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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 20, Issue 8 (April-2 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The capsid assembly of giant viruses has been an intriguing mystery for almost three decades. We [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
PTPRK Expression Is Downregulated in Drug Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines, and Especially in ALDH1A1 Positive CSCs-Like Populations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2053; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082053
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Ovarian cancer is the 7th most common cancer and 8th most mortal cancer among woman. The standard treatment includes cytoreduction surgery followed by chemotherapy. Unfortunately, in most cases, after treatment, cancer develops drug resistance. Decreased expression and/or activity of protein phosphatases leads [...] Read more.
Background: Ovarian cancer is the 7th most common cancer and 8th most mortal cancer among woman. The standard treatment includes cytoreduction surgery followed by chemotherapy. Unfortunately, in most cases, after treatment, cancer develops drug resistance. Decreased expression and/or activity of protein phosphatases leads to increased signal transduction and development of drug resistance in cancer cells. Methods: Using sensitive (W1, A2780) and resistant ovarian cancer cell lines, the expression of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Receptor Type K (PTPRK) was performed at the mRNA (real-time PCR analysis) and protein level (Western blot, immunofluorescence analysis). The protein expression in ovarian cancer tissues was determined by immunohistochemistry. Results: The results showed a decreased level of PTPRK expression in ovarian cancer cell lines resistant to cisplatin (CIS), paclitaxel (PAC), doxorubicin (DOX), topotecan (TOP), vincristine (VIN) and methotrexate (MTX). Additionally, the lower PTPRK expression was observed in Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 Family Member A1 (ALDH1A1) positive cancer stem cells (CSCs) population, suggesting the role of PTPRK downregulation in primary as well as acquired resistance to cytotoxic drugs. Conclusions: These results provide important insights into the role of PTPRK in mechanism leading to drug resistance in ovarian cancer and has raised important questions about the role of imbalance in processes of phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessReview
Molecular and Cellular Networks in The Suprachiasmatic Nuclei
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082052
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Why do we experience the ailments of jetlag when we travel across time zones? Why is working night-shifts so detrimental to our health? In other words, why can’t we readily choose and stick to non-24 h rhythms? Actually, our daily behavior and physiology [...] Read more.
Why do we experience the ailments of jetlag when we travel across time zones? Why is working night-shifts so detrimental to our health? In other words, why can’t we readily choose and stick to non-24 h rhythms? Actually, our daily behavior and physiology do not simply result from the passive reaction of our organism to the external cycle of days and nights. Instead, an internal clock drives the variations in our bodily functions with a period close to 24 h, which is supposed to enhance fitness to regular and predictable changes of our natural environment. This so-called circadian clock relies on a molecular mechanism that generates rhythmicity in virtually all of our cells. However, the robustness of the circadian clock and its resilience to phase shifts emerge from the interaction between cell-autonomous oscillators within the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Thus, managing jetlag and other circadian disorders will undoubtedly require extensive knowledge of the functional organization of SCN cell networks. Here, we review the molecular and cellular principles of circadian timekeeping, and their integration in the multi-cellular complexity of the SCN. We propose that new, in vivo imaging techniques now enable to address these questions directly in freely moving animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Rhythms: Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms)
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Open AccessReview
Xenobiotics Formed during Food Processing: Their Relation with the Intestinal Microbiota and Colorectal Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082051
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 20 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
The colonic epithelium is exposed to a mixture of compounds through diet, among which some are procarcinogens, whereas others have a protective effect. Therefore, the net impact of these compounds on human health depends on the overall balance between all factors involved. Strong [...] Read more.
The colonic epithelium is exposed to a mixture of compounds through diet, among which some are procarcinogens, whereas others have a protective effect. Therefore, the net impact of these compounds on human health depends on the overall balance between all factors involved. Strong scientific evidence has demonstrated the relationship between nitrosamines (NA), heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are the major genotoxins derived from cooking and food processing, and cancer. The mechanisms of the relationship between dietary toxic xenobiotics and cancer risk are not yet well understood, but it has been suggested that differences in dietary habits affect the colonic environment by increasing or decreasing the exposure to mutagens directly and indirectly through changes in the composition and activity of the gut microbiota. Several changes in the proportions of specific microbial groups have been proposed as risk factors for the development of neoplastic lesions and the enrichment of enterotoxigenic microbial strains in stool. In addition, changes in the gut microbiota composition and activity promoted by diet may modify the faecal genotoxicity/cytotoxicity, which can be associated with a higher or lower risk of developing cancer. Therefore, the interaction between dietary components and intestinal bacteria may be a modifiable factor for the development of colorectal cancer in humans and deserves more attention in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiota, Food and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Elevated AA/EPA Ratio Represents an Inflammatory Biomarker in Tumor Tissue of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082050
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Chronic inflammation increases the risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer (CRC). The oxidative metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has a strong effect on colonic tumorigenesis and the levels of arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can [...] Read more.
