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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 21, Issue 15 (August-1 2020) – 390 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Passive Transfer of Sera from ALS Patients with Identified Mutations Evokes an Increased Synaptic Vesicle Number and Elevation of Calcium Levels in Motor Axon Terminals, Similar to Sera from Sporadic Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5566; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155566 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Previously, we demonstrated increased calcium levels and synaptic vesicle densities in the motor axon terminals (MATs) of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Such alterations could be conferred to mice with an intraperitoneal injection of sera from these patients or with purified immunoglobulin [...] Read more.
Previously, we demonstrated increased calcium levels and synaptic vesicle densities in the motor axon terminals (MATs) of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Such alterations could be conferred to mice with an intraperitoneal injection of sera from these patients or with purified immunoglobulin G. Later, we confirmed the presence of similar alterations in the superoxide dismutase 1 G93A transgenic mouse strain model of familial ALS. These consistent observations suggested that calcium plays a central role in the pathomechanism of ALS. This may be further reinforced by completing a similar analytical study of the MATs of ALS patients with identified mutations. However, due to the low yield of muscle biopsy samples containing MATs, and the low incidence of ALS patients with the identified mutations, these examinations are not technically feasible. Alternatively, a passive transfer of sera from ALS patients with known mutations was used, and the MATs of the inoculated mice were tested for alterations in their calcium homeostasis and synaptic activity. Patients with 11 different ALS-related mutations participated in the study. Intraperitoneal injection of sera from these patients on two consecutive days resulted in elevated intracellular calcium levels and increased vesicle densities in the MATs of mice, which is comparable to the effect of the passive transfer from sporadic patients. Our results support the idea that the pathomechanism underlying the identical manifestation of the disease with or without identified mutations is based on a common final pathway, in which increasing calcium levels play a central role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Brain Disorders 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Dephosphorylation of LjMPK6 by Phosphatase LjPP2C is Involved in Regulating Nodule Organogenesis in Lotus japonicus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5565; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155565 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) LjMPK6 is a phosphorylation target of SIP2, a MAPK kinase that interacts with SymRK (symbiosis receptor-like kinase) for regulation of legume-rhizobia symbiosis. Both LjMPK6 and SIP2 are required for nodulation in Lotus japonicus. However, the dephosphorylation of [...] Read more.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) LjMPK6 is a phosphorylation target of SIP2, a MAPK kinase that interacts with SymRK (symbiosis receptor-like kinase) for regulation of legume-rhizobia symbiosis. Both LjMPK6 and SIP2 are required for nodulation in Lotus japonicus. However, the dephosphorylation of LjMPK6 and its regulatory components in nodule development remains unexplored. By yeast two-hybrid screening, we identified a type 2C protein phosphatase, LjPP2C, that specifically interacts with and dephosphorylates LjMPK6 in vitro. Physiological and biochemical assays further suggested that LjPP2C phosphatase is required for dephosphorylation of LjMPK6 in vivo and for fine-tuning nodule development after rhizobial inoculation. A non-phosphorylatable mutant variant LjMPK6 (T224A Y226F) could mimic LjPP2C functioning in MAPK dephosphorylation required for nodule development in hairy root transformed plants. Collectively, our study demonstrates that interaction with LjPP2C phosphatase is required for dephosphorylation of LjMPK6 to fine tune nodule development in L. japonicus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Signaling in Model Plants 2.0)
Open AccessArticle
Early Transcriptomic Changes upon Thalidomide Exposure Influence the Later Neuronal Development in Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Spheres
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5564; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155564 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Stress in early life has been linked with the development of late-life neurological disorders. Early developmental age is potentially sensitive to several environmental chemicals such as alcohol, drugs, food contaminants, or air pollutants. The recent advances using three-dimensional neural sphere cultures derived from [...] Read more.
Stress in early life has been linked with the development of late-life neurological disorders. Early developmental age is potentially sensitive to several environmental chemicals such as alcohol, drugs, food contaminants, or air pollutants. The recent advances using three-dimensional neural sphere cultures derived from pluripotent stem cells have provided insights into the etiology of neurological diseases and new therapeutic strategies for assessing chemical safety. In this study, we investigated the neurodevelopmental effects of exposure to thalidomide (TMD); 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether; bisphenol A; and 4-hydroxy-2,2′,3,4′,5,5′,6-heptachlorobiphenyl using a human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived sphere model. We exposed each chemical to the spheres and conducted a combinational analysis of global gene expression profiling using microarray at the early stage and morphological examination of neural differentiation at the later stage to understand the molecular events underlying the development of hESC-derived spheres. Among the four chemicals, TMD exposure especially influenced the differentiation of spheres into neuronal cells. Transcriptomic analysis and functional annotation identified specific genes that are TMD-induced and associated with ERK and synaptic signaling pathways. Computational network analysis predicted that TMD induced the expression of DNA-binding protein inhibitor ID2, which plays an important role in neuronal development. These findings provide direct evidence that early transcriptomic changes during differentiation of hESCs upon exposure to TMD influence neuronal development in the later stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychoactive Substances in Neuronal Development)
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Open AccessReview
A Re-Appraisal of Pathogenic Mechanisms Bridging Wet and Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration Leads to Reconsider a Role for Phytochemicals
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155563 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Which pathogenic mechanisms underlie age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Are they different for dry and wet variants, or do they stem from common metabolic alterations? Where shall we look for altered metabolism? Is it the inner choroid, or is it rather the choroid–retinal border? [...] Read more.
