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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 20, Issue 3 (February-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) PDAC is the seventh-leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and presents a 5-year survival rate of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Exogenous Application of Phytohormones Promotes Growth and Regulates Expression of Wood Formation-Related Genes in Populus simonii × P. nigra
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030792
Received: 13 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Although phytohormones are known to be important signal molecules involved in wood formation, their roles are still largely unclear. Here, Populus simonii × P. nigra seedlings were treated with different concentrations of exogenous phytohormones, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), gibberellin (GA3), and brassinosteroid [...] Read more.
Although phytohormones are known to be important signal molecules involved in wood formation, their roles are still largely unclear. Here, Populus simonii × P. nigra seedlings were treated with different concentrations of exogenous phytohormones, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), gibberellin (GA3), and brassinosteroid (BR), and the effects of phytohormones on growth were investigated. Next, 27 genes with known roles in wood formation were selected for qPCR analysis to determine tissue-specificity and timing of responses to phytohormone treatments. Compared to the control, most IAA, GA3, and BR concentrations significantly increased seedling height. Meanwhile, IAA induced significant seedling stem diameter and cellulose content increases that peaked at 3 and 30 mg·L−1, respectively. Significant increase in cellulose content was also observed in seedlings treated with 100 mg·L−1 GA3. Neither stem diameter nor cellulose content of seedlings were affected by BR treatment significantly, although slight effects were observed. Anatomical measurements demonstrated improved xylem, but not phloem, development in IAA- and BR-treated seedlings. Most gene expression patterns induced by IAA, GA3, and BR differed among tissues. Many IAA response genes were also regulated by GA3, while BR-induced transcription was weaker and slower in Populus than for IAA and GA3. These results reveal the roles played by phytohormones in plant growth and lay the foundation for exploring molecular regulatory mechanisms of wood formation in Populus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Response of Tibetan Wild Barley Genotypes to Drought Stress and Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci by Genome-Wide Association Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030791
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Tibetan wild barley has been identified to show large genetic variation and stress tolerance. A genome-wide association (GWA) analysis was performed to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for drought tolerance using 777 Diversity Array Technology (DArT) markers and morphological and physiological traits of [...] Read more.
Tibetan wild barley has been identified to show large genetic variation and stress tolerance. A genome-wide association (GWA) analysis was performed to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for drought tolerance using 777 Diversity Array Technology (DArT) markers and morphological and physiological traits of 166 Tibetan wild barley accessions in both hydroponic and pot experiments. Large genotypic variation for these traits was found; and population structure and kinship analysis identified three subpopulations among these barley genotypes. The average LD (linkage disequilibrium) decay distance was 5.16 cM, with the minimum on 6H (0.03 cM) and the maximum on 4H (23.48 cM). A total of 91 DArT markers were identified to be associated with drought tolerance-related traits, with 33, 26, 16, 1, 3, and 12 associations for morphological traits, H+K+-ATPase activity, antioxidant enzyme activities, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, soluble protein content, and potassium concentration, respectively. Furthermore, 7 and 24 putative candidate genes were identified based on the reference Meta-QTL map and by searching the Barleymap. The present study implicated that Tibetan annual wild barley from Qinghai–Tibet Plateau is rich in genetic variation for drought stress. The QTLs detected by genome-wide association analysis could be used in marker-assisting breeding for drought-tolerant barley genotypes and provide useful information for discovery and functional analysis of key genes in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Drought Stress Tolerance in Plants)
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Open AccessReview Endogenous Retroviruses Function as Gene Expression Regulatory Elements During Mammalian Pre-implantation Embryo Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030790
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Pre-implantation embryo development encompasses several key developmental events, especially the activation of zygotic genome activation (ZGA)-related genes. Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are regarded as “deleterious genomic parasites”, were previously considered to be “junk DNA”. However, it is now known that ERVs, with limited [...] Read more.
Pre-implantation embryo development encompasses several key developmental events, especially the activation of zygotic genome activation (ZGA)-related genes. Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are regarded as “deleterious genomic parasites”, were previously considered to be “junk DNA”. However, it is now known that ERVs, with limited conservatism across species, mediate conserved developmental processes (e.g., ZGA). Transcriptional activation of ERVs occurs during the transition from maternal control to zygotic genome control, signifying ZGA. ERVs are versatile participants in rewiring gene expression networks during epigenetic reprogramming. Particularly, a subtle balance exists between ERV activation and ERV repression in host–virus interplay, which leads to stage-specific ERV expression during pre-implantation embryo development. A large portion of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos display developmental arrest and ZGA failure during pre-implantation embryo development. Furthermore, because of the close relationship between ERV activation and ZGA, exploring the regulatory mechanism underlying ERV activation may also shed more light on the enigma of SCNT embryo development in model animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessReview Clonal Hematopoiesis with Oncogenic Potential (CHOP): Separation from CHIP and Roads to AML
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030789
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The development of leukemia is a step-wise process that is associated with molecular diversification and clonal selection of neoplastic stem cells. Depending on the number and combinations of lesions, one or more sub-clones expand/s after a variable latency period. Initial stages may develop [...] Read more.
