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Open AccessArticle
Brassinin Represses Invasive Potential of Lung Carcinoma Cells through Deactivation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling Cascade
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081584 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a phenomenon that facilitates epithelial cells to acquire invasive potential to induce the initiation the metastatic spread of tumor cells. Here, we determined if brassinin (BSN) can affect the EMT process and deciphered its anti-cancer effects. BSN attenuated [...] Read more.
The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a phenomenon that facilitates epithelial cells to acquire invasive potential to induce the initiation the metastatic spread of tumor cells. Here, we determined if brassinin (BSN) can affect the EMT process and deciphered its anti-cancer effects. BSN attenuated the levels of EMT linked genes and suppressed transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β)-mediated regulation of diverse mesenchymal markers. Additionally, BSN did increase the expression of various epithelial marker proteins in lung cancer cells. TGF-β-induced morphological changes and induction of invasive ability of tumor cells was also found to be abrogated by BSN treatment. Finally, BSN not only suppressed constitutive, but also inducible phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) phosphorylation in tumor cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Feasibility Study: Improving Floor Cleanliness by Using a Robot Scraper in Group-Housed Pregnant Sows and Their Reactions on the New Device
Animals 2019, 9(4), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040185 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Successful pig farming needs the best conditions of cleanliness in the housings. The present study examined for the first time whether a robot scraper usually applied in dairy farming is usable in sow housings for cleaning the slatted floors and improving hygiene and [...] Read more.
Successful pig farming needs the best conditions of cleanliness in the housings. The present study examined for the first time whether a robot scraper usually applied in dairy farming is usable in sow housings for cleaning the slatted floors and improving hygiene and thus animal welfare. For evaluating the suitability of the robot scraper with regard to the cleaning performance (polluted surface area and occluded slots), the whole housing area was divided into score-squares, which were individually scored at defined intervals. Selected excrement quantities removed by the robot were weighed. In order to assess the animals’ interactions with the robot scraper, their behaviour towards the device was observed. Although the faeces of pigs had a firmer consistency than bovine excrement, excrement quantities of up to 1.4 kg m−2 were almost completely removed. Even 6 h after the cleaning its effect was still visible. Dry-cleaning led faster to nonslip surfaces for the sows than wet-cleaning. Within half an hour of observation, up to 8.2 of 120 sows were occupied with the robot scraper, but without harming it. The use of robot scrapers in pig housings is recommended, although slight technical modifications should be made to the robot scraper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristics of Skin Deposition of Itraconazole Solubilized in Cream Formulation
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040195 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Itraconazole (ITZ) is an anti-fungal agent generally used to treat cutaneous mycoses. For efficient delivery of ITZ to the skin tissues, an oil-in-water (O/W) cream formulation was developed. The O/W cream base was designed based on the solubility measurement of ITZ in various [...] Read more.
Itraconazole (ITZ) is an anti-fungal agent generally used to treat cutaneous mycoses. For efficient delivery of ITZ to the skin tissues, an oil-in-water (O/W) cream formulation was developed. The O/W cream base was designed based on the solubility measurement of ITZ in various excipients. A physical mixture of the O/W cream base and ITZ was also prepared as a control formulation to evaluate the effects of the solubilized state of ITZ in cream base on the in vitro skin deposition behavior of ITZ. Polarized light microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry demonstrated that ITZ was fully solubilized in the O/W cream formulation. The O/W cream formulation exhibited considerably enhanced deposition of ITZ in the stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis compared with that of the physical mixture, largely owing to its high solubilization capacity for ITZ. Therefore, the O/W cream formulation of ITZ developed in this study is promising for the treatment of cutaneous mycoses caused by fungi such as dermatophytes and yeasts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Edge Even Graceful Labeling of Cylinder Grid Graph
Symmetry 2019, 11(4), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11040584 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Edge even graceful labeling (e.e.g., l.) of graphs is a modular technique of edge labeling of graphs, introduced in 2017. An e.e.g., l. of simple finite undirected graph G=(V(G),E(G)) of order [...] Read more.
Edge even graceful labeling (e.e.g., l.) of graphs is a modular technique of edge labeling of graphs, introduced in 2017. An e.e.g., l. of simple finite undirected graph G=(V(G),E(G)) of order P=|(V(G)| and size q=|E(G)| is a bijection f:E(G){2,4,,2q}, such that when each vertex vV(G) is assigned the modular sum of the labels (images of f) of the edges incident to v, the resulting vertex labels are distinct mod2r, where r=max(p,q). In this work, the family of cylinder grid graphs are studied. Explicit formulas of e.e.g., l. for all of the cases of each member of this family have been proven. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Molecular Recognition of the Hybrid-Type G-Quadruplexes in Human Telomeres
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1578; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081578 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
G-quadruplex (G4) DNA secondary structures formed in human telomeres have been shown to inhibit cancer-specific telomerase and alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) pathways. Thus, human telomeric G-quadruplexes are considered attractive targets for anticancer drugs. Human telomeric G-quadruplexes are structurally polymorphic and predominantly form [...] Read more.
