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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 21, Issue 17 (September-1 2020) – 508 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The peptide Gly–His–Lys (GHK, the natural wound healing factor) and urocanic acid (UCA, a constituent of the natural moisturizing factor) coexist in the human body, e.g., in the skin. They also share some biological activities, e.g., both modulate the immune and nervous systems. Interestingly, they have never been considered to function mutually. We present results suggesting that at least some of the biological activities ascribed separately to GHK and UCA actually stem from their copper ternary complex. This complex potentially has a profound impact on such processes as skin regeneration. View this paper
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Review
Pathways of Gastric Carcinogenesis, Helicobacter pylori Virulence and Interactions with Antioxidant Systems, Vitamin C and Phytochemicals
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176451 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2414
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori is a class one carcinogen which causes chronic atrophic gastritis, gastric intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia and adenocarcinoma. The mechanisms by which H. pylori interacts with other risk and protective factors, particularly vitamin C in gastric carcinogenesis are complex. Gastric carcinogenesis includes metabolic, [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori is a class one carcinogen which causes chronic atrophic gastritis, gastric intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia and adenocarcinoma. The mechanisms by which H. pylori interacts with other risk and protective factors, particularly vitamin C in gastric carcinogenesis are complex. Gastric carcinogenesis includes metabolic, environmental, epigenetic, genomic, infective, inflammatory and oncogenic pathways. The molecular classification of gastric cancer subtypes has revolutionized the understanding of gastric carcinogenesis. This includes the tumour microenvironment, germline mutations, and the role of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, Epstein Barr virus and epigenetics in somatic mutations. There is evidence that ascorbic acid, phytochemicals and endogenous antioxidant systems can modify the risk of gastric cancer. Gastric juice ascorbate levels depend on dietary intake of ascorbic acid but can also be decreased by H. pylori infection, H. pylori CagA secretion, tobacco smoking, achlorhydria and chronic atrophic gastritis. Ascorbic acid may be protective against gastric cancer by its antioxidant effect in gastric cytoprotection, regenerating active vitamin E and glutathione, inhibiting endogenous N-nitrosation, reducing toxic effects of ingested nitrosodimethylamines and heterocyclic amines, and preventing H. pylori infection. The effectiveness of such cytoprotection is related to H. pylori strain virulence, particularly CagA expression. The role of vitamin C in epigenetic reprogramming in gastric cancer is still evolving. Other factors in conjunction with vitamin C also play a role in gastric carcinogenesis. Eradication of H. pylori may lead to recovery of vitamin C secretion by gastric epithelium and enable regression of premalignant gastric lesions, thereby interrupting the Correa cascade of gastric carcinogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antitumor Activities of Natural Compounds From Plants)
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Review
The Role of Thiocyanate in Modulating Myeloperoxidase Activity during Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6450; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176450 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Thiocyanate (SCN) is a pseudohalide anion omnipresent across mammals and is particularly concentrated in secretions within the oral cavity, digestive tract and airway. Thiocyanate can outcompete chlorine anions and other halides (F, Br, I) as [...] Read more.
Thiocyanate (SCN) is a pseudohalide anion omnipresent across mammals and is particularly concentrated in secretions within the oral cavity, digestive tract and airway. Thiocyanate can outcompete chlorine anions and other halides (F, Br, I) as substrates for myeloperoxidase by undergoing two-electron oxidation with hydrogen peroxide. This forms their respective hypohalous acids (HOX where X = halides) and in the case of thiocyanate, hypothiocyanous acid (HOSCN), which is also a bactericidal oxidative species involved in the regulation of commensal and pathogenic microflora. Disease may dysregulate redox processes and cause imbalances in the oxidative profile, where typically favoured oxidative species, such as hypochlorous acid (HOCl), result in an overabundance of chlorinated protein residues. As such, the pharmacological capacity of thiocyanate has been recently investigated for its ability to modulate myeloperoxidase activity for HOSCN, a less potent species relative to HOCl, although outcomes vary significantly across different disease models. To date, most studies have focused on therapeutic effects in respiratory and cardiovascular animal models. However, we note other conditions such as rheumatic arthritis where SCN administration may worsen patient outcomes. Here, we discuss the pathophysiological role of SCN in diseases where MPO is implicated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role for the Enzyme Myeloperoxidase to Elicit Pathologies)
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Article
Novel Insights into the Biochemical Mechanism of CK1ε and its Functional Interplay with DDX3X
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6449; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176449 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 999
Abstract
Casein Kinase 1 epsilon (CK1ε) is a member of the serine (Ser)/threonine (Thr) CK1 family, known to have crucial roles in several biological scenarios and, ever more frequently, in pathological contexts, such as cancer. Recently, the human DEAD-box RNA helicase 3 X-linked (DDX3X), [...] Read more.
Casein Kinase 1 epsilon (CK1ε) is a member of the serine (Ser)/threonine (Thr) CK1 family, known to have crucial roles in several biological scenarios and, ever more frequently, in pathological contexts, such as cancer. Recently, the human DEAD-box RNA helicase 3 X-linked (DDX3X), involved in cancer proliferation and viral infections, has been identified as one of CK1ε substrates and its positive regulator in the Wnt/β-catenin network. However, the way by which these two proteins influence each other has not been fully clarified. In order to further investigate their interplay, we defined the kinetic parameters of CK1ε towards its substrates: ATP, casein, Dvl2 and DDX3X. CK1ε affinity for ATP depends on the nature of the substrate: increasing of casein concentrations led to an increase of KmATP, while increasing DDX3X reduced it. In literature, DDX3X is described to act as an allosteric activator of CK1ε. However, when we performed kinase reactions combining DDX3X and casein, we did not find a positive effect of DDX3X on casein phosphorylation by CK1ε, while both substrates were phosphorylated in a competitive manner. Moreover, CK1ε positively stimulates DDX3X ATPase activity. Our data provide a more detailed kinetic characterization on the functional interplay of these two proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Biology)
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Review
Quercetin as an Agent for Protecting the Bone: A Review of the Current Evidence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176448 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
Quercetin is a flavonoid abundantly found in fruits and vegetables. It possesses a wide spectrum of biological activities, thus suggesting a role in disease prevention and health promotion. The present review aimed to uncover the bone-sparing effects of quercetin and its mechanism of [...] Read more.