The development of leukemia is a step-wise process that is associated with molecular diversification and clonal selection of neoplastic stem cells. Depending on the number and combinations of lesions, one or more sub-clones expand/s after a variable latency period. Initial stages may develop early in life or later in adulthood and include premalignant (indolent) stages and the malignant phase, defined by an acute leukemia. We recently proposed a cancer model in which the earliest somatic lesions are often age-related early mutations detectable in apparently healthy individuals and where additional oncogenic mutations will lead to the development of an overt neoplasm that is usually a preleukemic condition such as a myelodysplastic syndrome. These neoplasms may or may not transform to overt acute leukemia over time. Thus, depending on the type and number of somatic mutations, clonal hematopoiesis (CH) can be divided into CH with indeterminate potential (CHIP) and CH with oncogenic potential (CHOP). Whereas CHIP mutations per se usually create the molecular background of a neoplastic process, CHOP mutations are disease-related or even disease-specific lesions that trigger differentiation and/or proliferation of neoplastic cells. Over time, the acquisition of additional oncogenic events converts preleukemic neoplasms into secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML). In the present article, recent developments in the field are discussed with a focus on CHOP mutations that lead to distinct myeloid neoplasms, their role in disease evolution, and the impact of additional lesions that can drive a preleukemic neoplasm into sAML. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics, Biology, and Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia)
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Open AccessArticle Proteomics Analysis of E. angustifolia Seedlings Inoculated with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi under Salt Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030788
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
To reveal the mechanism of salinity stress alleviation by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), we investigated the growth parameter, soluble sugar, soluble protein, and protein abundance pattern of E. angustifolia seedlings that were cultured under salinity stress (300 mmol/L NaCl) and inoculated by Rhizophagus [...] Read more.
To reveal the mechanism of salinity stress alleviation by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), we investigated the growth parameter, soluble sugar, soluble protein, and protein abundance pattern of E. angustifolia seedlings that were cultured under salinity stress (300 mmol/L NaCl) and inoculated by Rhizophagus irregularis (RI). Furthermore, a label-free quantitative proteomics approach was used to reveal the stress-responsive proteins in the leaves of E. angustifolia. The result indicates that the abundance of 75 proteins in the leaves was significantly influenced when E. angustifolia was inoculated with AMF, which were mainly involved in the metabolism, signal transduction, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging. Furthermore, we identified chorismate mutase, elongation factor mitochondrial, peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase, calcium-dependent kinase, glutathione S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, NADH dehydrogenase, alkaline neutral invertase, peroxidase, and other proteins closely related to the salt tolerance process. The proteomic results indicated that E. angustifolia seedlings inoculated with AMF increased the secondary metabolism level of phenylpropane metabolism, enhanced the signal transduction of Ca2+ and ROS scavenging ability, promoted the biosynthesis of protein, accelerated the protein folding, and inhibited the degradation of protein under salt stress. Moreover, AMF enhanced the synthesis of ATP and provided sufficient energy for plant cell activity. This study implied that symbiosis of halophytes and AMF has potential as an application for the improvement of saline-alkali soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 RirA Is Required for Oxidative Stress Resistance and Efficient Symbiosis with Soybean
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030787
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Members of Rhizobiaceae contain a homologue of the iron-responsive regulatory protein RirA. In different bacteria, RirA acts as a repressor of iron uptake systems under iron-replete conditions and contributes to ameliorate cell damage during oxidative stress. In Rhizobium leguminosarum and Sinorhizobium meliloti, [...] Read more.
Members of Rhizobiaceae contain a homologue of the iron-responsive regulatory protein RirA. In different bacteria, RirA acts as a repressor of iron uptake systems under iron-replete conditions and contributes to ameliorate cell damage during oxidative stress. In Rhizobium leguminosarum and Sinorhizobium meliloti, mutations in rirA do not impair symbiotic nitrogen fixation. In this study, a rirA mutant of broad host range S. fredii HH103 has been constructed (SVQ780) and its free-living and symbiotic phenotypes evaluated. No production of siderophores could be detected in either the wild-type or SVQ780. The rirA mutant exhibited a growth advantage under iron-deficient conditions and hypersensitivity to hydrogen peroxide in iron-rich medium. Transcription of rirA in HH103 is subject to autoregulation and inactivation of the gene upregulates fbpA, a gene putatively involved in iron transport. The S. fredii rirA mutant was able to nodulate soybean plants, but symbiotic nitrogen fixation was impaired. Nodules induced by the mutant were poorly infected compared to those induced by the wild-type. Genetic complementation reversed the mutant’s hypersensitivity to H2O2, expression of fbpA, and symbiotic deficiency in soybean plants. This is the first report that demonstrates a role for RirA in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Nitrogen Fixation)
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Open AccessArticle Engineering of Fatty Acid Synthases (FASs) to Boost the Production of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) in Mucor circinelloides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030786
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Increasing energy demands and health-related concerns worldwide have motivated researchers to adopt diverse strategies to improve medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) biosynthesis for use in the functional food and aviation industries. The abundance of naturally produced MCFAs from botanical sources (i.e., coconut fruit/seeds and [...] Read more.
Increasing energy demands and health-related concerns worldwide have motivated researchers to adopt diverse strategies to improve medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) biosynthesis for use in the functional food and aviation industries. The abundance of naturally produced MCFAs from botanical sources (i.e., coconut fruit/seeds and palm tree) has been observed to be insufficient compared with the various microorganisms used to cope with industrial demands. Mucor circinelloides is one of many promising microorganisms; it exhibits diverse biotechnological importance ranging from the production of functional lipids to applications in the manufacture of bio-fuel. Thus, research was conducted to acquire the desired elevated amounts of MCFAs (i.e., C8–C12) from metabolically engineered strains of M. circinelloides M65. To achieve this goal, four different acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) thioesterase (TE)-encoding genes exhibiting a substrate preference for medium-chain acyl-ACP molecules were expressed in M. circinelloides M65, resulting in the generation of C8–C12 fatty acids. Among all the engineered strains, M65-TE-03 and M65-TE-04 demonstrated the highest production of non-native C8–C10 and C12 fatty acids, respectively, in comparison to the control. These recombinant strains biosynthesized MCFAs de novo within the range from 28 to 46% (i.e., 1.14 to 2.77 g/L) of total cell lipids. Moreover, the reduction in chain length eventually resulted in a 1.5–1.75-fold increase in total lipid productivity in the engineered strains. The MCFAs were also found to be integrated into all lipid classes. This work illustrates how the integration of heterologous enzymes in M. circinelloides can offer a novel opportunity to edit the fatty acid synthases (FAS) complex, resulting in increased production of microbial MFCAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle A Control-Theoretic Model of Atherosclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030785
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
We propose a control-theoretic aggregate model of the progression of atherosclerosis plaque, a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall, to study the basic features of this disease. In the model, we exploit the role of inflammation in the disease progression, and use [...] Read more.
