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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 25, Issue 5 (March-1 2024) – 629 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a diverse group of particles that are taken up by cells to affect a variety of signaling cascades. Recently, cell type-specific extracellular vesicles (CTS-EVs) have garnered attention for their unique biogenesis and molecular composition, as they enable highly targeted cell-specific communication that affects a variety of physiological functions. These properties are also exploited for disease propagation, such as in cancer, neurological disorders, autoimmune conditions, and more. The insights gained from analyzing CTS-EVs in different biological roles not only enhance our understanding of physiology but also open new avenues for diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for a wide spectrum of disorders. View this paper
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4 pages, 181 KiB  
Editorial
Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products as Potential Therapeutic Strategy against COVID-19 and Immune-Related Disorders
by Panagiotis Mallis, Efstathios Michalopoulos and Catherine Stavropoulos-Giokas
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053079 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 662
Abstract
Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) comprise a heterogenous class of innovative medicinal products, which further require extensive preclinical and clinical assessments before their broader use in the general population [...] Full article
21 pages, 3996 KiB  
Article
Oxidative Stress-Mediated Repression of Virulence Gene Transcription and Biofilm Formation as Antibacterial Action of Cinnamomum burmannii Essential Oil on Staphylococcus aureus
by Lingling Shi, Wei Lin, Yanling Cai, Feng Chen, Qian Zhang, Dongcheng Liang, Yu Xiu, Shanzhi Lin and Boxiang He
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3078; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053078 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 917
Abstract
This work aimed to identify the chemical compounds of Cinnamomum burmannii leaf essential oil (CBLEO) and to unravel the antibacterial mechanism of CBLEO at the molecular level for developing antimicrobials. CBLEO had 37 volatile compounds with abundant borneol (28.40%) and showed good potential [...] Read more.
This work aimed to identify the chemical compounds of Cinnamomum burmannii leaf essential oil (CBLEO) and to unravel the antibacterial mechanism of CBLEO at the molecular level for developing antimicrobials. CBLEO had 37 volatile compounds with abundant borneol (28.40%) and showed good potential to control foodborne pathogens, of which Staphylococcus aureus had the greatest inhibition zone diameter (28.72 mm) with the lowest values of minimum inhibitory concentration (1.0 μg/mL) and bactericidal concentration (2.0 μg/mL). To unravel the antibacterial action of CBLEO on S. aureus, a dynamic exploration of antibacterial growth, material leakage, ROS formation, protein oxidation, cell morphology, and interaction with genome DNA was conducted on S. aureus exposed to CBLEO at different doses (1/2–2×MIC) and times (0–24 h), indicating that CBLEO acts as an inducer for ROS production and the oxidative stress of S. aureus. To highlight the antibacterial action of CBLEO on S. aureus at the molecular level, we performed a comparative association of ROS accumulation with some key virulence-related gene (sigB/agrA/sarA/icaA/cidA/rsbU) transcription, protease production, and biofilm formation in S. aureus subjected to CBLEO at different levels and times, revealing that CBLEO-induced oxidative stress caused transcript suppression of virulence regulators (RsbU and SigB) and its targeted genes, causing a protease level increase destined for the biofilm formation and growth inhibition of S. aureus, which may be a key bactericidal action. Our findings provide valuable information for studying the antibacterial mechanism of essential oil against pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
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15 pages, 2220 KiB  
Article
Tissue Hypoxia and Associated Innate Immune Factors in Experimental Autoimmune Optic Neuritis
by Zhiyuan Yang, Cristina Marcoci, Hatice Kübra Öztürk, Eleni Giama, Ayse Gertrude Yenicelik, Ondřej Slanař, Christopher Linington, Roshni Desai and Kenneth J. Smith
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3077; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053077 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 898
Abstract
Visual loss in acute optic neuritis is typically attributed to axonal conduction block due to inflammatory demyelination, but the mechanisms remain unclear. Recent research has highlighted tissue hypoxia as an important cause of neurological deficits and tissue damage in both multiple sclerosis (MS) [...] Read more.
Visual loss in acute optic neuritis is typically attributed to axonal conduction block due to inflammatory demyelination, but the mechanisms remain unclear. Recent research has highlighted tissue hypoxia as an important cause of neurological deficits and tissue damage in both multiple sclerosis (MS) and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and, here, we examine whether the optic nerves are hypoxic in experimental optic neuritis induced in Dark Agouti rats. At both the first and second peaks of disease expression, inflamed optic nerves labelled significantly for tissue hypoxia (namely, positive for hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) and intravenously administered pimonidazole). Acutely inflamed nerves were also labelled significantly for innate markers of oxidative and nitrative stress and damage, including superoxide, nitric oxide and 3-nitrotyrosine. The density and diameter of capillaries were also increased. We conclude that in acute optic neuritis, the optic nerves are hypoxic and come under oxidative and nitrative stress and damage. Tissue hypoxia can cause mitochondrial failure and thus explains visual loss due to axonal conduction block. Tissue hypoxia can also induce a damaging oxidative and nitrative environment. The findings indicate that treatment to prevent tissue hypoxia in acute optic neuritis may help to restore vision and protect from damaging reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanism in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders 2.0)
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19 pages, 4370 KiB  
Article
Identification of Key Molecular Pathways and Associated Genes as Targets to Overcome Radiotherapy Resistance Using a Combination of Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy in Glioma Patients
by Tianqi Zhang, Qiao Zhang, Xinwei He, Yuting Lu, Andrew Shao, Xiaoqiang Sun and Yongzhao Shao
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053076 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 786
Abstract
Recent mechanistic studies have indicated that combinations of radiotherapy (RT) plus immunotherapy (via CSF-1R inhibition) can serve as a strategy to overcome RT resistance and improve the survival of glioma mice. Given the high mortality rate for glioma, including low-grade glioma (LGG) patients, [...] Read more.
