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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 23, Issue 16 (August-2 2022) – 674 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Mineralocorticoid receptors play an important role in regulating renal sodium handling and blood pressure. Recent studies suggest that mineralocorticoid receptors also exist in tissues outside the kidney, including vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells. Risk factors, including excessive salt intake/salt sensitivity, hypertension, and obesity, can lead to the activation of vascular mineralocorticoid receptors to promote inflammation, oxidative stress, remodeling, and fibrosis, as well as cardiovascular stiffening and microcirculatory impairment. These pathophysiological changes are associated with a diminished ability of insulin to initiate appropriate intracellular signaling events, resulting in a reduced glucose uptake within the microcirculation and related vascular insulin resistance. View this paper
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Article
Decoding Functional High-Density Lipoprotein Particle Surfaceome Interactions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169506 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 728
Abstract
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a mixture of complex particles mediating reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) and several cytoprotective activities. Despite its relevance for human health, many aspects of HDL-mediated lipid trafficking and cellular signaling remain elusive at the molecular level. During HDL’s journey throughout [...] Read more.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a mixture of complex particles mediating reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) and several cytoprotective activities. Despite its relevance for human health, many aspects of HDL-mediated lipid trafficking and cellular signaling remain elusive at the molecular level. During HDL’s journey throughout the body, its functions are mediated through interactions with cell surface receptors on different cell types. To characterize and better understand the functional interplay between HDL particles and tissue, we analyzed the surfaceome-residing receptor neighborhoods with which HDL potentially interacts. We applied a combination of chemoproteomic technologies including automated cell surface capturing (auto-CSC) and HATRIC-based ligand–receptor capturing (HATRIC-LRC) on four different cellular model systems mimicking tissues relevant for RCT. The surfaceome analysis of EA.hy926, HEPG2, foam cells, and human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) revealed the main currently known HDL receptor scavenger receptor B1 (SCRB1), as well as 155 shared cell surface receptors representing potential HDL interaction candidates. Since vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) was recently found as a regulatory factor of transendothelial transport of HDL, we next analyzed the VEGF-modulated surfaceome of HAEC using the auto-CSC technology. VEGF-A treatment led to the remodeling of the surfaceome of HAEC cells, including the previously reported higher surfaceome abundance of SCRB1. In total, 165 additional receptors were found on HAEC upon VEGF-A treatment representing SCRB1 co-regulated receptors potentially involved in HDL function. Using the HATRIC-LRC technology on human endothelial cells, we specifically aimed for the identification of other bona fide (co-)receptors of HDL beyond SCRB1. HATRIC-LRC enabled, next to SCRB1, the identification of the receptor tyrosine-protein kinase Mer (MERTK). Through RNA interference, we revealed its contribution to endothelial HDL binding and uptake. Furthermore, subsequent proximity ligation assays (PLAs) demonstrated the spatial vicinity of MERTK and SCRB1 on the endothelial cell surface. The data shown provide direct evidence for a complex and dynamic HDL receptome and that receptor nanoscale organization may influence binding and uptake of HDL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apolipoproteins in Health and Disease)
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Article
Impact of Fluid Flow Shear Stress on Osteoblast Differentiation and Cross-Talk with Articular Chondrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9505; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169505 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Bone cells, in particular osteoblasts, are capable of communication with each other during bone growth and homeostasis. More recently it has become clear that they also communicate with other cell-types; including chondrocytes in articular cartilage. One way that this process is facilitated is [...] Read more.
Bone cells, in particular osteoblasts, are capable of communication with each other during bone growth and homeostasis. More recently it has become clear that they also communicate with other cell-types; including chondrocytes in articular cartilage. One way that this process is facilitated is by interstitial fluid movement within the pericellular and extracellular matrices. This stimulus is also an important mechanical signal in skeletal tissues, and is known to generate shear stresses at the micron-scale (known as fluid flow shear stresses (FFSS)). The primary aim of this study was to develop and characterize an in vitro bone–cartilage crosstalk system, to examine the effect of FFSS on these cell types. Specifically, we evaluated the response of osteoblasts and chondrocytes to FFSS and the effect of FFSS-induced soluble factors from the former, on the latter. This system will ultimately be used to help us understand the role of subchondral bone damage in articular cartilage degeneration. We also carried out a comparison of responses between cell lines and primary murine cells in this work. Our findings demonstrate that primary cells produce a more reliable and reproducible response to FFSS. Furthermore we found that at lower magnitudes , direct FFSS produces anabolic responses in both chondrocytes and osteoblasts, whereas higher levels produce more catabolic responses. Finally we show that exposure to osteoblast-derived factors in conditioned media experiments produced similarly catabolic changes in primary chondrocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Osteoblast Differentiation and Activity in Skeletal Diseases 2.0)
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Review
The Mechanism of Energy Coupling in H+/Na+-Pumping Membrane Pyrophosphatase—Possibilities and Probabilities
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169504 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Membrane pyrophosphatases (mPPases) found in plant vacuoles and some prokaryotes and protists are ancient cation pumps that couple pyrophosphate hydrolysis with the H+ and/or Na+ transport out of the cytoplasm. Because this function is reversible, mPPases play a role in maintaining [...] Read more.
Membrane pyrophosphatases (mPPases) found in plant vacuoles and some prokaryotes and protists are ancient cation pumps that couple pyrophosphate hydrolysis with the H+ and/or Na+ transport out of the cytoplasm. Because this function is reversible, mPPases play a role in maintaining the level of cytoplasmic pyrophosphate, a known regulator of numerous metabolic reactions. mPPases arouse interest because they are among the simplest membrane transporters and have no homologs among known ion pumps. Detailed phylogenetic studies have revealed various subtypes of mPPases and suggested their roles in the evolution of the “sodium” and “proton” bioenergetics. This treatise focuses on the mechanistic aspects of the transport reaction, namely, the coupling step, the role of the chemically produced proton, subunit cooperation, and the relationship between the proton and sodium ion transport. The available data identify H+-PPases as the first non-oxidoreductase pump with a “direct-coupling” mechanism, i.e., the transported proton is produced in the coupled chemical reaction. They also support a “billiard” hypothesis, which unifies the H+ and Na+ transport mechanisms in mPPase and, probably, other transporters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biophysics)
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Review
Macromolecular Structure of Linearly Arranged Eukaryotic Chromosomes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9503; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169503 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Eukaryotic chromosomes have not been visualized during the interphase. The fact that chromosomes cannot be seen during the interphase of the cell cycle does not mean that there are no means to make them visible. This work provides visual evidence that reversible permeabilization [...] Read more.