We propose a control-theoretic aggregate model of the progression of atherosclerosis plaque, a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall, to study the basic features of this disease. In the model, we exploit the role of inflammation in the disease progression, and use statins—drugs commonly recommended in atherosclerosis—to control this progression. We use a logistic function to allow for constrained growth of plaque. In the model, both the patient’s age and overall health impact the plaque growth and its sensitivity to statins. The model parameters are estimated using original data, or calibrated using published research as well as our own clinical and laboratory studies. We contend that our model helps to gauge the statins’ impact on a patient’s plaque thickness, hence the disease’s progression and cardiovascular risk, without requiring artery scans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathomechanisms of Atherosclerosis. Part I)
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Open AccessReview Molecular Research in Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030784
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) is a debilitating disease, for which the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms have yet to be fully elucidated. Occurrence of a pulmonary embolism (PE) is a major risk factor for the development of CTEPH, with non-resolution of the thrombus being [...] Read more.
Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) is a debilitating disease, for which the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms have yet to be fully elucidated. Occurrence of a pulmonary embolism (PE) is a major risk factor for the development of CTEPH, with non-resolution of the thrombus being considered the main cause of CTEPH. Polymorphisms in the α-chain of fibrinogen have been linked to resistance to fibrinolysis in CTEPH patients, and could be responsible for development and disease progression. However, it is likely that additional genetic predisposition, as well as genetic and molecular alterations occurring as a consequence of tissue remodeling in the pulmonary arteries following a persistent PE, also play an important role in CTEPH. This review summarises the current knowledge regarding genetic differences between CTEPH patients and controls (with or without pulmonary hypertension). Mutations in BMPR2, differential gene and microRNA expression, and the transcription factor FoxO1 have been suggested to be involved in the processes underlying the development of CTEPH. While these studies provide the first indications regarding important dysregulated pathways in CTEPH (e.g., TGF-β and PI3K signaling), additional in-depth investigations are required to fully understand the complex processes leading to CTEPH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Pulmonary Hypertension)
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Open AccessArticle Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter the Transcriptome of Soybean and Decrease Plant Resistance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030783
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Neonicotinoids are widely used systemic insecticides that have been associated with spider mite outbreaks on diverse plants. These insecticides have complex effects on plant physiology, which have been speculated to drive enhanced performance of spider mites. We used RNA-Seq to explore how neonicotinoids [...] Read more.
Neonicotinoids are widely used systemic insecticides that have been associated with spider mite outbreaks on diverse plants. These insecticides have complex effects on plant physiology, which have been speculated to drive enhanced performance of spider mites. We used RNA-Seq to explore how neonicotinoids modify gene expression in soybean thereby lowering plant resistance. We exposed soybean (Glycine max L.) to two neonicotinoid insecticides, thiamethoxam applied to seeds and imidacloprid applied as a soil drench, and we exposed a subset of these plants to spider mites (Tetranychus cinnabarinus). Applications of both insecticides downregulated genes involved in plant—pathogen interactions, phytohormone pathways, phenylpropanoid pathway, and cell wall biosynthesis. These effects were especially pronounced in plants exposed to thiamethoxam. Introduction of spider mites restored induction of genes in these pathways in plants treated with imidacloprid, while expression of genes involved in phenylpropanoid synthesis, in particular, remained downregulated in thiamethoxam-treated plants. Our outcomes indicate that both insecticides suppress genes in pathways relevant to plant–arthropod interactions, and suppression of genes involved in cell wall synthesis may explain lower plant resistance to spider mites, cell-content feeders. These effects appear to be particularly significant when plants are exposed to neonicotinoids applied to soybean seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions 2018)
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Open AccessArticle The Chemical Transformation of the Cellular Toxin INT (2-(4-Iodophenyl)-3-(4-Nitrophenyl)-5-(Phenyl) Tetrazolium Chloride) as an Indicator of Prior Respiratory Activity in Aquatic Bacteria
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030782
Received: 13 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
In the ocean, the prokaryote respiration rates dominate the oxidation of organics, but the measurements may be biased due to pre-incubation size filtration and long incubation times. To overcome these difficulties, proxies for microbial respiration rates have been proposed, such as the in [...] Read more.