Which pathogenic mechanisms underlie age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Are they different for dry and wet variants, or do they stem from common metabolic alterations? Where shall we look for altered metabolism? Is it the inner choroid, or is it rather the choroid–retinal border? Again, since cell-clearing pathways are crucial to degrade altered proteins, which metabolic system is likely to be the most implicated, and in which cell type? Here we describe the unique clearing activity of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the relevant role of its autophagy machinery in removing altered debris, thus centering the RPE in the pathogenesis of AMD. The cell-clearing systems within the RPE may act as a kernel to regulate the redox homeostasis and the traffic of multiple proteins and organelles toward either the choroid border or the outer segments of photoreceptors. This is expected to cope with the polarity of various domains within RPE cells, with each one owning a specific metabolic activity. A defective clearance machinery may trigger unconventional solutions to avoid intracellular substrates’ accumulation through unconventional secretions. These components may be deposited between the RPE and Bruch’s membrane, thus generating the drusen, which remains the classic hallmark of AMD. These deposits may rather represent a witness of an abnormal RPE metabolism than a real pathogenic component. The empowerment of cell clearance, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-angiogenic activity of the RPE by specific phytochemicals is here discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Phenolics and Polyphenols 2020)
Open AccessReview
Contribution of P2X4 Receptors to CNS Function and Pathophysiology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5562; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155562 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
The release and extracellular action of ATP are a widespread mechanism for cell-to-cell communication in living organisms through activation of P2X and P2Y receptors expressed at the cell surface of most tissues, including the nervous system. Among ionototropic receptors, P2X4 receptors have emerged [...] Read more.
The release and extracellular action of ATP are a widespread mechanism for cell-to-cell communication in living organisms through activation of P2X and P2Y receptors expressed at the cell surface of most tissues, including the nervous system. Among ionototropic receptors, P2X4 receptors have emerged in the last decade as a potential target for CNS disorders such as epilepsy, ischemia, chronic pain, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the role of P2X4 receptor in each pathology ranges from beneficial to detrimental, although the mechanisms are still mostly unknown. P2X4 is expressed at low levels in CNS cells including neurons and glial cells. In normal conditions, P2X4 activation contributes to synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Importantly, one of the genes present in the transcriptional program of myeloid cell activation is P2X4. Microglial P2X4 upregulation, the P2X4+ state of microglia, seems to be common in most acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases associated with inflammation. In this review, we summarize knowledge about the role of P2X4 receptors in the CNS physiology and discuss potential pitfalls and open questions about the therapeutic potential of blocking or potentiation of P2X4 for different pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dissecting the Purinergic Signaling Puzzle)
Open AccessReview
DNA Mismatch Repair Gene Variants in Sporadic Solid Cancers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155561 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
The phenotypic effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the development of sporadic solid cancers are still scarce. The aim of this review was to summarise and analyse published data on the associations between SNPs in mismatch repair genes and various cancers. The [...] Read more.
The phenotypic effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the development of sporadic solid cancers are still scarce. The aim of this review was to summarise and analyse published data on the associations between SNPs in mismatch repair genes and various cancers. The mismatch repair system plays a unique role in the control of the genetic integrity and it is often inactivated (germline and somatic mutations and hypermethylation) in cancer patients. Here, we focused on germline variants in mismatch repair genes and found the outcomes rather controversial: some SNPs are sometimes ascribed as protective, while other studies reported their pathological effects. Regarding the complexity of cancer as one disease, we attempted to ascertain if particular polymorphisms exert the effect in the same direction in the development and treatment of different malignancies, although it is still not straightforward to conclude whether polymorphisms always play a clear positive role or a negative one. Most recent and robust genome-wide studies suggest that risk of cancer is modulated by variants in mismatch repair genes, for example in colorectal cancer. Our study shows that rs1800734 in MLH1 or rs2303428 in MSH2 may influence the development of different malignancies. The lack of functional studies on many DNA mismatch repair SNPs as well as their interactions are not explored yet. Notably, the concerted action of more variants in one individual may be protective or harmful. Further, complex interactions of DNA mismatch repair variations with both the environment and microenvironment in the cancer pathogenesis will deserve further attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Interfaces in Gastrointestinal Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
PremPRI: Predicting the Effects of Missense Mutations on Protein–RNA Interactions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155560 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Protein–RNA interactions are crucial for many cellular processes, such as protein synthesis and regulation of gene expression. Missense mutations that alter protein–RNA interaction may contribute to the pathogenesis of many diseases. Here, we introduce a new computational method PremPRI, which predicts the effects [...] Read more.
Protein–RNA interactions are crucial for many cellular processes, such as protein synthesis and regulation of gene expression. Missense mutations that alter protein–RNA interaction may contribute to the pathogenesis of many diseases. Here, we introduce a new computational method PremPRI, which predicts the effects of single mutations occurring in RNA binding proteins on the protein–RNA interactions by calculating the binding affinity changes quantitatively. The multiple linear regression scoring function of PremPRI is composed of three sequence- and eight structure-based features, and is parameterized on 248 mutations from 50 protein–RNA complexes. Our model shows a good agreement between calculated and experimental values of binding affinity changes with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.72 and the corresponding root-mean-square error of 0.76 kcal·mol−1, outperforming three other available methods. PremPRI can be used for finding functionally important variants, understanding the molecular mechanisms, and designing new protein–RNA interaction inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Informatics)
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Open AccessReview
COVID-19: The Immune Responses and Clinical Therapy Candidates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155559 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with rising numbers of patients worldwide, presents an urgent need for effective treatments. To date, there are no therapies or vaccines that are proven to be effective against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Several [...] Read more.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with rising numbers of patients worldwide, presents an urgent need for effective treatments. To date, there are no therapies or vaccines that are proven to be effective against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Several potential candidates or repurposed drugs are under investigation, including drugs that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication and block infection. The most promising therapy to date is remdesivir, which is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for emergency use in adults and children hospitalized with severe suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Herein we summarize the general features of SARS-CoV-2’s molecular and immune pathogenesis and discuss available pharmacological strategies, based on our present understanding of SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections. Finally, we outline clinical trials currently in progress to investigate the efficacy of potential therapies for COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Immunology)
Open AccessArticle
Synaptic Organization of the Human Temporal Lobe Neocortex as Revealed by High-Resolution Transmission, Focused Ion Beam Scanning, and Electron Microscopic Tomography
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5558; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155558 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Modern electron microscopy (EM) such as fine-scale transmission EM, focused ion beam scanning EM, and EM tomography have enormously improved our knowledge about the synaptic organization of the normal, developmental, and pathologically altered brain. In contrast to various animal species, comparably little is [...] Read more.
