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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 21, Issue 13 (July-1 2020) – 199 articles

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Open AccessReview
Could Protons and Carbon Ions Be the Silver Bullets Against Pancreatic Cancer?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134767 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive cancer type associated with one of the poorest prognostics. Despite several clinical trials to combine different types of therapies, none of them resulted in significant improvements for patient survival. Pancreatic cancers demonstrate a very broad panel of [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive cancer type associated with one of the poorest prognostics. Despite several clinical trials to combine different types of therapies, none of them resulted in significant improvements for patient survival. Pancreatic cancers demonstrate a very broad panel of resistance mechanisms due to their biological properties but also their ability to remodel the tumour microenvironment. Radiotherapy is one of the most widely used treatments against cancer but, up to now, its impact remains limited in the context of pancreatic cancer. The modern era of radiotherapy proposes new approaches with increasing conformation but also more efficient effects on tumours in the case of charged particles. In this review, we highlight the interest in using charged particles in the context of pancreatic cancer therapy and the impact of this alternative to counteract resistance mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Caffeine: An Overview of Its Beneficial Effects in Experimental Models and Clinical Trials of Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134766 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurological disease characterized by the progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway with consequent loss of neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and dopamine depletion. The cytoplasmic inclusions of α-synuclein (α-Syn), known as Lewy bodies, are the [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurological disease characterized by the progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway with consequent loss of neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and dopamine depletion. The cytoplasmic inclusions of α-synuclein (α-Syn), known as Lewy bodies, are the cytologic hallmark of PD. The presence of α-Syn aggregates causes mitochondrial degeneration, responsible for the increase in oxidative stress and consequent neurodegeneration. PD is a progressive disease that shows a complicated pathogenesis. The current therapies are used to alleviate the symptoms of the disease without changing its clinical course. Recently, phytocompounds with neuroprotective effects and antioxidant properties such as caffeine have aroused the interest of researchers. The purpose of this review is to summarize the preclinical studies present in the literature and clinical trials recorded in ClinicalTrial.gov, aimed at illustrating the effects of caffeine used as a nutraceutical compound combined with the current PD therapies. Therefore, the preventive effects of caffeine in the neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons encourage the use of this alkaloid as a supplement to reduce the progress of the PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Neuroprotective Strategies)
Open AccessArticle
Absolute Binding Free Energy Calculations for Highly Flexible Protein MDM2 and Its Inhibitors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134765 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
Reliable prediction of binding affinities for ligand-receptor complex has been the primary goal of a structure-based drug design process. In this respect, alchemical methods are evolving as a popular choice to predict the binding affinities for biomolecular complexes. However, the highly flexible protein-ligand [...] Read more.
Reliable prediction of binding affinities for ligand-receptor complex has been the primary goal of a structure-based drug design process. In this respect, alchemical methods are evolving as a popular choice to predict the binding affinities for biomolecular complexes. However, the highly flexible protein-ligand systems pose a challenge to the accuracy of binding free energy calculations mostly due to insufficient sampling. Herein, integrated computational protocol combining free energy perturbation based absolute binding free energy calculation with free energy landscape method was proposed for improved prediction of binding free energy for flexible protein-ligand complexes. The proposed method is applied to the dataset of various classes of p53-MDM2 ( murine double minute 2) inhibitors. The absolute binding free energy calculations for MDMX (murine double minute X) resulted in a mean absolute error value of 0.816 kcal/mol while it is 3.08 kcal/mol for MDM2, a highly flexible protein compared to MDMX. With the integration of the free energy landscape method, the mean absolute error for MDM2 is improved to 1.95 kcal/mol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Informatics)
Open AccessArticle
BMP-Induced MicroRNA-101 Expression Regulates Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Migration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134764 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
Proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are implicated in blood vessel development, maintenance of vascular homeostasis, and pathogenesis of vascular disorders. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) mediate the regulation of VSMC functions in response to microenvironmental signals. Because a previous study reported that [...] Read more.
Proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are implicated in blood vessel development, maintenance of vascular homeostasis, and pathogenesis of vascular disorders. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) mediate the regulation of VSMC functions in response to microenvironmental signals. Because a previous study reported that miR-101, a tumor-suppressive miRNA, is a critical regulator of cell proliferation in vascular disease, we hypothesized that miR-101 controls important cellular processes in VSMCs. The present study aimed to elucidate the effects of miR-101 on VSMC function and its molecular mechanisms. We revealed that miR-101 regulates VSMC proliferation and migration. We showed that miR-101 expression is induced by bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, and we identified dedicator of cytokinesis 4 (DOCK4) as a novel target of miR-101. Our results suggest that the BMP–miR-101–DOCK4 axis mediates the regulation of VSMC function. Our findings help further the understanding of vascular physiology and pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Differential Effect of Carbon Dots on Gene Expression and DNA Methylation of Human Embryonic Lung Fibroblasts as a Function of Surface Charge and Dose
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134763 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
This study presents a toxicological evaluation of two types of carbon dots (CD), similar in size (<10 nm) but differing in surface charge. Whole-genome mRNA and miRNA expression (RNAseq), as well as gene-specific DNA methylation changes, were analyzed in human embryonic lung fibroblasts [...] Read more.