Recent mechanistic studies have indicated that combinations of radiotherapy (RT) plus immunotherapy (via CSF-1R inhibition) can serve as a strategy to overcome RT resistance and improve the survival of glioma mice. Given the high mortality rate for glioma, including low-grade glioma (LGG) patients, it is of critical importance to investigate the mechanism of the combination of RT and immunotherapy and further translate the mechanism from mouse studies to improve survival of RT-treated human glioma patients. Using the RNA-seq data from a glioma mouse study, 874 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the group of RT-treated mice at glioma recurrence and the group of mice with combination treatment (RT plus CSF-1R inhibition) were translated to the human genome to identify significant molecular pathways using the KEGG enrichment analysis. The enrichment analysis yields statistically significant signaling pathways, including the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway, Hippo pathway, and Notch pathway. Within each pathway, a candidate gene set was selected by Cox regression models as genetic biomarkers for resistance to RT and response to the combination of RT plus immunotherapies. Each Cox model is trained using a cohort of 295 RT-treated LGG patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and validated using a cohort of 127 RT-treated LGG patients from the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA) database. A four-DEG signature (ITGB8, COL9A3, TGFB2, JAG1) was identified from the significant genes within the three pathways and yielded the area under time-dependent ROC curve AUC = 0.86 for 5-year survival in the validation set, which indicates that the selected DEGs have strong prognostic value and are potential intervention targets for combination therapies. These findings may facilitate future trial designs for developing combination therapies for glioma patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanism of Anti-cancer Drugs)
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19 pages, 2696 KiB  
Review
Pathophysiology and Main Molecular Mechanisms of Urinary Stone Formation and Recurrence
by Flavia Tamborino, Rossella Cicchetti, Marco Mascitti, Giulio Litterio, Angelo Orsini, Simone Ferretti, Martina Basconi, Antonio De Palma, Matteo Ferro, Michele Marchioni and Luigi Schips
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3075; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053075 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 983
Abstract
Kidney stone disease (KSD) is one of the most common urological diseases. The incidence of kidney stones has increased dramatically in the last few decades. Kidney stones are mineral deposits in the calyces or the pelvis, free or attached to the renal papillae. [...] Read more.
Kidney stone disease (KSD) is one of the most common urological diseases. The incidence of kidney stones has increased dramatically in the last few decades. Kidney stones are mineral deposits in the calyces or the pelvis, free or attached to the renal papillae. They contain crystals and organic components, and they are made when urine is supersaturated with minerals. Calcium-containing stones are the most common, with calcium oxalate as the main component of most stones. However, many of these form on a calcium phosphate matrix called Randall’s plaque, which is found on the surface of the kidney papilla. The etiology is multifactorial, and the recurrence rate is as high as 50% within 5 years after the first stone onset. There is a great need for recurrence prevention that requires a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in stone formation to facilitate the development of more effective drugs. This review aims to understand the pathophysiology and the main molecular mechanisms known to date to prevent recurrences, which requires behavioral and nutritional interventions, as well as pharmacological treatments that are specific to the type of stone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Renal Diseases)
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19 pages, 4431 KiB  
Article
The CHD Protein Kismet Restricts the Synaptic Localization of Cell Adhesion Molecules at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction
by Ireland R. Smith, Emily L. Hendricks, Nina K. Latcheva, Daniel R. Marenda and Faith L. W. Liebl
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3074; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053074 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 894
Abstract
The appropriate expression and localization of cell surface cell adhesion molecules must be tightly regulated for optimal synaptic growth and function. How neuronal plasma membrane proteins, including cell adhesion molecules, cycle between early endosomes and the plasma membrane is poorly understood. Here we [...] Read more.
The appropriate expression and localization of cell surface cell adhesion molecules must be tightly regulated for optimal synaptic growth and function. How neuronal plasma membrane proteins, including cell adhesion molecules, cycle between early endosomes and the plasma membrane is poorly understood. Here we show that the Drosophila homolog of the chromatin remodeling enzymes CHD7 and CHD8, Kismet, represses the synaptic levels of several cell adhesion molecules. Neuroligins 1 and 3 and the integrins αPS2 and βPS are increased at kismet mutant synapses but Kismet only directly regulates transcription of neuroligin 2. Kismet may therefore regulate synaptic CAMs indirectly by activating transcription of gene products that promote intracellular vesicle trafficking including endophilin B (endoB) and/or rab11. Knock down of EndoB in all tissues or neurons increases synaptic FasII while knock down of EndoB in kis mutants does not produce an additive increase in FasII. In contrast, neuronal expression of Rab11, which is deficient in kis mutants, leads to a further increase in synaptic FasII in kis mutants. These data support the hypothesis that Kis influences the synaptic localization of FasII by promoting intracellular vesicle trafficking through the early endosome. Full article
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21 pages, 22219 KiB  
Article
Scutellaria baicalensis Induces Cell Apoptosis and Elicits Mesenchymal–Epithelial Transition to Alleviate Metastatic Hepatocellular Carcinoma via Modulating HSP90β
by Tung-Ho Wu, Tung-Yi Lin, Pei-Ming Yang, Wen-Tai Li, Chau-Ting Yeh and Tai-Long Pan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053073 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common malignant tumors in the world and shows strong metastatic potential. Current medicine for hepatocellular carcinoma therapy is invalid, while Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi exhibits the pharmaceutical potential to treat liver diseases and liver cancer. Herein, we [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common malignant tumors in the world and shows strong metastatic potential. Current medicine for hepatocellular carcinoma therapy is invalid, while Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi exhibits the pharmaceutical potential to treat liver diseases and liver cancer. Herein, we verified the inhibitory properties and the pivotal molecules regimented by Scutellaria baicalensis on advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. At first, the viability of SK-Hep-1 cells was significantly reduced under treatment of Scutellaria baicalensis extract in a dose-dependent manner without affecting the growth of normal hepatocyte. Scutellaria baicalensis extract application could remarkably cause apoptosis of SK-Hep-1 cells through p53/cytochrome C/poly-ADP ribose polymerase cascades and arrest the cell cycle at the G1/S phase by downregulating cyclin-dependent kinases. Meanwhile, administration of Scutellaria baicalensis extract remarkably attenuated the migration capability as well as suppressed matrix metalloproteinase activity of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma cells. The proteome profiles and network analysis particularly implied that exposure to Scutellaria baicalensis extract downregulated the expression of HSP90β, and the clinical stage of hepatocellular carcinoma is also positively correlated with the HSP90β level. Combined treatment of Scutellaria baicalensis extract and HSP90β siRNAs could markedly enhance the ubiquitination activity and the degradation of vimentin to subsequently inhibit the metastatic property of SK-Hep-1 cells. Moreover, application of Scutellaria baicalensis extract and HSP90β siRNAs depleted phosphorylation of AKT, which stimulated the expression of p53 and consecutively triggered cell apoptosis. These findings suggest that HSP90β may be a prospective target for the effective therapy of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma via accelerating apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma cells and eliciting mesenchymal–epithelial transition with the administration of Scutellaria baicalensis extract. Full article
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20 pages, 2795 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification, Characterization, and Expression Analysis of the BES1 Family Genes under Abiotic Stresses in Phoebe bournei
by Jingshu Li, Honggang Sun, Yanhui Wang, Dunjin Fan, Qin Zhu, Jiangyonghao Zhang, Kai Zhong, Hao Yang, Weiyin Chang and Shijiang Cao
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3072; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053072 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 635
Abstract
The BRI1 EMS suppressor 1(BES1) transcription factor is a crucial regulator in the signaling pathway of Brassinosteroid (BR) and plays an important role in plant growth and response to abiotic stress. Although the identification and functional validation of BES1 genes have been extensively [...] Read more.
