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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 16, Issue 4 (April 2015) , Pages 6621-9036

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Open AccessArticle
Crystal Structure, Chemical Bonding and Magnetism Studies for Three Quinary Polar Intermetallic Compounds in the (Eu1−xCax)9In8(Ge1−ySny)8 (x = 0.66, y = 0.03) and the (Eu1−xCax)3In(Ge3−ySn1+y) (x = 0.66, 0.68; y = 0.13, 0.27) Phases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 9017-9036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16049017
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2116 | PDF Full-text (2126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three quinary polar intermetallic compounds in the (Eu1−xCax)9In8(Ge1−ySny)8 (x = 0.66, y = 0.03) and the (Eu1−xCax)3In(Ge3-ySn [...] Read more.
Three quinary polar intermetallic compounds in the (Eu1−xCax)9In8(Ge1−ySny)8 (x = 0.66, y = 0.03) and the (Eu1−xCax)3In(Ge3-ySn1+y) (x = 0.66, 0.68; y = 0.13, 0.27) phases have been synthesized using the molten In-metal flux method, and the crystal structures are characterized by powder and single-crystal X-ray diffractions. Two orthorhombic structural types can be viewed as an assembly of polyanionic frameworks consisting of the In(Ge/Sn)4 tetrahedral chains, the bridging Ge2 dimers, either the annulene-like “12-membered rings” for the (Eu1−xCax)9In8(Ge1−ySny)8 series or the cis-trans Ge/Sn-chains for the (Eu1−xCax)3In(Ge3−ySn1+y) series, and several Eu/Ca-mixed cations. The most noticeable difference between two structural types is the amount and the location of the Sn-substitution for Ge: only a partial substitution (11%) occurs at the In(Ge/Sn)4 tetrahedron in the (Eu1−xCax)9In8(Ge1−ySny)8 series, whereas both a complete and a partial substitution (up to 27%) are observed, respectively, at the cis-trans Ge/Sn-chain and at the In(Ge/Sn)4 tetrahedron in the (Eu1−xCax)3In(Ge3−ySn1+y) series. A series of tight-binding linear muffin-tin orbital calculations is conducted to understand overall electronic structures and chemical bonding among components. Magnetic susceptibility measurement indicates a ferromagnetic ordering of Eu atoms below 5 K for Eu1.02(1)Ca1.98InGe2.87(1)Sn1.13. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Bond and Bonding 2015)
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Open AccessReview
Economically Viable Components from Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) in a Biorefinery Concept
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8997-9016; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048997
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2015 / Accepted: 17 April 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2424 | PDF Full-text (763 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biorefinery applications are receiving growing interest due to climatic and waste disposal issues and lack of petroleum resources. Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) is suitable for biorefinery applications due to high biomass production and limited cultivation requirements. This paper focuses on the [...] Read more.
Biorefinery applications are receiving growing interest due to climatic and waste disposal issues and lack of petroleum resources. Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) is suitable for biorefinery applications due to high biomass production and limited cultivation requirements. This paper focuses on the potential of Jerusalem artichoke as a biorefinery crop and the most viable products in such a case. The carbohydrates in the tubers were found to have potential for production of platform chemicals, e.g., succinic acid. However, economic analysis showed that production of platform chemicals as a single product was too expensive to be competitive with petrochemically produced sugars. Therefore, production of several products from the same crop is a must. Additional products are protein based ones from tubers and leaves and biogas from residues, although both are of low value and amount. High bioactive activity was found in the young leaves of the crop, and the sesquiterpene lactones are of specific interest, as other compounds from this group have shown inhibitory effects on several human diseases. Thus, future focus should be on understanding the usefulness of small molecules, to develop methods for their extraction and purification and to further develop sustainable and viable methods for the production of platform chemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and the Biorefinery)
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Open AccessCommunication
Xeroderma Pigmentosum: Low Prevalence of Germline XPA Mutations in a Brazilian XP Population
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8988-8996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048988
Received: 20 March 2015 / Revised: 14 April 2015 / Accepted: 17 April 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3149 | PDF Full-text (3475 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by DNA repair defects that cause photophobia, sunlight-induced cancers, and neurodegeneration. Prevalence of germline mutations in the nucleotide excision repair gene XPA vary significantly in different populations. No Brazilian patients have been reported [...] Read more.
Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by DNA repair defects that cause photophobia, sunlight-induced cancers, and neurodegeneration. Prevalence of germline mutations in the nucleotide excision repair gene XPA vary significantly in different populations. No Brazilian patients have been reported to carry a germline mutation in this gene. In this study, the germline mutational status of XPA was determined in Brazilian patients exhibiting major clinical features of XP syndrome. The study was conducted on 27 unrelated patients from select Brazilian families. A biallelic inactivating transition mutation c.619C>T (p.Arg207Ter) was identified in only one patient with a history of neurological impairment and mild skin abnormalities. These findings suggest that XP syndrome is rarely associated with inherited disease-causing XPA mutations in the Brazilian population. Additionally, this report demonstrates the effectiveness of genotype-phenotype correlation as a valuable tool to guide direct genetic screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle
A Two-Step Nanofiltration Process for the Production of Phenolic-Rich Fractions from Artichoke Aqueous Extracts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8968-8987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048968
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 11 April 2015 / Accepted: 16 April 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2439 | PDF Full-text (1575 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Commercial nanofiltration (NF) membranes in spiral-wound configuration (NP030 from Microdyn Nadir and Desal DK from GE Water & Process Technologies) were used in a sequential design in order to produce a separated fraction of phenolic and sugar compounds from an aqueous artichoke extract. [...] Read more.
