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Cells, Volume 7, Issue 12 (December 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Defective structures or functions of primary cilia lead to numerous disorders that are called [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Role of Autophagy in Proteostasis: Friend and Foe in Cardiac Diseases
Cells 2018, 7(12), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120279
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Due to ageing of the population, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases will increase in the coming years, constituting a substantial burden on health care systems. In particular, atrial fibrillation (AF) is approaching epidemic proportions. It has been identified that the derailment of proteostasis, [...] Read more.
Due to ageing of the population, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases will increase in the coming years, constituting a substantial burden on health care systems. In particular, atrial fibrillation (AF) is approaching epidemic proportions. It has been identified that the derailment of proteostasis, which is characterized by the loss of homeostasis in protein biosynthesis, folding, trafficking, and clearance by protein degradation systems such as autophagy, underlies the development of common cardiac diseases. Among various safeguards within the proteostasis system, autophagy is a vital cellular process that modulates clearance of misfolded and proteotoxic proteins from cardiomyocytes. On the other hand, excessive autophagy may result in derailment of proteostasis and therefore cardiac dysfunction. Here, we review the interplay between autophagy and proteostasis in the healthy heart, discuss the imbalance between autophagy and proteostasis during cardiac diseases, including AF, and finally explore new druggable targets which may limit cardiac disease initiation and progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proteostasis and Autophagy)
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Open AccessReview Autophagy: An Essential Degradation Program for Cellular Homeostasis and Life
Cells 2018, 7(12), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120278
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Autophagy is a lysosome-dependent cellular degradation program that responds to a variety of environmental and cellular stresses. It is an evolutionarily well-conserved and essential pathway to maintain cellular homeostasis, therefore, dysfunction of autophagy is closely associated with a wide spectrum of human pathophysiological [...] Read more.
Autophagy is a lysosome-dependent cellular degradation program that responds to a variety of environmental and cellular stresses. It is an evolutionarily well-conserved and essential pathway to maintain cellular homeostasis, therefore, dysfunction of autophagy is closely associated with a wide spectrum of human pathophysiological conditions including cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. The discovery and characterization of the kingdom of autophagy proteins have uncovered the molecular basis of the autophagy process. In addition, recent advances on the various post-translational modifications of autophagy proteins have shed light on the multiple layers of autophagy regulatory mechanisms, and provide novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of the diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proteostasis and Autophagy)
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Open AccessArticle A Dynamic Culture Method to Produce Ovarian Cancer Spheroids under Physiologically-Relevant Shear Stress
Cells 2018, 7(12), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120277
Received: 18 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
The transcoelomic metastasis pathway is an alternative to traditional lymphatic/hematogenic metastasis. It is most frequently observed in ovarian cancer, though it has been documented in colon and gastric cancers as well. In transcoelomic metastasis, primary tumor cells are released into the abdominal cavity [...] Read more.
The transcoelomic metastasis pathway is an alternative to traditional lymphatic/hematogenic metastasis. It is most frequently observed in ovarian cancer, though it has been documented in colon and gastric cancers as well. In transcoelomic metastasis, primary tumor cells are released into the abdominal cavity and form cell aggregates known as spheroids. These spheroids travel through the peritoneal fluid and implant at secondary sites, leading to the formation of new tumor lesions in the peritoneal lining and the organs in the cavity. Models of this process that incorporate the fluid shear stress (FSS) experienced by these spheroids are few, and most have not been fully characterized. Proposed herein is the adaption of a known dynamic cell culture system, the orbital shaker, to create an environment with physiologically-relevant FSS for spheroid formation. Experimental conditions (rotation speed, well size and cell density) were optimized to achieve physiologically-relevant FSS while facilitating the formation of spheroids that are also of a physiologically-relevant size. The FSS improves the roundness and size consistency of spheroids versus equivalent static methods and are even comparable to established high-throughput arrays, while maintaining nearly equivalent viability. This effect was seen in both highly metastatic and modestly metastatic cell lines. The spheroids generated using this technique were fully amenable to functional assays and will allow for better characterization of FSS’s effects on metastatic behavior and serve as a drug screening platform. This model can also be built upon in the future by adding more aspects of the peritoneal microenvironment, further enhancing its in vivo relevance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gi Protein Modulation of the Potassium Channel TASK-2 Mediates Vesicle Osmotic Swelling to Facilitate the Fusion of Aquaporin-2 Water Channel Containing Vesicles
Cells 2018, 7(12), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120276
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Vesicle fusion is a fundamental cell biological process similar from yeasts to humans. For secretory vesicles, swelling is considered a step required for the expulsion of intravesicular content. Here this concept is revisited providing evidence that it may instead represent a general mechanism. [...] Read more.
