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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 24, Issue 15 (August-1 2023) – 659 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer amongst males (Globocan 2020). It is characterized by frequent recurrences after surgical removal of the tumor. The gold standard therapy is Mycobacterium bovis, Bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy. But a significant proportion of patients fail this therapy. Despite more than 50 years of clinical use, there has been little progress in improving the response to BCG immunotherapy, and newer therapies have only had an incremental improvement in response. An understanding of the bladder tumor environment, especially the cell types that populate and modulate this space, may identify new strategies to improve patient outcomes. This review examines the components of the bladder tumor environment. View this paper
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17 pages, 2994 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Comparison and Functional Characterization of HMGR Gene Family Associated with Shikonin Biosynthesis in Lithospermum erythrorhizon
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12532; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512532 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1493
Abstract
3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR), as the rate-limiting enzyme in the mevalonate pathway, is essential for the biosynthesis of shikonin in Lithospermum erythrorhizon. However, in the absence of sufficient data, the principles of a genome-wide in-depth evolutionary exploration of HMGR family members in plants, [...] Read more.
3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR), as the rate-limiting enzyme in the mevalonate pathway, is essential for the biosynthesis of shikonin in Lithospermum erythrorhizon. However, in the absence of sufficient data, the principles of a genome-wide in-depth evolutionary exploration of HMGR family members in plants, as well as key members related to shikonin biosynthesis, remain unidentified. In this study, 124 HMGRs were identified and characterized from 36 representative plants, including L. erythrorhizon. Vascular plants were found to have more HMGR family genes than nonvascular plants. The phylogenetic tree revealed that during lineage and species diversification, the HMGRs evolved independently and intronless LerHMGRs emerged from multi-intron HMGR in land plants. Among them, Pinus tabuliformis and L. erythrorhizon had the most HMGR gene duplications, with 11 LerHMGRs most likely expanded through WGD/segmental and tandem duplications. In seedling roots and M9 cultured cells/hairy roots, where shikonin biosynthesis occurs, LerHMGR1 and LerHMGR2 were expressed significantly more than other genes. The enzymatic activities of LerHMGR1 and LerHMGR2 further supported their roles in catalyzing the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate. Our findings provide insight into the molecular evolutionary properties and function of the HMGR family in plants and a basis for the genetic improvement of efficiently produced secondary metabolites in L. erythrorhizon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Phylogenomics and Genetic Diversity)
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18 pages, 2585 KiB  
Article
Interaction of L1CAM with LC3 Is Required for L1-Dependent Neurite Outgrowth and Neuronal Survival
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12531; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512531 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 807
Abstract
The neural cell adhesion molecule L1 (also called L1CAM or CD171) functions not only in cell migration, but also in cell survival, differentiation, myelination, neurite outgrowth, and signaling during nervous system development and in adults. The proteolytic cleavage of L1 in its extracellular [...] Read more.
The neural cell adhesion molecule L1 (also called L1CAM or CD171) functions not only in cell migration, but also in cell survival, differentiation, myelination, neurite outgrowth, and signaling during nervous system development and in adults. The proteolytic cleavage of L1 in its extracellular domain generates soluble fragments which are shed into the extracellular space and transmembrane fragments that are internalized into the cell and transported to various organelles to regulate cellular functions. To identify novel intracellular interaction partners of L1, we searched for protein–protein interaction motifs and found two potential microtubule-associated protein 1 light-chain 3 (LC3)-interacting region (LIR) motifs within L1, one in its extracellular domain and one in its intracellular domain. By ELISA, immunoprecipitation, and proximity ligation assay using L1 mutant mice lacking the 70 kDa L1 fragment (L1-70), we showed that L1-70 interacts with LC3 via the extracellular LIR motif in the fourth fibronectin type III domain, but not by the motif in the intracellular domain. The disruption of the L1-LC3 interaction reduces L1-mediated neurite outgrowth and neuronal survival. Full article
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16 pages, 6203 KiB  
Article
Sirtuin1-Mediated Deacetylation of Hypothalamic TTF-1 Contributes to the Energy Deficiency Response
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12530; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512530 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 915
Abstract
TTF-1 stimulates appetite by regulating the expression of agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) genes in the hypothalamus of starving animals. However, the mechanism underlying TTF-1’s response to decreased energy levels remains elusive. Here, we provide evidence that the NAD+-dependent deacetylase, [...] Read more.
TTF-1 stimulates appetite by regulating the expression of agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) genes in the hypothalamus of starving animals. However, the mechanism underlying TTF-1’s response to decreased energy levels remains elusive. Here, we provide evidence that the NAD+-dependent deacetylase, sirtuin1 (Sirt1), activates TTF-1 in response to energy deficiency. Energy deficiency leads to a twofold increase in the expression of both Sirt1 and TTF-1, leading to the deacetylation of TTF-1 through the interaction between the two proteins. The activation of Sirt1, induced by energy deficiency or resveratrol treatment, leads to a significant increase in the deacetylation of TTF-1 and promotes its nuclear translocation. Conversely, the inhibition of Sirt1 prevents these Sirt1 effects. Notably, a point mutation in a lysine residue of TTF-1 significantly disrupts its deacetylation and thus nearly completely hinders its ability to regulate AgRP and POMC gene expression. These findings highlight the importance of energy-deficiency-induced deacetylation of TTF-1 in the control of AgRP and POMC gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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30 pages, 1283 KiB  
Review
Tackling Sleeping Sickness: Current and Promising Therapeutics and Treatment Strategies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12529; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512529 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1767
Abstract
Human African trypanosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the extracellular protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, and targeted for eradication by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the lengthening of the proposed time frame for eliminating human African trypanosomiasis as control programs [...] Read more.