The BRI1 EMS suppressor 1(BES1) transcription factor is a crucial regulator in the signaling pathway of Brassinosteroid (BR) and plays an important role in plant growth and response to abiotic stress. Although the identification and functional validation of BES1 genes have been extensively explored in various plant species, the understanding of their role in woody plants—particularly the endangered species Phoebe bournei (Hemsl.) Yang—remains limited. In this study, we identified nine members of the BES1 gene family in the genome of P. bournei; these nine members were unevenly distributed across four chromosomes. In our further evolutionary analysis of PbBES1, we discovered that PbBES1 can be divided into three subfamilies (Class I, Class II, and Class IV) based on the evolutionary tree constructed with Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, and Solanum lycopersicum. Each subfamily contains 2–5 PbBES1 genes. There were nine pairs of homologous BES1 genes in the synteny analysis of PbBES1 and AtBES1. Three segmental replication events and one pair of tandem duplication events were present among the PbBES1 family members. Additionally, we conducted promoter cis-acting element analysis and discovered that PbBES1 contains binding sites for plant growth and development, cell cycle regulation, and response to abiotic stress. PbBES1.2 is highly expressed in root bark, stem bark, root xylem, and stem xylem. PbBES1.3 was expressed in five tissues. Moreover, we examined the expression profiles of five representative PbBES1 genes under heat and drought stress. These experiments preliminarily verified their responsiveness and functional roles in mediating responses to abiotic stress. This study provides important clues to elucidate the functional characteristics of the BES1 gene family, and at the same time provides new insights and valuable information for the regulation of resistance in P. bournei. Full article
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19 pages, 6374 KiB  
Article
Profiling Cell Heterogeneity and Fructose Transporter Expression in the Rat Nephron by Integrating Single-Cell and Microdissected Tubule Segment Transcriptomes
by Ronghao Zhang, Darshan Aatmaram Jadhav, Najeong Kim, Benjamin Kramer and Agustin Gonzalez-Vicente
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3071; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053071 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) is a crucial tool in kidney research. These technologies cluster cells based on transcriptome similarity, irrespective of the anatomical location and order within the nephron. Thus, a transcriptome cluster may obscure the heterogeneity of the cell population within a [...] Read more.
Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) is a crucial tool in kidney research. These technologies cluster cells based on transcriptome similarity, irrespective of the anatomical location and order within the nephron. Thus, a transcriptome cluster may obscure the heterogeneity of the cell population within a nephron segment. Elevated dietary fructose leads to salt-sensitive hypertension, in part, through fructose reabsorption in the proximal tubule (PT). However, the organization of the four known fructose transporters in apical PTs (SGLT4, SGLT5, GLUT5, and NaGLT1) remains poorly understood. We hypothesized that cells within each subsegment of the proximal tubule exhibit complex, heterogeneous fructose transporter expression patterns. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed rat kidney transcriptomes and proteomes from publicly available scRNAseq and tubule microdissection databases. We found that microdissected PT-S1 segments consist of 81% ± 12% cells with scRNAseq-derived transcriptional characteristics of S1, whereas PT-S2 express a mixture of 18% ± 9% S1, 58% ± 8% S2, and 19% ± 5% S3 transcripts, and PT-S3 consists of 75% ± 9% S3 transcripts. The expression of all four fructose transporters was detectable in all three PT segments, but key fructose transporters SGLT5 and GLUT5 progressively increased from S1 to S3, and both were significantly upregulated in S3 vs. S1/S2 (Slc5a10: 1.9 log2FC, p < 1 × 10−299; Scl2a5: 1.4 log2FC, p < 4 × 10−105). A similar distribution was found in human kidneys. These data suggest that S3 is the primary site of fructose reabsorption in both humans and rats. Finally, because of the multiple scRNAseq transcriptional phenotypes found in each segment, our findings also imply that anatomical labels applied to scRNAseq clusters may be misleading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renal Dysfunction, Uremic Compounds, and Other Factors 2.0)
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3 pages, 474 KiB  
Editorial
Molecular World Today and Tomorrow: Recent Trends in Biological Sciences 2.0
by Wajid Zaman
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3070; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053070 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Molecular techniques have become influential instruments in biological study, transforming our comprehension of life at the cellular and genetic levels [...] Full article
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15 pages, 5957 KiB  
Article
Toxicity of Water-Soluble D-g-PNIPAM Polymers in a Complex with Chemotherapy Drugs and Mechanism of Their Action In Vitro
by Svitlana Prylutska, Anna Grebinyk, Stanislav Ponomarenko, Defne Gövem, Vasyl Chumachenko, Nataliya Kutsevol, Mykola Petrovsky, Uwe Ritter, Marcus Frohme, Jacek Piosik and Yuriy Prylutskyy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3069; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053069 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 588
Abstract
The application of a biocompatible polymer nanocarrier can provide target delivery to tumor tissues, improved pharmacokinetics, controlled drug release, etc. Therefore, the proposed strategy was to use the water-soluble star-like copolymers with a Dextran core and Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) grafts (D-g-PNIPAM) for conjugation with the [...] Read more.