Vesicle fusion is a fundamental cell biological process similar from yeasts to humans. For secretory vesicles, swelling is considered a step required for the expulsion of intravesicular content. Here this concept is revisited providing evidence that it may instead represent a general mechanism. We report the first example that non-secretory vesicles, committed to insert the Aquaporin-2 water channel into the plasma membrane, swell and this phenomenon is required for fusion to plasma membrane. Through an interdisciplinary approach, using atomic force microscope (AFM), a fluorescence-based assay of vesicle volume changes and NMR spectroscopy to measure water self-diffusion coefficient, we provide evidence that Gi protein modulation of potassium channel TASK-2 localized in AQP2 vesicles, is required for vesicle swelling. Estimated intravesicular K+ concentration in AQP2 vesicles, as measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, was 5.3 mM, demonstrating the existence of an inwardly K+ chemical gradient likely generating an osmotic gradient causing vesicle swelling upon TASK-2 gating. Of note, abrogation of K+ gradient significantly impaired fusion between vesicles and plasma membrane. We conclude that vesicle swelling is a potentially important prerequisite for vesicle fusion to the plasma membrane and may be required also for other non-secretory vesicles, depicting a general mechanism for vesicle fusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins)
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Open AccessArticle Activation of Polyamine Catabolism by N1,N11-Diethylnorspermine in Hepatic HepaRG Cells Induces Dedifferentiation and Mesenchymal-Like Phenotype
Cells 2018, 7(12), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120275
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Tumorigenesis is accompanied by the metabolic adaptation of cells to support enhanced proliferation rates and to optimize tumor persistence and amplification within the local microenvironment. In particular, cancer cells exhibit elevated levels of biogenic polyamines. Inhibitors of polyamine biosynthesis and inducers of their [...] Read more.
Tumorigenesis is accompanied by the metabolic adaptation of cells to support enhanced proliferation rates and to optimize tumor persistence and amplification within the local microenvironment. In particular, cancer cells exhibit elevated levels of biogenic polyamines. Inhibitors of polyamine biosynthesis and inducers of their catabolism have been evaluated as antitumor drugs, however, their efficacy and safety remain controversial. Our goal was to investigate if drug-induced modulation of polyamine metabolism plays a role in dedifferentiation using differentiated human hepatocyte-like HepaRG cell cultures. N1,N11-diethylnorspermine (DENSpm), a potent inducer of polyamine catabolism, triggered an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-like dedifferentiation in HepaRG cultures, as shown by down-regulation of mature hepatocytes markers and upregulation of classical EMT markers. Albeit the fact that polyamine catabolism produces H2O2, DENSpm-induced de-differentiation was not affected by antioxidants. Use of a metabolically stable spermidine analogue showed furthermore, that spermidine is a key regulator of hepatocyte differentiation. Comparative transcriptome analyses revealed, that the DENSpm-triggered dedifferentiation of HepaRG cells was accompanied by dramatic metabolic adaptations, exemplified by down-regulation of the genes of various metabolic pathways and up-regulation of the genes involved in signal transduction pathways. These results demonstrate that polyamine metabolism is tightly linked to EMT and differentiation of liver epithelial cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition and Hallmarks of Cancer)
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Open AccessReview The Role of Mitochondria in Reactive Oxygen Species Generation and Its Implications for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Cells 2018, 7(12), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120274
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
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Abstract
Mitochondria are dynamic cellular organelles that consistently migrate, fuse, and divide to modulate their number, size, and shape. In addition, they produce ATP, reactive oxygen species, and also have a biological role in antioxidant activities and Ca2+ buffering. Mitochondria are thought to [...] Read more.
Mitochondria are dynamic cellular organelles that consistently migrate, fuse, and divide to modulate their number, size, and shape. In addition, they produce ATP, reactive oxygen species, and also have a biological role in antioxidant activities and Ca2+ buffering. Mitochondria are thought to play a crucial biological role in most neurodegenerative disorders. Neurons, being high-energy-demanding cells, are closely related to the maintenance, dynamics, and functions of mitochondria. Thus, impairment of mitochondrial activities is associated with neurodegenerative diseases, pointing to the significance of mitochondrial functions in normal cell physiology. In recent years, considerable progress has been made in our knowledge of mitochondrial functions, which has raised interest in defining the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we summarize the existing knowledge of the mitochondrial function in reactive oxygen species generation and its involvement in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Biology in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessCommunication Tangential Flow Filtration for Highly Efficient Concentration of Extracellular Vesicles from Large Volumes of Fluid
Cells 2018, 7(12), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120273
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 2 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 16 December 2018
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Abstract
Concentration of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from biological fluids in a scalable and reproducible manner represents a major challenge. This study reports the use of tangential flow filtration (TFF) for the highly efficient isolation of EVs from large volumes of samples. When compared to [...] Read more.
