decelerate tumor growth in vivo by inducing apoptosis.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(2), 2705-2716; doi:10.3390/ijms16022705 (registering DOI) - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Previously it has been shown that green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is capable of prolonged H2 photoproduction when deprived of sulfur. In addition to sulfur deprivation (-S), sustained H2 photoproduction in C. reinhardtii cultures can be achieved under phosphorus-deprived (-P) conditions. Similar to sulfur deprivation, phosphorus deprivation limits O2 evolving activity in algal cells and causes other metabolic changes that are favorable for H2 photoproduction. Although significant advances in H2 photoproduction have recently been realized in fresh water microalgae, relatively few studies have focused on H2 production in marine green microalgae. In the present study phosphorus deprivation was applied for hydrogen production in marine green microalgae Chlorella sp., where sulfur deprivation is impossible due to a high concentration of sulfates in the sea water. Since resources of fresh water on earth are limited, the possibility of hydrogen production in seawater is more attractive. In order to achieve H2 photoproduction in P-deprived marine green microalgae Chlorella sp., the dilution approach was applied. Cultures diluted to about 0.5–1.8 mg Chl·L−1 in the beginning of P-deprivation were able to establish anaerobiosis, after the initial growth period, where cells utilize intracellular phosphorus, with subsequent transition to H2 photoproduction stage. It appears that marine microalgae during P-deprivation passed the same stages of adaptation as fresh water microalgae. The presence of inorganic carbon was essential for starch accumulation and subsequent hydrogen production by microalgae. The H2 accumulation was up to 40 mL H2 gas per 1iter of the culture, which is comparable to that obtained in P-deprived C. reinhardtii culture.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(2), 2693-2704; doi:10.3390/ijms16022693 (registering DOI) - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A novel budesonide (BUD) colon delivery release system was developed by using a natural polysaccharide, guar gum. The rigidity of the microspheres was induced by a chemical cross-linking method utilizing glutaraldehyde as the cross-linker. The mean particle size of the microspheres prepared was found to be 15.21 ± 1.32 µm. The drug loading and entrapment efficiency of the formulation were 17.78% ± 2.31% and 81.6% ± 5.42%, respectively. The microspheres were spherical in shape with a smooth surface, and the size was uniform. The in vitro release profiles indicated that the release of BUD from the microspheres exhibited a sustained release behavior. The model that fitted best for BUD released from the microspheres was the Higuchi kinetic model with a correlation coefficient r = 0.9993. A similar phenomenon was also observed in a pharmacokinetic study. The prolongation of the half-life (t1/2), enhanced residence time (mean residence time, MRT) and decreased total clearance (CL) indicated that BUD microspheres could prolong the acting time of BUD in vivo. In addition, BUD guar gum microspheres are thought to have the potential to maintain BUD concentration within target ranges for a long time, decreasing the side effects caused by concentration fluctuation, ensuring the efficiency of treatment and improving patient compliance by reducing dosing frequency. None of the severe signs, like the appearance of epithelial necrosis and the sloughing of epithelial cells, were detected.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2015, 16(2), 2678-2692; doi:10.3390/ijms16022678 (registering DOI) - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) builds the outer blood-retinal barrier of the eye. Since one typical feature of the autoimmune disease, equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), is the breakdown of this barrier, we recently performed comparative analysis of healthy and uveitic RPE. We identified for the first time peripherin 2, which is responsible for visual perception and retina development, to be localized in RPE. The purpose of this study was therefore to validate our findings by characterizing the expression patterns of peripherin 2 in RPE and retina. We also investigated whether peripherin 2 expression changes in ERU and if it is expressed by the RPE itself. Via immunohistochemistry, significant downregulation of peripherin 2 in uveitic RPE compared to the control was detectable, but there was no difference in healthy and uveitic retina. A further interesting finding was the clear distinction between peripherin 2 and the phagocytosis marker, rhodopsin, in healthy RPE. In conclusion, changes in the expression pattern of peripherin 2 selectively affect RPE, but not retina, in ERU. Moreover, peripherin 2 is clearly detectable in healthy RPE due to both phagocytosis and the expression by the RPE cells themselves. Our novel findings are very promising for better understanding the molecular mechanisms taking place on RPE in uveitis.