Eukaryotic chromosomes have not been visualized during the interphase. The fact that chromosomes cannot be seen during the interphase of the cell cycle does not mean that there are no means to make them visible. This work provides visual evidence that reversible permeabilization of the cell membrane followed by the regeneration of cell membranes allows getting a glimpse behind the nuclear curtain. Reversibly permeable eukaryotic cells have been used to synthesize nascent DNA, analyze the 5′-end of RNA primers, view individual replicons and visualize interphase chromosomes. Dextran T-150 in a slightly hypotonic buffer prevented cells from disruption. Upon reversal of permeabilization, the nucleus could be opened at any time during the interphase. A broad spectrum of a flexible chromatin folding pattern was revealed through a series of transient geometric forms of chromosomes. Linear attachment of chromosomes was visualized in several mammalian and lower eukaryotic cells. The linear connection of chromosomes is maintained throughout the cell cycle showing that rather than individual chromosomes, a linear array of chromosomes is the functional giant macromolecule. This study proves that not only the prokaryotic genome but also linearly attached eukaryotic chromosomes form a giant macromolecular unit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Macromolecules)
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Article
The Possible Mechanism of Amyloid Transformation Based on the Geometrical Parameters of Early-Stage Intermediate in Silico Model for Protein Folding
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9502; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169502 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 493
Abstract
The specificity of the available experimentally determined structures of amyloid forms is expressed primarily by the two- and not three-dimensional forms of a single polypeptide chain. Such a flat structure is possible due to the β structure, which occurs predominantly. The stabilization of [...] Read more.
The specificity of the available experimentally determined structures of amyloid forms is expressed primarily by the two- and not three-dimensional forms of a single polypeptide chain. Such a flat structure is possible due to the β structure, which occurs predominantly. The stabilization of the fibril in this structure is achieved due to the presence of the numerous hydrogen bonds between the adjacent chains. Together with the different forms of twists created by the single R- or L-handed α-helices, they form the hydrogen bond network. The specificity of the arrangement of these hydrogen bonds lies in their joint orientation in a system perpendicular to the plane formed by the chain and parallel to the fibril axis. The present work proposes the possible mechanism for obtaining such a structure based on the geometric characterization of the polypeptide chain constituting the basis of our early intermediate model for protein folding introduced formerly. This model, being the conformational subspace of Ramachandran plot (the ellipse path), was developed on the basis of the backbone conformation, with the side-chain interactions excluded. Our proposal is also based on the results from molecular dynamics available in the literature leading to the unfolding of α-helical sections, resulting in the β-structural forms. Both techniques used provide a similar suggestion in a search for a mechanism of conformational changes leading to a formation of the amyloid form. The potential mechanism of amyloid transformation is presented here using the fragment of the transthyretin as well as amyloid Aβ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biophysics)
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Article
Mechanical Properties and Diffusion Studies in Wax–Cellulose Nanocomposite Packaging Material
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169501 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 394
Abstract
This article focuses on the study related to the estimation of packaging material properties of cellulose–wax nanocomposite using molecular dynamics simulation (MDS). Cellulose based packaging material is gaining lot of importance due to its good material properties and low cost. Cellulose with small [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the study related to the estimation of packaging material properties of cellulose–wax nanocomposite using molecular dynamics simulation (MDS). Cellulose based packaging material is gaining lot of importance due to its good material properties and low cost. Cellulose with small amount of plant-derived wax (nonacosane-10-ol and nonacosane-5,10-diol) offers higher mechanical strength and modulus of elasticity compared to the conventional synthetic polymer materials. In this article, in addition to the estimation of mechanical properties, the thermal stability of the proposed ecofriendly cellulose–wax composite is evaluated by estimating the glass transition temperature which essentially provides critical information on the glassy state and rubbery state of this biopolymer. The glass transition temperature of this composite changes significantly compared to that of pure cellulose (which also suffers from poor mechanical strength). Transport properties such as diffusion volume and diffusion coefficient of oxygen, nitrogen, and water are estimated using the results obtained from MDS. The diffusion coefficients of these species within the cellulose–wax composite are analyzed using the diffusion volume and interaction energies of these constituents with the wax and cellulose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Packaging Materials)
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Article
Expression of a Hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA Shikimate/Quinate Hydroxycinnamoyl Transferase 4 Gene from Zoysia japonica (ZjHCT4) Causes Excessive Elongation and Lignin Composition Changes in Agrostis stolonifera
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9500; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169500 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) is considered to be an essential enzyme for regulating the biosynthesis and composition of lignin. To investigate the properties and function of ZjHCT4, the ZjHCT4 gene was cloned from Zoysia japonica with a completed coding sequence of [...] Read more.
Hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) is considered to be an essential enzyme for regulating the biosynthesis and composition of lignin. To investigate the properties and function of ZjHCT4, the ZjHCT4 gene was cloned from Zoysia japonica with a completed coding sequence of 1284-bp in length, encoding 428 amino acids. The ZjHCT4 gene promoter has several methyl jasmonate (MeJA) response elements. According to analysis of expression patterns, it was up-regulated by MeJA, GA3 (Gibberellin), and SA (Salicylic acid), and down-regulated by ABA (Abscisic acid). Ectopic ZjHCT4 expression in creeping bentgrass causes excessive plant elongation. In addition, the content of G-lingnin and H-lingnin fell in transgenic plants, whereas the level of S-lingnin increased, resulting in a considerable rise in the S/G unit ratio. Analysis of the expression levels of lignin-related genes revealed that the ectopic expression of ZjHCT4 altered the expression levels of a number of genes involved in the lignin synthesis pathway. Simultaneously, MeJA, SA, GA3, IAA, BR (Brassinosteroid), and other hormones were dramatically enhanced in transgenic plants relative to control plants, whereas ABA concentration was significantly decreased. Expression of ZjHCT4 impacted lignin composition and plant growth via altering the phenylpropionic acid metabolic pathway and hormone response, as revealed by transcriptome analysis. HCTs may influence plant lignin composition and plant development by altering hormone content. These findings contributed to a deeper comprehension of the lignin synthesis pathway and set the stage for further investigation and application of the HCTs gene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Article
The Catalytic Subunit of Schizosaccharomyces pombe CK2 (Cka1) Negatively Regulates RNA Polymerase II Transcription through Phosphorylation of Positive Cofactor 4 (PC4)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9499; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169499 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Positive cofactor 4 (PC4) is a transcriptional coactivator that plays important roles in transcription and DNA replication. In mammals, PC4 is phosphorylated by CK2, and this event downregulates its RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) coactivator function. This work describes the effect of fission yeast [...] Read more.
