Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 17, Issue 3 (March 2016)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13) is a validated therapeutic target for a multitude of severe [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-159
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessReview
Proteomics-Based Analysis of Protein Complexes in Pluripotent Stem Cells and Cancer Biology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030432
Received: 8 October 2015 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2571 | PDF Full-text (963 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A protein complex consists of two or more proteins that are linked together through protein–protein interactions. The proteins show stable/transient and direct/indirect interactions within the protein complex or between the protein complexes. Protein complexes are involved in regulation of most of the cellular [...] Read more.
A protein complex consists of two or more proteins that are linked together through protein–protein interactions. The proteins show stable/transient and direct/indirect interactions within the protein complex or between the protein complexes. Protein complexes are involved in regulation of most of the cellular processes and molecular functions. The delineation of protein complexes is important to expand our knowledge on proteins functional roles in physiological and pathological conditions. The genetic yeast-2-hybrid method has been extensively used to characterize protein-protein interactions. Alternatively, a biochemical-based affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry (AP-MS) approach has been widely used to characterize the protein complexes. In the AP-MS method, a protein complex of a target protein of interest is purified using a specific antibody or an affinity tag (e.g., DYKDDDDK peptide (FLAG) and polyhistidine (His)) and is subsequently analyzed by means of MS. Tandem affinity purification, a two-step purification system, coupled with MS has been widely used mainly to reduce the contaminants. We review here a general principle for AP-MS-based characterization of protein complexes and we explore several protein complexes identified in pluripotent stem cell biology and cancer biology as examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advances in Proteomic Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Molecular Insight into Gut Microbiota and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030431
Received: 25 February 2016 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 4581 | PDF Full-text (734 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorder. Gut microbiota play an important role in the etiology of RA. With the considerable progress made in next-generation sequencing techniques, the identified gut microbiota difference between RA patients and healthy individuals provides an [...] Read more.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorder. Gut microbiota play an important role in the etiology of RA. With the considerable progress made in next-generation sequencing techniques, the identified gut microbiota difference between RA patients and healthy individuals provides an updated overview of the association between gut microbiota and RA. We reviewed the reported correlation and underlying molecular mechanisms among gut microbiota, the immune system, and RA. It has become known that gut microbiota contribute to the pathogenesis of RA via multiple molecular mechanisms. The progressive understanding of the dynamic interaction between gut microbiota and their host will help in establishing a highly individualized management for each RA patient, and achieve a better efficacy in clinical practice, or even discovering new drugs for RA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translational Molecular Medicine & Molecular Drug Discovery)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Koumine Attenuates Lipopolysaccaride-Stimulated Inflammation in RAW264.7 Macrophages, Coincidentally Associated with Inhibition of NF-κB, ERK and p38 Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030430
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2023 | PDF Full-text (5098 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Medicinal herbal plants have been commonly used for intervention of different diseases and health enhancement worldwide. Koumine, an alkaloid monomer found abundantly in Gelsemium plants, can be effectively used as an anti-inflammatory medication. In this study, the mechanisms associated with the preventative effect [...] Read more.
Medicinal herbal plants have been commonly used for intervention of different diseases and health enhancement worldwide. Koumine, an alkaloid monomer found abundantly in Gelsemium plants, can be effectively used as an anti-inflammatory medication. In this study, the mechanisms associated with the preventative effect of koumine on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated inflammation in RAW264.7 macrophages were investigated. Koumine induced a decrease in the level of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein, concomitant reduction in the production of nitric oxide (NO) and reduction of the levels of interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and IL-1β. Furthermore, koumine decreased the phosphorylation of p65 and inhibited nuclear factor κ Bα (IκBα) proteins, resulting in lower production of nuclear factor (NF)-κB transactivation. Koumine also induced a decrease in the phosphorylation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK) and p38 in RAW264 cells. In conclusion, these findings reveal that koumine decreases the productions of pro-inflammatory mediators though the suppression of p38 and ERK MAPK phosphorylation and the inhibition of NF-κB activation in RAW264.7 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Caveolae and Caveolin-1 Integrate Reverse Cholesterol Transport and Inflammation in Atherosclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030429
Received: 26 January 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3009 | PDF Full-text (538 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lipid disorder and inflammation play critical roles in the development of atherosclerosis. Reverse cholesterol transport is a key event in lipid metabolism. Caveolae and caveolin-1 are in the center stage of cholesterol transportation and inflammation in macrophages. Here, we propose that reverse cholesterol [...] Read more.
Lipid disorder and inflammation play critical roles in the development of atherosclerosis. Reverse cholesterol transport is a key event in lipid metabolism. Caveolae and caveolin-1 are in the center stage of cholesterol transportation and inflammation in macrophages. Here, we propose that reverse cholesterol transport and inflammation in atherosclerosis can be integrated by caveolae and caveolin-1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Targeted Delivery Systems for Molecular Therapy in Skeletal Disorders
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030428
Received: 28 November 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1847 | PDF Full-text (576 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abnormalities in the integral components of bone, including bone matrix, bone mineral and bone cells, give rise to complex disturbances of skeletal development, growth and homeostasis. Non-specific drug delivery using high-dose systemic administration may decrease therapeutic efficacy of drugs and increase the risk [...] Read more.
