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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 25, Issue 9 (May-1 2024) – 478 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Janus kinase inhibitors (JAKis) are small molecules that have shown great promise in the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. JAKis seem to be as efficient as other well-established treatments for these highly-prevalent inflammatory conditions and have led to the improvement of cutaneous and articular manifestations, systemic inflammation and quality of life, while maintaining an acceptable safety profile. JAKis act by blocking the evolutionarily conserved Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway involved in downstream signaling for cytokines using type I or II receptors. This scoping review aims to provide an integrated understanding of the range of effects that JAKis have on the whole spectrum of psoriasis manifestations. View this paper
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2 pages, 143 KiB  
Retraction
RETRACTED: Serebrovska et al. Intermittent Hypoxia-Hyperoxia Training Improves Cognitive Function and Decreases Circulating Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 5405
by Zoya O. Serebrovska, Tetiana V. Serebrovska, Viktor A. Kholin, Lesya V. Tumanovska, Angela M. Shysh, Denis A. Pashevin, Sergii V. Goncharov, Dmytro Stroy, Oksana N. Grib, Valeriy B. Shatylo, Natalia Yu. Bachinskaya, Egor Egorov, Lei Xi and Victor E. Dosenko
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095039 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 559
Abstract
The journal Int [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation to Hypoxia: A Chimera?)
29 pages, 8933 KiB  
Article
Seeds Priming with Melatonin Improves Root Hydraulic Conductivity of Wheat Varieties under Drought, Salinity, and Combined Stress
by Yuanyuan Fu, Penghui Li, Zhuanyun Si, Shoutian Ma and Yang Gao
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5055; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095055 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 826
Abstract
Drought and salinity stress reduce root hydraulic conductivity of plant seedlings, and melatonin application positively mitigates stress-induced damage. However, the underlying effect of melatonin priming on root hydraulic conductivity of seedlings under drought–salinity combined remains greatly unclear. In the current report, we investigated [...] Read more.
Drought and salinity stress reduce root hydraulic conductivity of plant seedlings, and melatonin application positively mitigates stress-induced damage. However, the underlying effect of melatonin priming on root hydraulic conductivity of seedlings under drought–salinity combined remains greatly unclear. In the current report, we investigated the influence of seeds of three wheat lines’ 12 h priming with 100 μM of melatonin on root hydraulic conductivity (Lpr) and relevant physiological indicators of seedlings under PEG, NaCl, and PEG + NaCl combined stress. A previous study found that the combined PEG and NaCl stress remarkably reduced the Lpr of three wheat varieties, and its value could not be detected. Melatonin priming mitigated the adverse effects of combined PEG + NaCl stress on Lpr of H4399, Y1212, and X19 to 0.0071 mL·h−1·MPa−1, 0.2477 mL·h−1·MPa−1, and 0.4444 mL·h−1·MPa−1, respectively, by modulating translation levels of aquaporin genes and contributed root elongation and seedlings growth. The root length of H4399, Y1212, and X19 was increased by 129.07%, 141.64%, and 497.58%, respectively, after seeds pre-treatment with melatonin under PEG + NaCl combined stress. Melatonin -priming appreciably regulated antioxidant enzyme activities, reduced accumulation of osmotic regulators, decreased levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), and increased K+ content in stems and root of H4399, Y1212, and X19 under PEG + NaCl stress. The path investigation displayed that seeds primed with melatonin altered the modification of the path relationship between Lpr and leaf area under stress. The present study suggested that melatonin priming was a strategy as regards the enhancement of root hydraulic conductivity under PEG, NaCl, and PEG + NaCl stress, which efficiently enhanced wheat resistant to drought–salinity stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Adaptation Mechanism to Stress)
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21 pages, 4142 KiB  
Article
Retinoic Acid-Mediated Control of Energy Metabolism Is Essential for Lung Branching Morphogenesis
by Hugo Fernandes-Silva, Marco G. Alves, Marcia R. Garcez, Jorge Correia-Pinto, Pedro F. Oliveira, Catarina C. F. Homem and Rute S. Moura
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095054 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 728
Abstract
Lung branching morphogenesis relies on intricate epithelial–mesenchymal interactions and signaling networks. Still, the interplay between signaling and energy metabolism in shaping embryonic lung development remains unexplored. Retinoic acid (RA) signaling influences lung proximal–distal patterning and branching morphogenesis, but its role as a metabolic [...] Read more.
Lung branching morphogenesis relies on intricate epithelial–mesenchymal interactions and signaling networks. Still, the interplay between signaling and energy metabolism in shaping embryonic lung development remains unexplored. Retinoic acid (RA) signaling influences lung proximal–distal patterning and branching morphogenesis, but its role as a metabolic modulator is unknown. Hence, this study investigates how RA signaling affects the metabolic profile of lung branching. We performed ex vivo lung explant culture of embryonic chicken lungs treated with DMSO, 1 µM RA, or 10 µM BMS493. Extracellular metabolite consumption/production was evaluated by using 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Mitochondrial respiration and biogenesis were also analyzed. Proliferation was assessed using an EdU-based assay. The expression of crucial metabolic/signaling components was examined through Western blot, qPCR, and in situ hybridization. RA signaling stimulation redirects glucose towards pyruvate and succinate production rather than to alanine or lactate. Inhibition of RA signaling reduces lung branching, resulting in a cystic-like phenotype while promoting mitochondrial function. Here, RA signaling emerges as a regulator of tissue proliferation and lactate dehydrogenase expression. Furthermore, RA governs fatty acid metabolism through an AMPK-dependent mechanism. These findings underscore RA’s pivotal role in shaping lung metabolism during branching morphogenesis, contributing to our understanding of lung development and cystic-related lung disorders. Full article
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15 pages, 7872 KiB  
Article
Clinicopathological Significance of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2 (CDK2) in Ductal Carcinoma In Situ and Early-Stage Invasive Breast Cancers
by Ayat Lashen, Shatha Alqahtani, Ahmed Shoqafi, Mashael Algethami, Jennie N. Jeyapalan, Nigel P. Mongan, Emad A. Rakha and Srinivasan Madhusudan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5053; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095053 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) is a key cell cycle regulator, with essential roles during G1/S transition. The clinicopathological significance of CDK2 in ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS) and early-stage invasive breast cancers (BCs) remains largely unknown. Here, we evaluated CDK2’s protein expression in [...] Read more.
Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) is a key cell cycle regulator, with essential roles during G1/S transition. The clinicopathological significance of CDK2 in ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS) and early-stage invasive breast cancers (BCs) remains largely unknown. Here, we evaluated CDK2’s protein expression in 479 BC samples and 216 DCIS specimens. Analysis of CDK2 transcripts was completed in the METABRIC cohort (n = 1980) and TCGA cohort (n = 1090), respectively. A high nuclear CDK2 protein expression was significantly associated with aggressive phenotypes, including a high tumour grade, lymph vascular invasion, a poor Nottingham prognostic index (all p-values < 0.0001), and shorter survival (p = 0.006), especially in luminal BC (p = 0.009). In p53-mutant BC, high nuclear CDK2 remained linked with worse survival (p = 0.01). In DCIS, high nuclear/low cytoplasmic co-expression showed significant association with a high tumour grade (p = 0.043), triple-negative and HER2-enriched molecular subtypes (p = 0.01), Comedo necrosis (p = 0.024), negative ER status (p = 0.004), negative PR status (p < 0.0001), and a high proliferation index (p < 0.0001). Tumours with high CDK2 transcripts were more likely to have higher expressions of genes involved in the cell cycle, homologous recombination, and p53 signaling. We provide compelling evidence that high CDK2 is a feature of aggressive breast cancers. The clinical evaluation of CDK2 inhibitors in early-stage BC patients will have a clinical impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Novel Therapeutics in Breast Cancer)
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18 pages, 4674 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Profile Analysis of the Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase Gene Family in Hevea brasiliensis
by Hui Liu, Qiguang He, Yiyu Hu, Ruilin Lu, Shuang Wu, Chengtian Feng, Kun Yuan and Zhenhui Wang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5052; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095052 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 607
Abstract
The majority of the world’s natural rubber comes from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). As a key enzyme for synthesizing phenylpropanoid compounds, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) has a critical role in plant satisfactory growth and environmental adaptation. To clarify the characteristics of [...] Read more.
The majority of the world’s natural rubber comes from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). As a key enzyme for synthesizing phenylpropanoid compounds, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) has a critical role in plant satisfactory growth and environmental adaptation. To clarify the characteristics of rubber tree PAL family genes, a genome-wide characterization of rubber tree PALs was conducted in this study. Eight PAL genes (HbPAL1-HbPAL8), which spread over chromosomes 3, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 18, were found to be present in the genome of H. brasiliensis. Phylogenetic analysis classified HbPALs into groups I and II, and the group I HbPALs (HbPAL1-HbPAL6) displayed similar conserved motif compositions and gene architectures. Tissue expression patterns of HbPALs quantified by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) proved that distinct HbPALs exhibited varying tissue expression patterns. The HbPAL promoters contained a plethora of cis-acting elements that responded to hormones and stress, and the qPCR analysis demonstrated that abiotic stressors like cold, drought, salt, and H2O2-induced oxidative stress, as well as hormones like salicylic acid, abscisic acid, ethylene, and methyl jasmonate, controlled the expression of HbPALs. The majority of HbPALs were also regulated by powdery mildew, anthracnose, and Corynespora leaf fall disease infection. In addition, HbPAL1, HbPAL4, and HbPAL7 were significantly up-regulated in the bark of tapping panel dryness rubber trees relative to that of healthy trees. Our results provide a thorough comprehension of the characteristics of HbPAL genes and set the groundwork for further investigation of the biological functions of HbPALs in rubber trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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17 pages, 7075 KiB  
Article
Anti-Biofilm Activity of Oleacein and Oleocanthal from Extra-Virgin Olive Oil toward Pseudomonas aeruginosa
by Marisa Di Pietro, Simone Filardo, Roberto Mattioli, Giuseppina Bozzuto, Giammarco Raponi, Luciana Mosca and Rosa Sessa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095051 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 608
Abstract
New antimicrobial molecules effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, known as an antibiotic-resistant “high-priority pathogen”, are urgently required because of its ability to develop biofilms related to healthcare-acquired infections. In this study, for the first time, the anti-biofilm and anti-virulence activities of a polyphenolic [...] Read more.
New antimicrobial molecules effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, known as an antibiotic-resistant “high-priority pathogen”, are urgently required because of its ability to develop biofilms related to healthcare-acquired infections. In this study, for the first time, the anti-biofilm and anti-virulence activities of a polyphenolic extract of extra-virgin olive oil as well as purified oleocanthal and oleacein, toward P. aeruginosa clinical isolates were investigated. The main result of our study was the anti-virulence activity of the mixture of oleacein and oleocanthal toward multidrug-resistant and intermediately resistant strains of P. aeruginosa isolated from patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia or surgical site infection. Specifically, the mixture of oleacein (2.5 mM)/oleocanthal (2.5 mM) significantly inhibited biofilm formation, alginate and pyocyanin production, and motility in both P. aeruginosa strains (p < 0.05); scanning electron microscopy analysis further evidenced its ability to inhibit bacterial cell adhesion as well as the production of the extracellular matrix. In conclusion, our results suggest the potential application of the oleacein/oleocanthal mixture in the management of healthcare-associated P. aeruginosa infections, particularly in the era of increasing antimicrobial resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibacterial Activity against Drug-Resistant Strains, 2nd Edition)
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18 pages, 1158 KiB  
Article
Serum Levels of Adiponectin Are Strongly Associated with Lipoprotein Subclasses in Healthy Volunteers but Not in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome
by Iva Klobučar, Hansjörg Habisch, Lucija Klobučar, Matias Trbušić, Gudrun Pregartner, Andrea Berghold, Gerhard M. Kostner, Hubert Scharnagl, Tobias Madl, Saša Frank and Vesna Degoricija
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095050 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 482
Abstract
Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a widespread disease in developed countries, accompanied, among others, by decreased adiponectin serum levels and perturbed lipoprotein metabolism. The associations between the serum levels of adiponectin and lipoproteins have been extensively studied in the past under healthy conditions, yet [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a widespread disease in developed countries, accompanied, among others, by decreased adiponectin serum levels and perturbed lipoprotein metabolism. The associations between the serum levels of adiponectin and lipoproteins have been extensively studied in the past under healthy conditions, yet it remains unexplored whether the observed associations also exist in patients with MS. Therefore, in the present study, we analyzed the serum levels of lipoprotein subclasses using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and examined their associations with the serum levels of adiponectin in patients with MS in comparison with healthy volunteers (HVs). In the HVs, the serum levels of adiponectin were significantly negatively correlated with the serum levels of large buoyant-, very-low-density lipoprotein, and intermediate-density lipoprotein, as well as small dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and significantly positively correlated with large buoyant high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In patients with MS, however, adiponectin was only significantly correlated with the serum levels of phospholipids in total HDL and large buoyant LDL. As revealed through logistic regression and orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analyses, high adiponectin serum levels were associated with low levels of small dense LDL and high levels of large buoyant HDL in the HVs as well as high levels of large buoyant LDL and total HDL in patients with MS. We conclude that the presence of MS weakens or abolishes the strong associations between adiponectin and the lipoprotein parameters observed in HVs and disturbs the complex interplay between adiponectin and lipoprotein metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipoprotein Metabolism in Health and Disease 2.0)
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19 pages, 4833 KiB  
Article
OsCAMTA3 Negatively Regulates Disease Resistance to Magnaporthe oryzae by Associating with OsCAMTAPL in Rice
by Shibo Yu, Shengping Li, Wei Wang and Dingzhong Tang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5049; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095049 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the most important staple foods worldwide. However, rice blast disease, caused by the ascomycete fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, seriously affects the yield and quality of rice. Calmodulin-binding transcriptional activators (CAMTAs) play vital roles in the [...] Read more.
Rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the most important staple foods worldwide. However, rice blast disease, caused by the ascomycete fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, seriously affects the yield and quality of rice. Calmodulin-binding transcriptional activators (CAMTAs) play vital roles in the response to biotic stresses. In this study, we showed that OsCAMTA3 and CAMTA PROTEIN LIKE (OsCAMTAPL), an OsCAMTA3 homolog that lacks the DNA-binding domain, functioned together in negatively regulating disease resistance in rice. OsCAMTA3 associated with OsCAMTAPL. The oscamta3 and oscamtapl mutants showed enhanced resistance compared to wild-type plants, and oscamta3/pl double mutants showed more robust resistance to M. oryzae than oscamta3 or oscamtapl. An RNA-Seq analysis revealed that 59 and 73 genes, respectively, were differentially expressed in wild-type plants and oscamta3 before and after inoculation with M. oryzae, including OsALDH2B1, an acetaldehyde dehydrogenase that negatively regulates plant immunity. OsCAMTA3 could directly bind to the promoter of OsALDH2B1, and OsALDH2B1 expression was decreased in oscamta3, oscamtapl, and oscamta3/pl mutants. In conclusion, OsCAMTA3 associates with OsCAMTAPL to regulate disease resistance by binding and activating the expression of OsALDH2B1 in rice, which reveals a strategy by which rice controls rice blast disease and provides important genes for resistance breeding holding a certain positive impact on ensuring food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research in Plant-Fungi Interactions)
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16 pages, 5546 KiB  
Article
KiSS-1 Modulation by Epigenetic Agents Improves the Cisplatin Sensitivity of Lung Cancer Cells
by Giovanni Luca Beretta, Desirè Alampi, Cristina Corno, Nives Carenini, Elisabetta Corna and Paola Perego
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5048; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095048 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Epigenetic alterations my play a role in the aggressive behavior of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA, vorinostat) has been reported to interfere with the proliferative and invasive potential of NSCLC cells. In addition, [...] Read more.
Epigenetic alterations my play a role in the aggressive behavior of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA, vorinostat) has been reported to interfere with the proliferative and invasive potential of NSCLC cells. In addition, the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor azacytidine (AZA, vidaza) can modulate the levels of the metastasis suppressor KiSS-1. Thus, since cisplatin is still clinically available for NSCLC therapy, the aim of this study was to evaluate drug combinations between cisplatin and SAHA as well as AZA using cisplatin-sensitive H460 and -resistant H460/Pt NSCLC cells in relation to KiSS-1 modulation. An analysis of drug interaction according to the Combination-Index values indicated a more marked synergistic effect when the exposure to SAHA or AZA preceded cisplatin treatment with respect to a simultaneous schedule. A modulation of proteins involved in apoptosis (p53, Bax) was found in both sensitive and resistant cells, and compared to the treatment with epigenetic agents alone, the combination of cisplatin and SAHA or AZA increased apoptosis induction. The epigenetic treatments, both as single agents and in combination, increased the release of KiSS-1. Finally, the exposure of cisplatin-sensitive and -resistant cells to the kisspeptin KP10 enhanced cisplatin induced cell death. The efficacy of the combination of SAHA and cisplatin was tested in vivo after subcutaneous inoculum of parental and resistant cells in immunodeficient mice. A significant tumor volume inhibition was found when mice bearing advanced tumors were treated with the combination of SAHA and cisplatin according to the best schedule identified in cellular studies. These results, together with the available literature, support that epigenetic drugs are amenable for the combination treatment of NSCLC, including patients bearing cisplatin-resistant tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Oncology)
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23 pages, 5076 KiB  
Article
Natural Compounds for Bone Remodeling: A Computational and Experimental Approach Targeting Bone Metabolism-Related Proteins
by Alexandros-Timotheos Loukas, Michail Papadourakis, Vasilis Panagiotopoulos, Apostolia Zarmpala, Eleni Chontzopoulou, Stephanos Christodoulou, Theodora Katsila, Panagiotis Zoumpoulakis and Minos-Timotheos Matsoukas
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095047 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 782
Abstract
Osteoporosis, characterized by reduced bone density and increased fracture risk, affects over 200 million people worldwide, predominantly older adults and postmenopausal women. The disruption of the balance between bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts underlies osteoporosis pathophysiology. Standard treatment includes lifestyle modifications, calcium and [...] Read more.
Osteoporosis, characterized by reduced bone density and increased fracture risk, affects over 200 million people worldwide, predominantly older adults and postmenopausal women. The disruption of the balance between bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts underlies osteoporosis pathophysiology. Standard treatment includes lifestyle modifications, calcium and vitamin D supplementation and specific drugs that either inhibit osteoclasts or stimulate osteoblasts. However, these treatments have limitations, including side effects and compliance issues. Natural products have emerged as potential osteoporosis therapeutics, but their mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the efficacy of natural compounds in modulating molecular targets relevant to osteoporosis, focusing on the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathway and the gut microbiome’s influence on bone homeostasis. Using an in silico and in vitro methodology, we have identified quercetin as a promising candidate in modulating MAPK activity, offering a potential therapeutic perspective for osteoporosis treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Natural Products and Drug Discovery)
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16 pages, 4301 KiB  
Article
Complexes of Gold(III) with Hydrazones Derived from Pyridoxal: Stability, Structure, and Nature of UV-Vis Spectra
by Natalia N. Kuranova, Oleg A. Pimenov, Maksim N. Zavalishin and George A. Gamov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095046 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 491
Abstract
Pyridoxal and pyridoxal 5′-phosphate are aldehyde forms of B6 vitamin that can easily be transformed into each other in the living organism. The presence of a phosphate group, however, provides the related compounds (e.g., hydrazones) with better solubility in water. In addition, [...] Read more.
