Open AccessArticle
Screening the Expression Changes in MicroRNAs and Their Target Genes in Mature Cementoblasts Stimulated with Cyclic Tensile Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2024; doi:10.3390/ijms17122024 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Cementum is a thin layer of cementoblast-produced mineralized tissue covering the root surfaces of teeth. Mechanical forces, which are produced during masticatory activity, play a paramount role in stimulating cementoblastogenesis, which thereby facilitates the maintenance, remodeling and integrity of cementum. However, hitherto, the
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Cementum is a thin layer of cementoblast-produced mineralized tissue covering the root surfaces of teeth. Mechanical forces, which are produced during masticatory activity, play a paramount role in stimulating cementoblastogenesis, which thereby facilitates the maintenance, remodeling and integrity of cementum. However, hitherto, the extent to which a post-transcriptional modulation mechanism is involved in this process has rarely been reported. In this study, a mature murine cementoblast cell line OCCM-30 cells (immortalized osteocalcin positive cementoblasts) was cultured and subjected to cyclic tensile stress (0.5 Hz, 2000 µstrain). We showed that the cyclic tensile stress could not only rearrange the cell alignment, but also influence the proliferation in an S-shaped manner. Furthermore, cyclic tensile stress could significantly promote cementoblastogenesis-related genes, proteins and mineralized nodules. From the miRNA array analyses, we found that 60 and 103 miRNAs were significantly altered 6 and 18 h after the stimulation using cyclic tensile stress, respectively. Based on a literature review and bioinformatics analyses, we found that miR-146b-5p and its target gene Smad4 play an important role in this procedure. The upregulation of miR-146b-5p and downregulation of Smad4 induced by the tensile stress were further confirmed by qRT-PCR. The direct binding of miR-146b-5p to the three prime untranslated region (3′ UTR) of Smad4 was established using a dual-luciferase reporter assay. Taken together, these results suggest an important involvement of miR-146b-5p and its target gene Smad4 in the cementoblastogenesis of mature cementoblasts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Study of Green Sub- and Supercritical Processes to Obtain Carnosic Acid and Carnosol-Enriched Rosemary Extracts with in Vitro Anti-Proliferative Activity on Colon Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2046; doi:10.3390/ijms17122046 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In the present work, four green processes have been compared to evaluate their potential to obtain rosemary extracts with in vitro anti-proliferative activity against two colon cancer cell lines (HT-29 and HCT116). The processes, carried out under optimal conditions, were: (1) pressurized liquid
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In the present work, four green processes have been compared to evaluate their potential to obtain rosemary extracts with in vitro anti-proliferative activity against two colon cancer cell lines (HT-29 and HCT116). The processes, carried out under optimal conditions, were: (1) pressurized liquid extraction (PLE, using an hydroalcoholic mixture as solvent) at lab-scale; (2) Single-step supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) at pilot scale; (3) Intensified two-step sequential SFE at pilot scale; (4) Integrated PLE plus supercritical antisolvent fractionation (SAF) at pilot scale. Although higher extraction yields were achieved by using PLE (38.46% dry weight), this extract provided the lowest anti-proliferative activity with no observed cytotoxic effects at the assayed concentrations. On the other hand, extracts obtained using the PLE + SAF process provided the most active rosemary extracts against both colon cancer cell lines, with LC50 ranging from 11.2 to 12.4 µg/mL and from 21.8 to 31.9 µg/mL for HCT116 and HT-29, respectively. In general, active rosemary extracts were characterized by containing carnosic acid (CA) and carnosol (CS) at concentrations above 263.7 and 33.9 mg/g extract, respectively. Some distinct compounds have been identified in the SAF extracts (rosmaridiphenol and safficinolide), suggesting their possible role as additional contributors to the observed strong anti-proliferative activity of CA and CS in SAF extracts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mutations in the Mitochondrial ND1 Gene Are Associated with Postoperative Prognosis of Localized Renal Cell Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2049; doi:10.3390/ijms17122049 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
We analyzed mutations in the mitochondrial ND1 gene to determine their association with clinicopathological parameters and postoperative recurrence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in Japanese patients. Among 62 RCC cases for which tumor pathology was confirmed by histopathology, ND1 sequencing revealed the presence