Abnormalities in the integral components of bone, including bone matrix, bone mineral and bone cells, give rise to complex disturbances of skeletal development, growth and homeostasis. Non-specific drug delivery using high-dose systemic administration may decrease therapeutic efficacy of drugs and increase the risk of toxic effects in non-skeletal tissues, which remain clinical challenges in the treatment of skeletal disorders. Thus, targeted delivery systems are urgently needed to achieve higher drug delivery efficiency, improve therapeutic efficacy in the targeted cells/tissues, and minimize toxicities in non-targeted cells/tissues. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the application of different targeting moieties and nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery in skeletal disorders, and also discuss the advantages, challenges and perspectives in their clinical translation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Arsenite Regulates Prolongation of Glycan Residues of Membrane Glycoprotein: A Pivotal Study via Wax Physisorption Kinetics and FTIR Imaging
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030427
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2009 | PDF Full-text (2211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Arsenic exposure results in several human cancers, including those of the skin, lung, and bladder. As skin cancers are the most common form, epidermal keratinocytes (KC) are the main target of arsenic exposure. The mechanisms by which arsenic induces carcinogenesis remains unclear, but [...] Read more.
Arsenic exposure results in several human cancers, including those of the skin, lung, and bladder. As skin cancers are the most common form, epidermal keratinocytes (KC) are the main target of arsenic exposure. The mechanisms by which arsenic induces carcinogenesis remains unclear, but aberrant cell proliferation and dysregulated energy homeostasis play a significant role. Protein glycosylation is involved in many key physiological processes, including cell proliferation and differentiation. To evaluate whether arsenite exposure affected protein glycosylation, the alteration of chain length of glycan residues in arsenite treated skin cells was estimated. Herein we demonstrated that the protein glycosylation was adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent and regulated by arsenite exposure by using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) reflectance spectroscopy, synchrotron-radiation-based FTIR (SR-FTIR) microspectroscopy, and wax physisorption kinetics coupled with focal-plane-array-based FTIR (WPK-FPA-FTIR) imaging. We were able to estimate the relative length of surface protein-linked glycan residues on arsenite-treated skin cells, including primary KC and two skin cancer cell lines, HSC-1 and HaCaT cells. Differential physisorption of wax adsorbents adhered to long-chain (elongated type) and short-chain (regular type) glycan residues of glycoprotein of skin cell samples treated with various concentration of arsenite was measured. The physisorption ratio of beeswax remain/n-pentacosane remain for KC cells was increased during arsenite exposure. Interestingly, this increase was reversed after oligomycin (an ATP synthase inhibitor) pretreatment, suggesting the chain length of protein-linked glycan residues is likely ATP-dependent. This is the first study to demonstrate the elongation and termination of surface protein-linked glycan residues using WPK-FPA-FTIR imaging in eukaryotes. Herein the result may provide a scientific basis to target surface protein-linked glycan residues in the process of arsenic carcinogenesis. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Nocturnal Pruritus: The Battle for a Peaceful Night’s Sleep
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030425
Received: 8 March 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2840 | PDF Full-text (568 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chronic pruritus is a debilitating condition with numerous etiologies. Many patients suffer from nocturnal pruritus, which can decrease quality of life and affect mortality in hemodialysis patients. Nocturnal pruritus may occur in all sleep stages but is most prevalent in stages N1 and [...] Read more.
Chronic pruritus is a debilitating condition with numerous etiologies. Many patients suffer from nocturnal pruritus, which can decrease quality of life and affect mortality in hemodialysis patients. Nocturnal pruritus may occur in all sleep stages but is most prevalent in stages N1 and N2. Further research is needed to elucidate the pathophysiology of nocturnal itch, which will aid in the development of tailored management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep, Circadian Rhythm and Skin)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Emerging Role of miRNAs in the Drug Resistance of Gastric Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030424
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 2476 | PDF Full-text (854 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Unfortunately, most gastric cancer cases are diagnosed in an advanced, non-curable stage and with a limited response to chemotherapy. Drug resistance is one of the most important causes of therapy failure in [...] Read more.
Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Unfortunately, most gastric cancer cases are diagnosed in an advanced, non-curable stage and with a limited response to chemotherapy. Drug resistance is one of the most important causes of therapy failure in gastric cancer patients. Although the mechanisms of drug resistance have been broadly studied, the regulation of these mechanisms has not been completely understood. Accumulating evidence has recently highlighted the role of microRNAs in the development and maintenance of drug resistance due to their regulatory features in specific genes involved in the chemoresistant phenotype of malignancies, including gastric cancer. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the miRNAs’ characteristics, their regulation of the genes involved in chemoresistance and their potential as targeted therapies for personalized treatment in resistant gastric cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MicroRNA in Various Disease States as Biomarkers)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
A Review of Ribonuclease 7’s Structure, Regulation, and Contributions to Host Defense
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030423
Received: 13 February 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1835 | PDF Full-text (1308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Ribonuclease A Superfamily is composed of a group of structurally similar peptides that are secreted by immune cells and epithelial tissues. Several members of the Ribonuclease A Superfamily demonstrate antimicrobial activity, and it has been suggested that some of these ribonucleases play [...] Read more.
The Ribonuclease A Superfamily is composed of a group of structurally similar peptides that are secreted by immune cells and epithelial tissues. Several members of the Ribonuclease A Superfamily demonstrate antimicrobial activity, and it has been suggested that some of these ribonucleases play an essential role in host defense. Ribonuclease 7 (RNase 7) is an epithelial-derived secreted peptide with potent broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. This review summarizes the published literature on RNase 7’s antimicrobial properties, structure, regulation, and contributions to host defense. In doing so, we conclude by highlighting key knowledge gaps that must be investigated to completely understand the potential of developing RNase 7 as a novel therapeutic for human infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial RNases in Host Defense)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Myricetin Prevents Alveolar Bone Loss in an Experimental Ovariectomized Mouse Model of Periodontitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030422
Received: 20 January 2016 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2339 | PDF Full-text (8243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Periodontitis is a common chronic inflammatory disease, which leads to alveolar bone resorption. Healthy and functional alveolar bone, which can support the teeth and enable their movement, is very important for orthodontic treatment. Myricetin inhibited osteoclastogenesis by suppressing the expression of some genes, [...] Read more.