Human African trypanosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the extracellular protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, and targeted for eradication by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the lengthening of the proposed time frame for eliminating human African trypanosomiasis as control programs were interrupted. Armed with extensive antigenic variation and the depletion of the B cell population during an infectious cycle, attempts to develop a vaccine have remained unachievable. With the absence of a vaccine, control of the disease has relied heavily on intensive screening measures and the use of drugs. The chemotherapeutics previously available for disease management were plagued by issues such as toxicity, resistance, and difficulty in administration. The approval of the latest and first oral drug, fexinidazole, is a major chemotherapeutic achievement for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis in the past few decades. Timely and accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment, while poor compliance and resistance remain outstanding challenges. Drug discovery is on-going, and herein we review the recent advances in anti-trypanosomal drug discovery, including novel potential drug targets. The numerous challenges associated with disease eradication will also be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Strategies for Diagnosis and Treatment of Parasitic Diseases)
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14 pages, 1890 KiB  
Review
Application of Human Brain Organoids—Opportunities and Challenges in Modeling Human Brain Development and Neurodevelopmental Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512528 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3186
Abstract
Brain organoids are three-dimensional (3D) structures derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) that reflect early brain organization. These organoids contain different cell types, including neurons and glia, similar to those found in the human brain. Human brain organoids provide unique opportunities to [...] Read more.
Brain organoids are three-dimensional (3D) structures derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) that reflect early brain organization. These organoids contain different cell types, including neurons and glia, similar to those found in the human brain. Human brain organoids provide unique opportunities to model features of human brain development that are not well-reflected in animal models. Compared with traditional cell cultures and animal models, brain organoids offer a more accurate representation of human brain development and function, rendering them suitable models for neurodevelopmental diseases. In particular, brain organoids derived from patients’ cells have enabled researchers to study diseases at different stages and gain a better understanding of disease mechanisms. Multi-brain regional assembloids allow for the investigation of interactions between distinct brain regions while achieving a higher level of consistency in molecular and functional characterization. Although organoids possess promising features, their usefulness is limited by several unresolved constraints, including cellular stress, hypoxia, necrosis, a lack of high-fidelity cell types, limited maturation, and circuit formation. In this review, we discuss studies to overcome the natural limitations of brain organoids, emphasizing the importance of combinations of all neural cell types, such as glia (astrocyte, oligodendrocytes, and microglia) and vascular cells. Additionally, considering the similarity of organoids to the developing brain, regionally patterned brain organoid-derived neural stem cells (NSCs) could serve as a scalable source for cell replacement therapy. We highlight the potential application of brain organoid-derived cells in disease cell therapy within this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organoids: The New 3D-Frontier to Model Different Diseases In Vitro)
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14 pages, 4319 KiB  
Article
Amyloid Precursor Protein and Tau Peptides Linked Together Ameliorate Loss of Cognition in an Alzheimer’s Disease Animal Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12527; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512527 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 775
Abstract
The major proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are amyloid precursor protein (APP) and Tau. We demonstrate that APP1 (390–412) and Tau1 (19–34), linked together with either a flexible or a rigid peptide bridge, are able to inhibit, in vitro, the interaction between [...] Read more.
The major proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are amyloid precursor protein (APP) and Tau. We demonstrate that APP1 (390–412) and Tau1 (19–34), linked together with either a flexible or a rigid peptide bridge, are able to inhibit, in vitro, the interaction between APP and Tau proteins. Furthermore, nasal administration of biotin-labelled Flex peptide for two weeks indicated the localization of the peptide around and close to plaques in the hippocampus area. In vivo studies in 5xFAD transgenic (Tg) mice, which exhibit plaque load and mild cognitive decline at four months of age, show that nasal administration of the flexible linked peptide reduced amyloid plaque burden. Additionally, nasal treatment with either flexible or rigid linked peptides prevented cognitive function deterioration. A significant treatment effect was achieved when either treatment was initiated at the age of three months, before severe cognitive deficiency is evident, or at five months, when such deficiency is already observed. The nasally treated mice demonstrated a cognitive ability not significantly different from the non-Tg littermate controls. Testing the effect of the flexible peptide by gavage feeding on the cognitive function of 5xFAD Tg mice demonstrated that feeding as well as nasal treatment significantly improves the cognitive ability of Tg mice compared to control PBS-treated mice. Full article
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15 pages, 2417 KiB  
Article
Changes of the Protein CoAlation Pattern in Response to Oxidative Stress and Capacitation in Human Spermatozoa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512526 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
The spermatozoa have limited antioxidant defences, a high polyunsaturated fatty acids content and the impossibility of synthesizing proteins, thus being susceptible to oxidative stress. High levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) harm human spermatozoa, promoting oxidative damage to sperm lipids, proteins and DNA, [...] Read more.
The spermatozoa have limited antioxidant defences, a high polyunsaturated fatty acids content and the impossibility of synthesizing proteins, thus being susceptible to oxidative stress. High levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) harm human spermatozoa, promoting oxidative damage to sperm lipids, proteins and DNA, leading to infertility. Coenzyme A (CoA) is a key metabolic integrator in all living cells. Recently, CoA was shown to function as a major cellular antioxidant mediated by a covalent modification of surface-exposed cysteines by CoA (protein CoAlation) under oxidative or metabolic stresses. Here, the profile of protein CoAlation was examined in sperm capacitation and in human spermatozoa treated with different oxidizing agents (hydrogen peroxide, (H2O2), diamide and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP). Sperm viability and motility were also investigated. We found that H2O2 and diamide produced the highest levels of protein CoAlation and the greatest reduction of sperm motility without impairing viability. Protein CoAlation levels are regulated by 2-Cys peroxiredoxins (PRDXs). Capacitated spermatozoa showed lower levels of protein CoAlation than non-capacitation cells. This study is the first to demonstrate that PRDXs regulate protein CoAlation, which is part of the antioxidant response of human spermatozoa and participates in the redox regulation associated with sperm capacitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CoA in Health and Disease 2.0)
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15 pages, 5762 KiB  
Article
Molecular Mechanisms of Endothelialitis in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Evidence for VE-Cadherin Cleavage by ACE2
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512525 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Long COVID-19 syndrome appears after Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2) infection with acute damage to microcapillaries, microthrombi, and endothelialitis. However, the mechanisms involved in these processes remain to be elucidated. All blood vessels are lined with a monolayer of endothelial cells called [...] Read more.
