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Curr. Issues Mol. Biol., Volume 44, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 27 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a common, congenital connective tissue disorder. Diagnosis of EDS must be established based on clinical criteria and confirmed by molecular analysis. Some may share their symptoms with other types of EDS (mainly with hypermobile, classical-like, or vascular) or other connective tissue disorders, and establishing their diagnosis is possible only after molecular investigation.
Next-generation sequencing, with an appropriate multigene panel, showed great potential to assist in the diagnosis of EDS and other connective tissue disorders. View this paper.
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14 pages, 3563 KiB  
Article
Dysregulation of miR-21-5p, miR-93-5p, miR-200c-3p and miR-205-5p in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Potential Biomarkers Panel?
by Ovidiu Aghiorghiesei, Oana Zanoaga, Lajos Raduly, Alexandra Iulia Aghiorghiesei, Paul Chiroi, Andrada Trif, Rares Buiga, Liviuta Budisan, Ondine Lucaciu, Laura Ancuta Pop, Cornelia Braicu, Radu Campian and Ioana Berindan-Neagoe
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1754-1767; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040121 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3049
Abstract
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is considered the sixth most common cancer worldwide. To reduce the high mortality of the disease, sensitive and specific diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers are urgently needed. Non-coding RNA, microRNAs (miRNAs), which are short length non-coding transcripts, or long [...] Read more.
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is considered the sixth most common cancer worldwide. To reduce the high mortality of the disease, sensitive and specific diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers are urgently needed. Non-coding RNA, microRNAs (miRNAs), which are short length non-coding transcripts, or long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) seem to be potential biomarkers, considering that they have an important role in regulation of cell fate being involved in a wide range of biological processes. Literature data emphasized the important role of these transcripts as a biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Therefore, we have evaluated the expression levels of a panel of four miRNAs (miR-21-5p, miR-93-5p, miR-200c-3p and miR-205-5p) and H19, MALAT1 by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) from 33 fresh frozen tissues and 33 normal adjacent tissues. Our date revealed miR-21-5p and miR-93-5p to be upregulated, while miR-200c-3p and miR-205-5p to be downregulated. Regarding the long non-coding RNAs, H19 and MALAT1, were also downregulated. We also investigated the expression of BCL2, which is another important gene correlated to non-coding RNAs investigated by as, and it was also under-expressed. Additional validation step at protein level was done for KI67, TP53 and BCL2. In our patient cohort no correlation with clinical stage and smoking status was observed. The results of the present study indicated the important role of miR-21-5p, miR-93-5p, miR-200c-3p, miR-205-5p and H19 in OSCC. Differential expression of these transcripts at sub-sites, may serve as a diagnostic marker with further elaboration on a larger sample size. Additional studies should be conducted to confirm the results, particularly the interconnection with coding and non-coding genes. Full article
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14 pages, 1998 KiB  
Article
Thymoquinone (TQ) Inhibits Inflammation and Migration of THP-1 Macrophages: Mechanistic Insights into the Prevention of Atherosclerosis Using In-Vitro and In-Silico Analysis
by Etimad Huwait, Nouf Al-Gharawi, Maryam A. Al-Ghamdi, Mamdooh Gari, Alexandre Prola, Peter Natesan Pushparaj and Gauthaman Kalamegam
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1740-1753; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040120 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3108
Abstract
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease mediated by interferon (IFN-γ) in concert with cell adhesion molecules and chemokines. Thymoquinone (TQ), a flavonoid derived from Nigella sativa, is reported to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cardiovascular protective properties. We evaluated the effects of TQ on [...] Read more.
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease mediated by interferon (IFN-γ) in concert with cell adhesion molecules and chemokines. Thymoquinone (TQ), a flavonoid derived from Nigella sativa, is reported to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cardiovascular protective properties. We evaluated the effects of TQ on the key pathogenic stages of atherosclerosis, including cell viability, inflammatory gene expression, cell migration, and cholesterol efflux, on human THP-1 macrophages in-vitro. Moreover, in-silico analysis was performed to predict the molecular targets and signaling mechanisms. We demonstrated that TQ treatment had no effect on cell viability and decreased the expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) in response to IFN-γ. In addition, we have also demonstrated that the THP-1 cell migration was inhibited by TQ in the absence or presence of MCP-1. Thymoquinone had no effect on cholesterol efflux from monocytes. In-silico analysis also identified several putative targets for TQ that are associated with inflammatory diseases and associated signaling pathways. Collectively, these results suggest that TQ has anti-inflammatory effects and may be a potential nutraceutical candidate for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
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15 pages, 915 KiB  
Article
Chemical Reaction Networks’ Programming for Solving Equations
by Ziwei Shang, Changjun Zhou and Qiang Zhang
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1725-1739; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040119 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2150
Abstract
The computational ability of the chemical reaction networks (CRNs) using DNA as the substrate has been verified previously. To solve more complex computational problems and perform the computational steps as expected, the practical design of the basic modules of calculation and the steps [...] Read more.