Modern electron microscopy (EM) such as fine-scale transmission EM, focused ion beam scanning EM, and EM tomography have enormously improved our knowledge about the synaptic organization of the normal, developmental, and pathologically altered brain. In contrast to various animal species, comparably little is known about these structures in the human brain. Non-epileptic neocortical access tissue from epilepsy surgery was used to generate quantitative 3D models of synapses. Beside the overall geometry, the number, size, and shape of active zones and of the three functionally defined pools of synaptic vesicles representing morphological correlates for synaptic transmission and plasticity were quantified. EM tomography further allowed new insights in the morphological organization and size of the functionally defined readily releasable pool. Beside similarities, human synaptic boutons, although comparably small (approximately 5 µm), differed substantially in several structural parameters, such as the shape and size of active zones, which were on average 2 to 3-fold larger than in experimental animals. The total pool of synaptic vesicles exceeded that in experimental animals by approximately 2 to 3-fold, in particular the readily releasable and recycling pool by approximately 2 to 5-fold, although these pools seemed to be layer-specifically organized. Taken together, synaptic boutons in the human temporal lobe neocortex represent unique entities perfectly adapted to the “job” they have to fulfill in the circuitry in which they are embedded. Furthermore, the quantitative 3D models of synaptic boutons are useful to explain and even predict the functional properties of synaptic connections in the human neocortex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Structure and Function of Synapses)
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Open AccessArticle
Uveal Melanoma Cells Elicit Retinal Pericyte Phenotypical and Biochemical Changes in an in Vitro Model of Coculture
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5557; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155557 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Vascular pericytes are an important cellular component in the tumor microenvironment, however, their role in supporting cancer invasion is poorly understood. We hypothesized that PDGF-BB could be involved in the transition of human retinal pericytes (HRPC) in cancer-activated fibroblasts (CAF), induced by the [...] Read more.
Vascular pericytes are an important cellular component in the tumor microenvironment, however, their role in supporting cancer invasion is poorly understood. We hypothesized that PDGF-BB could be involved in the transition of human retinal pericytes (HRPC) in cancer-activated fibroblasts (CAF), induced by the 92.1 uveal melanoma (UM) cell line. In our model system, HRPC were conditioned by co-culturing with 92.1UM for 6 days (cHRPC), in the presence or absence of imatinib, to block PDGF receptor-β (PDGFRβ). The effects of the treatments were tested by wound healing assay, proliferation assay, RT-PCR, high-content screening, Western blot analysis, and invasion assay. Results showed profound changes in cHRPC shape, with increased proliferation and motility, reduction of NG2 and increase of TGF-β1, α-SMA, vimentin, and FSP-1 protein levels, modulation of PDGF isoform mRNA levels, phospho-PDGFRβ, and PDGFRβ, as well as phospho-STAT3 increases. A reduction of IL-1β and IFNγ and an increase in TNFα, IL10, and TGF-β1, CXCL11, CCL18, and VEGF mRNA in cHRPC were found. Imatinib was effective in preventing all the 92.1UM-induced changes. Moreover, cHRPC elicited a significant increase of 92.1UM cell invasion and active MMP9 protein levels. Our data suggest that retinal microvascular pericytes could promote 92.1UM growth through the acquisition of the CAF phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
The Arabidopsis RboHB Encoded by At1g09090 Is Important for Resistance against Nematodes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5556; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155556 (registering DOI) - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Reactive oxygen species are a byproduct of aerobic metabolic processes but are also produced by plants in defense against pathogens. In addition, they can function as signaling molecules that control various aspects of plant life, ranging from developmental processes to responses to abiotic [...] Read more.
Reactive oxygen species are a byproduct of aerobic metabolic processes but are also produced by plants in defense against pathogens. In addition, they can function as signaling molecules that control various aspects of plant life, ranging from developmental processes to responses to abiotic and biotic stimuli. In plants, reactive oxygen species can be produced by respiratory burst oxidase homologues. Arabidopsis contains 10 genes for respiratory burst oxidase homologues that are involved in different aspects of plant life. Plant pathogenic cyst nematodes such as Heterodera schachtii induce a syncytium in the roots of host plants that becomes a feeding site which supplies nutrients throughout the life of the nematode. In line with this function, the transcriptome of the syncytium shows drastic changes. One of the genes that is most strongly downregulated in syncytia codes for respiratory burst oxidase homologue B. This gene is root-specific and we confirm here the downregulation in nematode feeding sites with a promoter::GUS (β-glucuronidase) line. Overexpression of this gene resulted in enhanced resistance against nematodes but also against leaf-infecting pathogens. Thus, respiratory burst oxidase homologue B has a role in resistance. The function of this gene is in contrast to respiratory burst oxidase homologues D and F, which have been found to be needed for full susceptibility of Arabidopsis to H. schachtii. However, our bioinformatic analysis did not find differences between these proteins that could account for the opposed function in the interaction with nematodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Antipsychotics on the Synaptic Plasticity Gene Homer1a Depend on a Combination of Their Receptor Profile, Dose, Duration of Treatment, and Brain Regions Targeted
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5555; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155555 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Background: Antipsychotic agents modulate key molecules of the postsynaptic density (PSD), including the Homer1a gene, implicated in dendritic spine architecture. How the antipsychotic receptor profile, dose, and duration of administration may influence synaptic plasticity and the Homer1a pattern of expression is yet to [...] Read more.