The application of a biocompatible polymer nanocarrier can provide target delivery to tumor tissues, improved pharmacokinetics, controlled drug release, etc. Therefore, the proposed strategy was to use the water-soluble star-like copolymers with a Dextran core and Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) grafts (D-g-PNIPAM) for conjugation with the widely used chemotherapy drugs in oncology–Cisplatin (Cis-Pt) and Doxorubicin (Dox). The molecular characteristics of the copolymer were received using size-exclusion chromatography. The physicochemical characterization of the D-g-PNIPAM-Cis-Pt (or Dox) nanosystem was conducted using dynamic light scattering and FTIR spectroscopy. Using traditional biochemical methods, a comparative analysis of the enhancement of the cytotoxic effect of free Cis-Pt and Dox in combination with D-g-PNIPAM copolymers was performed in cancer cells of the Lewis lung carcinoma line, which are both sensitive and resistant to Dox; in addition, the mechanism of their action in vitro was evaluated. Full article
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3 pages, 173 KiB  
Editorial
Molecular World Today and Tomorrow: Recent Trends in Biological Sciences
by Wajid Zaman
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3068; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053068 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Various molecular techniques based on omics (transcriptomics, proteomics, genomics) and phylogenetics have been applied in the field of biological sciences [...] Full article
12 pages, 435 KiB  
Article
OPRM1 Gene Polymorphism in Women with Alcohol Use Disorder
by Agnieszka Boroń, Aleksandra Suchanecka, Krzysztof Chmielowiec, Małgorzata Śmiarowska, Jolanta Chmielowiec, Aleksandra Strońska-Pluta, Remigiusz Recław and Anna Grzywacz
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053067 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 542
Abstract
The main aims of the present study were to explore the relationship of the OPRM1 gene rs1074287 polymorphism in alcohol-dependent women with their personality traits and to try to find out whether any specific features may influence alcohol cravings and be a prognostic [...] Read more.
The main aims of the present study were to explore the relationship of the OPRM1 gene rs1074287 polymorphism in alcohol-dependent women with their personality traits and to try to find out whether any specific features may influence alcohol cravings and be a prognostic for alcohol dependency and treatment in AUD women. Our study found a notable correlation between openness and the interaction of the ORIM1 gene and AUD. The alcohol use disorder subjects with genotype AG showed a higher level of openness compared to the control group with genotypes AG (p = 0.0001) and AA (p = 0.0125). The alcohol use disorder subjects with the AA genotype displayed higher levels of openness than the control group with genotype AG (p = 0.0271). However, the alcohol use disorder subjects with the AA genotype displayed lower levels of openness than the control group with genotype GG (p = 0.0212). Our study indicates that openness as a personality trait is correlated with the OPRM1 gene rs1074287 polymorphism in alcohol-dependent women. These are the first data and results exploring such a relationship between opioid and alcohol pathways and the mental construction of AUD women. Personality traits such as openness to experience and neuroticism might play major roles in the addiction mechanism, especially in genetically predisposed females, independent of the reward system involved in the emotional disturbances that coexist with anxiety and depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress of Opioid Research 2.0)
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14 pages, 2538 KiB  
Article
Combination Treatment with EGFR Inhibitor and Doxorubicin Synergistically Inhibits Proliferation of MCF-7 Cells and MDA-MB-231 Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells In Vitro
by Beynon Abrahams, Anthonie Gerber and Donavon Charles Hiss
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053066 - 06 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 929
Abstract
The role of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in tumor progression and survival is often underplayed. Its expression and/or dysregulation is associated with disease advancement and poor patient outcome as well as drug resistance in breast cancer. EGFR is often overexpressed in [...] Read more.
The role of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in tumor progression and survival is often underplayed. Its expression and/or dysregulation is associated with disease advancement and poor patient outcome as well as drug resistance in breast cancer. EGFR is often overexpressed in breast cancer and particularly triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which currently lacks molecular targets. We examined the synergistic potential of an EGFR inhibitor (EGFRi) in combination with doxorubicin (Dox) in estrogen-positive (ER+) MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 TNBC cell lines. The exposure of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 to EGFRi produced an IC50s of 6.03 µM and 3.96 µM, respectively. Dox induced MDA-MB-231 (IC50 9.67 µM) and MCF-7 (IC50 1.4 µM) cytotoxicity. Combinations of EGFRi-Dox significantly reduced the IC50 in MCF-7 (0.46 µM) and MBA-MB 231 (0.01 µM). Synergistic drug interactions in both cell lines were confirmed using the Bliss independence model. Pro-apoptotic Caspase-3/7 activation occurred in MCF-7 at 0.1–10 µM of EGFRi and Dox single treatments, whilst 1 μM Dox yielded a more potent effect on MDA-MB-231. EGFRi and Dox individually and in combination downregulated the EGFR gene expression in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 (p < 0.001). This study demonstrates EGFRi’s potential for eliciting synergistic interactions with Dox, causing enhanced growth inhibition, apoptosis induction, and downregulation of EGFR in both cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Breast Cancer Research 2.0)
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13 pages, 1335 KiB  
Article
Early Increase in Blood–Brain Barrier Permeability in a Murine Model Exposed to Fifteen Days of Intermittent Hypoxia
by Frederic Roche, Anne Briançon-Marjollet, Maurice Dematteis, Marie Baldazza, Brigitte Gonthier, Frederique Bertholon, Nathalie Perek and Jean-Louis Pépin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053065 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by intermittent repeated episodes of hypoxia–reoxygenation. OSA is associated with cerebrovascular consequences. An enhanced blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeability has been proposed as a marker of those disorders. We studied in mice the effects of 1 day and [...] Read more.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by intermittent repeated episodes of hypoxia–reoxygenation. OSA is associated with cerebrovascular consequences. An enhanced blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeability has been proposed as a marker of those disorders. We studied in mice the effects of 1 day and 15 days intermittent hypoxia (IH) exposure on BBB function. We focused on the dorsal part of the hippocampus and attempted to identify the molecular mechanisms by combining in vivo BBB permeability (Evans blue tests) and mRNA expression of several junction proteins (zona occludens (ZO-1,2,3), VE-cadherin, claudins (1,5,12), cingulin) and of aquaporins (1,4,9) on hippocampal brain tissues. After 15 days of IH exposure we observed an increase in BBB permeability, associated with increased mRNA expressions of claudins 1 and 12, aquaporins 1 and 9. IH seemed to increase early for claudin-1 mRNA expression as it doubled with 1 day of exposure and returned near to its base level after 15 days. Claudin-1 overexpression may represent an immediate response to IH exposure. Then, after 15 days of exposure, an increase in functional BBB permeability was associated with enhanced expression of aquaporin. These BBB alterations are possibly associated with a vasogenic oedema that may affect brain functions and accelerate neurodegenerative processes. Full article