G-quadruplex (G4) DNA secondary structures formed in human telomeres have been shown to inhibit cancer-specific telomerase and alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) pathways. Thus, human telomeric G-quadruplexes are considered attractive targets for anticancer drugs. Human telomeric G-quadruplexes are structurally polymorphic and predominantly form two hybrid-type G-quadruplexes, namely hybrid-1 and hybrid-2, under physiologically relevant solution conditions. To date, only a handful solution structures are available for drug complexes of human telomeric G-quadruplexes. In this review, we will describe two recent solution structural studies from our labs. We use NMR spectroscopy to elucidate the solution structure of a 1:1 complex between a small molecule epiberberine and the hybrid-2 telomeric G-quadruplex, and the structures of 1:1 and 4:2 complexes between a small molecule Pt-tripod and the hybrid-1 telomeric G-quadruplex. Structural information of small molecule complexes can provide important information for understanding small molecule recognition of human telomeric G-quadruplexes and for structure-based rational drug design targeting human telomeric G-quadruplexes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Decellularized Extracellular Matrix for Cancer Research
Materials 2019, 12(8), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12081311 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Genetic mutation and alterations of intracellular signaling have been focused on to understand the mechanisms of oncogenesis and cancer progression. Currently, it is pointed out to consider cancer as tissues. The extracellular microenvironment, including the extracellular matrix (ECM), is important for the regulation [...] Read more.
Genetic mutation and alterations of intracellular signaling have been focused on to understand the mechanisms of oncogenesis and cancer progression. Currently, it is pointed out to consider cancer as tissues. The extracellular microenvironment, including the extracellular matrix (ECM), is important for the regulation of cancer cell behavior. To comprehensively investigate ECM roles in the regulation of cancer cell behavior, decellularized ECM (dECM) is now used as an in vitro ECM model. In this review, I classify dECM with respect to its sources and summarize the preparation and characterization methods for dECM. Additionally, the examples of cancer research using the dECM were introduced. Finally, future perspectives of cancer studies with dECM are described in the conclusions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Simplified Model of Coaxial, Multilayer High-Temperature Superconducting Power Cables with Cu Formers for Transient Studies
Energies 2019, 12(8), 1514; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12081514 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Bypassing transient current through copper (Cu) stabilizer layers reduces heat generation and temperature rise of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) conductors, which could protect HTS cables from burning out during transient conditions. The Cu layer connected in parallel with HTS tape layers impacts current distribution [...] Read more.
Bypassing transient current through copper (Cu) stabilizer layers reduces heat generation and temperature rise of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) conductors, which could protect HTS cables from burning out during transient conditions. The Cu layer connected in parallel with HTS tape layers impacts current distribution among layers and variations of phase resistance in either steady-state or transient conditions. Modeling the multilayer HTS power cable is important for transient studies. However, existing models of HTS power cables have only proposed HTS cables without the use of a Cu-former layer. To overcome this problem, the authors proposed a multilayer HTS power cable model that used a Cu-former layer in each phase for transient study. It was observed that resistance of the HTS conductor increased significantly in the transient state due to a quenching phenomenon, which made the transient current mainly flow into the Cu-former layers. Since resistance of the Cu-former layer has a significant impact on the transient current, detailed modeling of the Cu-former layer is described in this study. The feasibility of the developed HTS cable model is evaluated in the PSCAD/EMTDC program. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Analysis of Periodic Structures Made of Pins Inside a Parallel Plate Waveguide
Symmetry 2019, 11(4), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11040582 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this work, we have analyzed different versions of periodic structures made with metallic pins located inside a parallel plate waveguide (PPWG), varying the symmetry and disposition of the pins. The analysis focuses on two main parameters related to wave propagation. On one [...] Read more.
In this work, we have analyzed different versions of periodic structures made with metallic pins located inside a parallel plate waveguide (PPWG), varying the symmetry and disposition of the pins. The analysis focuses on two main parameters related to wave propagation. On one hand, we have studied how the different proposed structures can create a stopband so that the parallel plate modes can be used in gap waveguide technology or filtering structures. On the other hand, we have analyzed the dispersion and equivalent refractive index of the first propagating transverse electromagnetic mode (TEM). The results show how the use of complex structures made with pins in the top and bottom plates of a PPWG have no advantages in terms of the achieved stopband size. However, for the case of the propagating mode, it is possible to find less dispersive modes and a higher range of equivalent refractive indices when using double-pin structures compared to a reference case with single pins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Radioprotective Effect of Walnut Oligopeptides Against Gamma Radiation-Induced Splenocyte Apoptosis and Intestinal Injury in Mice
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081582 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Walnut oligopeptides (WOPs) intake is associated with the augment of the antioxidant defense system and immune system. The chief object of this study is to evaluate the radioprotective effect of walnut oligopeptides extracted from walnut seed protein against 60Coγ-irradiation induced damage in [...] Read more.