Concentration of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from biological fluids in a scalable and reproducible manner represents a major challenge. This study reports the use of tangential flow filtration (TFF) for the highly efficient isolation of EVs from large volumes of samples. When compared to ultracentrifugation (UC), which is the most widely used method to concentrate EVs, TFF is a more efficient, scalable, and gentler method. Comparative assessment of TFF and UC of conditioned cell culture media revealed that the former concentrates EVs of comparable physicochemical characteristics, but with higher yield, less single macromolecules and aggregates (<15 nm in size), and improved batch-to-batch consistency in half the processing time (1 h). The TFF protocol was then successfully implemented on fluids derived from patient lipoaspirate. EVs from adipose tissue are of high clinical relevance, as they are expected to mirror the regenerative properties of the parent cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exosomes and Extracellular Vesicles in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview Targeting the Oncoprotein Smoothened by Small Molecules: Focus on Novel Acylguanidine Derivatives as Potent Smoothened Inhibitors
Cells 2018, 7(12), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120272
Received: 26 October 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
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Abstract
Hedgehog-GLI (HH) signaling was originally identified as a critical morphogenetic pathway in embryonic development. Since its discovery, a multitude of studies have reported that HH signaling also plays key roles in a variety of cancer types and in maintaining tumor-initiating cells. Smoothened (SMO) [...] Read more.
Hedgehog-GLI (HH) signaling was originally identified as a critical morphogenetic pathway in embryonic development. Since its discovery, a multitude of studies have reported that HH signaling also plays key roles in a variety of cancer types and in maintaining tumor-initiating cells. Smoothened (SMO) is the main transducer of HH signaling, and in the last few years, it has emerged as a promising therapeutic target for anticancer therapy. Although vismodegib and sonidegib have demonstrated effectiveness for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), their clinical use has been hampered by severe side effects, low selectivity against cancer stem cells, and the onset of mutation-driven drug resistance. Moreover, SMO antagonists are not effective in cancers where HH activation is due to mutations of pathway components downstream of SMO, or in the case of noncanonical, SMO-independent activation of the GLI transcription factors, the final mediators of HH signaling. Here, we review the current and rapidly expanding field of SMO small-molecule inhibitors in experimental and clinical settings, focusing on a class of acylguanidine derivatives. We also discuss various aspects of SMO, including mechanisms of resistance to SMO antagonists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Hedgehog Signaling in Cancer)
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Open AccessReview MicroRNA Expression is Associated with Sepsis Disorders in Critically Ill Polytrauma Patients
Cells 2018, 7(12), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120271
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 6 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
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Abstract
A critically ill polytrauma patient is one of the most complex cases to be admitted to the intensive care unit, due to both the primary traumatic complications and the secondary post-traumatic interactions. From a molecular, genetic, and epigenetic point of view, numerous biochemical [...] Read more.
A critically ill polytrauma patient is one of the most complex cases to be admitted to the intensive care unit, due to both the primary traumatic complications and the secondary post-traumatic interactions. From a molecular, genetic, and epigenetic point of view, numerous biochemical interactions are responsible for the deterioration of the clinical status of a patient, and increased mortality rates. From a molecular viewpoint, microRNAs are one of the most complex macromolecular systems due to the numerous modular reactions and interactions that they are involved in. Regarding the expression and activity of microRNAs in sepsis, their usefulness has reached new levels of significance. MicroRNAs can be used both as an early biomarker for sepsis, and as a therapeutic target because of their ability to block the complex reactions involved in the initiation, maintenance, and augmentation of the clinical status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulatory microRNA)
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Open AccessReview Protective Effects and Target Network Analysis of Ginsenoside Rg1 in Cerebral Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury: A Comprehensive Overview of Experimental Studies
Cells 2018, 7(12), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120270
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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Abstract
Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion is a complicated pathological process. The injury and cascade reactions caused by cerebral ischemia and reperfusion are characterized by high mortality, high recurrence, and high disability. However, only a limited number of antithrombotic drugs, such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (r-TPA), [...] Read more.
Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion is a complicated pathological process. The injury and cascade reactions caused by cerebral ischemia and reperfusion are characterized by high mortality, high recurrence, and high disability. However, only a limited number of antithrombotic drugs, such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (r-TPA), aspirin, and heparin, are currently available for ischemic stroke, and its safety concerns is inevitable which associated with reperfusion injury and hemorrhage. Therefore, it is necessary to further explore and examine some potential neuroprotective agents with treatment for cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury to reduce safety concerns caused by antithrombotic drugs in ischemic stroke. Ginseng Rg1 (G-Rg1) is a saponin composed of natural active ingredients and derived from the roots or stems of Panax notoginseng and ginseng in traditional Chinese medicine. Its pharmacological effects exert remarkable neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects in the central nervous system. To explore and summarize the protective effects and mechanisms of ginsenoside Rg1 against cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury, we conducted this review, in which we searched the PubMed database to obtain and organize studies concerning the pharmacological effects and mechanisms of ginsenoside Rg1 against cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury. This study provides a valuable reference and clues for the development of new agents to combat ischemic stroke. Our summarized review and analysis show that the pharmacological effects of and mechanisms underlying ginsenoside Rg1 activity against cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury mainly involve 4 sets of mechanisms: anti-oxidant activity and associated apoptosis via the Akt, Nrf2/HO-1, PPARγ/HO-1, extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK), p38, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways (or mitochondrial apoptosis pathway) and the caspase-3/ROCK1/MLC pathway; anti-inflammatory and immune stimulatory-related activities that involve apoptosis or necrosis via MAPK pathways (the JNK1/2 + ERK1/2 and PPARγ/HO-1 pathways), endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS), high mobility group protein1 (HMGB1)-induced TLR2/4/9 and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) pathways, and the activation of NF-κB; neurological cell cycle, proliferation, differentiation, and regeneration via the MAPK pathways (JNK1/2 + ERK1/2, PI3K-Akt/mTOR, PKB/Akt and HIF-1α/VEGF pathways); and energy metabolism and the regulation of cellular ATP levels, the blood-brain barrier and other effects via N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors, ERS, and AMP/AMPK-GLUT pathways. Collectively, these mechanisms result in significant neuroprotective effects against cerebral ischemic injury. These findings will be valuable in that they should further promote the development of candidate drugs and provide more information to support the application of previous findings in stroke clinical trials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Proteogenomic Analysis of Burkholderia Species Strains 25 and 46 Isolated from Uraniferous Soils Reveals Multiple Mechanisms to Cope with Uranium Stress
Cells 2018, 7(12), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120269
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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Abstract
Two Burkholderia spp. (strains SRS-25 and SRS-46) were isolated from high concentrations of uranium (U) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-managed Savannah River Site (SRS). SRS contains soil gradients that remain co-contaminated by heavy metals from previous nuclear weapons production activities. Uranium [...] Read more.
Two Burkholderia spp. (strains SRS-25 and SRS-46) were isolated from high concentrations of uranium (U) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-managed Savannah River Site (SRS). SRS contains soil gradients that remain co-contaminated by heavy metals from previous nuclear weapons production activities. Uranium (U) is one of the dominant contaminants within the SRS impacted soils, which can be microbially transformed into less toxic forms. We established microcosms containing strains SRS-25 and SRS-46 spiked with U and evaluated the microbially-mediated depletion with concomitant genomic and proteomic analysis. Both strains showed a rapid depletion of U; draft genome sequences revealed SRS-25 genome to be of approximately 8,152,324 bp, a G + C content of 66.5, containing a total 7604 coding sequences with 77 total RNA genes. Similarly, strain SRS-46 contained a genome size of 8,587,429 bp with a G + C content of 67.1, 7895 coding sequences, with 73 total RNA genes, respectively. An in-depth, genome-wide comparisons between strains 25, 46 and a previously isolated strain from our research (Burkholderia sp. strain SRS-W-2-2016), revealed a common pool of 3128 genes; many were found to be homologues to previously characterized metal resistance genes (e.g., for cadmium, cobalt, and zinc), as well as for transporter, stress/detoxification, cytochromes, and drug resistance functions. Furthermore, proteomic analysis of strains with or without U stress, revealed the increased expression of 34 proteins from strain SRS-25 and 52 proteins from strain SRS-46; similar to the genomic analyses, many of these proteins have previously been shown to function in stress response, DNA repair, protein biosynthesis and metabolism. Overall, this comparative proteogenomics study confirms the repertoire of metabolic and stress response functions likely rendering the ecological competitiveness to the isolated strains for colonization and survival in the heavy metals contaminated SRS soil habitat. Full article
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Open AccessReview Epigenetic Regulation of Skin Cells in Natural Aging and Premature Aging Diseases
Cells 2018, 7(12), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120268
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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Abstract
Skin undergoes continuous renewal throughout an individual’s lifetime relying on stem cell functionality. However, a decline of the skin regenerative potential occurs with age. The accumulation of senescent cells over time probably reduces tissue regeneration and contributes to skin aging. Keratinocytes and dermal [...] Read more.