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14 pages, 2133 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Twendee X® as a Safe Antioxidant Treatment for Systemic Sclerosis
by Fukka You, Carole Nicco, Yoshiaki Harakawa, Toshikazu Yoshikawa and Haruhiko Inufusa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053064 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by systemic skin hardening, which combines Raynaud’s phenomenon and other vascular disorders, skin and internal organ fibrosis, immune disorders, and a variety of other abnormalities. Symptoms vary widely among individuals, and personalized treatment is sought [...] Read more.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by systemic skin hardening, which combines Raynaud’s phenomenon and other vascular disorders, skin and internal organ fibrosis, immune disorders, and a variety of other abnormalities. Symptoms vary widely among individuals, and personalized treatment is sought for each patient. Since there is no fundamental cure for SSc, it is designated as an intractable disease with patients receiving government subsidies for medical expenses in Japan. Oxidative stress (OS) has been reported to play an important role in the cause and symptoms of SSc. HOCl-induced SSc mouse models are known to exhibit skin and visceral fibrosis, vascular damage, and autoimmune-like symptoms observed in human SSc. The antioxidant combination Twendee X® (TwX) is a dietary supplement consisting of vitamins, amino acids, and CoQ10. TwX has been proven to prevent dementia in humans with mild cognitive impairment and significantly improve cognitive impairment in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model by regulating OS through a strong antioxidant capacity that cannot be achieved with a single antioxidant ingredient. We evaluated the effectiveness of TwX on various symptoms of HOCl-induced SSc mice. TwX-treated HOCl-induced SSc mice showed significantly reduced lung and skin fibrosis compared to untreated HOCl-induced SSc mice. TwX also significantly reduced highly oxidized protein products (AOPP) in serum and suppressed Col-1 gene expression and activation of B cells involved in autoimmunity. These findings suggest that TwX has the potential to be a new antioxidant treatment for SSc without side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants in Human Diseases)
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19 pages, 2537 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Temperature Effects on Bluetongue Virus Serotype 10 and 17 Coinfection in Culicoides sonorensis
by Molly Carpenter, Jennifer Kopanke, Justin Lee, Case Rodgers, Kirsten Reed, Tyler J. Sherman, Barbara Graham, Lee W. Cohnstaedt, William C. Wilson, Mark Stenglein and Christie Mayo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053063 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a segmented, double-stranded RNA virus transmitted by Culicoides midges that infects ruminants. As global temperatures increase and geographical ranges of midges expand, there is increased potential for BTV outbreaks from incursions of novel serotypes into endemic regions. However, an [...] Read more.
Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a segmented, double-stranded RNA virus transmitted by Culicoides midges that infects ruminants. As global temperatures increase and geographical ranges of midges expand, there is increased potential for BTV outbreaks from incursions of novel serotypes into endemic regions. However, an understanding of the effect of temperature on reassortment is lacking. The objectives of this study were to compare how temperature affected Culicoides survival, virogenesis, and reassortment in Culicoides sonorensis coinfected with two BTV serotypes. Midges were fed blood meals containing BTV-10, BTV-17, or BTV serotype 10 and 17 and maintained at 20 °C, 25 °C, or 30 °C. Midge survival was assessed, and pools of midges were collected every other day to evaluate virogenesis of BTV via qRT-PCR. Additional pools of coinfected midges were collected for BTV plaque isolation. The genotypes of plaques were determined using next-generation sequencing. Warmer temperatures impacted traits related to vector competence in offsetting ways: BTV replicated faster in midges at warmer temperatures, but midges did not survive as long. Overall, plaques with BTV-17 genotype dominated, but BTV-10 was detected in some plaques, suggesting parental strain fitness may play a role in reassortment outcomes. Temperature adds an important dimension to host–pathogen interactions with implications for transmission and evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Pathogen Interaction 5.0)
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17 pages, 3111 KiB  
Article
Proteomic Analysis Highlights the Impact of the Sphingolipid Metabolizing Enzyme β-Galactosylceramidase on Mitochondrial Plasticity in Human Melanoma
by Davide Capoferri, Luca Mignani, Marcello Manfredi and Marco Presta
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053062 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Mitochondrial plasticity, marked by a dynamism between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation due to adaptation to genetic and microenvironmental alterations, represents a characteristic feature of melanoma progression. Sphingolipids play a significant role in various aspects of cancer cell biology, including metabolic reprogramming. Previous observations [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial plasticity, marked by a dynamism between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation due to adaptation to genetic and microenvironmental alterations, represents a characteristic feature of melanoma progression. Sphingolipids play a significant role in various aspects of cancer cell biology, including metabolic reprogramming. Previous observations have shown that the lysosomal sphingolipid-metabolizing enzyme β-galactosylceramidase (GALC) exerts pro-oncogenic functions in melanoma. Here, mining the cBioPortal for a Cancer Genomics data base identified the top 200 nuclear-encoded genes whose expression is negatively correlated with GALC expression in human melanoma. Their categorization indicated a significant enrichment in Gene Ontology terms and KEGG pathways related to mitochondrial proteins and function. In parallel, proteomic analysis by LC-MS/MS of two GALC overexpressing human melanoma cell lines identified 98 downregulated proteins when compared to control mock cells. Such downregulation was confirmed at a transcriptional level by a Gene Set Enrichment Analysis of the genome-wide expression profiling data obtained from the same cells. Among the GALC downregulated proteins, we identified a cluster of 42 proteins significantly associated with GO and KEGG categorizations related to mitochondrion and energetic metabolism. Overall, our data indicate that changes in GALC expression may exert a significant impact on mitochondrial plasticity in human melanoma cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Proteomics in Disease)
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18 pages, 4241 KiB  
Article
Mitotic Spindle Positioning (MISP) Facilitates Colorectal Cancer Progression by Forming a Complex with Opa Interacting Protein 5 (OIP5) and Activating the JAK2-STAT3 Signaling Pathway
by Koki Hiura, Masaki Watanabe, Naoki Hirose, Kenta Nakano, Tadashi Okamura, Hayato Sasaki and Nobuya Sasaki
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053061 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 584
Abstract
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who experience long-term chronic inflammation of the colon are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Mitotic spindle positioning (MISP), an actin-binding protein, plays a role in mitosis and spindle positioning. MISP is found on [...] Read more.