Pyridoxal and pyridoxal 5′-phosphate are aldehyde forms of B6 vitamin that can easily be transformed into each other in the living organism. The presence of a phosphate group, however, provides the related compounds (e.g., hydrazones) with better solubility in water. In addition, the phosphate group may sometimes act as a binding center for metal ions. In particular, a phosphate group can be a strong ligand for a gold(III) ion, which is of interest for researchers for the anti-tumor and antimicrobial potential of gold(III). This paper aims to answer whether the phosphate group is involved in the complex formation between gold(III) and hydrazones derived from pyridoxal 5′-phosphate. The answer is negative, since the comparison of the stability constants determined for the gold(III) complexes with pyridoxal- and pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-derived hydrazones showed a negligible difference. In addition, quantum chemical calculations confirmed that the preferential coordination of two series of phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated hydrazones to gold(III) ion is similar. The preferential protonation modes for the gold(III) complexes were also determined using experimental and calculated data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photobiology 2.0)
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14 pages, 3166 KiB  
Article
Prognostic Value of B7H4 Expression in Patients with Solid Cancers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Miriam Dawidowicz, Agnieszka Kula, Sylwia Mielcarska, Elżbieta Świętochowska and Dariusz Waniczek
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095045 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 618
Abstract
V-set domain-containing T-cell activation inhibitor 1 (aliases VTCN1, B7H4) participates in tumour immune escape by delivering inhibitory signals to T cells. The purpose of this article was to assess the B7H4 prognostic value in solid cancers. Three databases were searched for relevant articles. [...] Read more.
V-set domain-containing T-cell activation inhibitor 1 (aliases VTCN1, B7H4) participates in tumour immune escape by delivering inhibitory signals to T cells. The purpose of this article was to assess the B7H4 prognostic value in solid cancers. Three databases were searched for relevant articles. The main endpoints were overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), progression-free survival (PFS), recurrence-free survival (RFS), and disease-free survival (DFS). Appropriate hazard ratios (HRs) were pooled. The R studio software (version 4.0.3) was used for data analysis. Thirty-one studies met the inclusion criteria. High expression of B7H4 was associated with worse OS (HR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.37–1.68) but not with DSS (HR = 1.14, 95% CI: 0.49–2.63), RFS (HR = 1.77, 95% CI: 0.75–4.18), DFS (HR = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.8–2.09), or PFS (HR = 1.71, 95% CI: 0.91–3.2) in patients with solid cancers. High expression of B7H4 is associated with a poorer prognosis in patients with solid cancers. B7H4 is a promising prognostic biomarker and immunotherapeutic target for various solid cancers because of its activity in cancer immunity and tumourigenesis. Full article
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28 pages, 2232 KiB  
Review
Emerging Roles of Vitamin B12 in Aging and Inflammation
by Sergey Yu. Simonenko, Daria A. Bogdanova and Nikita A. Kuldyushev
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5044; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095044 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential nutrient for humans and animals. Metabolically active forms of B12-methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are cofactors for the enzymes methionine synthase and mitochondrial methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Malfunction of these enzymes due to a scarcity of vitamin B [...] Read more.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential nutrient for humans and animals. Metabolically active forms of B12-methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are cofactors for the enzymes methionine synthase and mitochondrial methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Malfunction of these enzymes due to a scarcity of vitamin B12 leads to disturbance of one-carbon metabolism and impaired mitochondrial function. A significant fraction of the population (up to 20%) is deficient in vitamin B12, with a higher rate of deficiency among elderly people. B12 deficiency is associated with numerous hallmarks of aging at the cellular and organismal levels. Cellular senescence is characterized by high levels of DNA damage by metabolic abnormalities, increased mitochondrial dysfunction, and disturbance of epigenetic regulation. B12 deficiency could be responsible for or play a crucial part in these disorders. In this review, we focus on a comprehensive analysis of molecular mechanisms through which vitamin B12 influences aging. We review new data about how deficiency in vitamin B12 may accelerate cellular aging. Despite indications that vitamin B12 has an important role in health and healthy aging, knowledge of the influence of vitamin B12 on aging is still limited and requires further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Role of Cytokines in Cancer and Chronic Inflammation)
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26 pages, 1466 KiB  
Review
Molecular Mechanisms of CBL-CIPK Signaling Pathway in Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Hormone Crosstalk
by Cengiz Kaya, Ferhat Uğurlar and Ioannis-Dimosthenis S. Adamakis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095043 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Abiotic stressors, including drought, salt, cold, and heat, profoundly impact plant growth and development, forcing elaborate cellular responses for adaptation and resilience. Among the crucial orchestrators of these responses is the CBL-CIPK pathway, comprising calcineurin B-like proteins (CBLs) and CBL-interacting protein kinases (CIPKs). [...] Read more.
Abiotic stressors, including drought, salt, cold, and heat, profoundly impact plant growth and development, forcing elaborate cellular responses for adaptation and resilience. Among the crucial orchestrators of these responses is the CBL-CIPK pathway, comprising calcineurin B-like proteins (CBLs) and CBL-interacting protein kinases (CIPKs). While CIPKs act as serine/threonine protein kinases, transmitting calcium signals, CBLs function as calcium sensors, influencing the plant’s response to abiotic stress. This review explores the intricate interactions between the CBL-CIPK pathway and plant hormones such as ABA, auxin, ethylene, and jasmonic acid (JA). It highlights their role in fine-tuning stress responses for optimal survival and acclimatization. Building on previous studies that demonstrated the enhanced stress tolerance achieved by upregulating CBL and CIPK genes, we explore the regulatory mechanisms involving post-translational modifications and protein–protein interactions. Despite significant contributions from prior research, gaps persist in understanding the nuanced interplay between the CBL-CIPK system and plant hormone signaling under diverse abiotic stress conditions. In contrast to broader perspectives, our review focuses on the interaction of the pathway with crucial plant hormones and its implications for genetic engineering interventions to enhance crop stress resilience. This specialized perspective aims to contribute novel insights to advance our understanding of the potential of the CBL-CIPK pathway to mitigate crops’ abiotic stress. Full article
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18 pages, 946 KiB  
Review
The First Reciprocal Activities of Chiral Peptide Pharmaceuticals: Thymogen and Thymodepressin, as Examples
by Vladislav Deigin, Natalia Linkova, Julia Vinogradova, Dmitrii Vinogradov, Victoria Polyakova, Dmitrii Medvedev, Alexander Krasichkov and Olga Volpina
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095042 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Peptides show high promise in the targeting and intracellular delivery of next-generation biotherapeutics. The main limitation is peptides’ susceptibility to proteolysis in biological systems. Numerous strategies have been developed to overcome this challenge by chemically enhancing the resistance to proteolysis. In nature, amino [...] Read more.