The computational ability of the chemical reaction networks (CRNs) using DNA as the substrate has been verified previously. To solve more complex computational problems and perform the computational steps as expected, the practical design of the basic modules of calculation and the steps in the reactions have become the basic requirements for biomolecular computing. This paper presents a method for solving nonlinear equations in the CRNs with DNA as the substrate. We used the basic calculation module of the CRNs with a gateless structure to design discrete and analog algorithms and realized the nonlinear equations that could not be solved in the previous work, such as exponential, logarithmic, and simple triangle equations. The solution of the equation uses the transformation method, Taylor expansion, and Newton iteration method, and the simulation verified this through examples. We used and improved the basic calculation module of the CRN++ programming language, optimized the error in the basic module, and analyzed the error’s variation over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics and Systems Biology)
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12 pages, 760 KiB  
Article
Associations of APOE Gene Variants rs429358 and rs7412 with Parameters of the Blood Lipid Profile and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death in a White Population of Western Siberia
by Sergey Semaev, Elena Shakhtshneider, Liliya Shcherbakova, Dinara Ivanoshchuk, Pavel Orlov, Sophia Malyutina, Valery Gafarov, Yuliya Ragino and Mikhail Voevoda
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1713-1724; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040118 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3081
Abstract
The present study aimed to analyze possible associations of rs7412 and rs429358 of the APOE gene with lipid profile parameters, the risk of myocardial infarction, and death in the mostly white population of Western Siberia (Russia). The study population was selected from a [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to analyze possible associations of rs7412 and rs429358 of the APOE gene with lipid profile parameters, the risk of myocardial infarction, and death in the mostly white population of Western Siberia (Russia). The study population was selected from a sample surveyed within the framework of the Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial Factors In Eastern Europe (HAPIEE) study (9360 subjects, age 53.8 ± 7.0 years, males/females 50/50). PCR was conducted with fluorescence detection according to the TaqMan principle on a real-time PCR machine. The frequency of a minor allele (C) of rs429358 was 0.13, and the frequency of a minor allele (T) of rs7412 was 0.09. In our study, the woman with the rare ɛ1/ɛ4 genotype had substantial aberrations in blood lipid levels. In Kaplan–Meier curves, statistically significant differences were revealed in the prognosis of survival within the subgroup of females who had a myocardial infarction (p = 0.0006): the prognosis was worse for carriers of the ɛ2/ɛ2 genotype and for ɛ4/ɛ4 carriers. Survival analysis regarding deaths from all causes showed (p = 0.0238) that female carriers of the ɛ2/ɛ4 genotype had a worse prognosis than did carriers of other genotypes. Thus, in the population of Western Siberia (Russia), we confirmed statistically significant associations between rs7412 & rs429358 genotypes and lipid profile parameters. Full article
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12 pages, 5046 KiB  
Article
Increased Production of Interleukin-10 and Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha in Stimulated Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells after Inhibition of S100A12
by Huang-Pin Wu, Chien-Ming Chu, Pi-Hua Liu, Shaw-Woei Leu, Shih-Wei Lin, Han-Chung Hu, Kuo-Chin Kao, Li-Fu Li and Chung-Chieh Yu
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1701-1712; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040117 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2831
Abstract
Sepsis may induce immunosuppression and result in death. S100A12 can bind to the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) and Toll-like receptor (TLR)4 following induction of various inflammatory responses. It is unclear whether S100A12 significantly influences the immune system, which may be associated [...] Read more.
Sepsis may induce immunosuppression and result in death. S100A12 can bind to the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) and Toll-like receptor (TLR)4 following induction of various inflammatory responses. It is unclear whether S100A12 significantly influences the immune system, which may be associated with sepsis-related mortality. We measured plasma S100A12 levels and cytokine responses (mean ± standard error mean) of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) after S100A12 inhibition in healthy controls and patients with sepsis on days one and seven. Day one plasma soluble RAGE (sRAGE) and S100A12 levels in patients with sepsis were significantly higher than those in controls (2481.3 ± 295.0 vs. 1273.0 ± 108.2 pg/mL, p < 0.001; 530.3 ± 18.2 vs. 310.1 ± 28.1 pg/mL, p < 0.001, respectively). Day seven plasma S100A12 levels in non-survivors were significantly higher than those in survivors (593.1 ± 12.7 vs. 499.3 ± 23.8 pg/mL, p = 0.002, respectively). In survivors, plasma sRAGE levels were significantly decreased after 6 days (2297.3 ± 320.3 vs. 1530.1 ± 219.1 pg/mL, p = 0.009, respectively), but not in non-survivors. Inhibiting S100A12 increased the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-10 in stimulated PBMCs for both controls and patients. Therefore, S100A12 plays an important role in sepsis pathogenesis. S100A12 may competitively bind to TLR4 and RAGE, resulting in decreased IL-10 and TNF-α production. Full article
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13 pages, 5720 KiB  
Article
Validation Study to Determine the Accuracy of Widespread Promoterless EGFP Reporter at Assessing CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Homology Directed Repair
by Wanqing Xu, Qingxia Zuo, Dongyan Feng, Changsheng He, Cailing Lin, Dongchao Huang, Yanbin Wan, Feng Chen, Guosheng Mo, Qi Sun, Hongli Du and Lizhen Huang
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1688-1700; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040116 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
An accurate visual reporter system to assess homology-directed repair (HDR) is a key prerequisite for evaluating the efficiency of Cas9-mediated precise gene editing. Herein, we tested the utility of the widespread promoterless EGFP reporter to assess the efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination by [...] Read more.
