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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 15, Issue 8 (August 2014) , Pages 13135-14908

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Xia, J.; et al., Arsenic Trioxide Inhibits Cell Growth and Induces Apoptosis through Inactivation of Notch Signaling Pathway in Breast Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 9627–9641
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14907-14908; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814907 - 22 Aug 2014
Viewed by 2635
Abstract
The authors wish to change Figure 5D of the paper published in IJMS [1]. In Figure 5D, the bands for NF-κB and Bcl-2 are similar with Notch-1 bands. The authors have carefully checked the original files and found that it is an inadvertent [...] Read more.
The authors wish to change Figure 5D of the paper published in IJMS [1]. In Figure 5D, the bands for NF-κB and Bcl-2 are similar with Notch-1 bands. The authors have carefully checked the original files and found that it is an inadvertent mistake in the published version of Figure 5D. Figure 5 is revised as follows. The authors would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to the readers by these changes.[...] Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Heavy Metal-Associated Protein (AcHMA1) from the Halophyte, Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt., Confers Tolerance to Iron and Other Abiotic Stresses When Expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14891-14906; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814891 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2236
Abstract
Many heavy metals are essential for metabolic processes, but are toxic at elevated levels. Metal tolerance proteins provide resistance to this toxicity. In this study, we identified and characterized a heavy metal-associated protein, AcHMA1, from the halophyte, Atriplex canescens. Sequence analysis [...] Read more.
Many heavy metals are essential for metabolic processes, but are toxic at elevated levels. Metal tolerance proteins provide resistance to this toxicity. In this study, we identified and characterized a heavy metal-associated protein, AcHMA1, from the halophyte, Atriplex canescens. Sequence analysis has revealed that AcHMA1 contains two heavy metal binding domains. Treatments with metals (Fe, Cu, Ni, Cd or Pb), PEG6000 and NaHCO3 highly induced AcHMA1 expression in A. canescens, whereas NaCl and low temperature decreased its expression. The role of AcHMA1 in metal stress tolerance was examined using a yeast expression system. Expression of the AcHMA1 gene significantly increased the ability of yeast cells to adapt to and recover from exposure to excess iron. AcHMA1 expression also provided salt, alkaline, osmotic and oxidant stress tolerance in yeast cells. Finally, subcellular localization of an AcHMA1/GFP fusion protein expressed in tobacco cells showed that AcHMA1 was localized in the plasma membrane. Thus, our results suggest that AcHMA1 encodes a membrane-localized metal tolerance protein that mediates the detoxification of iron in eukaryotes. Furthermore, AcHMA1 also participates in the response to abiotic stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Separators for Li-Ion and Li-Metal Battery Including Ionic Liquid Based Electrolytes Based on the TFSI and FSI Anions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14868-14890; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814868 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4552
Abstract
The characterization of separators for Li-ion or Li-metal batteries incorporating hydrophobic ionic liquid electrolytes is reported herein. Ionic liquids made of N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium (PYR14+) or N-methoxyethyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium (PYR12O1+), paired with bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (TFSI [...] Read more.
The characterization of separators for Li-ion or Li-metal batteries incorporating hydrophobic ionic liquid electrolytes is reported herein. Ionic liquids made of N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium (PYR14+) or N-methoxyethyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium (PYR12O1+), paired with bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (TFSI) or bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (FSI) anions, were tested in combination with separators having different chemistries and morphologies in terms of wetting behavior, Gurley and McMullin number, as well as Li/(Separator + Electrolyte) interfacial properties. It is shown that non-functionalized microporous polyolefin separators are poorly wetted by FSI-based electrolytes (contrary to TFSI-based electrolytes), while the ceramic coated separator Separion® allows good wetting with all electrolytes. Furthermore, by comparing the lithium solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) resistance evolution at open circuit and during cycling, depending on separator morphologies and chemistries, it is possible to propose a scale for SEI forming properties in the order: PYR12O1FSI > PYR14FSI > PYR14TFSI > PYR12O1TFSI. Finally, the impact the separator morphology is evidenced by the SEI resistance evolution and by comparing Li electrodes cycled using separators with two different morphologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Liquids 2014 & Selected Papers from ILMAT 2013)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Step Pathogenesis and Induction of Local Immune Response by Systemic Candida Albicans Infection in an Intravenous Challenge Mouse Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14848-14867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814848 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2818
Abstract
Different murine species differ in their susceptibility to systemic infection with Candida albicans, giving rise to varied host immune responses, and this is compounded by variations in virulence of the different yeast strains used. Hence, this study was aimed at elucidating the [...] Read more.