Walnut oligopeptides (WOPs) intake is associated with the augment of the antioxidant defense system and immune system. The chief object of this study is to evaluate the radioprotective effect of walnut oligopeptides extracted from walnut seed protein against 60Coγ-irradiation induced damage in mice. Female BALB/c mice were administered WOPs through drinking water for 14 days until a single dose of whole-body 60Coγ-irradiation. The 30-day survival test was carried out in the first group (8 Gy), and the other two groups (3.5 Gy) were sacrificed at 3 days and 14 days post-irradiation. Blood and organ samples of mice in the three groups were collected, the histopathological analysis and immunohistochemistry were conducted. The number of peripheral blood leukocytes, bone marrow DNA content, inflammatory cytokines, antioxidant capacity, and intestinal permeability were measured. We found that the administration of WOPs augmented antioxidant defense system, accelerated hematopoietic recovery and showed the significant trend toward higher survival rate and less weight loss compared with non-administrated control mice. In addition, WOPs administration appeared to be important to limit IR-induced splenocyte apoptosis and inflammatory cascade as well as reduce intestine epithelial barrier dysfunction and promote epithelial integrity. These results suggest that pre and post-treatment of WOPs may help to ameliorate acute damage, which is induced by ionizing radiation in mice and accelerate its recovery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementing Agricultural Pruning to Energy in Europe: Technical, Economic and Implementation Potentials
Energies 2019, 12(8), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12081513 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The use of new sources of biomass residues for energy purposes in Europe is crucial for increasing the share of renewable energy sources and the limitation of carbon dioxide emissions. The residues coming from regular pruning of permanent crops are an alternative to [...] Read more.
The use of new sources of biomass residues for energy purposes in Europe is crucial for increasing the share of renewable energy sources and the limitation of carbon dioxide emissions. The residues coming from regular pruning of permanent crops are an alternative to conventional fuels. The paper is focused on the assessment of European pruning potentials in European Union (EU28) in line with the nomenclature of territorial units (NUTs) at NUTs0, NUTs2 and NUTs3 level. The assessment indicates that the yearly theoretical and technical potential of that biomass is 13.67 MtDM (or 252.0 PJ·yr−1) and 12.51 MtDM (or 230.6 PJ·yr−1), respectively. The economic potential has been assessed based on different management or exploitation models: management of pruning as a waste, self-consumption, and demand-driven mobilisation by consumption centres at small, medium and large scales. The utilisation of pruning when gathering is compulsory coincides with the technical potential. Under self-consumption, up to 10.98 MtDM per year could be effectively mobilised (202.3 PJ·yr−1). The creation of new value chains for delivery of pruning biomass ranges 7.30 to 8.69 MtDM per year (from 134.5 to 160.2 PJ·yr−1). When applying further constraints related to other existing uses the implementation of the potential further descends, ranging from 6.18 to 10.66 MtDM per year (from 113.9 to 196.4 PJ·yr−1). The analysis shows that the amount of available pruning residues is regionally scattered; however, most of them (ca. 80%) are located in the Mediterranean area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Leaching Kinetics of Sulfides from Refractory Gold Concentrates by Nitric Acid
Metals 2019, 9(4), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9040465 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The processing of refractory gold-containing concentrates by hydrometallurgical methods is becoming increasingly important due to the depletion of rich and easily extracted mineral resources, as well as due to the need to reduce harmful emissions from metallurgy, especially given the high content of [...] Read more.
The processing of refractory gold-containing concentrates by hydrometallurgical methods is becoming increasingly important due to the depletion of rich and easily extracted mineral resources, as well as due to the need to reduce harmful emissions from metallurgy, especially given the high content of arsenic in the ores. This paper describes the investigation of the kinetics of HNO3 leaching of sulfide gold-containing concentrates of the Yenisei ridge (Yakutia, Russia). The effect of temperature (70–85 °C), the initial concentration of HNO3 (10–40%) and the content of sulfur in the concentrate (8.22–22.44%) on the iron recovery into the solution was studied. It has been shown that increasing the content of S in the concentrate from 8.22 to 22.44% leads to an average of 45% increase in the iron recovery across the entire range temperatures and concentrations of HNO3 per one hour of leaching. The leaching kinetics of the studied types of concentrates correlates well with the new shrinking core model, which indicates that the reaction is regulated by interfacial diffusion and diffusion through the product layer. Elemental S is found on the surface of the solid leach residue, as confirmed by XRD and SEM/EDS analysis. The apparent activation energy is 60.276 kJ/mol. The semi-empirical expression describing the reaction rate under the studied conditions can be written as follows: 1/3ln(1 − X) + [(1 − X)−1/3 − 1] = 87.811(HNO3)0.837(S)2.948e−60276/RT·t. Full article
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