An accurate visual reporter system to assess homology-directed repair (HDR) is a key prerequisite for evaluating the efficiency of Cas9-mediated precise gene editing. Herein, we tested the utility of the widespread promoterless EGFP reporter to assess the efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination by fluorescence expression. We firstly established a promoterless EGFP reporter donor targeting the porcine GAPDH locus to study CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination in porcine cells. Curiously, EGFP was expressed at unexpectedly high levels from the promoterless donor in porcine cells, with or without Cas9/sgRNA. Even higher EGFP expression was detected in human cells and those of other species when the porcine donor was transfected alone. Therefore, EGFP could be expressed at certain level in various cells transfected with the promoterless EGFP reporter alone, making it a low-resolution reporter for measuring Cas9-mediated HDR events. In summary, the widespread promoterless EGFP reporter could not be an ideal measurement for HDR screening and there is an urgent need to develop a more reliable, high-resolution HDR screening system to better explore strategies of increasing the efficiency of Cas9-mediated HDR in mammalian cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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11 pages, 3660 KiB  
Article
Cyanidin-3-Glucoside Modulates hsa_circ_0001345/miRNA106b/ATG16L1 Axis Expression as a Potential Protective Mechanism against Hepatocellular Carcinoma
by Shaimaa Zabady, Nievin Mahran, Mohamed A. Soltan, Muhammad Alaa Eldeen, Refaat A. Eid, Sarah Albogami, Eman Fayad, Marwa Matboli, Eman K. Habib, Amany H. Hasanin, Mahmoud A. Ali, Noha M. Mesbah, Dina M. Abo-Elmatty and Asmaa R. Abdel-Hamed
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1677-1687; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040115 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2469
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of malignancy in the liver. Autophagy was found to have a significant effect in controlling HCC. Anthocyanins, which are naturally occurring pigments in a variety of fruits and vegetables, have been thoroughly documented to be [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of malignancy in the liver. Autophagy was found to have a significant effect in controlling HCC. Anthocyanins, which are naturally occurring pigments in a variety of fruits and vegetables, have been thoroughly documented to be involved in a variety of bioactive activities and are widely employed for their antioxidant capabilities. Cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) extracted from Morus alba L. has promising antioxidant and anti-tumour activities. The current study aims to examine the protective action of C3G against hepatocellular carcinoma through the investigation of the autophagy protein ATG16L1 expression along with its related RNA molecules (hsa_circ_0001345 and miRNA106b) in Wistar rats. In vivo precancerous lesions (PCL) were induced using diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and acetamidofluorene (2-AAF). Rats were treated with C3G (10, 15, and 20 mg/kg; 4 times weekly) for 112 days (16 weeks). Liver function tests, alfa fetoprotein, ATG16L1 expression, hsa_circ_0001345, and miRNA106b differential expression were examined. Liver sections were examined by histological and immunohistochemical approaches. The current study’s findings indicated that C3G administration protects against the negative effects of DEN-2-AAF on liver functions and liver histopathological sections, which nominated C3G as a potential prophylactic agent against HCC. Full article
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13 pages, 1434 KiB  
Article
The Increase in Circulating Levels of Pro-Inflammatory Chemokines, Cytokines, and Complement C5 in Canines with Impaired Kidney Function
by Selena K. Tavener, Dennis E. Jewell and Kiran S. Panickar
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1664-1676; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040114 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2386
Abstract
Chronic low-grade inflammation is a key contributor to the progression of kidney disease. The release of cytokines and other pro-inflammatory proteins may further contribute to detrimental kidney health by increasing interstitial edema and renal fibrosis. The aim of the present study was to [...] Read more.
Chronic low-grade inflammation is a key contributor to the progression of kidney disease. The release of cytokines and other pro-inflammatory proteins may further contribute to detrimental kidney health by increasing interstitial edema and renal fibrosis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the inflammatory markers in canines who developed renal disease naturally and were diagnosed with renal disease either during life or following necropsy, as assessed by a veterinarian. RNA was isolated from canine blood obtained at necropsy and stored as bioarchived samples from ten canines with renal disease (9.6–14.7 yr) and ten controls (10.1–14.8 yr). At the time of death, the mean blood creatinine concentration and BUN were elevated in dogs with renal disease compared to control (both p < 0.01). Samples were assessed for changes in gene expression using the Canine cytokine RT2 Profiler PCR Array for inflammation. There was a significant increase in C-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 16 (CCL16), C-X-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 5 (CXCL5), Interleukin 16 (IL-16), and Complement Component 5 (C5) (all p < 0.05 vs. con). In addition, there was also a statistically non-significant increase in 49 genes and a down-regulation in 35 genes from a panel of total 84 genes. Pro-inflammatory genes including CCL16, CXCL5, IL-16, and C5 can all contribute to renal inflammation and fibrosis through different signaling pathways and may lead to a progressive impairment of kidney function. Blockade of their activation may be important in ameliorating the initiation and/or the progression of renal disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
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3 pages, 225 KiB  
Comment
Comment on Aldén et al. Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line. Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44, 1115–1126
by Hamid A. Merchant
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1661-1663; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040113 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 36014
Abstract
Aldén et al. (2022) recently reported the intracellular reverse transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 in vitro in a human liver cell line (Huh7) [...] Full article
15 pages, 11231 KiB  
Article
New Insights into Evolution of the ABC Transporter Family in Mesostigma viride, a Unicellular Charophyte Algae
by Xiaoping Gong and Shanhong Wang
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1646-1660; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040112 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2322
Abstract
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play an important role in driving the exchange of multiple molecules across cell membranes. The plant ABC transporter family is among the largest protein families, and recent progress has advanced our understanding of ABC classification. However, the ancestral form [...] Read more.
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play an important role in driving the exchange of multiple molecules across cell membranes. The plant ABC transporter family is among the largest protein families, and recent progress has advanced our understanding of ABC classification. However, the ancestral form and deep origin of plant ABCs remain elusive. In this study, we identified 59 ABC transporters in Mesostigma viride, a unicellular charophyte algae that represents the earliest diverging lineage of streptophytes, and 1034 ABCs in genomes representing a broad taxonomic sampling from distantly related plant evolutionary lineages, including chlorophytes, charophytes, bryophytes, lycophytes, gymnosperms, basal angiosperms, monocots, and eudicots. We classified the plant ABC transporters by comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of each subfamily. Our analysis revealed the ancestral type of ABC proteins as well as duplication and gene loss during plant evolution, contributing to our understanding of the functional conservation and diversity of this family. In summary, this study provides new insight into the origin and evolution of plant ABC transporters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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20 pages, 14697 KiB  
Communication
N-Terminus-Mediated Solution Structure of Dimerization Domain of PRC1
by Fei Tan and Jin Xu
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1626-1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040111 - 10 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2321
Abstract
Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are essential for the accurate division of a cell into two daughter cells. These proteins target specific microtubules to be incorporated into the spindle midzone, which comprises a special array of microtubules that initiate cytokinesis during anaphase. A representative member [...] Read more.
Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are essential for the accurate division of a cell into two daughter cells. These proteins target specific microtubules to be incorporated into the spindle midzone, which comprises a special array of microtubules that initiate cytokinesis during anaphase. A representative member of the MAPs is Protein Regulator of Cytokinesis 1 (PRC1), which self-multimerizes to cross-link microtubules, the malfunction of which might result in cancerous cells. The importance of PRC1 multimerization makes it a popular target for structural studies. The available crystal structure of PRC1 has low resolution (>3 Å) and accuracy, limiting a better understanding of the structure-related functions of PRC1. Therefore, we used NMR spectroscopy to better determine the structure of the dimerization domain of PRC1. The NMR structure shows that the PRC1 N terminus is crucial to the overall structure integrity, but the crystal structure bespeaks otherwise. We systematically addressed the role of the N terminus by generating a series of mutants in which N-terminal residues methionine (Met1) and arginine (Arg2) were either deleted, extended or substituted with other rationally selected amino acids. Each mutant was subsequently analyzed by NMR spectroscopy or fluorescence thermal shift assays for its structural or thermal stability; we found that N-terminal perturbations indeed affected the overall protein structure and that the solution structure better reflects the conformation of PRC1 under solution conditions. These results reveal that the structure of PRC1 is governed by its N terminus through hydrophobic interactions with other core residues, such hitherto unidentified N-terminal conformations might shed light on the structure–function relationships of PRC1 or other proteins. Therefore, our study is of major importance in terms of identifying a novel structural feature and can further the progress of protein folding and protein engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Current Issues in Molecular Biology)
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16 pages, 5743 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the Impacts of Living at High Altitude in Taif: Oxidative Stress Biomarker Alterations and Immunohistochemical Changes
by Mohamed Mohamed Soliman, Adil Aldhahrani, Fayez Althobaiti, Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed, Samy Sayed, Saqer Alotaibi, Mustafa Shukry and Ahmed M. El-Shehawi
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1610-1625; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040110 - 9 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
At high elevations, the human body experiences a number of pathological, physiological, and biochemical changes, all of which have adverse impacts on human health and organ vitality. This study aimed to investigate the alterations in the liver and kidney biomarkers, oxidative stress markers, [...] Read more.
At high elevations, the human body experiences a number of pathological, physiological, and biochemical changes, all of which have adverse impacts on human health and organ vitality. This study aimed to investigate the alterations in the liver and kidney biomarkers, oxidative stress markers, gene expression, and cellular histology of rats maintained at high altitudes and normal sea level. A total of twenty male Wistar rats at 2 months of age were randomly assigned to two groups. The rats in group A were maintained at normal sea level in Jeddah, whereas rats in group B were maintained in an area in Taif 2600 m above sea level. After 2 months of housing, orbital blood samples were collected for the analysis of significant biochemical indicators of oxidative stress biomarkers of the liver and kidneys. Liver and kidney tissues from both groups were taken to examine the hepatorenal changes occurring at the biochemical, histological, immunohistochemical, and genetic levels. The results revealed substantial increases in the serum levels of liver and kidney biomarkers (GPT, GOT, urea, and creatinine) and decreases in the serum levels of antioxidant biomarkers (SOD, catalase, GSH, and NO). In parallel, the levels of the malondialdehyde (MDA) tissue damage marker and inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α, and IFN-γ) were increased in the high-altitude group compared to the normal sea level group. In addition, there were significant alterations in the oxidative and inflammatory status of rats that lived at high altitude, with considerable upregulation in the expression of hepatic VEGF, type 1 collagen, Cox-2, TNF-α, and iNOS as well as renal EPASI, CMYC, HIF-α, and EGLN-2 genes in the high-altitude group compared with controls housed at normal sea level. In conclusion, living at high altitude induces hepatorenal damage and biochemical and molecular alterations, all of which may serve as critical factors that must be taken into account for organisms living at high altitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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13 pages, 3470 KiB  
Article
Network Pharmacology Study to Elucidate the Key Targets of Underlying Antihistamines against COVID-19
by Ki-Kwang Oh, Md. Adnan and Dong-Ha Cho
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1597-1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040109 - 8 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3863
Abstract
Antihistamines have potent efficacy to alleviate COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) symptoms such as anti-inflammation and as a pain reliever. However, the pharmacological mechanism(s), key target(s), and drug(s) are not documented well against COVID-19. Thus, we investigated to decipher the most significant components and [...] Read more.
Antihistamines have potent efficacy to alleviate COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) symptoms such as anti-inflammation and as a pain reliever. However, the pharmacological mechanism(s), key target(s), and drug(s) are not documented well against COVID-19. Thus, we investigated to decipher the most significant components and how its research methodology was utilized by network pharmacology. The list of 32 common antihistamines on the market were retrieved via drug browsing databases. The targets associated with the selected antihistamines and the targets that responded to COVID-19 infection were identified by the Similarity Ensemble Approach (SEA), SwissTargetPrediction (STP), and PubChem, respectively. We described bubble charts, the Pathways-Targets-Antihistamines (PTA) network, and the protein–protein interaction (PPI) network on the RPackage via STRING database. Furthermore, we utilized the AutoDock Tools software to perform molecular docking tests (MDT) on the key targets and drugs to evaluate the network pharmacological perspective. The final 15 targets were identified as core targets, indicating that Neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction might be the hub-signaling pathway of antihistamines on COVID-19 via bubble chart. The PTA network was constructed by the RPackage, which identified 7 pathways, 11 targets, and 30 drugs. In addition, GRIN2B, a key target, was identified via topological analysis of the PPI network. Finally, we observed that the GRIN2B-Loratidine complex was the most stable docking score with −7.3 kcal/mol through molecular docking test. Our results showed that Loratadine might exert as an antagonist on GRIN2B via the neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction pathway. To sum up, we elucidated the most potential antihistamine, a key target, and a key pharmacological pathway as alleviating components against COVID-19, supporting scientific evidence for further research. Full article
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10 pages, 1986 KiB  
Article
CRISPR/Cas9 Screening for Identification of Genes Required for the Growth of Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma Cells
by Ayako Kawabata, Tomoatsu Hayashi, Yoko Akasu-Nagayoshi, Ai Yamada, Naomi Shimizu, Naoko Yokota, Ryuichiro Nakato, Katsuhiko Shirahige, Aikou Okamoto and Tetsu Akiyama
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1587-1596; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040108 - 7 Apr 2022
Viewed by 3192
Abstract
Epithelial ovarian cancer is classified into four major histological subtypes: serous, clear cell, endometrioid and mucinous. Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) responds poorly to conventional chemotherapies and shows poor prognosis. Thus, there is a need to develop new drugs for the treatment of [...] Read more.