Commercial nanofiltration (NF) membranes in spiral-wound configuration (NP030 from Microdyn Nadir and Desal DK from GE Water & Process Technologies) were used in a sequential design in order to produce a separated fraction of phenolic and sugar compounds from an aqueous artichoke extract. For both membranes, the effect of transmembrane pressure (TMP) on the permeation flux was evaluated. In optimized conditions of TMP, the NP030 membrane exhibited high rejections of apigenin, cynarin and chlorogenic acid (higher than 85%); on the other hand, very low rejections of fructose, glucose and sucrose (lower than 4%) were measured. Starting from an extract with a total antioxidant activity (TAA) of 5.28 mM trolox a retentate fraction with a TAA of 47.75 mM trolox was obtained. The NF permeate from the NP030 membrane was processed with the Desal DK membrane in optimized conditions of TMP producing a permeate stream free of phenolic and sugar compounds. Accordingly, as most part of phenolic compounds was removed in the first NF step, the concentration of sugar compounds in the NF retentate had much higher results than that of phenolic compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Phenolics and Polyphenols)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Systems Modeling Methodology in Comparative Microbial Metabolomics: Identifying Key Enzymes and Metabolites Implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8949-8967; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048949
Received: 14 January 2015 / Revised: 19 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2805 | PDF Full-text (716 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders are a group of mental illnesses highly correlated with gastrointestinal dysfunction. Recent studies have shown that there may be one or more microbial “fingerprints” in terms of the composition characterizing individuals with autism, which could be used for diagnostic purposes. [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorders are a group of mental illnesses highly correlated with gastrointestinal dysfunction. Recent studies have shown that there may be one or more microbial “fingerprints” in terms of the composition characterizing individuals with autism, which could be used for diagnostic purposes. This paper proposes a computational approach whereby metagenomes characteristic of “healthy” and autistic individuals are artificially constructed via genomic information, analyzed for the enzymes coded within, and then these enzymes are compared in detail. This is a text mining application. A custom-designed online application was built and used for the comparative metabolomics study and made publically available. Several of the enzyme-catalyzing reactions involved with the amino acid glutamate were curiously missing from the “autism” microbiome and were coded within almost every organism included in the “control” microbiome. Interestingly, there exists a leading hypothesis regarding autism and glutamate involving a neurological excitation/inhibition imbalance; but the association with this study is unclear. The results included data on the transsulfuration and transmethylation pathways, involved with oxidative stress, also of importance to autism. The results from this study are in alignment with leading hypotheses in the field, which is impressive, considering the purely in silico nature of this study. The present study provides new insight into the complex metabolic interactions underlying autism, and this novel methodology has potential to be useful for developing new hypotheses. However, limitations include sparse genome data availability and conflicting literature experimental data. We believe our software tool and methodology has potential for having great utility as data become more available, comprehensive and reliable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reconciling Experiment and Theory in the Use of Aryl-Extended Calix[4]pyrrole Receptors for the Experimental Quantification of Chloride–π Interactions in Solution
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8934-8948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048934
Received: 27 March 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2210 | PDF Full-text (2035 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this manuscript we consider from a theoretical point of view the recently reported experimental quantification of anion–π interactions (the attractive force between electron deficient aromatic rings and anions) in solution using aryl extended calix[4]pyrrole receptors as model systems. Experimentally, two series of [...] Read more.
In this manuscript we consider from a theoretical point of view the recently reported experimental quantification of anion–π interactions (the attractive force between electron deficient aromatic rings and anions) in solution using aryl extended calix[4]pyrrole receptors as model systems. Experimentally, two series of calix[4]pyrrole receptors functionalized, respectively, with two and four aryl rings at the meso positions, were used to assess the strength of chloride–π interactions in acetonitrile solution. As a result of these studies the contribution of each individual chloride–π interaction was quantified to be very small (<1 kcal/mol). This result is in contrast with the values derived from most theoretical calculations. Herein we report a theoretical study using high-level density functional theory (DFT) calculations that provides a plausible explanation for the observed disagreement between theory and experiment. The study reveals the existence of molecular interactions between solvent molecules and the aromatic walls of the receptors that strongly modulate the chloride–π interaction. In addition, the obtained theoretical results also suggest that the chloride-calix[4]pyrrole complex used as reference to dissect experimentally the contribution of the chloride–π interactions to the total binding energy for both the two and four-wall aryl-extended calix[4]pyrrole model systems is probably not ideal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supramolecular Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Bonding: The Orthogonal Valence-Bond View
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8896-8933; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048896
Received: 29 January 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2252 | PDF Full-text (1042 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemical bonding is the stabilization of a molecular system by charge- and spin-reorganization processes in chemical reactions. These processes are said to be local, because the number of atoms involved is very small. With multi-configurational self-consistent field (MCSCF) wave functions, these processes can [...] Read more.
Chemical bonding is the stabilization of a molecular system by charge- and spin-reorganization processes in chemical reactions. These processes are said to be local, because the number of atoms involved is very small. With multi-configurational self-consistent field (MCSCF) wave functions, these processes can be calculated, but the local information is hidden by the delocalized molecular orbitals (MO) used to construct the wave functions. The transformation of such wave functions into valence bond (VB) wave functions, which are based on localized orbitals, reveals the hidden information; this transformation is called a VB reading of MCSCF wave functions. The two-electron VB wave functions describing the Lewis electron pair that connects two atoms are frequently called covalent or neutral, suggesting that these wave functions describe an electronic situation where two electrons are never located at the same atom; such electronic situations and the wave functions describing them are called ionic. When the distance between two atoms decreases, however, every covalent VB wave function composed of non-orthogonal atomic orbitals changes its character from neutral to ionic. However, this change in the character of conventional VB wave functions is hidden by its mathematical form. Orthogonal VB wave functions composed of orthonormalized orbitals never change their character. When localized fragment orbitals are used instead of atomic orbitals, one can decide which local information is revealed and which remains hidden. In this paper, we analyze four chemical reactions by transforming the MCSCF wave functions into orthogonal VB wave functions; we show how the reactions are influenced by changing the atoms involved or by changing their local symmetry. Using orthogonal instead of non-orthogonal orbitals is not just a technical issue; it also changes the interpretation, revealing the properties of wave functions that remain otherwise undetected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Bond and Bonding 2015)
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Open AccessReview
Undetected Toxicity Risk in Pharmacogenetic Testing for Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8884-8895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048884
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 30 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2358 | PDF Full-text (671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fluoropyrimidines, the mainstay agents for the treatment of colorectal cancer, alone or as a part of combination therapies, cause severe adverse reactions in about 10%–30% of patients. Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), a key enzyme in the catabolism of 5-fluorouracil, has been intensively investigated in [...] Read more.