Long COVID-19 syndrome appears after Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2) infection with acute damage to microcapillaries, microthrombi, and endothelialitis. However, the mechanisms involved in these processes remain to be elucidated. All blood vessels are lined with a monolayer of endothelial cells called vascular endothelium, which provides a the major function is to prevent coagulation. A component of endothelial cell junctions is VE-cadherin, which is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the vessels through homophilic interactions of its Ca++-dependent adhesive extracellular domain. Here we provide the first evidence that VE-cadherin is a target in vitro for ACE2 cleavage because its extracellular domain (hrVE-ED) contains two amino acid sequences for ACE2 substrate recognition at the positions 256P-F257 and 321PMKP-325L. Indeed, incubation of hrVE-ED with the active ectopeptidase hrACE2 for 16 hrs in the presence of 10 μM ZnCl2 showed a dose-dependent (from 0.2 ng/μL to 2 ng/μL) decrease of the VE-cadherin immunoreactive band. In vivo, in the blood from patients having severe COVID-19 we detected a circulating form of ACE2 with an apparent molecular mass of 70 kDa, which was barely detectable in patients with mild COVID-19. Of importance, in the patients with severe COVID-19 disease, the presence of three soluble fragments of VE-cadherin (70, 62, 54 kDa) were detected using the antiEC1 antibody while only the 54 kDa fragment was present in patients with mild disease. Altogether, these data clearly support a role for ACE2 to cleave VE-cadherin, which leads to potential biomarkers of SARS-CoV-2 infection related with the vascular disease in “Long COVID-19”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Endothelial Dysfunction 2.0)
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19 pages, 1150 KiB  
Review
Emerging Roles of Lysophosphatidic Acid in Macrophages and Inflammatory Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512524 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive phospholipid that regulates physiological and pathological processes in numerous cell biological functions, including cell migration, apoptosis, and proliferation. Macrophages are found in most human tissues and have multiple physiological and pathological functions. There is growing evidence that [...] Read more.
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive phospholipid that regulates physiological and pathological processes in numerous cell biological functions, including cell migration, apoptosis, and proliferation. Macrophages are found in most human tissues and have multiple physiological and pathological functions. There is growing evidence that LPA signaling plays a significant role in the physiological function of macrophages and accelerates the development of diseases caused by macrophage dysfunction and inflammation, such as inflammation-related diseases, cancer, atherosclerosis, and fibrosis. In this review, we summarize the roles of LPA in macrophages, analyze numerous macrophage- and inflammation-associated diseases triggered by LPA, and discuss LPA-targeting therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macrophage Polarization: Learning to Manage It 3.0)
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15 pages, 7750 KiB  
Article
Utilizing Gold Nanoparticles as Prospective Radiosensitizers in 3D Radioresistant Pancreatic Co-Culture Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12523; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512523 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer stands among the deadliest forms of cancer, and the existing treatments fall short of providing adequate efficacy. Novel and more effective treatment approaches are urgently required to address this critical medical challenge. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the anti-cancer [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer stands among the deadliest forms of cancer, and the existing treatments fall short of providing adequate efficacy. Novel and more effective treatment approaches are urgently required to address this critical medical challenge. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the anti-cancer efficacy of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) in combination with radiotherapy (RT). A 3D pancreatic cancer co-culture spheroid model of MIA PaCa-2 cancer cells and patient-derived cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF-98) was used. The spheroids were treated with GNPs (7.5 μg/mL) and 2 Gy of RT. The spheroids’ cell viability was assessed through the CellTiter-Glo 3D assay, and an immunofluorescence assay was used to assess the DNA DSBs via the expression of the DNA damage marker 53BP1. Co-culture samples showed a 10.8% (p < 0.05) increase in proliferation and a 13.0% (p < 0.05) decrease in DNA DSB when compared to monoculture samples, However, they displayed a 175% (p < 0.001) increase in GNPs uptake when compared to monoculture spheroids. Using GNPs/RT, we were able to show a significant reduction of 6.2% (p < 0.05) in spheroid size and an increase of 14.3% (p < 0.05) in DNA DSB damage in co-culture samples. The combination of GNPs with RT demonstrated remarkable radiosensitization effects, representing a promising approach to enhance cancer treatment efficacy. These effects were particularly noteworthy in the more treatment-resistant co-culture spheroid model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles for Tumor Targeting and Therapy)
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12 pages, 861 KiB  
Article
Dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde Lowering Treatment Improves Locomotor and Neurochemical Abnormalities in the Rat Rotenone Model: Relevance to the Catecholaldehyde Hypothesis for the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512522 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
The catecholaldehyde hypothesis for the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease centers on accumulation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL) in dopaminergic neurons. To test the hypothesis, it is necessary to reduce DOPAL and assess if this improves locomotor abnormalities. Systemic administration of rotenone to rats reproduces the [...] Read more.
The catecholaldehyde hypothesis for the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease centers on accumulation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL) in dopaminergic neurons. To test the hypothesis, it is necessary to reduce DOPAL and assess if this improves locomotor abnormalities. Systemic administration of rotenone to rats reproduces the motor and central neurochemical abnormalities characterizing Parkinson’s disease. In this study, we used the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) deprenyl to decrease DOPAL production, with or without the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Adult rats received subcutaneous vehicle, rotenone (2 mg/kg/day via a minipump), or rotenone with deprenyl (5 mg/kg/day i.p.) with or without oral NAC (1 mg/kg/day) for 28 days. Motor function tests included measures of open field activity and rearing. Striatal tissue was assayed for contents of dopamine, DOPAL, and other catechols. Compared to vehicle, rotenone reduced locomotor activity (distance, velocity and rearing); increased tissue DOPAL; and decreased dopamine concentrations and inhibited vesicular sequestration of cytoplasmic dopamine and enzymatic breakdown of cytoplasmic DOPAL by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), as indicated by DA/DOPAL and DOPAC/DOPAL ratios. The addition of deprenyl to rotenone improved all the locomotor indices, increased dopamine and decreased DOPAL contents, and corrected the rotenone-induced vesicular uptake and ALDH abnormalities. The beneficial effects were augmented when NAC was added to deprenyl. Rotenone evokes locomotor and striatal neurochemical abnormalities found in Parkinson’s disease, including DOPAL buildup. Administration of an MAOI attenuates these abnormalities, and NAC augments the beneficial effects. The results indicate a pathogenic role of DOPAL in the rotenone model and suggest that treatment with MAOI+NAC might be beneficial for Parkinson’s disease treatment. Full article
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16 pages, 9619 KiB  
Article
Probing the Interaction between Isoflucypram Fungicides and Human Serum Albumin: Multiple Spectroscopic and Molecular Modeling Investigations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512521 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
To better understand the potential toxicity risks of isoflucypram in humans, The interaction between isoflucypram and HSA (human serum albumin) was studied through molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations, ultraviolet–visible absorption, fluorescence, synchronous fluorescence, three-dimensional fluorescence, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopies, and circular dichroism spectroscopies. [...] Read more.