Chronic inflammation increases the risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer (CRC). The oxidative metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has a strong effect on colonic tumorigenesis and the levels of arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can contribute to the development of an inflammatory microenvironment. Aim of this study was to evaluate the possible differences in the AA/EPA ratio tissue levels between CRC patients with and without synchronous metastases. Moreover, the expression of the most important inflammatory enzymes and mediators, linked with the AA/EPA ratio, have been also assessed. Sixty-eight patients with CRC were enrolled in the study, of which 33 patients with synchronous metastasis. Fatty acid profile analysis in tissue samples was done to examine the levels of AA and EPA. High levels of the AA/EPA ratio were detected in tumor tissue of patients with metastatic CRC. Moreover, an increase of expression of the main enzymes and mediators involved in inflammation was also detected in the same samples. The lipidomic approach of inflammation allows to evaluate lipid homeostasis changes that occur in cancer and in its metastatic process, in order to identify new biomarkers to be introduced into clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge 2019)
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Open AccessReview
Neuropilins Controlling Cancer Therapy Responsiveness
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2049; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082049
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Neuropilins (NRPs) are cell surface glycoproteins, acting as co-receptors for secreted Semaphorins (SEMAs) and for members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family; they have been initially implicated in axon guidance and angiogenesis regulation, and more recently in cancer progression. In addition, [...] Read more.
Neuropilins (NRPs) are cell surface glycoproteins, acting as co-receptors for secreted Semaphorins (SEMAs) and for members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family; they have been initially implicated in axon guidance and angiogenesis regulation, and more recently in cancer progression. In addition, NRPs have been shown to control many other fundamental signaling pathways, especially mediated by tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs) of growth factors, such as HGF (hepatocyte growth factor), PDGF (platelet derived growth factor) and EGF (epidermal growth factor). This enables NRPs to control a range of pivotal mechanisms in the cancer context, from tumor cell proliferation and metastatic dissemination, to tumor angiogenesis and immune escape. Moreover, cancer treatment failures due to resistance to innovative oncogene-targeted drugs is typically associated with the activity of alternative RTK-dependent pathways; and neuropilins’ capacity to control oncogenic signaling cascades supports the hypothesis that they could elicit such mechanisms in cancer cells, in order to escape cytotoxic stress and therapeutic attacks. Intriguingly, several studies have recently assayed the impact of NRPs inhibition in combination with diverse anti-cancer drugs. In this minireview, we will discuss the state-of-art about the relevance of NRPs as potential predictive biomarkers of drug response, and the rationale to target these proteins in combination with other anticancer therapies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Distinct Binding Dynamics, Sites and Interactions of Fullerene and Fullerenols with Amyloid-β Peptides Revealed by Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2048; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082048
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 21 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
The pathology Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with the self-assembly of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides into β-sheet enriched fibrillar aggregates. A promising treatment strategy is focused on the inhibition of amyloid fibrillization of Aβ peptide. Fullerene C60 is proved to effectively inhibit Aβ [...] Read more.
The pathology Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with the self-assembly of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides into β-sheet enriched fibrillar aggregates. A promising treatment strategy is focused on the inhibition of amyloid fibrillization of Aβ peptide. Fullerene C60 is proved to effectively inhibit Aβ fibrillation while the poor water-solubility restricts its use as a biomedicine agent. In this work, we examined the interaction of fullerene C60 and water-soluble fullerenol C60(OH)6/C60(OH)12 (C60 carrying 6/12 hydroxyl groups) with preformed Aβ40/42 protofibrils by multiple molecular dynamics simulations. We found that when binding to the Aβ42 protofibril, C60, C60(OH)6 and C60(OH)12 exhibit distinct binding dynamics, binding sites and peptide interaction. The increased number of hydroxyl groups C60 carries leads to slower binding dynamics and weaker binding strength. Binding free energy analysis demonstrates that the C60/C60(OH)6 molecule primarily binds to the C-terminal residues 31–41, whereas C60(OH)12 favors to bind to N-terminal residues 4–14. The hydrophobic interaction plays a critical role in the interplay between Aβ and all the three nanoparticles, and the π-stacking interaction gets weakened as C60 carries more hydroxyls. In addition, the C60(OH)6 molecule has high affinity to form hydrogen bonds with protein backbones. The binding behaviors of C60/C60(OH)6/C60(OH)12 to the Aβ40 protofibril resemble with those to Aβ42. Our work provides a detailed picture of fullerene/fullerenols binding to Aβ protofibril, and is helpful to understand the underlying inhibitory mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amyloid Fibrils and Methods for Their Study)
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Open AccessCommunication
Molecular Aspects of Drug-Induced Gingival Overgrowth: An In Vitro Study on Amlodipine and Gingival Fibroblasts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082047
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Gingival overgrowth is a serious side effect that accompanies the use of amlodipine. Several conflicting theories have been proposed to explain the fibroblast’s function in gingival overgrowth. To determine whether amlodipine alters the fibrotic response, we investigated its effects on treated gingival fibroblast [...] Read more.
Gingival overgrowth is a serious side effect that accompanies the use of amlodipine. Several conflicting theories have been proposed to explain the fibroblast’s function in gingival overgrowth. To determine whether amlodipine alters the fibrotic response, we investigated its effects on treated gingival fibroblast gene expression as compared with untreated cells. Materials and Methods: Fibroblasts from ATCC® Cell Lines were incubated with amlodipine. The gene expression levels of 12 genes belonging to the “Extracellular Matrix and Adhesion Molecules” pathway was investigated in treated fibroblasts cell culture, as compared with untreated cells, by real time PCR. Results: Most of the significant genes were up-regulated. (CTNND2, COL4A1, ITGA2, ITGA7, MMP10, MMP11, MMP12, MMP26) except for COL7A1, LAMB1, MMP8, and MMP16, which were down-regulated. Conclusion: These results seem to demonstrate that amlodipine has an effect on the extracellular matrix of gingival fibroblast. In the future, it would be interesting to understand the possible effect of the drug on fibroblasts of patients with amlodipine-induced gingival hyperplasia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Inflammations and Systemic Diseases)
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Open AccessCommunication
Exercise Rescues Gene Pathways Involved in Vascular Expansion and Promotes Functional Angiogenesis in Subcutaneous White Adipose Tissue
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082046
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Exercise mitigates chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity; however, the molecular mechanisms governing protection from these diseases are not completely understood. Here we demonstrate that exercise rescues metabolically compromised high fat diet (HFD) fed mice, and reprograms subcutaneous white adipose [...] Read more.