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We analyzed mutations in the mitochondrial ND1 gene to determine their association with clinicopathological parameters and postoperative recurrence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in Japanese patients. Among 62 RCC cases for which tumor pathology was confirmed by histopathology, ND1 sequencing revealed the presence of 30 mutation sites in 19 cases. Most mutations were heteroplasmic, with 16 of 19 cases harboring one or more heteroplasmic sites. Additionally, 12 sites had amino acid mutations, which were frequent in 10 of the cases. The 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) rate was significantly worse in patients with tumors >40 mm in diameter (p = 0.0091), pathological T (pT) stage ≥3 (p = 0.0122), Fuhrman nuclear atypia grade ≥III (p = 0.0070), and ND1 mutations (p = 0.0006). Multivariate analysis using these factors revealed that mutations in ND1 were significantly associated with the 5-year RFS rate (p = 0.0044). These results suggest a strong correlation between the presence of ND1 mutations in cancer tissue and postoperative recurrence of localized RCC in Japanese patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptional Response of Silkworm (Bombyx mori) Eggs to O2 or HCl Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 1838; doi:10.3390/ijms17121838 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Diapause is a common biological phenomenon that occurs in many organisms, including fish, insects, and nematodes. In the silkworm (Bombyx mori), diapause generally occurs in the egg stage. Treatment with O2, HCl, or other compounds can prevent egg diapause.
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Diapause is a common biological phenomenon that occurs in many organisms, including fish, insects, and nematodes. In the silkworm (Bombyx mori), diapause generally occurs in the egg stage. Treatment with O2, HCl, or other compounds can prevent egg diapause. Here, we characterized the transcriptomic responses of newly laid eggs treated with O2 or HCl. Digital gene expression analysis showed that 610 genes in O2-treated eggs and 656 in HCl-treated eggs were differentially expressed. Of these, 343 genes were differentially expressed in both treatments. In addition to trehalases, sorbic acid dehydrogenases, and some enzymes involved in the carbohydrate metabolism, we also identified heat shock proteins, cytochrome P450, and GADD45, which are related to stress tolerance. Gene ontology enrichment analysis showed differentially expressed genes in O2-treated eggs were involved in oxidoreductase activity as well as in binding, catalytic, and metabolic processes. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis showed that the pathways for ribosome biogenesis, spliceosome, and circadian rhythm were significantly enriched in HCl-treated eggs. The reliability of the data was confirmed by qRT-PCR analysis. Our results improved the understanding of the mechanism of diapause blocking in silkworm eggs treated with O2 or HCl and identified novel molecular targets for future studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cellular Localization and Regulation of Expression of the PLET1 Gene in Porcine Placenta
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2048; doi:10.3390/ijms17122048 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The placenta expressed transcript 1 (PLET1) gene, which is expressed in placentas of pigs and mice, has been found to have a potential role in trophoblast cell fate decision in mice. Results of this study showed that the porcine PLET1 mRNA
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The placenta expressed transcript 1 (PLET1) gene, which is expressed in placentas of pigs and mice, has been found to have a potential role in trophoblast cell fate decision in mice. Results of this study showed that the porcine PLET1 mRNA and protein were expressed exclusively in trophoblast cells on Days 15, 26, 50, and 95 of gestation (gestation length in the pig is 114 days), indicating that the PLET1 could be a useful marker for porcine trophoblast cells. Additionally, PLET1 protein was found to be redistributed from cytoplasm to the apical side of trophoblast cells as gestation progresses, which suggests a role of PLET1 in the establishment of a stable trophoblast and endometrial epithelial layers. In addition, two transcripts that differ in the 3′ UTR length but encode identical protein were identified to be generated by the alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA), and the expression of PLET1-L transcript was significantly upregulated in porcine placentas as gestation progresses. Furthermore, we demonstrated the interaction between the miR-365-3p and PLET1 gene using luciferase assay system. Our findings imply an important role of PLET1 in the placental development in pigs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
miR-429 Inhibits Differentiation and Promotes Proliferation in Porcine Preadipocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2047; doi:10.3390/ijms17122047 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial regulatory molecules for adipogenesis. They contribute to the controlling of proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes. Previous studies revealed an important role of miR-429 in cell invasion, migration, and apoptosis. Our previous work has shown that the expression of miR-429