Positive cofactor 4 (PC4) is a transcriptional coactivator that plays important roles in transcription and DNA replication. In mammals, PC4 is phosphorylated by CK2, and this event downregulates its RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) coactivator function. This work describes the effect of fission yeast PC4 phosphorylation on RNAPII transcription in a cell extract, which closely resembles the cellular context. We found that fission yeast PC4 is strongly phosphorylated by the catalytic subunit of CK2 (Cka1), while the regulatory subunit (Ckb1) downregulates the PC4 phosphorylation. The addition of Cka1 to an in vitro transcription assay can diminish the basal transcription from the Ad-MLP promoter; however, the addition of recombinant fission yeast PC4 or Ckb1 can stimulate the basal transcription in a cell extract. Fission yeast PC4 is phosphorylated in a domain which has consensus phosphorylation sites for CK2, and two serine residues were identified as critical for CK2 phosphorylation. Mutation of one of the serine residues in PC4 does not completely abolish the phosphorylation; however, when the two serine residues are mutated, CK2 is no longer able to phosphorylate PC4. The mutant which is not phosphorylated is able to stimulate transcription even though it is previously phosphorylated by Cka1, while the wild type and the point mutant are inactivated by Cka1 phosphorylation, and they cannot stimulate transcription by RNAPII in cell extracts. Those results demonstrate that CK2 can regulate the coactivator function of fission yeast PC4 and suggests that this event could be important in vivo as well. Full article
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Article
Expression Analysis of ZPB2a and Its Regulatory Role in Sperm-Binding in Viviparous Teleost Black Rockfish
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9498; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169498 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Black rockfish is a viviparous teleost whose sperm could be stored in the female ovary for five months. We previously proposed that zona pellucida (ZP) proteins of black rockfish play a similar sperm-binding role as in mammals. In this study, SsZPB2a and SsZPB2c [...] Read more.
Black rockfish is a viviparous teleost whose sperm could be stored in the female ovary for five months. We previously proposed that zona pellucida (ZP) proteins of black rockfish play a similar sperm-binding role as in mammals. In this study, SsZPB2a and SsZPB2c were identified as the most similar genes with human ZPA, ZPB1 and ZPB2 by Blastp method. Immunohistochemistry showed that ovary-specific SsZPB2a was initially expressed in the cytoplasm of oocytes at stage III. Then it gradually transferred to the region close to the cell membrane and zona pellucida of oocytes at stage IV. The most obvious protein signal was observed at the zona pellucida region of oocytes at stage V. Furthermore, we found that the recombinant prokaryotic proteins rSsZPB2a and rSsZPB2c could bind with the posterior end of sperm head and rSsZPB2a was able to facilitate the sperm survival in vitro. After knocking down Sszpb2a in ovarian tissues cultivated in vitro, the expressions of sperm-specific genes were down-regulated (p < 0.05). These results illustrated the regulatory role of ZP protein to the sperm in viviparous teleost for the first time, which could advance our understanding about the biological function of ZP proteins in the teleost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Article
Salt Dependence of DNA Binding Activity of Human Transcription Factor Dlx3
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169497 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Distal-less 3 (Dlx3) is a homeobox-containing transcription factor and plays a crucial role in the development and differentiation process. Human Dlx3 consists of two transactivation domains and a homeobox domain (HD) that selectively binds to the consensus site (5′-TAATT-3′) of the DNA duplex. [...] Read more.
Distal-less 3 (Dlx3) is a homeobox-containing transcription factor and plays a crucial role in the development and differentiation process. Human Dlx3 consists of two transactivation domains and a homeobox domain (HD) that selectively binds to the consensus site (5′-TAATT-3′) of the DNA duplex. Here, we performed chemical shift perturbation experiments on Dlx3-HD in a complex with a 10-base-paired (10-bp) DNA duplex under various salt conditions. We also acquired the imino proton spectra of the 10-bp DNA to monitor the changes in base-pair stabilities during titration with Dlx3-HD. Our study demonstrates that Dlx3-HD selectively recognizes its consensus DNA sequences through the α3 helix and L1 loop regions with a unique dynamic feature. The dynamic properties of the binding of Dlx3-HD to its consensus DNA sequence can be modulated by varying the salt concentrations. Our study suggested that this unique structural and dynamic feature of Dlx3-HD plays an important role in target DNA recognition, which might be associated with tricho-dento-osseous syndrome. Full article
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Brief Report
Blockade of Platelet Glycoprotein Ibα Augments Neuroprotection in Orai2-Deficient Mice during Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9496; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169496 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 521
Abstract
During ischemic stroke, infarct growth before recanalization diminishes functional outcome. Hence, adjunct treatment options to protect the ischemic penumbra before recanalization are eagerly awaited. In experimental stroke targeting two different pathways conferred protection from penumbral tissue loss: (1) enhancement of hypoxic tolerance of [...] Read more.