Exercise mitigates chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity; however, the molecular mechanisms governing protection from these diseases are not completely understood. Here we demonstrate that exercise rescues metabolically compromised high fat diet (HFD) fed mice, and reprograms subcutaneous white adipose tissue (scWAT). Using transcriptomic profiling, scWAT was analyzed for HFD gene expression changes that were rescued by exercise. Gene networks involved in vascularization were identified as prominent targets of exercise, which led us to investigate the vasculature architecture and endothelial phenotype. Vascular density in scWAT was found to be compromised in HFD, and exercise rescued this defect. Similarly, angiogenic capacity as measured by ex vivo capillary sprouting was significantly promoted with exercise. Together, these data demonstrate that exercise enhances scWAT vascularization and functional capacity for angiogenesis, and can prevent the detrimental effects of HFD. The improvement in these indices correlates with improvement of whole-body metabolism, suggesting that scWAT vascularization may be a potential therapeutic target for metabolic disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adipogenesis and Adipose Tissue Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
High Efficient Expression and Purification of Human Epidermal Growth Factor in Arachis Hypogaea L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082045
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 21 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) has drawn intense research attention due to its potential ability to promote healing of serious injuries, such as cuts, burns, and diabetic ulcers. Although hEGF displays prospective clinical value, the growth factor is restricted to the treatment [...] Read more.
Background: Human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) has drawn intense research attention due to its potential ability to promote healing of serious injuries, such as cuts, burns, and diabetic ulcers. Although hEGF displays prospective clinical value, the growth factor is restricted to the treatment of chronic diabetic ulcers because of its high production cost. Methods: Leguminous plant peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) hairy roots contain relatively few toxic and harmful substances, and tested as an excellent production system for hEGF in our study. To explore the possibility of hEGF expression in peanut, hEGF overexpression hairy roots were obtained by infecting leaves with Agrobacterium rhizogenes R1601. Results: The maximum transgenic hairy roots inducing rate was 82%. Protein purification and mass spectrometry assays showed that the protein expressed in peanut hairy roots was identified as hEGF. Furthermore, Methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay showed that hEGF promoted HL-7702 liver cells proliferation, which indicate that hEGF has biological activity and non-toxic on human cells. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate the capacity of peanut hairy root cultures as a controlled, sustainable, and scalable production system that can be induced to produce valued human proteins, such as hEGF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle
Exercise Alleviates Osteoporosis in Rats with Mild Chronic Kidney Disease by Decreasing Sclerostin Production
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2044; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082044
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Chronic kidney disease–mineral bone disorder (CKD–MBD), comprising mineral, hormonal, and bone metabolic imbalance, is a major CKD-related issue; it causes osteoporosis prevalence in CKD patients. Osteocyte-derived sclerostin inhibits the osteogenic Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway; its levels rise when kidney function declines. Exercise modulates the [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease–mineral bone disorder (CKD–MBD), comprising mineral, hormonal, and bone metabolic imbalance, is a major CKD-related issue; it causes osteoporosis prevalence in CKD patients. Osteocyte-derived sclerostin inhibits the osteogenic Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway; its levels rise when kidney function declines. Exercise modulates the physiological functions of osteocytes, potentially altering sclerostin production. It may aid bone and mineral electrolyte homeostasis in CKD. Mild CKD was induced in rats by partial nephrectomy. They were divided into: sham (no CKD), CKD, and CKD + exercise (8 weeks of treadmill running) groups. Micro-CT scanning demonstrated that the CKD + exercise-group rats had a higher bone mineral density (BMD) of the spine and femoral metaphysis and higher femoral trabecular bone volume than the CKD-group rats. Bone formation rates were not significantly different. The CKD + exercise-group rats had lower serum sclerostin (157.1 ± 21.1 vs 309 ± 38.1 pg/mL, p < 0.05) and CTX-1 (bone resorption marker) levels. Immunohistochemistry revealed higher tibial β-catenin concentrations in the CKD + exercise-group rats. Serum FGF-23, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), calcium, and phosphate levels showed no significant differences between these groups. Thus, exercise improves BMD and bone microstructure in mild CKD by inhibiting sclerostin production, but does not alter serum minerals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Osteoporosis: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapies)
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Open AccessCommunication
AHK3-Mediated Cytokinin Signaling Is Required for the Delayed Leaf Senescence Induced by SSPP
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082043
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Leaf senescence is a highly-programmed developmental process regulated by an array of multiple signaling pathways. Our group previously reported that overexpression of the protein phosphatase-encoding gene SSPP led to delayed leaf senescence and significantly enhanced cytokinin responses. However, it is still unclear how [...] Read more.