Different murine species differ in their susceptibility to systemic infection with Candida albicans, giving rise to varied host immune responses, and this is compounded by variations in virulence of the different yeast strains used. Hence, this study was aimed at elucidating the pathogenesis of a clinical C. albicans isolate (HVS6360) in a murine intravenous challenge model by examining the different parameters which included the counts of red blood cells and associated components as well as the organ-specific expression profiles of cytokines and chemokines. Kidneys and brains of infected mice have higher fungal recovery rates as compared to other organs and there were extensive yeast infiltration with moderate to severe inflammation seen in kidney and brain tissues. Red blood cells (RBCs) and haemoglobin (Hb) counts were reduced throughout the infection period. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), chemokines and cytokine transcription profiles were varied among the different organs (kidney, spleen and brain) over 72 h post infections. Transcription of most of the PRRs, cytokines and chemokines were suppressed at 72 h post infection in spleen while continuous expression of PRRs, cytokines and chemokines genes were seen in brain and kidney. Reduction in red blood cells and haemoglobin counts might be associated with the action of extracellular haemolysin enzyme and haeme oxygenase of C. albicans in conjunction with iron scavenging for the fungal growth. Renal cells responsible for erythropoietin production may be injured by the infection and hence the combined effect of haemolysis plus lack of erythropoietin-induced RBC replenishment leads to aggravated reduction in RBC numbers. The varied local host immune profiles among target organs during systemic C. albicans infection could be of importance for future work in designing targeted immunotherapy through immunomodulatory approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Gradual Elongation to the Patella Tendon Insertion in Rabbits
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14835-14847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814835 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the histological changes at the patella tendon (PT) insertion site under gradual elongation in rabbits. Gradual elongation of the PT was performed using external fixation for 4 weeks, with a lengthening speed of 0.5 mm/day [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the histological changes at the patella tendon (PT) insertion site under gradual elongation in rabbits. Gradual elongation of the PT was performed using external fixation for 4 weeks, with a lengthening speed of 0.5 mm/day (elongation group; n = 24). Rabbits in the sham group underwent the same surgical procedure without gradual elongation (sham group; n = 24). Eight animals were sacrificed 1, 2 and 4 weeks after surgery in each group, respectively. Average thicknesses of stained glycosaminoglycan (GAGs) areas by Safranin-O staining in the total cartilage layer and the uncalcified fibrocartilage layer in the elongation group were significantly higher than that in the sham group at 4 weeks (p < 0.05) and that in the intact PT group (n = 6, p < 0.05). In the elongation group, the peak in the average thicknesses of the stained GAGs areas in the total cartilage layer and the uncalcified fibrocartilage layer were observed at 4 weeks. Gradual elongation of PT insertion significantly affected the increase in the average thicknesses of the stained GAGs areas in the cartilage layer especially in the uncalcified fibrocartilage layer at 4 weeks in rabbits. Clinically, insertions of tendon and ligament can extend during gradual elongation using external fixation more than 4 weeks after the operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Chondrocyte Phenotype in Cartilage Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
ZmCIPK21, A Maize CBL-Interacting Kinase, Enhances Salt Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14819-14834; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814819 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3000
Abstract
Salt stress represents an increasing threat to crop growth and yield in saline soil. In this study, we identified a maize calcineurin B-like protein-interacting protein kinase (CIPK), ZmCIPK21, which was primarily localized in the cytoplasm and the nucleus of cells and displayed [...] Read more.
Salt stress represents an increasing threat to crop growth and yield in saline soil. In this study, we identified a maize calcineurin B-like protein-interacting protein kinase (CIPK), ZmCIPK21, which was primarily localized in the cytoplasm and the nucleus of cells and displayed enhanced expression under salt stress. Over-expression of ZmCIPK21 in wild-type Arabidopsis plants increased their tolerance to salt, as supported by the longer root lengths and improved growth. The downstream stress-response genes, including dehydration-responsive element-binding (DREB) genes were also activated in transgenic plants over-expressing ZmCIPK21. In addition, introduction of the transgenic ZmCIPK21 gene into the Arabidopsis mutant cipk1-2 rescued the salt-sensitive phenotype under high salt stress. Measurement of Na+ and K+ content in transgenic plants showed that over-expression of ZmCIPK21 decreased accumulation of Na+ and allowed retention of relatively high levels of K+, thereby enhancing plant tolerance to salt conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signalling Molecules and Signal Transduction in Cells 2014)
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Open AccessArticle
Simvastatin Attenuates the Oxidative Stress, Endothelial Thrombogenicity and the Inducibility of Atrial Fibrillation in a Rat Model of Ischemic Heart Failure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14803-14818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814803 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3496
Abstract
Increased atrial oxidative stress has an important role in inducing and maintaining atrial fibrillation (AF), and the activation of the small GTPase Rac1 contributes to the oxidative stress. We investigated the relationship of Rac1, atrial endothelial thromboprotective markers and AF inducibility and if [...] Read more.