Fluoropyrimidines, the mainstay agents for the treatment of colorectal cancer, alone or as a part of combination therapies, cause severe adverse reactions in about 10%–30% of patients. Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), a key enzyme in the catabolism of 5-fluorouracil, has been intensively investigated in relation to fluoropyrimidine toxicity, and several DPD gene (DPYD) polymorphisms are associated with decreased enzyme activity and increased risk of fluoropyrimidine-related toxicity. In patients carrying non-functional DPYD variants (c.1905+1G>A, c.1679T>G, c.2846A>T), fluoropyrimidines should be avoided or reduced according to the patients’ homozygous or heterozygous status, respectively. For other common DPYD variants (c.496A>G, c.1129-5923C>G, c.1896T>C), conflicting data are reported and their use in clinical practice still needs to be validated. The high frequency of DPYD polymorphism and the lack of large prospective trials may explain differences in studies’ results. The epigenetic regulation of DPD expression has been recently investigated to explain the variable activity of the enzyme. DPYD promoter methylation and its regulation by microRNAs may affect the toxicity risk of fluoropyrimidines. The studies we reviewed indicate that pharmacogenetic testing is promising to direct personalised dosing of fluoropyrimidines, although further investigations are needed to establish the role of DPD in severe toxicity in patients treated for colorectal cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Classes of Biomarkers for Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessReview
A Review of the Effect of Diet on Cardiovascular Calcification
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8861-8883; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048861
Received: 29 January 2015 / Revised: 19 March 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3443 | PDF Full-text (718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cardiovascular (CV) calcification is known as sub-clinical atherosclerosis and is recognised as a predictor of CV events and mortality. As yet there is no treatment for CV calcification and conventional CV risk factors are not consistently correlated, leaving clinicians uncertain as to optimum [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular (CV) calcification is known as sub-clinical atherosclerosis and is recognised as a predictor of CV events and mortality. As yet there is no treatment for CV calcification and conventional CV risk factors are not consistently correlated, leaving clinicians uncertain as to optimum management for these patients. For this reason, a review of studies investigating diet and serum levels of macro- and micronutrients was carried out. Although there were few human studies of macronutrients, nevertheless transfats and simple sugars should be avoided, while long chain ω-3 fats from oily fish may be protective. Among the micronutrients, an intake of 800 μg/day calcium was beneficial in those without renal disease or hyperparathyroidism, while inorganic phosphorus from food preservatives and colas may induce calcification. A high intake of magnesium (≥380 mg/day) and phylloquinone (500 μg/day) proved protective, as did a serum 25(OH)D concentration of ≥75 nmol/L. Although oxidative damage appears to be a cause of CV calcification, the antioxidant vitamins proved to be largely ineffective, while supplementation of α-tocopherol may induce calcification. Nevertheless other antioxidant compounds (epigallocatechin gallate from green tea and resveratrol from red wine) were protective. Finally, a homocysteine concentration >12 µmol/L was predictive of CV calcification, although a plasma folate concentration of >39.4 nmol/L could both lower homocysteine and protect against calcification. In terms of a dietary programme, these recommendations indicate avoiding sugar and the transfats and preservatives found in processed foods and drinks and adopting a diet high in oily fish and vegetables. The micronutrients magnesium and vitamin K may be worthy of further investigation as a treatment option for CV calcification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress in Cardiovascular Disease 2015)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Paeonol on Anti-Neuroinflammatory Responses in Microglial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8844-8860; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048844
Received: 27 January 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2368 | PDF Full-text (2028 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing studies suggest that inflammatory processes in the central nervous system mediated by microglial activation plays an important role in numerous neurodegenerative diseases. Development of planning for microglial suppression is considered a key strategy in the search for neuroprotection. Paeonol is a major [...] Read more.
Increasing studies suggest that inflammatory processes in the central nervous system mediated by microglial activation plays an important role in numerous neurodegenerative diseases. Development of planning for microglial suppression is considered a key strategy in the search for neuroprotection. Paeonol is a major phenolic component of Moutan Cortex, widely used as a nutrient supplement in Chinese medicine. In this study, we investigated the effects of paeonol on microglial cells stimulated by inflammagens. Paeonol significantly inhibited the release of nitric oxide (NO) and the expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Treatment with paeonol also reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and inhibited an ATP-induced increased cell migratory activity. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of neuroinflammation by paeonol were found to be regulated by phosphorylated adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase-α (AMPK-α) and glycogen synthase kinase 3 α/β (GSK 3α/β). Treatment with AMPK or GSK3 inhibitors reverse the inhibitory effect of neuroinflammation by paeonol in microglial cells. Furthermore, paeonol treatment also showed significant improvement in the rotarod performance and microglial activation in the mouse model as well. The present study is the first to report a novel inhibitory role of paeonol on neuroinflammation, and presents a new candidate agent for the development of therapies for inflammation-related neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Processed vs. Non-Processed Biowastes for Agriculture: Effects of Post-Harvest Tomato Plants and Biochar on Radish Growth, Chlorophyll Content and Protein Production
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8826-8843; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048826
Received: 21 March 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2337 | PDF Full-text (913 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this work was to address the issue of processed vs. non-processed biowastes for agriculture, by comparing materials widely differing for the amount of process energy consumption. Thus, residual post harvest tomato plants (TP), the TP hydrolysates obtained at pH 13 [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to address the issue of processed vs. non-processed biowastes for agriculture, by comparing materials widely differing for the amount of process energy consumption. Thus, residual post harvest tomato plants (TP), the TP hydrolysates obtained at pH 13 and 60 °C, and two known biochar products obtained by 650 °C pyrolysis were prepared. All products were characterized and used in a cultivation of radish plants. The chemical composition and molecular nature of the materials was investigated by solid state 13C NMR spectrometry, elemental analysis and potentiometric titration. The plants were analysed for growth and content of chlorophyll, carotenoids and soluble proteins. The results show that the TP and the alkaline hydrolysates contain lignin, hemicellulose, protein, peptide and/or amino acids moieties, and several mineral elements. The biochar samples contain also similar mineral elements, but the organic fraction is characterized mainly by fused aromatic rings. All materials had a positive effect on radish growth, mainly on the diameter of roots. The best performances in terms of plant growth were given by miscanthus originated biochar and TP. The most significant effect was the enhancement of soluble protein content in the plants treated with the lowest energy consumption non processed TP. The significance of these findings for agriculture and the environment is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and the Biorefinery)