Leaf senescence is a highly-programmed developmental process regulated by an array of multiple signaling pathways. Our group previously reported that overexpression of the protein phosphatase-encoding gene SSPP led to delayed leaf senescence and significantly enhanced cytokinin responses. However, it is still unclear how the delayed leaf senescence phenotype is associated with the enhanced cytokinin responses. In this study, we introduced a cytokinin receptor AHK3 knockout into the 35S:SSPP background. The phenotypic analysis of double mutant revealed that AHK3 loss-of-function reversed the delayed leaf senescence induced by SSPP. Moreover, we found the hypersensitivity of 35S:SSPP to exogenous cytokinin treatment disappeared due to the introduction of AHK3 knockout. Collectively, our results demonstrated that AHK3-mediated cytokinin signaling is required for the delayed leaf senescence caused by SSPP overexpression and the detailed mechanism remains to be further elucidated. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Role of Metabolic Reprogramming in Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082042
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Activation of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is thought to be an essential step for cancer metastasis. Tumor cells undergo EMT in response to a diverse range of extra- and intracellular stimulants. Recently, it was reported that metabolic shifts control EMT progression and induce tumor [...] Read more.
Activation of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is thought to be an essential step for cancer metastasis. Tumor cells undergo EMT in response to a diverse range of extra- and intracellular stimulants. Recently, it was reported that metabolic shifts control EMT progression and induce tumor aggressiveness. In this review, we summarize the involvement of altered glucose, lipid, and amino acid metabolic enzyme expression and the underlying molecular mechanisms in EMT induction in tumor cells. Moreover, we propose that metabolic regulation through gene-specific or pharmacological inhibition may suppress EMT and this treatment strategy may be applied to prevent tumor progression and improve anti-tumor therapeutic efficacy. This review presents evidence for the importance of metabolic changes in tumor progression and emphasizes the need for further studies to better understand tumor metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT))
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Open AccessReview
Twist and Turn—Topoisomerase Functions in Mitochondrial DNA Maintenance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082041
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Like any genome, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) also requires the action of topoisomerases to resolve topological problems in its maintenance, but for a long time, little was known about mitochondrial topoisomerases. The last years have brought a closer insight into the function of these [...] Read more.
Like any genome, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) also requires the action of topoisomerases to resolve topological problems in its maintenance, but for a long time, little was known about mitochondrial topoisomerases. The last years have brought a closer insight into the function of these fascinating enzymes in mtDNA topology regulation, replication, transcription, and segregation. Here, we summarize the current knowledge about mitochondrial topoisomerases, paying special attention to mammalian mitochondrial genome maintenance. We also discuss the open gaps in the existing knowledge of mtDNA topology control and the potential involvement of mitochondrial topoisomerases in human pathologies. While Top1mt, the only exclusively mitochondrial topoisomerase in mammals, has been studied intensively for nearly a decade, only recent studies have shed some light onto the mitochondrial function of Top2β and Top3α, enzymes that are shared between nucleus and mitochondria. Top3α mediates the segregation of freshly replicated mtDNA molecules, and its dysfunction leads to mtDNA aggregation and copy number depletion in patients. Top2β, in contrast, regulates mitochondrial DNA replication and transcription through the alteration of mtDNA topology, a fact that should be acknowledged due to the frequent use of Topoisomerase 2 inhibitors in medical therapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mast Cells in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2040; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082040
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the synovial membrane, with thickening of the synovial layer, cellular hyperplasia, and infiltration of immune cells. Mast cells (MCs) are cells of the innate immunity present in healthy synovia and [...] Read more.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the synovial membrane, with thickening of the synovial layer, cellular hyperplasia, and infiltration of immune cells. Mast cells (MCs) are cells of the innate immunity present in healthy synovia and part of the cellular hyperplasia characterizing RA synovitis. Although their presence in synovia has been well described, the exact functions and the correlation of MCs with disease development and progression have been debated, particularly because of contradictory data obtained in animal models and from patients with longstanding disease. Here, we present a revision of the literature on MCs in RA, including the most recent observations obtained from patients with early RA, indicating MCs as relevant markers of disease severity in early RA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mast Cells in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Aquaporin Channels in the Heart—Physiology and Pathophysiology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082039
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Mammalian aquaporins (AQPs) are transmembrane channels expressed in a large variety of cells and tissues throughout the body. They are known as water channels, but they also facilitate the transport of small solutes, gasses, and monovalent cations. To date, 13 different AQPs, encoded [...] Read more.
Mammalian aquaporins (AQPs) are transmembrane channels expressed in a large variety of cells and tissues throughout the body. They are known as water channels, but they also facilitate the transport of small solutes, gasses, and monovalent cations. To date, 13 different AQPs, encoded by the genes AQP0AQP12, have been identified in mammals, which regulate various important biological functions in kidney, brain, lung, digestive system, eye, and skin. Consequently, dysfunction of AQPs is involved in a wide variety of disorders. AQPs are also present in the heart, even with a specific distribution pattern in cardiomyocytes, but whether their presence is essential for proper (electro)physiological cardiac function has not intensively been studied. This review summarizes recent findings and highlights the involvement of AQPs in normal and pathological cardiac function. We conclude that AQPs are at least implicated in proper cardiac water homeostasis and energy balance as well as heart failure and arsenic cardiotoxicity. However, this review also demonstrates that many effects of cardiac AQPs, especially on excitation-contraction coupling processes, are virtually unexplored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins: Water Channels Essential for Living Organisms 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Preeclampsia is Associated with Sex-Specific Transcriptional and Proteomic Changes in Fetal Erythroid Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2038; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082038
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Preeclampsia (PE) has been associated with placental dysfunction, resulting in fetal hypoxia, accelerated erythropoiesis, and increased erythroblast count in the umbilical cord blood (UCB). Although the detailed effects remain unknown, placental dysfunction can also cause inflammation, nutritional, and oxidative stress in the fetus [...] Read more.