Increased atrial oxidative stress has an important role in inducing and maintaining atrial fibrillation (AF), and the activation of the small GTPase Rac1 contributes to the oxidative stress. We investigated the relationship of Rac1, atrial endothelial thromboprotective markers and AF inducibility and if simvastatin has a potential beneficial effect on a myocardial infarction (MI)-induced heart failure (HF) rat model. Rats were randomized into three groups (shams, MI group and simvastatin treatment group) and underwent echocardiography, AF induction studies and left atrial (LA) fibrosis analysis. Atrial Rac 1, sodium calcium exchanger (INCX), sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were measured. AF inducibility, AF duration and LA fibrosis were significantly higher in the MI group (p < 0.001 vs. sham), which were significantly reduced by simvastatin (p < 0.05 vs. MI). The reduced expressions of atrial eNOS, SERCA, thrombomodulin, tissue factor pathway inhibitor and tissue plasminogen activator in the MI group were significantly improved by simvastatin. Furthermore, the increased expression of atrial iNOS, INCX and Rac1 activity were significantly decreased by the simvastatin. Oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and thrombogenicity are associated with the promotion of AF in a rat model of ischemic HF. These were associated with increased Rac1 activity, and simvastatin treatment prevents these changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Cardiac Arrhythmias and Heart Failure)
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Open AccessArticle
Polymorphism of the Flap Endonuclease 1 Gene in Keratoconus and Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14786-14802; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814786 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2327
Abstract
Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including serious ocular diseases, keratoconus (KC) and Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD). Flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) plays an important role in the repair of oxidative DNA damage in the base excision repair pathway. [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including serious ocular diseases, keratoconus (KC) and Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD). Flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) plays an important role in the repair of oxidative DNA damage in the base excision repair pathway. We determined the association between two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), c.–441G>A (rs174538) and g.61564299G>T (rs4246215), in the FEN1 gene and the occurrence of KC and FECD. This study involved 279 patients with KC, 225 patients with FECD and 322 control individuals. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and length polymorphism restriction fragment analysis (RFLP) were applied. The T/T genotype of the g.61564299G>T polymorphism was associated with an increased occurrence of KC and FECD. There was no association between the c.–441G>A polymorphism and either disease. However, the GG haplotype of both polymorphisms was observed more frequently and the GT haplotype less frequently in the KC group than the control. The AG haplotype was associated with increased FECD occurrence. Our findings suggest that the g.61564299G>T and c.–441G>A polymorphisms in the FEN1 gene may modulate the risk of keratoconus and Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of the Lycopene ε-Cyclase Gene via Virus-Induced Gene Silencing and Its Expression Pattern in Nicotiana tabacum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14766-14785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814766 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2642
Abstract
Lycopene ε-cyclase (ε-LCY) is a key enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of α-branch carotenoids through the cyclization of lycopene. Two cDNA molecules encoding ε-LCY (designated Ntε-LCY1 and Ntε-LCY2) were cloned from Nicotiana tabacum. Ntε-LCY1 and Ntε-LCY2 [...] Read more.
Lycopene ε-cyclase (ε-LCY) is a key enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of α-branch carotenoids through the cyclization of lycopene. Two cDNA molecules encoding ε-LCY (designated Ntε-LCY1 and Ntε-LCY2) were cloned from Nicotiana tabacum. Ntε-LCY1 and Ntε-LCY2 are encoded by two distinct genes with different evolutionary origins, one originating from the tobacco progenitor, Nicotiana sylvestris, and the other originating from Nicotiana tomentosiformis. The two coding regions are 97% identical at the nucleotide level and 95% identical at the amino acid level. Transcripts of Ntε-LCY were detectable in both vegetative and reproductive organs, with a relatively higher level of expression in leaves than in other tissues. Subcellular localization experiments using an Ntε-LCY1-GFP fusion protein demonstrated that mature Ntε-LCY1 protein is localized within the chloroplast in Bright Yellow 2 suspension cells. Under low-temperature and low-irradiation stress, Ntε-LCY transcript levels substantially increased relative to control plants. Tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-mediated silencing of ε-LCY in Nicotiana benthamiana resulted in an increase of β-branch carotenoids and a reduction in the levels of α-branch carotenoids. Meanwhile, transcripts of related genes in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway observably increased, with the exception of β-OHase in the TRV-ε-lcy line. Suppression of ε-LCY expression was also found to alleviate photoinhibition of Potosystem II in virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) plants under low-temperature and low-irradiation stress. Our results provide insight into the regulatory role of ε-LCY in plant carotenoid biosynthesis and suggest a role for ε-LCY in positively modulating low temperature stress responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Affinity Purification of Binding miRNAs for Messenger RNA Fused with a Common Tag
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14753-14765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814753 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2518
Abstract
Prediction of microRNA–mRNA interaction typically relies on bioinformatic methods, but these methods only suggest the possibility of microRNA binding and may miss important interactions as well as falsely predict others. A major obstacle to the miRNA research has been the lack of experimental [...] Read more.
Prediction of microRNA–mRNA interaction typically relies on bioinformatic methods, but these methods only suggest the possibility of microRNA binding and may miss important interactions as well as falsely predict others. A major obstacle to the miRNA research has been the lack of experimental procedures for the identification of miRNA–mRNA interactions. Recently, a few studies have attempted to explore experimental methods to isolate and identify miRNA targets or miRNAs targeting a single gene. Here, we developed an more convenient experimental approach for the isolation and identification of miRNAs targeting a single gene by applying short biotinylated DNA anti-sense oligonucleotides mix to enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) mRNA which was fused to target gene mRNA. This method does not require a design of different anti-sense oligonucleotides to any mRNA. This is a simple and an efficient method to potentially identify miRNAs targeting specific gene mRNA combined with chip screen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancement of Chlorogenic Acid Production in Hairy Roots of Platycodon grandiflorum by Over-Expression of An Arabidopsis thaliana Transcription Factor AtPAP1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14743-14752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814743 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2792
Abstract
To improve the production of chlorogenic acid (CGA) in hairy roots of Platycodon grandiflorum, we induced over-expression of Arabidopsis thaliana transcription factor production of anthocyanin pigment (AtPAP1) using an Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation system. Twelve hairy root lines showing over-expression of AtPAP1 [...] Read more.