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Open AccessArticle
Selected Tea and Tea Pomace Extracts Inhibit Intestinal α-Glucosidase Activity in Vitro and Postprandial Hyperglycemia in Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8811-8825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048811
Received: 8 March 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3138 | PDF Full-text (881 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disorder characterized by postprandial hyperglycemia, which is an early defect of T2DM and thus a primary target for anti-diabetic drugs. A therapeutic approach is to inhibit intestinal α-glucosidase, the key enzyme for dietary carbohydrate digestion, [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disorder characterized by postprandial hyperglycemia, which is an early defect of T2DM and thus a primary target for anti-diabetic drugs. A therapeutic approach is to inhibit intestinal α-glucosidase, the key enzyme for dietary carbohydrate digestion, resulting in delayed rate of glucose absorption. Although tea extracts have been reported to have anti-diabetic effects, the potential bioactivity of tea pomace, the main bio waste of tea beverage processing, is largely unknown. We evaluated the anti-diabetic effects of three selected tea water extracts (TWE) and tea pomace extracts (TPE) by determining the relative potency of extracts on rat intestinal α-glucosidase activity in vitro as well as hypoglycemic effects in vivo. Green, oolong, and black tea bags were extracted in hot water and the remaining tea pomace were dried and further extracted in 70% ethanol. The extracts were determined for intestinal rat α-glucosidases activity, radical scavenging activity, and total phenolic content. The postprandial glucose-lowering effects of TWE and TPE of green and black tea were assessed in male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and compared to acarbose, a known pharmacological α-glucosidase inhibitor. The IC50 values of all three tea extracts against mammalian α-glucosidase were lower or similar in TPE groups than those of TWE groups. TWE and TPE of green tea exhibited the highest inhibitory effects against α-glucosidase activity with the IC50 of 2.04 ± 0.31 and 1.95 ± 0.37 mg/mL respectively. Among the specific enzymes tested, the IC50 values for TWE (0.16 ± 0.01 mg/mL) and TPE (0.13 ± 0.01 mg/mL) of green tea against sucrase activity were the lowest compared to those on maltase and glucoamylase activities. In the animal study, the blood glucose level at 30 min after oral intake (0.5 g/kg body wt) of TPE and TWE of both green and black tea was significantly reduced compared to the control in sucrose-loaded SD rats. The TPE of all three teas had significantly higher phenolic content than those of the TWE groups, which correlated strongly with the DPPH radical scavenging activity. This is the first report of tea pomace extract significantly inhibits intestinal α-glucosidase, resulting in delayed glucose absorption and thereby suppressed postprandial hyperglycemia. Our data suggest that tea pomace-derived bioactives may have great potential for further development as nutraceutical products and the reuse of otherwise biowaste as valuable bioresources for the industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Natural Products for Alzheimer’s Disease: Targeted Search Using the Internal Ribosome Entry Site of Tau and Amyloid-β Precursor Protein
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8789-8810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048789
Received: 1 March 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2758 | PDF Full-text (1823 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Overexpression of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein are vital in the understanding of the cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). As a consequence, regulation of the expression of both APP and tau proteins is one important approach [...] Read more.
Overexpression of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein are vital in the understanding of the cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). As a consequence, regulation of the expression of both APP and tau proteins is one important approach in combating AD. The APP and tau proteins can be targeted at the levels of transcription, translation and protein structural integrity. This paper reports the utilization of a bi-cistronic vector containing either APP or tau internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements flanked by β-galactosidase gene (cap-dependent) and secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) (cap-independent) to discern the mechanism of action of memantine, an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. Results indicate that memantine could reduce the activity of both the APP and tau IRES at a concentration of ~10 μM (monitored by SEAP activity) without interfering with the cap-dependent translation as monitored by the β-galactosidase assay. Western blot analysis of the tau protein in neuroblastoma (N2A) and rat hippocampal cells confirmed the halting of the expression of the tau proteins. We also employed this approach to identify a preparation named NB34, extracts of Boussingaultia baselloides (madeira-vine) fermented with Lactobacillus spp., which can function similarly to memantine in both IRES of APP and Tau. The water maze test demonstrated that NB34 could improve the spatial memory of a high fat diet induced neurodegeneration in apolipoprotein E-knockout (ApoE−/−) mice. These results revealed that the bi-cistronic vector provided a simple, and effective platform in screening and establishing the mechanistic action of potential compounds for the treatment and management of AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurological Injuries’ Monitoring, Tracking and Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Melanogenesis-Inducing Effect of Cirsimaritin through Increases in Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor and Tyrosinase Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8772-8788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048772
Received: 26 February 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2596 | PDF Full-text (797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The melanin-inducing properties of cirsimaritin were investigated in murine B16F10 cells. Cirsimaritin is an active flavone with methoxy groups, which is isolated from the branches of Lithocarpus dealbatus. Tyrosinase activity and melanin content in murine B16F10 melanoma cells were increased by cirsimaritin [...] Read more.
The melanin-inducing properties of cirsimaritin were investigated in murine B16F10 cells. Cirsimaritin is an active flavone with methoxy groups, which is isolated from the branches of Lithocarpus dealbatus. Tyrosinase activity and melanin content in murine B16F10 melanoma cells were increased by cirsimaritin in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis revealed that tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein (TRP) 1, TRP2 protein levels were enhanced after treatment with cirsimaritin for 48 h. Cirsimaritin also upregulated the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) after 24 h of treatment. Furthermore, cirsimaritin induced phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding protein (CREB) in a dose-dependent manner after treatment for 15 min. The cirsimaritin-mediated increase of tyrosinase activity was significantly attenuated by H89, a cAMP-dependent protein kinase A inhibitor. These findings indicate that cirsimaritin stimulates melanogenesis in B16F10 cells by activation of CREB as well as upregulation of MITF and tyrosinase expression, which was activated by cAMP signaling. Finally, the melanogenic effect of cirsimaritin was confirmed in human epidermal melanocytes. These results support the putative application of cirsimaritin in ultraviolet photoprotection and hair coloration treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemicals from Agave sisalana Biomass: Isolation and Identification
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8761-8771; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048761
Received: 23 March 2015 / Revised: 11 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2915 | PDF Full-text (927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agave sisalana (sisal) is known worldwide as a source of hard fibers, and Brazil is the largest producer of sisal. Nonetheless, the process of removing the fibers of the sisal leaf generates 95% waste. In this study, we applied chemical sequential steps (hydrothermal [...] Read more.