Preeclampsia (PE) has been associated with placental dysfunction, resulting in fetal hypoxia, accelerated erythropoiesis, and increased erythroblast count in the umbilical cord blood (UCB). Although the detailed effects remain unknown, placental dysfunction can also cause inflammation, nutritional, and oxidative stress in the fetus that can affect erythropoiesis. Here, we compared the expression of surface adhesion molecules and the erythroid differentiation capacity of UCB hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs), UCB erythroid profiles along with the transcriptome and proteome of these cells between male and female fetuses from PE and normotensive pregnancies. While no significant differences were observed in UCB HSPC migration/homing and in vitro erythroid colony differentiation, the UCB HSPC transcriptome and the proteomic profile of the in vitro differentiated erythroid cells differed between PE vs. normotensive samples. Accordingly, despite the absence of significant differences in the UCB erythroid populations in male or female fetuses from PE or normotensive pregnancies, transcriptional changes were observed during erythropoiesis, particularly affecting male fetuses. Pathway analysis suggested deregulation in the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1/AMP-activated protein kinase (mTORC1/AMPK) signaling pathways controlling cell cycle, differentiation, and protein synthesis. These results associate PE with transcriptional and proteomic changes in fetal HSPCs and erythroid cells that may underlie the higher erythroblast count in the UCB in PE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of ApoE in HCV Infection and Comorbidity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2037; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082037
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 21 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus that can efficiently establish chronic infection in humans. The overlap between the HCV replication cycle and lipid metabolism is considered to be one of the primary means by which HCV efficiently develops chronic infections. In [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus that can efficiently establish chronic infection in humans. The overlap between the HCV replication cycle and lipid metabolism is considered to be one of the primary means by which HCV efficiently develops chronic infections. In the blood, HCV is complex with lipoproteins to form heterogeneous lipo-viro-particles (LVPs). Furthermore, apolipoprotein E (ApoE), which binds to receptors during lipoprotein transport and regulates lipid metabolism, is localized on the surface of LVPs. ApoE not only participate in the attachment and entry of HCV on the cell surface but also the assembly and release of HCV viral particles from cells. Moreover, in the blood, ApoE can also alter the infectivity of HCV and be used by HCV to escape recognition by the host immune system. In addition, because ApoE can also affect the antioxidant and immunomodulatory/anti-inflammatory properties of the host organism, the long-term binding and utilization of host ApoE during chronic HCV infection not only leads to liver lipid metabolic disorders but may also lead to increased morbidity and mortality associated with systemic comorbidities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Dusp6 Phosphatase as a Tumor Suppressor in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082036
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
DUSP6/MKP3 is a dual-specific phosphatase that regulates extracellular regulated kinase ERK1/2 and ERK5 activity, with an increasingly recognized role as tumor suppressor. In silico studies from Gene expression Omnibus (GEO) and Cancer Genome atlas (TCGA) databases reveal poor prognosis in those Non-small cell [...] Read more.
DUSP6/MKP3 is a dual-specific phosphatase that regulates extracellular regulated kinase ERK1/2 and ERK5 activity, with an increasingly recognized role as tumor suppressor. In silico studies from Gene expression Omnibus (GEO) and Cancer Genome atlas (TCGA) databases reveal poor prognosis in those Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with low expression levels of DUSP6. In agreement with these data, here we show that DUSP6 plays a major role in the regulation of cell migration, motility and tumor growth. We have found upregulation in the expression of several genes involved in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in NSCLC-DUSP6 depleted cells. Data obtained in RNA-seq studies carried out in DUSP6 depleted cells identified EGFR, TGF-β and WNT signaling pathways and several genes such as VAV3, RUNXR2, LEF1, FGFR2 whose expression is upregulated in these cells and therefore affecting cellular functions such as integrin mediated cell adhesion, focal adhesion and motility. Furthermore, EGF signaling pathway is activated via ERK5 and not ERK1/2 and TGF-β via SMAD2/3 in DUSP6 depleted cells. In summary DUSP6 is a tumor suppressor in NSCLC and re-establishment of its expression may be a potential strategy to revert poor outcome in NSCLC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Targets and Toxicity)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploiting Gene Expression Profiles for the Automated Prediction of Connectivity between Brain Regions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2035; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082035
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
The brain comprises a complex system of neurons interconnected by an intricate network of anatomical links. While recent studies demonstrated the correlation between anatomical connectivity patterns and gene expression of neurons, using transcriptomic information to automatically predict such patterns is still an open [...] Read more.