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who experience long-term chronic inflammation of the colon are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Mitotic spindle positioning (MISP), an actin-binding protein, plays a role in mitosis and spindle positioning. MISP is found on the apical membrane of the intestinal mucosa and helps stabilize and elongate microvilli, offering protection against colitis. This study explored the role of MISP in colorectal tumorigenesis using a database, human CRC cells, and a mouse model for colitis-induced colorectal tumors triggered by azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) treatment. We found that MISP was highly expressed in colon cancer patient tissues and that reduced MISP expression inhibited cell proliferation. Notably, MISP-deficient mice showed reduced colon tumor formation in the AOM/DSS-induced colitis model. Furthermore, MISP was found to form a complex with Opa interacting protein 5 (OIP5) in the cytoplasm, influencing the expression of OIP5 in a unidirectional manner. We also observed that MISP increased the levels of phosphorylated STAT3 in the JAK2-STAT3 signaling pathway, which is linked to tumorigenesis. These findings indicate that MISP could be a risk factor for CRC, and targeting MISP might provide insights into the mechanisms of colitis-induced colorectal tumorigenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Inhibition of Colorectal Cancer)
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19 pages, 1513 KiB  
Review
Oxy-Inflammation in Humans during Underwater Activities
by Alessandra Vezzoli, Simona Mrakic-Sposta, Andrea Brizzolari, Costantino Balestra, Enrico Maria Camporesi and Gerardo Bosco
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053060 - 06 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1473
Abstract
Underwater activities are characterized by an imbalance between reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS) and antioxidant mechanisms, which can be associated with an inflammatory response, depending on O2 availability. This review explores the oxidative stress mechanisms and related inflammation status (Oxy-Inflammation) in underwater activities [...] Read more.
Underwater activities are characterized by an imbalance between reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS) and antioxidant mechanisms, which can be associated with an inflammatory response, depending on O2 availability. This review explores the oxidative stress mechanisms and related inflammation status (Oxy-Inflammation) in underwater activities such as breath-hold (BH) diving, Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) and Closed-Circuit Rebreather (CCR) diving, and saturation diving. Divers are exposed to hypoxic and hyperoxic conditions, amplified by environmental conditions, hyperbaric pressure, cold water, different types of breathing gases, and air/non-air mixtures. The “diving response”, including physiological adaptation, cardiovascular stress, increased arterial blood pressure, peripheral vasoconstriction, altered blood gas values, and risk of bubble formation during decompression, are reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxygen Variations, 2nd Edition)
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18 pages, 5884 KiB  
Article
Computational Modeling of the Interactions between DPP IV and Hemorphins
by Priya Antony, Bincy Baby, Amie Jobe and Ranjit Vijayan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3059; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053059 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels due to either insufficient insulin production or ineffective utilization of insulin by the body. The enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) plays a crucial role in degrading incretins that [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels due to either insufficient insulin production or ineffective utilization of insulin by the body. The enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) plays a crucial role in degrading incretins that stimulate insulin secretion. Therefore, the inhibition of DPP IV is an established approach for the treatment of diabetes. Hemorphins are a class of short endogenous bioactive peptides produced by the enzymatic degradation of hemoglobin chains. Numerous in vitro and in vivo physiological effects of hemorphins, including DPP IV inhibiting activity, have been documented in different systems and tissues. However, the underlying molecular binding behavior of these peptides with DPP IV remains unknown. Here, computational approaches such as protein–peptide molecular docking and extensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were employed to identify the binding pose and stability of peptides in the active site of DPP IV. Findings indicate that hemorphins lacking the hydrophobic residues LVV and VV at the N terminal region strongly bind to the conserved residues in the active site of DPP IV. Furthermore, interactions with these critical residues were sustained throughout the duration of multiple 500 ns MD simulations. Notably, hemorphin 7 showed higher binding affinity and sustained interactions by binding to S1 and S2 pockets of DPP IV. Full article
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15 pages, 2984 KiB  
Article
MicroRNA-133b Dysregulation in a Mouse Model of Cervical Contusion Injury
by James Young Ho Yu, Thomas C. Chen and Camelia A. Danilov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053058 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Our previous research studies have demonstrated the role of microRNA133b (miR133b) in healing the contused spinal cord when administered either intranasally or intravenously 24 h following an injury. While our data showed beneficial effects of exogenous miR133b delivered within hours of a spinal [...] Read more.