Peptides show high promise in the targeting and intracellular delivery of next-generation biotherapeutics. The main limitation is peptides’ susceptibility to proteolysis in biological systems. Numerous strategies have been developed to overcome this challenge by chemically enhancing the resistance to proteolysis. In nature, amino acids, except glycine, are found in L- and D-enantiomers. The change from one form to the other will change the primary structure of polypeptides and proteins and may affect their function and biological activity. Given the inherent chiral nature of biological systems and their high enantiomeric selectivity, there is rising interest in manipulating the chirality of polypeptides to enhance their biomolecular interactions. In this review, we discuss the first examples of up-and-down homeostasis regulation by two enantiomeric drugs: immunostimulant Thymogen (L-Glu-L-Trp) and immunosuppressor Thymodepressin (D-Glu(D-Trp)). This study shows the perspective of exploring chirality to remove the chiral wall between L- and D-biomolecules. The selected clinical result will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peptides as Biochemical Tools and Modulators of Biological Activity)
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24 pages, 6127 KiB  
Review
Exploring the Role of Apigenin in Neuroinflammation: Insights and Implications
by Karine Charrière, Vincent Schneider, Manon Perrignon-Sommet, Gérard Lizard, Alexandre Benani, Agnès Jacquin-Piques and Anne Vejux
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095041 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 858
Abstract
Neuroinflammation, a hallmark of various central nervous system disorders, is often associated with oxidative stress and neuronal or oligodendrocyte cell death. It is therefore very interesting to target neuroinflammation pharmacologically. One therapeutic option is the use of nutraceuticals, particularly apigenin. Apigenin is present [...] Read more.
Neuroinflammation, a hallmark of various central nervous system disorders, is often associated with oxidative stress and neuronal or oligodendrocyte cell death. It is therefore very interesting to target neuroinflammation pharmacologically. One therapeutic option is the use of nutraceuticals, particularly apigenin. Apigenin is present in plants: vegetables (parsley, celery, onions), fruits (oranges), herbs (chamomile, thyme, oregano, basil), and some beverages (tea, beer, and wine). This review explores the potential of apigenin as an anti-inflammatory agent across diverse neurological conditions (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease), cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cognitive and memory disorders, and toxicity related to trace metals and other chemicals. Drawing upon major studies, we summarize apigenin’s multifaceted effects and underlying mechanisms in neuroinflammation. Our review underscores apigenin’s therapeutic promise and calls for further investigation into its clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanism of Natural Compounds in Neuroinflammation)
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10 pages, 277 KiB  
Opinion
Neuron-Specific Enolase—What Are We Measuring?
by Anastasiya S. Babkina, Maxim A. Lyubomudrov, Mikhail A. Golubev, Mikhail V. Pisarev and Arkady M. Golubev
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5040; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095040 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 717
Abstract
Since the discovery of the neuron-specific protein by Moore and McGregor in 1965, tens of thousands of studies have investigated the basic and applied significance of neuron-specific enolase (NSE). This promising biomarker, according to many researchers, has not found widespread use in clinical [...] Read more.
Since the discovery of the neuron-specific protein by Moore and McGregor in 1965, tens of thousands of studies have investigated the basic and applied significance of neuron-specific enolase (NSE). This promising biomarker, according to many researchers, has not found widespread use in clinical practice, particularly in acute cerebrovascular accidents. Moreover, the several studies refuting the usefulness of serum NSE measurement in critically ill patients leads us to consider the reasons for such contradictory conclusions. In this article, we have analyzed the main directions in the study of NSE and expressed our perspective on the reasons for the contradictory results and the difficulties in implementing the results of these studies in clinical practice. In our opinion, the method of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) used in the majority of the studies is inappropriate for the evaluation of NSE as a marker of central nervous system damage, because it does not allow for the differentiation of heterodimers of enolases and the assessment of the enzymatic activity of this group of enzymatic proteins. Therefore, the methodological approach for the evaluation of NSE (γγ-enolase) as a biomarker needs to be elaborated and improved. Furthermore, the specificity of the applied research methods and the appropriateness of the continued use of the term “neuron-specific enolase” must be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
14 pages, 6400 KiB  
Article
Delivery of Mesenchymal Stem Cells during Hypothermic Machine Perfusion in a Translational Kidney Perfusion Study
by Natalie Vallant, Nienke Wolfhagen, Bynvant Sandhu, Karim Hamaoui and Vassilios Papalois
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5038; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095038 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 713
Abstract
In transplantation, hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) has been shown to be superior to static cold storage (SCS) in terms of functional outcomes. Ex vivo machine perfusion offers the possibility to deliver drugs or other active substances, such as Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), directly [...] Read more.
In transplantation, hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) has been shown to be superior to static cold storage (SCS) in terms of functional outcomes. Ex vivo machine perfusion offers the possibility to deliver drugs or other active substances, such as Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), directly into an organ without affecting the recipient. MSCs are multipotent, self-renewing cells with tissue-repair capacities, and their application to ameliorate ischemia- reperfusion injury (IRI) is being investigated in several preclinical and clinical studies. The aim of this study was to introduce MSCs into a translational model of hypothermic machine perfusion and to test the efficiency and feasibility of this method. Methods: three rodent kidneys, six porcine kidneys and three human kidneys underwent HMP with 1–5 × 106 labelled MSCs within respective perfusates. Only porcine kidneys were compared to a control group of 6 kidneys undergoing HMP without MSCs, followed by mimicked reperfusion with whole blood at 37 °C for 2 h for all 12 kidneys. Reperfusion perfusate samples were analyzed for levels of NGAL and IL-β by ELISA. Functional parameters, including urinary output, oxygen consumption and creatinine clearance, were compared and found to be similar between the MSC treatment group and the control group in the porcine model. IL-1β levels were higher in perfusate and urine samples in the MSC group, with a median of 285.3 ng/mL (IQR 224.3–407.8 ng/mL) vs. 209.2 ng/mL (IQR 174.9–220.1), p = 0.51 and 105.3 ng/mL (IQR 71.03–164.7 ng/mL) vs. 307.7 ng/mL (IQR 190.9–349.6 ng/mL), p = 0.16, respectively. MSCs could be traced within the kidneys in all models using widefield microscopy after HMP. The application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in an ex vivo hypothermic machine perfusion setting is feasible, and MSCs can be delivered into the kidney grafts during HMP. Functional parameters during mimicked reperfusion were not altered in treated kidney grafts. Changes in levels of IL-1β suggest that MSCs might have an effect on the kidney grafts, and whether this leads to a positive or a negative outcome on IRI in transplantation needs to be determined in further experiments. Full article
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20 pages, 853 KiB  
Review
Unraveling the Complexities of Toll-like Receptors: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Applications
by Yi-Hsin Chen, Kang-Hsi Wu and Han-Ping Wu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5037; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095037 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are vital components of the innate immune system, serving as the first line of defense against pathogens by recognizing a wide array of molecular patterns. This review summarizes the critical roles of TLRs in immune surveillance and disease pathogenesis, focusing [...] Read more.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are vital components of the innate immune system, serving as the first line of defense against pathogens by recognizing a wide array of molecular patterns. This review summarizes the critical roles of TLRs in immune surveillance and disease pathogenesis, focusing on their structure, signaling pathways, and implications in various disorders. We discuss the molecular intricacies of TLRs, including their ligand specificity, signaling cascades, and the functional consequences of their activation. The involvement of TLRs in infectious diseases, autoimmunity, chronic inflammation, and cancer is explored, highlighting their potential as therapeutic targets. We also examine recent advancements in TLR research, such as the development of specific agonists and antagonists, and their application in immunotherapy and vaccine development. Furthermore, we address the challenges and controversies surrounding TLR research and outline future directions, including the integration of computational modeling and personalized medicine approaches. In conclusion, TLRs represent a promising frontier in medical research, with the potential to significantly impact the development of novel therapeutic strategies for a wide range of diseases. Full article
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14 pages, 746 KiB  
Article
Measured and Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate to Evaluate Rapid Progression and Changes over Time in Autosomal Polycystic Kidney Disease: Potential Impact on Therapeutic Decision-Making
by Rosa Miquel-Rodríguez, Beatriz González-Toledo, María-Vanessa Pérez-Gómez, María Ángeles Cobo-Caso, Patricia Delgado-Mallén, Sara Estupiñán, Coriolano Cruz-Perera, Laura Díaz-Martín, Federico González-Rinne, Alejandra González-Delgado, Armando Torres, Flavio Gaspari, Domingo Hernández-Marrero, Alberto Ortiz, Esteban Porrini and Sergio Luis-Lima
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095036 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Autosomal polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common genetic form of kidney failure, reflecting unmet needs in management. Prescription of the only approved treatment (tolvaptan) is limited to persons with rapidly progressing ADPKD. Rapid progression may be diagnosed by assessing glomerular filtration [...] Read more.
