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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 20, Issue 16 (August-2 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Although surfactant Protein B (SP-B) plays an essential role in breathing, its structural [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: Roles of Mitochondria CYP1B1 and Melatonergic Pathways in Co-Ordinating Wider Pathophysiology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4068; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164068
Received: 23 July 2019 / Revised: 11 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) can be adaptive, as arising from exercise, or pathological, most commonly when driven by hypertension. The pathophysiology of LVH is consistently associated with an increase in cytochrome P450 (CYP)1B1 and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and a decrease in sirtuins [...] Read more.
Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) can be adaptive, as arising from exercise, or pathological, most commonly when driven by hypertension. The pathophysiology of LVH is consistently associated with an increase in cytochrome P450 (CYP)1B1 and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and a decrease in sirtuins and mitochondria functioning. Treatment is usually targeted to hypertension management, although it is widely accepted that treatment outcomes could be improved with cardiomyocyte hypertrophy targeted interventions. The current article reviews the wide, but disparate, bodies of data pertaining to LVH pathoetiology and pathophysiology, proposing a significant role for variations in the N-acetylserotonin (NAS)/melatonin ratio within mitochondria in driving the biological underpinnings of LVH. Heightened levels of mitochondria CYP1B1 drive the ‘backward’ conversion of melatonin to NAS, resulting in a loss of the co-operative interactions of melatonin and sirtuin-3 within mitochondria. NAS activates the brain-derived neurotrophic factor receptor, TrkB, leading to raised trophic signalling via cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP)-response element binding protein (CREB) and the MAPKs, which are significantly increased in LVH. The gut microbiome may be intimately linked to how stress and depression associate with LVH and hypertension, with gut microbiome derived butyrate, and other histone deacetylase inhibitors, significant modulators of the melatonergic pathways and LVH more generally. This provides a model of LVH that has significant treatment and research implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Strategies for Cardiac Protection and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated Analysis of miRNA and mRNA Endorses a Twenty miRNAs Signature for Colorectal Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164067
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 17 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks as the most frequent carcinoma worldwide. CRC patients show strong prognostic differences and responses to treatment, and 20% have incurable metastatic disease at diagnosis. We considered it essential to investigate mechanisms that control cellular regulatory networks, such as the [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks as the most frequent carcinoma worldwide. CRC patients show strong prognostic differences and responses to treatment, and 20% have incurable metastatic disease at diagnosis. We considered it essential to investigate mechanisms that control cellular regulatory networks, such as the miRNA–mRNA interaction, known to be involved in cancer pathogenesis. We conducted a human miRNome analysis by TaqMan low density array, comparing CRC to normal colon tissue (NCT, and experimentally identified gene targets of miRNAs deregulated, by anti-correlation analysis, with the CRC whole-transcriptome profile obtained from RNASeq experiments. We identified an integrated signature of 20 deregulated miRNAs in CRC. Enrichment analyses of the gene targets controlled by these miRNAs brought to light 25 genes, members of pathways known to lead to cell growth and death (CCND1, NKD1, FZD3, MAD2L1, etc.), such as cell metabolism (ACSL6, PRPS1-2). A screening of prognosis-mediated miRNAs underlined that the overexpression of miR-224 promotes CRC metastasis, and is associated with high stage and poor survival. These findings suggest that the biology and progression of CRC depend on deregulation of multiple miRNAs that cause a complex dysfunction of cellular molecular networks. Our results have further established miRNA–mRNA interactions and defined multiple pathways involved in CRC pathogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Anti-Apoptotic and Anti-Oxidant Proteins in Glioblastomas: Immunohistochemical Expression of Beclin and DJ-1 and Its Correlation with Prognosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164066
Received: 13 July 2019 / Revised: 13 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
DJ-1 deglycase is a protein with anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic properties and its role in oncogenesis is controversial. Indeed in primary breast cancer and non-small-cell lung carcinoma, its higher expression was shown in more aggressive tumors while in other neoplasms (e.g., pancreatic adenocarcinoma), higher [...] Read more.
DJ-1 deglycase is a protein with anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic properties and its role in oncogenesis is controversial. Indeed in primary breast cancer and non-small-cell lung carcinoma, its higher expression was shown in more aggressive tumors while in other neoplasms (e.g., pancreatic adenocarcinoma), higher expression was related to better prognosis. Beclin has a relevant role in autophagy and cellular death regulation, processes that are well known to be impaired in neoplastic cells. DJ-1 shows the ability to modulate signal transduction. It can modulate autophagy through many signaling pathways, a process that can mediate either cell survival or cell death depending on the circumstances. Previously, it has been suggested that the involvement of DJ-1 in autophagy regulation may play a role in tumorigenesis. The aim of our study was to investigate the link between DJ-1 and Beclin-1 in glioblastoma through the immunohistochemical expression of such proteins and to correlate the data obtained with prognosis. Protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry and the immunoscores were correlated with clinicopathologic parameters. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were generated. A statistically significant association between DJ-1 score and recurrence (p = 0.0189) and between the former and Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutation (p = 0.0072) was observed. Kaplan–Meier survival curve analysis revealed that a higher DJ-1 score was associated with longer overall survival (p = 0.0253, ĸ2 = 5.005). Furthermore, an unexpected direct correlation (p = 0.0424, r = 0.4009) between DJ-1 and Beclin score was evident. The most significant result of the present study was the evidence of high DJ-1 expression in IDH-mutant tumors and in cases with longer overall survival. This finding could aid, together with IDH1, in the identification of glioblastomas with better prognosis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Roles of Plant Hormones and Their Interactions with Regulatory Genes in Determining Meristem Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164065
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Plants, unlike animals, have developed a unique system in which they continue to form organs throughout their entire life cycle, even after embryonic development. This is possible because plants possess a small group of pluripotent stem cells in their meristems. The shoot apical [...] Read more.