Periodontitis is a common chronic inflammatory disease, which leads to alveolar bone resorption. Healthy and functional alveolar bone, which can support the teeth and enable their movement, is very important for orthodontic treatment. Myricetin inhibited osteoclastogenesis by suppressing the expression of some genes, signaling pathways, and cytokines. This study aimed to investigate the effects of myricetin on alveolar bone loss in an ovariectomized (OVX) mouse model of periodontitis as well as in vitro osteoclast formation and bone resorption. Twenty-four healthy eight-week-old C57BL/J6 female mice were assigned randomly to four groups: phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) control (sham) OVX + ligature + PBS (vehicle), and OVX + ligature + low or high (2 or 5 mg∙kg−1∙day−1, respectively) doses of myricetin. Myricetin or PBS was injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) every other day for 30 days. The maxillae were collected and subjected to further examination, including micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining; a resorption pit assay was also performed in vitro to evaluate the effects of myricetin on receptor activator of nuclear factor κ-B ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclastogenesis. Myricetin, at both high and low doses, prevented alveolar bone resorption and increased alveolar crest height in the mouse model and inhibited osteoclast formation and bone resorption in vitro. However, myricetin was more effective at high dose than at low dose. Our study demonstrated that myricetin had a positive effect on alveolar bone resorption in an OVX mouse model of periodontitis and, therefore, may be a potential agent for the treatment of periodontitis and osteoporosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
MicroRNAs as Biomarkers for Diagnosis, Prognosis and Theranostics in Prostate Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030421
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 3422 | PDF Full-text (1468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prostate cancer (PC) includes several phenotypes, from indolent to highly aggressive cancer. Actual diagnostic and prognostic tools have several limitations, and there is a need for new biomarkers to stratify patients and assign them optimal therapies by taking into account potential genetic and [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer (PC) includes several phenotypes, from indolent to highly aggressive cancer. Actual diagnostic and prognostic tools have several limitations, and there is a need for new biomarkers to stratify patients and assign them optimal therapies by taking into account potential genetic and epigenetic differences. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small sequences of non-coding RNA regulating specific genes involved in the onset and development of PC. Stable miRNAs have been found in biofluids, such as serum and plasma; thus, the measurement of PC-associated miRNAs is emerging as a non-invasive tool for PC detection and monitoring. In this study, we conduct an in-depth literature review focusing on miRNAs that may contribute to the diagnosis and prognosis of PC. The role of miRNAs as a potential theranostic tool in PC is discussed. Using a meta-analysis approach, we found a group of 29 miRNAs with diagnostic properties and a group of seven miRNAs with prognostic properties, which were found already expressed in both biofluids and PC tissues. We tested the two miRNA groups on The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset of PC tissue samples with a machine-learning approach. Our results suggest that these 29 miRNAs should be considered as potential panel of biomarkers for the diagnosis of PC, both as in vivo non-invasive test and ex vivo confirmation test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MicroRNA in Various Disease States as Biomarkers)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Supplementary Motor Area in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Multi-Site Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030420
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 16 February 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1896 | PDF Full-text (512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, strategies beyond pharmacological and psychological treatments have been developed for the management of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Specifically, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been employed as an adjunctive treatment in cases of treatment-refractory OCD. Here, we investigate six weeks of low frequency [...] Read more.
Recently, strategies beyond pharmacological and psychological treatments have been developed for the management of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Specifically, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been employed as an adjunctive treatment in cases of treatment-refractory OCD. Here, we investigate six weeks of low frequency rTMS, applied bilaterally and simultaneously over the sensory motor area, in OCD patients in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Twenty-two participants were randomly enrolled into the treatment (ACTIVE = 10) or placebo (SHAM = 12) groups. At each of seven visits (baseline; day 1 and weeks 2, 4, and 6 of treatment; and two and six weeks after treatment) the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) was administered. At the end of the six weeks of rTMS, patients in the ACTIVE group showed a clinically significant decrease in Y-BOCS scores compared to both the baseline and the SHAM group. This effect was maintained six weeks following the end of rTMS treatment. Therefore, in this sample, rTMS appeared to significantly improve the OCD symptoms of the treated patients beyond the treatment window. More studies need to be conducted to determine the generalizability of these findings and to define the duration of rTMS’ clinical effect on the Y-BOCS. Clinical Trial Registration Number (NCT) at www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00616486. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
LARP6 Meets Collagen mRNA: Specific Regulation of Type I Collagen Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030419
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 15 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2488 | PDF Full-text (1279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Type I collagen is the most abundant structural protein in all vertebrates, but its constitutive rate of synthesis is low due to long half-life of the protein (60–70 days). However, several hundred fold increased production of type I collagen is often seen in [...] Read more.