This study presents a toxicological evaluation of two types of carbon dots (CD), similar in size (<10 nm) but differing in surface charge. Whole-genome mRNA and miRNA expression (RNAseq), as well as gene-specific DNA methylation changes, were analyzed in human embryonic lung fibroblasts (HEL 12469) after 4 h and 24 h exposure to concentrations of 10 and 50 µg/mL (for positive charged CD; pCD) or 10 and 100 µg/mL (for negative charged CD, nCD). The results showed a distinct response for the tested nanomaterials (NMs). The exposure to pCD induced the expression of a substantially lower number of mRNAs than those to nCD, with few commonly differentially expressed genes between the two CDs. For both CDs, the number of deregulated mRNAs increased with the dose and exposure time. The pathway analysis revealed a deregulation of processes associated with immune response, tumorigenesis and cell cycle regulation, after exposure to pCD. For nCD treatment, pathways relating to cell proliferation, apoptosis, oxidative stress, gene expression, and cycle regulation were detected. The expression of miRNAs followed a similar pattern: more pronounced changes after nCD exposure and few commonly differentially expressed miRNAs between the two CDs. For both CDs the pathway analysis based on miRNA-mRNA interactions, showed a deregulation of cancer-related pathways, immune processes and processes involved in extracellular matrix interactions. DNA methylation was not affected by exposure to any of the two CDs. In summary, although the tested CDs induced distinct responses on the level of mRNA and miRNA expression, pathway analyses revealed a potential common biological impact of both NMs independent of their surface charge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Cellular Toxicity of Nanoparticles)
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Open AccessArticle
Extracellular Matrix Stiffness and Composition Regulate the Myofibroblast Differentiation of Vaginal Fibroblasts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134762 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
Fibroblast to myofibroblast differentiation is a key feature of wound-healing in soft tissues, including the vagina. Vaginal fibroblasts maintain the integrity of the vaginal wall tissues, essential to keep pelvic organs in place and avoid pelvic organ prolapse (POP). The micro-environment of vaginal [...] Read more.
Fibroblast to myofibroblast differentiation is a key feature of wound-healing in soft tissues, including the vagina. Vaginal fibroblasts maintain the integrity of the vaginal wall tissues, essential to keep pelvic organs in place and avoid pelvic organ prolapse (POP). The micro-environment of vaginal tissues in POP patients is stiffer and has different extracellular matrix (ECM) composition than healthy vaginal tissues. In this study, we employed a series of matrices with known stiffnesses, as well as vaginal ECMs, in combination with vaginal fibroblasts from POP and healthy tissues to investigate how matrix stiffness and composition regulate myofibroblast differentiation in vaginal fibroblasts. Stiffness was positively correlated to production of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Vaginal ECMs induced myofibroblast differentiation as both α-SMA and collagen gene expressions were increased. This differentiation was more pronounced in cells seeded on POP-ECMs that were stiffer than those derived from healthy tissues and had higher collagen and elastin protein content. We showed that stiffness and ECM content regulate vaginal myofibroblast differentiation. We provide preliminary evidence that vaginal fibroblasts might recognize POP-ECMs as scar tissues that need to be remodeled. This is fundamentally important for tissue repair, and provides a rational basis for POP disease modelling and therapeutic innovations in vaginal reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessReview
Role of Extracellular Matrix in Pathophysiology of Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Emphasis on Vascular Remodeling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4761; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134761 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
The ductus arteriosus (DA) is a shunt vessel between the aorta and the pulmonary artery during the fetal period that is essential for the normal development of the fetus. Complete closure usually occurs after birth but the vessel might remain open in certain [...] Read more.
The ductus arteriosus (DA) is a shunt vessel between the aorta and the pulmonary artery during the fetal period that is essential for the normal development of the fetus. Complete closure usually occurs after birth but the vessel might remain open in certain infants, as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), causing morbidity or mortality. The mechanism of DA closure is a complex process involving an orchestration of cell–matrix interaction between smooth muscle cells (SMC), endothelial cells, and extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM is defined as the noncellular component secreted by cells that consists of macromolecules such as elastin, collagens, proteoglycan, hyaluronan, and noncollagenous glycoproteins. In addition to its role as a physical scaffold, ECM mediates diverse signaling that is critical in development, maintenance, and repair in the cardiovascular system. In this review, we aim to outline the current understandings of ECM and its role in the pathophysiology of PDA, with emphasis on DA remodeling and highlight future outlooks. The molecular diversity and plasticity of ECM present a rich array of potential therapeutic targets for the management of PDA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix in Heart Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Choroid Plexus: The Orchestrator of Long-Range Signalling Within the CNS
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134760 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is the liquid that fills the brain ventricles. CSF represents not only a mechanical brain protection but also a rich source of signalling factors modulating diverse processes during brain development and adulthood. The choroid plexus (CP) is a major source [...] Read more.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is the liquid that fills the brain ventricles. CSF represents not only a mechanical brain protection but also a rich source of signalling factors modulating diverse processes during brain development and adulthood. The choroid plexus (CP) is a major source of CSF and as such it has recently emerged as an important mediator of extracellular signalling within the brain. Growing interest in the CP revealed its capacity to release a broad variety of bioactive molecules that, via CSF, regulate processes across the whole central nervous system (CNS). Moreover, CP has been also recognized as a sensor, responding to altered composition of CSF associated with changes in the patterns of CNS activity. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the CP as a signalling centre that mediates long-range communication in the CNS. By providing a detailed account of the CP secretory repertoire, we describe how the CP contributes to the regulation of the extracellular environment—in the context of both the embryonal as well as the adult CNS. We highlight the role of the CP as an important regulator of CNS function that acts via CSF-mediated signalling. Further studies of CP–CSF signalling hold the potential to provide key insights into the biology of the CNS, with implications for better understanding and treatment of neuropathological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choroid Plexus: Novel Functions for an Old Structure)
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Open AccessReview
Signaling Pathways that Control Muscle Mass
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134759 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
The loss of skeletal muscle mass under a wide range of acute and chronic maladies is associated with poor prognosis, reduced quality of life, and increased mortality. Decades of research indicate the importance of skeletal muscle for whole body metabolism, glucose homeostasis, as [...] Read more.