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial regulatory molecules for adipogenesis. They contribute to the controlling of proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes. Previous studies revealed an important role of miR-429 in cell invasion, migration, and apoptosis. Our previous work has shown that the expression of miR-429 in subcutaneous fat can be observed in newly born (3-day-old) Rongchang piglets rather than their adult counterparts (180-day-old). This expression pattern suggests that miR-429 might be functionally related to postnatal adipogenesis. However, we currently lack a mechanistic understanding of miR-429 within the context of preadipocyte differentiation. In this study, we investigated the function of miR-429 in porcine subcutaneous and intramuscular preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation. In our porcine preadipocyte differentiation model, miR-429 expression decreased remarkably upon adipogenic induction. Overexpression of miR-429 notably down-regulated the expression of adipogenic marker genes: PPARγ, aP2, FAS and impaired the triglyceride accumulation, while the expression of lipolytic gene ATGL was not affected. In addition, we observed that miR-429 significantly promoted the proliferation of porcine preadipocytes. We also found that miR-429 could directly bind to the 3′-UTRs of KLF9 and p27, which have been well documented to promote preadipocyte differentiation and repress cell cycle progression. Taken together, our data support a novel role of miR-429 in regulating porcine preadipocyte differentiation and proliferation, and KLF9 and p27 are potent targets of miR-429 during these processes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Aquaporins in the Spinal Cord
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2050; doi:10.3390/ijms17122050 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Aquaporins (AQPs) are water channel proteins robustly expressed in the central nervous system (CNS). A number of previous studies described the cellular expression sites and investigated their major roles and function in the brain and spinal cord. Among thirteen different mammalian AQPs, AQP1
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Aquaporins (AQPs) are water channel proteins robustly expressed in the central nervous system (CNS). A number of previous studies described the cellular expression sites and investigated their major roles and function in the brain and spinal cord. Among thirteen different mammalian AQPs, AQP1 and AQP4 have been mainly studied in the CNS and evidence has been presented that they play important roles in the pathogenesis of CNS injury, edema and multiple diseases such as multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, glioblastoma multiforme, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The objective of this review is to highlight the current knowledge about AQPs in the spinal cord and their proposed roles in pathophysiology and pathogenesis related to spinal cord lesions and injury. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relevance of MicroRNA200 Family and MicroRNA205 for Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition and Clinical Outcome in Biliary Tract Cancer Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2053; doi:10.3390/ijms17122053 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Extensive stromal interaction is one reason for the dismal outcome of biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in tumor invasion and metastasis and is partly regulated by microRNAs (miRs). This study explores the expression of anti-EMT miR200
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Extensive stromal interaction is one reason for the dismal outcome of biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in tumor invasion and metastasis and is partly regulated by microRNAs (miRs). This study explores the expression of anti-EMT miR200 family (miR141, −200a/b/c, −429) and miR205 as well as the EMT-related proteins E-cadherin and vimentin in a panel of BTC cell lines and clinical specimens by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunohistochemistry, respectively. MicroRNA expression was correlated to (i) the expression patterns of E-cadherin and vimentin; (ii) clinicopathological characteristics; and (iii) survival data. MicroRNA-200 family and miR205 were expressed in all BTC cells and clinical specimens. E-cadherin and vimentin showed a mutually exclusive expression pattern in both, in vitro and in vivo. Expression of miR200 family members positively correlated with E-cadherin and negatively with vimentin expression in BTC cells and specimens. High expression of miR200 family members (but not miR205) and E-cadherin was associated with longer survival, while low miR200 family and high vimentin expression was a predictor of unfavorable survival. Overall, the current study demonstrates the relevance of the miR200 family in EMT of BTC tumors and suggests these miRs as predictors for positive outcome. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Potential Biomarkers for Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment Associated with Choroidal Detachment by Vitreous iTRAQ-Based Proteomic Profiling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2052; doi:10.3390/ijms17122052 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment associated with choroidal detachment (RRDCD) is a complicated and serious type of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). In this study, we identified differentially expressed proteins in the vitreous humors of RRDCD and RRD using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation
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Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment associated with choroidal detachment (RRDCD) is a complicated and serious type of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). In this study, we identified differentially expressed proteins in the vitreous humors of RRDCD and RRD using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) combined with nano-liquid chromatography-electrospray ion trap-mass spectrometry-mass spectrometry (nano-LC-ESI-MS/MS) and bioinformatic analysis. Our result shows that 103 differentially expressed proteins, including 54 up-regulated and 49 down-regulated proteins were identified in RRDCD. Gene ontology (GO) analysis suggested that most of the differentially expressed proteins were extracellular.The Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis suggested that proteins related to complement and coagulation cascades were significantly enriched. iTRAQ-based proteomic profiling reveals that complement and coagulation cascades and inflammation may play important roles in the pathogenesis of RRDCD. This study may provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of RRDCD and offer potential opportunities for the diagnosis and treatment of RRDCD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hepatoprotective Effect of Cuscuta campestris Yunck. Whole Plant on Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Chronic Liver Injury in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2056; doi:10.3390/ijms17122056 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Cuscuta seeds and whole plant have been used to nourish the liver and kidney. This study was aimed to investigate the hepatoprotective activity of the ethanol extract of Cuscuta campestris Yunck. whole plant (CCEtOH). The hepatoprotective effect of CCEtOH (20,
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Cuscuta seeds and whole plant have been used to nourish the liver and kidney. This study was aimed to investigate the hepatoprotective activity of the ethanol extract of Cuscuta campestris Yunck. whole plant (CCEtOH). The hepatoprotective effect of CCEtOH (20, 100 and 500 mg/kg) was evaluated on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced chronic liver injury. Serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, triglyceride and cholesterol were measured and the fibrosis was histologically examined. CCEtOH exhibited a significant inhibition of the increase of serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, triglyceride and cholesterol. Histological analyses showed that fibrosis of liver induced by CCl4 were significantly reduced by CCEtOH. In addition, 20, 100 and 500 mg/kg of the extract decreased the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and enhanced the activities of anti-oxidative enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GRd) in the liver. We demonstrate that the hepatoprotective mechanisms of CCEtOH were likely to be associated to the decrease in MDA level by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as SOD, GPx and GRd. In addition, our findings provide evidence that C. campestris Yunck. whole plant possesses a hepatoprotective activity to ameliorate chronic liver injury. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Telomerase-Derived Anticancer Peptide Vaccine GV1001 as an Extracellular Heat Shock Protein-Mediated Cell-Penetrating Peptide
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2054; doi:10.3390/ijms17122054 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), which can facilitate the transport of molecular cargo across the plasma membrane, have become important tools in promoting the cellular delivery of macromolecules. GV1001, a peptide derived from a reverse-transcriptase subunit of telomerase (hTERT) and developed as a vaccine against
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Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), which can facilitate the transport of molecular cargo across the plasma membrane, have become important tools in promoting the cellular delivery of macromolecules. GV1001, a peptide derived from a reverse-transcriptase subunit of telomerase (hTERT) and developed as a vaccine against various cancers, reportedly has unexpected CPP properties. Unlike typical CPPs, such as the HIV-1 TAT peptide, GV1001 enabled the cytosolic delivery of macromolecules such as proteins, DNA and siRNA via extracellular heat shock protein 90 (eHSP90) and 70 (eHSP70) complexes. The eHSP-GV1001 interaction may have biological effects in addition to its cytosolic delivery function. GV1001 was originally designed as a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-binding cancer epitope, but its CPP properties may contribute to its strong anti-cancer immune response relative to other telomerase peptide-based vaccines. Cell signaling via eHSP-GV1001 binding may lead to unexpected biological effects, such as direct anticancer or antiviral effects. In this review, we focus on the CPP effects of GV1001 bound to eHSP90 and eHSP70. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ghrelin Attenuates Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction Following Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2032; doi:10.3390/ijms17122032 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Intestinal barrier dysfunction remains a critical problem in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and is associated with poor prognosis. Ghrelin, a brain-gut peptide, has been shown to exert protection in animal models of gastrointestinal injury. However, the effect of ghrelin on intestinal barrier