Plants, unlike animals, have developed a unique system in which they continue to form organs throughout their entire life cycle, even after embryonic development. This is possible because plants possess a small group of pluripotent stem cells in their meristems. The shoot apical meristem (SAM) plays a key role in forming all of the aerial structures of plants, including floral meristems (FMs). The FMs subsequently give rise to the floral organs containing reproductive structures. Studies in the past few decades have revealed the importance of transcription factors and secreted peptides in meristem activity using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Recent advances in genomic, transcriptomic, imaging, and modeling technologies have allowed us to explore the interplay between transcription factors, secreted peptides, and plant hormones. Two different classes of plant hormones, cytokinins and auxins, and their interaction are particularly important for controlling SAM and FM development. This review focuses on the current issues surrounding the crosstalk between the hormonal and genetic regulatory network during meristem self-renewal and organogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Circulating miRNAs as Potential Biomarkers Associated with Cardiac Remodeling and Fibrosis in Chagas Disease Cardiomyopathy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164064
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 July 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Chagas disease (CD) affects approximately 6–7 million people worldwide, from which 30% develop chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy (CCC), usually after being asymptomatic for years. Currently available diagnostic methods are capable of adequately identifying infected patients, but do not provide information regarding the individual risk [...] Read more.
Chagas disease (CD) affects approximately 6–7 million people worldwide, from which 30% develop chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy (CCC), usually after being asymptomatic for years. Currently available diagnostic methods are capable of adequately identifying infected patients, but do not provide information regarding the individual risk of developing the most severe form of the disease. The identification of biomarkers that predict the progression from asymptomatic or indeterminate form to CCC, may guide early implementation of pharmacological therapy. Here, six circulating microRNAs (miR-19a-3p, miR-21-5p, miR-29b-3p, miR-30a-5p, miR-199b-5p and miR-208a-3p) were evaluated and compared among patients with CCC (n = 28), CD indeterminate form (n = 10) and healthy controls (n = 10). MiR-19a-3p, miR-21-5p, and miR-29b-3p were differentially expressed in CCC patients when compared to indeterminate form, showing a positive correlation with cardiac dysfunction, functional class, and fibrosis, and a negative correlation with ejection fraction and left ventricular strain. Cardiac tissue analysis confirmed increased expression of microRNAs in CCC patients. In vitro studies using human cells indicated the involvement of these microRNAs in the processes of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. Our study suggests that miRNAs are involved in the process of cardiac fibrosis and remodeling presented in CD and indicate a group of miRNAs as potential biomarkers of disease progression in CCC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
MicroRNA-15a Regulates the Differentiation of Intramuscular Preadipocytes by Targeting ACAA1, ACOX1 and SCP2 in Chickens
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164063
Received: 22 June 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 19 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Our previous studies showed that microRNA-15a (miR-15a) was closely related to intramuscular fat (IMF) deposition in chickens; however, its regulatory mechanism remains unclear. Here, we evaluated the expression characteristics of miR-15a and its relationship with the expression of acetyl-CoA acyltransferase 1 (ACAA1 [...] Read more.
Our previous studies showed that microRNA-15a (miR-15a) was closely related to intramuscular fat (IMF) deposition in chickens; however, its regulatory mechanism remains unclear. Here, we evaluated the expression characteristics of miR-15a and its relationship with the expression of acetyl-CoA acyltransferase 1 (ACAA1), acyl-CoA oxidase 1 (ACOX1) and sterol carrier protein 2 (SCP2) by qPCR analysis in Gushi chicken breast muscle at 6, 14, 22, and 30 weeks old, where we performed transfection tests of miR-15a mimics in intramuscular preadipocytes and verified the target gene of miR-15a in chicken fibroblasts (DF1). The miR-15a expression level at 30 weeks increased 13.5, 4.5, and 2.7-fold compared with the expression levels at 6, 14, and 22 weeks, respectively. After 6 days of induction, miR-15a over-expression significantly promoted intramuscular adipogenic differentiation and increased cholesterol and triglyceride accumulation in adipocytes. Meanwhile, 48 h after transfection with miR-15a mimics, the expression levels of ACAA1, ACOX1 and SCP2 genes decreased by 56.52%, 31.18% and 37.14% at the mRNA level in intramuscular preadipocytes. In addition, the co-transfection of miR-15a mimics and ACAA1, ACOX1 and SCP2 3′UTR (untranslated region) dual-luciferase vector significantly inhibited dual-luciferase activity in DF1 cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that miR-15a can reduce fatty acid oxidation by targeting ACAA1, ACOX1, and SCP2, which subsequently indirectly promotes the differentiation of chicken intramuscular preadipocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
BA-12 Inhibits Angiogenesis via Glutathione Metabolism Activation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164062
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 18 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
There is a need for an efficient and low-cost leading compound discovery mode. However, drug development remains slow, expensive, and risky. Here, this manuscript proposes a leading compound discovery strategy based on a combination of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulae and pharmacochemistry, using [...] Read more.
There is a need for an efficient and low-cost leading compound discovery mode. However, drug development remains slow, expensive, and risky. Here, this manuscript proposes a leading compound discovery strategy based on a combination of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulae and pharmacochemistry, using a ligustrazine–betulinic acid derivative (BA-12) in the treatment of angiogenesis as an example. Blocking angiogenesis to inhibit the growth and metastasis of solid tumors is currently one recognized therapy for cancer in the clinic. Firstly, based on a traditional Prunella vulgaris plaster, BA-12 was synthesized according to our previous study, as it exhibited better antitumor activities than other derivatives on human bladder carcinoma cells (T24); it was then uploaded for target prediction. Secondly, the efficacy and biotoxicity of BA-12 on angiogenesis were evaluated using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), a quail chick chorioallantoic membrane, and Caenorhabditis elegans. According to the prediction results, the main mechanisms of BA-12 were metabolic pathways. Thus, multiple metabolomics approaches were applied to reveal the mechanisms of BA-12. Finally, the predictive mechanisms of BA-12 on glutathione metabolism and glycerophospholipid metabolism activation were validated using targeted metabolomics and pharmacological assays. This strategy may provide a reference for highly efficient drug discovery, with the aim of sharing TCM wisdom for unmet clinical needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pharmacology)
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Open AccessReview
Can Nrf2 Modulate the Development of Intestinal Fibrosis and Cancer in Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164061
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
One of the main mechanisms carried out by the cells to counteract several forms of stress is the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) signaling. Nrf2 signaling controls the expression of many genes through the binding of a specific cis [...] Read more.