During ischemic stroke, infarct growth before recanalization diminishes functional outcome. Hence, adjunct treatment options to protect the ischemic penumbra before recanalization are eagerly awaited. In experimental stroke targeting two different pathways conferred protection from penumbral tissue loss: (1) enhancement of hypoxic tolerance of neurons by deletion of the calcium channel subunit Orai2 and (2) blocking of detrimental lymphocyte–platelet responses. However, until now, no preclinical stroke study has assessed the potential of combining neuroprotective with anti-thrombo-inflammatory interventions to augment therapeutic effects. We induced focal cerebral ischemia in Orai2-deficient (Orai2-/-) mice by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Animals were treated with anti-glycoprotein Ib alpha (GPIbα) Fab fragments (p0p/B Fab) blocking GPIbα–von Willebrand factor (vWF) interactions. Rat immunoglobulin G (IgG) Fab was used as the control treatment. The extent of infarct growth before recanalization was assessed at 4 h after MCAO. Moreover, infarct volumes were determined 6 h after recanalization (occlusion time: 4 h). Orai2 deficiency significantly halted cerebral infarct progression under occlusion. Inhibition of platelet GPIbα further reduced primary infarct growth in Orai2-/- mice. During ischemia–reperfusion, upon recanalization, mice were likewise protected. All in all, we show that neuroprotection in Orai2-/- mice can be augmented by targeting thrombo-inflammation. This supports the clinical development of combined neuroprotective/anti-platelet strategies in hyper-acute stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular and Molecular Targets in Acute Ischemic Stroke 2.0)
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Article
Fabrication of Ni-Rich 58NiTi and 60NiTi from Elementally Blended Ni and Ti Powders by a Laser Powder Bed Fusion Technique: Their Printing, Homogenization and Densification
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9495; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169495 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 435
Abstract
Compared to the equiatomic or near-equiatomic NiTinol alloys, Ni-rich NiTi alloys are suitable to be employed in structural applications as they exhibit higher hardness and are dimensionally stable. This research aimed to process two different grades of Ni-rich NiTi alloys, 58NiTi and 60NiTi, [...] Read more.
Compared to the equiatomic or near-equiatomic NiTinol alloys, Ni-rich NiTi alloys are suitable to be employed in structural applications as they exhibit higher hardness and are dimensionally stable. This research aimed to process two different grades of Ni-rich NiTi alloys, 58NiTi and 60NiTi, from Ni–Ti powder mixtures having about 58 wt.% and 60 wt.% Ni, respectively. This was performed by a laser powder bed fusion technique. At the first stage of this research, the printability of the used powder mixtures was investigated by applying different sets of printing parameters. Two appropriate sets were then selected to print the samples. Microstructural study of the printed parts revealed the existence of inhomogeneity in the microstructures. In addition, depending on the applied set of parameters, some amounts of cracks and pores were also present in the microstructure of these parts. Postprinting hot isostatic pressing procedures, performed at different temperatures, were developed to cause the reaction of phases, homogenize the parts, and possibly eliminate the existing flaws from the samples. Effects of these applied treatments on the microstructure, phase composition, density, dimensional integrity, and hardness of parts were sequentially studied. In essence, 58NiTi and 60NiTi parts having phase compositions complying with those of the equilibrium phase diagram were obtained in this research. However, the mentioned cracks and pores, formed in the microstructure of as-printed parts, could not be fully removed by postprocessing treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Canada)
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Case Report
Evolution of Graves’ Disease during Immune Reconstitution following Nonmyeloablative Haploidentical Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation in a Boy Carrying Germline SAMD9L and FLT3 Variants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9494; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169494 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 838
Abstract
Graves’ disease, characterized by hyperthyroidism resulting from loss of immune tolerance to thyroid autoantigens, may be attributable to both genetic and environmental factors. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) represents a means to induce immunotolerance via an artificial immune environment. We present a [...] Read more.
Graves’ disease, characterized by hyperthyroidism resulting from loss of immune tolerance to thyroid autoantigens, may be attributable to both genetic and environmental factors. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) represents a means to induce immunotolerance via an artificial immune environment. We present a male patient with severe aplastic anemia arising from a germline SAMD9L missense mutation who successfully underwent HSCT from his HLA-haploidentical SAMD9L non-mutated father together with nonmyeloablative conditioning and post-transplant cyclophosphamide at 8 years of age. He did not suffer graft-versus-host disease, but Graves’ disease evolved 10 months post-transplant when cyclosporine was discontinued for one month. Reconstitution of peripheral lymphocyte subsets was found to be transiently downregulated shortly after Graves’ disease onset but recovered upon antithyroid treatment. Our investigation revealed the presence of genetic factors associated with Graves’ disease, including HLA-B*46:01 and HLA-DRB1*09:01 haplotypes carried by the asymptomatic donor and germline FLT3 c.2500C>T mutation carried by both the patient and the donor. Given his current euthyroid state with normal hematopoiesis, the patient has returned to normal school life. This rare event of Graves’ disease in a young boy arising from special HSCT circumstances indicates that both the genetic background and the HSCT environment can prompt the evolution of Graves’ disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Biology)
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Review
Translating Material Science into Bone Regenerative Medicine Applications: State-of-The Art Methods and Protocols
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9493; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169493 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 483
Abstract
In the last 20 years, bone regenerative research has experienced exponential growth thanks to the discovery of new nanomaterials and improved manufacturing technologies that have emerged in the biomedical field. This revolution demands standardization of methods employed for biomaterials characterization in order to [...] Read more.
In the last 20 years, bone regenerative research has experienced exponential growth thanks to the discovery of new nanomaterials and improved manufacturing technologies that have emerged in the biomedical field. This revolution demands standardization of methods employed for biomaterials characterization in order to achieve comparable, interoperable, and reproducible results. The exploited methods for characterization span from biophysics and biochemical techniques, including microscopy and spectroscopy, functional assays for biological properties, and molecular profiling. This review aims to provide scholars with a rapid handbook collecting multidisciplinary methods for bone substitute R&D and validation, getting sources from an up-to-date and comprehensive examination of the scientific landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Nanotechnologies for Drug Delivery and Tissue Regeneration)
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Article
Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cajanin, an Isoflavonoid Derivative Isolated from Canavalia lineata Pods
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9492; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169492 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 435
Abstract
The bioactive components of Canavalia lineata (Thunb.) DC pods were investigated using bioactivity-guided isolation, and the chemical structures of flavonoids 13, isoflavonoid derivatives 411, and phenolic compounds 12 and 13 were identified by comparing NMR, MS, and [...] Read more.