Skin undergoes continuous renewal throughout an individual’s lifetime relying on stem cell functionality. However, a decline of the skin regenerative potential occurs with age. The accumulation of senescent cells over time probably reduces tissue regeneration and contributes to skin aging. Keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts undergo senescence in response to several intrinsic or extrinsic stresses, including telomere shortening, overproduction of reactive oxygen species, diet, and sunlight exposure. Epigenetic mechanisms directly regulate skin homeostasis and regeneration, but they also mark cell senescence and the natural and pathological aging processes. Progeroid syndromes represent a group of clinical and genetically heterogeneous pathologies characterized by the accelerated aging of various tissues and organs, including skin. Skin cells from progeroid patients display molecular hallmarks that mimic those associated with naturally occurring aging. Thus, investigations on progeroid syndromes strongly contribute to disclose the causal mechanisms that underlie the aging process. In the present review, we discuss the role of epigenetic pathways in skin cell regulation during physiologic and premature aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Regulation of Stem Cells Ageing in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview Exploring the Roles of Aquaporins in Plant–Microbe Interactions
Cells 2018, 7(12), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120267
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
Aquaporins (AQPs) are membrane channel proteins regulating the flux of water and other various small solutes across membranes. Significant progress has been made in understanding the roles of AQPs in plants’ physiological processes, and now their activities in various plant–microbe interactions are receiving [...] Read more.
Aquaporins (AQPs) are membrane channel proteins regulating the flux of water and other various small solutes across membranes. Significant progress has been made in understanding the roles of AQPs in plants’ physiological processes, and now their activities in various plant–microbe interactions are receiving more attention. This review summarizes the various roles of different AQPs during interactions with microbes which have positive and negative consequences on the host plants. In positive plant–microbe interactions involving rhizobia, arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM), and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), AQPs play important roles in nitrogen fixation, nutrient transport, improving water status, and increasing abiotic stress tolerance. For negative interactions resulting in pathogenesis, AQPs help plants resist infections by preventing pathogen ingress by influencing stomata opening and influencing defensive signaling pathways, especially through regulating systemic acquired resistance. Interactions with bacterial or viral pathogens can be directly perturbed through direct interaction of AQPs with harpins or replicase. However, whilst these observations indicate the importance of AQPs, further work is needed to develop a fuller mechanistic understanding of their functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins)
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Open AccessArticle Accumulation of Ag(I) by Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cells Expressing Plant Metallothioneins
Cells 2018, 7(12), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120266
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 6 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
The various applications of Ag(I) generated the necessity to obtain Ag(I)-accumulating organisms for the removal of surplus Ag(I) from contaminated sites or for the concentration of Ag(I) from Ag(I)-poor environments. In this study we obtained Ag(I)-accumulating cells by expressing plant metallothioneins (MTs) in [...] Read more.
The various applications of Ag(I) generated the necessity to obtain Ag(I)-accumulating organisms for the removal of surplus Ag(I) from contaminated sites or for the concentration of Ag(I) from Ag(I)-poor environments. In this study we obtained Ag(I)-accumulating cells by expressing plant metallothioneins (MTs) in the model Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The cDNAs of seven Arabidopsis thaliana MTs (AtMT1a, AtMT1c, AtMT2a, AtMT2b, AtMT3, AtMT4a and AtMT4b) and four Noccaea caerulescens MTs (NcMT1, NcMT2a, NcMT2b and NcMT3) fused to myrGFP displaying an N-terminal myristoylation sequence for plasma membrane targeting were expressed in S. cerevisiae and checked for Ag(I)-related phenotype. The transgenic yeast cells were grown in copper-deficient media to ensure the expression of the plasma membrane high-affinity Cu(I) transporter Ctr1, and also to elude the copper-related inhibition of Ag(I) transport into the cell. All plant MTs expressed in S. cerevisiae conferred Ag(I) tolerance to the yeast cells. Among them, myrGFP-NcMT3 afforded Ag(I) accumulation under high concentration (10–50 μM), while myrGFP-AtMT1a conferred increased accumulation capacity under low (1 μM) or even trace Ag(I) (0.02–0.05 μM). The ability to tolerate high concentrations of Ag(I) coupled with accumulative characteristics and robust growth showed by some of the transgenic yeasts highlighted the potential of these strains for biotechnology applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Liposomal Delivery of miR-34b-5p Induced Cancer Cell Death in Thyroid Carcinoma
Cells 2018, 7(12), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120265
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
This study aims to determine the functional roles of microRNA-34b-5p (miR-34b) in the suppression of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. We used hydration-of-freeze-dried-matrix (HFDM) formulated liposomes (liposome-loaded miR-34b) for effective delivery of miR-34b to anaplastic thyroid carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. Real time polymerase [...] Read more.