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Intestinal barrier dysfunction remains a critical problem in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and is associated with poor prognosis. Ghrelin, a brain-gut peptide, has been shown to exert protection in animal models of gastrointestinal injury. However, the effect of ghrelin on intestinal barrier dysfunction post-ICH and its possible underlying mechanisms are still unknown. This study was designed to investigate whether ghrelin administration attenuates intestinal barrier dysfunction in experimental ICH using an intrastriatal autologous blood infusion mouse model. Our data showed that treatment with ghrelin markedly attenuated intestinal mucosal injury at both histomorphometric and ultrastructural levels post-ICH. Ghrelin reduced ICH-induced intestinal permeability according to fluorescein isothiocyanate conjugated-dextran (FITC-D) and Evans blue extravasation assays. Concomitantly, the intestinal tight junction-related protein markers, Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and claudin-5 were upregulated by ghrelin post-ICH. Additionally, ghrelin reduced intestinal intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression at the mRNA and protein levels following ICH. Furthermore, ghrelin suppressed the translocation of intestinal endotoxin post-ICH. These changes were accompanied by improved survival rates and an attenuation of body weight loss post-ICH. In conclusion, our results suggest that ghrelin reduced intestinal barrier dysfunction, thereby reducing mortality and weight loss, indicating that ghrelin is a potential therapeutic agent in ICH-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction therapy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Coexistence of Hypertension and Ovariectomy Additively Increases Cardiac Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2036; doi:10.3390/ijms17122036 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To investigate whether the coexistence of hypertension and ovariectomy will increase cardiac Fas receptor and mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathways, histopathological analysis, the TUNEL assay and Western blotting were performed on the excised hearts from three groups of female spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), which were
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To investigate whether the coexistence of hypertension and ovariectomy will increase cardiac Fas receptor and mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathways, histopathological analysis, the TUNEL assay and Western blotting were performed on the excised hearts from three groups of female spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), which were divided into a sham-operated group (SHR-Sham), bilaterally ovariectomized group (SHR-OVX) and normotensive Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY). Compared with the WKY group, the SHR-Sham group exhibited decreased protein levels of ERα, ERβ, p-Akt/Akt, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and p-Bad and decreased further in the SHR-OVX group, as well as protein levels of t-Bid, Bak, Bad, Bax, cytochrome c, activated caspase-9 and activated caspase-3 (mitochondria-dependent apoptosis) increased in the SHR-Sham group and increased further in the SHR-OVX group. Compared with the WKY group, protein levels of Fas ligand, TNF-α, Fas death receptors, TNFR1, FADD and activated caspase-8 (Fas receptor-dependent apoptosis) increased in the SHR-Sham group, but did not increase in the SHR-OVX group, except Fas ligand and TNF-α. The coexistence of hypertension and ovariectomy attenuated the estrogen receptor survival pathway and appeared to additively increase the cardiac mitochondria-dependent, but not the Fas receptor-dependent apoptosis pathway, which might provide one possible mechanism for the development of cardiac abnormalities in hypertensive postmenopausal women. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Serum Soluble Fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 1 (sFlt-1) Predicts the Severity of Acute Pancreatitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2038; doi:10.3390/ijms17122038 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Organ failure is the most important determinant of the severity of acute pancreatitis (AP). Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) is positively associated with organ failure in sepsis. Our aim was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of automated sFlt-1 measurements for early prediction
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Organ failure is the most important determinant of the severity of acute pancreatitis (AP). Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) is positively associated with organ failure in sepsis. Our aim was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of automated sFlt-1 measurements for early prediction of AP severity. Adult patients (66) with AP were recruited, including 46 with mild (MAP), 15 with moderately-severe (MSAP) and 5 with severe AP (SAP). Serum and urine samples were collected twice. Serum sFlt-1 was measured with automated electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Serum concentrations of sFlt-1 were significantly higher in patients with MSAP and SAP as compared to MAP. SAP patients had the highest concentrations. At 24 and 48 h, sFlt-1 positively correlated with inflammatory markers (leukocyte count, C-reactive protein), kidney function (creatinine, urea, cystatin C, serum and urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, urine albumin/creatinine ratio), D-dimer and angiopoietin-2. sFlt-1 positively correlated with the bedside index of severity in AP (BISAP) score and the duration of hospital stay. Serum sFlt-1 above 139 pg/mL predicted more severe AP (MSAP + SAP). In the early phase of AP, sFlt-1 is positively associated with the severity of AP and predicts organ failure, in particular kidney failure. Serum sFlt-1 may be a practical way to improve early assessment of AP severity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