Epithelial ovarian cancer is classified into four major histological subtypes: serous, clear cell, endometrioid and mucinous. Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) responds poorly to conventional chemotherapies and shows poor prognosis. Thus, there is a need to develop new drugs for the treatment of OCCC. In this study, we performed CRISPR/Cas9 screens against OCCC cell lines and identified candidate genes important for their proliferation. We found that quite different genes are required for the growth of ARID1A and PIK3CA mutant and wild-type OCCC cell lines, respectively. Furthermore, we found that the epigenetic regulator KDM2A and the translation regulator PAIP1 may play important roles in the growth of ARID1A and PIK3CA mutant, but not wild-type, OCCC cells. The results of our CRISPR/Cas9 screening may be useful in elucidating the molecular mechanism of OCCC tumorigenesis and in developing OCCC-targeted drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cancer Biology and Therapy)
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23 pages, 1798 KiB  
Article
ERβ Isoforms Have Differential Clinical Significance in Breast Cancer Subtypes and Subgroups
by Young Choi, Hadong Kim and Simcha Pollack
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1564-1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040107 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2050
Abstract
ERβ, an ER subtype first identified in 1996, is highly expressed in different types of BCa including ERα-negative BCa and TNBC. Many studies on ERβ expression investigated mostly on ERβ1 protein expression in ERα-positive and ERα-negative BCa combined. The results are conflicting. This [...] Read more.
ERβ, an ER subtype first identified in 1996, is highly expressed in different types of BCa including ERα-negative BCa and TNBC. Many studies on ERβ expression investigated mostly on ERβ1 protein expression in ERα-positive and ERα-negative BCa combined. The results are conflicting. This may be due to the complexity of ERβ isoforms, subject heterogeneity, and various study designs targeting different ERβ isoforms and either ERβ protein or mRNA expression, as well as to the lack of a standardized testing protocol. Herein, we simultaneously investigated both mRNA and protein expression of ERβ isoforms 1, 2, and 5 in different BCa subtypes and clinical characteristics. Patient samples (138) and breast cancer cell lines (BCC) reflecting different types of BCa were tested for ERα and ERβ mRNA expression using quantitative real-time PCR, as well as for protein expression of ERα, ERβ1, ERβ2, and ERβ5 isoforms, PR, HER2/neu, Ki-67, CK 5/6, and p53 using immunohistochemistry. Associations of ERβ isoform expression with clinical characteristics and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. ERβ1, 2, and 5 isoforms are differentially expressed in different BCa subtypes including ERα-negative and TNBC. Each ERβ isoform seemingly plays a distinct role and is associated with clinical tumor characteristics and patient outcomes. ERβ isoform expression is significantly associated with >15% Ki-67 positivity and poor prognostic markers, and it predicts poorer OS, mostly in the subgroups. High ERβ2 and 5 isoform expression in ERα-negative BCa and TNBC is predictive of poor OS. Further investigation of ERβ isoforms in a larger cohort of BCa subgroups is needed to evaluate the role of ERβ for the potential usefulness of ERβ as a prognostic and predictive marker and for therapeutic use. The inconsistent outcomes of ERβ isoform mRNA or protein expression in many studies suggest that the standardization of ERβ testing would facilitate the use of ERβ in a clinical setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
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12 pages, 1789 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Next-Generation Sequencing and Polymerase Chain Reaction for Personalized Treatment-Related Genomic Status in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
by Wei-Chih Su, Yi-Chen Tsai, Hsiang-Lin Tsai, Tsung-Kun Chang, Tzu-Chieh Yin, Ching-Wen Huang, Yen-Cheng Chen, Ching-Chun Li, Po-Jung Chen, Yun-Ru Liu, Tsung-Han Hsieh and Jaw-Yuan Wang
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1552-1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040106 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2590
Abstract
Personalized treatments based on the genetic profiles of tumors can simultaneously optimize efficacy and minimize toxicity, which is beneficial for improving patient outcomes. This study aimed to integrate gene alterations associated with predictive and prognostic outcomes in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) [...] Read more.
Personalized treatments based on the genetic profiles of tumors can simultaneously optimize efficacy and minimize toxicity, which is beneficial for improving patient outcomes. This study aimed to integrate gene alterations associated with predictive and prognostic outcomes in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and in-house next-generation sequencing (NGS) to detect KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF mutations. In the present study, 41 patients with mCRC were assessed between August 2017 and June 2019 at a single institution. The overall concordance between NGS and PCR results for detecting KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF mutations was considerably high (87.8–92.7%), with only 15 discrepant results between PCR and NGS. Our companion diagnostic test analyzes KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF as a panel of CRC molecular targets; therefore, it has the advantages of requiring fewer specimens and being more time and cost efficient than conventional testing for separate analyses, allowing for the simultaneous analysis of multiple genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Technique and Personalized Medicine)
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13 pages, 3676 KiB  
Article
Laminin 511-E8 Fragment Offers Superior Adhesion Properties for Gastric Cancer Cells Compared with Full-Length Laminin 511
by Masaya Iwamuro, Hidenori Shiraha, Mayu Kobashi, Shigeru Horiguchi and Hiroyuki Okada
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1539-1551; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040105 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1847
Abstract
Background: The interaction between cancer cells and laminin (Ln) is a key event in tumor invasion and metastasis. Previously, we determined the effect of full-length Ln511 on gastric cancer cells. However, the interactions between the Ln511-E8 fragment, a truncated protein of Ln511, and [...] Read more.