To improve the production of chlorogenic acid (CGA) in hairy roots of Platycodon grandiflorum, we induced over-expression of Arabidopsis thaliana transcription factor production of anthocyanin pigment (AtPAP1) using an Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation system. Twelve hairy root lines showing over-expression of AtPAP1 were generated. In order to investigate the regulation of AtPAP1 on the activities of CGA biosynthetic genes, the expression levels of seven P. grandiflorum CGA biosynthetic genes were analyzed in the hairy root line that had the greatest accumulation of AtPAP1 transcript, OxPAP1-1. The introduction of AtPAP1 increased the mRNA levels of all examined CGA biosynthetic genes and resulted in a 900% up-regulation of CGA accumulation in OxPAP1-1 hairy roots relative to controls. This suggests that P. grandiflorum hairy roots that over-express the AtPAP1 gene are a potential alternative source of roots for the production of CGA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals by Molecular Farming)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Fiber Bleaching Treatment on the Properties of Poly(lactic acid)/Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber Composites
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14728-14742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814728 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3351
Abstract
In this work, biodegradable composites from poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) fiber were prepared by melt blending method. Prior to mixing, the fiber was modified through bleaching treatment using hydrogen peroxide. Bleached fiber composite showed an improvement in [...] Read more.
In this work, biodegradable composites from poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) fiber were prepared by melt blending method. Prior to mixing, the fiber was modified through bleaching treatment using hydrogen peroxide. Bleached fiber composite showed an improvement in mechanical properties as compared to untreated fiber composite due to the enhanced fiber/matrix interfacial adhesion. Interestingly, fiber bleaching treatment also improved the physical appearance of the composite. The study was extended by blending the composites with commercially available masterbatch colorant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Radical Scavenging Activities of Anthocyanins Applying Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) with Quantum Chemical Descriptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14715-14727; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814715 - 22 Aug 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2516
Abstract
Radical scavenging activity of anthocyanins is well known, but only a few studies have been conducted by quantum chemical approach. The adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) is an effective technique for solving problems with uncertainty. The purpose of this study was to construct [...] Read more.
Radical scavenging activity of anthocyanins is well known, but only a few studies have been conducted by quantum chemical approach. The adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) is an effective technique for solving problems with uncertainty. The purpose of this study was to construct and evaluate quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models for predicting radical scavenging activities of anthocyanins with good prediction efficiency. ANFIS-applied QSAR models were developed by using quantum chemical descriptors of anthocyanins calculated by semi-empirical PM6 and PM7 methods. Electron affinity (A) and electronegativity (χ) of flavylium cation, and ionization potential (I) of quinoidal base were significantly correlated with radical scavenging activities of anthocyanins. These descriptors were used as independent variables for QSAR models. ANFIS models with two triangular-shaped input fuzzy functions for each independent variable were constructed and optimized by 100 learning epochs. The constructed models using descriptors calculated by both PM6 and PM7 had good prediction efficiency with Q-square of 0.82 and 0.86, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Analysis of Tau-Microtubule Interaction Using FRET
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14697-14714; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814697 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2703
Abstract
The interaction between the microtubule associated protein, tau and the microtubules is investigated. A fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay was used to determine the distance separating tau to the microtubule wall, as well as the binding parameters of the interaction. By using [...] Read more.
The interaction between the microtubule associated protein, tau and the microtubules is investigated. A fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay was used to determine the distance separating tau to the microtubule wall, as well as the binding parameters of the interaction. By using microtubules stabilized with Flutax-2 as donor and tau labeled with rhodamine as acceptor, a donor-to-acceptor distance of 54 ± 1 Å was found. A molecular model is proposed in which Flutax-2 is directly accessible to tau-rhodamine molecules for energy transfer. By titration, we calculated the stoichiometric dissociation constant to be equal to 1.0 ± 0.5 µM. The influence of the C-terminal tails of αβ-tubulin on the tau-microtubule interaction is presented once a procedure to form homogeneous solution of cleaved tubulin has been determined. The results indicate that the C-terminal tails of α- and β-tubulin by electrostatic effects and of recruitment seem to be involved in the binding mechanism of tau. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) 2015)
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Open AccessArticle
Antibacterial Performance of Alginic Acid Coating on Polyethylene Film
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14684-14696; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814684 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3218
Abstract
Alginic acid coated polyethylene films were examined in terms of surface properties and bacteriostatic performance against two most representative bacterial strains, that is, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Microwave plasma treatment followed by brush formation in vapor state from three distinguished precursors [...] Read more.
Alginic acid coated polyethylene films were examined in terms of surface properties and bacteriostatic performance against two most representative bacterial strains, that is, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Microwave plasma treatment followed by brush formation in vapor state from three distinguished precursors (allylalcohol, allylamine, hydroxyethyl methacrylate) was carried out to deposit alginic acid on the substrate. Surface analyses via various techniques established that alginic acid was immobilized onto the surface where grafting (brush) chemistry influenced the amount of alginic acid coated. Moreover, alginic acid was found to be capable of bacterial growth inhibition which itself was significantly affected by the brush type. The polyanionic character of alginic acid as a carbohydrate polymer was assumed to play the pivotal role in antibacterial activity. The cell wall composition of two bacterial strains along with the substrates physicochemical properties accounted for different levels of bacteriostatic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Genes Related to Paulownia Witches’ Broom by AFLP and MSAP
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14669-14683; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814669 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2563
Abstract
DNA methylation is believed to play important roles in regulating gene expression in plant growth and development. Paulownia witches’ broom (PaWB) infection has been reported to be related to gene expression changes in paulownia plantlets. To determine whether DNA methylation is associated with [...] Read more.