Autosomal polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common genetic form of kidney failure, reflecting unmet needs in management. Prescription of the only approved treatment (tolvaptan) is limited to persons with rapidly progressing ADPKD. Rapid progression may be diagnosed by assessing glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decline, usually estimated (eGFR) from equations based on serum creatinine (eGFRcr) or cystatin-C (eGFRcys). We have assessed the concordance between eGFR decline and identification of rapid progression (rapid eGFR loss), and measured GFR (mGFR) declines (rapid mGFR loss) using iohexol clearance in 140 adults with ADPKD with ≥3 mGFR and eGFRcr assessments, of which 97 also had eGFRcys assessments. The agreement between mGFR and eGFR decline was poor: mean concordance correlation coefficients (CCCs) between the method declines were low (0.661, range 0.628 to 0.713), and Bland and Altman limits of agreement between eGFR and mGFR declines were wide. CCC was lower for eGFRcys. From a practical point of view, creatinine-based formulas failed to detect rapid mGFR loss (−3 mL/min/y or faster) in around 37% of the cases. Moreover, formulas falsely indicated around 40% of the cases with moderate or stable decline as rapid progressors. The reliability of formulas in detecting real mGFR decline was lower in the non-rapid-progressors group with respect to that in rapid-progressor patients. The performance of eGFRcys and eGFRcr-cys equations was even worse. In conclusion, eGFR decline may misrepresent mGFR decline in ADPKD in a significant percentage of patients, potentially misclassifying them as progressors or non-progressors and impacting decisions of initiation of tolvaptan therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Etiology and Research Progress of Chronic Kidney Disease)
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19 pages, 8676 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Muscle Regeneration Effects at Different Melittin Concentrations in Rabbit Atrophied Muscle
by Byeong-Churl Jang, Eun Sang Kwon, Yoon-Jin Lee, Jae Ik Jung, Yong Suk Moon and Dong Rak Kwon
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5035; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095035 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 582
Abstract
This research aimed to explore the healing impacts of Melittin treatment on gastrocnemius muscle wasting caused by immobilization with a cast in rabbits. Twenty-four rabbits were randomly allocated to four groups. The procedures included different injections: 0.2 mL of normal saline to Group [...] Read more.
This research aimed to explore the healing impacts of Melittin treatment on gastrocnemius muscle wasting caused by immobilization with a cast in rabbits. Twenty-four rabbits were randomly allocated to four groups. The procedures included different injections: 0.2 mL of normal saline to Group 1 (G1-NS); 4 μg/kg of Melittin to Group 2 (G2-4 μg/kg Melittin); 20 μg/kg of Melittin to Group 3 (G3-20 μg/kg Melittin); and 100 μg/kg of Melittin to Group 4 (G4-100 μg/kg Melittin). Ultrasound was used to guide the injections into the rabbits’ atrophied calf muscles following two weeks of immobilization via casting. Clinical measurements, including the length of the calf, the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) of the tibial nerve, and the gastrocnemius muscle thickness, were assessed. Additionally, cross-sectional slices of gastrocnemius muscle fibers were examined, and immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses were performed following two weeks of therapy. The mean regenerative changes, as indicated by clinical parameters, in Group 4 were significantly more pronounced than in the other groups (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the cross-sectional area of the gastrocnemius muscle fibers and immunohistochemical indicators in Group 4 exceeded those in the remaining groups (p < 0.05). Western blot analysis also showed a more significant presence of anti-inflammatory and angiogenic cytokines in Group 4 compared to the others (p < 0.05). Melittin therapy at a higher dosage can more efficiently activate regeneration in atrophied gastrocnemius muscle compared to lower doses of Melittin or normal saline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Regenerative Medicine)
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18 pages, 4301 KiB  
Article
Interleukin-13 Treatment of Living Lung Tissue Model Alters the Metabolome and Proteome—A Nano-DESI MS Metabolomics and Shotgun Proteomics Study
by Gábor Tóth, Anastasia Golubova, Alexander Falk, Sara Bergström Lind, Mark Nicholas and Ingela Lanekoff
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095034 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease with one of the largest numbers of cases in the world; thus, constant investigation and technical development are needed to unravel the underlying biochemical mechanisms. In this study, we aimed to develop a nano-DESI MS method for [...] Read more.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease with one of the largest numbers of cases in the world; thus, constant investigation and technical development are needed to unravel the underlying biochemical mechanisms. In this study, we aimed to develop a nano-DESI MS method for the in vivo characterization of the cellular metabolome. Using air–liquid interface (ALI) cell layers, we studied the role of Interleukin-13 (IL-13) on differentiated lung epithelial cells acting as a lung tissue model. We demonstrate the feasibility of nano-DESI MS for the in vivo monitoring of basal–apical molecular transport, and the subsequent endogenous metabolic response, for the first time. Conserving the integrity of the ALI lung-cell layer enabled us to perform temporally resolved metabolomic characterization followed by “bottom-up” proteomics on the same population of cells. Metabolic remodeling was observed upon histamine and corticosteroid treatment of the IL-13-exposed lung cell monolayers, in correlation with alterations in the proteomic profile. This proof of principle study demonstrates the utility of in vivo nano-DESI MS for characterizing ALI tissue layers, and the new markers identified in our study provide a good starting point for future, larger-scale studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Health and Disease 2.0)
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24 pages, 4849 KiB  
Article
Amyloid Beta Leads to Decreased Acetylcholine Levels and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cell Survival via a Mechanism That Involves p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase and Protein Kinase C in a p53-Dependent and -Independent Manner
by Hind Al Khashali, Ravel Ray, Ban Darweesh, Caroline Wozniak, Ben Haddad, Stuti Goel, Issah Seidu, Jeneen Khalil, Brooke Lopo, Nayrooz Murshed, Jeffrey Guthrie, Deborah Heyl and Hedeel Guy Evans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095033 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 696
Abstract
Several studies have shown an inverse correlation between the likelihood of developing a neurodegenerative disorder and cancer. We previously reported that the levels of amyloid beta (Aβ), at the center of Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology, are regulated by acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in non-small cell lung [...] Read more.