The loss of skeletal muscle mass under a wide range of acute and chronic maladies is associated with poor prognosis, reduced quality of life, and increased mortality. Decades of research indicate the importance of skeletal muscle for whole body metabolism, glucose homeostasis, as well as overall health and wellbeing. This tissue’s remarkable ability to rapidly and effectively adapt to changing environmental cues is a double-edged sword. Physiological adaptations that are beneficial throughout life become maladaptive during atrophic conditions. The atrophic program can be activated by mechanical, oxidative, and energetic distress, and is influenced by the availability of nutrients, growth factors, and cytokines. Largely governed by a transcription-dependent mechanism, this program impinges on multiple protein networks including various organelles as well as biosynthetic and quality control systems. Although modulating muscle function to prevent and treat disease is an enticing concept that has intrigued research teams for decades, a lack of thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that control muscle mass, in addition to poor transferability of findings from rodents to humans, has obstructed efforts to develop effective treatments. Here, we review the progress made in unraveling the molecular mechanisms responsible for the regulation of muscle mass, as this continues to be an intensive area of research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Muscle Atrophy: Discovery of Mechanisms and Potential Therapies)
Open AccessReview
Lipid Signaling in Ocular Neovascularization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4758; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134758 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
Vasculogenesis and angiogenesis play a crucial role in embryonic development. Pathological neovascularization in ocular tissues can lead to vision-threatening vascular diseases, including proliferative diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, retinopathy of prematurity, choroidal neovascularization, and corneal neovascularization. Neovascularization involves various cellular processes and signaling [...] Read more.
Vasculogenesis and angiogenesis play a crucial role in embryonic development. Pathological neovascularization in ocular tissues can lead to vision-threatening vascular diseases, including proliferative diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, retinopathy of prematurity, choroidal neovascularization, and corneal neovascularization. Neovascularization involves various cellular processes and signaling pathways and is regulated by angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). Modulating these circuits may represent a promising strategy to treat ocular neovascular diseases. Lipid mediators derived from membrane lipids are abundantly present in most tissues and exert a wide range of biological functions by regulating various signaling pathways. In particular, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids exert potent pro-angiogenic or anti-angiogenic effects, according to the findings of numerous preclinical and clinical studies. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the regulation of ocular neovascularization by lipid mediators and their metabolites. A better understanding of the effects of lipid signaling in neovascularization may provide novel therapeutic strategies to treat ocular neovascular diseases and other human disorders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Induction of ER Stress in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cells by the Deubiquitinase Inhibitor VLX1570
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4757; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134757 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Abstract
The proteasome is a validated target of cancer therapeutics. Inhibition of proteasome activity results in the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) characterized by phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), global translational arrest, and increased expression of the proapoptotic CHOP (C/EBP [...] Read more.
The proteasome is a validated target of cancer therapeutics. Inhibition of proteasome activity results in the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) characterized by phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), global translational arrest, and increased expression of the proapoptotic CHOP (C/EBP homologous protein) protein. Defects in the UPR response has been reported to result in altered sensitivity of tumor cells to proteasome inhibitors. Here, we characterized the effects of the deubiquitinase (DUB) inhibitor VLX1570 on protein homeostasis, both at the level of the UPR and on protein translation, in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Similar to the 20S inhibitor bortezomib, VLX1570 induced accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins and increased expression of the chaperone Grp78/Bip in ALL cells. Both compounds induced cleavage of PARP (Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase) in ALL cells, consistent with induction of apoptosis. However, and in contrast to bortezomib, VLX1570 treatment resulted in limited induction of the proapoptotic CHOP protein. Translational inhibition was observed by both bortezomib and VLX1570. We report that in distinction to bortezomib, suppression of translation by VXL1570 occurred at the level of elongation. Increased levels of Hsc70/Hsp70 proteins were observed on polysomes following exposure to VLX1570, possibly suggesting defects in nascent protein folding. Our findings demonstrate apoptosis induction in ALL cells that appears to be uncoupled from CHOP induction, and show that VLX1570 suppresses protein translation by a mechanism distinct from that of bortezomib. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Biology and Targeted Therapy of Leukemias 2.0)
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Open AccessReview
Role of Human Leukocyte Antigens at the Feto-Maternal Interface in Normal and Pathological Pregnancy: An Update
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134756 (registering DOI) - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 77
Abstract
The successful maternal tolerance of the semi-allogeneic fetus provides an apparent immunologic paradox. Indeed, deep invasion of placental trophoblast cells into maternal uterine tissue and the following growth of the fetus have to be tolerated by a pregnant woman’s immune system. Among the [...] Read more.
The successful maternal tolerance of the semi-allogeneic fetus provides an apparent immunologic paradox. Indeed, deep invasion of placental trophoblast cells into maternal uterine tissue and the following growth of the fetus have to be tolerated by a pregnant woman’s immune system. Among the various possible protective mechanisms that may be involved in human pregnancy, the expression of a non-classical pattern of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules and the complete lack of expression of HLA class II molecules in placental tissues seem to be the most relevant mechanisms of fetal escape from maternal immune recognition. The importance of HLA molecules in fetal toleration by the maternal immune system is highlighted by pregnancy complications occurring in cases of abnormal HLA molecule expression at the maternal–fetal interface. In this review, we summarize evidences about the role of placental HLA molecules in normal and pathological pregnancies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eckol Alleviates Intestinal Dysfunction during Suckling-to-Weaning Transition via Modulation of PDX1 and HBEGF
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4755; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134755 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 135
Abstract
Maintaining intestinal health in livestock is critical during the weaning period. The precise mechanisms of intestinal dysfunction during this period are not fully understood, although these can be alleviated by phlorotannins, including eckol. This question was addressed by evaluating the changes in gene [...] Read more.