DNA methylation is believed to play important roles in regulating gene expression in plant growth and development. Paulownia witches’ broom (PaWB) infection has been reported to be related to gene expression changes in paulownia plantlets. To determine whether DNA methylation is associated with gene expression changes in response to phytoplasma, we investigated variations in genomic DNA sequence and methylation in PaWB plantlets treated with methyl methane sulfonate (MMS) using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) techniques, respectively. The results indicated that PaWB seedings recovered a normal morphology after treatment with more than 15 mg·L−1 MMS. PaWB infection did not cause changes of the paulownia DNA sequence at the AFLP level; However, DNA methylation levels and patterns were altered. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) showed that three of the methylated genes were up-regulated and three were down-regulated in the MMS-treated PaWB plantlets that had regained healthy morphology. These six genes might be involved in transcriptional regulation, plant defense, signal transduction and energy. The possible roles of these genes in PaWB are discussed. The results showed that changes of DNA methylation altered gene expression levels, and that MSAP might help identify genes related to PaWB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanistic Studies of Anti-Hyperpigmentary Compounds: Elucidating Their Inhibitory and Regulatory Actions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14649-14668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814649 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2178
Abstract
Searching for depigmenting agents from natural sources has become a new direction in the cosmetic industry as natural products are generally perceived as relatively safer. In our previous study, selected Chinese medicines traditionally used to treat hyperpigmentation were tested for anti-hyperpigmentary effects using [...] Read more.
Searching for depigmenting agents from natural sources has become a new direction in the cosmetic industry as natural products are generally perceived as relatively safer. In our previous study, selected Chinese medicines traditionally used to treat hyperpigmentation were tested for anti-hyperpigmentary effects using a melan-a cell culture model. Among the tested chemical compounds, 4-ethylresorcinol, 4-ethylphenol and 1-tetradecanol were found to possess hypopigmentary effects. Western blot analysis, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) assay, protein kinase A (PKA) activity assay, tyrosinase inhibition assay and lipid peroxidation inhibition assay were performed to reveal the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of the hypopigmentary effects. 4-Ethylresorcinol and 4-ethylphenol attenuated mRNA and protein expression of tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-2, and possessed antioxidative effect by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. 1-Tetradecanol was able to attenuate protein expression of tyrosinase. The hypopigmentary actions of 4-ethylresorcinol, 4-ethylphenol and 1-tetradecanol were associated with regulating downstream proteins along the PKA pathway. 4-Ethylresorcinol was more effective in inhibiting melanin synthesis when compared to 4-ethylphenol and 1-tetradecanol. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Adoptive Immunotherapy Strategies with Cytokine-Induced Killer (CIK) Cells in the Treatment of Hematological Malignancies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14632-14648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814632 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 3878
Abstract
Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are a heterogeneous population of immune effector cells that feature a mixed T- and Natural killer (NK) cell-like phenotype in their terminally-differentiated CD3+CD56+ subset. The easy availability, high proliferation rate and widely major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-unrestricted [...] Read more.
Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are a heterogeneous population of immune effector cells that feature a mixed T- and Natural killer (NK) cell-like phenotype in their terminally-differentiated CD3+CD56+ subset. The easy availability, high proliferation rate and widely major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-unrestricted antitumor activity of CIK cells contribute to their particularly advantageous profile, making them an attractive approach for adoptive immunotherapy. CIK cells have shown considerable cytotoxicity against both solid tumors and hematological malignancies in vitro and in animal studies. Recently, initial clinical experiences demonstrated the feasibility and efficacy of CIK cell immunotherapy in cancer patients, even at advanced disease stages. Likewise, the clinical application of CIK cells in combination with standard therapeutic procedures revealed synergistic antitumor effects. In this report, we will focus our consideration on CIK cells in the treatment of hematological malignancies. We will give insight into the latest advances and future perspectives and outline the most prominent results obtained in 17 clinical studies. Overall, CIK cells demonstrated a crucial impact on the treatment of patients with hematological malignancies, as evidenced by complete remissions, prolonged survival durations and improved quality of life. However, up to now, the optimal application schedule eventually favoring their integration into clinical practice has still to be developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Action and Applications of Cytokines in Immunotherapy)
Open AccessReview
The tRNA-Dependent Biosynthesis of Modified Cyclic Dipeptides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14610-14631; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814610 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4017
Abstract
In recent years it has become apparent that aminoacyl-tRNAs are not only crucial components involved in protein biosynthesis, but are also used as substrates and amino acid donors in a variety of other important cellular processes, ranging from bacterial cell wall biosynthesis and [...] Read more.