Type I collagen is the most abundant structural protein in all vertebrates, but its constitutive rate of synthesis is low due to long half-life of the protein (60–70 days). However, several hundred fold increased production of type I collagen is often seen in reparative or reactive fibrosis. The mechanism which is responsible for this dramatic upregulation is complex, including multiple levels of regulation. However, posttranscriptional regulation evidently plays a predominant role. Posttranscriptional regulation comprises processing, transport, stabilization and translation of mRNAs and is executed by RNA binding proteins. There are about 800 RNA binding proteins, but only one, La ribonucleoprotein domain family member 6 (LARP6), is specifically involved in type I collagen regulation. In the 5′untranslated region (5’UTR) of mRNAs encoding for type I and type III collagens there is an evolutionally conserved stem-loop (SL) structure; this structure is not found in any other mRNA, including any other collagen mRNA. LARP6 binds to the 5′SL in sequence specific manner to regulate stability of collagen mRNAs and their translatability. Here, we will review current understanding of how is LARP6 involved in posttranscriptional regulation of collagen mRNAs. We will also discuss how other proteins recruited by LARP6, including nonmuscle myosin, vimentin, serine threonine kinase receptor associated protein (STRAP), 25 kD FK506 binding protein (FKBP25) and RNA helicase A (RHA), contribute to this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation by Ribonucleoprotein Complexes)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Melanocytes Affect Nodal Expression and Signaling in Melanoma Cells: A Lesson from Pediatric Large Congenital Melanocytic Nevi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030418
Received: 15 February 2016 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2013 | PDF Full-text (3108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Expression of Nodal, a Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-β) related growth factor, is associated with aggressive melanoma. Nodal expression in adult dysplastic nevi may predict the development of aggressive melanoma in some patients. A subset of pediatric patients diagnosed with giant or large congenital [...] Read more.
Expression of Nodal, a Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-β) related growth factor, is associated with aggressive melanoma. Nodal expression in adult dysplastic nevi may predict the development of aggressive melanoma in some patients. A subset of pediatric patients diagnosed with giant or large congenital melanocytic nevi (LCMN) has shown increased risk for development of melanoma. Here, we investigate whether Nodal expression can help identify the rare cases of LCMN that develop melanoma and shed light on why the majority of these patients do not. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining results show varying degree of Nodal expression in pediatric dysplastic nevi and LCMN. Moreover, median scores from Nodal IHC expression analysis were not significantly different between these two groups. Additionally, none of the LCMN patients in this study developed melanoma, regardless of Nodal IHC levels. Co-culture experiments revealed reduced tumor growth and lower levels of Nodal and its signaling molecules P-SMAD2 and P-ERK1/2 when melanoma cells were grown in vivo or in vitro with normal melanocytes. The same was observed in melanoma cells cultured with melanocyte conditioned media containing pigmented melanocyte derived melanosomes (MDM). Since MDM contain molecules capable of inactivating radical oxygen species, to investigate potential anti-oxidant effect of MDM on Nodal expression and signaling in melanoma, melanoma cells were treated with either N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), a component of the anti-oxidant glutathione or synthetic melanin, which in addition to providing pigmentation can also exert free radical scavenging activity. Melanoma cells treated with NAC or synthetic melanin showed reduced levels of Nodal, P-SMAD2 and P-ERK1/2 compared to untreated melanoma cells. Thus, the potential role for Nodal in melanoma development in LCMN is less evident than in adult dysplastic nevi possibly due to melanocyte cross-talk in LCMN capable of offsetting or delaying the pro-melanoma effects of Nodal via anti-oxidant effects of MDM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochemistry and Mechanisms of Melanogenesis)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy: Analysis of Two Direct Metabolites of Ethanol in Meconium
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030417
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2196 | PDF Full-text (7941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Alcohol consumption in young women is a widespread habit that may continue during pregnancy and induce alterations in the fetus. We aimed to characterize prevalence of alcohol consumption in parturient women and to assess fetal ethanol exposure in their newborns by analyzing two [...] Read more.
Alcohol consumption in young women is a widespread habit that may continue during pregnancy and induce alterations in the fetus. We aimed to characterize prevalence of alcohol consumption in parturient women and to assess fetal ethanol exposure in their newborns by analyzing two direct metabolites of ethanol in meconium. This is a cross-sectional study performed in September 2011 and March 2012 in a series of women admitted to an obstetric unit following childbirth. During admission, socio-demographic and substance use (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, and opiates) during pregnancy were assessed using a structured questionnaire and clinical charts. We also recorded the characteristics of pregnancy, childbirth, and neonates. The meconium analysis was performed by liquid chromatography—tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to detect the presence of ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and ethyl sulfate (EtS). Fifty-one parturient and 52 neonates were included and 48 meconium samples were suitable for EtG and EtS detection. The median age of women was 30 years (interquartile range (IQR): 26–34 years); EtG was present in all meconium samples and median concentration of EtG was 67.9 ng/g (IQR: 36.0–110.6 ng/g). With respect to EtS, it was undetectable (<0.01 ng/g) in the majority of samples (79.1%). Only three (6%) women reported alcohol consumption during pregnancy in face-to-face interviews. However, prevalence of fetal exposure to alcohol through the detection of EtG and EtS was 4.2% and 16.7%, respectively. Prevention of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and the detection of substance use with markers of fetal exposure are essential components of maternal and child health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcoholism: Molecular Mechanisms and Treatment Strategies)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Immunogenicity and Cross-Protective Efficacy Induced by Outer Membrane Proteins from Salmonella Typhimurium Mutants with Truncated LPS in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030416
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3639 | PDF Full-text (5000 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major virulence factor present in the outer membrane of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). Outer membrane proteins (OMPs) from Salmonella show high immunogenicity and provide protection against Salmonella infection, and truncated LPS alters the outer membrane composition [...] Read more.