Maintaining intestinal health in livestock is critical during the weaning period. The precise mechanisms of intestinal dysfunction during this period are not fully understood, although these can be alleviated by phlorotannins, including eckol. This question was addressed by evaluating the changes in gene expression and intestinal function after eckol treatment during suckling-to-weaning transition. The biological roles of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in intestinal development were investigated by assessing intestinal wound healing and barrier functions, as well as the associated signaling pathways and oxidative stress levels. We identified 890 DEGs in the intestine, whose expression was altered by eckol treatment, including pancreatic and duodenal homeobox (PDX)1, which directly regulate heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HBEGF) expression in order to preserve intestinal barrier functions and promote wound healing through phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT and P38 signaling. Additionally, eckol alleviated H2O2-induced oxidative stress through PI3K/AKT, P38, and 5’-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling, improved growth, and reduced oxidative stress and intestinal permeability in pigs during the weaning period. Eckol modulates intestinal barrier functions, wound healing, and oxidative stress through PDX/HBEGF, and improves growth during the suckling-to-weaning transition. These findings suggest that eckol can be used as a feed supplement in order to preserve the intestinal functions in pigs and other livestock during this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comprehensive Proteomic SWATH-MS Workflow for Profiling Blood Extracellular Vesicles: A New Avenue for Glioma Tumour Surveillance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134754 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 152
Abstract
Improving outcomes for diffuse glioma patients requires methods that can accurately and sensitively monitor tumour activity and treatment response. Extracellular vesicles (EV) are membranous nanoparticles that can traverse the blood–brain-barrier, carrying oncogenic molecules into the circulation. Measuring clinically relevant glioma biomarkers cargoed in [...] Read more.
Improving outcomes for diffuse glioma patients requires methods that can accurately and sensitively monitor tumour activity and treatment response. Extracellular vesicles (EV) are membranous nanoparticles that can traverse the blood–brain-barrier, carrying oncogenic molecules into the circulation. Measuring clinically relevant glioma biomarkers cargoed in circulating EVs could revolutionise how glioma patients are managed. Despite their suitability for biomarker discovery, the co-isolation of highly abundant complex blood proteins has hindered comprehensive proteomic studies of circulating-EVs. Plasma-EVs isolated from pre-operative glioma grade II–IV patients (n = 41) and controls (n = 11) were sequenced by Sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment ion spectra mass spectrometry (SWATH-MS) and data extraction was performed by aligning against a custom 8662-protein library. Overall, 4054 proteins were measured in plasma-EVs. Differentially expressed proteins and putative circulating-EV markers were identified (adj. p-value < 0.05), including those reported in previous in-vitro and ex-vivo glioma-EV studies. Principal component analysis showed that plasma-EV protein profiles clustered according to glioma histological-subtype and grade, and plasma-EVs resampled from patients with recurrent tumour progression grouped with more aggressive glioma samples. The extensive plasma-EV proteome profiles achieved here highlight the potential for SWATH-MS to define circulating-EV biomarkers for objective blood-based measurements of glioma activity that could serve as ideal surrogate endpoints to assess tumour progression and allow more dynamic, patient-centred treatment protocols. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lipidomic Biomarkers in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Endometrial Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4753; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134753 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 142
Abstract
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to develop endometrial cancer (EC). The molecular mechanisms which increase the risk of EC in PCOS are unclear. Derangements in lipid metabolism are associated with EC, but there have been no studies, investigating if [...] Read more.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to develop endometrial cancer (EC). The molecular mechanisms which increase the risk of EC in PCOS are unclear. Derangements in lipid metabolism are associated with EC, but there have been no studies, investigating if this might increase the risk of EC in PCOS. This was a cross-sectional study of 102 women in three groups of 34 (PCOS, EC and controls) at Nottingham University Hospital, UK. All participants had clinical assessments, followed by obtaining plasma and endometrial tissue samples. Lipidomic analyses were performed using liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and the obtained lipid datasets were screened using standard software and databases. Using multivariate data analysis, there were no common markers found for EC and PCOS. However, on univariate analyses, both PCOS and EC endometrial tissue samples showed a significant decrease in monoacylglycerol 24:0 and capric acid compared to controls. Further studies are required to validate these findings and investigate the potential role of monoacylglycerol 24:0 and capric acid in the link between PCOS with EC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapies)
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Open AccessArticle
Reversible Growth-Arrest of a Spontaneously-Derived Human MSC-Like Cell Line
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134752 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 133
Abstract
Life cycle limitation hampers the production of high amounts of primary human mesenchymal stroma-/stem-like cells (MSC) and limits cell source reproducibility for clinical applications. The characterization of permanently growing MSC544 revealed some differentiation capacity and the simultaneous presence of known MSC markers CD73, [...] Read more.
Life cycle limitation hampers the production of high amounts of primary human mesenchymal stroma-/stem-like cells (MSC) and limits cell source reproducibility for clinical applications. The characterization of permanently growing MSC544 revealed some differentiation capacity and the simultaneous presence of known MSC markers CD73, CD90, and CD105 even after continuous long-term culture for more than one year and 32 passages. The expression of CD13, CD29, CD44, and CD166 were identified as further surface proteins, all of which were also simultaneously detectable in various other types of primary MSC populations derived from the umbilical cord, bone marrow, and placenta suggesting MSC-like properties in the cell line. Proliferating steady state MSC544 exhibited immune-modulatory activity similar to a subpopulation of long-term growth-inhibited MSC544 after 189d of continuous culture in confluency. This confluent connective cell layer with fibroblast-like morphology can spontaneously contract and the generated space is subsequently occupied by new cells with regained proliferative capacity. Accordingly, the confluent and senescence-associated beta-galactosidase-positive MSC544 culture with about 95% G0/G1 growth-arrest resumed re-entry into the proliferative cell cycle within 3d after sub-confluent culture. The MSC544 cells remained viable during confluency and throughout this transition which was accompanied by marked changes in the release of proteins. Thus, expression of proliferation-associated genes was down-modulated in confluent MSC544 and re-expressed following sub-confluent conditions whilst telomerase (hTERT) transcripts remained detectable at similar levels in both, confluent growth-arrested and proliferating MSC544. Together with the capability of connective cell layer formation for potential therapeutic approaches, MSC544 provide a long term reproducible human cell source with constant properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Cycle and Cell Cycle Targeting Cancer Therapies)
Open AccessArticle
YUCCA-Mediated Biosynthesis of the Auxin IAA is Required during the Somatic Embryogenic Induction Process in Coffea canephora
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4751; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134751 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 165
Abstract
Despite the existence of considerable research on somatic embryogenesis (SE), the molecular mechanism that regulates the biosynthesis of auxins during the SE induction process remains unknown. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is an auxin that is synthesized in plants through five pathways. The biosynthetic pathway [...] Read more.