The brain comprises a complex system of neurons interconnected by an intricate network of anatomical links. While recent studies demonstrated the correlation between anatomical connectivity patterns and gene expression of neurons, using transcriptomic information to automatically predict such patterns is still an open challenge. In this work, we present a completely data-driven approach relying on machine learning (i.e., neural networks) to learn the anatomical connection directly from a training set of gene expression data. To do so, we combined gene expression and connectivity data from the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas to generate thousands of gene expression profile pairs from different brain regions. To each pair, we assigned a label describing the physical connection between the corresponding brain regions. Then, we exploited these data to train neural networks, designed to predict brain area connectivity. We assessed our solution on two prediction problems (with three and two connectivity class categories) involving cortical and cerebellum regions. As demonstrated by our results, we distinguish between connected and unconnected regions with 85% prediction accuracy and good balance of precision and recall. In our future work we may extend the analysis to more complex brain structures and consider RNA-Seq data as additional input to our model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Informatics)
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Open AccessArticle
Theaflavin-Enriched Fraction Stimulates Adipogenesis in Human Subcutaneous Fat Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082034
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Skin provides the first defense line against the environment while preserving physiological homeostasis. Subcutaneous tissues including fat depots that are important for maintaining skin structure and alleviating senescence are altered during aging. This study investigated whether theaflavin (TF) in green tea (GT) has [...] Read more.
Skin provides the first defense line against the environment while preserving physiological homeostasis. Subcutaneous tissues including fat depots that are important for maintaining skin structure and alleviating senescence are altered during aging. This study investigated whether theaflavin (TF) in green tea (GT) has skin rejuvenation effects. Specifically, we examined whether high ratio of TF contents can induce the subcutaneous adipogenesis supporting skin structure by modulating lipid metabolism. The co-fermented GT (CoF-GT) fraction containing a high level of TF was obtained by co-fermentation with garland chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum coronarium) and the conventionally fermented GT (F-GT) fraction was also obtained. The effects of the CoF- or F-GT fractions on adipogenesis were assessed using primary human subcutaneous fat cells (hSCF). Adipogenesis was evaluated based on lipid droplet (LD) formation, as visualized by Oil Red O staining; by analyzing of adipogenesis-related factors by real-time quantitative polyperase chain reaction (RT-qPCR); and by measuring the concentration of adiponectin released into the culture medium by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. TF-enriched CoF-GT fraction did not adversely affect hSCF cell viability but induced their adipogenic differentiation, as evidenced by LD formation, upregulation of adipogenesis-related genes, and adiponectin secretion. TF and TF-enriched CoF-GT fraction promoted differentiation of hSCFs and can therefore be used as an ingredient in rejuvenating agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Promoting Effects of Phytochemicals)
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Open AccessArticle
Real-Time 3D High-Resolution Microscopy of Human Cells on the International Space Station
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082033
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Here we report the successful first operation of FLUMIAS-DEA, a miniaturized high-resolution 3D fluorescence microscope on the International Space Station (ISS) by imaging two scientific samples in a temperature-constant system, one sample with fixed cells and one sample with living human cells. The [...] Read more.
Here we report the successful first operation of FLUMIAS-DEA, a miniaturized high-resolution 3D fluorescence microscope on the International Space Station (ISS) by imaging two scientific samples in a temperature-constant system, one sample with fixed cells and one sample with living human cells. The FLUMIAS-DEA microscope combines features of a high-resolution 3D fluorescence microscope based on structured illumination microscope (SIM) technology with hardware designs to meet the requirements of a space instrument. We successfully demonstrated that the FLUMIAS technology was able to acquire, transmit, and store high-resolution 3D fluorescence images from fixed and living cells, allowing quantitative and dynamic analysis of subcellular structures, e.g., the cytoskeleton. The capability of real-time analysis methods on ISS will dramatically extend our knowledge about the dynamics of cellular reactions and adaptations to the space environment, which is not only an option, but a requirement of evidence-based medical risk assessment, monitoring and countermeasure development for exploration class missions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Living Organisms in Space: From Mammals to Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Extracellular l-arginine Enhances Relaxations Induced by Opening of Calcium-Activated SKCa Channels in Porcine Retinal Arteriole
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2032; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082032
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
We investigated whether the substrate for nitric oxide (NO) production, extracellular l-arginine, contributes to relaxations induced by activating small (SKCa) conductance Ca2+-activated potassium channels. In endothelial cells, acetylcholine increased 3H-l-arginine uptake, while blocking the SKCa and the [...] Read more.
We investigated whether the substrate for nitric oxide (NO) production, extracellular l-arginine, contributes to relaxations induced by activating small (SKCa) conductance Ca2+-activated potassium channels. In endothelial cells, acetylcholine increased 3H-l-arginine uptake, while blocking the SKCa and the intermediate (IKCa) conductance Ca2+-activated potassium channels reduced l-arginine uptake. A blocker of the y+ transporter system, l-lysine also blocked 3H-l-arginine uptake. Immunostaining showed co-localization of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), SKCa3, and the cationic amino acid transporter (CAT-1) protein of the y+ transporter system in the endothelium. An opener of SKCa channels, cyclohexyl-[2-(3,5-dimethyl-pyrazol-1-yl)-6-methyl-pyrimidin-4-yl]-amine (CyPPA) induced large currents in endothelial cells, and concentration-dependently relaxed porcine retinal arterioles. In the presence of l-arginine, concentration-response curves for CyPPA were leftward shifted, an effect unaltered in the presence of low sodium, but blocked by l-lysine in the retinal arterioles. Our findings suggest that SKCa channel activity regulates l-arginine uptake through the y+ transporter system, and we propose that in vasculature affected by endothelial dysfunction, l-arginine administration requires the targeting of additional mechanisms such as SKCa channels to restore endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessBrief Report
New ND-FISH-Positive Oligo Probes for Identifying Thinopyrum Chromosomes in Wheat Backgrounds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082031
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 20 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Thinopyrum has been widely used to improve wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars. Non-denaturing fluorescence in situ hybridization (ND-FISH) technology using oligonucleotides (oligo) as probes provides a convenient and efficient way to identify alien chromosomes in wheat backgrounds. However, suitable ND-FISH-positive oligo probes [...] Read more.