One of the main mechanisms carried out by the cells to counteract several forms of stress is the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) signaling. Nrf2 signaling controls the expression of many genes through the binding of a specific cis-acting element known as the antioxidant response element (ARE). Activation of Nrf2/ARE signaling can mitigate several pathologic mechanisms associated with an autoimmune response, digestive and metabolic disorders, as well as respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, several studies have demonstrated that Nrf2 pathway plays a key role in inflammation and in cancer development in many organs, including the intestine. Nrf2 appears to be involved in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an immune-mediated chronic and disabling disease, with a high risk of developing intestinal fibrotic strictures and cancer. Currently, drugs able to increase cytoprotective Nrf2 function are in clinical trials or already being used in clinical practice to reduce the progression of some degenerative conditions. The role of Nrf2 in cancer development and progression is controversial, and drugs able to inhibit abnormal levels of Nrf2 are also under investigation. The goal of this review is to analyze and discuss Nrf2-dependent signals in the initiation and progression of intestinal fibrosis and cancers occurring in IBD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Nrf2 pathway: regulation, functions, and potential applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Proteomic Phosphosite Analysis Identified Crucial NPM-ALK-Mediated NIPA Serine and Threonine Residues
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164060
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) is an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that shows in 60% of cases a translocation t(2;5)(p23;q35), which leads to the expression of the oncogenic kinase NPM-ALK. The nuclear interaction partner of ALK (NIPA) defines an E3-SCF ligase that contributes to the [...] Read more.
Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) is an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that shows in 60% of cases a translocation t(2;5)(p23;q35), which leads to the expression of the oncogenic kinase NPM-ALK. The nuclear interaction partner of ALK (NIPA) defines an E3-SCF ligase that contributes to the timing of mitotic entry. It has been shown that co-expression of NIPA and NPM-ALK results in constitutive NIPA phosphorylation. By mass spectrometry-based proteomics we identified nine serine/threonine residues to be significantly upregulated in NIPA upon NPM-ALK expression. Generation of phospho-deficient mutants of the respective phospho-residues specified five serine/threonine residues (Ser-338, Ser-344, Ser-370, Ser-381 and Thr-387) as key phosphorylation sites involved in NPM-ALK-directed phosphorylation of NIPA. Analysis of the biological impact of NIPA phosphorylation by NPM-ALK demonstrated that the ALK-induced phosphorylation does not change the SCFNIPA-complex formation but may influence the localization of NIPA and NPM-ALK. Biochemical analyses with phospho-deficient mutants elucidated the importance of NIPA phosphorylation by NPM-ALK for the interaction of the two proteins and proliferation potential of respective cells: Silencing of the five crucial NIPA serine/threonine residues led to a highly enhanced NIPA-NPM-ALK binding capacity as well as a slightly reduced proliferation in Ba/F3 cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Insights into the Phylogeny and Evolution of Cold Shock Proteins: From Enteropathogenic Yersinia and Escherichia coli to Eubacteria
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4059; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164059
Received: 21 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Psychrotrophic foodborne pathogens, such as enteropathogenic Yersinia, which are able to survive and multiply at low temperatures, require cold shock proteins (Csps). The Csp superfamily consists of a diverse group of homologous proteins, which have been found throughout the eubacteria. They are [...] Read more.
Psychrotrophic foodborne pathogens, such as enteropathogenic Yersinia, which are able to survive and multiply at low temperatures, require cold shock proteins (Csps). The Csp superfamily consists of a diverse group of homologous proteins, which have been found throughout the eubacteria. They are related to cold shock tolerance and other cellular processes. Csps are mainly named following the convention of those in Escherichia coli. However, the nomenclature of certain Csps reflects neither their sequences nor functions, which can be confusing. Here, we performed phylogenetic analyses on Csp sequences in psychrotrophic enteropathogenic Yersinia and E. coli. We found that representative Csps in enteropathogenic Yersinia and E. coli can be clustered into six phylogenetic groups. When we extended the analysis to cover Enterobacteriales, the same major groups formed. Moreover, we investigated the evolutionary and structural relationships and the origin time of Csp superfamily members in eubacteria using nucleotide-level comparisons. Csps in eubacteria were classified into five clades and 12 subclades. The most recent common ancestor of Csp genes was estimated to have existed 3585 million years ago, indicating that Csps have been important since the beginning of evolution and have enabled bacterial growth in unfavorable conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of miRNA Abundance Revealed the Function of Vvi-miR828 in Fruit Coloring in Root Restriction Cultivation Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164058
Received: 28 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Root restriction cultivation leads to early maturation and quality improvement, especially in the anthocyanin content in grapevine. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie these changes have not been thoroughly elucidated. In this study, four small RNA libraries were constructed, which included the green [...] Read more.
Root restriction cultivation leads to early maturation and quality improvement, especially in the anthocyanin content in grapevine. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie these changes have not been thoroughly elucidated. In this study, four small RNA libraries were constructed, which included the green soft stage (GS) and ripe stage (RS) of ‘Muscat’ (Vitis vinifera L.) grape berries that were grown under root restriction (RR) and in traditional cultivation (no root restriction, CK). A total of 162 known miRNAs and 14 putative novel miRNAs were detected from the four small RNA libraries by high-throughput sequencing. An analysis of differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) revealed that 13 miRNAs exhibited significant differences in expression between RR and CK at the GS and RS stages, respectively. For different developmental stages of fruit, 23 and 34 miRNAs showed expression differences between the GS and RS stages in RR and CK, respectively. The expression patterns of the eight DEMs and their targets were verified by qRT-PCR, and the expression profiles of target genes were confirmed to be complementary to the corresponding miRNAs in RR and CK. The function of Vvi-miR828, which showed the down regulated expression in the RS stage under root restriction, was identified by gene transformation in Arabidopsis. The anthocyanin content significantly decreased in transgenic lines, which indicates the regulatory capacity of Vvi-miR828 in fruit coloration. The miRNA expression pattern comparison between RR and CK might provide a means of unraveling the miRNA-mediated molecular process regulating grape berry development under root restricted cultivation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Therapeutic and Protective Effects of Liposomal Encapsulation of Astaxanthin in Mice with Alcoholic Liver Fibrosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164057
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Astaxanthin (Asta) has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and free radical-clearing activities. However, the poor stability and low water solubility of Asta hamper its bioavailability. The objectives of this study were to fabricate Asta-loaded liposomes (Asta-lipo) and investigate the therapeutic effects of [...] Read more.