Quercetin is a flavonoid abundantly found in fruits and vegetables. It possesses a wide spectrum of biological activities, thus suggesting a role in disease prevention and health promotion. The present review aimed to uncover the bone-sparing effects of quercetin and its mechanism of action. Animal studies have found that the action of quercetin on bone is largely protective, with a small number of studies reporting negative outcomes. Quercetin was shown to inhibit RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis, osteoblast apoptosis, oxidative stress and inflammatory response while promoting osteogenesis, angiogenesis, antioxidant expression, adipocyte apoptosis and osteoclast apoptosis. The possible underlying mechanisms involved are regulation of Wnt, NF-κB, Nrf2, SMAD-dependent, and intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. On the other hand, quercetin was shown to exert complex and competing actions on the MAPK signalling pathway to orchestrate bone metabolism, resulting in both stimulatory and inhibitory effects on bone in parallel. The overall interaction is believed to result in a positive effect on bone. Considering the important contributions of quercetin in regulating bone homeostasis, it may be considered an economical and promising agent for improving bone health. The documented preclinical findings await further validation from human clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Osteoporosis: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapies 2.0)
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Review
LncRNAs in the Type I Interferon Antiviral Response
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6447; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176447 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 997
Abstract
The proper functioning of the immune system requires a robust control over a delicate equilibrium between an ineffective response and immune overactivation. Poor responses to viral insults may lead to chronic or overwhelming infection, whereas unrestrained activation can cause autoimmune diseases and cancer. [...] Read more.
The proper functioning of the immune system requires a robust control over a delicate equilibrium between an ineffective response and immune overactivation. Poor responses to viral insults may lead to chronic or overwhelming infection, whereas unrestrained activation can cause autoimmune diseases and cancer. Control over the magnitude and duration of the antiviral immune response is exerted by a finely tuned positive or negative regulation at the DNA, RNA, and protein level of members of the type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathways and on the expression and activity of antiviral and proinflammatory factors. As summarized in this review, committed research during the last decade has shown that several of these processes are exquisitely regulated by long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), transcripts with poor coding capacity, but highly versatile functions. After infection, viruses, and the antiviral response they trigger, deregulate the expression of a subset of specific lncRNAs that function to promote or repress viral replication by inactivating or potentiating the antiviral response, respectively. These IFN-related lncRNAs are also highly tissue- and cell-type-specific, rendering them as promising biomarkers or therapeutic candidates to modulate specific stages of the antiviral immune response with fewer adverse effects. Full article
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Article
Role of the Transcription Factor Yin Yang 1 and Its Selectively Identified Target Survivin in High-Grade B-Cells Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas: Potential Diagnostic and Therapeutic Targets
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176446 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 967
Abstract
B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (B-NHLs) are often characterized by the development of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs and/or relapse. During drug-induced apoptosis, Yin Yang 1 (YY1) transcription factor might modulate the expression of apoptotic regulators genes. The present study was aimed to: (1) [...] Read more.
B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (B-NHLs) are often characterized by the development of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs and/or relapse. During drug-induced apoptosis, Yin Yang 1 (YY1) transcription factor might modulate the expression of apoptotic regulators genes. The present study was aimed to: (1) examine the potential oncogenic role of YY1 in reversing drug resistance in B-NHLs; and (2) identify YY1 transcriptional target(s) that regulate the apoptotic pathway in B-NHLs. Predictive analyses coupled with database-deposited data suggested that YY1 binds the promoter of the BIRC5/survivin anti-apoptotic gene. Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) analyses of several B-NHL repositories revealed a conserved positive correlation between YY1 and survivin, both highly expressed, especially in aggressive B-NHLs. Further validation experiments performed in Raji Burkitt’s lymphomas cells, demonstrated that YY1 silencing was associated with survivin downregulation and sensitized the cells to apoptosis. Overall, our results revealed that: (1) YY1 and survivin are positively correlated and overexpressed in B-NHLs, especially in BLs; (2) YY1 strongly binds to the survivin promoter, hence survivin may be suggested as YY1 transcriptional target; (3) YY1 silencing sensitizes Raji cells to drug-induced apoptosis via downregulation of survivin; (4) both YY1 and survivin are potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for the treatment of resistant/relapsed B-NHLs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcription Factors in Cancer)
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Article
Plasma-Derived miRNA-222 as a Candidate Marker for Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176445 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 884
Abstract
We analyzed five miRNA molecules (miR-221; miR-222; miR-146b; miR-21; miR-181b) in the plasma of patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), nodular goiter (NG) and healthy controls (HC) and evaluated their diagnostic value for differentiation of PTC from NG and HC. Preoperative PTC plasma [...] Read more.
We analyzed five miRNA molecules (miR-221; miR-222; miR-146b; miR-21; miR-181b) in the plasma of patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), nodular goiter (NG) and healthy controls (HC) and evaluated their diagnostic value for differentiation of PTC from NG and HC. Preoperative PTC plasma miRNA expression (n = 49) was compared with plasma miRNA in the HC group (n = 57) and patients with NG (n = 23). It was demonstrated that miR-221; miR-222; miR-146b; miR-21 and miR-181b were overexpressed in preoperative PTC plasma samples compared to HC (p < 0.0001; p < 0.0001; p < 0.0001; p < 0.0001; p < 0.002; respectively). The upregulation in tumor tissue of these miRNAs was consistent with The Cancer Genome Atlas Thyroid Carcinoma dataset. A significant decrease in miR-21; miR-221; miR-146b and miR-181b expression was observed in the plasma of PTC patients after total thyroidectomy (p = 0.004; p = 0.001; p = 0.03; p = 0.036; respectively). The levels of miR-222 were significantly higher in the preoperative PTC compared to the NG group (p = 0.004). ROC curve (receiver operating characteristic curve) analysis revealed miR-222 as a potential marker in distinguishing PTC from NG (AUC 0.711; p = 0.004). In conclusion; circulating miR-222 profiles might be useful in discriminating PTC from NG. Full article
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Article
Mineral and Amino Acid Profiling of Different Hematopoietic Populations from the Mouse Bone Marrow
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176444 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 947
Abstract
Steady hematopoiesis is essential for lifelong production of all mature blood cells. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) found in the bone marrow ensure hematopoietic homeostasis in an organism. Failure of this complex process, which involves a fine balance of self-renewal and differentiation [...] Read more.