HER2 Analysis in Sporadic Thyroid Cancer of Follicular Cell Origin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2040; doi:10.3390/ijms17122040 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The Epidermal Growth Factor Receoptor (EGFR) family member human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is overexpressed in many human epithelial malignancies, representing a molecular target for specific anti-neoplastic drugs. Few data are available on HER2 status in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). The
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The Epidermal Growth Factor Receoptor (EGFR) family member human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is overexpressed in many human epithelial malignancies, representing a molecular target for specific anti-neoplastic drugs. Few data are available on HER2 status in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). The present study was aimed to investigate HER2 status in sporadic cancers of follicular cell origin to better clarify the role of this receptor in the stratification of thyroid cancer. By immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in-situ hybridization, HER2 expression was investigated in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgical specimens from 90 DTC patients, 45 follicular (FTC) and 45 papillary (PTC) histotypes. No HER2 immunostaining was recorded in background thyroid tissue. By contrast, overall HER2 overexpression was found in 20/45 (44%) FTC and 8/45 (18%) PTC, with a significant difference between the two histotypes (p = 0.046). Five of the six patients who developed metastatic disease during a median nine-year follow-up had a HER2-positive tumor. Therefore, we suggest that HER2 expression may represent an additional aid to identify a subset of patients who are characterized by a worse prognosis and are potentially eligible for targeted therapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Regulation of Tumor Suppressor p63 by the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2041; doi:10.3390/ijms17122041 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The protein p63 has been identified as a homolog of the tumor suppressor protein p53 and is capable of inducing apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, or senescence. p63 has at least six isoforms, which can be divided into two major groups: the TAp63 variants
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The protein p63 has been identified as a homolog of the tumor suppressor protein p53 and is capable of inducing apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, or senescence. p63 has at least six isoforms, which can be divided into two major groups: the TAp63 variants that contain the N-terminal transactivation domain and the ΔNp63 variants that lack the N-terminal transactivation domain. The TAp63 variants are generally considered to be tumor suppressors involved in activating apoptosis and suppressing metastasis. ΔNp63 variants cannot induce apoptosis but can act as dominant negative inhibitors to block the function of TAp53, TAp73, and TAp63. p63 is rarely mutated in human tumors and is predominately regulated at the post-translational level by phosphorylation and ubiquitination. This review focuses primarily on regulation of p63 by the ubiquitin E-3 ligase family of enzymes via ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation, and introduces a new key regulator of the p63 protein. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Biological Activities of Extracts from Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.): A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 1983; doi:10.3390/ijms17121983 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) is a subtropical fruit tree with high medicinal value native to China. Different organs of loquat have been used historically as folk medicines and this has been recorded in Chinese history for thousands of years. Research shows that
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Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) is a subtropical fruit tree with high medicinal value native to China. Different organs of loquat have been used historically as folk medicines and this has been recorded in Chinese history for thousands of years. Research shows that loquat extracts contain many antioxidants, and different extracts exhibit bioactivity capable of counteracting inflammation, diabetes, cancer, bacterial infection, aging, pain, allergy and other health issues. Bioactive compounds such as phenolics and terpenoids have been isolated and characterized to provide a better understanding of the chemical mechanisms underlying the biological activities of loquat extracts. As the identification of compounds progresses, studies investigating the in vivo metabolism, bioavailability, and structure–activity relationships, as well as potential toxicity of loquat extracts in animal or cell models are receiving more attention. In addition, genetic studies and breeding of loquat germplasms for high contents of health-benefiting compounds may provide new insight for the loquat industry and research. This review is focused on the main medicinal properties reported and the possible pharmaceutically active compounds identified in different loquat extracts. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Internet Databases of the Properties, Enzymatic Reactions, and Metabolism of Small Molecules—Search Options and Applications in Food Science