This study aims to determine the functional roles of microRNA-34b-5p (miR-34b) in the suppression of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. We used hydration-of-freeze-dried-matrix (HFDM) formulated liposomes (liposome-loaded miR-34b) for effective delivery of miR-34b to anaplastic thyroid carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. Real time polymerase chain was used to determine the level of miR-34b. Immunocytochemistry, Western blot and ELISA were carried out to determine the effect of this manipulation on VEGF-A expression. In addition, an in vivo xenotransplantation mouse model was used to investigate the functional roles of overexpression of miR-34b in the carcinoma. In anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cells, miR-34b expression was low and significant overexpression (p < 0.05) was noted following transfection with liposome-loaded miR-34b. The miR-34b overexpressed thyroid carcinoma cell lines showed reduction in VEGF-A protein expression, decreased cell proliferation, decreased wound healing, reduced cell cycle progression and increased apoptosis (p < 0.05). In in vivo experiments, when compared to control groups, smaller tumours formed upon intravenous administration of liposome-loaded miR-34b. To conclude, the current study confirmed the tumour suppressor properties of miR-34b via VEGF-A regulation in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. In addition, delivery of miR-34b using cationic liposome could be a useful therapeutic strategy for targeting therapy in the carcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling and Regulated Cell Death)
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Open AccessArticle Metabolic Signature of Dietary Iron Overload in a Mouse Model
Cells 2018, 7(12), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120264
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
Iron is an essential co-factor for several metabolic processes, including the Krebs cycle and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Therefore, maintaining an appropriate iron balance is essential to ensure sufficient energy production and to avoid excessive reactive oxygen species formation. Iron overload impairs mitochondrial fitness; [...] Read more.
Iron is an essential co-factor for several metabolic processes, including the Krebs cycle and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Therefore, maintaining an appropriate iron balance is essential to ensure sufficient energy production and to avoid excessive reactive oxygen species formation. Iron overload impairs mitochondrial fitness; however, little is known about the associated metabolic changes. Here we aimed to characterize the metabolic signature triggered by dietary iron overload over time in a mouse model, where mice received either a standard or a high-iron diet. Metabolic profiling was assessed in blood, plasma and liver tissue. Peripheral blood was collected by means of volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS). Extracted blood and tissue metabolites were analyzed by liquid chromatography combined to high resolution mass spectrometry. Upon dietary iron loading we found increased glucose, aspartic acid and 2-/3-hydroxybutyric acid levels but low lactate and malate levels in peripheral blood and plasma, pointing to a re-programming of glucose homeostasis and the Krebs cycle. Further, iron loading resulted in the stimulation of the urea cycle in the liver. In addition, oxidative stress was enhanced in circulation and coincided with increased liver glutathione and systemic cysteine synthesis. Overall, iron supplementation affected several central metabolic circuits over time. Hence, in vivo investigation of metabolic signatures represents a novel and useful tool for getting deeper insights into iron-dependent regulatory circuits and for monitoring of patients with primary and secondary iron overload, and those ones receiving iron supplementation therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Metal Biochemistry)
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Open AccessReview Post-Translational Modification and Subcellular Distribution of Rac1: An Update
Cells 2018, 7(12), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120263
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 6 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
Rac1 is a small GTPase that belongs to the Rho family. The Rho family of small GTPases is a subfamily of the Ras superfamily. The Rho family of GTPases mediate a plethora of cellular effects, including regulation of cytoarchitecture, cell size, cell adhesion, [...] Read more.
Rac1 is a small GTPase that belongs to the Rho family. The Rho family of small GTPases is a subfamily of the Ras superfamily. The Rho family of GTPases mediate a plethora of cellular effects, including regulation of cytoarchitecture, cell size, cell adhesion, cell polarity, cell motility, proliferation, apoptosis/survival, and membrane trafficking. The cycling of Rac1 between the GTP (guanosine triphosphate)- and GDP (guanosine diphosphate)-bound states is essential for effective signal flow to elicit downstream biological functions. The cycle between inactive and active forms is controlled by three classes of regulatory proteins: Guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs), and guanine-nucleotide-dissociation inhibitors (GDIs). Other modifications include RNA splicing and microRNAs; various post-translational modifications have also been shown to regulate the activity and function of Rac1. The reported post-translational modifications include lipidation, ubiquitination, phosphorylation, and adenylylation, which have all been shown to play important roles in the regulation of Rac1 and other Rho GTPases. Moreover, the Rac1 activity and function are regulated by its subcellular distribution and translocation. This review focused on the most recent progress in Rac1 research, especially in the area of post-translational modification and subcellular distribution and translocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling)
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Open AccessArticle Silencing Heat Shock Protein 27 Inhibits the Progression and Metastasis of Colorectal Cancer (CRC) by Maintaining the Stability of Stromal Interaction Molecule 1 (STIM1) Proteins
Cells 2018, 7(12), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120262
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 2 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
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Abstract
The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) has significantly increased in recent decades, and this disease has become an important health issue worldwide. Currently, there is no useful prognostic or diagnostic biomarker for CRC. Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) is a chaperone that interacts [...] Read more.