Astaxanthin (Asta) has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and free radical-clearing activities. However, the poor stability and low water solubility of Asta hamper its bioavailability. The objectives of this study were to fabricate Asta-loaded liposomes (Asta-lipo) and investigate the therapeutic effects of Asta-lipo on alcoholic liver fibrosis in mice. The mice were administered with Asta-lipo or liposomes alone prior to a 3-week dose containing 30% alcohol with or without feeding with a second dose of 30% alcohol. The prepared Asta-lipo of 225.0 ± 58.3 nm in diameter, had an encapsulation efficiency of 98%. A slow release profile of 16.2% Asta from Asta-lipo was observed after a 24-h incubation. Restorative actions against alcoholic liver fibrosis were observed after oral administration of Asta-lipo for 4 weeks. Hepatic repair, followed by a second dose of 30% alcohol, suggested that Asta-lipo exerted protective and reparative effects against liver injuries induced by repeated consumption of alcohol. The changes of serum ALT and AST values were principally in consistence with the histopathologic findings. Asta-lipo exerted rapid and direct effects against repeated alcohol-induced liver disease, whereas Asta-lipo given orally could boost recovery from liver injuries obtained due to previous long-term alcohol use. These data demonstrate that Asta-lipo has applicable protective and therapeutic potential to treat alcohol-induced liver diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine: Connecting West and East)
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Open AccessArticle
A SNP Mutation of SiCRC Regulates Seed Number Per Capsule and Capsule Length of cs1 Mutant in Sesame
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4056; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164056
Received: 22 June 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Seed number per capsule (SNC) is a major factor influencing seed yield and is an important trait with complex gene interaction effects. We first performed genetic analysis, gene cloning, and molecular mechanism study for an EMS-induced sesame mutant cs1 with fewer SNC and [...] Read more.
Seed number per capsule (SNC) is a major factor influencing seed yield and is an important trait with complex gene interaction effects. We first performed genetic analysis, gene cloning, and molecular mechanism study for an EMS-induced sesame mutant cs1 with fewer SNC and shorter capsule length (CL). The mutant traits were due to the pleiotropism of a regressive gene (Sics1). Capsule hormone determination showed that five out of 12 hormones, including auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), had significantly different levels between wild type (WT) and mutant type (MT). KEGG pathway analysis showed that plant hormone signal transduction, especially the auxin signal transduction pathway, was the most abundant differentially expressed signaling pathway. After the cross-population association and regional genome screening, we found that three homozygous loci were retained in cs1. Further analysis of these three loci resulted in the identification of SiCRC as the candidate gene for cs1. SiCRC consists of seven exons and six introns encoding 163 amino acids. The SiCRC in cs1 showed a point mutation at intron 5 and exon 6 junction, resulting in the splice site being frame-shifted eight nucleotides further downstream, causing incorrect splicing. Taken together, we assumed the SNP mutation in SiCRC disrupted the function of the transcription factor, which might act downstream of the CRC-auxin signal transduction pathway, resulting in a shorter CL and less SNC mutation of cs1 in sesame. Our results highlight the molecular framework underlying the transcription factor CRC-mediated role of auxin transduction in SNC and CL development. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Genetics and Molecular Breeding in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Glucose Restriction Plus Refeeding in Vitro Induce Changes of the Human Adipocyte Secretome with an Impact on Complement Factors and Cathepsins
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4055; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164055
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Adipose tissue is a major endocrine organ capable of secreting adipokines with a role in whole-body metabolism. Changes in the secretome profile during the development of obesity is suspected to contribute to the risk of health complications such as those associated with weight [...] Read more.
Adipose tissue is a major endocrine organ capable of secreting adipokines with a role in whole-body metabolism. Changes in the secretome profile during the development of obesity is suspected to contribute to the risk of health complications such as those associated with weight regain after weight loss. However, the number of studies on weight regain is limited and secretome changes during weight regain have hardly been investigated. In an attempt to generate leads for in vivo studies, we have subjected human Simpson Golabi Behmel Syndrome adipocytes to glucose restriction (GR) followed by refeeding (RF) as an in vitro surrogate for weight regain after weight loss. Using LC-MS/MS, we compared the secreted protein profile after GR plus RF with that of normal feeding (NF) to assess the consequences of GR plus RF. We identified 338 secreted proteins of which 49 were described for the first time as being secreted by adipocytes. In addition, comparison between NF and GR plus RF showed 39 differentially secreted proteins. Functional classification revealed GR plus RF-induced changes of enzymes for extracellular matrix modification, complement system factors, cathepsins, and several proteins related to Alzheimer’s disease. These observations can be used as clues to investigate metabolic consequences of weight regain, weight cycling or intermittent fasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adipokines 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Lipolytic Effects of 3-Iodothyronamine (T1AM) and a Novel Thyronamine-Like Analog SG-2 through the AMPK Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164054
Received: 27 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 19 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
3-Iodothyronamine (T1AM) and its synthetic analog SG-2 are rapidly emerging as promising drivers of cellular metabolic reprogramming. Our recent research indicates that in obese mice a sub-chronic low dose T1AM treatment increased lipolysis, associated with significant weight loss independent of food consumption. The [...] Read more.
3-Iodothyronamine (T1AM) and its synthetic analog SG-2 are rapidly emerging as promising drivers of cellular metabolic reprogramming. Our recent research indicates that in obese mice a sub-chronic low dose T1AM treatment increased lipolysis, associated with significant weight loss independent of food consumption. The specific cellular mechanism of T1AM’s lipolytic effect and its site of action remains unknown. First, to study the mechanism used by T1AM to gain entry into cells, we synthesized a fluoro-labeled version of T1AM (FL-T1AM) by conjugating it to rhodamine (TRITC) and analyzed its cellular uptake and localization in 3T3-L1 mouse adipocytes. Cell imaging using confocal microscopy revealed a rapid intercellular uptake of FL-T1AM into mitochondria without localization to the lipid droplet or nucleus of mature adipocytes. Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with T1AM and SG-2 resulted in decreased lipid accumulation, the latter showing a significantly higher potency than T1AM (10 µM vs. 20 µM, respectively). We further examined the effects of T1AM and SG-2 on liver HepG2 cells. A significant decrease in lipid accumulation was observed in HepG2 cells treated with T1AM or SG-2, due to increased lipolytic activity. This was confirmed by accumulation of glycerol in the culture media and through activation of the AMPK/ACC signaling pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
IL-4 Augments IL-31/IL-31 Receptor Alpha Interaction Leading to Enhanced Ccl 17 and Ccl 22 Production in Dendritic Cells: Implications for Atopic Dermatitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4053; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164053
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Severe pruritus is a characteristic feature of atopic dermatitis (AD) and is closely related to its activity. Recent studies have shown that IL-31 is a key determinant of pruritus in AD. Anti-IL-31 receptor alpha (IL-31RA) antibody treatment has also been reported to improve [...] Read more.