Agave sisalana (sisal) is known worldwide as a source of hard fibers, and Brazil is the largest producer of sisal. Nonetheless, the process of removing the fibers of the sisal leaf generates 95% waste. In this study, we applied chemical sequential steps (hydrothermal extraction, precipitation, liquid-liquid extraction, crystallization, SiO2 and Sephadex LH 20 column chromatography) to obtain pectin, mannitol, succinic acid, kaempferol and a mixture of saponins as raw chemicals from sisal biomass. The structural identification of these compounds was performed though spectrometric methods, such as Infrared (IR), Ultraviolet (UV), Mass spectrometry (MS) and Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). All the sisal chemicals found in this work are used by both the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as excipients or active principles in products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and the Biorefinery)
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Open AccessArticle
Addition of Interleukin-21 for Expansion of T-Cells for Adoptive Immunotherapy of Murine Melanoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8744-8760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048744
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 11 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2023 | PDF Full-text (1366 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We previously demonstrated that interleukin (IL)-7/15 was superior to IL-2 for expansion of T cells in vitro for adoptive immunotherapy. We sought to ascertain whether IL-21 would further improve yield and therapeutic efficacy of T cells in culture. Naïve T cell receptor (TcR) [...] Read more.
We previously demonstrated that interleukin (IL)-7/15 was superior to IL-2 for expansion of T cells in vitro for adoptive immunotherapy. We sought to ascertain whether IL-21 would further improve yield and therapeutic efficacy of T cells in culture. Naïve T cell receptor (TcR) transgenic splenocytes or antigen-sensitized lymph node cells were harvested from PMEL-1 mice and exposed to bryostatin-1 and ionomycin (B/I) for 18 h. Cells were then cultured in IL-2, IL-21, IL-7/15 or IL-7/15/21 for six days. Harvested cells were analyzed by flow cytometry and used to treat C57Bl/6 mice injected intravenously with B16 melanoma. Lungs were harvested and metastases counted 14 days after treatment. Culturing lymphocytes in IL-7/15/21 increased expansion compared to IL-2 or IL-7/15. IL-21 and IL-7/15/21 increased CD8+ cells compared to IL-2 or IL-7/15. IL-21 preferentially expanded a CD8+CD44−CD62L+ T “naïve” population, whereas IL-7/15/21 increased CD8+CD44+CD62Lhigh central-memory T cells. T cells grown in IL-7/15/21 were more effective at reducing metastases than IL-2. The addition of IL-21 to IL-7/15 induced greater expansion of lymphocytes in culture and increased the yield of CD8+ T central-memory cells vs. IL-7/15 alone. This may have significant impact on future clinical trials of adoptive immunotherapy, particularly for generating adequate numbers of lymphocytes for treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Action and Applications of Cytokines in Immunotherapy)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Biological Evaluation and 2D-QSAR Study of Halophenyl Bis-Hydrazones as Antimicrobial and Antitubercular Agents
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8719-8743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048719
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2163 | PDF Full-text (1188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In continuation of our endeavor towards the development of potent and effective antimicrobial agents, three series of halophenyl bis-hydrazones (14an, 16ad, 17a and 17b) were synthesized and evaluated for their potential antibacterial, antifungal and antimycobacterial [...] Read more.
In continuation of our endeavor towards the development of potent and effective antimicrobial agents, three series of halophenyl bis-hydrazones (14an, 16ad, 17a and 17b) were synthesized and evaluated for their potential antibacterial, antifungal and antimycobacterial activities. These efforts led to the identification of five molecules 14c, 14g, 16b, 17a and 17b (MIC range from 0.12 to 7.81 μg/mL) with broad antimicrobial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Aspergillus fumigates; Gram positive bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Bacillis subtilis; and Gram negative bacteria, Salmonella typhimurium, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Escherichia coli. Three of the most active compounds, 16b, 17a and 17b, were also devoid of apparent cytotoxicity to lung cancer cell line A549. Amphotericin B and ciprofloxacin were used as references for antifungal and antibacterial screening, while isoniazid and pyrazinamide were used as references for antimycobacterial activity. Furthermore, three Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) models were built to explore the structural requirements controlling the different activities of the prepared bis-hydrazones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessReview
Modulation of the Genome and Epigenome of Individuals Susceptible to Autism by Environmental Risk Factors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8699-8718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048699
Received: 27 November 2014 / Revised: 3 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2628 | PDF Full-text (1033 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diverse environmental factors have been implicated with the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Genetic factors also underlie the differential vulnerability to environmental risk factors of susceptible individuals. Currently the way in which environmental risk factors interact with genetic factors to increase the [...] Read more.
Diverse environmental factors have been implicated with the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Genetic factors also underlie the differential vulnerability to environmental risk factors of susceptible individuals. Currently the way in which environmental risk factors interact with genetic factors to increase the incidence of ASD is not well understood. A greater understanding of the metabolic, cellular, and biochemical events involved in gene x environment interactions in ASD would have important implications for the prevention and possible treatment of the disorder. In this review we discuss various established and more alternative processes through which environmental factors implicated in ASD can modulate the genome and epigenome of genetically-susceptible individuals. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Non-Coding RNAs in Saliva: Emerging Biomarkers for Molecular Diagnostics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8676-8698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048676
Received: 23 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3269 | PDF Full-text (1061 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Saliva is a complex body fluid that comprises secretions from the major and minor salivary glands, which are extensively supplied by blood. Therefore, molecules such as proteins, DNA, RNA, etc., present in plasma could be also present in saliva. Many studies have [...] Read more.