The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) has significantly increased in recent decades, and this disease has become an important health issue worldwide. Currently, there is no useful prognostic or diagnostic biomarker for CRC. Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) is a chaperone that interacts with many proteins. HSP27 has been shown to be overexpressed in many cancers, including colon cancer, and its overexpression is related to poor disease outcome. Although the importance of HSP27 as a biomarker cannot be underrated, its detailed mechanisms in colon cancer are still unclear. In vitro studies have indicated that silencing HSP27 reduces the proliferation, migration and invasion of colon cancer cells, and xenograft models have shown that silencing HSP27 decreases tumor progression. Tissue array results showed that colon cancer patients with high expression of HSP27 exhibited poor prognosis. In addition, we found a reduction of calcium influx through a decrease in STIM1 protein after HSP27 was abolished. The formation of puncta was decreased in HSP27 knockdown (HSP27KD) cells after thapsigargin (TG) treatment. Finally, we confirmed that the reduction of STIM1 after HSP27 silencing may be due to a loss of STIM1 stability instead of transcription. HSP27 may interact with STIM1 but not Orai1, as shown by immunoprecipitation assays. HSP27 and STIM1 were co-expressed in CRC specimens. Our study showed that HSP27 is a key mediator in the progression and metastasis of CRC by regulating the store-operated calcium entry. This novel pathway may provide a new direction for development of therapeutic strategies for CRC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Transfer of Synthetic Human Chromosome into Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Biomedical Applications
Cells 2018, 7(12), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120261
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 8 December 2018
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Abstract
AlphoidtetO-type human artificial chromosome (HAC) has been recently synthetized as a novel class of gene delivery vectors for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based tissue replacement therapeutic approach. This HAC vector was designed to deliver copies of genes into patients with genetic [...] Read more.
AlphoidtetO-type human artificial chromosome (HAC) has been recently synthetized as a novel class of gene delivery vectors for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based tissue replacement therapeutic approach. This HAC vector was designed to deliver copies of genes into patients with genetic diseases caused by the loss of a particular gene function. The alphoidtetO-HAC vector has been successfully transferred into murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and maintained stably as an independent chromosome during the proliferation and differentiation of these cells. Human ESCs and iPSCs have significant differences in culturing conditions and pluripotency state in comparison with the murine naïve-type ESCs and iPSCs. To date, transferring alphoidtetO-HAC vector into human iPSCs (hiPSCs) remains a challenging task. In this study, we performed the microcell-mediated chromosome transfer (MMCT) of alphoidtetO-HAC expressing the green fluorescent protein into newly generated hiPSCs. We used a recently modified MMCT method that employs an envelope protein of amphotropic murine leukemia virus as a targeting cell fusion agent. Our data provide evidence that a totally artificial vector, alphoidtetO-HAC, can be transferred and maintained in human iPSCs as an independent autonomous chromosome without affecting pluripotent properties of the cells. These data also open new perspectives for implementing alphoidtetO-HAC as a gene therapy tool in future biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue iPS Cells for Disease Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle Stem Cells Derived from Lipoma and Adipose Tissue—Similar Mesenchymal Phenotype but Different Differentiation Capacity Governed by Distinct Molecular Signature
Cells 2018, 7(12), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120260
Received: 28 October 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 8 December 2018
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Abstract
Lipomas are benign adipose tissue tumors of unknown etiology, which can vary in size, number, body localization and cell populations within the tissue. Lipoma-derived stem cells (LDSCs) are proposed as a potential tool in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering due to their similar [...] Read more.
Lipomas are benign adipose tissue tumors of unknown etiology, which can vary in size, number, body localization and cell populations within the tissue. Lipoma-derived stem cells (LDSCs) are proposed as a potential tool in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering due to their similar characteristics with adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) reported so far. Our study is among the first giving detailed insights into the molecular signature and differences in the differentiation capacity of LDSCs in vitro compared to ADSCs. Mesenchymal stem cell phenotype was analyzed by gene expression and flow cytometric analysis of stem cell markers. Adipogenesis and osteogenesis were analyzed by microscopic analysis, cytochemical and immunocytochemical staining, gene and protein expression analyses. We showed that both LDSCs and ADSCs were mesenchymal stem cells with similar phenotype and stemness state but different molecular basis for potential differentiation. Adipogenesis-related genes expression pattern and presence of more mature adipocytes in ADSCs than in LDSCs after 21 days of adipogenic differentiation, indicated that differentiation capacity of LDSCs was significantly lower compared to ADSCs. Analysis of osteogenesis-related markers after 16 days of osteogenic differentiation revealed that both types of cells had characteristic osteoblast-like phenotype, but were at different stages of osteogenesis. Differences observed between LDSCs and ADSCs are probably due to the distinct molecular signature and their commitment in the tissue that governs their different capacity and fate during adipogenic and osteogenic induction in vitro despite their similar mesenchymal phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adipose-Derived Stromal/Stem Cells)
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Open AccessCommunication Lysosomal Sequestration Impairs the Activity of the Preclinical FGFR Inhibitor PD173074
Cells 2018, 7(12), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120259
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 8 December 2018
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Abstract
Knowledge of intracellular pharmacokinetics of anticancer agents is imperative for understanding drug efficacy as well as intrinsic and acquired cellular resistance mechanisms. However, the factors driving subcellular drug distribution are complex and poorly understood. Here, we describe for the first time the intrinsic [...] Read more.