Severe pruritus is a characteristic feature of atopic dermatitis (AD) and is closely related to its activity. Recent studies have shown that IL-31 is a key determinant of pruritus in AD. Anti-IL-31 receptor alpha (IL-31RA) antibody treatment has also been reported to improve pruritus clinically, subsequently contributing to the attenuation of AD disease activity. Therefore, IL-31 has been thought to be an important cytokine for regulating pruritus and AD disease activity; however, how IL-31 is involved in the immune response in AD has remained largely unknown. Epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs) and dermal dendritic cells (DCs) derived from bone marrow cells have been reported to play a critical role in AD pathogenesis. LCs and DCs produce Ccl 17 and Ccl 22, which chemoattract Th2 cells, leading to AD development. Therefore, we aimed to clarify how IL-31/IL-31RA interaction affects Ccl 17 and Ccl 22 production. To test this, we analyzed murine bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs) stimulated with IL-4, an important cytokine in AD development. We found that IL-31RA expression was upregulated by IL-4 stimulation in a dose-dependent manner in BMDCs. Furthermore, IL-31 upregulates Ccl 17 and Ccl 22 production in the presence of IL-4, whereas IL-31 stimulation alone did not produce Ccl 17 and Ccl 22. These findings suggest that IL-4 mediates IL-31RA expression and IL-31/IL-31RA interaction augments Ccl 17 and Ccl 22 production in BMDCs, which promotes Th2-deviated immune response in AD. Since we previously reported that soybean tar Glyteer, an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) ligand, impairs IL-4/Stat 6 signaling in BMDCs, we examined whether Glyteer affects IL-31RA expression induced by IL-4 stimulation. Glyteer inhibited upregulation of IL-31RA expression induced by IL-4 stimulation in a dose-dependent manner. Glyteer also inhibited Ccl 17 and Ccl 22 production induced by IL-4 and IL-31 stimulation. Taken together, these findings suggest that Glyteer treatment may improve AD disease activity by impairing IL-31/IL-31RA interaction in DCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapy and Prevention of Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis)
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Open AccessReview
Neuroprotective Properties of Linagliptin: Focus on Biochemical Mechanisms in Cerebral Ischemia, Vascular Dysfunction and Certain Neurodegenerative Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4052; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164052
Received: 19 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 17 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Linagliptin is a representative of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors which are registered and used effectively in a treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2. They increase the levels of active forms of endogenous incretins such as GLP-1 and GIP by inhibiting their enzymatic [...] Read more.
Linagliptin is a representative of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors which are registered and used effectively in a treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2. They increase the levels of active forms of endogenous incretins such as GLP-1 and GIP by inhibiting their enzymatic decomposition. Scientific reports suggest beneficial effects of linagliptin administration via immunological and biochemical pathways involved in neuroprotective processes of CNS. Linagliptin’s administration leads to a decrease in the concentration of proinflammatory factors such as: TNF-α, IL-6 and increases the number of anti-inflammatory patrolling monocytes CX3CR1bright. Significant reduction in Aβ42 level has been associated with the use of linagliptin implying potential application in Alzheimer’s disease. Linagliptin improved vascular functions by increasing production of nitric oxide (NO) and limiting concentration of apolipoprotein B. Linagliptin-induced decrease in macrophages infiltration may provide improvement in atheromatous plaque stabilization. Premedication with linagliptin increases neuron’s survival after stroke and augments neuronal stem cells proliferation. It seems to be connected with SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling pathway. Linagliptin prevented abnormal proliferation and migration of rat brain microvascular endothelial cells in a state of hypoperfusion via SIRT1/HIF-1α/VEGF pathway. The article presents a summary of the studies assessing neuroprotective properties of linagliptin with special emphasis on cerebral ischemia, vascular dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Signal Transduction 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Perinatal Micro-Bleeds and Neuroinflammation in E19 Rat Fetuses Exposed to Utero-Placental Ischemia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164051
Received: 14 July 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 18 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Offspring of preeclampsia patients have an increased risk of developing neurological deficits and cognitive impairment. While low placental perfusion, common in preeclampsia and growth restriction, has been linked to neurological deficits, a causative link is not fully established. The goal of this study [...] Read more.
Offspring of preeclampsia patients have an increased risk of developing neurological deficits and cognitive impairment. While low placental perfusion, common in preeclampsia and growth restriction, has been linked to neurological deficits, a causative link is not fully established. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that placental ischemia induces neuroinflammation and micro-hemorrhages in utero. Timed-pregnant Sprague Dawley rats were weight-matched for sham surgery (abdominal incision only) or induced placental ischemia (surgical reduction of utero-placental perfusion (RUPP)); n = 5/group on gestational day 14. Fetal brains (n = 1–2/dam/endpoint) were collected at embryonic day (E19). Placental ischemia resulted in fewer live fetuses, increased fetal demise, increased hematocrit, and no difference in brain water content in exposed fetuses. Additionally, increased cerebral micro-bleeds (identified with H&E staining), pro-inflammatory cytokines: IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-18, eotaxin (CCL11), LIX (CXCL5), and MIP-2 (CXCL2) were observed in RUPP-exposed fetuses. Microglial density in the sub-ventricular zone decreased in RUPP-exposed fetuses, with no change in cortical thickness. Our findings support the hypothesis that exposure to placental ischemia contributes to microvascular dysfunction (increased micro-bleeds), fetal brain inflammation, and reduced microglial density in proliferative brain areas. Future studies will determine whether in utero abnormalities contribute to long-term behavioral deficits in preeclampsia offspring through impaired neurogenesis regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia)
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Open AccessArticle
Stereoselective Synthesis and Investigation of Isopulegol-Based Chiral Ligands
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164050
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
A library of isopulegol-based bi-, tri- and tetrafunctional chiral ligands has been developed from commercially available (−)-isopulegol and applied as chiral catalysts in the addition of diethylzinc to benzaldehyde. Michael addition of primary amines towards α-methylene-γ-butyrolactone, followed by reduction, was [...] Read more.