Background: The interaction between cancer cells and laminin (Ln) is a key event in tumor invasion and metastasis. Previously, we determined the effect of full-length Ln511 on gastric cancer cells. However, the interactions between the Ln511-E8 fragment, a truncated protein of Ln511, and gastric cancer cells have not been investigated. Methods: We investigated the adhesion properties of gastric cancer cells to full-length Ln511 and Ln511-E8 fragments. Results: The proliferation of four gastric cancer cell lines (SH-10-TC, MKN74, SC-6-JCK, and MKN45) was highest on the Ln511-E8 fragment. Further, a larger cytoplasm was observed in SH-10-TC and MKN74 cells cultured on full-length Ln511 or Ln511-E8 fragments. The percentage of adhesive cells was highest on the Ln511-E8 fragment in all four cell lines. Moreover, adhesion of the gastric cancer cells to Ln511-E8 fragment-coated plates was reduced by the Cdc42 GTPase inhibitor in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting the involvement of Cdc42 in the Ln511-E8 fragment-induced enhanced adhesion of gastric cancer cells. Conclusions: The Ln511-E8 fragment had a greater impact on the adhesion, morphology, and proliferation of gastric cancer cells than full-length laminin. Thus, the Ln511-E8 fragment is suitable for investigating the interaction between gastric cancer cells and extracellular matrices in tumor invasion and metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
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11 pages, 3100 KiB  
Article
Chrysophanol Suppresses Cell Growth via mTOR/PPAR-α Regulation and ROS Accumulation in Cultured Human Tongue Squamous Carcinoma SAS Cells
by Po-Chih Hsu, Chia-Chen Hsu, Yi-Jan Hsia and Chan-Yen Kuo
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1528-1538; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040104 - 1 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2124
Abstract
Oral cancer, a type of head and neck cancer, can pose a significant risk of death unless diagnosed and treated early. Alternative treatments are urgently needed owing to the high mortality rate, limitations of conventional treatments, and many complications. The anthraquinone compound chrysophanol [...] Read more.
Oral cancer, a type of head and neck cancer, can pose a significant risk of death unless diagnosed and treated early. Alternative treatments are urgently needed owing to the high mortality rate, limitations of conventional treatments, and many complications. The anthraquinone compound chrysophanol acts as a tumor suppressor on some types of cancer cells. To date, it has not been clarified how chrysophanol affects human tongue squamous carcinoma. This study was aimed to examine the effects of chrysophanol on oral cancer treatment. The results show that chrysophanol caused cell death, reduced the expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-α), and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. We also used two ion chelators, deferoxamine (DFO) and liproxstatin-1 (Lipro), to further determine whether chrysophanol inhibits cell growth and regulates mTOR/PPAR-α expression and ROS production, both of which are involved in iron homeostasis. The results show that DFO and Lipro reversed the increase in cell death, downregulation of mTOR/PPAR-α, and decrease in ROS accumulation. In conclusion, chrysophanol inhibits the growth of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells by modulating mTOR/PPAR-α and by causing ROS accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Sights: Phytochemicals and Cancer)
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15 pages, 1044 KiB  
Article
Ulcerative Colitis Seems to Imply Oral Microbiome Dysbiosis
by Natalia Molinero, Diego Taladrid, Irene Zorraquín-Peña, Miguel de Celis, Ignacio Belda, Alex Mira, Begoña Bartolomé and M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1513-1527; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040103 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3321
Abstract
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a recurrent pathology of complex etiology that has been occasionally associated with oral lesions, but the overall composition of the oral microbiome in UC patients and its role in the pathogenesis of the disease are still poorly understood. In [...] Read more.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a recurrent pathology of complex etiology that has been occasionally associated with oral lesions, but the overall composition of the oral microbiome in UC patients and its role in the pathogenesis of the disease are still poorly understood. In this study, the oral microbiome of UC patients and healthy individuals was compared to ascertain the possible changes in the oral microbial communities associated with UC. For this, the salivary microbiota of 10 patients diagnosed with an active phase of UC and 11 healthy controls was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing (trial ref. ISRCTN39987). Metataxonomic analysis revealed a decrease in the alpha diversity and an imbalance in the relative proportions of some key members of the oral core microbiome in UC patients. Additionally, Staphylococcus members and four differential species or phylotypes were only present in UC patients, not being detected in healthy subjects. This study provides a global snapshot of the existence of oral dysbiosis associated with UC, and the possible presence of potential oral biomarkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Research on Molecular Oral Microorganisms)
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16 pages, 17532 KiB  
Article
Competitive Hybridization of a Microarray Identifies CMKLR1 as an Up-Regulated Gene in Human Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Compared to Human Embryonic Fibroblasts
by Hee-Yeon Cho, Sooho Lee, Ji-Hong Park, Yoon Hae Kwak, HaeYong Kweon and Dongchul Kang
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1497-1512; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040102 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2150
Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been widely applied to the regeneration of damaged tissue and the modulation of immune response. The purity of MSC preparation and the delivery of MSCs to a target region are critical factors for success in therapeutic application. In [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been widely applied to the regeneration of damaged tissue and the modulation of immune response. The purity of MSC preparation and the delivery of MSCs to a target region are critical factors for success in therapeutic application. In order to define the molecular identity of an MSC, the gene expression pattern of a human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (hBMSC) was compared with that of a human embryonic fibroblast (hEF) by competitive hybridization of a microarray. A total of 270 and 173 genes were two-fold up- and down-regulated with FDR < 0.05 in the hBMSC compared to the hEF, respectively. The overexpressed genes in the hBMSC over the hEF, including transcription factors, were enriched for biological processes such as axial pattern formation, face morphogenesis and skeletal system development, which could be expected from the differentiation potential of MSCs. CD70 and CD339 were identified as additional CD markers that were up-regulated in the hBMSC over the hEF. The differential expression of CD70 and CD339 might be exploited to distinguish hEF and hBMSC. CMKLR1, a chemokine receptor, was up-regulated in the hBMSC compared to the hEF. RARRES2, a CMKLR1 ligand, stimulated specific migration of the hBMSC, but not of the hEF. RARRES2 manifested as ~two-fold less effective than SDF-1α in the directional migration of the hBMSC. The expression of CMKLR1 was decreased upon the osteoblastic differentiation of the hBMSC. However, the RARRES2-loaded 10% HA-silk scaffold did not recruit endogenous cells to the scaffold in vivo. The RARRES2–CMKLR1 axis could be employed in recruiting systemically delivered or endogenous MSCs to a specific target lesion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Current Issues in Molecular Biology)
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9 pages, 1233 KiB  
Article
Propensity Score-Matched Analysis to Identify Pathways Associated with Loss of Sodium Iodide Symporter in Papillary Thyroid Cancer
by Fang Lee, Chi-Yu Kuo, Chung-Hsin Tsai and Shih-Ping Cheng
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1488-1496; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040101 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1946
Abstract
Sodium iodide symporter (NIS) expression in thyroid follicular cells plays an important role in normal physiology and radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid cancer. Loss of NIS expression is often seen in thyroid cancers and may lead to radioiodine refractoriness. To explore novel mechanisms [...] Read more.