Background: Antipsychotic agents modulate key molecules of the postsynaptic density (PSD), including the Homer1a gene, implicated in dendritic spine architecture. How the antipsychotic receptor profile, dose, and duration of administration may influence synaptic plasticity and the Homer1a pattern of expression is yet to be determined. Methods: In situ hybridization for Homer1a was performed on rat tissue sections from cortical and striatal regions of interest (ROI) after acute or chronic administration of three antipsychotics with divergent receptor profile: Haloperidol, asenapine, and olanzapine. Univariate and multivariate analyses of the effects of topography, treatment, dose, and duration of antipsychotic administration were performed. Results: All acute treatment regimens were found to induce a consistently higher expression of Homer1a compared to chronic ones. Haloperidol increased Homer1a expression compared to olanzapine in striatum at the acute time-point. A dose effect was also observed for acute administration of haloperidol. Conclusions: Biological effects of antipsychotics on Homer1a varied strongly depending on the combination of their receptor profile, dose, duration of administration, and throughout the different brain regions. These molecular data may have translational valence and may reflect behavioral sensitization/tolerance phenomena observed with prolonged antipsychotics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Expression and Role of Biosynthetic, Transporter, Receptor, and Responsive Genes for Auxin Signaling during Clubroot Disease Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155554 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Auxins play a pivotal role in clubroot development caused by the obligate biotroph Plasmodiophora brassicae. In this study, we investigated the pattern of expression of 23 genes related to auxin biosynthesis, reception, and transport in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa) after inoculation [...] Read more.
Auxins play a pivotal role in clubroot development caused by the obligate biotroph Plasmodiophora brassicae. In this study, we investigated the pattern of expression of 23 genes related to auxin biosynthesis, reception, and transport in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa) after inoculation with P. brassicae. The predicted proteins identified, based on the 23 selected auxin-related genes, were from protein kinase, receptor kinase, auxin responsive, auxin efflux carrier, transcriptional regulator, and the auxin-repressed protein family. These proteins differed in amino acids residue, molecular weights, isoelectric points, chromosomal location, and subcellular localization. Leaf and root tissues showed dynamic and organ-specific variation in expression of auxin-related genes. The BrGH3.3 gene, involved in auxin signaling, exhibited 84.4-fold increase in expression in root tissues compared to leaf tissues as an average of all samples. This gene accounted for 4.8-, 2.6-, and 5.1-fold higher expression at 3, 14, and 28 days post inoculation (dpi) in the inoculated root tissues compared to mock-treated roots. BrNIT1, an auxin signaling gene, and BrPIN1, an auxin transporter, were remarkably induced during both cortex infection at 14 dpi and gall formation at 28 dpi. BrDCK1, an auxin receptor, was upregulated during cortex infection at 14 dpi. The BrLAX1 gene, associated with root hair development, was induced at 1 dpi in infected roots, indicating its importance in primary infection. More interestingly, a significantly higher expression of BrARP1, an auxin-repressed gene, at both the primary and secondary phases of infection indicated a dynamic response of the host plant towards its resistance against P. brassicae. The results of this study improve our current understanding of the role of auxin-related genes in clubroot disease development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle
Inhibition of Colony-Stimulating Factor 1 Receptor by PLX3397 Prevents Amyloid Beta Pathology and Rescues Dopaminergic Signaling in Aging 5xFAD Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5553; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155553 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. In this study, to investigate the effect of microglial elimination on AD progression, we administered PLX3397, a selective colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor inhibitor, to the mouse model of AD (5xFAD mice). Amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposition and [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. In this study, to investigate the effect of microglial elimination on AD progression, we administered PLX3397, a selective colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor inhibitor, to the mouse model of AD (5xFAD mice). Amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposition and amyloid precursor protein (APP), carboxyl-terminal fragment β, ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1, synaptophysin, and postsynaptic density (PSD)-95 levels were evaluated in the cortex and hippocampus. In addition, the receptor density changes in dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 were evaluated using positron emission tomography (PET). D2R, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and dopamine transporter (DAT) levels were analyzed in the brains of Tg (5xFAD) mice using immunohistochemistry. PLX3397 administration significantly decreased Aβ deposition following microglial depletion in the cortex and hippocampus of Tg mice. In the neuro-PET studies, the binding values for D2R in the Tg mice were lower than those in the wild type mice; however, after PLX3397 treatment, the binding dramatically increased. PLX3397 administration also reversed the changes in synaptophysin and PSD-95 expression in the brain. Furthermore, the D2R and TH expression in the brains of Tg mice was significantly lower than that in the wild type; however, after PLX3397 administration, the D2R and TH levels were significantly higher than those in untreated Tg mice. Thus, our findings show that administering PLX3397 to aged 5xFAD mice could prevent amyloid pathology, concomitant with the rescue of dopaminergic signaling, suggesting that targeting microglia may serve as a useful therapeutic option for neurodegenerative diseases, including AD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The N-Terminal Region of Soybean PM1 Protein Protects Liposomes during Freeze-Thaw
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155552 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) group 1 (LEA_1) proteins are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) that play important roles in protecting plants from abiotic stress. Their protective function, at a molecular level, has not yet been fully elucidated, but several studies suggest their involvement in [...] Read more.
Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) group 1 (LEA_1) proteins are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) that play important roles in protecting plants from abiotic stress. Their protective function, at a molecular level, has not yet been fully elucidated, but several studies suggest their involvement in membrane stabilization under stress conditions. In this paper, the soybean LEA_1 protein PM1 and its truncated forms (PM1-N: N-terminal half; PM1-C: C-terminal half) were tested for the ability to protect liposomes against damage induced by freeze-thaw stress. Turbidity measurement and light microscopy showed that full-length PM1 and PM1-N, but not PM1-C, can prevent freeze-thaw-induced aggregation of POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine) liposomes and native thylakoid membranes, isolated from spinach leaves (Spinacia oleracea). Particle size distribution analysis by dynamic light scattering (DLS) further confirmed that PM1 and PM1-N can prevent liposome aggregation during freeze-thaw. Furthermore, PM1 or PM1-N could significantly inhibit membrane fusion of liposomes, but not reduce the leakage of their contents following freezing stress. The results of proteolytic digestion and circular dichroism experiments suggest that PM1 and PM1-N proteins bind mainly on the surface of the POPC liposome. We propose that, through its N-terminal region, PM1 functions as a membrane-stabilizing protein during abiotic stress, and might inhibit membrane fusion and aggregation of vesicles or other endomembrane structures within the plant cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Adaptation of Crop Plant in Response to Environmental Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Lipoteichoic Acid Accelerates Bone Healing by Enhancing Osteoblast Differentiation and Inhibiting Osteoclast Activation in a Mouse Model of Femoral Defects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5550; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155550 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is a cell wall component of Gram-positive bacteria. Limited data suggest that LTA is beneficial for bone regeneration in vitro. Thus, we used a mouse model of femoral defects to explore the effects of LTA on bone healing in vivo. [...] Read more.
Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is a cell wall component of Gram-positive bacteria. Limited data suggest that LTA is beneficial for bone regeneration in vitro. Thus, we used a mouse model of femoral defects to explore the effects of LTA on bone healing in vivo. Micro-computed tomography analysis and double-fluorochrome labeling were utilized to examine whether LTA can accelerate dynamic bone formation in vivo. The effects of LTA on osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis were also studied in vitro. LTA treatment induced prompt bone bridge formation, rapid endochondral ossification, and accelerated healing of fractures in mice with femoral bone defects. In vitro, LTA directly enhanced indicators of osteogenic factor-induced MC3T3-E1 cell differentiation, including alkaline phosphatase activity, calcium deposition and osteopontin expression. LTA also inhibited osteoclast activation induced by receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand. We identified six molecules that may be associated with LTA-accelerated bone healing: monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1, cystatin C, growth/differentiation factor 15, endostatin and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin. Finally, double-fluorochrome, dynamic-labeling data indicated that LTA significantly enhanced bone-formation rates in vivo. In conclusion, our findings suggest that LTA has promising bone-regeneration properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials for Bone Regeneration: Biomaterials and Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals Changes in Long Noncoding RNAs in the Differentiation of Canine BMSCs into Insulin-Producing Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5549; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155549 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been extensively explored over the past decade, including mice and humans. However, their impact on the transdifferentiation of canine bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (cBMSCs) into insulin-producing cells (IPCs) is largely unknown. In this study, we used a [...] Read more.
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been extensively explored over the past decade, including mice and humans. However, their impact on the transdifferentiation of canine bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (cBMSCs) into insulin-producing cells (IPCs) is largely unknown. In this study, we used a three-step induction procedure to induce cBMSCs into IPCs, and samples (two biological replicates each) were obtained after each step; the samples consisted of “BMSCs” (B), “stage 1” (S1), “stage 2” (S2), “stage 3” (S3), and “islets” (I). After sequencing, 15,091 lncRNAs were identified, and we screened 110, 41, 23, and 686 differentially expressed lncRNAs (padjusted < 0.05) in B vs. S1, S1 vs. S2, S2 vs. S3, and I vs. S3 pairwise comparisons, respectively. In lncRNA target prediction, there were 166,623 colocalized targets and 2,976,362 correlated targets. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that binding represented the main molecular functions of both the cis- and trans-modes. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis suggested that the insulin signaling pathway, Rap1 signaling pathway, tight junctions, MAPK signaling pathway, and cell cycle were enriched for these relative genes. The expression of lncRNAs was verified using qRT-PCR. This study provides a lncRNA catalog for future research concerning the mechanism of the transdifferentiation of cBMSCs into IPCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functions of Non-Coding DNA Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
The LuxI/LuxR-Type Quorum Sensing System Regulates Degradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons via Two Mechanisms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155548 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Members of the Sphingomonadales are renowned for their ability to degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). However, little is known about the regulatory mechanisms of the degradative pathway. Using cross-feeding bioassay, a functional LuxI/LuxR-type acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated quorum sensing (QS) system was identified from [...] Read more.
Members of the Sphingomonadales are renowned for their ability to degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). However, little is known about the regulatory mechanisms of the degradative pathway. Using cross-feeding bioassay, a functional LuxI/LuxR-type acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated quorum sensing (QS) system was identified from Croceicoccus naphthovorans PQ-2, a member of the order Sphingomonadales. Inactivation of the QS system resulted in a significant decrease in PAHs degradation. The QS system positively controlled the expression of three PAH-degrading genes (ahdA1e, xylE and xylG) and a regulatory gene ardR, which are located on the large plasmid. Interestingly, the transcription levels of these three PAH-degrading genes were significantly down-regulated in the ardR mutant. In addition, bacterial cell surface hydrophobicity and cell morphology were altered in the QS-deficient mutant. Therefore, the QS system in strain PQ-2 positively regulates PAH degradation via two mechanisms: (i) by induction of PAH-degrading genes directly and/or indirectly; and (ii) by an increase of bacterial cell surface hydrophobicity. The findings of this study improve our understanding of how the QS system influences the degradation of PAHs, therefore facilitating the development of new strategies for the bioremediation of PAHs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Deciphering the Novel Role of AtMIN7 in Cuticle Formation and Defense against the Bacterial Pathogen Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5547; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155547 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
The cuticle is the outermost layer of plant aerial tissue that interacts with the environment and protects plants against water loss and various biotic and abiotic stresses. ADP ribosylation factor guanine nucleotide exchange factor proteins (ARF-GEFs) are key components of the vesicle trafficking [...] Read more.