Thinopyrum has been widely used to improve wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars. Non-denaturing fluorescence in situ hybridization (ND-FISH) technology using oligonucleotides (oligo) as probes provides a convenient and efficient way to identify alien chromosomes in wheat backgrounds. However, suitable ND-FISH-positive oligo probes for distinguishing Thinopyrum chromosomes from wheat are lacking. Two oligo probes, Oligo-B11 and Oligo-pThp3.93, were designed according to the published Thinopyrum ponticum (Th. ponticum)-specific repetitive sequences. Both Oligo-B11 and Oligo-pThp3.93 can be used for ND-FISH analysis and can replace conventional GISH and FISH to discriminate some chromosomes of Th. elongatum, Th. intermedium, and Th. ponticum in wheat backgrounds. The two oligo probes provide a convenient way for the utilization of Thinopyrum germplasms in future wheat breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Advances in Wheat and Barley)
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Open AccessReview
Molecular Relationships among Obesity, Inflammation and Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Are Adipokines the Common Link?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2030; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082030
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is a chronic, expensive, and high-incidence musculoskeletal disorder largely responsible for back/neck and radicular-related pain. It is characterized by progressive degenerative damage of intervertebral tissues along with metabolic alterations of all other vertebral tissues. Despite the high socio-economic impact [...] Read more.
Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is a chronic, expensive, and high-incidence musculoskeletal disorder largely responsible for back/neck and radicular-related pain. It is characterized by progressive degenerative damage of intervertebral tissues along with metabolic alterations of all other vertebral tissues. Despite the high socio-economic impact of IVDD, little is known about its etiology and pathogenesis, and currently, no cure or specific treatments are available. Recent evidence indicates that besides abnormal and excessive mechanical loading, inflammation may be a crucial player in IVDD. Furthermore, obese adipose tissue is characterized by a persistent and low-grade production of systemic pro-inflammatory factors. In this context, chronic low-grade inflammation associated with obesity has been hypothesized as an important contributor to IVDD through different, but still unknown, mechanisms. Adipokines, such as leptin, produced prevalently by white adipose tissues, but also by other cells of mesenchymal origin, particularly cartilage and bone, are cytokine-like hormones involved in important physiologic and pathophysiological processes. Although initially restricted to metabolic functions, adipokines are now viewed as key players of the innate and adaptative immune system and active modulators of the acute and chronic inflammatory response. The goal of this review is to summarize the most recent findings regarding the interrelationships among inflammation, obesity and the pathogenic mechanisms involved in the IVDD, with particular emphasis on the contribution of adipokines and their potential as future therapeutic targets. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Alpha-Synuclein RNA Expression is Increased in Major Depression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2029; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082029
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Alpha-synuclein (SNCA) is a small membrane protein that plays an important role in neuro-psychiatric diseases. It is best known for its abnormal subcellular aggregation in Lewy bodies that serves as a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Due to the high comorbidity of PD [...] Read more.
Alpha-synuclein (SNCA) is a small membrane protein that plays an important role in neuro-psychiatric diseases. It is best known for its abnormal subcellular aggregation in Lewy bodies that serves as a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Due to the high comorbidity of PD with depression, we investigated the role of SNCA in patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD). SNCA mRNA expression levels were analyzed in peripheral blood cells of MDD patients and a healthy control group. SNCA mRNA expression was positively correlated with severity of depression as indicated by psychometric assessment. We found a significant increase in SNCA mRNA expression levels in severely depressed patients compared with controls. Thus, SNCA analysis could be a helpful target in the search for biomarkers of MDD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Psychiatry)
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Open AccessReview
Acyl-CoA-Binding Domain-Containing 3 (ACBD3; PAP7; GCP60): A Multi-Functional Membrane Domain Organizer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2028; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082028
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Acyl-CoA-binding domain-containing 3 (ACBD3) is a multi-functional scaffolding protein, which has been associated with a diverse array of cellular functions, including steroidogenesis, embryogenesis, neurogenesis, Huntington’s disease (HD), membrane trafficking, and viral/bacterial proliferation in infected host cells. In this review, we aim to give [...] Read more.
Acyl-CoA-binding domain-containing 3 (ACBD3) is a multi-functional scaffolding protein, which has been associated with a diverse array of cellular functions, including steroidogenesis, embryogenesis, neurogenesis, Huntington’s disease (HD), membrane trafficking, and viral/bacterial proliferation in infected host cells. In this review, we aim to give a timely overview of recent findings on this protein, including its emerging role in membrane domain organization at the Golgi and the mitochondria. We hope that this review provides readers with useful insights on how ACBD3 may contribute to membrane domain organization along the secretory pathway and on the cytoplasmic surface of intracellular organelles, which influence many important physiological and pathophysiological processes in mammalian cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of the Endomembrane System)
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Open AccessArticle
Rosmarinic Acid Attenuates Cadmium-Induced Nephrotoxicity via Inhibition of Oxidative Stress, Apoptosis, Inflammation and Fibrosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2027; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082027
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 20 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
The present investigation was executed to reveal the protective mechanism of rosmarinic acid (RA) against cadmium (Cd)-induced nephrotoxicity. RA exhibited a concentration-dependent anti-apoptotic effect against CdCl2 in isolated mouse proximal tubular epithelial cells. Cd treatment significantly (p < 0.01) imparted oxidative [...] Read more.