Sodium iodide symporter (NIS) expression in thyroid follicular cells plays an important role in normal physiology and radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid cancer. Loss of NIS expression is often seen in thyroid cancers and may lead to radioiodine refractoriness. To explore novel mechanisms of NIS repression beyond oncogenic drivers, clinical and RNA-seq data from the thyroid cancer dataset of The Cancer Genome Atlas were analyzed. Propensity score matching was used to control for various genetic background factors. We found that tumoral NIS expression was negatively correlated with tumor size. Additionally, low NIS expression was the only factor associated with recurrence-free survival in a Cox multivariate regression analysis. After matching for clinicopathologic profiles and driver mutations, the principal component analysis revealed distinct gene expressions between the high and low NIS groups. Gene set enrichment analysis suggested the downregulation of hedgehog signaling, immune networks, and cell adhesions. Positively enriched pathways included DNA replication, nucleotide excision repair, MYC, and Wnt/β-catenin pathways. In summary, we identified several potential targets which could be exploited to rescue the loss of NIS expression and develop redifferentiation strategies to facilitate radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid cancer. Full article
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9 pages, 1239 KiB  
Article
GCEN: An Easy-to-Use Toolkit for Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis and lncRNAs Annotation
by Wen Chen, Jing Li, Shulan Huang, Xiaodeng Li, Xuan Zhang, Xiang Hu, Shuanglin Xiang and Changning Liu
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1479-1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040100 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3641
Abstract
Gene co-expression network analysis has been widely used in gene function annotation, especially for long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). However, there is a lack of effective cross-platform analysis tools. For biologists to easily build a gene co-expression network and to predict gene function, we [...] Read more.
Gene co-expression network analysis has been widely used in gene function annotation, especially for long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). However, there is a lack of effective cross-platform analysis tools. For biologists to easily build a gene co-expression network and to predict gene function, we developed GCEN, a cross-platform command-line toolkit developed with C++. It is an efficient and easy-to-use solution that will allow everyone to perform gene co-expression network analysis without the requirement of sophisticated programming skills, especially in cases of RNA-Seq research and lncRNAs function annotation. Because of its modular design, GCEN can be easily integrated into other pipelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Development of Bioinformatics Tools of RNA)
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7 pages, 228 KiB  
Article
Next-Generation Sequencing of Connective Tissue Genes in Patients with Classical Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
by Anna Junkiert-Czarnecka, Maria Pilarska-Deltow, Aneta Bąk, Marta Heise, Anna Latos-Bieleńska, Jacek Zaremba, Alicja Bartoszewska-Kubiak and Olga Haus
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1472-1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040099 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3806
Abstract
Background: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a common non-inflammatory, congenital connective tissue disorder. Classical type (cEDS) EDS is one of the more common forms, typically caused by mutations in the COL5A1 and COL5A2 genes, though causative mutations in the COL1A1 gene have also been [...] Read more.
Background: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a common non-inflammatory, congenital connective tissue disorder. Classical type (cEDS) EDS is one of the more common forms, typically caused by mutations in the COL5A1 and COL5A2 genes, though causative mutations in the COL1A1 gene have also been described. Material and methods: The study group included 59 patients of Polish origin, diagnosed with cEDS. The analysis was performed on genomic DNA (gDNA) with NGS technology, using an Illumina sequencer. Thirty-five genes related to connective tissue were investigated. The pathogenicity of the detected variants was assessed by VarSome. Results: The NGS of 35 genes revealed variants within the COL5A1, COL5A2, COL1A1, and COL1A2 genes for 30 of the 59 patients investigated. Our panel detected no sequence variations for the remaining 29 patients. Discussion: Next-generation sequencing, with an appropriate multigene panel, showed great potential to assist in the diagnosis of EDS and other connective tissue disorders. Our data also show that not all causative genes giving rise to cEDS have been elucidated yet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Technique and Personalized Medicine)
9 pages, 793 KiB  
Article
sBCMA Plasma Level Dynamics and Anti-BCMA CAR-T-Cell Treatment in Relapsed Multiple Myeloma
by Katja Seipel, Naomi Porret, Gertrud Wiedemann, Barbara Jeker, Vera Ulrike Bacher and Thomas Pabst
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1463-1471; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040098 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3562
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Novel chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) target the B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) expressed on multiple myeloma cells. Assays monitoring CAR-T cell expansion and treatment response are being implemented in clinical routine. METHODS: Plasma levels of soluble BCMA (sBCMA) and anti-BCMA CAR-T cell [...] Read more.