Saliva is a complex body fluid that comprises secretions from the major and minor salivary glands, which are extensively supplied by blood. Therefore, molecules such as proteins, DNA, RNA, etc., present in plasma could be also present in saliva. Many studies have reported that saliva body fluid can be useful for discriminating several oral diseases, but also systemic diseases including cancer. Most of these studies revealed messenger RNA (mRNA) and proteomic biomarker signatures rather than specific non-coding RNA (ncRNA) profiles. NcRNAs are emerging as new regulators of diverse biological functions, playing an important role in oncogenesis and tumor progression. Indeed, the small size of these molecules makes them very stable in different body fluids and not as susceptible as mRNAs to degradation by ribonucleases (RNases). Therefore, the development of a non-invasive salivary test, based on ncRNAs profiles, could have a significant applicability to clinical practice, not only by reducing the cost of the health system, but also by benefitting the patient. Here, we summarize the current status and clinical implications of the ncRNAs present in human saliva as a source of biological information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Classes of Biomarkers for Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessReview
Pathological Bases for a Robust Application of Cancer Molecular Classification
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8655-8675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048655
Received: 28 January 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2842 | PDF Full-text (3373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Any robust classification system depends on its purpose and must refer to accepted standards, its strength relying on predictive values and a careful consideration of known factors that can affect its reliability. In this context, a molecular classification of human cancer must refer [...] Read more.
Any robust classification system depends on its purpose and must refer to accepted standards, its strength relying on predictive values and a careful consideration of known factors that can affect its reliability. In this context, a molecular classification of human cancer must refer to the current gold standard (histological classification) and try to improve it with key prognosticators for metastatic potential, staging and grading. Although organ-specific examples have been published based on proteomics, transcriptomics and genomics evaluations, the most popular approach uses gene expression analysis as a direct correlate of cellular differentiation, which represents the key feature of the histological classification. RNA is a labile molecule that varies significantly according with the preservation protocol, its transcription reflect the adaptation of the tumor cells to the microenvironment, it can be passed through mechanisms of intercellular transference of genetic information (exosomes), and it is exposed to epigenetic modifications. More robust classifications should be based on stable molecules, at the genetic level represented by DNA to improve reliability, and its analysis must deal with the concept of intratumoral heterogeneity, which is at the origin of tumor progression and is the byproduct of the selection process during the clonal expansion and progression of neoplasms. The simultaneous analysis of multiple DNA targets and next generation sequencing offer the best practical approach for an analytical genomic classification of tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Classification of Human Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Reduces Neonatal Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Long-Lasting Neurobehavioral Deficits and Dopaminergic Neuronal Injury in Adult Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8635-8654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048635
Received: 26 January 2015 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3048 | PDF Full-text (3747 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Our previous study showed that a single lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment to neonatal rats could induce a long-lasting neuroinflammatory response and dopaminergic system injury late in life. This is evidenced by a sustained activation of microglia and elevated interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels, as well as [...] Read more.
Our previous study showed that a single lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment to neonatal rats could induce a long-lasting neuroinflammatory response and dopaminergic system injury late in life. This is evidenced by a sustained activation of microglia and elevated interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels, as well as reduced tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression in the substantia nigra (SN) of P70 rat brain. The object of the current study was to test whether co-administration of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) protects against LPS-induced neurological dysfunction later in life. LPS (1 mg/kg) with or without IL-1ra (0.1 mg/kg), or sterile saline was injected intracerebrally into postnatal day 5 (P5) Sprague-Dawley male rat pups. Motor behavioral tests were carried out from P7 to P70 with subsequent examination of brain injury. Our results showed that neonatal administration of IL-1ra significantly attenuated LPS-induced motor behavioral deficits, loss of TH immunoreactive neurons, as well as microglia activation in the SN of P70 rats. These data suggest that IL-1β may play a pivotal role in mediating a chronic neuroinflammation status by a single LPS exposure in early postnatal life, and blockading IL-1β might be a novel approach to protect the dopaminergic system against perinatal infection/inflammation exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Neurotoxicology)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Characters of Chitosans Used and Regeneration Conditions on the Yield and Physicochemical Characteristics of Regenerated Products
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8621-8634; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048621
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1778 | PDF Full-text (1387 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study was to explore the effect of the character of chitosans used, and the regeneration conditions employed on, the yield and physicochemical characteristics of regenerated products. Different concentrations of acetic acid were used to dissolve chitosans of 61.7% and [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to explore the effect of the character of chitosans used, and the regeneration conditions employed on, the yield and physicochemical characteristics of regenerated products. Different concentrations of acetic acid were used to dissolve chitosans of 61.7% and 94.9% degree of deacetylation (DD), and weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of 176 and 97 kDa, respectively; they were then precipitated with an 8 N NaOH solution, followed by washing and neutral and freeze drying to get the regenerated products. Yields of regenerated products and their physicochemical properties, such as ash content, bulk density, Mw, polydispersity index (PDI), DD, and crystallinity were measured. A higher concentration of acetic acid used resulted in a higher yield. The purity of the regenerated product increased significantly, whereas the bulk density and crystallinity decreased significantly after regeneration. The regeneration process showed its merits of narrowing down the PDI of regenerated products. The DD and structure of chitosan was changed insignificantly after the regeneration process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2015)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Analysis of PMLA Nanoconjugate Components after Backbone Cleavage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8607-8620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048607
Received: 11 March 2015 / Revised: 3 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2415 | PDF Full-text (1458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multifunctional polymer nanoconjugates containing multiple components show great promise in cancer therapy, but in most cases complete analysis of each component is difficult. Polymalic acid (PMLA) based nanoconjugates have demonstrated successful brain and breast cancer treatment. They consist of multiple components including targeting [...] Read more.