Despite the existence of considerable research on somatic embryogenesis (SE), the molecular mechanism that regulates the biosynthesis of auxins during the SE induction process remains unknown. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is an auxin that is synthesized in plants through five pathways. The biosynthetic pathway most frequently used in this synthesis is the conversion of tryptophan to indol-3-pyruvic acid (IPA) by tryptophan aminotransferase of Arabidopsis (TAA) followed by the conversion of IPA to IAA by enzymes encoded by YUCCA (YUC) genes of the flavin monooxygenase family; however, it is unclear whether YUC-mediated IAA biosynthesis is involved in SE induction. In this study, we report that the increase of IAA observed during SE pre-treatment (plants in MS medium supplemented with 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) 0.54 µM and kinetin (Kin) 2.32 µM for 14 days) was due to its de novo biosynthesis. By qRT-PCR, we demonstrated that YUC gene expression was consistent with the free IAA signal found in the explants during the induction of SE. In addition, the use of yucasin to inhibit the activity of YUC enzymes reduced the signal of free IAA in the leaf explants and dramatically decreased the induction of SE. The exogenous addition of IAA restored the SE process in explants treated with yucasin. Our findings suggest that the biosynthesis and localization of IAA play an essential role during the induction process of SE in Coffea canephora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
Open AccessArticle
MOTILIPERM Ameliorates Immobilization Stress-Induced Testicular Dysfunction Via Inhibition of Oxidative Stress and Modulation of the Nrf2/HO-1 Pathway in SD Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4750; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134750 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 153
Abstract
It is well established that physiological stress has an adverse effect on the male reproductive system. Experimental studies have demonstrated the promising effects of MOTILIPERM in male infertility. MOTILIPERM extract is composed of three crude medicinal herbs: Morinda officinalis How (Rubiaceae) roots, Allium [...] Read more.
It is well established that physiological stress has an adverse effect on the male reproductive system. Experimental studies have demonstrated the promising effects of MOTILIPERM in male infertility. MOTILIPERM extract is composed of three crude medicinal herbs: Morinda officinalis How (Rubiaceae) roots, Allium cepa L. (Liliaceae) outer scales, and Cuscuta chinensis Lamark (convolvulaceae) seeds. The present study aimed to investigate the possible mechanisms responsible for the effects of MOTILIPERM on testicular dysfunction induced by immobilization stress. Fifty male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into five groups (10 rats each): a normal control group (CTR), a control group administered MOTILIPERM 200 mg/kg (M 200), an immobilization-induced stress control group (S), an immobilization-induced stress group administered MOTILIPERM 100 mg/kg (S + M 100), and MOTILIPERM 200 mg/kg (S + M 200). Stressed rats (n = 30) were subjected to stress by immobilization for 6 h by placing them in a Perspex restraint cage, while controls (n = 20) were maintained without disturbance. Rats were administrated 100 or 200 mg/kg MOTILIPERM once daily for 30 days 1 h prior to immobilization. At the end of the treatment period, we measured body and reproductive organ weight; sperm parameters; histopathological damage; reproductive hormone levels; steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR); biomarkers of oxidative stress; and apoptosis markers. MOTILIPERM treatment improved testicular dysfunction by up-regulating (p < 0.05) sperm count, sperm motility, serum testosterone level, StAR protein level, Johnsen score, and spermatogenic cell density in stressed rats. MOTILIPERM decreased oxidative stress by increasing (p < 0.05) testicular superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione peroxidase-4 (GPx 4), catalase, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), and heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) levels and decreasing (p < 0.05) malondialdehyde (MDA) and reactive oxygen species/reactive nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) levels. Furthermore, MOTILIPERM down-regulated (p < 0.05) cleaved caspase 3 and BCL2 associated X protein (Bax) levels; increased pro caspase-3 and B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) levels; and upregulated testicular germ cell proliferation in stressed rats. The number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells and serum luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels also significantly (p < 0.05) decreased after pretreatment with MOTILIPERM in stressed rats. Collectively, our results suggest that, in immobilization-mediated stress-induced testicular dysfunction, MOTILIPERM sustains normal spermatogenesis via antioxidant and anti-apoptotic activities by activating the NRF/HO-1 signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Pathophysiology of Testosterone Biosynthesis)
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Open AccessReview
Osteoporosis in Skin Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4749; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134749 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 145
Abstract
Osteoporosis (OP) is defined as a generalized skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and an alteration of the microarchitecture that lead to an increase in bone fragility and, therefore, an increased risk of fractures. It must be considered today as a true [...] Read more.
Osteoporosis (OP) is defined as a generalized skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and an alteration of the microarchitecture that lead to an increase in bone fragility and, therefore, an increased risk of fractures. It must be considered today as a true public health problem and the most widespread metabolic bone disease that affects more than 200 million people worldwide. Under physiological conditions, there is a balance between bone formation and bone resorption necessary for skeletal homeostasis. In pathological situations, this balance is altered in favor of osteoclast (OC)-mediated bone resorption. During chronic inflammation, the balance between bone formation and bone resorption may be considerably affected, contributing to a net prevalence of osteoclastogenesis. Skin diseases are the fourth cause of human disease in the world, affecting approximately one third of the world’s population with a prevalence in elderly men. Inflammation and the various associated cytokine patterns are the basis of both osteoporosis and most skin pathologies. Moreover, dermatological patients also undergo local or systemic treatments with glucocorticoids and immunosuppressants that could increase the risk of osteoporosis. Therefore, particular attention should be paid to bone health in these patients. The purpose of the present review is to take stock of the knowledge in this still quite unexplored field, despite the frequency of such conditions in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Secondary Osteoporosis in Adults)
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Open AccessReview
Role of Inflammation in Pathophysiology of Colonic Disease: An Update
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4748; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134748 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 140
Abstract
Diseases of the colon are a big health burden in both men and women worldwide ranging from acute infection to cancer. Environmental and genetic factors influence disease onset and outcome in multiple colonic pathologies. The importance of inflammation in the onset, progression and [...] Read more.