In recent years it has become apparent that aminoacyl-tRNAs are not only crucial components involved in protein biosynthesis, but are also used as substrates and amino acid donors in a variety of other important cellular processes, ranging from bacterial cell wall biosynthesis and lipid modification to protein turnover and secondary metabolite assembly. In this review, we focus on tRNA-dependent biosynthetic pathways that generate modified cyclic dipeptides (CDPs). The essential peptide bond-forming catalysts responsible for the initial generation of a CDP-scaffold are referred to as cyclodipeptide synthases (CDPSs) and use loaded tRNAs as their substrates. After initially discussing the phylogenetic distribution and organization of CDPS gene clusters, we will focus on structural and catalytic properties of CDPSs before turning to two recently characterized CDPS-dependent pathways that assemble modified CDPs. Finally, possible applications of CDPSs in the rational design of structural diversity using combinatorial biosynthesis will be discussed before concluding with a short outlook. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Sirt3 Protects Cortical Neurons against Oxidative Stress via Regulating Mitochondrial Ca2+ and Mitochondrial Biogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14591-14609; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814591 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 3695
Abstract
Oxidative stress is a well-established event in the pathology of several neurobiological diseases. Sirt3 is a nicotinamide adenine nucleotide (NAD+)-dependent protein deacetylase that regulates mitochondrial function and metabolism in response to caloric restriction and stress. This study aims to investigate the [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is a well-established event in the pathology of several neurobiological diseases. Sirt3 is a nicotinamide adenine nucleotide (NAD+)-dependent protein deacetylase that regulates mitochondrial function and metabolism in response to caloric restriction and stress. This study aims to investigate the role of Sirt3 in H2O2 induced oxidative neuronal injury in primary cultured rat cortical neurons. We found that H2O2 treatment significantly increased the expression of Sirt3 in a time-dependent manner at both mRNA and protein levels. Knockdown of Sirt3 with a specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) exacerbated H2O2-induced neuronal injury, whereas overexpression of Sirt3 by lentivirus transfection inhibited H2O2-induced neuronal damage reduced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and increased the activities of endogenous antioxidant enzymes. In addition, the intra-mitochondrial Ca2+ overload, but not cytosolic Ca2+ increase after H2O2 treatment, was strongly attenuated after Sirt3 overexpression. Overexpression of Sirt3 also increased the content of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the expression of mitochondrial biogenesis related transcription factors. All these results suggest that Sirt3 acts as a prosurvival factor playing an essential role to protect cortical neurons under H2O2 induced oxidative stress, possibly through regulating mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis and mitochondrial biogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signalling Molecules and Signal Transduction in Cells 2014)
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Open AccessArticle
Liquid Phase Sintered Ceramic Bone Scaffolds by Combined Laser and Furnace
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14574-14590; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814574 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2261
Abstract
Fabrication of mechanically competent bioactive scaffolds is a great challenge in bone tissue engineering. In this paper, β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) scaffolds were successfully fabricated by selective laser sintering combined with furnace sintering. Bioglass 45S5 was introduced in the process as liquid phase in [...] Read more.
Fabrication of mechanically competent bioactive scaffolds is a great challenge in bone tissue engineering. In this paper, β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) scaffolds were successfully fabricated by selective laser sintering combined with furnace sintering. Bioglass 45S5 was introduced in the process as liquid phase in order to improve the mechanical and biological properties. The results showed that sintering of β-TCP with the bioglass revealed some features of liquid phase sintering. The optimum amount of 45S5 was 5 wt %. At this point, the scaffolds were densified without defects. The fracture toughness, compressive strength and stiffness were 1.67 MPam1/2, 21.32 MPa and 264.32 MPa, respectively. Bone like apatite layer was formed and the stimulation for apatite formation was increased with increase in 45S5 content after soaking in simulated body fluid, which indicated that 45S5 could improve the bioactivity. Furthermore, MG-63 cells adhered and spread well, and proliferated with increase in the culture time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Organs)
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Open AccessArticle
Matrilin-3 Chondrodysplasia Mutations Cause Attenuated Chondrogenesis, Premature Hypertrophy and Aberrant Response to TGF-β in Chondroprogenitor Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14555-14573; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814555 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2324
Abstract
Studies have shown that mutations in the matrilin-3 gene (MATN3) are associated with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) and spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia (SEMD). We tested whether MATN3 mutations affect the differentiation of chondroprogenitor and/or mesenchymal stem cells, which are precursors to chondrocytes. ATDC5 [...] Read more.
Studies have shown that mutations in the matrilin-3 gene (MATN3) are associated with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) and spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia (SEMD). We tested whether MATN3 mutations affect the differentiation of chondroprogenitor and/or mesenchymal stem cells, which are precursors to chondrocytes. ATDC5 chondroprogenitors stably expressing wild-type (WT) MATN3 underwent spontaneous chondrogenesis. Expression of chondrogenic markers collagen II and aggrecan was inhibited in chondroprogenitors carrying the MED or SEMD MATN3 mutations. Hypertrophic marker collagen X remained attenuated in WT MATN3 chondroprogenitors, whereas its expression was elevated in chondroprogenitors expressing the MED or SEMD mutant MATN3 gene suggesting that these mutations inhibit chondrogenesis but promote hypertrophy. TGF-β treatment failed to rescue chondrogenesis markers but dramatically increased collagen X mRNA expression in mutant MATN3 expressing chondroprogenitors. Synovium derived mesenchymal stem cells harboring the SEMD mutation exhibited lower glycosaminoglycan content than those of WT MATN3 in response to TGF-β. Our results suggest that the properties of progenitor cells harboring MATN3 chondrodysplasia mutations were altered, as evidenced by attenuated chondrogenesis and premature hypertrophy. TGF-β treatment failed to completely rescue chondrogenesis but instead induced hypertrophy in mutant MATN3 chondroprogenitors. Our data suggest that chondroprogenitor cells should be considered as a potential target of chondrodysplasia therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Chondrocyte Phenotype in Cartilage Biology)
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Open AccessReview
Salmonella as an Innovative Therapeutic Antitumor Agent
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14546-14554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814546 - 21 Aug 2014
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2618
Abstract
Lack of specificity of the therapeutic agent is a primary limitation in the treatment of a tumor. The use of preferentially replicating bacteria as therapeutic agents is an innovative approach to tumor treatment. This is based on the observation that certain obligate or [...] Read more.