Multifunctional polymer nanoconjugates containing multiple components show great promise in cancer therapy, but in most cases complete analysis of each component is difficult. Polymalic acid (PMLA) based nanoconjugates have demonstrated successful brain and breast cancer treatment. They consist of multiple components including targeting antibodies, Morpholino antisense oligonucleotides (AONs), and endosome escape moieties. The component analysis of PMLA nanoconjugates is extremely difficult using conventional spectrometry and HPLC method. Taking advantage of the nature of polyester of PMLA, which can be cleaved by ammonium hydroxide, we describe a method to analyze the content of antibody and AON within nanoconjugates simultaneously using SEC-HPLC by selectively cleaving the PMLA backbone. The selected cleavage conditions only degrade PMLA without affecting the integrity and biological activity of the antibody. Although the amount of antibody could also be determined using the bicinchoninic acid (BCA) method, our selective cleavage method gives more reliable results and is more powerful. Our approach provides a new direction for the component analysis of polymer nanoconjugates and nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Science)
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Open AccessArticle
VEGFR-1 Overexpression Identifies a Small Subgroup of Aggressive Prostate Cancers in Patients Treated by Prostatectomy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8591-8606; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048591
Received: 16 February 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2643 | PDF Full-text (3912 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The VEGFR-1 is suggested to promote tumor progression. In the current study we analyzed prevalence and prognostic impact of the VEGFR-1 by immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray containing more than 3000 prostate cancer specimens. Results were compared to tumor phenotype, ETS-related gene (ERG) [...] Read more.
The VEGFR-1 is suggested to promote tumor progression. In the current study we analyzed prevalence and prognostic impact of the VEGFR-1 by immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray containing more than 3000 prostate cancer specimens. Results were compared to tumor phenotype, ETS-related gene (ERG) status, and biochemical recurrence. Membranous VEGFR-1 expression was detectable in 32.6% of 2669 interpretable cancers and considered strong in 1.7%, moderate in 6.7% and weak in 24.2% of cases. Strong VEGFR-1 expression was associated with TMPRSS2:ERG fusion status as determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (p < 0.0001 each). Elevated VEGFR-1 expression was linked to high Gleason grade and advanced pT stage in TMPRSS2:ERG negative cancers (p = 0.0008 and p = 0.001), while these associations were absent in TMPRSS2:ERG positive cancers. VEGFR-1 expression was also linked to phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) deletions. A comparison with prostate specific antigen (PSA) recurrence revealed that the 1.7% of prostate cancers with the highest VEGFR-1 levels had a strikingly unfavorable prognosis. This could be seen in all cancers, in the subsets of TMPRSS2:ERG positive or negative, PTEN deleted or undeleted carcinomas (p < 0.0001 each). High level VEGFR-1 expression is infrequent in prostate cancer, but identifies a subgroup of aggressive cancers, which may be candidates for anti-VEGFR-1 targeted therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advances in Molecular Oncology)
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Open AccessReview
Potential Biological Applications of Bio-Based Anacardic Acids and Their Derivatives
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8569-8590; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048569
Received: 14 March 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 4212 | PDF Full-text (846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cashew nut shells (CNS), which are agro wastes from cashew nut processing factories, have proven to be among the most versatile bio-based renewable materials in the search for functional materials and chemicals from renewable resources. CNS are produced in the cashew nut processing [...] Read more.
Cashew nut shells (CNS), which are agro wastes from cashew nut processing factories, have proven to be among the most versatile bio-based renewable materials in the search for functional materials and chemicals from renewable resources. CNS are produced in the cashew nut processing process as waste, but they contain cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) up to about 30–35 wt. % of the nut shell weight depending on the method of extraction. CNSL is a mixture of anacardic acid, cardanol, cardol, and methyl cardol, and the structures of these phenols offer opportunities for the development of diverse products. For anacardic acid, the combination of phenolic, carboxylic, and a 15-carbon alkyl side chain functional group makes it attractive in biological applications or as a synthon for the synthesis of a multitude of bioactive compounds. Anacardic acid, which is about 65% of a CNSL mixture, can be extracted from the agro waste. This shows that CNS waste can be used to extract useful chemicals and thus provide alternative green sources of chemicals, apart from relying only on the otherwise declining petroleum based sources. This paper reviews the potential of anacardic acids and their semi-synthetic derivatives for antibacterial, antitumor, and antioxidant activities. The review focuses on natural anacardic acids from CNS and other plants and their semi-synthetic derivatives as possible lead compounds in medicine. In addition, the use of anacardic acid as a starting material for the synthesis of various biologically active compounds and complexes is reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and the Biorefinery)
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Open AccessArticle
Micro RNA-124a Regulates Lipolysis via Adipose Triglyceride Lipase and Comparative Gene Identification 58
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8555-8568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048555
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2842 | PDF Full-text (8861 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Lipolysis is the biochemical pathway responsible for the catabolism of cellular triacylglycerol (TG). Lipolytic TG breakdown is a central metabolic process leading to the generation of free fatty acids (FA) and glycerol, thereby regulating lipid, as well as energy homeostasis. The precise tuning [...] Read more.
Lipolysis is the biochemical pathway responsible for the catabolism of cellular triacylglycerol (TG). Lipolytic TG breakdown is a central metabolic process leading to the generation of free fatty acids (FA) and glycerol, thereby regulating lipid, as well as energy homeostasis. The precise tuning of lipolysis is imperative to prevent lipotoxicity, obesity, diabetes and other related metabolic disorders. Here, we present our finding that miR-124a attenuates RNA and protein expression of the major TG hydrolase, adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL/PNPLA2) and its co-activator comparative gene identification 58 (CGI-58/ABHD5). Ectopic expression of miR-124a in adipocytes leads to reduced lipolysis and increased cellular TG accumulation. This phenotype, however, can be rescued by overexpression of truncated Atgl lacking its 3'UTR, which harbors the identified miR-124a target site. In addition, we observe a strong negative correlation between miR-124a and Atgl expression in various murine tissues. Moreover, miR-124a regulates the expression of Atgl and Cgi-58 in murine white adipose tissue during fasting as well as the expression of Atgl in murine liver, during fasting and re-feeding. Together, these results point to an instrumental role of miR-124a in the regulation of TG catabolism. Therefore, we suggest that miR-124a may be involved in the regulation of several cellular and organismal metabolic parameters, including lipid storage and plasma FA concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Peptides Found in Unprocessed and Extruded Amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) Pepsin/Pancreatin Hydrolysates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8536-8554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048536
Received: 15 September 2014 / Revised: 25 September 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3050 | PDF Full-text (2486 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to characterize peptides found in unprocessed amaranth hydrolysates (UAH) and extruded amaranth hydrolysates (EAH) and to determine the effect of the hydrolysis time on the profile of peptides produced. Amaranth grain was extruded in a single screw [...] Read more.