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major virulence factor present in the outer membrane of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). Outer membrane proteins (OMPs) from Salmonella show high immunogenicity and provide protection against Salmonella infection, and truncated LPS alters the outer membrane composition of the cell wall. In our previous study, we demonstrated that Salmonella mutants carrying truncated LPS failed to induce strong immune responses and cross-reaction to other enteric bacteria, due to their high attenuation and low colonization in the host. Therefore, we plan to investigate whether outer membrane proteins from Salmonella mutants with truncated LPS resulting from a series of nonpolar mutations, including ∆waaC12, ∆waaF15, ∆waaG42, ∆rfaH49, ∆waaI43, ∆waaJ44, ∆waaL46, ∆wbaP45 and ∆wzy-48, affect immunogenicity and provide protection against diverse Salmonella challenge. In this study, the immunogenicity and cross-protection efficiency of purified OMPs from all mutants were investigated to explore a potential OMP vaccine to protect against homologous or heterologous serotype Salmonella challenge. The results demonstrated that OMPs from three Salmonella mutants (∆waaC12, ∆waaJ44 and ∆waaL46) induced higher immune responses and provided good protection against homologous S. Typhimurium. The OMPs from these three mutants were also selected to determine the cross-protective efficacy against homologous and heterologous serotype Salmonella. Our results indicated that the mutant ∆waaC12 can elicit higher cross-reactivity and can provide good protection against S. Choleraesuis and S. Enteritidis infection and that the cross-reactivity may be ascribed to an antigen of approximately 18.4–30 kDa. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessConference Report
Ocular Stem Cell Research from Basic Science to Clinical Application: A Report from Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center Ocular Stem Cell Symposium
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030415
Received: 27 February 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3489 | PDF Full-text (995 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stem cells hold promise for treating a wide variety of diseases, including degenerative disorders of the eye. The eye is an ideal organ for stem cell therapy because of its relative immunological privilege, surgical accessibility, and its being a self-contained system. The eye [...] Read more.
Stem cells hold promise for treating a wide variety of diseases, including degenerative disorders of the eye. The eye is an ideal organ for stem cell therapy because of its relative immunological privilege, surgical accessibility, and its being a self-contained system. The eye also has many potential target diseases amenable to stem cell-based treatment, such as corneal limbal stem cell deficiency, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Among them, AMD and glaucoma are the two most common diseases, affecting over 200 million people worldwide. Recent results on the clinical trial of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in treating dry AMD and Stargardt’s disease in the US, Japan, England, and China have generated great excitement and hope. This marks the beginning of the ocular stem cell therapy era. The recent Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center Ocular Stem Cell Symposium discussed the potential applications of various stem cell types in stem cell-based therapies, drug discoveries and tissue engineering for treating ocular diseases. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Disrupted Homeostatic Cytokines Expression in Secondary Lymph Organs during HIV Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030413
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1802 | PDF Full-text (2740 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research has firmly established that infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) leads to structural disruption in secondary lymph organs (SLOs) and that IL-7 expression by SLOs is downregulated in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaques. However, the foregoing has not been demonstrated in [...] Read more.
Research has firmly established that infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) leads to structural disruption in secondary lymph organs (SLOs) and that IL-7 expression by SLOs is downregulated in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaques. However, the foregoing has not been demonstrated in HIV-infected patients. As well, SLO-produced chemokines and cytokines, other than IL-7, have not been tested. In this study, SLOs in HIV-infected patients exhibit decreased levels of lymphoid cytokines, such as IL-7 and C–C motif chemokine ligand 21 (CCL21), due to lower expression of lymphotoxin (LT)-β. Previous research has shown that LT-β is produced mainly by CD4+T cells in rhesus macaques, while our study found the same level of LT-β expressed by CD4+T and CD8+T cells in humans. CD8+T cells substitute for depleted CD4+T cells LT-β production. Only the total number of CD3+T cells can account for the majority of LT-β in human SLOs. This study indicates a possible mechanism and a potential target for improvement of SLO function in HIV-infected patients, a novel adjuvant therapy for AIDS. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Biodegradation of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Macrophages through Respiratory Burst Modulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030409
Received: 22 February 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2267 | PDF Full-text (6041 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The biodegradation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may be one of major determinants of the toxic outcomes in exposed individuals. In this study, we employed a macrophage/monocyte model, Raw264.7, to investigate the feasibility of regulating the biodegradation of three types of single-walled carbon nanotubes [...] Read more.
The biodegradation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may be one of major determinants of the toxic outcomes in exposed individuals. In this study, we employed a macrophage/monocyte model, Raw264.7, to investigate the feasibility of regulating the biodegradation of three types of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) (pristine, ox-, and OH-SWCNTs) by respiratory burst modulation. An artificial fluid mimicking the enzymatic reactions of respiratory burst was constituted to reveal the role of respiratory burst played in SWCNT biodegradation. The biodegradation of SWCNTs were characterized by Raman, ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Our results showed significantly accelerated biodegradation of ox-SWCNTs and OH-SWCNTs in macrophages activated by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), which could be prevented by N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), whereas p-SWCNTs were resistant to biodegradation. Similar tendencies were observed by using the in vitro enzymatic system, and the degradation rates of these SWCNTs are in the order of OH-SWCNTs > ox-SWCNTs >> p-SWCNTs, suggesting a pivotal role of respiratory burst in accelerating the biodegradation of SWCNTs and that defect sites on SWCNTs might be a prerequisite for the biodegradation to occur. Our findings might provide invaluable clues on the development of intervention measurements for relieving the side effects of SWCNTs and would help to design safer SWCNT products with higher biodegradability and less toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inorganic Nanostructures in Biological Systems)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Activin A-Smad Signaling Mediates Connective Tissue Growth Factor Synthesis in Liver Progenitor Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030408
Received: 10 December 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2783 | PDF Full-text (5777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Liver progenitor cells (LPCs) are activated in chronic liver damage and may contribute to liver fibrosis. Our previous investigation reported that LPCs produced connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2), an inducer of liver fibrosis, yet the regulatory mechanism of the production of CTGF/CCN2 in [...] Read more.