Lack of specificity of the therapeutic agent is a primary limitation in the treatment of a tumor. The use of preferentially replicating bacteria as therapeutic agents is an innovative approach to tumor treatment. This is based on the observation that certain obligate or facultative anaerobic bacteria are capable of multiplying selectively in tumors and inhibiting their growth. Bacteria have been employed as antitumor agents that are capable of preferentially amplifying within tumors and inhibiting their growth. Moreover, bacteria-derived factors have an immune-stimulation effect. Therefore, bacteria are able to transfer therapeutic genes into the tumor cells using their infective ability. Herein, we introduce the application of bacteria for tumor therapy and focus on Salmonella, which have been widely used for tumor therapy. Salmonella have mainly been applied as gene-delivery vectors, antitumor immune activators and tumor cell death inducers. This study will not only evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of Salmonella for the treatment of tumor but will also elucidate the mechanisms underlying the antitumor activities mediated by Salmonella, which involve host immune responses and cellular molecular responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Oncology 2014)
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Open AccessArticle
New Milk Protein-Derived Peptides with Potential Antimicrobial Activity: An Approach Based on Bioinformatic Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14531-14545; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814531 - 20 Aug 2014
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3271
Abstract
New peptides with potential antimicrobial activity, encrypted in milk protein sequences, were searched for with the use of bioinformatic tools. The major milk proteins were hydrolyzed in silico by 28 enzymes. The obtained peptides were characterized by the following parameters: molecular weight, isoelectric [...] Read more.
New peptides with potential antimicrobial activity, encrypted in milk protein sequences, were searched for with the use of bioinformatic tools. The major milk proteins were hydrolyzed in silico by 28 enzymes. The obtained peptides were characterized by the following parameters: molecular weight, isoelectric point, composition and number of amino acid residues, net charge at pH 7.0, aliphatic index, instability index, Boman index, and GRAVY index, and compared with those calculated for known 416 antimicrobial peptides including 59 antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from milk proteins listed in the BIOPEP database. A simple analysis of physico-chemical properties and the values of biological activity indicators were insufficient to select potentially antimicrobial peptides released in silico from milk proteins by proteolytic enzymes. The final selection was made based on the results of multidimensional statistical analysis such as support vector machines (SVM), random forest (RF), artificial neural networks (ANN) and discriminant analysis (DA) available in the Collection of Anti-Microbial Peptides (CAMP database). Eleven new peptides with potential antimicrobial activity were selected from all peptides released during in silico proteolysis of milk proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Proteins and Peptides Derived from Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Immunoproteome of Aspergillus fumigatus Using Sera of Patients with Invasive Aspergillosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14505-14530; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814505 - 20 Aug 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2416
Abstract
Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening lung or systemic infection caused by the opportunistic mold Aspergillus fumigatus. The disease affects mainly immunocompromised hosts, and patients with hematological malignances or who have been submitted to stem cell transplantation are at high risk. Despite the current [...] Read more.
Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening lung or systemic infection caused by the opportunistic mold Aspergillus fumigatus. The disease affects mainly immunocompromised hosts, and patients with hematological malignances or who have been submitted to stem cell transplantation are at high risk. Despite the current use of Platelia Aspergillus as a diagnostic test, the early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis remains a major challenge in improving the prognosis of the disease. In this study, we used an immunoproteomic approach to identify proteins that could be putative candidates for the early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. Antigenic proteins expressed in the first steps of A. fumigatus germination occurring in a human host were revealed using 2-D Western immunoblots with the serum of patients who had previously been classified as probable and proven for invasive aspergillosis. Forty antigenic proteins were identified using mass spectrometry (MS/MS). A BLAST analysis revealed that two of these proteins showed low homology with proteins of either the human host or etiological agents of other invasive fungal infections. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing specific antigenic proteins of A. fumigatus germlings that are recognized by sera of patients with confirmed invasive aspergillosis who were from two separate hospital units. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advances in Proteomic Research)
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Open AccessReview
High-Resolution Imaging Reveals New Features of Nuclear Export of mRNA through the Nuclear Pore Complexes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14492-14504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814492 - 20 Aug 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4687
Abstract
The nuclear envelope (NE) of eukaryotic cells provides a physical barrier for messenger RNA (mRNA) and the associated proteins (mRNPs) traveling from sites of transcription in the nucleus to locations of translation processing in the cytoplasm. Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) embedded in the [...] Read more.