Steady hematopoiesis is essential for lifelong production of all mature blood cells. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) found in the bone marrow ensure hematopoietic homeostasis in an organism. Failure of this complex process, which involves a fine balance of self-renewal and differentiation fates, often result in severe hematological conditions such as leukemia and lymphoma. Several molecular and metabolic programs, internal or in close interaction with the bone marrow niche, have been identified as important regulators of HSPC function. More recently, nutrient sensing pathways have emerged as important modulators of HSC homing, dormancy, and function in the bone marrow. Here we describe a method for reliable measurement of various amino acids and minerals in different rare bone marrow (BM) populations, namely HSPCs. We found that the amino acid profile of the most primitive hematopoietic compartments (KLS) did not differ significantly from the one of their direct progenies (common myeloid progenitor CMP), while granulocyte-monocyte progenitors (GMPs), on the opposite of megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors (MEPs), have higher content of the majority of amino acids analyzed. Additionally, we identified intermediates of the urea cycle to be differentially expressed in the KLS population and were found to lower mitochondrial membrane potential, an established readout on self-renewal capability. Moreover, we were able to profile for the first time 12 different minerals and detect differences in elemental contents between different HSPC compartments. Importantly, essential dietary trace elements, such as iron and molybdenum, were found to be enriched in granulocyte-monocyte progenitors (GMPs). We envision this amino acid and mineral profiling will allow identification of novel metabolic and nutrient sensing pathways important in HSPC fate regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection 21st Anniversary of IJMS: Advances in Biochemistry)
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Article
Combined Treatment of Sulfonyl Chromen-4-Ones (CHW09) and Ultraviolet-C (UVC) Enhances Proliferation Inhibition, Apoptosis, Oxidative Stress, and DNA Damage against Oral Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176443 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
The sensitizing effect of chromone-derived compounds on UVC-induced proliferation inhibition has not been comprehensively investigated so far. The subject of this study was to examine the proliferation change of oral cancer cells while using the combined treatment of UVC (254 nm) with our [...] Read more.
The sensitizing effect of chromone-derived compounds on UVC-induced proliferation inhibition has not been comprehensively investigated so far. The subject of this study was to examine the proliferation change of oral cancer cells while using the combined treatment of UVC (254 nm) with our previously developed sulfonyl chromen-4-ones (CHW09), namely UVC/CHW09. Cell viability, apoptosis, oxidative stress, and DNA damage for the individual and combined treatments for UVC and/or CHW09 were examined in oral cancer Ca9-22 cells. In 24 h MTS assay, UVC (30 J/m2; UVC30), or CHW09 (25 and 50 µg/mL; namely, CHW09-25 and CHW09-50) show 54%, 59%, and 45% viability. The combined treatment (UVC30/CHW09-25 and UVC30/CHW09-50) show lower cell viability (45% and 35%). Mechanistically, UVC/CHW09 induced higher apoptosis than individual treatments and untreated control, which were supported by the evidence of flow cytometry for subG1, annexin V/7-aminoactinomycin D, pancaspase and caspases 3/7 activity, and western blotting for cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Moreover, this cleaved PARP expression was downregulated by pancaspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK. UVC/CHW09 showed higher oxidative stress than individual treatments and untreated control in terms of flow cytometry for reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial membrane potential, and mitochondrial mass. Furthermore, UVC/CHW09 showed higher DNA damage than individual treatments and untreated control in terms of flow cytometry for H2A histone family member X and 8-oxo-2’-deoxyguanosine. In conclusion, combined treatment UVC/CHW09 suppresses proliferation, and promotes apoptosis, oxidative stress, and DNA damage against oral cancer cells, providing a novel application of sulfonyl chromen-4-ones in order to sensitize UVC induced proliferation inhibition for oral cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Review
Investigating Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy Using Drosophila melanogaster
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176442 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1284
Abstract
Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are the spectrum of severe epilepsies characterized by early-onset, refractory seizures occurring in the context of developmental regression or plateauing. Early infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE) is one of the earliest forms of DEE, manifesting as frequent epileptic spasms [...] Read more.
Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are the spectrum of severe epilepsies characterized by early-onset, refractory seizures occurring in the context of developmental regression or plateauing. Early infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE) is one of the earliest forms of DEE, manifesting as frequent epileptic spasms and characteristic electroencephalogram findings in early infancy. In recent years, next-generation sequencing approaches have identified a number of monogenic determinants underlying DEE. In the case of EIEE, 85 genes have been registered in Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man as causative genes. Model organisms are indispensable tools for understanding the in vivo roles of the newly identified causative genes. In this review, we first present an overview of epilepsy and its genetic etiology, especially focusing on EIEE and then briefly summarize epilepsy research using animal and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models. The Drosophila model, which is characterized by easy gene manipulation, a short generation time, low cost and fewer ethical restrictions when designing experiments, is optimal for understanding the genetics of DEE. We therefore highlight studies with Drosophila models for EIEE and discuss the future development of their practical use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Drosophila in Human Disease Research)
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Article
Hyperspectral Reflectance of Light-Adapted Leaves Can Predict Both Dark- and Light-Adapted Chl Fluorescence Parameters, and the Effects of Chronic Ozone Exposure on Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176441 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
High-throughput and large-scale measurements of chlorophyll a fluorescence (ChlF) are of great interest to investigate the photosynthetic performance of plants in the field. Here, we tested the capability to rapidly, precisely, and simultaneously estimate the number of pulse-amplitude-modulation ChlF parameters commonly calculated from [...] Read more.