In the ocean, the prokaryote respiration rates dominate the oxidation of organics, but the measurements may be biased due to pre-incubation size filtration and long incubation times. To overcome these difficulties, proxies for microbial respiration rates have been proposed, such as the in vitro and in vivo estimation of electron transport system rates (ETS) based on the reduction of tetrazolium salts. INT (2-(4-Iodophenyl)-3-(4-Nitrophenyl)-5-(Phenyl) Tetrazolium Chloride) is the most commonly applied tetrazolium salt, although it is toxic on time scales of less than 1 h for prokaryotes. This toxicity invalidates the interpretation of the rate of in vivo INT reduction to formazan as a proxy for oxygen consumption rates. We found that with aquatic bacteria, the amount of reduced INT (F; µmol/L formazan) showed excellent relation with the respiration rates prior to INT addition (R; O2 µmol/L/hr), using samples of natural marine microbial communities and cultures of bacteria (V. harveyi) in batch and continuous cultures. We are here relating a physiological rate with the reductive potential of the poisoned cell with units of concentration. The respiration rate in cultures is well related to the cellular potential of microbial cells to reduce INT, despite the state of intoxication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Targets and Toxicity)
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Open AccessReview Supramolecular Gel as the Template for Catalysis, Inorganic Superstructure, and Pharmaceutical Crystallization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030781
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
A supramolecular gel is a fascinating combination of flexibility and orderliness. While the supramolecular nature of crosslinking contributes towards the adaptivity and the reversibility of the system, orderliness at the molecular level amplifies the functional output and induces extraordinary selectivity into the system. [...] Read more.
A supramolecular gel is a fascinating combination of flexibility and orderliness. While the supramolecular nature of crosslinking contributes towards the adaptivity and the reversibility of the system, orderliness at the molecular level amplifies the functional output and induces extraordinary selectivity into the system. Therefore, use of supramolecular gels as the soft template is an emerging area of research, which includes but not limited to catalysis of a chemical or a photochemical process, transcription of gel property to a substrate, or even controlling the nucleation of drug molecules. This review aims to highlight the template effect of supramolecular gels in the above-mentioned areas relevant to novel fundamental chemistry, technology, and healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supramolecular Functional Materials)
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Open AccessArticle A Thermostable Monoacylglycerol Lipase from Marine Geobacillus sp. 12AMOR1: Biochemical Characterization and Mutagenesis Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030780
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Lipases with unique substrate specificity are highly desired in biotechnological applications. In this study, a putative marine Geobacillus sp. monoacylglycerol lipase (GMGL) encoded gene was identified by a genomic mining strategy. The gene was expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tag fusion protein [...] Read more.
Lipases with unique substrate specificity are highly desired in biotechnological applications. In this study, a putative marine Geobacillus sp. monoacylglycerol lipase (GMGL) encoded gene was identified by a genomic mining strategy. The gene was expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tag fusion protein and purified by affinity chromatography with a yield of 264 mg per liter fermentation broth. The recombinant GMGL shows the highest hydrolysis activity at 60 °C and pH 8.0, and the half-life was 60 min at 70 °C. The GMGL is active on monoacylglycerol (MAG) substrate but not diacylglycerol (DAG) or triacylglycerol (TAG), and produces MAG as the single product in the esterification reaction. Modeling structure analysis showed that the catalytic triad is formed by Ser97, Asp196 and His226, and the flexible cap region is constituted by residues from Ala120 to Thr160. A mutagenesis study on Leu142, Ile145 and Ile170 located in the substrate binding tunnel revealed that these residues were related with its substrate specificity. The kcat/Km value toward the pNP-C6 substrate in mutants Leu142Ala, Ile145Ala and Ile170Phe increased to 2.3-, 1.4- and 2.2-fold as compared to that of the wild type, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Enzymes)
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Open AccessReview The Astrocytic cAMP Pathway in Health and Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030779
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Astrocytes are major glial cells that play critical roles in brain homeostasis. Abnormalities in astrocytic functions can lead to brain disorders. Astrocytes also respond to injury and disease through gliosis and immune activation, which can be both protective and detrimental. Thus, it is [...] Read more.
Astrocytes are major glial cells that play critical roles in brain homeostasis. Abnormalities in astrocytic functions can lead to brain disorders. Astrocytes also respond to injury and disease through gliosis and immune activation, which can be both protective and detrimental. Thus, it is essential to elucidate the function of astrocytes in order to understand the physiology of the brain to develop therapeutic strategies against brain diseases. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is a major second messenger that triggers various downstream cellular machinery in a wide variety of cells. The functions of astrocytes have also been suggested as being regulated by cAMP. Here, we summarize the possible roles of cAMP signaling in regulating the functions of astrocytes. Specifically, we introduce the ways in which cAMP pathways are involved in astrocyte functions, including (1) energy supply, (2) maintenance of the extracellular environment, (3) immune response, and (4) a potential role as a provider of trophic factors, and we discuss how these cAMP-regulated processes can affect brain functions in health and disease. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Metallome of Lung Cancer and its Potential Use as Biomarker
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030778
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Carcinogenesis is a very complex process in which metals have been found to be critically involved. In this sense, a disturbed redox status and metal dyshomeostasis take place during the onset and progression of cancer, and it is well-known that trace elements participate [...] Read more.