Diseases of the colon are a big health burden in both men and women worldwide ranging from acute infection to cancer. Environmental and genetic factors influence disease onset and outcome in multiple colonic pathologies. The importance of inflammation in the onset, progression and outcome of multiple colonic pathologies is gaining more traction as the evidence from recent research is considered. In this review, we provide an update on the literature to understand how genetics, diet, and the gut microbiota influence the crosstalk between immune and non‑immune cells resulting in inflammation observed in multiple colonic pathologies. Specifically, we focus on four colonic diseases two of which have a more established association with inflammation (inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer) while the other two have a less understood relationship with inflammation (diverticular disease and irritable bowel syndrome). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathophysiology in Colonic Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Assessment of the Genotoxic Hazard of Novel Hydroxamic Acid- and Benzamide-Type Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors (HDACi)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134747 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 121
Abstract
Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are already approved for the therapy of leukemias. Since they are also emerging candidate compounds for the treatment of non-malignant diseases, HDACi with a wide therapeutic window and low hazard potential are desirable. Here, we investigated a panel of [...] Read more.
Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are already approved for the therapy of leukemias. Since they are also emerging candidate compounds for the treatment of non-malignant diseases, HDACi with a wide therapeutic window and low hazard potential are desirable. Here, we investigated a panel of 12 novel hydroxamic acid- and benzamide-type HDACi employing non-malignant V79 hamster cells as toxicology guideline-conform in vitro model. HDACi causing a ≥10-fold preferential cytotoxicity in malignant neuroblastoma over non-malignant V79 cells were selected for further genotoxic hazard analysis, including vorinostat and entinostat for control. All HDACi selected, (i.e. KSK64, TOK77, DDK137 and MPK77) were clastogenic and evoked DNA strand breaks in non-malignant V79 cells as demonstrated by micronucleus and comet assays, histone H2AX foci formation analyses (γH2AX), DNA damage response (DDR) assays as well as employing DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair-defective VC8 hamster cells. Genetic instability induced by hydroxamic acid-type HDACi seems to be independent of bulky DNA adduct formation as concluded from the analysis of nucleotide excision repair (NER) deficient mutants. Summarizing, KSK64 revealed the highest genotoxic hazard and DDR stimulating potential, while TOK77 and MPK77 showed the lowest DNA damaging capacity. Therefore, these compounds are suggested as the most promising novel candidate HDACi for subsequent pre-clinical in vivo studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors in Health and Disease II)
Open AccessArticle
The Fungal Iron Chelator Desferricoprogen inhibits atherosclerotic plaque formation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134746 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 118
Abstract
Hemoglobin, heme and iron are implicated in the progression of atherosclerosis. Therefore, we investigated whether the hydrophobic fungal iron chelator siderophore, desferricoprogen (DFC) inhibits atherosclerosis. DFC reduced atherosclerotic plaque formation in ApoE−/− mice on an atherogenic diet. It lowered the plasma level [...] Read more.
Hemoglobin, heme and iron are implicated in the progression of atherosclerosis. Therefore, we investigated whether the hydrophobic fungal iron chelator siderophore, desferricoprogen (DFC) inhibits atherosclerosis. DFC reduced atherosclerotic plaque formation in ApoE−/− mice on an atherogenic diet. It lowered the plasma level of oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and inhibited lipid peroxidation in aortic roots. The elevated collagen/elastin content and enhanced expression of adhesion molecule VCAM-1 were decreased. DFC diminished oxidation of Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) and plaque lipids catalyzed by heme or hemoglobin. Formation of foam cells, uptake of oxLDL by macrophages, upregulation of CD36 and increased expression of TNF-α were reduced by DFC in macrophages. TNF-triggered endothelial cell activation (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs), E-selectin) and increased adhesion of monocytes to endothelium were attenuated. The increased endothelial permeability and intracellular gap formation provoked by TNF-α was also prevented by DFC. DFC acted as a cytoprotectant in endothelial cells and macrophages challenged with a lethal dose of oxLDL and lowered the expression of stress-responsive heme oxygenase-1 as sublethal dose was employed. Saturation of desferrisiderophore with iron led to the loss of the beneficial effects. We demonstrated that DFC accumulated within the atheromas of the aorta in ApoE−/− mice. DFC represents a novel therapeutic approach to control the progression of atherosclerosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heme- and Hemoglobin Stress in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Effective Photodynamic Therapy for Colon Cancer Cells Using Chlorin e6 Coated Hyaluronic Acid-Based Carbon Nanotubes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134745 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 117
Abstract
Colon cancer is the third major cancer contributor to mortality worldwide. Nanosized particles have attracted attention due to their possible contribution towards cancer treatment and diagnosis. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer therapeutic modality that involves a light source, a photosensitizer and reactive [...] Read more.