High-throughput and large-scale measurements of chlorophyll a fluorescence (ChlF) are of great interest to investigate the photosynthetic performance of plants in the field. Here, we tested the capability to rapidly, precisely, and simultaneously estimate the number of pulse-amplitude-modulation ChlF parameters commonly calculated from both dark- and light-adapted leaves (an operation which usually takes tens of minutes) from the reflectance of hyperspectral data collected on light-adapted leaves of date palm seedlings chronically exposed in a FACE facility to three ozone (O3) concentrations (ambient air, AA; target 1.5 × AA O3, named as moderate O3, MO; target 2 × AA O3, named as elevated O3, EO) for 75 consecutive days. Leaf spectral measurements were paired with reference measurements of ChlF, and predictive spectral models were constructed using partial least squares regression. Most of the ChlF parameters were well predicted by spectroscopic models (average model goodness-of-fit for validation, R2: 0.53–0.82). Furthermore, comparing the full-range spectral profiles (i.e., 400–2400 nm), it was possible to distinguish with high accuracy (81% of success) plants exposed to the different O3 concentrations, especially those exposed to EO from those exposed to MO and AA. This was possible even in the absence of visible foliar injury and using a moderately O3-susceptible species like the date palm. The latter view is confirmed by the few variations of the ChlF parameters, that occurred only under EO. The results of the current study could be applied in several scientific fields, such as precision agriculture and plant phenotyping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Gas Exchange and Photosynthesis in a Changing Environment)
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Review
Recent Progress in Carbon Nanotube Polymer Composites in Tissue Engineering and Regeneration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6440; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176440 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Scaffolds are important to tissue regeneration and engineering because they can sustain the continuous release of various cell types and provide a location where new bone-forming cells can attach and propagate. Scaffolds produced from diverse processes have been studied and analyzed in recent [...] Read more.
Scaffolds are important to tissue regeneration and engineering because they can sustain the continuous release of various cell types and provide a location where new bone-forming cells can attach and propagate. Scaffolds produced from diverse processes have been studied and analyzed in recent decades. They are structurally efficient for improving cell affinity and synthetic and mechanical strength. Carbon nanotubes are spongy nanoparticles with high strength and thermal inertness, and they have been used as filler particles in the manufacturing industry to increase the performance of scaffold particles. The regeneration of tissue and organs requires a significant level of spatial and temporal control over physiological processes, as well as experiments in actual environments. This has led to an upsurge in the use of nanoparticle-based tissue scaffolds with numerous cell types for contrast imaging and managing scaffold characteristics. In this review, we emphasize the usage of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and CNT–polymer composites in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and also summarize challenges and prospects for their potential applications in different areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Materials and Methods 2.0)
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Article
Adipose Tissue from Lean and Obese Mice Induces a Mesenchymal to Epithelial Transition-Like Effect in Triple Negative Breast Cancers Cells Grown in 3-Dimensional Culture
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176439 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1047
Abstract
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality among women globally with obesity being one risk factor. Obese breast cancer patients have at least a 30% increased risk of death from breast cancer compared to non-obese breast cancer patients because they [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality among women globally with obesity being one risk factor. Obese breast cancer patients have at least a 30% increased risk of death from breast cancer compared to non-obese breast cancer patients because they present with larger tumors and generally have increased rates of metastasis. Moreover, obese breast cancer patients respond more poorly to treatment compared to non-obese patients, particularly pre-menopausal women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). To help understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the increased metastasis associated with obesity, we previously established a three-dimensional culture system that permits the co-culture of adipocytes and TNBC cells in a manner that mimics an in vivo milieu. Using this system, we demonstrate that white adipose tissue from both lean and obese mice can induce a partial mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET). Triple negative breast cancer cells adopt an epithelial morphology and have an increased expression of some epithelial markers, but they maintain the expression of mesenchymal markers, furnishing the breast cancer cells with hybrid properties that are associated with more aggressive tumors. Thus, these data suggest that adipose tissue has the potential to promote secondary tumor formation in lean and obese women. Further work is needed to determine if targeting the partial MET induced by adipose tissue could reduce metastasis. Full article
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Article
FRUITFULL Is a Repressor of Apical Hook Opening in Arabidopsis thaliana
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176438 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1500
Abstract
Plants adjust their architecture to a constantly changing environment, requiring adaptation of differential growth. Despite their importance, molecular switches, which define growth transitions, are largely unknown. Apical hook development in dark grown Arabidopsis thaliana (A. thaliana) seedlings serves as a suitable [...] Read more.
Plants adjust their architecture to a constantly changing environment, requiring adaptation of differential growth. Despite their importance, molecular switches, which define growth transitions, are largely unknown. Apical hook development in dark grown Arabidopsis thaliana (A. thaliana) seedlings serves as a suitable model for differential growth transition in plants. Here, we show that the phytohormone auxin counteracts the light-induced growth transition during apical hook opening. We, subsequently, identified genes which are inversely regulated by light and auxin. We used in silico analysis of the regulatory elements in this set of genes and subsequently used natural variation in gene expression to uncover correlations between underlying transcription factors and the in silico predicted target genes. This approach uncovered that MADS box transcription factor AGAMOUS-LIKE 8 (AGL8)/FRUITFULL (FUL) modulates apical hook opening. Our data shows that transient FUL expression represses the expression of growth stimulating genes during early phases of apical hook development and therewith guards the transition to growth promotion for apical hook opening. Here, we propose a role for FUL in setting tissue identity, thereby regulating differential growth during apical hook development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Article
Comparative Proteomic Analysis Identifies EphA2 as a Specific Cell Surface Marker for Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176437 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 891
Abstract
Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) are a valuable tool in stem cell research due to their high proliferation rate, multi-lineage differentiation potential, and immunotolerance properties. However, fibroblast impurity during WJ-MSCs isolation is unavoidable because of morphological similarities and shared surface markers. Here, [...] Read more.
Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) are a valuable tool in stem cell research due to their high proliferation rate, multi-lineage differentiation potential, and immunotolerance properties. However, fibroblast impurity during WJ-MSCs isolation is unavoidable because of morphological similarities and shared surface markers. Here, a proteomic approach was employed to identify specific proteins differentially expressed by WJ-MSCs in comparison to those by neonatal foreskin and adult skin fibroblasts (NFFs and ASFs, respectively). Mass spectrometry analysis identified 454 proteins with a transmembrane domain. These proteins were then compared across the different cell-lines and categorized based on their cellular localizations, biological processes, and molecular functions. The expression patterns of a selected set of proteins were further confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Western blotting, and immunofluorescence assays. As anticipated, most of the studied proteins had common expression patterns. However, EphA2, SLC25A4, and SOD2 were predominantly expressed by WJ-MSCs, while CDH2 and Talin2 were specific to NFFs and ASFs, respectively. Here, EphA2 was established as a potential surface-specific marker to distinguish WJ-MSCs from fibroblasts and for prospective use to prepare pure primary cultures of WJ-MSCs. Additionally, CDH2 could be used for a negative-selection isolation/depletion method to remove neonatal fibroblasts contaminating preparations of WJ-MSCs. Full article
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Article
Molecular Profile of Barrett’s Esophagus and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in the Development of Translational Physiological and Pharmacological Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176436 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 916
Abstract
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a premalignant condition caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where physiological squamous epithelium is replaced by columnar epithelium. Several in vivo and in vitro BE models were developed with questionable translational relevance when implemented separately. Therefore, we aimed to [...] Read more.
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a premalignant condition caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where physiological squamous epithelium is replaced by columnar epithelium. Several in vivo and in vitro BE models were developed with questionable translational relevance when implemented separately. Therefore, we aimed to screen Gene Expression Omnibus 2R (GEO2R) databases to establish whether clinical BE molecular profile was comparable with animal and optimized human esophageal squamous cell lines-based in vitro models. The GEO2R tool and selected databases were used to establish human BE molecular profile. BE-specific mRNAs in human esophageal cell lines (Het-1A and EPC2) were determined after one, three and/or six-day treatment with acidified medium (pH 5.0) and/or 50 and 100 µM bile mixture (BM). Wistar rats underwent microsurgical procedures to generate esophagogastroduodenal anastomosis (EGDA) leading to BE. BE-specific genes (keratin (KRT)1, KRT4, KRT5, KRT6A, KRT13, KRT14, KRT15, KRT16, KRT23, KRT24, KRT7, KRT8, KRT18, KRT20, trefoil factor (TFF)1, TFF2, TFF3, villin (VIL)1, mucin (MUC)2, MUC3A/B, MUC5B, MUC6 and MUC13) mRNA expression was assessed by real-time PCR. Pro/anti-inflammatory factors (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, tumor necrosis factor α, interferon γ, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) serum concentration was assessed by a Luminex assay. Expression profile in vivo reflected about 45% of clinical BE with accompanied inflammatory response. Six-day treatment with 100 µM BM (pH 5.0) altered gene expression in vitro reflecting in 73% human BE profile and making this the most reliable in vitro tool taking into account two tested cell lines. Our optimized and established combined in vitro and in vivo BE models can improve further physiological and pharmacological studies testing pathomechanisms and novel therapeutic targets of this disorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Review
State of the Art Review of Cell Therapy in the Treatment of Lung Disease, and the Potential for Aerosol Delivery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6435; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176435 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1913
Abstract
Respiratory and pulmonary diseases are among the leading causes of death globally. Despite tremendous advancements, there are no effective pharmacological therapies capable of curing diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), and COVID-19. Novel and innovative therapies [...] Read more.
Respiratory and pulmonary diseases are among the leading causes of death globally. Despite tremendous advancements, there are no effective pharmacological therapies capable of curing diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), and COVID-19. Novel and innovative therapies such as advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) are still in early development. However, they have exhibited significant potential preclinically and clinically. There are several longitudinal studies published, primarily focusing on the use of cell therapies for respiratory diseases due to their anti-inflammatory and reparative properties, thereby hinting that they have the capability of reducing mortality and improving the quality of life for patients. The primary objective of this paper is to set out a state of the art review on the use of aerosolized MSCs and their potential to treat these incurable diseases. This review will examine selected respiratory and pulmonary diseases, present an overview of the therapeutic potential of cell therapy and finally provide insight into potential routes of administration, with a focus on aerosol-mediated ATMP delivery. Full article
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Review
The Role of MicroRNAs in Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy: Biomarkers or Innocent Bystanders of Disease Progression?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6434; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176434 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 809
Abstract
Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC) is an inherited cardiac disease characterized by a progressive fibro-fatty replacement of the working myocardium and by life-threatening arrhythmias and risk of sudden cardiac death. Pathogenic variants are identified in nearly 50% of affected patients mostly in genes encoding for [...] Read more.
Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC) is an inherited cardiac disease characterized by a progressive fibro-fatty replacement of the working myocardium and by life-threatening arrhythmias and risk of sudden cardiac death. Pathogenic variants are identified in nearly 50% of affected patients mostly in genes encoding for desmosomal proteins. AC incomplete penetrance and phenotypic variability advocate that other factors than genetics may modulate the disease, such as microRNAs (miRNAs). MiRNAs are small noncoding RNAs with a primary role in gene expression regulation and network of cellular processes. The implication of miRNAs in AC pathogenesis and their role as biomarkers for early disease detection or differential diagnosis has been the objective of multiple studies employing diverse designs and methodologies to detect miRNAs and measure their expression levels. Here we summarize experiments, evidence, and flaws of the different studies and hitherto knowledge of the implication of miRNAs in AC pathogenesis and diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Molecular Pathogenesis of Non-ischemic Cardiomyopathies)
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Article
Bordetella holmesii Lipopolysaccharide Hide and Seek Game with Pertussis: Structural Analysis of the O-Specific Polysaccharide and the Core Oligosaccharide of the Type Strain ATCC 51541
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6433; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176433 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 846
Abstract
Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease caused predominantly by Bordetella pertussis, but it also comprises of a pertussis-like illness caused by B. holmesii. The virulence factors of B. holmesii and their role in the pathogenesis remain unknown. Lipopolysaccharide is the [...] Read more.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease caused predominantly by Bordetella pertussis, but it also comprises of a pertussis-like illness caused by B. holmesii. The virulence factors of B. holmesii and their role in the pathogenesis remain unknown. Lipopolysaccharide is the main surface antigen of all Bordetellae. Data on the structural features of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of B. holmesii are scarce. The poly- and oligosaccharide components released by mild acidic hydrolysis of the LPS were separated and investigated by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and chemical methods. The structures of the O-specific polysaccharide and the core oligosaccharide of B. holmesii ATCC 51541 have been identified for the first time. The novel pentasaccharide repeating unit of the B. holmesii O-specific polysaccharide has the following structure: {→2)-α-l-Rhap-(1→6)-α-d-Glcp-(1→4)-[β-d-GlcpNAc-(1→3]-α-d-Galp-(1→3)-α-d-GlcpNAc-(1→}n. The SDS-PAGE and serological cross-reactivities of the B. holmesii LPS suggested the similarity between the core oligosaccharides of B. holmesii ATCC 51541 and B. pertussis strain 606. The main oligosaccharide fraction contained a nonasaccharide. The comparative analysis of the NMR spectra of B. holmesii core oligosaccharide fraction with this of the B. pertussis strain 606 indicated that the investigated core oligosaccharides were identical. Full article
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Article
Oxidative Stress and Analysis of Selected SNPs of ACHE (rs 2571598), BCHE (rs 3495), CAT (rs 7943316), SIRT1 (rs 10823108), GSTP1 (rs 1695), and Gene GSTM1, GSTT1 in Chronic Organophosphates Exposed Groups from Cameroon and Pakistan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6432; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176432 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
The detrimental effects of organophosphates (OPs) on human health are thought to be of systemic, i.e., irreversible inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) at nerve synapses. However, several studies have shown that AChE inhibition alone cannot explain all the toxicological manifestations in prolonged exposure to [...] Read more.