The bioactive components of Canavalia lineata (Thunb.) DC pods were investigated using bioactivity-guided isolation, and the chemical structures of flavonoids 13, isoflavonoid derivatives 411, and phenolic compounds 12 and 13 were identified by comparing NMR, MS, and CD spectral data with previously reported spectroscopic data. Compounds 113 were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory effects on LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Among these compounds, the isoflavonoid derivative cajanin (7) exhibited the most potent anti-inflammatory activity (IC50 of NO = 19.38 ± 0.05 µM; IC50 of IL-6 = 7.78 ± 0.04 µM; IC50 of TNF-α = 26.82 ± 0.11 µM), exerting its anti-inflammatory effects by suppressing the activation and nuclear translocation of the transcription factor NF-κB by phosphorylating IκB and p65. These results suggested that cajanin (7) may be a potential candidate for improving the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Full article
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Article
Effects of Polymers on the Drug Solubility and Dissolution Enhancement of Poorly Water-Soluble Rivaroxaban
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169491 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 410
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of hydrophilic polymers in a solid dispersion formulation in improving the solubility and dissolution rate of rivaroxaban (RXB), a poorly soluble drug. The developed solid dispersion consisted of two components, a drug and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of hydrophilic polymers in a solid dispersion formulation in improving the solubility and dissolution rate of rivaroxaban (RXB), a poorly soluble drug. The developed solid dispersion consisted of two components, a drug and a polymer, and the drug was dispersed as amorphous particles in a polymer matrix using the spray drying method. Polymeric solid dispersions were evaluated using solubility tests, in vitro dissolution tests, powder X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, and particle size distribution analysis. To maximize physical stability against crystallization and improve the solubility and dissolution of RXB, it is important to select the appropriate polymer type and the optimal ratio of the polymer to the drug. The optimized polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-based (1/0.5, w/w) and gelatin-based (1/5, w/w) solid dispersion formulations showed 6.3 and 3.6 times higher drug solubilities than pure RXB powder, respectively, and the final dissolution rate was improved by approximately 1.5 times. Scanning electron microscopy and particle size distribution analyses confirmed that the gelatin-based solid dispersion was smaller and more spherical than the PVA-based solid dispersion, suggesting that the gelatin-based solid dispersion had a faster initial dissolution rate. Differential scanning calorimetry and powder X-ray diffraction analyses confirmed that RXB had successfully changed from a crystalline form to an amorphous form, contributing to the improvement in its solubility and dissolution rate. This study provides a strategy for selecting suitable polymers for the development of amorphous polymer solid dispersions that can overcome precipitation during dissolution and stabilization of the amorphous state. In addition, the selected polymer solid dispersion improved the drug solubility and dissolution rate of RXB, a poorly soluble drug, and may be used as a promising drug delivery system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery)
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Review
Gut Metabolites and Breast Cancer: The Continuum of Dysbiosis, Breast Cancer Risk, and Potential Breast Cancer Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169490 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 946
Abstract
The complex association between the gut microbiome and cancer development has been an emerging field of study in recent years. The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in the overall maintenance of human health and interacts closely with the host immune system to [...] Read more.
The complex association between the gut microbiome and cancer development has been an emerging field of study in recent years. The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in the overall maintenance of human health and interacts closely with the host immune system to prevent and fight infection. This review was designed to draw a comprehensive assessment and summary of recent research assessing the anticancer activity of the metabolites (produced by the gut microbiota) specifically against breast cancer. In this review, a total of 2701 articles were screened from different scientific databases (PubMed, Scopus, Embase and Web of Science) with 72 relevant articles included based on the predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Metabolites produced by the gut microbial communities have been researched for their health benefits and potential anticancer activity. For instance, the short-chain fatty acid, butyrate, has been evaluated against multiple cancer types, including breast cancer, and has demonstrated anticancer potential via various molecular pathways. Similarly, nisin, a bacteriocin, has presented with a range of anticancer properties primarily against gastrointestinal cancers, with nominal evidence supporting its use against breast cancer. Comparatively, a natural purine nucleoside, inosine, though it has not been thoroughly investigated as a natural anticancer agent, has shown promise in recent studies. Additionally, recent studies demonstrated that gut microbial metabolites influence the efficacy of standard chemotherapeutics and potentially be implemented as a combination therapy. Despite the promising evidence supporting the anticancer action of gut metabolites on different cancer types, the molecular mechanisms of action of this activity are not well established, especially against breast cancer and warrant further investigation. As such, future research must prioritise determining the dose-response relationship, molecular mechanisms, and conducting animal and clinical studies to validate in vitro findings. This review also highlights the potential future directions of this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Microbiota–Host Interactions: From Symbiosis to Dysbiosis 2.0)
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Article
CDNF Interacts with ER Chaperones and Requires UPR Sensors to Promote Neuronal Survival
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169489 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is a neurotrophic factor that has beneficial effects on dopamine neurons in both in vitro and in vivo models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). CDNF was recently tested in phase I-II clinical trials for the treatment of PD, but [...] Read more.
Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is a neurotrophic factor that has beneficial effects on dopamine neurons in both in vitro and in vivo models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). CDNF was recently tested in phase I-II clinical trials for the treatment of PD, but the mechanisms underlying its neuroprotective properties are still poorly understood, although studies have suggested its role in the regulation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis and the unfolded protein response (UPR). The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of action of CDNF through analyzing the involvement of UPR signaling in its anti-apoptotic function. We used tunicamycin to induce ER stress in mice in vivo and used cultured primary neurons and found that CDNF expression is regulated by ER stress in vivo and that the involvement of UPR pathways is important for the neuroprotective function of CDNF. Moreover, we used AP-MS and BiFC to perform the first interactome screening for CDNF and report novel binding partners of CDNF. These findings allowed us to hypothesize that CDNF protects neurons from ER-stress-inducing agents by modulating UPR signaling towards cell survival outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Dopaminergic Neurons)
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Article
Nicotine in Combination with SARS-CoV-2 Affects Cells Viability, Inflammatory Response and Ultrastructural Integrity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9488; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169488 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 519
Abstract
The aims of our study are to: (i) investigate the ability of nicotine to modulate the expression level of inflammatory cytokines in A549 cells infected with SARS-CoV-2; (ii) elucidate the ultrastructural features caused by the combination nicotine+SARS-CoV-2; and (iii) demonstrate the mechanism of [...] Read more.