The objectives of this study were to characterize peptides found in unprocessed amaranth hydrolysates (UAH) and extruded amaranth hydrolysates (EAH) and to determine the effect of the hydrolysis time on the profile of peptides produced. Amaranth grain was extruded in a single screw extruder at 125 °C of extrusion temperature and 130 rpm of screw speed. Unprocessed and extruded amaranth flour were hydrolyzed with pepsin/pancreatin enzymes following a kinetic at 10, 25, 60, 90, 120 and 180 min for each enzyme. After 180 min of pepsin hydrolysis, aliquots were taken at each time during pancreatin hydrolysis to characterize the hydrolysates by MALDI-TOF/MS-MS. Molecular masses (MM) (527, 567, 802, 984, 1295, 1545, 2034 and 2064 Da) of peptides appeared consistently during hydrolysis, showing high intensity at 10 min (2064 Da), 120 min (802 Da) and 180 min (567 Da) in UAH. EAH showed high intensity at 10 min (2034 Da) and 120 min (984, 1295 and 1545 Da). Extrusion produced more peptides with MM lower than 1000 Da immediately after 10 min of hydrolysis. Hydrolysis time impacted on the peptide profile, as longer the time lower the MM in both amaranth hydrolysates. Sequences obtained were analyzed for their biological activity at BIOPEP, showing important inhibitory activities related to chronic diseases. These peptides could be used as a food ingredient/supplement in a healthy diet to prevent the risk to develop chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Proteins and Peptides Derived from Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Identification and Evolution of HECT Genes in Soybean
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8517-8535; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048517
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 13 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2446 | PDF Full-text (4160 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Proteins containing domains homologous to the E6-associated protein (E6-AP) carboxyl terminus (HECT) are an important class of E3 ubiquitin ligases involved in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. HECT-type E3s play crucial roles in plant growth and development. However, current understanding of plant HECT genes [...] Read more.
Proteins containing domains homologous to the E6-associated protein (E6-AP) carboxyl terminus (HECT) are an important class of E3 ubiquitin ligases involved in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. HECT-type E3s play crucial roles in plant growth and development. However, current understanding of plant HECT genes and their evolution is very limited. In this study, we performed a genome-wide analysis of the HECT domain-containing genes in soybean. Using high-quality genome sequences, we identified 19 soybean HECT genes. The predicted HECT genes were distributed unevenly across 15 of 20 chromosomes. Nineteen of these genes were inferred to be segmentally duplicated gene pairs, suggesting that in soybean, segmental duplications have made a significant contribution to the expansion of the HECT gene family. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these HECT genes can be divided into seven groups, among which gene structure and domain architecture was relatively well-conserved. The Ka/Ks ratios show that after the duplication events, duplicated HECT genes underwent purifying selection. Moreover, expression analysis reveals that 15 of the HECT genes in soybean are differentially expressed in 14 tissues, and are often highly expressed in the flowers and roots. In summary, this work provides useful information on which further functional studies of soybean HECT genes can be based. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Decisive Interactions between the Heterocyclic Moiety and the Cluster Observed in Polyoxometalate-Surfactant Hybrid Crystals
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8505-8516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048505
Received: 22 December 2014 / Revised: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1969 | PDF Full-text (2327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Inorganic-organic hybrid crystals were successfully obtained as single crystals by using polyoxotungstate anion and cationic dodecylpyridazinium (C12pda) and dodecylpyridinium (C12py) surfactants. The decatungstate (W10) anion was used as the inorganic component, and the crystal structures were compared. [...] Read more.
Inorganic-organic hybrid crystals were successfully obtained as single crystals by using polyoxotungstate anion and cationic dodecylpyridazinium (C12pda) and dodecylpyridinium (C12py) surfactants. The decatungstate (W10) anion was used as the inorganic component, and the crystal structures were compared. In the crystal comprising C12pda (C12pda-W10), the heterocyclic moiety directly interacted with W10, which contributed to a build-up of the crystal structure. On the other hand, the crystal consisting of C12py (C12py-W10) had similar crystal packing and molecular arrangement to those in the W10 crystal hybridized with other pyridinium surfactants. These results indicate the significance of the heterocyclic moiety of the surfactant to construct hybrid crystals with polyoxometalate anions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Bond and Bonding 2015)
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Open AccessArticle
1H NMR-Based Metabolic Profiling Reveals the Effects of Fluoxetine on Lipid and Amino Acid Metabolism in Astrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8490-8504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16048490
Received: 3 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2793 | PDF Full-text (2348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is a prescribed and effective antidepressant and generally used for the treatment of depression. Previous studies have revealed that the antidepressant mechanism of fluoxetine was related to astrocytes. However, the therapeutic mechanism underlying its mode of [...] Read more.
Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is a prescribed and effective antidepressant and generally used for the treatment of depression. Previous studies have revealed that the antidepressant mechanism of fluoxetine was related to astrocytes. However, the therapeutic mechanism underlying its mode of action in astrocytes remains largely unclear. In this study, primary astrocytes were exposed to 10 µM fluoxetine; 24 h post-treatment, a high-resolution proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR)-based metabolomic approach coupled with multivariate statistical analysis was used to characterize the metabolic variations of intracellular metabolites. The orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) score plots of the spectra demonstrated that the fluoxetine-treated astrocytes were significantly distinguished from the untreated controls. In total, 17 differential metabolites were identified to discriminate the two groups. These key metabolites were mainly involved in lipids, lipid metabolism-related molecules and amino acids. This is the first study to indicate that fluoxetine may exert antidepressant action by regulating the astrocyte’s lipid and amino acid metabolism. These findings should aid our understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying fluoxetine therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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