Carcinogenesis is a very complex process in which metals have been found to be critically involved. In this sense, a disturbed redox status and metal dyshomeostasis take place during the onset and progression of cancer, and it is well-known that trace elements participate in the activation or inhibition of enzymatic reactions and metalloproteins, in which they usually participate as cofactors. Until now, the role of metals in cancer have been studied as an effect, establishing that cancer onset and progression affects the disturbance of the natural chemical form of the essential elements in the metabolism. However, it has also been studied as a cause, giving insights related to the high exposure of metals giving a place to the carcinogenic process. On the other hand, the chemical species of the metal or metallobiomolecule is very important, since it finally affects the biological activity or the toxicological potential of the element and their mobility across different biological compartments. Moreover, the importance of metal homeostasis and metals interactions in biology has also been demonstrated, and the ratios between some elements were found to be different in cancer patients; however, the interplay of elements is rarely reported. This review focuses on the critical role of metals in lung cancer, which is one of the most insidious forms of cancer, with special attention to the analytical approaches and pitfalls to extract metals and their species from tissues and biofluids, determining the ratios of metals, obtaining classification profiles, and finally defining the metallome of lung cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metallomics: Integrated Biosciences for Elements)
Open AccessArticle Preclinical Evaluation of Long-Term Neuroprotective Effects of BDNF-Engineered Mesenchymal Stromal Cells as Intravitreal Therapy for Chronic Retinal Degeneration in Rd6 Mutant Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030777
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to investigate whether the transplantation of genetically engineered bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to overexpress brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) could rescue the chronic degenerative process of slow retinal degeneration in the rd6 (retinal degeneration 6) mouse model and sought [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate whether the transplantation of genetically engineered bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to overexpress brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) could rescue the chronic degenerative process of slow retinal degeneration in the rd6 (retinal degeneration 6) mouse model and sought to identify the potential underlying mechanisms. Rd6 mice were subjected to the intravitreal injection of lentivirally modified MSC-BDNF or unmodified MSC or saline. In vivo morphology, electrophysiological retinal function (ERG), and the expression of apoptosis-related genes, as well as BDNF and its receptor (TrkB), were assessed in retinas collected at 28 days and three months after transplantation. We observed that cells survived for at least three months after transplantation. MSC-BDNF preferentially integrated into the outer retinal layers and considerably rescued damaged retinal cells, as evaluated by ERG and immunofluorescence staining. Additionally, compared with controls, the therapy with MSC-BDNF was associated with the induction of molecular changes related to anti-apoptotic signaling. In conclusion, BDNF overexpression observed in retinas after MSC-BDNF treatment could enhance the neuroprotective properties of transplanted autologous MSCs alone in the chronically degenerated retina. This research provides evidence for the long-term efficacy of genetically-modified MSC and may represent a strategy for treating various forms of degenerative retinopathies in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor 2018)
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Open AccessArticle MRI Relaxometry for Quantitative Analysis of USPIO Uptake in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030776
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
A protocol for evaluating ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (USPIO) uptake and elimination in cerebral small vessel disease patients was developed and piloted. B1-insensitive R1 measurement was evaluated in vitro. Twelve participants with history of minor stroke were scanned [...] Read more.
A protocol for evaluating ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (USPIO) uptake and elimination in cerebral small vessel disease patients was developed and piloted. B1-insensitive R1 measurement was evaluated in vitro. Twelve participants with history of minor stroke were scanned at 3-T MRI including structural imaging, and R1 and R2* mapping. Participants were scanned (i) before and (ii) after USPIO (ferumoxytol) infusion, and again at (iii) 24–30 h and (iv) one month. Absolute and blood-normalised changes in R1 and R2* were measured in white matter (WM), deep grey matter (GM), white matter hyperintensity (WMH) and stroke lesion regions. R1 measurements were accurate across a wide range of values. R1 (p < 0.05) and R2* (p < 0.01) mapping detected increases in relaxation rate in all tissues immediately post-USPIO and at 24–30 h. R2* returned to baseline at one month. Blood-normalised R1 and R2* changes post-infusion and at 24–30 h were similar, and were greater in GM versus WM (p < 0.001). Narrower distributions were seen with R2* than for R1 mapping. R1 and R2* changes were correlated at 24–30 h (p < 0.01). MRI relaxometry permits quantitative evaluation of USPIO uptake; R2* appears to be more sensitive to USPIO than R1. Our data are explained by intravascular uptake alone, yielding estimates of cerebral blood volume, and did not support parenchymal uptake. Ferumoxytol appears to be eliminated at 1 month. The approach should be valuable in future studies to quantify both blood-pool USPIO and parenchymal uptake associated with inflammatory cells or blood-brain barrier leak. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Importance of Conserved Serine for C-Terminally Encoded Peptides Function Exertion in Apple
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030775
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: The C-terminally encoded peptide (CEP) family has been shown to play vital roles in plant growth. Although a genome-wide analysis of this family has been performed in Arabidopsis, little is known regarding CEPs in apple (Malus domestica). Methods: Here, a [...] Read more.
Background: The C-terminally encoded peptide (CEP) family has been shown to play vital roles in plant growth. Although a genome-wide analysis of this family has been performed in Arabidopsis, little is known regarding CEPs in apple (Malus domestica). Methods: Here, a comprehensive bioinformatics approach was applied to identify MdCEPs in apple, and 12 MdCEP genes were identified and distributed on 6 chromosomes. Results: MdCEP1 peptide had an inhibitory effect on root growth of apple seedlings, indicating that MdCEP1 played a negative role in root development. In addition, the serine and glycine residues remained conserved within the CEP domains, and MdCEP1 lost its function after mutation of these two key amino acids, suggesting that Ser10 and Gly14 residues are crucial for MdCEPs-mediated root growth of apple. Encouragingly, multiple sequence alignment of 273 CEP domains showed that Ser10 residue was evolutionarily conserved in monocot and eudicot plants. MdCEP derivative (Ser to Cys) lost the ability to inhibit the root growth of Nicotiana benthamiana, Setaria italic, Samolous parviflorus, and Raphanus sativus L. and up-regulate the NO3 importer gene NRT2.1. Conclusion: Taken together, Ser10 residue is crucial for CEP function exertion in higher land plants, at least in apple. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessReview Semaphorin 3C as a Therapeutic Target in Prostate and Other Cancers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030774
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The semaphorins represent a large family of signaling molecules with crucial roles in neuronal and cardiac development. While normal semaphorin function pertains largely to development, their involvement in malignancy is becoming increasingly evident. One member, Semaphorin 3C (SEMA3C), has been shown to drive [...] Read more.