The detrimental effects of organophosphates (OPs) on human health are thought to be of systemic, i.e., irreversible inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) at nerve synapses. However, several studies have shown that AChE inhibition alone cannot explain all the toxicological manifestations in prolonged exposure to OPs. The present study aimed to assess the status of antioxidants malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) (reduced), catalase, and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) in chronic OP-exposed groups from Cameroon and Pakistan. Molecular analysis of genetic polymorphisms (SNPs) of glutathione transferases (GSTM1, GSTP1, GSTT1), catalase gene (CAT, rs7943316), sirtuin 1 gene (SIRT1, rs10823108), acetylcholinesterase gene (ACHE, rs2571598), and butyrylcholinesterase gene (BCHE, rs3495) were screened in the OP-exposed individuals to find the possible causative association with oxidative stress and toxicity. Cholinesterase and antioxidant activities were measured by colorimetric methods using a spectrophotometer. Salting-out method was employed for DNA extraction from blood followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) for molecular analysis. Cholinergic enzymes were significantly decreased in OP-exposed groups. Catalase and SOD were decreased and MDA and FRAP were increased in OP-exposed groups compared to unexposed groups in both groups. GSH was decreased only in Pakistani OPs-exposed group. Molecular analysis of ACHE, BCHE, Catalase, GSTP1, and GSTM1 SNPs revealed a tentative association with their phenotypic expression that is level of antioxidant and cholinergic enzymes. The study concludes that chronic OPs exposure induces oxidative stress which is associated with the related SNP polymorphism. The toxicogenetics of understudied SNPs were examined for the first time to our understanding. The findings may lead to a newer area of investigation on OPs induced health issues and toxicogenetics. Full article
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Article
Platelets Boost Recruitment of CD133+ Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Endothelium and the Rodent Liver—The Role of P-Selectin/PSGL-1 Interactions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176431 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
We previously demonstrated that clinical administration of mobilized CD133+ bone marrow stem cells (BMSC) accelerates hepatic regeneration. Here, we investigated the potential of platelets to modulate CD133+BMSC homing to hepatic endothelial cells and sequestration to warm ischemic livers. Modulatory effects [...] Read more.
We previously demonstrated that clinical administration of mobilized CD133+ bone marrow stem cells (BMSC) accelerates hepatic regeneration. Here, we investigated the potential of platelets to modulate CD133+BMSC homing to hepatic endothelial cells and sequestration to warm ischemic livers. Modulatory effects of platelets on the adhesion of CD133+BMSC to human and mouse liver-sinusoidal- and micro- endothelial cells (EC) respectively were evaluated in in vitro co-culture systems. CD133+BMSC adhesion to all types of EC were increased in the presence of platelets under shear stress. This platelet effect was mostly diminished by antagonization of P-selectin and its ligand P-Selectin-Glyco-Ligand-1 (PSGL-1). Inhibition of PECAM-1 as well as SDF-1 receptor CXCR4 had no such effect. In a model of the isolated reperfused rat liver subsequent to warm ischemia, the co-infusion of platelets augmented CD133+BMSC homing to the injured liver with heightened transmigration towards the extra sinusoidal space when compared to perfusion conditions without platelets. Extravascular co-localization of CD133+BMSC with hepatocytes was confirmed by confocal microscopy. We demonstrated an enhancing effect of platelets on CD133+BMSC homing to and transmigrating along hepatic EC putatively depending on PSGL-1 and P-selectin. Our insights suggest a new mechanism of platelets to augment stem cell dependent hepatic repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Platelet Activity in Health and Disease 2.0)
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Article
GO Nanosheets: Promising Nano Carrier for the S29, 1-(2-Chloro-2-(4-chlorophenyl-ethyl)-N-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-d] pyrimidin-4-amine, Therapeutic Agent in Neuroblastoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6430; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176430 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 701
Abstract
Graphene oxide (GO) derivatives are reported as a valid alternative to conventional carriers of therapeutic agents, because they have a large surface area, an excellent electrical and thermal conductivity and a great capacity for selective binding of drugs and therapeutics, due to the [...] Read more.
Graphene oxide (GO) derivatives are reported as a valid alternative to conventional carriers of therapeutic agents, because they have a large surface area, an excellent electrical and thermal conductivity and a great capacity for selective binding of drugs and therapeutics, due to the functionalization of their surfaces, edges and sides. In this work GO nanosheets, synthesized by electrochemical exfoliation of graphite (patent N 102015000023739, Tor Vergata University), were investigated as possible carriers of an anticancer drug, the S29, an inhibitor of a cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase (c-SRC) on a neuroblastoma cell line (SK N BE 2 cells). Neuroblastoma is a heterogenous tumor whose characteristics range from spontaneous regression to aggressive phenotypes that are due to different mutations that often occur in SRC family kinases. Inhibitors of tyrosine kinases are currently investigated for their anti-tumoral effects on aggressive neuroblastomas, but their uptake in cells and pharmacokinetics needs to be improved. In this work S29 was stably conjugated with highly water-dispersible GO nanoparticles. S29/GO complex formation was induced by 1h sonication and its stability was analyzed by chromatography coupled with spectrophotometry and mass spectrometry. The synthesized composite (GO-S29) was delivered into SK N BE 2 cells and its effects on cell viability, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and migration were studied. The results show that the compound GO-S29 exerts anti-tumoral effects on the neuroblastoma cell line, higher than both GO and S29 do alone and that GO has an additive effect on S29. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Biomaterial Interaction 2020)
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Review
The Ubiquitin Proteasome System in Neuromuscular Disorders: Moving Beyond Movement
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6429; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176429 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) affect 1 in 3000 people worldwide. There are more than 150 different types of NMDs, where the common feature is the loss of muscle strength. These disorders are classified according to their neuroanatomical location, as motor neuron diseases, peripheral nerve [...] Read more.
Neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) affect 1 in 3000 people worldwide. There are more than 150 different types of NMDs, where the common feature is the loss of muscle strength. These disorders are classified according to their neuroanatomical location, as motor neuron diseases, peripheral nerve diseases, neuromuscular junction diseases, and muscle diseases. Over the years, numerous studies have pointed to protein homeostasis as a crucial factor in the development of these fatal diseases. The ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) plays a fundamental role in maintaining protein homeostasis, being involved in protein degradation, among other cellular functions. Through a cascade of enzymatic reactions, proteins are ubiquitinated, tagged, and translocated to the proteasome to be degraded. Within the ubiquitin system, we can find three main groups of enzymes: E1 (ubiquitin-activating enzymes), E2 (ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes), and E3 (ubiquitin–protein ligases). Only the ubiquitinated proteins with specific chain linkages (such as K48) will be degraded by the UPS. In this review, we describe the relevance of this system in NMDs, summarizing the UPS proteins that have been involved in pathological conditions and neuromuscular disorders, such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMT), or Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), among others. A better knowledge of the processes involved in the maintenance of proteostasis may pave the way for future progress in neuromuscular disorder studies and treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Article
BcMF30a and BcMF30c, Two Novel Non-Tandem CCCH Zinc-Finger Proteins, Function in Pollen Development and Pollen Germination in Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176428 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris) is an economically important leaf vegetable crop worldwide. Mounting studies have shown that cysteine-cysteine-cysteine-histidine (CCCH) zinc-finger protein genes are involved in various plant growth and development processes. However, research on the involvement of these genes in male [...] Read more.
Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris) is an economically important leaf vegetable crop worldwide. Mounting studies have shown that cysteine-cysteine-cysteine-histidine (CCCH) zinc-finger protein genes are involved in various plant growth and development processes. However, research on the involvement of these genes in male reproductive development is still in its infancy. Here, we identified 11 male fertility-related CCCH genes in Chinese cabbage. Among them, a pair of paralogs encoding novel non-tandem CCCH zinc-finger proteins, Brassica campestris Male Fertility 30a (BcMF30a) and BcMF30c, were further characterized. They were highly expressed in pollen during microgametogenesis and continued to express in germinated pollen. Further analyses demonstrated that both BcMF30a and BcMF30c may play a dual role as transcription factors and RNA-binding proteins in plant cells. Functional analysis showed that partial bcmf30a bcmf30c pollen grains were aborted due to the degradation of pollen inclusion at the microgametogenesis phase, and the germination rate of viable pollen was also greatly reduced, indicating that BcMF30a and BcMF30c are required for both pollen development and pollen germination. This research provided insights into the function of CCCH proteins in regulating male reproductive development and laid a theoretical basis for hybrid breeding of Chinese cabbage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Article
Seminal Plasma Analysis of Oxidative Stress in Different Genitourinary Topographical Regions Involved in Reproductive Tract Disorders Associated with Genital Heat Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6427; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176427 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 739
Abstract
The pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for male subfertility/infertility caused by or complicated by genital heat stress remains unclear in many respects. Because seminal plasma creates the environment for the proper functioning of spermatozoa, in this study, we verified the associations among standard spermiograms, seminal [...] Read more.
The pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for male subfertility/infertility caused by or complicated by genital heat stress remains unclear in many respects. Because seminal plasma creates the environment for the proper functioning of spermatozoa, in this study, we verified the associations among standard spermiograms, seminal biochemical parameters (neutral alpha-glucosidase, fructose, and citric acid) and oxidative stress markers (total antioxidant capacity, catalase activity, superoxide dismutase activity, and malondialdehyde concentration) in distinct entities associated with male infertility with and without long-time exposure to local hyperthermia. We demonstrated that men exposed to prolonged environmental or clinically recognized local heat stress in adulthood may suffer from dysregulation of seminal antioxidant components, which can be directly associated with epididymal and prostate function. The comparative analysis of the studied parameters showed numerous correlations among all biochemical parameters (particularly neutral alpha-glucosidase) with low standard semen quality in almost all the investigated infertile groups. In light of the data obtained in this originally designed study, we conclude that more attention should be paid to the epididymis and accessory gland function in subfertile and infertile men exposed to genital heat stress, especially in the context of novel treatment algorithms (targeted therapies). Full article
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Article
Collagen/Chitosan Functionalization of Complex 3D Structures Fabricated by Laser Direct Writing via Two-Photon Polymerization for Enhanced Osteogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176426 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
The fabrication of 3D microstructures is under continuous development for engineering bone substitutes. Collagen/chitosan (Col/CT) blends emerge as biomaterials that meet the mechanical and biological requirements associated with bone tissue. In this work, we optimize the osteogenic effect of 3D microstructures by their [...] Read more.