Liver progenitor cells (LPCs) are activated in chronic liver damage and may contribute to liver fibrosis. Our previous investigation reported that LPCs produced connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2), an inducer of liver fibrosis, yet the regulatory mechanism of the production of CTGF/CCN2 in LPCs remains elusive. In this study, we report that Activin A is an inducer of CTGF/CCN2 in LPCs. Here we show that expression of both Activin A and CTGF/CCN2 were upregulated in the cirrhotic liver, and the expression of Activin A positively correlates with that of CTGF/CCN2 in liver tissues. We go on to show that Activin A induced de novo synthesis of CTGF/CCN2 in LPC cell lines LE/6 and WB-F344. Furthermore, Activin A contributed to autonomous production of CTGF/CCN2 in liver progenitor cells (LPCs) via activation of the Smad signaling pathway. Smad2, 3 and 4 were all required for this induction. Collectively, these results provide evidence for the fibrotic role of LPCs in the liver and suggest that the Activin A-Smad-CTGF/CCN2 signaling in LPCs may be a therapeutic target of liver fibrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Expression Analysis of STAT Members from Synechogobius hasta and Their Roles in Leptin Affecting Lipid Metabolism
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030406
Received: 11 February 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1867 | PDF Full-text (3285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Signal transducers and activators of transcription proteins (STATs) act as important mediators in multiple biological processes induced by a large number of cytokines. In the present study, full-length cDNA sequences of seven STAT members, including some splicing variants different from those in mammals, [...] Read more.
Signal transducers and activators of transcription proteins (STATs) act as important mediators in multiple biological processes induced by a large number of cytokines. In the present study, full-length cDNA sequences of seven STAT members, including some splicing variants different from those in mammals, were obtained from Synechogobius hasta. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the seven STAT members were derived from paralogous genes that might have arisen by whole genome duplication (WGD) events during vertebrate evolution. All of these members share similar domain structure compared with those of mammals, and were widely expressed across the tested tissues (brain, gill, heart, intestine, liver, muscle and spleen), but at variable levels. Incubation in vitro of recombinant human leptin changed the intracellular triglyceride (TG) content and mRNA levels of several STATs members, as well as expressions and activities of genes involved in lipid metabolism. Furthermore, Tyrphostin B42 (AG490), a specific inhibitor of the Janus Kinase 2(JAK2)-STAT pathway, partially reversed leptin-induced change on STAT3 and its two spliced isoforms expression, as well as expressions and activities of genes involved in lipid metabolism. As a consequence, the decrease of TG content was also reversed. Thus, our study suggests that STAT3 is the requisite for the leptin signal and the activation of the STAT3 member may account for the leptin-induced changes in lipid metabolism in S. hasta. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fish Molecular Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
C/EBP β Mediates Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Regulated Inflammatory Response and Extracellular Matrix Degradation in LPS-Stimulated Human Periodontal Ligament Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030385
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2427 | PDF Full-text (983 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Periodontitis is an oral inflammatory disease that not only affects the integrity of local tooth-supporting tissues but also impacts systemic health. A compositional shift in oral microbiota has been considered as the main cause of periodontitis; however, the potential mechanism has not been [...] Read more.
Periodontitis is an oral inflammatory disease that not only affects the integrity of local tooth-supporting tissues but also impacts systemic health. A compositional shift in oral microbiota has been considered as the main cause of periodontitis; however, the potential mechanism has not been fully defined. Herein, we investigated the role of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBP β), a member of the C/EBP family of transcription factors, in human periodontal ligament cells (hPDLCs) exposed to Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) lipopolysaccharide (LPS). RT-PCR and Western blotting analysis showed that the expression of C/EBP β was significantly increased in hPDLCs stimulated with LPS stimuli. Overexpression of C/EBP β by the recombinant adenoviral vector pAd/C/EBP β markedly increased the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-8 and -9 in hPDLCs in response to LPS. Furthermore, the activation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was confirmed in LPS-stimulated hPDLCs by measuring the expression of the ER stress marker molecules protein kinase-like ER kinase (PERK), eIF2α, GRP78/Bip, and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). The ER stress inhibitor salubrinal repressed, but inducer tunicamycin enhanced, the production of IL-6, IL-8, MMP-8, and MMP-9 in hPDLCs. Additionally, ER stress inducer tunicamycin significantly increased the expression level of C/EBP β in hPDLCs. Blocking of C/EBP β by siRNA resulted in a significant decrease in the secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 and expression of MMP-8 and MMP-9 induced by tunicamycin treatment in hPDLCs. Taken together, ER stress appears to play a regulatory role in the inflammatory response and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation in hPDLCs in response to LPS stimuli by activating C/EBP β expression. This enhances our understanding of human periodontitis pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulators of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Antiallergic Phorbol Ester from the Seeds of Aquilaria malaccensis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030398
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2645 | PDF Full-text (1037 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Aquilaria malaccensis (Thymelaeaceae) tree is a source of precious fragrant resin, called agarwood, which is widely used in traditional medicines in East Asia against diseases such as asthma. In our continuous search for active natural products, A. malaccensis seeds ethanolic extract demonstrated [...] Read more.