Several studies have shown an inverse correlation between the likelihood of developing a neurodegenerative disorder and cancer. We previously reported that the levels of amyloid beta (Aβ), at the center of Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology, are regulated by acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we examined the effect of Aβ or its fragments on the levels of ACh in A549 (p53 wild-type) and H1299 (p53-null) NSCLC cell media. ACh levels were reduced by cell treatment with Aβ 1–42, Aβ 1–40, Aβ 1–28, and Aβ 25–35. AChE and p53 activities increased upon A549 cell treatment with Aβ, while knockdown of p53 in A549 cells increased ACh levels, decreased AChE activity, and diminished the Aβ effects. Aβ increased the ratio of phospho/total p38 MAPK and decreased the activity of PKC. Inhibiting p38 MAPK reduced the activity of p53 in A549 cells and increased ACh levels in the media of both cell lines, while opposite effects were found upon inhibiting PKC. ACh decreased the activity of p53 in A549 cells, decreased p38 MAPK activity, increased PKC activity, and diminished the effect of Aβ on those activities. Moreover, the negative effect of Aβ on cell viability was diminished by cell co-treatment with ACh. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of p53 Family in Targeted Therapy of Cancers)
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15 pages, 2538 KiB  
Article
Penifuranone A: A Novel Alkaloid from the Mangrove Endophytic Fungus Penicillium crustosum SCNU-F0006
by Hao Jia, Li Wu, Rongrong Liu, Jialin Li, Lingling Liu, Chen Chen, Junsen Li, Kai Zhang, Junjiang Liao and Yuhua Long
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5032; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095032 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 496
Abstract
One previously undescribed alkaloid, named penifuranone A (1), and three known compounds (24) were isolated from the mangrove endophytic fungus Penicillium crustosum SCNU-F0006. The structure of the new alkaloid (1) was elucidated based on extensive spectroscopic [...] Read more.
One previously undescribed alkaloid, named penifuranone A (1), and three known compounds (24) were isolated from the mangrove endophytic fungus Penicillium crustosum SCNU-F0006. The structure of the new alkaloid (1) was elucidated based on extensive spectroscopic data analysis and single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. Four natural isolates and one new synthetic derivative of penifuranone A, compound 1a, were screened for their antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities. Bioassays revealed that penifuranone A (1) exhibited strong anti-inflammatory activity in vitro by inhibiting nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide-activated RAW264.7 cells with an IC50 value of 42.2 μM. The docking study revealed that compound 1 exhibited an ideal fit within the active site of the murine inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), establishing characteristic hydrogen bonds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Synthetic Compounds for Drug Development 2.0)
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19 pages, 3346 KiB  
Article
TGF-β2 Induces Ribosome Activity, Alters Ribosome Composition and Inhibits IRES-Mediated Translation in Chondrocytes
by Guus G. H. van den Akker, Alzbeta Chabronova, Bas A. C. Housmans, Laura van der Vloet, Don A. M. Surtel, Andy Cremers, Virginie Marchand, Yuri Motorin, Marjolein M. J. Caron, Mandy J. Peffers and Tim J. M. Welting
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095031 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Alterations in cell fate are often attributed to (epigenetic) regulation of gene expression. An emerging paradigm focuses on specialized ribosomes within a cell. However, little evidence exists for the dynamic regulation of ribosome composition and function. Here, we stimulated a chondrocytic cell line [...] Read more.
Alterations in cell fate are often attributed to (epigenetic) regulation of gene expression. An emerging paradigm focuses on specialized ribosomes within a cell. However, little evidence exists for the dynamic regulation of ribosome composition and function. Here, we stimulated a chondrocytic cell line with transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β2) and mapped changes in ribosome function, composition and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) epitranscriptomics. 35S Met/Cys incorporation was used to evaluate ribosome activity. Dual luciferase reporter assays were used to assess ribosomal modus. Ribosomal RNA expression and processing were determined by RT-qPCR, while RiboMethSeq and HydraPsiSeq were used to determine rRNA modification profiles. Label-free protein quantification of total cell lysates, isolated ribosomes and secreted proteins was done by LC-MS/MS. A three-day TGF-β2 stimulation induced total protein synthesis in SW1353 chondrocytic cells and human articular chondrocytes. Specifically, TGF-β2 induced cap-mediated protein synthesis, while IRES-mediated translation was not (P53 IRES) or little affected (CrPv IGR and HCV IRES). Three rRNA post-transcriptional modifications (PTMs) were affected by TGF-β2 stimulation (18S-Gm1447 downregulated, 18S-ψ1177 and 28S-ψ4598 upregulated). Proteomic analysis of isolated ribosomes revealed increased interaction with eIF2 and tRNA ligases and decreased association of eIF4A3 and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (HNRNP)s. In addition, thirteen core ribosomal proteins were more present in ribosomes from TGF-β2 stimulated cells, albeit with a modest fold change. A prolonged stimulation of chondrocytic cells with TGF-β2 induced ribosome activity and changed the mode of translation. These functional changes could be coupled to alterations in accessory proteins in the ribosomal proteome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolving Ribosome Concept)
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14 pages, 3400 KiB  
Article
Mitral Cell Dendritic Morphology in the Adult Zebrafish Olfactory Bulb following Growth, Injury and Recovery
by John P. Rozofsky, Joanna M. Pozzuto and Christine A. Byrd-Jacobs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5030; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095030 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 457
Abstract
The role of afferent target interactions in dendritic plasticity within the adult brain remains poorly understood. There is a paucity of data regarding the effects of deafferentation and subsequent dendritic recovery in adult brain structures. Moreover, although adult zebrafish demonstrate ongoing growth, investigations [...] Read more.