To better understand the potential toxicity risks of isoflucypram in humans, The interaction between isoflucypram and HSA (human serum albumin) was studied through molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations, ultraviolet–visible absorption, fluorescence, synchronous fluorescence, three-dimensional fluorescence, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopies, and circular dichroism spectroscopies. The interaction details were studied using the molecular docking method and molecular dynamics simulation method. The results revealed that the effect of isoflucypram on human serum albumin was mixed (static and dynamic) quenching. Additionally, we were able to obtain important information on the number of binding sites, binding constants, and binding distance. The interaction between isoflucypram and human serum albumin occurred mainly through hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces. Spectroscopic results showed that isoflucypram caused conformational changes in HSA (human serum albumin), in which the α-helix was transformed into a β-turn, β-sheet, and random coil, causing the HSA structure to loosen. By providing new insights into the mechanism of binding between isoflucypram and human serum albumin, our study has important implications for assessing the potential toxicity risks associated with isoflucypram exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biophysics)
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20 pages, 848 KiB  
Review
Promise and Challenges of T Cell Immunotherapy for Osteosarcoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512520 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
The cure rate for metastatic or relapsed osteosarcoma has not substantially improved over the past decades despite the exploitation of multimodal treatment approaches, allowing long-term survival in less than 30% of cases. Patients with osteosarcoma often develop resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, where personalized [...] Read more.
The cure rate for metastatic or relapsed osteosarcoma has not substantially improved over the past decades despite the exploitation of multimodal treatment approaches, allowing long-term survival in less than 30% of cases. Patients with osteosarcoma often develop resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, where personalized targeted therapies should offer new hope. T cell immunotherapy as a complementary or alternative treatment modality is advancing rapidly in general, but its potential against osteosarcoma remains largely unexplored. Strategies incorporating immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified T cells, and T cell engaging bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are being explored to tackle relapsed or refractory osteosarcoma. However, osteosarcoma is an inherently heterogeneous tumor, both at the intra- and inter-tumor level, with no identical driver mutations. It has a pro-tumoral microenvironment, where bone cells, stromal cells, neovasculature, suppressive immune cells, and a mineralized extracellular matrix (ECM) combine to derail T cell infiltration and its anti-tumor function. To realize the potential of T cell immunotherapy in osteosarcoma, an integrated approach targeting this complex ecosystem needs smart planning and execution. Herein, we review the current status of T cell immunotherapies for osteosarcoma, summarize the challenges encountered, and explore combination strategies to overcome these hurdles, with the ultimate goal of curing osteosarcoma with less acute and long-term side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Biology and Therapy of Bone Tumors)
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21 pages, 682 KiB  
Review
Fluid Biomarkers of Neuro-Glial Injury in Human Status Epilepticus: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512519 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
As per the latest ILAE definition, status epilepticus (SE) may lead to long-term irreversible consequences, such as neuronal death, neuronal injury, and alterations in neuronal networks. Consequently, there is growing interest in identifying biomarkers that can demonstrate and quantify the extent of neuronal [...] Read more.
As per the latest ILAE definition, status epilepticus (SE) may lead to long-term irreversible consequences, such as neuronal death, neuronal injury, and alterations in neuronal networks. Consequently, there is growing interest in identifying biomarkers that can demonstrate and quantify the extent of neuronal and glial injury. Despite numerous studies conducted on animal models of status epilepticus, which clearly indicate seizure-induced neuronal and glial injury, as well as signs of atrophy and gliosis, evidence in humans remains limited to case reports and small case series. The implications of identifying such biomarkers in clinical practice are significant, including improved prognostic stratification of patients and the early identification of those at high risk of developing irreversible complications. Moreover, the clinical validation of these biomarkers could be crucial in promoting neuroprotective strategies in addition to antiseizure medications. In this study, we present a systematic review of research on biomarkers of neuro-glial injury in patients with status epilepticus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Epilepsy 2.0)
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12 pages, 1487 KiB  
Article
E-Selectin, ICAM-1, and ET-1 Biomarkers Address the Concern of the Challenging Diagnosis of Interstitial Lung Disease in Patients with Autoimmune Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12518; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512518 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1031
Abstract
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) constitutes the most critical comorbidity in autoimmune diseases (ADs) and its early diagnosis remains a challenge for clinicians. Accordingly, we evaluated whether E-selectin, ICAM-1, and ET-1, key molecules in endothelial damage, could be useful biomarkers for the detection of [...] Read more.
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) constitutes the most critical comorbidity in autoimmune diseases (ADs) and its early diagnosis remains a challenge for clinicians. Accordingly, we evaluated whether E-selectin, ICAM-1, and ET-1, key molecules in endothelial damage, could be useful biomarkers for the detection of AD-ILD+. We recruited patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-ILD+ (n = 21) and systemic sclerosis (SSc)-ILD+ (n = 21). We included comparison groups of patients: RA-ILD (n = 25), SSc-ILD (n = 20), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) (n = 21). Serum levels of these proteins were determined by ELISA. E-selectin, ICAM-1, and ET-1 serum levels were increased in RA-ILD+ and IPF patients in comparison to RA-ILD patients. Additionally, SSc-ILD+ and IPF patients exhibited higher ICAM-1 levels than those with SSc-ILD. The ability of E-selectin, ICAM-1, and ET-1 to discriminate RA-ILD+ from RA-ILD patients, and ICAM-1 to distinguish SSc-ILD+ from SSc-ILD patients was confirmed using ROC curve analysis. Furthermore, elevated levels of ET-1 and E-selectin correlated with lung function decline in RA-ILD+ and SSc-ILD+ patients, respectively. In conclusion, our findings support the relevant role of E-selectin, ICAM-1, and ET-1 in RA-ILD+ patients as well as of ICAM-1 in SSc-ILD+ patients, constituting potential screening blood biomarkers of ILD in AD. Moreover, this study suggests ET-1 and E-selectin as possible indicators of worsening lung function in RA-ILD+ and SSc-ILD+ patients, respectively. Full article
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17 pages, 7213 KiB  
Article
Robust ParB Binding to Half-parS Sites in Pseudomonas aeruginosa—A Mechanism for Retaining ParB on the Nucleoid?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12517; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512517 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 863
Abstract
Chromosome segregation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is assisted by the tripartite ParAB–parS system, composed of an ATPase (ParA), a DNA-binding protein (ParB) and its target parS sequence(s). ParB forms a nucleoprotein complex around four parSs (parS1–parS4) that overlaps oriC and [...] Read more.