Colon cancer is the third major cancer contributor to mortality worldwide. Nanosized particles have attracted attention due to their possible contribution towards cancer treatment and diagnosis. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer therapeutic modality that involves a light source, a photosensitizer and reactive oxygen species. Carbon nanotubes are fascinating nanocarriers for drug delivery, cancer diagnosis and numerous potential applications due to their unique physicochemical properties. In this study, single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were coupled with hyaluronic acid (HA) and chlorin e6 (Ce6) coated on the walls of SWCNTs. The newly synthesized nanobiocomposite was characterized using ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform electron microscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), particle size analysis and zeta potential. The loading efficiency of the SWCNTs-HA for Ce6 was calculated. The toxicity of the nanobiocomposite was tested on colon cancer cells using PDT at a fluence of 5 J/cm2 and 10 J/cm2. After 24 h, cellular changes were observed via microscopy, LDH cytotoxicity assay and cell death induction using annexin propidium iodide. The results showed that the newly synthesized nanobiocomposite enhanced the ability of PDT to be a photosensitizer carrier and induced cell death in colon cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Responsive Nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy)
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Open AccessReview
Sodium Intake and Chronic Kidney Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134744 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 118
Abstract
In Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients, elevated blood pressure (BP) is a frequent finding and is traditionally considered a direct consequence of their sodium sensitivity. Indeed, sodium and fluid retention, causing hypervolemia, leads to the development of hypertension in CKD. On the other [...] Read more.
In Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients, elevated blood pressure (BP) is a frequent finding and is traditionally considered a direct consequence of their sodium sensitivity. Indeed, sodium and fluid retention, causing hypervolemia, leads to the development of hypertension in CKD. On the other hand, in non-dialysis CKD patients, salt restriction reduces BP levels and enhances anti-proteinuric effect of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors in non-dialysis CKD patients. However, studies on the long-term effect of low salt diet (LSD) on cardio-renal prognosis showed controversial findings. The negative results might be the consequence of measurement bias (spot urine and/or single measurement), reverse epidemiology, as well as poor adherence to diet. In end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), dialysis remains the only effective means to remove dietary sodium intake. The mismatch between intake and removal of sodium leads to fluid overload, hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy, therefore worsening the prognosis of ESKD patients. This imposes the implementation of a LSD in these patients, irrespective of the lack of trials proving the efficacy of this measure in these patients. LSD is, therefore, a rational and basic tool to correct fluid overload and hypertension in all CKD stages. The implementation of LSD should be personalized, similarly to diuretic treatment, keeping into account the volume status and true burden of hypertension evaluated by ambulatory BP monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sodium Intake and Related Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Evolutionary and Predictive Functional Insights into the Aquaporin Gene Family in the Allotetraploid Plant Nicotiana tabacum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134743 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 136
Abstract
Aquaporins (AQPs) are a class of integral membrane proteins that facilitate the membrane diffusion of water and other small solutes. Nicotiana tabacum is an important model plant, and its allotetraploid genome has recently been released, providing us with the opportunity to analyze the [...] Read more.
Aquaporins (AQPs) are a class of integral membrane proteins that facilitate the membrane diffusion of water and other small solutes. Nicotiana tabacum is an important model plant, and its allotetraploid genome has recently been released, providing us with the opportunity to analyze the AQP gene family and its evolution. A total of 88 full-length AQP genes were identified in the N. tabacum genome, and the encoding proteins were assigned into five subfamilies: 34 plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs); 27 tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs); 20 nodulin26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs); 3 small basic intrinsic proteins (SIPs); 4 uncharacterized X intrinsic proteins (XIPs), including two splice variants. We also analyzed the genomes of two N. tabacum ancestors, Nicotiana tomentosiformis and Nicotiana sylvestris, and identified 49 AQP genes in each species. Functional prediction, based on the substrate specificity-determining positions (SDPs), revealed significant differences in substrate specificity among the AQP subfamilies. Analysis of the organ-specific AQP expression levels in the N. tabacum plant and RNA-seq data of N. tabacum bright yellow-2 suspension cells indicated that many AQPs are simultaneously expressed, but differentially, according to the organs or the cells. Altogether, these data constitute an important resource for future investigations of the molecular, evolutionary, and physiological functions of AQPs in N. tabacum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genomics 2019)
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Open AccessReview
How Do Yeast Cells Contend with Prions?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134742 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 126
Abstract
Infectious proteins (prions) include an array of human (mammalian) and yeast amyloid diseases in which a protein or peptide forms a linear β-sheet-rich filament, at least one functional amyloid prion, and two functional infectious proteins unrelated to amyloid. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, at least [...] Read more.
Infectious proteins (prions) include an array of human (mammalian) and yeast amyloid diseases in which a protein or peptide forms a linear β-sheet-rich filament, at least one functional amyloid prion, and two functional infectious proteins unrelated to amyloid. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, at least eight anti-prion systems deal with pathogenic amyloid yeast prions by (1) blocking their generation (Ssb1,2, Ssz1, Zuo1), (2) curing most variants as they arise (Btn2, Cur1, Hsp104, Upf1,2,3, Siw14), and (3) limiting the pathogenicity of variants that do arise and propagate (Sis1, Lug1). Known mechanisms include facilitating proper folding of the prion protein (Ssb1,2, Ssz1, Zuo1), producing highly asymmetric segregation of prion filaments in mitosis (Btn2, Hsp104), competing with the amyloid filaments for prion protein monomers (Upf1,2,3), and regulation of levels of inositol polyphosphates (Siw14). It is hoped that the discovery of yeast anti-prion systems and elucidation of their mechanisms will facilitate finding analogous or homologous systems in humans, whose manipulation may be useful in treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amyloids, Prions and Related Phenomena)
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Open AccessArticle
Theoretical Prediction of Dual-Potency Anti-Tumor Agents: Combination of Oxoplatin with Other FDA-Approved Oncology Drugs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4741; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134741 - 03 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Although Pt(II)-based drugs are widely used to treat cancer, very few molecules have been approved for routine use in chemotherapy due to their side-effects on healthy tissues. A new approach to reducing the toxicity of these drugs is generating a prodrug by increasing [...] Read more.