The nuclear envelope (NE) of eukaryotic cells provides a physical barrier for messenger RNA (mRNA) and the associated proteins (mRNPs) traveling from sites of transcription in the nucleus to locations of translation processing in the cytoplasm. Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) embedded in the NE serve as a dominant gateway for nuclear export of mRNA. However, the fundamental characterization of export dynamics of mRNPs through the NPC has been hindered by several technical limits. First, the size of NPC that is barely below the diffraction limit of conventional light microscopy requires a super-resolution microscopy imaging approach. Next, the fast transit of mRNPs through the NPC further demands a high temporal resolution by the imaging approach. Finally, the inherent three-dimensional (3D) movements of mRNPs through the NPC demand the method to provide a 3D mapping of both transport kinetics and transport pathways of mRNPs. This review will highlight the recently developed super-resolution imaging techniques advanced from 1D to 3D for nuclear export of mRNPs and summarize the new features in the dynamic nuclear export process of mRNPs revealed from these technical advances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation by Ribonucleoprotein Complexes)
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs, Genomic Instability and Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14475-14491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814475 - 20 Aug 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4503
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA transcripts approximately 20 nucleotides in length that regulate expression of protein-coding genes via complementary binding mechanisms. The last decade has seen an exponential increase of publications on miRNAs, ranging from every aspect of basic cancer biology to [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA transcripts approximately 20 nucleotides in length that regulate expression of protein-coding genes via complementary binding mechanisms. The last decade has seen an exponential increase of publications on miRNAs, ranging from every aspect of basic cancer biology to diagnostic and therapeutic explorations. In this review, we summarize findings of miRNA involvement in genomic instability, an interesting but largely neglected topic to date. We discuss the potential mechanisms by which miRNAs induce genomic instability, considered to be one of the most important driving forces of cancer initiation and progression, though its precise mechanisms remain elusive. We classify genomic instability mechanisms into defects in cell cycle regulation, DNA damage response, and mitotic separation, and review the findings demonstrating the participation of specific miRNAs in such mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances of Stem Cell Therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14456-14474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814456 - 20 Aug 2014
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4153
Abstract
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited retinal disorders characterized by progressive loss of photoreceptors and eventually leads to retina degeneration and atrophy. Until now, the exact pathogenesis and etiology of this disease has not been clear, and many approaches for RP [...] Read more.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited retinal disorders characterized by progressive loss of photoreceptors and eventually leads to retina degeneration and atrophy. Until now, the exact pathogenesis and etiology of this disease has not been clear, and many approaches for RP therapies have been carried out in animals and in clinical trials. In recent years, stem cell transplantation-based attempts made some progress, especially the transplantation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). This review will provide an overview of stem cell-based treatment of RP and its main problems, to provide evidence for the safety and feasibility for further clinical treatment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Phylogenetic and Transcription Analysis of Chrysanthemum WRKY Transcription Factors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14442-14455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814442 - 19 Aug 2014
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2836
Abstract
WRKY transcription factors are known to function in a number of plant processes. Here we have characterized 15 WRKY family genes of the important ornamental species chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium). A total of 15 distinct sequences were isolated; initially internal fragments were [...] Read more.
WRKY transcription factors are known to function in a number of plant processes. Here we have characterized 15 WRKY family genes of the important ornamental species chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium). A total of 15 distinct sequences were isolated; initially internal fragments were amplified based on transcriptomic sequence, and then the full length cDNAs were obtained using RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) PCR. The transcription of these 15 genes in response to a variety of phytohormone treatments and both biotic and abiotic stresses was characterized. Some of the genes behaved as would be predicted based on their homology with Arabidopsis thaliana WRKY genes, but others showed divergent behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Low-Frequency High-Magnitude Mechanical Strain of Articular Chondrocytes Activates p38 MAPK and Induces Phenotypic Changes Associated with Osteoarthritis and Pain
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14427-14441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814427 - 19 Aug 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2619
Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating joint disorder resulting from an incompletely understood combination of mechanical, biological, and biochemical processes. OA is often accompanied by inflammation and pain, whereby cytokines associated with chronic OA can up-regulate expression of neurotrophic factors such as nerve growth [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating joint disorder resulting from an incompletely understood combination of mechanical, biological, and biochemical processes. OA is often accompanied by inflammation and pain, whereby cytokines associated with chronic OA can up-regulate expression of neurotrophic factors such as nerve growth factor (NGF). Several studies suggest a role for cytokines and NGF in OA pain, however the effects of changing mechanical properties in OA tissue on chondrocyte metabolism remain unclear. Here, we used high-extension silicone rubber membranes to examine if high mechanical strain (HMS) of primary articular chondrocytes increases inflammatory gene expression and promotes neurotrophic factor release. HMS cultured chondrocytes displayed up-regulated NGF, TNFα and ADAMTS4 gene expression while decreasing TLR2 expression, as compared to static controls. HMS culture increased p38 MAPK activity compared to static controls. Conditioned medium from HMS dynamic cultures, but not static cultures, induced significant neurite sprouting in PC12 cells. The increased neurite sprouting was accompanied by consistent increases in PC12 cell death. Low-frequency high-magnitude mechanical strain of primary articular chondrocytes in vitro drives factor secretion associated with degenerative joint disease and joint pain. This study provides evidence for a direct link between cellular strain, secretory factors, neo-innervation, and pain in OA pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Chondrocyte Phenotype in Cartilage Biology)
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