The aims of our study are to: (i) investigate the ability of nicotine to modulate the expression level of inflammatory cytokines in A549 cells infected with SARS-CoV-2; (ii) elucidate the ultrastructural features caused by the combination nicotine+SARS-CoV-2; and (iii) demonstrate the mechanism of action. In this study, A549 cells pretreated with nicotine were either exposed to LPS or poly(I:C), or infected with SARS-CoV-2. Treated and untreated cells were analyzed for cytokine production, cytotoxicity, and ultrastructural modifications. Vero E6 cells were used as a positive reference. Cells pretreated with nicotine showed a decrease of IL6 and TNFα in A549 cells induced by LPS or poly(I:C). In contrast, cells exposed to SARS-CoV-2 showed a high increase of IL6, IL8, IL10 and TNFα, high cytopathic effects that were dose- and time-dependent, and profound ultrastructural modifications. These modifications were characterized by membrane ruptures and fragmentation, the swelling of cytosol and mitochondria, the release of cytoplasmic content in extracellular spaces (including osmiophilic granules), the fragmentation of endoplasmic reticulum, and chromatin disorganization. Nicotine increased SARS-CoV-2 cytopathic effects, elevating the levels of inflammatory cytokines, and inducing severe cellular damage, with features resembling pyroptosis and necroptosis. The protective role of nicotine in COVID-19 is definitively ruled out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Lung, Microbiome and Pulmonary Diseases)
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Article
Panicle Apical Abortion 7 Regulates Panicle Development in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169487 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 347
Abstract
The number of grains per panicle significantly contributes to rice yield, but the regulatory mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we reported a loss-of-function mutant, panicle apical abortion 7 (paa7), which exhibited panicle abortion and degeneration of spikelets on the apical panicles [...] Read more.
The number of grains per panicle significantly contributes to rice yield, but the regulatory mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we reported a loss-of-function mutant, panicle apical abortion 7 (paa7), which exhibited panicle abortion and degeneration of spikelets on the apical panicles during the late stage of young panicle development in rice. High accumulations of H2O2 in paa7 caused programmed cell death (PCD) accompanied by nuclear DNA fragmentation in the apical spikelets. Map-based cloning revealed that the 3 bp “AGC” insertion and 4 bp “TCTC” deletion mutation of paa7 were located in the 3′-UTR regions of LOC_Os07g47330, which was confirmed through complementary assays and overexpressed lines. Interestingly, LOC_Os07g47330 is known as FRIZZY PANICLE (FZP). Thus, PAA7 could be a novel allele of FZP. Moreover, the severe damage for panicle phenotype in paa7/lax2 double mutant indicated that PAA7 could crosstalk with Lax Panicle 2 (LAX2). These findings suggest that PAA7 regulates the development of apical spikelets and interacts with LAX2 to regulate panicle development in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Review
Need for a Paradigm Shift in the Treatment of Ischemic Stroke: The Blood-Brain Barrier
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9486; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169486 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 703
Abstract
Blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity is essential to maintaining brain health. Aging-related alterations could lead to chronic progressive leakiness of the BBB, which is directly correlated with cerebrovascular diseases. Indeed, the BBB breakdown during acute ischemic stroke is critical. It remains unclear, however, whether [...] Read more.
Blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity is essential to maintaining brain health. Aging-related alterations could lead to chronic progressive leakiness of the BBB, which is directly correlated with cerebrovascular diseases. Indeed, the BBB breakdown during acute ischemic stroke is critical. It remains unclear, however, whether BBB dysfunction is one of the first events that leads to brain disease or a down-stream consequence. This review will focus on the BBB dysfunction associated with cerebrovascular disease. An added difficulty is its association with the deleterious or reparative effect, which depends on the stroke phase. We will first outline the BBB structure and function. Then, we will focus on the spatiotemporal chronic, slow, and progressive BBB alteration related to ischemic stroke. Finally, we will propose a new perspective on preventive therapeutic strategies associated with brain aging based on targeting specific components of the BBB. Understanding BBB age-evolutions will be beneficial for new drug development and the identification of the best performance window times. This could have a direct impact on clinical translation and personalised medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Researches on Ischemic Stroke)
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Article
In Vivo Evaluation of Praziquantel-Loaded Solid Lipid Nanoparticles against S. mansoni Infection in Preclinical Murine Models
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169485 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 536
Abstract
This study aimed to develop and assess the long-term stability of drug-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs). The SLNs were designed to extend the release profile, overcome the problems of bioavailability and solubility, investigate toxicity, and improve the antischistosomal efficacy of praziquantel. The aim [...] Read more.