The Aquilaria malaccensis (Thymelaeaceae) tree is a source of precious fragrant resin, called agarwood, which is widely used in traditional medicines in East Asia against diseases such as asthma. In our continuous search for active natural products, A. malaccensis seeds ethanolic extract demonstrated antiallergic effect with an IC50 value less than 1 µg/mL. Therefore, the present research aimed to purify and identify the antiallergic principle of A. malaccensis through a bioactivity-guided fractionation approach. We found that phorbol ester-rich fraction was responsible for the antiallergic activity of A. malaccensis seeds. One new active phorbol ester, 12-O-(2Z,4E,6E)-tetradeca-2,4,6-trienoylphorbol-13-acetate, aquimavitalin (1) was isolated. The structure of 1 was assigned by means of 1D and 2D NMR data and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS). Aquimavitalin (1) showed strong inhibitory activity in A23187- and antigen-induced degranulation assay with IC50 values of 1.7 and 11 nM, respectively, with a therapeutic index up to 71,000. The antiallergic activities of A. malaccensis seeds and aquimavitalin (1) have never been revealed before. The results indicated that A. malaccensis seeds and the pure compound have the potential for use in the treatment of allergy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Mechanism of Action of Food Components in Disease Prevention)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessEditorial
Announcing the International Journal of Molecular Sciences Junior Scientists Travel Awards 2016
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030405
Received: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 19 March 2016
Viewed by 1426 | PDF Full-text (1116 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the goal of recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of molecular sciences by early-career investigators, including assistant professors, postdoctoral students and PhD students, [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study of Molecular Structure, pKa, Lipophilicity, Solubility, Absorption and Polar Surface Area of Some Antiplatelet Drugs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030388
Received: 18 February 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 19 March 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2640 | PDF Full-text (1740 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Theoretical chemistry methods have been used to study the molecular properties of antiplatelet agents (ticlopidine, clopidogrel, prasugrel, elinogrel, ticagrelor and cangrelor) and several thiol-containing active metabolites. The geometries and energies of most stable conformers of these drugs have been computed at the Becke3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) [...] Read more.
Theoretical chemistry methods have been used to study the molecular properties of antiplatelet agents (ticlopidine, clopidogrel, prasugrel, elinogrel, ticagrelor and cangrelor) and several thiol-containing active metabolites. The geometries and energies of most stable conformers of these drugs have been computed at the Becke3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) level of density functional theory. Computed dissociation constants show that the active metabolites of prodrugs (ticlopidine, clopidogrel and prasugrel) and drugs elinogrel and cangrelor are completely ionized at pH 7.4. Both ticagrelor and its active metabolite are present at pH = 7.4 in neutral undissociated form. The thienopyridine prodrugs ticlopidine, clopidogrel and prasugrel are lipophilic and insoluble in water. Their lipophilicity is very high (about 2.5–3.5 logP values). The polar surface area, with regard to the structurally-heterogeneous character of these antiplatelet drugs, is from very large interval of values of 3–255 Å2. Thienopyridine prodrugs, like ticlopidine, clopidogrel and prasugrel, with the lowest polar surface area (PSA) values, exhibit the largest absorption. A high value of polar surface area (PSA) of cangrelor (255 Å2) results in substantial worsening of the absorption in comparison with thienopyridine drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Role of KV7.3 in Regulating Osteoblast Maturation and Mineralization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030407
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2090 | PDF Full-text (9487 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
KCNQ (KV7) channels are voltage-gated potassium (KV) channels, and the function of KV7 channels in muscles, neurons, and sensory cells is well established. We confirmed that overall blockade of KV channels with tetraethylammonium augmented the mineralization [...] Read more.
KCNQ (KV7) channels are voltage-gated potassium (KV) channels, and the function of KV7 channels in muscles, neurons, and sensory cells is well established. We confirmed that overall blockade of KV channels with tetraethylammonium augmented the mineralization of bone-marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells during osteogenic differentiation, and we determined that KV7.3 was expressed in MG-63 and Saos-2 cells at the mRNA and protein levels. In addition, functional KV7 currents were detected in MG-63 cells. Inhibition of KV7.3 by linopirdine or XE991 increased the matrix mineralization during osteoblast differentiation. This was confirmed by alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and osterix in MG-63 cells, whereas the expression of Runx2 showed no significant change. The extracellular glutamate secreted by osteoblasts was also measured to investigate its effect on MG-63 osteoblast differentiation. Blockade of KV7.3 promoted the release of glutamate via the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2-mediated upregulation of synapsin, and induced the deposition of type 1 collagen. However, activation of KV7.3 by flupirtine did not produce notable changes in matrix mineralization during osteoblast differentiation. These results suggest that KV7.3 could be a novel regulator in osteoblast differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
First-Generation Antipsychotic Haloperidol Alters the Functionality of the Late Endosomal/Lysosomal Compartment in Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030404
Received: 26 January 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1729 | PDF Full-text (1433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
First- and second-generation antipsychotics (FGAs and SGAs, respectively), have the ability to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis and also to interrupt the intracellular cholesterol trafficking, interfering with low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-derived cholesterol egress from late endosomes/lysosomes. In the present work, we examined the effects of FGA [...] Read more.