The semaphorins represent a large family of signaling molecules with crucial roles in neuronal and cardiac development. While normal semaphorin function pertains largely to development, their involvement in malignancy is becoming increasingly evident. One member, Semaphorin 3C (SEMA3C), has been shown to drive a number of oncogenic programs, correlate inversely with cancer prognosis, and promote the progression of multiple different cancer types. This report surveys the body of knowledge surrounding SEMA3C as a therapeutic target in cancer. In particular, we summarize SEMA3C’s role as an autocrine andromedin in prostate cancer growth and survival and provide an overview of other cancer types that SEMA3C has been implicated in including pancreas, brain, breast, and stomach. We also propose molecular strategies that could potentially be deployed against SEMA3C as anticancer agents such as biologics, small molecules, monoclonal antibodies and antisense oligonucleotides. Finally, we discuss important considerations for the inhibition of SEMA3C as a cancer therapeutic agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cancer-Specifically Re-Spliced TSG101 mRNA Promotes Invasion and Metastasis of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030773
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
TSG101 (Tumor susceptibility 101) gene and its aberrantly spliced isoform, termed TSG101∆154-1054, are tightly linked to tumorigenesis in various cancers. The aberrant TSG101∆154-1054 mRNA is generated from cancer-specific re-splicing of mature TSG101 mRNA. The TSG101∆154-1054 protein protects the full-length TSG101 protein from ubiquitin-mediated [...] Read more.
TSG101 (Tumor susceptibility 101) gene and its aberrantly spliced isoform, termed TSG101∆154-1054, are tightly linked to tumorigenesis in various cancers. The aberrant TSG101∆154-1054 mRNA is generated from cancer-specific re-splicing of mature TSG101 mRNA. The TSG101∆154-1054 protein protects the full-length TSG101 protein from ubiquitin-mediated degradation, implicating TSG101∆154-1054 protein in the progression of cancer. Here, we confirmed that the presence of TSG101∆154-1054 mRNA indeed caused an accumulation of the TSG101 protein in biopsies of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), which was recapitulated by the overexpression of TSG101∆154-1054 in the NPC cell line TW01. We demonstrate the potential function of the TSG101∆154-1054 protein in the malignancy of human NPC with scratch-wound healing and transwell invasion assays. By increasing the stability of the TSG101 protein, TSG101∆154-1054 specifically enhanced TSG101-mediated TW01 cell migration and invasion, suggesting the involvement in NPC metastasis in vivo. This finding sheds light on the functional significance of TSG101∆154-1054 generation via re-splicing of TSG101 mRNA in NPC metastasis and hints at its potential importance as a therapeutic target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pre-mRNA Splicing 2018)
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Open AccessCommentary Mini Review/Commentary: Growth Hormone Treatment in Children with Type 1 Diabetes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 772; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030772
Received: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
In the state of insulin deficiency, the growth hormone—insulin-like growth factor-I (GH–IGF-I) axis is altered due to hepatic GH resistance, which leads to GH hypersecretion and low circulating IGF-I concentration. On the other hand, both growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and GH excess have [...] Read more.
In the state of insulin deficiency, the growth hormone—insulin-like growth factor-I (GH–IGF-I) axis is altered due to hepatic GH resistance, which leads to GH hypersecretion and low circulating IGF-I concentration. On the other hand, both growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and GH excess have significant influence on carbohydrate metabolism. These complex interactions are challenging in diagnosing GHD in subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and in treating subjects with T1DM with GH. So far, there is only limited clinical experience in GH treatment in patients with T1DM, but recently first reports on metabolic safety and efficacy of GH treatment in subjects with T1DM have been published. Full article
Open AccessArticle Lymphoproliferation Impairment and Oxidative Stress in Blood Cells from Early Parkinson’s Disease Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030771
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
In Parkinson’s Disease (PD), the peripheral changes in the functional capacity and redox state of immune cells has been scarcely investigated, especially in the early PD stages. Aging is a risk factor for PD, and the age-related impairment of the immune system, based [...] Read more.
In Parkinson’s Disease (PD), the peripheral changes in the functional capacity and redox state of immune cells has been scarcely investigated, especially in the early PD stages. Aging is a risk factor for PD, and the age-related impairment of the immune system, based on a chronic-oxidative stress situation, is involved in the rate of aging. We analyzed several functions in isolated peripheral blood neutrophils and mononuclear cells from PD stage 2 patients, and compared the results to those in healthy elderly and adult controls. Several oxidative stress and damage parameters were studied in whole blood cells. The results showed an impairment of the lymphoproliferative response in stimulated conditions in the PD patients compared with age-matched controls, who also showed typical immunosenescence in comparison with adult individuals. Higher oxidative stress and damage were observed in whole blood cells from PD patients (lower glutathione peroxidase activity, and higher oxidized glutathione and malondialdehyde contents). Our results suggest an accelerated immunosenescence in PD stage 2, and that several of the parameters studied could be appropriate peripheral biomarkers in the early stages of PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunosenescence and Related Processes)
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Open AccessArticle Developmental Transformation and Reduction of Connective Cavities within the Subchondral Bone
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030770
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
It is widely accepted that the subchondral bone (SCB) plays a crucial role in the physiopathology of osteoarthritis (OA), although its contribution is still debated. Much of the pre-clinical research on the role of SCB is concentrated on comparative evaluations of healthy vs. [...] Read more.