A library of isopulegol-based bi-, tri- and tetrafunctional chiral ligands has been developed from commercially available (−)-isopulegol and applied as chiral catalysts in the addition of diethylzinc to benzaldehyde. Michael addition of primary amines towards α-methylene-γ-butyrolactone, followed by reduction, was accomplished to provide aminodiols in highly stereoselective transformations. Stereoselective epoxidation of (+)-neoisopulegol, derived from natural (−)-isopulegol, and subsequent oxirane ring opening with primary amines afforded aminodiols. The regioselective ring closure of N-substituted aminodiols with formaldehyde was also investigated. Hydroxylation of (+)-neoisopulegol resulted in diol, which was then transformed into aminotriols by aminolysis of its epoxides. Dihydroxylation of (+)-neoisopulegol or derivatives with OsO4/NMO gave neoisopulegol-based di-, tri- and tetraols in highly stereoselective reactions. The antimicrobial activity of aminodiol and aminotriol derivatives as well as di-, tri- and tetraols was also explored. In addition, structure–activity relationships were examined by assessing substituent effects on the aminodiol and aminotriol systems. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Paraoxonase-1 as a Regulator of Glucose and Lipid Homeostasis: Impact on the Onset and Progression of Metabolic Disorders
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4049; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164049
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Metabolic disorders are characterized by an overall state of inflammation and oxidative stress, which highlight the importance of a functional antioxidant system and normal activity of some endogenous enzymes, namely paraoxonase-1 (PON1). PON1 is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory glycoprotein from the paraoxonases family. [...] Read more.
Metabolic disorders are characterized by an overall state of inflammation and oxidative stress, which highlight the importance of a functional antioxidant system and normal activity of some endogenous enzymes, namely paraoxonase-1 (PON1). PON1 is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory glycoprotein from the paraoxonases family. It is mainly expressed in the liver and secreted to the bloodstream, where it binds to HDL. Although it was first discovered due to its ability to hydrolyze paraoxon, it is now known to have an antiatherogenic role. Recent studies have shown that PON1 plays a protective role in other diseases that are associated with inflammation and oxidative stress, such as Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. The aim of this review is to elucidate the physiological role of PON1, as well as the impact of altered PON1 levels in metabolic disorders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sorafenib-Induced Apoptosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Is Reversed by SIRT1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4048; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164048
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Sorafenib is a multi-kinase inhibitor and one of the few systemic treatment options for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Resistance to sorafenib develops frequently and could be mediated by the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylase sirtuin (SIRT)1. We aimed to test whether [...] Read more.
Sorafenib is a multi-kinase inhibitor and one of the few systemic treatment options for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Resistance to sorafenib develops frequently and could be mediated by the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylase sirtuin (SIRT)1. We aimed to test whether sorafenib efficacy is influenced by cellular NAD levels and NAD-dependent SIRT1 function. We analyzed sorafenib effects on apoptosis induction, NAD salvage, mitochondrial function, and related signaling pathways in HCC cell lines (HepG2, Hep3B, und HUH7) overexpressing SIRT1 or supplemented with the NAD metabolite nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) compared to controls. Treatment of HCC cell lines with sorafenib dose-dependently induced apoptosis and a significant decrease in cellular NAD concentrations. The SIRT1 protein was downregulated in HUH7 cells but not in Hep3B cells. After sorafenib treatment, mitochondrial respiration in permeabilized cells was lower, citrate synthase activity was attenuated, and cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels were decreased. Concomitant to increased phosphorylation of adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK), sorafenib treatment led to decreased activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), indicative of energy deprivation. Transient overexpression of SIRT1, as well as NAD repletion by NMN, decreased sorafenib-induced apoptosis. We can, therefore, conclude that sorafenib influences the NAD/SIRT1/AMPK axis. Overexpression of SIRT1 could be an underlying mechanism of resistance to sorafenib treatment in HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sirtuins and Epigenetics in Aging and Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Method for Controlled Gene Expression via Combined Bleomycin and Plasmid DNA Electrotransfer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164047
Received: 15 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 17 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Electrochemotherapy is an efficient method for the local treatment of cutaneous and subcutaneous metastases, but its efficacy as a systemic treatment remains low. The application of gene electrotransfer (GET) to transfer DNA coding for immune system modulating molecules could allow for a systemic [...] Read more.
Electrochemotherapy is an efficient method for the local treatment of cutaneous and subcutaneous metastases, but its efficacy as a systemic treatment remains low. The application of gene electrotransfer (GET) to transfer DNA coding for immune system modulating molecules could allow for a systemic effect, but its applications are limited because of possible side effects, e.g., immune system overactivation and autoimmune response. In this paper, we present the simultaneous electrotransfer of bleomycin and plasmid DNA as a method to increase the systemic effect of bleomycin-based electrochemotherapy. With appropriately selected concentrations of bleomycin and plasmid DNA, it is possible to achieve efficient cell transfection while killing cells via the cytotoxic effect of bleomycin at later time points. We also show the dynamics of both cell electrotransfection and cell death after the simultaneous electrotransfer of bleomycin and plasmid DNA. Therefore, this method could have applications in achieving the transient, cell death-controlled expression of immune system activating genes while retaining efficient bleomycin mediated cell killing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Galectin-9 Is a Possible Promoter of Immunopathology in Rheumatoid Arthritis by Activation of Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase 4 (PAD-4) in Granulocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164046
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
The aetiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is unknown, but citrullination of proteins is thought to be an initiating event. In addition, it is increasingly evident that the lung can be a potential site for the generation of autoimmune triggers before the development of [...] Read more.
The aetiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is unknown, but citrullination of proteins is thought to be an initiating event. In addition, it is increasingly evident that the lung can be a potential site for the generation of autoimmune triggers before the development of joint disease. Here, we identified that serum levels of galectin-9 (Gal-9), a pleiotropic immunomodulatory protein, are elevated in RA patients, and are even further increased in patients with comorbid bronchiectasis, a lung disease caused by chronic inflammation. The serum concentrations of Gal-9 correlate with C-reactive protein levels and DAS-28 score. Gal-9 activated polymorphonuclear leukocytes (granulocytes) in vitro, which was characterized by increased cytokine secretion, migration, and survival. Further, granulocytes treated with Gal-9 upregulated expression of peptidyl arginine deiminase 4 (PAD-4), a key enzyme required for RA-associated citrullination of proteins. Correspondingly, treatment with Gal-9 triggered citrullination of intracellular granulocyte proteins that are known contributors to RA pathogenesis (i.e., myeloperoxidase, alpha-enolase, MMP-9, lactoferrin). In conclusion, this study identifies for the first time an immunomodulatory protein, Gal-9, that triggers activation of granulocytes leading to increased PAD-4 expression and generation of citrullinated autoantigens. This pathway may represent a potentially important mechanism for development of RA. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Modern Trends in Plant Genome Editing: An Inclusive Review of the CRISPR/Cas9 Toolbox
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164045
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Increasing agricultural productivity via modern breeding strategies is of prime interest to attain global food security. An array of biotic and abiotic stressors affect productivity as well as the quality of crop plants, and it is a primary need to develop crops with [...] Read more.
Increasing agricultural productivity via modern breeding strategies is of prime interest to attain global food security. An array of biotic and abiotic stressors affect productivity as well as the quality of crop plants, and it is a primary need to develop crops with improved adaptability, high productivity, and resilience against these biotic/abiotic stressors. Conventional approaches to genetic engineering involve tedious procedures. State-of-the-art OMICS approaches reinforced with next-generation sequencing and the latest developments in genome editing tools have paved the way for targeted mutagenesis, opening new horizons for precise genome engineering. Various genome editing tools such as transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), and meganucleases (MNs) have enabled plant scientists to manipulate desired genes in crop plants. However, these approaches are expensive and laborious involving complex procedures for successful editing. Conversely, CRISPR/Cas9 is an entrancing, easy-to-design, cost-effective, and versatile tool for precise and efficient plant genome editing. In recent years, the CRISPR/Cas9 system has emerged as a powerful tool for targeted mutagenesis, including single base substitution, multiplex gene editing, gene knockouts, and regulation of gene transcription in plants. Thus, CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing has demonstrated great potential for crop improvement but regulation of genome-edited crops is still in its infancy. Here, we extensively reviewed the availability of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tools for plant biotechnologists to target desired genes and its vast applications in crop breeding research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genomics 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Stem Cells from a Female Rat Model of Type 2 Diabetes/Obesity and Stress Urinary Incontinence Are Damaged by In Vitro Exposure to its Dyslipidemic Serum, Predicting Inadequate Repair Capacity In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4044; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164044
Received: 22 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Female stress urinary incontinence (FSUI) is prevalent in women with type 2 diabetes/obesity (T2D/O), and treatment is not optimal. Autograph stem cell therapy surprisingly has poor efficacy. In the male rat model of T2D/O, it was demonstrated that epigenetic changes, triggered by long-term [...] Read more.
Female stress urinary incontinence (FSUI) is prevalent in women with type 2 diabetes/obesity (T2D/O), and treatment is not optimal. Autograph stem cell therapy surprisingly has poor efficacy. In the male rat model of T2D/O, it was demonstrated that epigenetic changes, triggered by long-term exposure to the dyslipidemic milieu, led to abnormal global transcriptional signatures (GTS) of genes and microRNAs (miR), and impaired the repair capacity of muscle-derived stem cells (MDSC). This was mimicked in vitro by treatment of MDSC with dyslipidemic serum or lipid factors. The current study aimed to predict whether these changes also occur in stem cells from female 12 weeks old T2D/O rats, a model of FSUI. MDSCs from T2D/O (ZF4-SC) and normal female rats (ZL4-SC) were treated in vitro with either dyslipidemic serum (ZFS) from late T2D/O 24 weeks old female Zucker fatty (ZF) rats, or normal serum (ZLS) from 24 weeks old female Zucker lean (ZL) rats, for 4 days and subjected to assays for fat deposition, apoptosis, scratch closing, myostatin, interleukin-6, and miR-GTS. The dyslipidemic ZFS affected both female stem cells more severely than in the male MDSC, with some gender-specific differences in miR-GTS. The changes in miR-GTS and myostatin/interleukin-6 balance may predict in vivo noxious effects of the T2D/O milieu that might impair autograft stem cell (SC) therapy for FSUI, but this requires future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessReview
Control of Translation at the Initiation Phase During Glucose Starvation in Yeast
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164043
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 10 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Glucose is one of the most important sources of carbon across all life. Glucose starvation is a key stress relevant to all eukaryotic cells. Glucose starvation responses have important implications in diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. In yeast, glucose starvation causes rapid [...] Read more.
Glucose is one of the most important sources of carbon across all life. Glucose starvation is a key stress relevant to all eukaryotic cells. Glucose starvation responses have important implications in diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. In yeast, glucose starvation causes rapid and dramatic effects on the synthesis of proteins (mRNA translation). Response to glucose deficiency targets the initiation phase of translation by different mechanisms and with diverse dynamics. Concomitantly, translationally repressed mRNAs and components of the protein synthesis machinery may enter a variety of cytoplasmic foci, which also form with variable kinetics and may store or degrade mRNA. Much progress has been made in understanding these processes in the last decade, including with the use of high-throughput/omics methods of RNA and RNA:protein detection. This review dissects the current knowledge of yeast reactions to glucose starvation systematized by the stage of translation initiation, with the focus on rapid responses. We provide parallels to mechanisms found in higher eukaryotes, such as metazoans, for the most critical responses, and point out major remaining gaps in knowledge and possible future directions of research on translational responses to glucose starvation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure, Function and Evolution of the Ribosome)
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Autophagy in Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles-Induced Apoptosis of Mouse LEYDIG Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164042
Received: 28 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) have shown adverse health impact on the human male reproductive system, with evidence of inducing apoptosis. However, whether or not ZnO NPs could promote autophagy, and the possible role of autophagy in the progress of apoptosis, remain unclear. [...] Read more.
Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) have shown adverse health impact on the human male reproductive system, with evidence of inducing apoptosis. However, whether or not ZnO NPs could promote autophagy, and the possible role of autophagy in the progress of apoptosis, remain unclear. In the current study, in vitro and in vivo toxicological responses of ZnO NPs were explored by using a mouse model and mouse Leydig cell line. It was found that intragastrical exposure of ZnO NPs to mice for 28 days at the concentrations of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg/day disrupted the seminiferous epithelium of the testis and decreased the sperm density in the epididymis. Furthermore, serum testosterone levels were markedly reduced. The induction of apoptosis and autophagy in the testis tissues was disclosed by up-regulating the protein levels of cleaved Caspase-8, cleaved Caspase-3, Bax, LC3-II, Atg 5, and Beclin 1, accompanied by down-regulation of Bcl 2. In vitro tests showed that ZnO NPs could induce apoptosis and autophagy with the generation of oxidative stress. Specific inhibition of autophagy pathway significantly decreased the cell viability and up-regulated the apoptosis level in mouse Leydig TM3 cells. In summary, ZnO NPs can induce apoptosis and autophagy via oxidative stress, and autophagy might play a protective role in ZnO NPs-induced apoptosis of mouse Leydig cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology and Nanosafety 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Deciphering the Molecular Recognition Mechanism of Multidrug Resistance Staphylococcus aureus NorA Efflux Pump Using a Supervised Molecular Dynamics Approach
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164041
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
The use and misuse of antibiotics has resulted in critical conditions for drug-resistant bacteria emergency, accelerating the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In this context, the co-administration of an antibiotic with a compound able to restore sufficient antibacterial activity may be a successful [...] Read more.
The use and misuse of antibiotics has resulted in critical conditions for drug-resistant bacteria emergency, accelerating the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In this context, the co-administration of an antibiotic with a compound able to restore sufficient antibacterial activity may be a successful strategy. In particular, the identification of efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) holds promise for new antibiotic resistance breakers (ARBs). Indeed, bacterial efflux pumps have a key role in AMR development; for instance, NorA efflux pump contributes to Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) resistance against fluoroquinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin) by promoting their active extrusion from the cells. Even though NorA efflux pump is known to be a potential target for EPIs development, the absence of structural information about this protein and the little knowledge available on its mechanism of action have strongly hampered rational drug discovery efforts in this area. In the present work, we investigated at the molecular level the substrate recognition pathway of NorA through a Supervised Molecular Dynamics (SuMD) approach, using a NorA homology model. Specific amino acids were identified as playing a key role in the efflux pump-mediated extrusion of its substrate, paving the way for a deeper understanding of both the mechanisms of action and the inhibition of such efflux pumps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Simulation on Membrane Receptors)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison and Phylogenetic Analysis of Chloroplast Genomes of Three Medicinal and Edible Amomum Species
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4040; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164040
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 17 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Amomum villosum is an important medicinal and edible plant with several pharmacologically active volatile oils. However, identifying A. villosum from A. villosum var. xanthioides and A. longiligulare which exhibit similar morphological characteristics to A. villosum, is difficult. The main goal of this [...] Read more.
Amomum villosum is an important medicinal and edible plant with several pharmacologically active volatile oils. However, identifying A. villosum from A. villosum var. xanthioides and A. longiligulare which exhibit similar morphological characteristics to A. villosum, is difficult. The main goal of this study, therefore, is to mine genetic resources and improve molecular methods that could be used to distinguish these species. A total of eight complete chloroplasts (cp) genomes of these Amomum species which were collected from the main producing areas in China were determined to be 163,608–164,069 bp in size. All genomes displayed a typical quadripartite structure with a pair of inverted repeat (IR) regions (29,820–29,959 bp) that separated a large single copy (LSC) region (88,680–88,857 bp) from a small single copy (SSC) region (15,288–15,369 bp). Each genome encodes 113 different genes with 79 protein-coding genes, 30 tRNA genes, and four rRNA genes. More than 150 SSRs were identified in the entire cp genomes of these three species. The Sanger sequencing results based on 32 Amomum samples indicated that five highly divergent regions screened from cp genomes could not be used to distinguish Amomum species. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the cp genomes could not only accurately identify Amomum species, but also provide a solid foundation for the establishment of phylogenetic relationships of Amomum species. The availability of cp genome resources and the comparative analysis is beneficial for species authentication and phylogenetic analysis in Amomum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chloroplast 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
miR526b and miR655 Induce Oxidative Stress in Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164039
Received: 23 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
In eukaryotes, overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) causes oxidative stress, which contributes to chronic inflammation and cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, endogenously produced RNAs that play a major role in cancer progression. We established that overexpression of miR526b/miR655 promotes aggressive breast cancer [...] Read more.
In eukaryotes, overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) causes oxidative stress, which contributes to chronic inflammation and cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, endogenously produced RNAs that play a major role in cancer progression. We established that overexpression of miR526b/miR655 promotes aggressive breast cancer phenotypes. Here, we investigated the roles of miR526b/miR655 in oxidative stress in breast cancer using in vitro and in silico assays. miRNA-overexpression in MCF7 cells directly enhances ROS and superoxide (SO) production, detected with fluorescence assays. We found that cell-free conditioned media contain extracellular miR526b/miR655 and treatment with these miRNA-conditioned media causes overproduction of ROS/SO in MCF7 and primary cells (HUVECs). Thioredoxin Reductase 1 (TXNRD1) is an oxidoreductase that maintains ROS/SO concentration. Overexpression of TXNRD1 is associated with breast cancer progression. We observed that miR526b/miR655 overexpression upregulates TXNRD1 expression in MCF7 cells, and treatment with miRNA-conditioned media upregulates TXNRD1 in both MCF7 and HUVECs. Bioinformatic analysis identifies two negative regulators of TXNRD1, TCF21 and PBRM1, as direct targets of miR526b/miR655. We validated that TCF21 and PBRM1 were significantly downregulated with miRNA upregulation, establishing a link between miR526b/miR655 and TXNRD1. Finally, treatments with oxidative stress inducers such as H2O2 or miRNA-conditioned media showed an upregulation of miR526b/miR655 expression in MCF7 cells, indicating that oxidative stress also induces miRNA overexpression. This study establishes the dynamic functions of miR526b/miR655 in oxidative stress induction in breast cancer. Full article
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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