The role of afferent target interactions in dendritic plasticity within the adult brain remains poorly understood. There is a paucity of data regarding the effects of deafferentation and subsequent dendritic recovery in adult brain structures. Moreover, although adult zebrafish demonstrate ongoing growth, investigations into the impact of growth on mitral cell (MC) dendritic arbor structure and complexity are lacking. Leveraging the regenerative capabilities of the zebrafish olfactory system, we conducted a comprehensive study to address these gaps. Employing an eight-week reversible deafferentation injury model followed by retrograde labeling, we observed substantial morphological alterations in MC dendrites. Our hypothesis posited that cessation of injury would facilitate recovery of MC dendritic arbor structure and complexity, potentially influenced by growth dynamics. Statistical analyses revealed significant changes in MC dendritic morphology following growth and recovery periods, indicating that MC total dendritic branch length retained significance after 8 weeks of deafferentation injury when normalized to individual fish physical characteristics. This suggests that regeneration of branch length could potentially function relatively independently of growth-related changes. These findings underscore the remarkable plasticity of adult dendritic arbor structures in a sophisticated model organism and highlight the efficacy of zebrafish as a vital implement for studying neuroregenerative processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish: A Model Organism for Human Health and Disease)
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15 pages, 6123 KiB  
Article
Shading Treatment Reduces Grape Sugar Content by Suppressing Photosynthesis-Antenna Protein Pathway Gene Expression in Grape Berries
by Xintong Nan, Wenfang Li, Miao Shao, Zimeng Cui, Han Wang, Jiaxing Huo, Lizhen Chen, Baihong Chen and Zonghuan Ma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5029; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095029 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 508
Abstract
To explore the impact of shade treatment on grape berries, ‘Marselan’ grape berries were bagged under different light transmission rates (100% (CK), 75% (A), 50% (B), 25% (C), 0% (D)). It was observed that this treatment delayed the ripening of the grape berries. [...] Read more.
To explore the impact of shade treatment on grape berries, ‘Marselan’ grape berries were bagged under different light transmission rates (100% (CK), 75% (A), 50% (B), 25% (C), 0% (D)). It was observed that this treatment delayed the ripening of the grape berries. The individual weight of the grape berries, as well as the content of fructose, glucose, soluble sugars, and organic acids in the berries, was measured at 90, 100, and 125 days after flowering (DAF90, DAF100, DAF125). The results revealed that shading treatment reduced the sugar content in grape berries; the levels of fructose and glucose were higher in the CK treatment compared to the other treatments, and they increased with the duration of the shading treatment. Conversely, the sucrose content exhibited the opposite trend. Additionally, as the weight of the grape berries increased, the content of soluble solids and soluble sugars in the berries also increased, while the titratable acidity decreased. Furthermore, 16 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the photosynthesis-antenna protein pathway from the transcriptome sequencing data. Correlation analysis revealed that the expression levels of genes VIT_08s0007g02190 (Lhcb4) and VIT_15s0024g00040 (Lhca3) were positively correlated with sugar content in the berries at DAF100, but negatively correlated at DAF125. qRT-PCR results confirmed the correlation analysis. This indicates that shading grape clusters inhibits the expression of genes in the photosynthesis-antenna protein pathway in the grape berries, leading to a decrease in sugar content. This finding contributes to a deeper understanding of the impact mechanisms of grape cluster shading on berry quality, providing important scientific grounds for improving grape berry quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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16 pages, 3522 KiB  
Article
Impact of Nebulization on the Physicochemical Properties of Polymer–Lipid Hybrid Nanoparticles for Pulmonary Drug Delivery
by Andrea Gonsalves and Jyothi U. Menon
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5028; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095028 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Nanoparticles (NPs) have shown significant potential for pulmonary administration of therapeutics for the treatment of chronic lung diseases in a localized and sustained manner. Nebulization is a suitable method of NP delivery, particularly in patients whose ability to breathe is impaired due to [...] Read more.
Nanoparticles (NPs) have shown significant potential for pulmonary administration of therapeutics for the treatment of chronic lung diseases in a localized and sustained manner. Nebulization is a suitable method of NP delivery, particularly in patients whose ability to breathe is impaired due to lung diseases. However, there are limited studies evaluating the physicochemical properties of NPs after they are passed through a nebulizer. High shear stress generated during nebulization could potentially affect the surface properties of NPs, resulting in the loss of encapsulated drugs and alteration in the release kinetics. Herein, we thoroughly examined the physicochemical properties as well as the therapeutic effectiveness of Infasurf lung surfactant (IFS)-coated PLGA NPs previously developed by us after passing through a commercial Aeroneb® vibrating-mesh nebulizer. Nebulization did not alter the size, surface charge, IFS coating and bi-phasic release pattern exhibited by the NPs. However, there was a temporary reduction in the initial release of encapsulated therapeutics in the nebulized compared to non-nebulized NPs. This underscores the importance of evaluating the drug release kinetics of NPs using the inhalation method of choice to ensure suitability for the intended medical application. The cellular uptake studies demonstrated that both nebulized and non-nebulized NPs were less readily taken up by alveolar macrophages compared to lung cancer cells, confirming the IFS coating retention. Overall, nebulization did not significantly compromise the physicochemical properties as well as therapeutic efficacy of the prepared nanotherapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Nanoimaging and Nanoengineering)
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24 pages, 1441 KiB  
Review
Pathophysiology and Advances in the Therapy of Cardiomyopathy in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus
by Patryk Graczyk, Aleksandra Dach, Kamil Dyrka and Andrzej Pawlik
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5027; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095027 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 696
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is known as the first non-communicable global epidemic. It is estimated that 537 million people have DM, but the condition has been properly diagnosed in less than half of these patients. Despite numerous preventive measures, the number of DM cases [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is known as the first non-communicable global epidemic. It is estimated that 537 million people have DM, but the condition has been properly diagnosed in less than half of these patients. Despite numerous preventive measures, the number of DM cases is steadily increasing. The state of chronic hyperglycaemia in the body leads to numerous complications, including diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM). A number of pathophysiological mechanisms are behind the development and progression of cardiomyopathy, including increased oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, increased synthesis of advanced glycation products and overexpression of the biosynthetic pathway of certain compounds, such as hexosamine. There is extensive research on the treatment of DCM, and there are a number of therapies that can stop the development of this complication. Among the compounds used to treat DCM are antiglycaemic drugs, hypoglycaemic drugs and drugs used to treat myocardial failure. An important element in combating DCM that should be kept in mind is a healthy lifestyle—a well-balanced diet and physical activity. There is also a group of compounds—including coenzyme Q10, antioxidants and modulators of signalling pathways and inflammatory processes, among others—that are being researched continuously, and their introduction into routine therapies is likely to result in greater control and more effective treatment of DM in the future. This paper summarises the latest recommendations for lifestyle and pharmacological treatment of cardiomyopathy in patients with DM. Full article
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4 pages, 180 KiB  
Editorial
Strategies to Counteract Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Chronic-Degenerative Diseases 2.0
by Cecilia Prata, Cristina Angeloni and Tullia Maraldi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 5026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25095026 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 564
Abstract
Oxidative stress and inflammation are recognized as pivotal contributors and common features of several chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders, affecting a high percentage of the population [...] Full article
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