This study aimed to develop and assess the long-term stability of drug-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs). The SLNs were designed to extend the release profile, overcome the problems of bioavailability and solubility, investigate toxicity, and improve the antischistosomal efficacy of praziquantel. The aim was pursued using solvent injection co-homogenization techniques to fabricate SLNs in which Compritol ATO 888 and lecithin were used as lipids, and Pluronic F127 (PF127) was used as a stabilizer. The long-term stability effect of the PF127 as a stabilizer on the SLNs was evaluated. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) was used to determine the particle size, stability, and polydispersity. The morphology of the SLNs was examined through the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The chemical properties, as well as the mechanical, thermal, and crystal behaviours of SLNs were evaluated using FTIR, ElastoSens Bio2, XRPD, DSC, and TGA, respectively. SLNs with PF127 depicted an encapsulation efficiency of 71.63% and a drug loading capacity of 11.46%. The in vitro drug release study for SLNs with PF127 showed a cumulative release of 48.08% for the PZQ within 24 h, with a similar release profile for SLNs’ suspension after 120 days. DLS, ELS, and optical characterization and stability profiling data indicate that the addition of PF127 as the surfactants provided long-term stability for SLNs. In vitro cell viability and in vivo toxicity evaluation signify the safety of SLNs stabilized with PF127. In conclusion, the parasitological data showed that in S. mansoni-infected mice, a single (250 mg/kg) oral dosage of CLPF-SLNs greatly improved PZQ antischistosomal efficacy both two and four weeks post-infection. Thus, the fabricated CLPF-SLNs demonstrated significant efficiency inthe delivery of PZQ, and hence are a promising therapeutic strategy against schistosomiasis. Full article
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Article
Azithromycin and Ceftriaxone Differentially Activate NLRP3 in LPS Primed Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169484 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Background: Cancer patients are prescribed antibiotics, such as macrolides and lactamides, for infection treatment. However, the effect of these antibiotics on NLRP3 activation remains largely unknown. Method: Lung cancer (A549) and prostate cancer (PC3) cell lines were primed with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to activate [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer patients are prescribed antibiotics, such as macrolides and lactamides, for infection treatment. However, the effect of these antibiotics on NLRP3 activation remains largely unknown. Method: Lung cancer (A549) and prostate cancer (PC3) cell lines were primed with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to activate NLRP3 transcription. Cells were then treated with azithromycin (Az) or ceftriaxone (Cf). NLRP3 activation was analyzed by qPCR, Western blot, and ELISA. Cell growth and viability were assessed by real-time cell analysis and Annexin V expression. Levels of 41 cytokines were also analyzed using a multiplex assay. Results: LPS-Az activated transcription of NLRP3, Pro-CASP-1, and Pro-IL-1β in A549 cells, while failing to upregulate NLRP3 and Pro-IL-1β in PC3 cells. LPS-Az decreased the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines while it induced the pro-angiogenic factors in A549 and PC3 cells. In contrast, LPS-Cf suppressed the expression of NLRP3-associated genes, NLRP3 protein expression, the inflammatory cytokine secretion in A549 and PC3 cells. LPS-Az and LPS-Cf had a limited effect on cell growth and viability. Discussion: Our data suggest that Cf could suppress LPS induced NLRP3, which should be considered when selecting antibiotics for cancer treatment. In contrast, the effect of Az on LPS primed NLRP3 and the inflammatory cytokines production appears to depend on the cancer cell origin. Therefore, these data indicate that considerations are required when selecting Az for the treatment of cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytokines/Chemokines in Cancer Metastasis 2.0)
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Article
Interaction between Phage T4 Protein RIII and Host Ribosomal Protein S1 Inhibits Endoribonuclease RegB Activation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9483; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169483 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Lytic viruses of bacteria (bacteriophages, phages) are intracellular parasites that take over hosts’ biosynthetic processes for their propagation. Most of the knowledge on the host hijacking mechanisms has come from the studies of the lytic phage T4, which infects Escherichia coli. The [...] Read more.
Lytic viruses of bacteria (bacteriophages, phages) are intracellular parasites that take over hosts’ biosynthetic processes for their propagation. Most of the knowledge on the host hijacking mechanisms has come from the studies of the lytic phage T4, which infects Escherichia coli. The integrity of T4 development is achieved by strict control over the host and phage processes and by adjusting them to the changing infection conditions. In this study, using in vitro and in vivo biochemical methods, we detected the direct interaction between the T4 protein RIII and ribosomal protein S1 of the host. Protein RIII is known as a cytoplasmic antiholin, which plays a role in the lysis inhibition function of T4. However, our results show that RIII also acts as a viral effector protein mainly targeting S1 RNA-binding domains that are central for all the activities of this multifunctional protein. We confirm that the S1–RIII interaction prevents the S1-dependent activation of endoribonuclease RegB. In addition, we propose that by modulating the multiple processes mediated by S1, RIII could act as a regulator of all stages of T4 infection including the lysis inhibition state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophage—Molecular Studies 4.0)
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Review
Selection, Preparation and Application of Quantum Dots in Perovskite Solar Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9482; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169482 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 393
Abstract
As the third generation of new thin-film solar cells, perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have attracted much attention for their excellent photovoltaic performance. Today, PSCs have reported the highest photovoltaic conversion efficiency (PCE) of 25.5%, which is an encouraging value, very close to the [...] Read more.
As the third generation of new thin-film solar cells, perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have attracted much attention for their excellent photovoltaic performance. Today, PSCs have reported the highest photovoltaic conversion efficiency (PCE) of 25.5%, which is an encouraging value, very close to the highest PCE of the most widely used silicon-based solar cells. However, scholars have found that PSCs have problems of being easily decomposed under ultraviolet (UV) light, poor stability, energy level mismatch and severe hysteresis, which greatly limit their industrialization. As unique materials, quantum dots (QDs) have many excellent properties and have been widely used in PSCs to address the issues mentioned above. In this article, we describe the application of various QDs as additives in different layers of PSCs, as luminescent down-shifting materials, and directly as electron transport layers (ETL), light-absorbing layers and hole transport layers (HTL). The addition of QDs optimizes the energy level arrangement within the device, expands the range of light utilization, passivates defects on the surface of the perovskite film and promotes electron and hole transport, resulting in significant improvements in both PCE and stability. We summarize in detail the role of QDs in PSCs, analyze the perspective and associated issues of QDs in PSCs, and finally offer our insights into the future direction of development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Energy Applications 2.0)
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Article
DNA Methylation Mediates lncRNA2919 Regulation of Hair Follicle Regeneration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169481 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Hair follicles (HFs) are organs that periodically regenerate during the growth and development of mammals. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-coding RNAs with crucial roles in many biological processes. Our previous study identified that lncRNA2919 is highly expressed in catagen during the HF [...] Read more.