Chromosome segregation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is assisted by the tripartite ParAB–parS system, composed of an ATPase (ParA), a DNA-binding protein (ParB) and its target parS sequence(s). ParB forms a nucleoprotein complex around four parSs (parS1–parS4) that overlaps oriC and facilitates relocation of newly synthesized ori domains inside the cells by ParA. Remarkably, ParB of P. aeruginosa also binds to numerous heptanucleotides (half-parSs) scattered in the genome. Here, using chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq), we analyzed patterns of ParB genome occupancy in cells growing under conditions of coupling or uncoupling between replication and cell division processes. Interestingly, a dissipation of ParB–parS complexes and a shift of ParB to half-parSs were observed during the transition from the exponential to stationary phase of growth on rich medium, suggesting the role of half-parSs in retaining ParB on the nucleoid within non-dividing P. aeruginosa cells. The ChIP-seq analysis of strains expressing ParB variants unable to dislocate from parSs showed that the ParB spreading ability is not required for ParB binding to half-parSs. Finally, a P. aeruginosa strain with mutated 25 half-parSs of the highest affinity towards ParB was constructed and analyzed. It showed altered ParB coverage of the oriC region and moderate changes in gene expression. Overall, this study characterizes a novel aspect of conserved bacterial chromosome segregation machinery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Microbiology)
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12 pages, 1630 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Promoter Regions of gga-miR-31 and Its Regulation by RA and C-jun in Chicken
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512516 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 726
Abstract
The role of gga-miR-31 in chicken germ cell differentiation and spermatogenesis is of significant importance. The transcriptional properties of gga-miR-31 are crucial in establishing the foundation for the formation of chicken spermatogonia stem cells and spermatogenesis. In this study, a series of recombinant [...] Read more.
The role of gga-miR-31 in chicken germ cell differentiation and spermatogenesis is of significant importance. The transcriptional properties of gga-miR-31 are crucial in establishing the foundation for the formation of chicken spermatogonia stem cells and spermatogenesis. In this study, a series of recombinant vectors including varying lengths of the gga-miR-31 promoter were predicted and constructed. Through the utilization of the dual luciferase reporting system, the upstream −2180~0 bp region of gga-miR-31 was identified as its promoter region. Furthermore, it was predicted and confirmed that the activity of the gga-miR-31 promoter is increased by retinoic acid (RA). The binding of RA to the gga-miR-31 and Stra8 promoter regions was found to be competitive. Through the deletion of C-jun binding sites and the manipulation of C-jun expression levels, it was determined that C-jun inhibits the activity of the gga-miR-31 promoter. Furthermore, the combined treatment of C-jun and RA demonstrated that the positive regulatory effect of RA on the gga-miR-31 promoter is attenuated in the presence of high levels of C-jun. Overall, this study establishes a foundation for further investigation into the regulatory mechanisms of gga-miR-31 action, and provides a new avenue for inducing chicken embryonic stem cells (ESC) to differentiate into spermatogonial stem cells (SSC), and sperm formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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11 pages, 3217 KiB  
Communication
Co-Existence of blaNDM-1, blaOXA-23, blaOXA-64, blaPER-7 and blaADC-57 in a Clinical Isolate of Acinetobacter baumannii from Alexandria, Egypt
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512515 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1306
Abstract
The increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance among carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in the Middle East and North Africa are one of the major concerns for healthcare settings. We characterised the first A. baumannii isolate harbouring five β-lactamases identified in Egypt. The isolate Ale25 was [...] Read more.
The increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance among carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in the Middle East and North Africa are one of the major concerns for healthcare settings. We characterised the first A. baumannii isolate harbouring five β-lactamases identified in Egypt. The isolate Ale25 was obtained from an ICU patient of a hospital from Alexandria. The isolate was phenotypically and genotypically screened for carbapenemase genes. The isolate was resistant to carbapenems, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones and cefiderocol. Whole-Genome Sequencing identified five β-lactamase genes, blaNDM-1, blaOXA-23, blaOXA-64, blaPER-7 and blaADC-57, together with other antibiotic resistance genes, conferring resistance to sulfonamides, macrolides, tetracyclines, rifamycin and chloramphenicol. Virulome analysis showed the presence of genes involved in adhesion and biofilm production, type II and VI secretion systems, exotoxins, etc. Multi-Locus Sequence Typing analysis identified the isolate as Sequence Types 113Pas and 2246Oxf, belonging to International Clone 7. Sequencing experiments revealed the presence of four plasmids of 2.7, 22.3, 70.4 and 240.8 Kb. All the β-lactamase genes were located in the chromosome, except the blaPER-7, gene which was found within the plasmid of 240.8 Kb. This study highlights the threat of the emergence and dissemination of these types of isolates. Full article
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16 pages, 5139 KiB  
Article
Fallopia japonica Root Extract Ameliorates Ovalbumin-Induced Airway Inflammation in a CARAS Mouse Model by Modulating the IL-33/TSLP/NF-κB Signaling Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12514; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512514 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
Fallopia japonica (Asian knotweed) is a medicinal herb traditionally used to treat inflammation, among other conditions. However, the effects of F. japonica root extract (FJE) on airway inflammation associated with combined allergic rhinitis and asthma (CARAS) and the related mechanisms have not been [...] Read more.