The fabrication of 3D microstructures is under continuous development for engineering bone substitutes. Collagen/chitosan (Col/CT) blends emerge as biomaterials that meet the mechanical and biological requirements associated with bone tissue. In this work, we optimize the osteogenic effect of 3D microstructures by their functionalization with Col/CT blends with different blending ratios. The structures were fabricated by laser direct writing via two-photons polymerization of IP-L780 photopolymer. They comprised of hexagonal and ellipsoidal units 80 µm in length, 40 µm in width and 14 µm height, separated by 20 µm pillars. Structures’ functionalization was achieved via dip coating in Col/CT blends with specific blending ratios. The osteogenic role of Col/CT functionalization of the 3D structures was confirmed by biological assays concerning the expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin secretion as osteogenic markers and Alizarin Red (AR) as dye for mineral deposits in osteoblast-like cells seeded on the structures. The structures having ellipsoidal units showed the best results, but the trends were similar for both ellipsoidal and hexagonal units. The strongest osteogenic effect was obtained for Col/CT blending ratio of 20/80, as demonstrated by the highest ALP activity, osteocalcin secretion and AR staining intensity in the seeded cells compared to all the other samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Nanovesicles Potentiate the Bone-Formation Efficacy of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176425 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) is one of the most potent osteogenic factors used to treat bone loss. However, at higher doses, rhBMP-2 does not necessarily increase bone formation but rather increases the incidence of adverse side effects. Here, we investigated [...] Read more.
Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) is one of the most potent osteogenic factors used to treat bone loss. However, at higher doses, rhBMP-2 does not necessarily increase bone formation but rather increases the incidence of adverse side effects. Here, we investigated whether umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (UCMSC)-derived nanovesicles (NVs) further increase the in vivo bone formation at high doses of rhBMP-2. In the presence of UCMSC-derived NVs, proliferation, migration, and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells were stimulated in vitro. Furthermore, migration and osteogenesis of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells were stimulated. To examine the efficacy of UCMSC-derived NVs on in vivo bone formation, collagen sponges soaked with rhBMP-2 and UCMSC-derived NVs were used in athymic nude mice with calvarial defects. At a high rhBMP-2 dosage (500 ng/mL), UCMSC-derived NVs significantly promoted bone formation in calvarial defects; however, the UCMSC-derived NVs alone did not induce in vivo bone formation. Our results indicate that UCMSC-derived NVs can potentiate the bone formation efficacy of rhBMP-2 at a high dosage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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Article
Antibiotic Treatment Prior to Injury Improves Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis Outcomes in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176424 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful and debilitating disease characterized by the chronic and progressive degradation of articular cartilage. Post-traumatic OA (PTOA) is a secondary form of OA that develops in ~50% of cases of severe articular injury. Inflammation and re-occurring injury have been [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful and debilitating disease characterized by the chronic and progressive degradation of articular cartilage. Post-traumatic OA (PTOA) is a secondary form of OA that develops in ~50% of cases of severe articular injury. Inflammation and re-occurring injury have been implicated as contributing to the progression of PTOA after the initial injury. However, there is very little known about external factors prior to injury that could affect the risk of PTOA development. To examine how the gut microbiome affects PTOA development we used a chronic antibiotic treatment regimen starting at weaning for six weeks prior to ACL rupture, in mice. A six-weeks post-injury histological examination showed more robust cartilage staining on the antibiotic (AB)-treated mice than the untreated controls (VEH), suggesting slower disease progression in AB cohorts. Injured joints also showed an increase in the presence of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages in the AB group. Molecularly, the phenotype correlated with a significantly lower expression of inflammatory genes Tlr5, Ccl8, Cxcl13, and Foxo6 in the injured joints of AB-treated animals. Our results indicate that a reduced state of inflammation at the time of injury and a lower expression of Wnt signaling modulatory protein, Rspo1, caused by AB treatment can slow down or improve PTOA outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research of Pathogenesis and Novel Therapeutics in Arthritis 2.0)
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Review
Modulatory Roles of ATP and Adenosine in Cholinergic Neuromuscular Transmission
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6423; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176423 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
A review of the data on the modulatory action of adenosine 5’-triphosphate (ATP), the main co-transmitter with acetylcholine, and adenosine, the final ATP metabolite in the synaptic cleft, on neuromuscular transmission is presented. The effects of these endogenous modulators on pre- and post-synaptic [...] Read more.
A review of the data on the modulatory action of adenosine 5’-triphosphate (ATP), the main co-transmitter with acetylcholine, and adenosine, the final ATP metabolite in the synaptic cleft, on neuromuscular transmission is presented. The effects of these endogenous modulators on pre- and post-synaptic processes are discussed. The contribution of purines to the processes of quantal and non-quantal secretion of acetylcholine into the synaptic cleft, as well as the influence of the postsynaptic effects of ATP and adenosine on the functioning of cholinergic receptors, are evaluated. As usual, the P2-receptor-mediated influence is minimal under physiological conditions, but it becomes very important in some pathophysiological situations such as hypothermia, stress, or ischemia. There are some data demonstrating the same in neuromuscular transmission. It is suggested that the role of endogenous purines is primarily to provide a safety factor for the efficiency of cholinergic neuromuscular transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dissecting the Purinergic Signaling Puzzle)
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Article
The Molecular Floodgates of Stress-Induced Senescence Reveal Translation, Signalling and Protein Activity Central to the Post-Mortem Proteome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176422 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 915
Abstract
The transitioning of cells during the systemic demise of an organism is poorly understood. Here, we present evidence that organismal death is accompanied by a common and sequential molecular flood of stress-induced events that propagate the senescence phenotype, and this phenotype is preserved [...] Read more.
The transitioning of cells during the systemic demise of an organism is poorly understood. Here, we present evidence that organismal death is accompanied by a common and sequential molecular flood of stress-induced events that propagate the senescence phenotype, and this phenotype is preserved in the proteome after death. We demonstrate activation of “death” pathways involvement in diseases of ageing, with biochemical mechanisms mapping onto neurological damage, embryonic development, the inflammatory response, cardiac disease and ultimately cancer with increased significance. There is sufficient bioavailability of the building blocks required to support the continued translation, energy, and functional catalytic activity of proteins. Significant abundance changes occur in 1258 proteins across 1 to 720 h post-mortem of the 12-week-old mouse mandible. Protein abundance increases concord with enzyme activity, while mitochondrial dysfunction is evident with metabolic reprogramming. This study reveals differences in protein abundances which are akin to states of stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS). The control of these pathways is significant for a large number of biological scenarios. Understanding how these pathways function during the process of cellular death holds promise in generating novel solutions capable of overcoming disease complications, maintaining organ transplant viability and could influence the findings of proteomics through “deep-time” of individuals with no historically recorded cause of death. Full article
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