Our previous research studies have demonstrated the role of microRNA133b (miR133b) in healing the contused spinal cord when administered either intranasally or intravenously 24 h following an injury. While our data showed beneficial effects of exogenous miR133b delivered within hours of a spinal cord injury (SCI), the kinetics of endogenous miR133b levels in the contused spinal cord and rostral/caudal segments of the injury were not fully investigated. In this study, we examined the miR133b dysregulation in a mouse model of moderate unilateral contusion injury at the fifth cervical (C5) level. Between 30 min and 7 days post-injury, mice were euthanized and tissues were collected from different areas of the spinal cord, ipsilateral and contralateral prefrontal motor cortices, and off-targets such as lung and spleen. The endogenous level of miR133b was determined by RT-qPCR. We found that after SCI, (a) most changes in miR133b level were restricted to the injured area with very limited alterations in the rostral and caudal parts relative to the injury site, (b) acute changes in the endogenous levels were predominantly specific to the lesion site with delayed miR133b changes in the motor cortex, and (c) ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres responded differently to unilateral SCI. Our results suggest that the therapeutic window for exogenous miR133b therapy begins earlier than 24 h post-injury and potentially lasts longer than 7 days. Full article
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11 pages, 12151 KiB  
Brief Report
Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy: A Novel MED9 Short Isoform Identification
by Monica Franzese, Mario Zanfardino, Andrea Soricelli, Annapaola Coppola, Ciro Maiello, Marco Salvatore, Concetta Schiano and Claudio Napoli
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053057 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 519
Abstract
Familial dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is among the leading indications for heart transplantation. DCM alters the transcriptomic profile. The alteration or activation/silencing of physiologically operating transcripts may explain the onset and progression of this pathological state. The mediator complex (MED) plays a fundamental role [...] Read more.
Familial dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is among the leading indications for heart transplantation. DCM alters the transcriptomic profile. The alteration or activation/silencing of physiologically operating transcripts may explain the onset and progression of this pathological state. The mediator complex (MED) plays a fundamental role in the transcription process. The aim of this study is to investigate the MED subunits, which are altered in DCM, to identify target crossroads genes. RNA sequencing allowed us to identify specific MED subunits that are altered during familial DCM, transforming into human myocardial samples. N = 13 MED subunits were upregulated and n = 7 downregulated. MED9 alone was significantly reduced in patients compared to healthy subjects (HS) (FC = −1.257; p < 0.05). Interestingly, we found a short MED9 isoform (MED9s) (ENSG00000141026.6), which was upregulated when compared to the full-transcript isoform (MED9f). Motif identification analysis yielded several significant matches (p < 0.05), such as GATA4, which is downregulated in CHD. Moreover, although the protein–protein interaction network showed FOG2/ZFPM2, FOS and ID2 proteins to be the key interacting partners of GATA4, only FOG2/ZFPM2 overexpression showed an interaction score of “high confidence” ≥ 0.84. A significant change in the MED was observed during HF. For the first time, the MED9 subunit was significantly reduced between familial DCM and HS (p < 0.05), showing an increased MED9s isoform in DCM patients with respect to its full-length transcript. MED9 and GATA4 shared the same sequence motif and were involved in a network with FOG2/ZFPM2, FOS, and ID2, proteins already implicated in cardiac development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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14 pages, 1372 KiB  
Review
The Incredible Adventure of Omalizumab
by Christian Domingo, Daniel R. Monserrate, Ana Sogo and Rosa M. Mirapeix
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3056; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053056 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 689
Abstract
The basis of our current understanding of allergies begins with the discovery of IgE in the mid-1960s. The whole theory of the physiology and pathophysiology of allergic diseases, including rhinitis and asthma, dates from that period. Among the key regions of IgE identified [...] Read more.
The basis of our current understanding of allergies begins with the discovery of IgE in the mid-1960s. The whole theory of the physiology and pathophysiology of allergic diseases, including rhinitis and asthma, dates from that period. Among the key regions of IgE identified were the FAB (fragment antigen binding) portion that has the ability to capture allergens, and the Cε3 domain, through which IgE binds to its membrane receptor. It was then postulated that blocking IgE at the level of the Cε3 domain would prevent it from binding to its receptor and thus set in motion the allergic cascade. This was the beginning of the development of omalizumab, a monoclonal antibody with an anti-IgE effect. In this article, we review the pathophysiology of allergic disease and trace the clinical development of omalizumab. We also review the benefits of omalizumab treatment that are apparently unrelated to allergies, such as its effect on immunity and bronchial remodeling. Full article
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17 pages, 4762 KiB  
Article
iBio-GATS—A Semi-Automated Workflow for Structural Modelling of Insect Odorant Receptors
by Vaanathi Chidambara Thanu, Amara Jabeen and Shoba Ranganathan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3055; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053055 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Insects utilize seven transmembrane (7TM) odorant receptor (iOR) proteins, with an inverted topology compared to G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), to detect chemical cues in the environment. For pest biocontrol, chemical attractants are used to trap insect pests. However, with the influx of invasive [...] Read more.
Insects utilize seven transmembrane (7TM) odorant receptor (iOR) proteins, with an inverted topology compared to G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), to detect chemical cues in the environment. For pest biocontrol, chemical attractants are used to trap insect pests. However, with the influx of invasive insect pests, novel odorants are urgently needed, specifically designed to match 3D iOR structures. Experimental structural determination of these membrane receptors remains challenging and only four experimental iOR structures from two evolutionarily distant organisms have been solved. Template-based modelling (TBM) is a complementary approach, to generate model structures, selecting templates based on sequence identity. As the iOR family is highly divergent, a different template selection approach than sequence identity is needed. Bio-GATS template selection for GPCRs, based on hydrophobicity correspondence, has been morphed into iBio-GATS, for template selection from available experimental iOR structures. This easy-to-use semi-automated workflow has been extended to generate high-quality models from any iOR sequence from the selected template, using Python and shell scripting. This workflow was successfully validated on Apocrypta bakeri Orco and Machilis hrabei OR5 structures. iBio-GATS models generated for the fruit fly iOR, OR59b and Orco, yielded functional ligand binding results concordant with experimental mutagenesis findings, compared to AlphaFold2 models. Full article
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14 pages, 2476 KiB  
Article
A Combination of Library Screening and Rational Mutagenesis Expands the Available Color Palette of the Smallest Fluorogen-Activating Protein Tag nanoFAST
by Nadezhda S. Baleeva, Yulia A. Bogdanova, Marina V. Goncharuk, Anatolii I. Sokolov, Ivan N. Myasnyanko, Vadim S. Kublitski, Alexander Yu. Smirnov, Aidar R. Gilvanov, Sergey A. Goncharuk, Konstantin S. Mineev and Mikhail S. Baranov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053054 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 504
Abstract
NanoFAST is the smallest fluorogen-activating protein, consisting of only 98 amino acids, used as a genetically encoded fluorescent tag. Previously, only a single fluorogen with an orange color was revealed for this protein. In the present paper, using rational mutagenesis and in vitro [...] Read more.