It is widely accepted that the subchondral bone (SCB) plays a crucial role in the physiopathology of osteoarthritis (OA), although its contribution is still debated. Much of the pre-clinical research on the role of SCB is concentrated on comparative evaluations of healthy vs. early OA or early OA vs. advanced OA cases, while neglecting how pure maturation could change the SCB’s microstructure. To assess the transformations of the healthy SCB from young age to early adulthood, we examined the microstructure and material composition of the medial condyle of the femur in calves (three months) and cattle (18 months) for the calcified cartilage (CC) and the subchondral bone plate (SCBP). The entire subchondral zone (SCZ) was significantly thicker in cattle compared to calves, although the proportion of the CC and SCBP thicknesses were relatively constant. The trabecular number (Tb.N.) and the connectivity density (Conn.D) were significantly higher in the deeper region of the SCZ, while the bone volume fraction (BV/TV), and the degree of anisotropy (DA) were more affected by age rather than the region. The mineralization increased within the first 250 µm of the SCZ irrespective of sample type, and became stable thereafter. Cattle exhibited higher mineralization than calves at all depths, with a mean Ca/P ratio of 1.59 and 1.64 for calves and cattle, respectively. Collectively, these results indicate that the SCZ is highly dynamic at early age, and CC is the most dynamic layer of the SCZ. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Oxidative-Inflammatory Stress in Immune Cells from Adult Mice with Premature Aging
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030769
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Oxidative and inflammatory stresses are closely related processes, which contribute to age-associated impairments that affect the regulatory systems such as the immune system and its immunosenescence. Therefore, the aim of this work was to confirm whether an oxidative/inflammatory stress occurs in immune cells [...] Read more.
Oxidative and inflammatory stresses are closely related processes, which contribute to age-associated impairments that affect the regulatory systems such as the immune system and its immunosenescence. Therefore, the aim of this work was to confirm whether an oxidative/inflammatory stress occurs in immune cells from adult mice with premature aging, similar to that shown in leukocytes from chronologically old animals, and if this results in immunosenescence. Several oxidants/antioxidants and inflammatory/anti-inflammatory cytokines were analyzed in peritoneal leukocytes from adult female CD1 mice in two models of premature aging—(a) prematurely aging mice (PAM) and (b) mice with the deletion of a single allele (hemi-zygotic: HZ) of the tyrosine hydroxylase (th) gene (TH-HZ), together with cells from chronologically old animals. Several immune function parameters were also studied in peritoneal phagocytes and lymphocytes. The same oxidants and antioxidants were also analyzed in spleen and thymus leukocytes. The results showed that the immune cells of PAM and TH-HZ mice presented lower values of antioxidant defenses and higher values of oxidants/pro-inflammatory cytokines than cells from corresponding controls, and similar to those in cells from old animals. Moreover, premature immunosenescence in peritoneal leukocytes from both PAM and TH-HZ mice was also observed. In conclusion, adult PAM and TH-HZ mice showed oxidative stress in their immune cells, which would explain their immunosenescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunosenescence and Related Processes)
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Open AccessArticle IL-10 Could Play a Role in the Interrelation between Diabetes Mellitus and Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030768
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 19 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The association between osteoarthritis (OA), obesity and metabolic syndrome suggests an interrelation between OA and diabetes mellitus (DM). Little is known about the role of anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 in the interrelation between OA and DM. Hence, the effects of IL-10 under hyperglycemia [...] Read more.
The association between osteoarthritis (OA), obesity and metabolic syndrome suggests an interrelation between OA and diabetes mellitus (DM). Little is known about the role of anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 in the interrelation between OA and DM. Hence, the effects of IL-10 under hyperglycemia (HG) and hyperinsulinemia (HI) in human articular chondrocytes (hAC) and chondrosarcoma cell line Okayama University Medical School (OUMS)-27 were examined. HAC and OUMS-27, cultured in normoglycemic (NG) and HG conditions were stimulated with insulin and/or IL-10. Cell survival, metabolic activity, proliferation and extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis were immunocytochemically examined. No significant differences in vitality of hAC neither in pure NG (NGw/o) nor HG (HGw/o) conditions were found. Applying HI and/or IL-10 in both conditions reduced significantly the vitality of hAC but not of OUMS-27. HG impaired significantly hAC metabolism. When combined with HI + IL-10 or IL-10 alone it decreased also significantly hAC proliferation compared to NGw/o. In OUMS-27 it induced only a trend of impaired proliferation compared to NGw/o. hAC but not OUMS-27 reduced significantly their collagen type (col) I, SOX9 and proteoglycan (PG) synthesis in HG combined with HI +/− IL-10 compared to NGw/o. IL-10 could not moderate HI and HG effects. In contrast to hAC OUMS-27 showed limited sensitivity as DM model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle MIST1, an Inductive Signal for Salivary Amylase in Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030767
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS) is an autoimmune disease that destroys the salivary glands and results in severe dry mouth. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has been recently proposed as a promising therapy for restoring cells in multiple degenerative diseases. We have recently utilized advanced [...] Read more.
Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS) is an autoimmune disease that destroys the salivary glands and results in severe dry mouth. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has been recently proposed as a promising therapy for restoring cells in multiple degenerative diseases. We have recently utilized advanced proteomics biochemical assays to identify the key molecules involved in the mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) of co-cultured mouse bone-marrow-derived MSCs mMSCs with primary salivary gland cells. Among the multiple transcription factors (TFs) that were differentially expressed, two major TFs were selected: muscle, intestine, and stomach expression-1 (MIST1) and transcription factor E2a (TCF3). These factors were assessed in the current study for their ability to drive the expression of acinar cell marker, alpha-salivary amylase 1 (AMY1), and ductal cell marker, cytokeratin19 (CK19), in vitro. Overexpression of MIST1-induced AMY1 expression while it had little effect on CK19 expression. In contrast, TCF3 induced neither of those cellular markers. Furthermore, we have identified that mMSCs express muscarinic-type 3 receptor (M3R) mainly in the cytoplasm and aquaporin 5 (AQP5) in the nucleus. While MIST1 did not alter M3R levels in mMSCs, a TCF3 overexpression downregulated M3R expressions in mMSCs. The mechanisms for such differential regulation of glandular markers by these TFs warrant further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role and Application of Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine)
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Open AccessEditorial AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Signalling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030766
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulates energy homeostasis in eukaryotic cells and organisms [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Signalling) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Skeletal Muscle of a Fibromyalgia Model: The Potential Benefits of Melatonin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030765
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is considered a musculoskeletal disorder associated to other symptoms including chronic pain. Since the hypothesis of FMS etiogenesis is consistent with mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, we evaluated the pathophysiological correlation among these factors studying some proteins involved in the [...] Read more.
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is considered a musculoskeletal disorder associated to other symptoms including chronic pain. Since the hypothesis of FMS etiogenesis is consistent with mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, we evaluated the pathophysiological correlation among these factors studying some proteins involved in the mitochondrial homeostasis. We focused our attention on the roles of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1α), mitofusin2 (Mfn2), and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in reserpine-induced myalgic (RIM) rats that manifest fibromyalgia-like chronic pain symptoms. First, we underlined that RIM rats are a good model for studying the pathophysiology of FMS and moreover, we found that PGC-1α, Mfn2, and CoQ10 are involved in FMS. In fact, their expressions were reduced in gastrocnemius muscle determining an incorrect mitochondrial homeostasis. Today, none of the currently available drugs are fully effective against the symptoms of this disease and they, often, induce several adverse events; hence, many scientists have taken on the challenge of searching for non-pharmacological treatments. Another goal of this study was therefore the evaluation of the potential benefits of melatonin, an endogenous indoleamine having several functions including its potent capacity to induce antioxidant enzymes and to determine the protective or reparative mechanisms in the cells. We observed that melatonin supplementation significantly preserved all the studied parameters, counteracting oxidative stress in RIM rats and confirming that this indoleamine should be taken in consideration for improving health and/or counteract mitochondrial related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Feature Papers in Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Honey-Mediated Wound Healing: H2O2 Entry through AQP3 Determines Extracellular Ca2+ Influx
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030764
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
Since Biblical times, honey has been utilized in “folk medicine”, and in recent decades the positive qualities of honey have been re-discovered and are gaining acceptance. Scientific literature states that honey has been successfully utilized on infections not responding to classic antiseptic and [...] Read more.
Since Biblical times, honey has been utilized in “folk medicine”, and in recent decades the positive qualities of honey have been re-discovered and are gaining acceptance. Scientific literature states that honey has been successfully utilized on infections not responding to classic antiseptic and antibiotic therapy, because of its intrinsic H2O2 production. In our study, we demonstrated the involvement of H2O2 as a main mediator of honey regenerative effects on an immortalized human keratinocyte cell line. We observed that this extracellularly released H2O2 could pass across the plasma membrane through a specific aquaporin (i.e., AQP3). Once in the cytoplasm H2O2, in turn, induces the entry of extracellular Ca2+ through Melastatin Transient Receptor Potential 2 (TRPM2) and Orai1 channels. Honey-induced extracellular Ca2+ entry results in wound healing, which is consistent with the role played by Ca2+ signaling in tissue regeneration. This is the first report showing that honey exposure increases intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), due to H2O2 production and redox regulation of Ca2+-permeable ion channels, opening up a new horizon for the utilization of the honey as a beneficial tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Innovations in Wound Healing and Repair)
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Open AccessArticle Covalently-Linked Hyaluronan versus Acid Etched Titanium Dental Implants: A Crossover RCT in Humans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030763
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
Biochemical modification of titanium surfaces (BMTiS) entails immobilization of biomolecules to implant surfaces in order to induce specific host responses. This crossover randomized clinical trial assesses clinical success and marginal bone resorption of dental implants bearing a surface molecular layer of covalently-linked hyaluronan [...] Read more.
Biochemical modification of titanium surfaces (BMTiS) entails immobilization of biomolecules to implant surfaces in order to induce specific host responses. This crossover randomized clinical trial assesses clinical success and marginal bone resorption of dental implants bearing a surface molecular layer of covalently-linked hyaluronan in comparison with control implants up to 36 months after loading. Patients requiring bilateral implant rehabilitation received hyaluronan covered implants in one side of the mouth and traditional implants in the other side. Two months after the first surgery, a second surgery was undergone to uncover the screw and to place a healing abutment. After two weeks, the operator proceeded with prosthetic procedures. Implants were evaluated by periapical radiographs and the crestal bone level was recorded at mesial and distal sites—at baseline and up to 36 months. One hundred and six implants were positioned, 52 HY-coated, and 48 controls were followed up. No differences were observed in terms of insertion and stability, wound healing, implant success, and crestal bone resorption at any time considered. All interventions had an optimal healing, and no adverse events were recorded. This trial shows, for the first time, a successful use in humans of biochemical-modified implants in routine clinical practice and in healthy patients and tissues with satisfactory outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Dental Materials and Biomaterials 2018)
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