Hair follicles (HFs) are organs that periodically regenerate during the growth and development of mammals. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-coding RNAs with crucial roles in many biological processes. Our previous study identified that lncRNA2919 is highly expressed in catagen during the HF cycle. In this study, the in vivo rabbit model was established using intradermal injection of adenovirus-mediated lncRNA2919. The results showed that lncRNA2919 decreased HF depth and density and contributed to HF regrowth, thereby indicating that lncRNA2919 plays a negative role in HF regeneration. Moreover, methylation levels of the lncRNA2919 promoter at different HF cycle stages were detected through bisulfite sequencing. The key CpG site that negatively correlates with lncRNA2919 expression during the HF cycle was identified. 5-Aza-dc-induced demethylation upregulated lncRNA2919 expression, and the core promoter region of lncRNA2919 was verified on the basis of luciferase activity. Furthermore, we found that DNA methylation could prevent the binding of EGR1 to the lncRNA2919 promoter region, thereby affecting the transcriptional expression of lncRNA2919. Collectively, DNA methylation inhibits the transcriptional expression of lncRNA2919, which plays a vital role in the HF cycle and HF regrowth. These findings contribute to the basic theory of epigenetics in HF biology and provide references for further research in HF disease treatment and animal wool production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of RNA: Recent Progress)
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Article
Differences in Expression of IQSEC2 Transcript Isoforms in Male and Female Cases with Loss of Function Variants and Neurodevelopmental Disorder
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9480; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169480 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Pathogenic hemizygous or heterozygous mutations in the IQSEC2 gene cause X-linked intellectual developmental disorder-1 (XLID1), characterized by a variable phenotype including developmental delay, intellectual disability, epilepsy, hypotonia, autism, microcephaly and stereotypies. It affects both males and females typically through loss of function in [...] Read more.
Pathogenic hemizygous or heterozygous mutations in the IQSEC2 gene cause X-linked intellectual developmental disorder-1 (XLID1), characterized by a variable phenotype including developmental delay, intellectual disability, epilepsy, hypotonia, autism, microcephaly and stereotypies. It affects both males and females typically through loss of function in males and haploinsufficiency in heterozygous females. Females are generally less affected than males. Two novel unrelated cases, one male and one female, with de novo IQSEC2 variants were detected by trio-based whole exome sequencing. The female case had a previously undescribed frameshift mutation (NM_001111125:c.3300dup; p.Met1101Tyrfs*5), and the male showed an intronic variant in intron 6, with a previously unknown effect (NM_001111125:c.2459+21C>T). IQSEC2 gene expression study revealed that this intronic variant created an alternative donor splicing site and an aberrant product, with the inclusion of 19bp, confirming the pathogenic effect of the intron variant. Moreover, a strong reduction in the expression of the long, but also the short IQSEC2 isoforms, was detected in the male correlating with a more severe phenotype, while the female case showed no decreased expression of the short isoform, and milder effects of the disease. This suggests that the abnormal expression levels of the different IQSEC2 transcripts could be implicated in the severity of disease manifestations. Full article
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Review
IL-1 Family Cytokines in Inflammatory Dermatoses: Pathogenetic Role and Potential Therapeutic Implications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9479; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169479 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 622
Abstract
The interleukin-1 (IL-1) family is involved in the correct functioning and regulation of the innate immune system, linking innate and adaptative immune responses. This complex family is composed by several cytokines, receptors, and co-receptors, all working in a balanced way to maintain homeostasis. [...] Read more.
The interleukin-1 (IL-1) family is involved in the correct functioning and regulation of the innate immune system, linking innate and adaptative immune responses. This complex family is composed by several cytokines, receptors, and co-receptors, all working in a balanced way to maintain homeostasis. Dysregulation of these processes results in tissue inflammation and is involved in the pathogenesis of common inflammatory dermatoses such as psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, and atopic dermatitis. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of IL-1 pathways has been studied, and several monoclonal antibodies are currently being assessed in clinical trials. So far, promising results have been obtained with anti-IL-36R spesolimab and imsidolimab in pustular psoriasis, and their efficacy is being tested in other conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Immunology in Spain)
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Article
Activation of ADRB2/PKA Signaling Pathway Facilitates Lipid Synthesis in Meibocytes, and Beta-Blocker Glaucoma Drug Impedes PKA-Induced Lipid Synthesis by Inhibiting ADRB2
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169478 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Meibomian gland dysfunction is one of the main causes of dry eye disease and has limited therapeutic options. In this study, we investigated the biological function of the beta 2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2)/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway in lipid synthesis and its underlying mechanisms [...] Read more.
Meibomian gland dysfunction is one of the main causes of dry eye disease and has limited therapeutic options. In this study, we investigated the biological function of the beta 2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2)/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway in lipid synthesis and its underlying mechanisms in human meibomian gland epithelial cells (HMGECs). HMGECs were cultured in differentiation media with or without forskolin (an activator of adenylate cyclase), salbutamol (an ADRB2 agonist), or timolol (an ADRB2 antagonist) for up to 4 days. The phosphorylation of the cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) and the expression of peroxisome proliferator activator receptor (PPAR)γ and sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1 were measured by immunoblotting and quantitative PCR. Lipid synthesis was examined by LipidTOX immunostaining, AdipoRed assay, and Oil Red O staining. PKA pathway activation enhanced PPARγ expression and lipid synthesis in differentiated HMGECs. When treated with agonists of ADBR2 (upstream of the PKA signaling system), PPARγ expression and lipid synthesis were enhanced in HMGECs. The ADRB2 antagonist timolol showed the opposite effect. The activation of the ADRB2/PKA signaling pathway enhances lipid synthesis in HMGECs. These results provide a potential mechanism and therapeutic target for meibomian gland dysfunction, particularly in cases induced by beta-blocker glaucoma drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics)
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Review
The miR393-Target Module Regulates Plant Development and Responses to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9477; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23169477 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 411
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of endogenous small RNAs, are broadly involved in plant development, morphogenesis and responses to various environmental stresses, through manipulating the cleavage, translational expression, or DNA methylation of target mRNAs. miR393 is a conserved miRNA family present in many plants, [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of endogenous small RNAs, are broadly involved in plant development, morphogenesis and responses to various environmental stresses, through manipulating the cleavage, translational expression, or DNA methylation of target mRNAs. miR393 is a conserved miRNA family present in many plants, which mainly targets genes encoding the transport inhibitor response1 (TIR1)/auxin signaling F-box (AFB) auxin receptors, and thus greatly affects the auxin signal perception, Aux/IAA degradation, and related gene expression. This review introduces the advances made on the miR393/target module regulating plant development and the plant’s responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. This module is valuable for genetic manipulation of optimized conditions for crop growth and development and would also be helpful in improving crop yield through molecular breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Plant Breeding 2.0)
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