Fallopia japonica (Asian knotweed) is a medicinal herb traditionally used to treat inflammation, among other conditions. However, the effects of F. japonica root extract (FJE) on airway inflammation associated with combined allergic rhinitis and asthma (CARAS) and the related mechanisms have not been investigated. This study examined the effect of FJE against CARAS in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced CARAS mouse model. Six-week-old male BALB/c mice were randomly segregated into six groups. Mice were sensitized intraperitoneally with OVA on days 1, 8, and 15, and administered saline, Dexamethasone (1.5 mg/kg), or FJE (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg) once a day for 16 days. Nasal symptoms, inflammatory cells, OVA-specific immunoglobulins, cytokine production, mast cell activation, and nasal histopathology were assessed. Administration of FJE down-regulated OVA-specific IgE and up-regulated OVA-specific IgG2a in serum. FJE reduced the production of T helper (Th) type 2 cytokines, and the Th1 cytokine levels were enhanced in nasal and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Moreover, FJE positively regulated allergic responses by reducing the accumulation of inflammatory cells, improving nasal and lung histopathological characteristics, and inhibiting inflammation-associated cytokines. FJE positively modulated the IL-33/TSLP/NF-B signaling pathway, which is involved in regulating inflammatory cells, immunoglobulin levels, and pro-inflammatory cytokines at the molecular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergic Diseases and Metabolism)
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16 pages, 1692 KiB  
Review
A Brief Review on the Potential of Psychedelics for Treating Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Depression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512513 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 4429
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of senile dementia, is poised to place an even greater societal and healthcare burden as the population ages. With few treatment options for the symptomatic relief of the disease and its unknown etiopathology, more research into [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of senile dementia, is poised to place an even greater societal and healthcare burden as the population ages. With few treatment options for the symptomatic relief of the disease and its unknown etiopathology, more research into AD is urgently needed. Psychedelic drugs target AD-related psychological pathology and symptoms such as depression. Using microdosing, psychedelic drugs may prove to help combat this devastating disease by eliciting psychiatric benefits via acting through various mechanisms of action such as serotonin and dopamine pathways. Herein, we review the studied benefits of a few psychedelic compounds that may show promise in treating AD and attenuating its related depressive symptoms. We used the listed keywords to search through PubMed for relevant preclinical, clinical research, and review articles. The putative mechanism of action (MOA) for psychedelics is that they act mainly as serotonin receptor agonists and induce potential beneficial effects for treating AD and related depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases 3.0)
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21 pages, 2802 KiB  
Article
Selective Internal Radiotherapy Alters the Profiles of Systemic Extracellular Vesicles in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12512; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512512 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1181
Abstract
Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing globally. Radioembolization (RE)/selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT) is a promising treatment for inoperable HCC. RE triggers an immune response, involving extracellular vesicles (EVs) which are crucial for cell communication and tumor development. This study explores EV immune [...] Read more.
Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing globally. Radioembolization (RE)/selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT) is a promising treatment for inoperable HCC. RE triggers an immune response, involving extracellular vesicles (EVs) which are crucial for cell communication and tumor development. This study explores EV immune profiles and origins in patients with inoperable HCC before and after SIRT/RE. Blood samples from 50 HCC-patients treated with SIRT/RE were collected before and after therapy to determine cytokines and isolate EVs using size exclusion chromatography. The dynamic range and EV quality required for detecting variations in surface markers were assessed. Thirty-seven EV surface markers were analyzed using flow cytometry and correlated with clinical parameters. Several immunological markers (CD4, CD2, CD40, CD45, CD49e, CD69, CD209-EVs) were present in the circulation of HCC patients. These markers positively correlated with therapy response and survival. Conversely, B cell CD20, endothelial cell CD146, platelet CD49e, and CD41b EV markers negatively correlated with 60-day survival. Elevated levels of IL-6 and IL-8 before therapy correlated negatively with patient survival, coinciding with a positive correlation with CD20-positive EVs. Plasma EVs from HCC patients exhibit immunological, cancer, and coagulation markers, including potential biomarkers (CD4, CD20, CD49e, CD146). These may enhance our understanding of cancer biology and facilitate SIRT therapy monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Exosomes in Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy)
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17 pages, 1557 KiB  
Review
ATAD3A: A Key Regulator of Mitochondria-Associated Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12511; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512511 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
Mitochondrial membrane protein ATAD3A is a member of the AAA-domain-containing ATPases superfamily. It is important for the maintenance of mitochondrial DNA, structure, and function. In recent years, an increasing number of ATAD3A mutations have been identified in patients with neurological symptoms. Many of [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial membrane protein ATAD3A is a member of the AAA-domain-containing ATPases superfamily. It is important for the maintenance of mitochondrial DNA, structure, and function. In recent years, an increasing number of ATAD3A mutations have been identified in patients with neurological symptoms. Many of these mutations disrupt mitochondrial structure, function, and dynamics and are lethal to patients at a young age. Here, we summarize the current understanding of the relationship between ATAD3A and mitochondria, including the interaction of ATAD3A with mitochondrial DNA and mitochondrial/ER proteins, the regulation of ATAD3A in cholesterol mitochondrial trafficking, and the effect of known ATAD3A mutations on mitochondrial function. In the current review, we revealed that the oligomerization and interaction of ATAD3A with other mitochondrial/ER proteins are vital for its various functions. Despite affecting different domains of the protein, nearly all documented mutations observed in ATAD3A exhibit either loss-of-function or dominant-negative effects, potentially leading to disruption in the dimerization of ATAD3A; autophagy; mitophagy; alteration in mitochondrial number, size, and cristae morphology; and diminished activity of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes I, IV, and V. These findings imply that ATAD3A plays a critical role in mitochondrial dynamics, which can be readily perturbed by ATAD3A mutation variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Function in Human Health and Disease)
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13 pages, 4057 KiB  
Article
Icariin Supplementation Suppresses the Markers of Ferroptosis and Attenuates the Progression of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in Mice Fed a Methionine Choline-Deficient Diet
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12510; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512510 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1194
Abstract
Icariin, a flavonoid abundant in the herb Epimedium, exhibits anti-ferroptotic activity. However, its impact on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) development remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the potential role of icariin in mitigating methionine choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced NASH in C57BL/6J mice. The results [...] Read more.