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2039; doi:10.3390/ijms17122039 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Internet databases of small molecules, their enzymatic reactions, and metabolism have emerged as useful tools in food science. Database searching is also introduced as part of chemistry or enzymology courses for food technology students. Such resources support the search for information about single
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Internet databases of small molecules, their enzymatic reactions, and metabolism have emerged as useful tools in food science. Database searching is also introduced as part of chemistry or enzymology courses for food technology students. Such resources support the search for information about single compounds and facilitate the introduction of secondary analyses of large datasets. Information can be retrieved from databases by searching for the compound name or structure, annotating with the help of chemical codes or drawn using molecule editing software. Data mining options may be enhanced by navigating through a network of links and cross-links between databases. Exemplary databases reviewed in this article belong to two classes: tools concerning small molecules (including general and specialized databases annotating food components) and tools annotating enzymes and metabolism. Some problems associated with database application are also discussed. Data summarized in computer databases may be used for calculation of daily intake of bioactive compounds, prediction of metabolism of food components, and their biological activity as well as for prediction of interactions between food component and drugs. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Integrins in the Spotlight of Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2037; doi:10.3390/ijms17122037 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Integrins are heterodimeric cell surface receptors that bind to different extracellular ligands depending on their composition and regulate all processes which enable multicellular life. In cancer, integrins trigger and play key roles in all the features that were once described as the Hallmarks
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Integrins are heterodimeric cell surface receptors that bind to different extracellular ligands depending on their composition and regulate all processes which enable multicellular life. In cancer, integrins trigger and play key roles in all the features that were once described as the Hallmarks of Cancer. In this review, we will discuss the contribution of integrins to these hallmarks, including uncontrolled and limitless proliferation, invasion of tumor cells, promotion of tumor angiogenesis and evasion of apoptosis and resistance to growth suppressors, by highlighting the latest findings. Further on, given the paramount role of integrins in cancer, we will present novel strategies for integrin inhibition that are starting to emerge, promising a hopeful future regarding cancer treatment. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Nutraceutical Supplements in the Management and Prevention of Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2042; doi:10.3390/ijms17122042 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Nutraceuticals are dietary compounds which have a role in the balance of anabolic and catabolic signals in joints. Their regulatory function on homeostasis of cartilage metabolism nutraceuticals is increasingly considered for the management and, above all, the prevention of osteoarthritis (OA). OA is
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Nutraceuticals are dietary compounds which have a role in the balance of anabolic and catabolic signals in joints. Their regulatory function on homeostasis of cartilage metabolism nutraceuticals is increasingly considered for the management and, above all, the prevention of osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a degenerative disease characterized by cartilage and synovium inflammation that can cause joint stiffness, swelling, pain, and loss of mobility. It is a multifactorial disease and, due to the great percentage of people suffering from it and the general increase in life expectancy, OA is considered as one of the most significant causes of disability in the world. OA impairs the structural integrity of articular cartilage that greatly depends on a balance between the anabolic and catabolic processes which occur in chondrocytes and synovial fluid of the joints, therefore the integration with nutraceutical compounds in diet increases the treatment options for patients with established OA beyond traditional rehabilitation, medications, and surgical strategies. In our review, with respect to the current literature, we highlight some of many existing nutraceutical compounds that could be used as integrators in a daily diet thanks to their easy availability, such as in olive oil, fish oil, and botanical extracts used as non-pharmacologic treatment. Full article
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