The cuticle is the outermost layer of plant aerial tissue that interacts with the environment and protects plants against water loss and various biotic and abiotic stresses. ADP ribosylation factor guanine nucleotide exchange factor proteins (ARF-GEFs) are key components of the vesicle trafficking system. Our study discovers that AtMIN7, an Arabidopsis ARF-GEF, is critical for cuticle formation and related leaf surface defense against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pathovar tomato (Pto). Our transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy studies indicate that the atmin7 mutant leaves have a thinner cuticular layer, defective stomata structure, and impaired cuticle ledge of stomata compared to the leaves of wild type plants. GC–MS analysis further revealed that the amount of cutin monomers was significantly reduced in atmin7 mutant plants. Furthermore, the exogenous application of either of three plant hormones—salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, or abscisic acid—enhanced the cuticle formation in atmin7 mutant leaves and the related defense responses to the bacterial Pto infection. Thus, transport of cutin-related components by AtMIN7 may contribute to its impact on cuticle formation and related defense function. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Based on the Virtual Screening of Multiple Pharmacophores, Docking and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Approaches toward the Discovery of Novel HPPD Inhibitors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5546; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155546 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
4-Hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) is an iron-dependent non-heme oxygenase involved in the catabolic pathway of tyrosine, which is an important enzyme in the transformation of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvic acid to homogentisic acid, and thus being considered as herbicide target. Within this study, a set of multiple [...] Read more.
4-Hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) is an iron-dependent non-heme oxygenase involved in the catabolic pathway of tyrosine, which is an important enzyme in the transformation of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvic acid to homogentisic acid, and thus being considered as herbicide target. Within this study, a set of multiple structure-based pharmacophore models for HPPD inhibitors were developed. The ZINC and natural product database were virtually screened, and 29 compounds were obtained. The binding mode of HPPD and its inhibitors obtained through molecular docking study showed that the residues of Phe424, Phe381, His308, His226, Gln307 and Glu394 were crucial for activity. Molecular-mechanics-generalized born surface area (MM/GBSA) results showed that the coulomb force, lipophilic and van der Waals (vdW) interactions made major contributions to the binding affinity. These efforts will greatly contribute to design novel and effective HPPD inhibitory herbicides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Informatics)
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Open AccessReview
Exploring the Mediators That Promote Carotid Body Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity Related Syndromes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5545; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155545 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Carotid bodies (CBs) are peripheral chemoreceptors that sense changes in blood O2, CO2, and pH levels. Apart from ventilatory control, these organs are deeply involved in the homeostatic regulation of carbohydrates and lipid metabolism and inflammation. It has been [...] Read more.
Carotid bodies (CBs) are peripheral chemoreceptors that sense changes in blood O2, CO2, and pH levels. Apart from ventilatory control, these organs are deeply involved in the homeostatic regulation of carbohydrates and lipid metabolism and inflammation. It has been described that CB dysfunction is involved in the genesis of metabolic diseases and that CB overactivation is present in animal models of metabolic disease and in prediabetes patients. Additionally, resection of the CB-sensitive nerve, the carotid sinus nerve (CSN), or CB ablation in animals prevents and reverses diet-induced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance as well as sympathoadrenal overactivity, meaning that the beneficial effects of decreasing CB activity on glucose homeostasis are modulated by target-related efferent sympathetic nerves, through a reflex initiated in the CBs. In agreement with our pre-clinical data, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which reduces CB activity, improves glucose homeostasis in type 2 diabetes patients. Insulin, leptin, and pro-inflammatory cytokines activate the CB. In this manuscript, we review in a concise manner the putative pathways linking CB chemoreceptor deregulation with the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases and discuss and present new data that highlight the roles of hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia, and chronic inflammation as major factors contributing to CB dysfunction in metabolic disorders. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Dairy-Inspired Coatings for Bone Implants from Whey Protein Isolate-Derived Self-Assembled Fibrils
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5544; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155544 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
To improve the integration of a biomaterial with surrounding tissue, its surface properties may be modified by adsorption of biomacromolecules, e.g., fibrils. Whey protein isolate (WPI), a dairy industry by-product, supports osteoblastic cell growth. WPI’s main component, β-lactoglobulin, forms fibrils in acidic solutions. [...] Read more.
To improve the integration of a biomaterial with surrounding tissue, its surface properties may be modified by adsorption of biomacromolecules, e.g., fibrils. Whey protein isolate (WPI), a dairy industry by-product, supports osteoblastic cell growth. WPI’s main component, β-lactoglobulin, forms fibrils in acidic solutions. In this study, aiming to develop coatings for biomaterials for bone contact, substrates were coated with WPI fibrils obtained at pH 2 or 3.5. Importantly, WPI fibrils coatings withstood autoclave sterilization and appeared to promote spreading and differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSC). In the future, WPI fibrils coatings could facilitate immobilization of biomolecules with growth stimulating or antimicrobial properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Self-Assembly and Design of Polyfunctional Nanosystems)
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Open AccessReview
Use of Intravenous Immunoglobulins in Sepsis Therapy—A Clinical View
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5543; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155543 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction, defined by a dysregulated host immune response to infection. During sepsis, the finely tuned system of immunity, inflammation and anti-inflammation is disturbed in a variety of ways. Both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways are upregulated, activation of the [...] Read more.
Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction, defined by a dysregulated host immune response to infection. During sepsis, the finely tuned system of immunity, inflammation and anti-inflammation is disturbed in a variety of ways. Both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways are upregulated, activation of the coagulation cascade and complement and sepsis-induced lymphopenia occur. Due to the manifold interactions in this network, the use of IgM-enriched intravenous immunoglobulins seems to be a promising therapeutic approach. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of evidence-based data to answer the important questions of appropriate patient populations, optimal timing and dosage of intravenous immunoglobulins. With this review, we aim to provide an overview of the role of immunoglobulins, with emphasis on IgM-enriched formulations, in the therapy of adult patients with sepsis and septic shock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunoglobulins in Inflammation)
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Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Analysis of Applicability Domains of QSPR Models for Chemical Reactions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5542; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155542 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Nowadays, the problem of the model’s applicability domain (AD) definition is an active research topic in chemoinformatics. Although many various AD definitions for the models predicting properties of molecules (Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) models) were described in the literature, no one for chemical [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the problem of the model’s applicability domain (AD) definition is an active research topic in chemoinformatics. Although many various AD definitions for the models predicting properties of molecules (Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) models) were described in the literature, no one for chemical reactions (Quantitative Reaction-Property Relationships (QRPR)) has been reported to date. The point is that a chemical reaction is a much more complex object than an individual molecule, and its yield, thermodynamic and kinetic characteristics depend not only on the structures of reactants and products but also on experimental conditions. The QRPR models’ performance largely depends on the way that chemical transformation is encoded. In this study, various AD definition methods extensively used in QSAR/QSPR studies of individual molecules, as well as several novel approaches suggested in this work for reactions, were benchmarked on several reaction datasets. The ability to exclude wrong reaction types, increase coverage, improve the model performance and detect Y-outliers were tested. As a result, several “best” AD definitions for the QRPR models predicting reaction characteristics have been revealed and tested on a previously published external dataset with a clear AD definition problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QSAR and Chemoinformatics in Molecular Modeling and Drug Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Chrysin Inhibits High Glucose-Induced Migration on Chorioretinal Endothelial Cells via VEGF and VEGFR Down-Regulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155541 - 02 Aug 2020
Viewed by 197
Abstract
Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic inflammatory disease, which causes multiple complications. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is among these complications and is a dominant cause of vision loss for diabetic patients. Numerous studies have shown that chrysin, a flavonoid, has many biological activities [...] Read more.
Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic inflammatory disease, which causes multiple complications. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is among these complications and is a dominant cause of vision loss for diabetic patients. Numerous studies have shown that chrysin, a flavonoid, has many biological activities such as anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation. However, it is rarely used in ocular diseases. In this study, we examined the inhibitory effects of flavonoid on high glucose induced migration of chorioretinal endothelial cells (RF/6A cells) and its mechanism. Materials and methods: The viability of RF/6A cells treated with chrysin was examined with a 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The migration of RF/6A cells was assessed by the transwell migration and scratch wound assays. The expression of AKT, ERK, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), HIF−1α and MMP-2 were determined by western blotting. To observe the mRNA expression of VEGF receptor (VEGFR), qRT-PCR, was utilized. Results: The results showed that chrysin can dose-dependently inhibit the RF/6A cell migration in vitro transwell and the scratch wound assays which are induced by high glucose. After pretreatment of RF/6A cells with different concentrations of chrysin, they did not produce any cytotoxicity in MTT assay. Moreover, chrysin down-regulated both phosphorylated AKT and ERK, as well as attenuated the expression levels of MMP-2. It also decreased the expression of the VEGF transcription factor and VEGF. Furthermore, it was shown that chrysin could suppress the protein and mRNA expression levels of VEGFR. Conclusion: The results indicate that chrysin could down-regulate the phosphorylation of AKT, ERK and MMP-2 and reduce the effects of VEGF and VEGFR in a high glucose environment. It further inhibits the high glucose-induced migration of RE/6A cells. Therefore, chrysin may have the potential for visual protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
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Open AccessArticle
Orally Administered Exosomes Suppress Mouse Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity by Delivering miRNA-150 to Antigen-Primed Macrophage APC Targeted by Exosome-Surface Anti-Peptide Antibody Light Chains
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5540; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155540 - 02 Aug 2020
Viewed by 180
Abstract
We previously discovered suppressor T cell-derived, antigen (Ag)-specific exosomes inhibiting mouse hapten-induced contact sensitivity effector T cells by targeting antigen-presenting cells (APCs). These suppressive exosomes acted Ag-specifically due to a coating of antibody free light chains (FLC) from Ag-activated B1a cells. Current studies [...] Read more.
We previously discovered suppressor T cell-derived, antigen (Ag)-specific exosomes inhibiting mouse hapten-induced contact sensitivity effector T cells by targeting antigen-presenting cells (APCs). These suppressive exosomes acted Ag-specifically due to a coating of antibody free light chains (FLC) from Ag-activated B1a cells. Current studies are aimed at determining if similar immune tolerance could be induced in cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) to the protein Ag (ovalbumin, OVA). Intravenous administration of a high dose of OVA-coupled, syngeneic erythrocytes similarly induced CD3+CD8+ suppressor T cells producing suppressive, miRNA-150-carrying exosomes, also coated with B1a cell-derived, OVA-specific FLC. Simultaneously, OVA-immunized B1a cells produced an exosome subpopulation, originally coated with Ag-specific FLC, that could be rendered suppressive by in vitro association with miRNA-150. Importantly, miRNA-150-carrying exosomes from both suppressor T cells and B1a cells efficiently induced prolonged DTH suppression after single systemic administration into actively immunized mice, with the strongest effect observed after oral treatment. Current studies also showed that OVA-specific FLC on suppressive exosomes bind OVA peptides suggesting that exosome-coating FLC target APCs by binding to peptide-Ag-major histocompatibility complexes. This renders APCs capable of inhibiting DTH effector T cells. Thus, our studies describe a novel immune tolerance mechanism mediated by FLC-coated, Ag-specific, miRNA-150-carrying exosomes that act on the APC and are particularly effective after oral administration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Allergy, Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation)
Open AccessReview
Function of Platelet Glycosphingolipid Microdomains/Lipid Rafts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155539 - 02 Aug 2020
Viewed by 177
Abstract
Lipid rafts are dynamic assemblies of glycosphingolipids, sphingomyelin, cholesterol, and specific proteins which are stabilized into platforms involved in the regulation of vital cellular processes. The rafts at the cell surface play important functions in signal transduction. Recent reports have demonstrated that lipid [...] Read more.