Icariin, a flavonoid abundant in the herb Epimedium, exhibits anti-ferroptotic activity. However, its impact on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) development remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the potential role of icariin in mitigating methionine choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced NASH in C57BL/6J mice. The results showed that icariin treatment significantly reduced serum alanine aminotrasferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities while improving steatosis, inflammation, ballooning, and fibrosis in the liver tissues of mice fed the MCD diet. These improvements were accompanied by a substantial reduction in the hepatic iron contents and levels of malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal, as well as an increase in the activities of catalase and superoxide dismutase. Notably, icariin treatment suppressed the hepatic protein levels of ferroptosis markers such as acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4 and arachidonate 12-lipoxygenase, which were induced by the MCD diet. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy confirmed the restoration of morphological changes in the mitochondria, a hallmark characteristic of ferroptosis, by icariin. Additionally, icariin treatment significantly increased the protein levels of Nrf2, a cystine/glutamate transporter (xCT), and glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4). In conclusion, our study suggests that icariin has the potential to attenuate NASH, possibly by suppressing ferroptosis via the Nrf2-xCT/GPX4 pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection State-of-the-Art Bioactives and Nutraceuticals in Korea)
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28 pages, 2215 KiB  
Review
Role of TRP Channels in Liver-Related Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12509; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512509 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1126
Abstract
The liver plays a crucial role in preserving the homeostasis of an entire organism by metabolizing both endogenous and exogenous substances, a process that relies on the harmonious interactions of hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), Kupffer cells (KCs), and vascular endothelial cells (ECs). [...] Read more.
The liver plays a crucial role in preserving the homeostasis of an entire organism by metabolizing both endogenous and exogenous substances, a process that relies on the harmonious interactions of hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), Kupffer cells (KCs), and vascular endothelial cells (ECs). The disruption of the liver’s normal structure and function by diverse pathogenic factors imposes a significant healthcare burden. At present, most of the treatments for liver disease are palliative in nature, rather than curative or restorative. Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, which are extensively expressed in the liver, play a crucial role in regulating intracellular cation concentration and serve as the origin or intermediary stage of certain signaling pathways that contribute to liver diseases. This review provides an overview of recent developments in liver disease research, as well as an examination of the expression and function of TRP channels in various liver cell types. Furthermore, we elucidate the molecular mechanism by which TRP channels mediate liver injury, liver fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Ultimately, the present discourse delves into the current state of research and extant issues pertaining to the targeting of TRP channels in the treatment of liver diseases and other ailments. Despite the numerous obstacles encountered, TRP channels persist as an extremely important target for forthcoming clinical interventions aimed at treating liver diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TRP Channel)
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16 pages, 328 KiB  
Review
Can We Predict Prostate Cancer Metastasis Based on Biomarkers? Where Are We Now?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12508; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512508 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1462
Abstract
The incidence of prostate cancer (PC) has risen annually. PC mortality is explained by the metastatic disease (mPC). There is an intermediate scenario in which patients have non-mPC but have initiated a metastatic cascade through epithelial–mesenchymal transition. There is indeed a need for [...] Read more.
The incidence of prostate cancer (PC) has risen annually. PC mortality is explained by the metastatic disease (mPC). There is an intermediate scenario in which patients have non-mPC but have initiated a metastatic cascade through epithelial–mesenchymal transition. There is indeed a need for more and better tools to predict which patients will progress in the future to non-localized clinical disease or already have micrometastatic disease and, therefore, will clinically progress after primary treatment. Biomarkers for the prediction of mPC are still under development; there are few studies and not much evidence of their usefulness. This review is focused on tissue-based genomic biomarkers (TBGB) for the prediction of metastatic disease. We develop four main research questions that we attempt to answer according to the current evidence. Why is it important to predict metastatic disease? Which tests are available to predict metastatic disease? What impact should there be on clinical guidelines and clinical practice in predicting metastatic disease? What are the current prostate cancer treatments? The importance of predicting metastasis is fundamental given that, once metastasis is diagnosed, quality of life (QoL) and survival drop dramatically. There is still a need and space for more cost-effective TBGB tests that predict mPC disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Future Roles of Tumor Markers in Prostate Adenocarcinoma)
3 pages, 191 KiB  
Editorial
Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Chronic and Degenerative Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512507 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 518
Abstract
The Special Issue entitled “Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Chronic and Degenerative Diseases” contains eight articles: six original studies and two reviews [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Chronic and Degenerative Diseases)
22 pages, 10898 KiB  
Article
A Multifunctional Polyethylene Glycol/Triethoxysilane-Modified Polyurethane Foam Dressing with High Absorbency and Antiadhesion Properties Promotes Diabetic Wound Healing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512506 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
The delayed healing of chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), is a clinical problem. Few dressings can promote wound healing by satisfying the demands of chronic wound exudate management and tissue granulation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to prepare [...] Read more.
The delayed healing of chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), is a clinical problem. Few dressings can promote wound healing by satisfying the demands of chronic wound exudate management and tissue granulation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to prepare a high-absorption polyurethane (PU) foam dressing modified by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and triethoxysilane (APTES) to promote wound healing. PEG-modified (PUE) and PEG/APTES-modified (PUESi) dressings were prepared by self-foaming reactions. Gauze and PolyMem were used as controls. Next, Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, thermomechanical analyses, scanning electron microscopy and tensile strength, water absorption, anti-protein absorption, surface dryness and biocompatibility tests were performed for in vitro characterization. Wound healing effects were further investigated in nondiabetic (non-DM) and diabetes mellitus (DM) rat models. The PUE and PUESi groups exhibited better physicochemical properties than the gauze and PolyMem groups. Moreover, PUESi dressing showed better anti-adhesion properties and absorption capacity with deformation. Furthermore, the PUESi dressing shortened the inflammatory phase and enhanced collagen deposition in both the non-DM and DM animal models. To conclude, the PUESi dressing not only was fabricated with a simple and effective strategy but also enhanced wound healing via micronegative-pressure generation by its high absorption compacity with deformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Science)
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28 pages, 5882 KiB  
Review
Role of Next Generation Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor (ICI) Therapy in Philadelphia Negative Classic Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN): Review of the Literature
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12502; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512502 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2288
Abstract
The Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph−) myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), which include essential thrombocythemia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV), and myelofibrosis (MF), are enduring and well-known conditions. These disorders are characterized by the abnormal growth of one or more hematopoietic cell lineages in the body’s stem cells, [...] Read more.
The Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph−) myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), which include essential thrombocythemia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV), and myelofibrosis (MF), are enduring and well-known conditions. These disorders are characterized by the abnormal growth of one or more hematopoietic cell lineages in the body’s stem cells, leading to the enlargement of organs and the manifestation of constitutional symptoms. Numerous studies have provided evidence indicating that the pathogenesis of these diseases involves the dysregulation of the immune system and the presence of chronic inflammation, both of which are significant factors. Lately, the treatment of cancer including hematological malignancy has progressed on the agents aiming for the immune system, cytokine environment, immunotherapy agents, and targeted immune therapy. Immune checkpoints are the molecules that regulate T cell function in the tumor microenvironment (TME). The first line of primary immune checkpoints are programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1), and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4). Immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy (ICIT) exerts its anti-tumor actions by blocking the inhibitory pathways in T cells and has reformed cancer treatment. Despite the impressive clinical success of ICIT, tumor internal resistance poses a challenge for oncologists leading to a low response rate in solid tumors and hematological malignancies. A Phase II trial on nivolumab for patients with post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis, primary myelofibrosis, or post-polycythemia myelofibrosis was performed (Identifier: NCT02421354). This trial tested the efficacy of a PD-1 blockade agent, namely nivolumab, but was terminated prematurely due to adverse events and lack of efficacy. A multicenter, Phase II, single-arm open-label study was conducted including pembrolizumab in patients with primary thrombocythemia, post-essential thrombocythemia or post-polycythemia vera myelofibrosis that were ineligible for or were previously treated with ruxolitinib. This study showed that pembrolizumab treatment did not have many adverse events, but there were no pertinent clinical responses hence it was terminated after the first stage was completed. To avail the benefits from immunotherapy, the paradigm has shifted to new immune checkpoints in the TME such as lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG-3), T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (TIM-3), T cell immunoglobulin and ITIM domain (TIGIT), V-domain immunoglobulin-containing suppressor of T cell activation (VISTA), and human endogenous retrovirus-H long terminal repeat-associating protein 2 (HHLA2) forming the basis of next-generation ICIT. The primary aim of this article is to underscore and elucidate the significance of next-generation ICIT in the context of MPN. Specifically, we aim to explore the potential of monoclonal antibodies as targeted immunotherapy and the development of vaccines targeting specific MPN epitopes, with the intent of augmenting tumor-related immune responses. It is anticipated that these therapeutic modalities rooted in immunotherapy will not only expand but also enhance the existing treatment regimens for patients afflicted with MPN. Preliminary studies from our laboratory showed over-expressed MDSC and over-expressed VISTA in MDSC, and in progenitor and immune cells directing the need for more clinical trials using next-generation ICI in the treatment of MPN. Full article
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11 pages, 925 KiB  
Article
Low Muscle and High Fat Percentages Are Associated with Low Natural Killer Cell Activity: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12505; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512505 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1047
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate whether body fat and muscle percentages are associated with natural killer cell activity (NKA). This was a cross-sectional study, conducted on 8058 subjects in a medical center in Korea. The association between the muscle and fat percentage tertiles [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate whether body fat and muscle percentages are associated with natural killer cell activity (NKA). This was a cross-sectional study, conducted on 8058 subjects in a medical center in Korea. The association between the muscle and fat percentage tertiles and a low NKA, defined as an interferon-gamma level lower than 500 pg/mL, was assessed. In both men and women, the muscle mass and muscle percentage were significantly low in participants with a low NKA, whereas the fat percentage, white blood cell count, and C-reactive protein (CRP) level were significantly high in those with a low NKA. Compared with the lowest muscle percentage tertile as a reference, the fully adjusted odd ratios (ORs) (95% confidence intervals (CIs)) for a low NKA were significantly lower in T2 (OR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.55–0.86) and T3 (OR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.57–0.95) of men, and T3 (OR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.59–0.99) of women. Compared with the lowest fat percentage tertile as a reference, the fully adjusted OR was significantly higher in T3 of men (OR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.01–1.69). A high muscle percentage was significantly inversely associated with a low NKA in men and women, whereas a high fat percentage was significantly associated with a low NKA in men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Does Obesity Cause Cancer?)
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29 pages, 9027 KiB  
Article
Docking Studies, Cytotoxicity Evaluation and Interactions of Binuclear Copper(II) Complexes with S-Isoalkyl Derivatives of Thiosalicylic Acid with Some Relevant Biomolecules
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512504 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The numerous side effects of platinum based chemotherapy has led to the design of new therapeutics with platinum replaced by another transition metal. Here, we investigated the interactions of previously reported copper(II) complexes containing S-isoalkyl derivatives, the salicylic acid with guanosine-5′-monophosphate and calf [...] Read more.
The numerous side effects of platinum based chemotherapy has led to the design of new therapeutics with platinum replaced by another transition metal. Here, we investigated the interactions of previously reported copper(II) complexes containing S-isoalkyl derivatives, the salicylic acid with guanosine-5′-monophosphate and calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA) and their antitumor effects, in a colon carcinoma model. All three copper(II) complexes exhibited an affinity for binding to CT-DNA, but there was no indication of intercalation or the displacement of ethidium bromide. Molecular docking studies revealed a significant affinity of the complexes for binding to the minor groove of B-form DNA, which coincided with DNA elongation, and a higher affinity for binding to Z-form DNA, supporting the hypothesis that the complex binding to CT-DNA induces a local transition from B-form to Z-form DNA. These complexes show a moderate, but selective cytotoxic effect toward colon cancer cells in vitro. Binuclear complex of copper(II) with S-isoamyl derivative of thiosalicylic acid showed the highest cytotoxic effect, arrested tumor cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle, and significantly reduced the expression of inflammatory molecules pro-IL-1β, TNF-α, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1 in the tissue of primary heterotopic murine colon cancer, which was accompanied by a significantly reduced tumor growth and metastases in the lung and liver. Full article
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