NanoFAST is the smallest fluorogen-activating protein, consisting of only 98 amino acids, used as a genetically encoded fluorescent tag. Previously, only a single fluorogen with an orange color was revealed for this protein. In the present paper, using rational mutagenesis and in vitro screening of fluorogens libraries, we expanded the color palette of this tag. We discovered that E46Q is one of the key substitutions enabling the range of possible fluorogens to be expanded. The introduction of this and several other substitutions has made it possible to use not only orange but also red and green fluorogens with the modified protein. Full article
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20 pages, 9164 KiB  
Article
New Biocides Based on N4-Alkylcytidines: Effects on Microorganisms and Application for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Objects of Painting
by Liudmila A. Alexandrova, Ivan A. Oskolsky, Dmitry A. Makarov, Maxim V. Jasko, Inna L. Karpenko, Olga V. Efremenkova, Byazilya F. Vasilyeva, Darya A. Avdanina, Anna A. Ermolyuk, Elizaveta E. Benko, Stanislav G. Kalinin, Tat’yana V. Kolganova, Maria Ya. Berzina, Irina D. Konstantinova, Alexander O. Chizhov, Sergey N. Kochetkov and Alexander A. Zhgun
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3053; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053053 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 590
Abstract
The rapid increase in the antibiotic resistance of microorganisms, capable of causing diseases in humans as destroying cultural heritage sites, is a great challenge for modern science. In this regard, it is necessary to develop fundamentally novel and highly active compounds. In this [...] Read more.
The rapid increase in the antibiotic resistance of microorganisms, capable of causing diseases in humans as destroying cultural heritage sites, is a great challenge for modern science. In this regard, it is necessary to develop fundamentally novel and highly active compounds. In this study, a series of N4-alkylcytidines, including 5- and 6-methylcytidine derivatives, with extended alkyl substituents, were obtained in order to develop a new generation of antibacterial and antifungal biocides based on nucleoside derivatives. It has been shown that N4-alkyl 5- or 6-methylcytidines effectively inhibit the growth of molds, isolated from the paintings in the halls of the Ancient Russian Paintings of the State Tretyakov Gallery, Russia, Moscow. The novel compounds showed activity similar to antiseptics commonly used to protect works of art, such as benzalkonium chloride, to which a number of microorganisms have acquired resistance. It was also shown that the activity of N4-alkylcytidines is comparable to that of some antibiotics used in medicine to fight Gram-positive bacteria, including resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium smegmatis. N4-dodecyl-5- and 6-methylcytidines turned out to be the best. This compound seems promising for expanding the palette of antiseptics used in painting, since quite often the destruction of painting materials is caused by joint fungi and bacteria infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Types of Antibacterial Biocides 2.0)
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13 pages, 584 KiB  
Review
TGF-β Signaling Pathways in the Development of Diabetic Retinopathy
by Andrew Callan, Sonal Jha, Laura Valdez, Lois Baldado and Andrew Tsin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3052; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053052 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 715
Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR), a prevalent complication of diabetes mellitus affecting a significant portion of the global population, has long been viewed primarily as a microvascular disorder. However, emerging evidence suggests that it should be redefined as a neurovascular disease with multifaceted pathogenesis rooted [...] Read more.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR), a prevalent complication of diabetes mellitus affecting a significant portion of the global population, has long been viewed primarily as a microvascular disorder. However, emerging evidence suggests that it should be redefined as a neurovascular disease with multifaceted pathogenesis rooted in oxidative stress and advanced glycation end products. The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling family has emerged as a major contributor to DR pathogenesis due to its pivotal role in retinal vascular homeostasis, endothelial cell barrier function, and pericyte differentiation. However, the precise roles of TGF-β signaling in DR remain incompletely understood, with conflicting reports on its impact in different stages of the disease. Additionally, the BMP subfamily within the TGF-β superfamily introduces further complexity, with BMPs exhibiting both pro- and anti-angiogenic properties. Furthermore, TGF-β signaling extends beyond the vascular realm, encompassing immune regulation, neuronal survival, and maintenance. The intricate interactions between TGF-β and reactive oxygen species (ROS), non-coding RNAs, and inflammatory mediators have been implicated in the pathogenesis of DR. This review delves into the complex web of signaling pathways orchestrated by the TGF-β superfamily and their involvement in DR. A comprehensive understanding of these pathways may hold the key to developing targeted therapies to halt or mitigate the progression of DR and its devastating consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Immunology)
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4 pages, 197 KiB  
Editorial
Molecular Pharmacology in Diabetes
by Flávio Reis and Rosa Fernandes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053051 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 418
Abstract
This Special Issue highlights the key molecules and molecular signaling pathways associated with diabetes and its multifaceted complications [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Pharmacology in Diabetes)
14 pages, 1624 KiB  
Review
Astrocyte–Neuron Interaction via the Glutamate–Glutamine Cycle and Its Dysfunction in Tau-Dependent Neurodegeneration
by Marta Sidoryk-Węgrzynowicz, Kamil Adamiak and Lidia Strużyńska
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 3050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25053050 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Astroglia constitute the largest group of glial cells and are involved in numerous actions that are critical to neuronal development and functioning, such as maintaining the blood–brain barrier, forming synapses, supporting neurons with nutrients and trophic factors, and protecting them from injury. These [...] Read more.
Astroglia constitute the largest group of glial cells and are involved in numerous actions that are critical to neuronal development and functioning, such as maintaining the blood–brain barrier, forming synapses, supporting neurons with nutrients and trophic factors, and protecting them from injury. These properties are deeply affected in the course of many neurodegenerative diseases, including tauopathies, often before the onset of the disease. In this respect, the transfer of essential amino acids such as glutamate and glutamine between neurons and astrocytes in the glutamate–glutamine cycle (GGC) is one example. In this review, we focus on the GGC and the disruption of this cycle in tau-dependent neurodegeneration. A profound understanding of the complex functions of the GGC and, in the broader context, searching for dysfunctions in communication pathways between astrocytes and neurons via GGC in health and disease, is of critical significance for the development of novel mechanism-based therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. Full article
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