Although Pt(II)-based drugs are widely used to treat cancer, very few molecules have been approved for routine use in chemotherapy due to their side-effects on healthy tissues. A new approach to reducing the toxicity of these drugs is generating a prodrug by increasing the oxidation state of the metallic center to Pt(IV), a less reactive form that is only activated once it enters a cell. We used theoretical tools to combine the parent Pt(IV) prodrug, oxoplatin, with the most recent FDA-approved anti-cancer drug set published by the National Institute of Health (NIH). The only prerequisite imposed for the latter was the presence of one carboxylic group in the structure, a chemical feature that ensures a link to the coordination sphere via a simple esterification procedure. Our calculations led to a series of bifunctional prodrugs ranked according to their relative stabilities and activation profiles. Of all the designed molecules, the combination of oxoplatin with aminolevulinic acid as the bioactive ligand emerged as the most promising strategy by which to design enhanced dual-potency oncology drugs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The HSP90 Inhibitor, AUY-922, Ameliorates the Development of Nitrogen Mustard-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis and Lung Dysfunction in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134740 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 137
Abstract
Increased levels of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) have been recently implicated in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis and the use of HSP90 inhibitors constitutes a potential therapeutic approach. Similarly, acute exposure to nitrogen mustard (NM) is related to the development of chronic [...] Read more.
Increased levels of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) have been recently implicated in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis and the use of HSP90 inhibitors constitutes a potential therapeutic approach. Similarly, acute exposure to nitrogen mustard (NM) is related to the development of chronic lung injury driven by TNF-α, TGF-β, ERK and HSP90. Thus, we developed a murine model of NM-induced pulmonary fibrosis by instilling C57BI/6J mice with 0.625 mg/kg mechlorethamine hydrochloride. After 24 h, mice began receiving AUY-922, a second generation HSP90 inhibitor, at 1 mg/kg 2 times per week or 2 mg/kg 3 times per week, for either 10 or 30 days. AUY-922 suppressed the NM-induced sustained inflammation, as reflected in the reduction of leukocyte and protein concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and inhibited the activation of pro-fibrotic biomarkers, ERK and HSP90. Furthermore, AUY-922 maintained normal lung function, decreased the overexpression and accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins, and dramatically reduced histologic evidence of fibrosis in the lungs of mice exposed to NM. The HSP90 inhibitor, AUY-922, successfully blocked the adverse effects associated with acute exposures to NM, representing a promising approach against NM-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Shedding “LIGHT” on the Link between Bone and Fat in Obese Children and Adolescents
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134739 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 129
Abstract
Obesity may affect bone health, but literature reports are contradictory about the correlation of body mass index (BMI) and bone markers. LIGHT, one of the immunostimulatory cytokines regulating the homeostasis of bone and adipose tissue, could be involved in obesity. The study involved [...] Read more.
Obesity may affect bone health, but literature reports are contradictory about the correlation of body mass index (BMI) and bone markers. LIGHT, one of the immunostimulatory cytokines regulating the homeostasis of bone and adipose tissue, could be involved in obesity. The study involved 111 obese subjects (12.21 ± 3.71 years) and 45 controls. Patients underwent the evaluation of bone status by quantitative ultrasonography (QUS). LIGHT amounts were evaluated in sera by ELISA, whereas its expression on peripheral blood cells was evaluated by flow cytometry. Osteoclastogenesis was performed by culturing peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with or without anti-LIGHT antibodies. Obese patients showed significant high BMI-standard deviation score (SDS), weight-SDS, and Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) that negatively correlated with the reduced Amplitude Dependent Speed of Sound (AD-SoS)-Z-score and Bone Transmission Time (BTT-Z)-score. They displayed significantly higher serum levels of LIGHT compared with controls (497.30 ± 363.45 pg/mL vs. 186.06 ± 101.41 pg/mL, p < 0.001). LIGHT expression on monocytes, CD3+-T-cells, and neutrophils was also higher in obese patients than in the controls. Finally, in PBMC cultures, the addition of anti-LIGHT antibodies induced a significant osteoclastogenesis inhibition. Our study highlighted the high serum levels of LIGHT in obese children and adolescents, and its relationship with both the grade of obesity and bone impairment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Osteoclastogenesis)
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Open AccessArticle
Positive Effect of Cold Atmospheric Nitrogen Plasma on the Behavior of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Cultured on a Bone Scaffold Containing Iron Oxide-Loaded Silica Nanoparticles Catalyst
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134738 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 141
Abstract
Low-temperature atmospheric pressure plasma was demonstrated to have an ability to generate different reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), showing wide biological actions. Within this study, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (NPs) and FexOy/NPs catalysts were produced and embedded in the [...] Read more.
Low-temperature atmospheric pressure plasma was demonstrated to have an ability to generate different reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), showing wide biological actions. Within this study, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (NPs) and FexOy/NPs catalysts were produced and embedded in the polysaccharide matrix of chitosan/curdlan/hydroxyapatite biomaterial. Then, basic physicochemical and structural characterization of the NPs and biomaterials was performed. The primary aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of the combined action of cold nitrogen plasma and the materials produced on proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs), which were seeded onto the bone scaffolds containing NPs or FexOy/NPs catalysts. Incorporation of catalysts into the structure of the biomaterial was expected to enhance the formation of plasma-induced RONS, thereby improving stem cell behavior. The results obtained clearly demonstrated that short-time (16s) exposure of ADSCs to nitrogen plasma accelerated proliferation of cells grown on the biomaterial containing FexOy/NPs catalysts and increased osteocalcin production by the cells cultured on the scaffold containing pure NPs. Plasma activation of FexOy/NPs-loaded biomaterial resulted in the formation of appropriate amounts of oxygen-based reactive species that had positive impact on stem cell proliferation and at the same time did not negatively affect their osteogenic differentiation. Therefore, plasma-activated FexOy/NPs-loaded biomaterial is characterized by improved biocompatibility and has great clinical potential to be used in regenerative medicine applications to improve bone healing process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma Biology)
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