The present investigation was executed to reveal the protective mechanism of rosmarinic acid (RA) against cadmium (Cd)-induced nephrotoxicity. RA exhibited a concentration-dependent anti-apoptotic effect against CdCl2 in isolated mouse proximal tubular epithelial cells. Cd treatment significantly (p < 0.01) imparted oxidative stress to the renal cells via excessive ROS production, triggering NO level, NADPH oxidase activation, and impairment of cellular redox defense system. Cd-mediated oxidative stress significantly (p < 0.01) endorsed apoptosis to the murine kidney cells by triggering NF-κB/PKC-δ/TNFR2 activation. In addition, CdCl2 induced renal fibrosis by triggering TGF-β1/SMAD3/α-SMA/collagen signaling within renal cells. On the other hand, RA significantly (p < 0.05–0.01) attenuated Cd-provoked oxidative stress and associated pathological signal transduction in murine renal cells. RA treatment also could significantly (p < 0.05–0.01) reciprocate Cd-mediated pathological changes in blood and urine parameters in mice. In addition, histological data supported the pharmacological findings. In silico chemometric analyses predicted the possible interactions between RA and different signal proteins and anticipated drug-likeness characteristics of RA. Hence, RA can potentially be applied as a therapeutic agent to treat Cd-mediated nephrotoxicity in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessReview
Phosphoinositide 3 Kinase Signaling in Human Stem Cells from Reprogramming to Differentiation: A Tale in Cytoplasmic and Nuclear Compartments
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082026
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 21 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can give rise to several different cell types and can self-renew. Given their ability to differentiate into different lineages, stem cells retain huge therapeutic potential for regenerative medicine. Therefore, the understanding of the signaling pathways involved in [...] Read more.
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can give rise to several different cell types and can self-renew. Given their ability to differentiate into different lineages, stem cells retain huge therapeutic potential for regenerative medicine. Therefore, the understanding of the signaling pathways involved in stem cell pluripotency maintenance and differentiation has a paramount importance in order to understand these biological processes and to develop therapeutic strategies. In this review, we focus on phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K) since its signaling pathway regulates many cellular processes, such as cell growth, proliferation, survival, and cellular transformation. Precisely, in human stem cells, the PI3K cascade is involved in different processes from pluripotency and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming to mesenchymal and oral mesenchymal differentiation, through different and interconnected mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Lipid Signaling)
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Open AccessReview
Pharmacological Applications of Nrf2 Inhibitors as Potential Antineoplastic Drugs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082025
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Oxidative stress (OS) is associated with many diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is one of the most effective cytoprotective controller against OS. Modulation of Nrf2 pathway constitutes a remarkable strategy in the antineoplastic treatments. [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress (OS) is associated with many diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is one of the most effective cytoprotective controller against OS. Modulation of Nrf2 pathway constitutes a remarkable strategy in the antineoplastic treatments. A big number of Nrf2-antioxidant response element activators have been screened for use as chemo-preventive drugs in OS associated diseases like cancer even though activation of Nrf2 happens in a variety of cancers. Research proved that hyperactivation of the Nrf2 pathway produces a situation that helps the survival of normal as well as malignant cells, protecting them against OS, anticancer drugs, and radiotherapy. In this review, the modulation of the Nrf2 pathway, anticancer activity and challenges associated with the development of an Nrf2-based anti-cancer treatment approaches are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modulation of Oxidative Stress: Molecular and Pharmacological Aspects)
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Open AccessArticle
FKBP5 rs4713916: A Potential Genetic Predictor of Interindividual Different Response to Inhaled Corticosteroids in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in a Real-Life Setting
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082024
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, preventable, and manageable lung disease characterized by large heterogeneity in disease presentation and grades impairment. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are commonly used to manage COPD/COPD-exacerbation. The patient’s response is characterized by interindividual variability without [...] Read more.
Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, preventable, and manageable lung disease characterized by large heterogeneity in disease presentation and grades impairment. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are commonly used to manage COPD/COPD-exacerbation. The patient’s response is characterized by interindividual variability without disease progression/survival modification. Objectives: We hypothesize that a therapeutic intervention may be more effective if single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are investigated. Methods: In 71 COPD patients under pulmonary rehabilitation, a small number of powerful SNPs, selected according to current literature, were analyzed; namely the glucocorticoid receptor gene NR3C1 (rs6190/rs6189/rs41423247), the glucocorticoid-induced transcript 1 gene (GLCCI1 rs37972), and the related co-chaperone FKBP5 gene (rs4713916). MDR1 rs2032582 was also evaluated. Lung function outcomes were assessed. Results: A significant association with functional outcomes, namely FEV1 (forced expiration volume/one second) and 6MWD (six-minutes walking distance), was found for rs4713916 and weakly for rs37972. The genotype rs4713916(GA) and, in a lesser extent, the genotype rs37972(TT), were more favorable than the wild-type. Conclusions: Our study supports a possible picture of pharmacogenomic control for COPD intervention. rs4713916 and, possibly, rs37972 may be useful predictors of clinical outcome. These results may help to tailor an optimal dose for individual COPD patients based on their genetic makeup. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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