First- and second-generation antipsychotics (FGAs and SGAs, respectively), have the ability to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis and also to interrupt the intracellular cholesterol trafficking, interfering with low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-derived cholesterol egress from late endosomes/lysosomes. In the present work, we examined the effects of FGA haloperidol on the functionality of late endosomes/lysosomes in vitro. In HepG2 hepatocarcinoma cells incubated in the presence of 1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanineperchlorate (DiI)-LDL, treatment with haloperidol caused the enlargement of organelles positive for late endosome markers lysosome-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP-2) and LBPA (lysobisphosphatidic acid), which also showed increased content of both free-cholesterol and DiI derived from LDL. This indicates the accumulation of LDL-lipids in the late endosomal/lysosomal compartment caused by haloperidol. In contrast, LDL traffic through early endosomes and the Golgi apparatus appeared to be unaffected by the antipsychotic as the distribution of both early endosome antigen 1 (EEA1) and coatomer subunit β (β-COP) were not perturbed. Notably, treatment with haloperidol significantly increased the lysosomal pH and decreased the activities of lysosomal protease and β-d-galactosidase in a dose-dependent manner. We conclude that the alkalinization of the lysosomes’ internal milieu induced by haloperidol affects lysosomal functionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antipsychotics)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Evolving Diversity of Hepatitis C Viruses in Yunnan Honghe, China
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030403
Received: 16 January 2016 / Revised: 26 February 2016 / Accepted: 9 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1749 | PDF Full-text (2074 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Chinese Honghe Autonomous Prefecture (Honghe) in Yunnan Province is a unique ethnic area because it is inhabited by more than ten different minority ethnic groups. Geographically, Honghe directly shares a border with Vietnam. The objective of this study was to investigate genetic [...] Read more.
The Chinese Honghe Autonomous Prefecture (Honghe) in Yunnan Province is a unique ethnic area because it is inhabited by more than ten different minority ethnic groups. Geographically, Honghe directly shares a border with Vietnam. The objective of this study was to investigate genetic diversity and distribution of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Honghe. Ninety nine subjects who were infected with HCV or HCV/HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1) were recruited into this study. HCV genotypes and subtypes were determined based on the sequences of the core/envelope 1 (C/E1) and the nonstructural protein 5B (NS5B) genomic regions. The viral diversity and origins of dissemination were examined by phylogenetic analyses. Three HCV genotypes (1, 3 and 6) with six subtypes (1b, 3b, 3a, 6a, 6n and 6v) were identified. The most predominant form was genotype 3 (54.6%) followed by 6 (34.3%), and 1 (9.1%). The HCV subtype 3b appeared to be the most frequent form (38.4%) followed by 6n (20.2%) and 3a (16.2%). Statistical analyses suggested a possible rise of the genotype 6a in Honghe among intravenous drug users with HCV/HIV co-infections. Further phylogenetic analyses suggested that similar HCV-6a viruses might have been circulating in the Honghe area for more than a decade, which likely originated from Vietnam or vice versa. Two HCV samples with single HCV infection (SC34 and SC45) were isolated that could represent new recombinant variants. Although the genetic prevalence of HCV in Honghe is in general agreement with that of Southwest China and Yunnan Province, the diversity of HCV genotypes and subtypes in Honghe is somewhat unique and evolving. Information presented here should provide useful information for future health surveillance and prevention of HCV infection in this area. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Novel Pretreatment-Free Duplex Chamber Digital PCR Detection System for the Absolute Quantitation of GMO Samples
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030402
Received: 16 January 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2361 | PDF Full-text (1952 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has developed rapidly since it was first reported in the 1990s. However, pretreatments are often required during preparation for digital PCR, which can increase operation error. The single-plex amplification of both the target and reference genes may cause [...] Read more.
Digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has developed rapidly since it was first reported in the 1990s. However, pretreatments are often required during preparation for digital PCR, which can increase operation error. The single-plex amplification of both the target and reference genes may cause uncertainties due to the different reaction volumes and the matrix effect. In the current study, a quantitative detection system based on the pretreatment-free duplex chamber digital PCR was developed. The dynamic range, limit of quantitation (LOQ), sensitivity and specificity were evaluated taking the GA21 event as the experimental object. Moreover, to determine the factors that may influence the stability of the duplex system, we evaluated whether the pretreatments, the primary and secondary structures of the probes and the SNP effect influence the detection. The results showed that the LOQ was 0.5% and the sensitivity was 0.1%. We also found that genome digestion and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sites affect the detection results, whereas the unspecific hybridization within different probes had little side effect. This indicated that the detection system was suited for both chamber-based and droplet-based digital PCR. In conclusion, we have provided a simple and flexible way of achieving absolute quantitation for genetically modified organism (GMO) genome samples using commercial digital PCR detection systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Biosurfactants: Multifunctional Biomolecules of the 21st Century
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030401
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 117 | Viewed by 6656 | PDF Full-text (3431 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the era of global industrialisation, the exploration of natural resources has served as a source of experimentation for science and advanced technologies, giving rise to the manufacturing of products with high aggregate value in the world market, such as biosurfactants. Biosurfactants are [...] Read more.
In the era of global industrialisation, the exploration of natural resources has served as a source of experimentation for science and advanced technologies, giving rise to the manufacturing of products with high aggregate value in the world market, such as biosurfactants. Biosurfactants are amphiphilic microbial molecules with hydrophilic and hydrophobic moieties that partition at liquid/liquid, liquid/gas or liquid/solid interfaces. Such characteristics allow these biomolecules to play a key role in emulsification, foam formation, detergency and dispersal, which are desirable qualities in different industries. Biosurfactant production is considered one of the key technologies for development in the 21st century. Besides exerting a strong positive impact on the main global problems, biosurfactant production has considerable importance to the implantation of sustainable industrial processes, such as the use of renewable resources and “green” products. Biodegradability and low toxicity have led to the intensification of scientific studies on a wide range of industrial applications for biosurfactants in the field of bioremediation as well as the petroleum, food processing, health, chemical, agricultural and cosmetic industries. In this paper, we offer an extensive review regarding knowledge accumulated over the years and advances achieved in the incorporation of biomolecules in different industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
Figures

Figure 1

Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top