Lipid rafts are dynamic assemblies of glycosphingolipids, sphingomyelin, cholesterol, and specific proteins which are stabilized into platforms involved in the regulation of vital cellular processes. The rafts at the cell surface play important functions in signal transduction. Recent reports have demonstrated that lipid rafts are spatially and compositionally heterogeneous in the single-cell membrane. In this review, we summarize our recent data on living platelets using two specific probes of raft components: lysenin as a probe of sphingomyelin-rich rafts and BCθ as a probe of cholesterol-rich rafts. Sphingomyelin-rich rafts that are spatially and functionally distinct from the cholesterol-rich rafts were found at spreading platelets. Fibrin is translocated to sphingomyelin-rich rafts and platelet sphingomyelin-rich rafts act as platforms where extracellular fibrin and intracellular actomyosin join to promote clot retraction. On the other hand, the collagen receptor glycoprotein VI is known to be translocated to cholesterol-rich rafts during platelet adhesion to collagen. Furthermore, the functional roles of platelet glycosphingolipids and platelet raft-binding proteins including G protein-coupled receptors, stomatin, prohibitin, flotillin, and HflK/C-domain protein family, tetraspanin family, and calcium channels are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Roles of Glycosphingolipids in Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Hybrid Drug Delivery System for Treatment of Aortic Aneurysms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155538 - 02 Aug 2020
Viewed by 173
Abstract
Ongoing aortic wall degeneration and subsequent aneurysm exclusion failure are major concerns after an endovascular aneurysm repair with a stent-graft. An ideal solution would be a drug therapy that targets the aortic wall and inhibits wall degeneration. Here, we described a novel drug [...] Read more.
Ongoing aortic wall degeneration and subsequent aneurysm exclusion failure are major concerns after an endovascular aneurysm repair with a stent-graft. An ideal solution would be a drug therapy that targets the aortic wall and inhibits wall degeneration. Here, we described a novel drug delivery system, which allowed repetitively charging a graft with therapeutic drugs and releasing them to the aortic wall in vivo. The system was composed of a targeted graft, which was labeled with a small target molecule, and the target-recognizing nanocarrier, which contained suitable drugs. We developed the targeted graft by decorating a biotinylated polyester graft with neutravidin. We created the target-recognizing nanocarrier by conjugating drug-containing liposomes with biotinylated bio-nanocapsules. We successfully demonstrated that the target-recognizing nanocarriers could bind to the targeted graft, both in vitro and in blood vessels of live mice. Moreover, the drug released from our drug delivery system reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in mouse aortas. Thus, this hybrid system represents a first step toward an adjuvant therapy that might improve the long-term outcome of endovascular aneurysm repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research On Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm)
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Open AccessCommunication
Social Fear Memory Requires Two Stages of Protein Synthesis in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5537; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155537 - 02 Aug 2020
Viewed by 155
Abstract
It is well known that long-term consolidation of newly acquired information, including information related to social fear, require de novo protein synthesis. However, the temporal dynamics of protein synthesis during the consolidation of social fear memories is unclear. To address this question, mice [...] Read more.
It is well known that long-term consolidation of newly acquired information, including information related to social fear, require de novo protein synthesis. However, the temporal dynamics of protein synthesis during the consolidation of social fear memories is unclear. To address this question, mice received a single systemic injection with the protein synthesis inhibitor, anisomycin, at different time-points before or after social fear conditioning (SFC), and memory was assessed 24 h later. We showed that anisomycin impaired the consolidation of social fear memories in a time-point-dependent manner. Mice that received anisomycin 20 min before, immediately after, 6 h, or 8 h after SFC showed reduced expression of social fear, indicating impaired social fear memory, whereas anisomycin caused no effects when administered 4 h after SFC. These results suggest that consolidation of social fear memories requires two stages of protein synthesis: (1) an initial stage starting during or immediately after SFC, and (2) a second stage starting around 6 h after SFC and lasting for at least 5 h. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Memory Formation and Modification)
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Open AccessArticle
An EPR Study on the Interaction between the Cu(I) Metal Binding Domains of ATP7B and the Atox1 Metallochaperone
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5536; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155536 - 02 Aug 2020
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Copper’s essentiality and toxicity mean it requires a sophisticated regulation system for its acquisition, cellular distribution and excretion, which until now has remained elusive. Herein, we applied continuous wave (CW) and pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in solution to resolve the copper [...] Read more.
Copper’s essentiality and toxicity mean it requires a sophisticated regulation system for its acquisition, cellular distribution and excretion, which until now has remained elusive. Herein, we applied continuous wave (CW) and pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in solution to resolve the copper trafficking mechanism in humans, by considering the route travelled by Cu(I) from the metallochaperone Atox1 to the metal binding domains of ATP7B. Our study revealed that Cu(I) is most likely mediated by the binding of the Atox1 monomer to metal binding domain 1 (MBD1) and MBD4 of ATP7B in the final part of its extraction pathway, while the other MBDs mediate this interaction and participate in copper transfer between the various MBDs to the ATP7B membrane domain. This research also proposes that MBD1-3 and MBD4-6 act as two independent units. Full article
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