BACKGROUND: Novel chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) target the B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) expressed on multiple myeloma cells. Assays monitoring CAR-T cell expansion and treatment response are being implemented in clinical routine. METHODS: Plasma levels of soluble BCMA (sBCMA) and anti-BCMA CAR-T cell copy numbers were monitored in the blood, following CAR-T cell infusion in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. sBCMA peptide concentration was determined in the plasma, applying a human BCMA/TNFRS17 ELISA. ddPCR was performed using probes targeting the intracellular signaling domains 4-1BB und CD3zeta of the anti-BCMA CAR-T construct. RESULTS: We report responses in the first five patients who received anti-BCMA CAR- T cell therapy at our center. Four patients achieved a complete remission (CR) in the bone marrow one month after CAR-T infusion, with three patients achieving stringent CR, determined by flow cytometry techniques. Anti-BCMA CAR-T cells were detectable in the peripheral blood for up to 300 days, with copy numbers peaking 7 to 14 days post-infusion. sBCMA plasma levels started declining one to ten days post infusion, reaching minimal levels 30 to 60 days post infusion, before rebounding to normal levels. CONCLUSIONS: Our data confirm a favorable response to treatment in four of the first five patients receiving anti-BCMA CAR-T at our hospital. Anti-BCMA CAR-T cell expansion seems to peak in the peripheral blood in a similar pattern compared to the CAR-T cell products already approved for lymphoma treatment. sBCMA plasma level may be a valid biomarker in assessing response to BCMA-targeting therapies in myeloma patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecules at Play in Cancer)
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11 pages, 867 KiB  
Article
Excessive Folic Acid Mimics Folate Deficiency in Human Lymphocytes
by Khadijah I. Alnabbat, Ali M. Fardous, Diane C. Cabelof and Ahmad R. Heydari
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1452-1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040097 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3269
Abstract
Food fortification with synthetic folic acid (FA), along with supplementation, results in a marked increase in the population total of serum folates and unmetabolized folic acid (UMFA). Despite the success in reducing neural tube defects at birth in the intended target population (women [...] Read more.
Food fortification with synthetic folic acid (FA), along with supplementation, results in a marked increase in the population total of serum folates and unmetabolized folic acid (UMFA). Despite the success in reducing neural tube defects at birth in the intended target population (women of childbearing age), the potential deleterious effects of chronically high levels of UMFA in susceptible segments of the population require further investigation. In this study, we examine the effects of FA concentrations, ranging from depletion to supraphysiological levels, on markers of proliferation, DNA methylation, and DNA damage and repair in a human lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL). We note that both low and high levels of FA similarly impact global DNA methylation, cytome biomarkers measured through the CBMN assay, DNA damage induced by oxidative stress, and DNA base excision repair gene expression. Full article
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18 pages, 1515 KiB  
Review
Therapeutic Anti-Depressant Potential of Microbial GABA Produced by Lactobacillus rhamnosus Strains for GABAergic Signaling Restoration and Inhibition of Addiction-Induced HPA Axis Hyperactivity
by Fernanda-Marie Tette, Samuel K. Kwofie and Michael D. Wilson
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1434-1451; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040096 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 8031
Abstract
The role of the microbiota–gut–brain (MGB) axis in mood regulation and depression treatment has gained attention in recent years, as evidenced by the growing number of animal and human studies that have reported the anti-depressive and associated gamma-aminobutyric acid-ergic (GABAergic) effects of probiotics [...] Read more.
The role of the microbiota–gut–brain (MGB) axis in mood regulation and depression treatment has gained attention in recent years, as evidenced by the growing number of animal and human studies that have reported the anti-depressive and associated gamma-aminobutyric acid-ergic (GABAergic) effects of probiotics developed from Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacterial strains in the gut microbiome. The depressive states attenuated by these probiotics in patients suffering from clinical depression also characterize the severe and relapse-inducing withdrawal phase of the addiction cycle, which has been found to arise from the intoxication-enabled hyperregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, the body’s major stress response system, and a corresponding attenuation of its main inhibitory system, the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling system. Therefore, the use of probiotics in the treatment of general cases of depression provides hope for a novel therapeutic approach to withdrawal depression remediation. This review discusses potential therapeutic avenues by which probiotic application of Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains can be used to restore the central GABAergic activity responsible for attenuating the depression-inducing HPA axis hyperactivity in addiction withdrawal. Also, information is provided on brain GABAergic signaling from other known GABA-producing strains of gut microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds on Mental Disorders)
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17 pages, 648 KiB  
Article
Group Theory of Syntactical Freedom in DNA Transcription and Genome Decoding
by Michel Planat, Marcelo M. Amaral, Fang Fang, David Chester, Raymond Aschheim and Klee Irwin
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1417-1433; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040095 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2527
Abstract
Transcription factors (TFs) are proteins that recognize specific DNA fragments in order to decode the genome and ensure its optimal functioning. TFs work at the local and global scales by specifying cell type, cell growth and death, cell migration, organization and timely tasks. [...] Read more.
Transcription factors (TFs) are proteins that recognize specific DNA fragments in order to decode the genome and ensure its optimal functioning. TFs work at the local and global scales by specifying cell type, cell growth and death, cell migration, organization and timely tasks. We investigate the structure of DNA-binding motifs with the theory of finitely generated groups. The DNA ‘word’ in the binding domain—the motif—may be seen as the generator of a finitely generated group Fdna on four letters, the bases A, T, G and C. It is shown that, most of the time, the DNA-binding motifs have subgroup structures close to free groups of rank three or less, a property that we call ‘syntactical freedom’. Such a property is associated with the aperiodicity of the motif when it is seen as a substitution sequence. Examples are provided for the major families of TFs, such as leucine zipper factors, zinc finger factors, homeo-domain factors, etc. We also discuss the exceptions to the existence of such DNA syntactical rules and their functional roles. This includes the TATA box in the promoter region of some genes, the single-nucleotide markers (SNP) and the motifs of some genes of ubiquitous roles in transcription and regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Technique and Personalized Medicine)
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