Knowledge of intracellular pharmacokinetics of anticancer agents is imperative for understanding drug efficacy as well as intrinsic and acquired cellular resistance mechanisms. However, the factors driving subcellular drug distribution are complex and poorly understood. Here, we describe for the first time the intrinsic fluorescence properties of the fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor PD1703074 as well as utilization of this physicochemical feature to investigate intracellular accumulation and compartmentalization of this compound in human lung cancer cells. Cell-free PD173074 fluorescence, intracellular accumulation and distribution were investigated using analytical chemistry and molecular biology approaches. Analyses on a subcellular scale revealed selective drug accumulation in lysosomes. Coincubation with inhibitors of lysosomal acidification strongly enhanced PD173074-mediated fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibition and cytotoxicity. In conclusion, intrinsic fluorescence enables analysis of molecular factors influencing intracellular pharmacokinetics of PD173074. Lysosome-alkalinizing agents might represent candidates for rational combination treatment, preventing cancer cell-intrinsic PD173074 resistance based on lysosomal trapping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Receptor Tyrosine Kinases in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Alpha-Synuclein and Calpains Disrupt SNARE-Mediated Synaptic Vesicle Fusion During Manganese Exposure in SH-SY5Y Cells
Cells 2018, 7(12), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120258
Received: 21 October 2018 / Revised: 2 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 8 December 2018
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Abstract
Synaptic vesicle fusion is mediated by an assembly of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors (SNAREs), composed of syntaxin 1, soluble NSF-attachment protein (SNAP)-25, and synaptobrevin-2/VAMP-2. Previous studies have suggested that over-exposure to manganese (Mn) could disrupt synaptic vesicle fusion by influencing [...] Read more.
Synaptic vesicle fusion is mediated by an assembly of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors (SNAREs), composed of syntaxin 1, soluble NSF-attachment protein (SNAP)-25, and synaptobrevin-2/VAMP-2. Previous studies have suggested that over-exposure to manganese (Mn) could disrupt synaptic vesicle fusion by influencing SNARE complex formation, both in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. Here we employed calpeptin, an inhibitor of calpains, along with a lentivirus vector containing alpha-synuclein (α-Syn) shRNA, to examine whether specific SNAP-25 cleavage and the over-expression of α-Syn disturbed the formation of the SNARE complex in SH-SY5Y cells. After cells were treated with Mn for 24 h, fragments of SNAP-25-N-terminal protein began to appear; however, this effect was reduced in the group of cells which were pre-treated with calpeptin. FM1-43-labeled synaptic vesicle fusion decreased with Mn treatment, which was consistent with the formation of SNARE complexes. The interaction of VAMP-2 and α-Syn increased significantly in normal cells in response to 100 μM Mn treatment, but decreased in LV-α-Syn shRNA cells treated with 100 μM Mn; similar results were observed in terms of the formation of SNARE complexes and FM1-43-labeled synaptic vesicle fusion. Our data suggested that Mn treatment could increase [Ca2+]i, leading to abnormally excessive calpains activity, which disrupted the SNARE complex by cleaving SNAP-25. Our data also provided convincing evidence that Mn could induce the over-expression of α-Syn; when combined with VAMP-2, α-Syn prevented VAMP-2 from joining the SNARE complex cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling and Regulated Cell Death)
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Open AccessArticle Regulation of EGFR Endocytosis by CBL During Mitosis
Cells 2018, 7(12), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120257
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
The overactivation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) is implicated in various cancers. Endocytosis plays an important role in EGFR-mediated cell signaling. We previously found that EGFR endocytosis during mitosis is mediated differently from interphase. While the regulation of EGFR endocytosis in [...] Read more.
The overactivation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) is implicated in various cancers. Endocytosis plays an important role in EGFR-mediated cell signaling. We previously found that EGFR endocytosis during mitosis is mediated differently from interphase. While the regulation of EGFR endocytosis in interphase is well understood, little is known regarding the regulation of EGFR endocytosis during mitosis. Here, we found that contrary to interphase cells, mitotic EGFR endocytosis is more reliant on the activation of the E3 ligase CBL. By transfecting HeLa, MCF-7, and 293T cells with CBL siRNA or dominant-negative 70z-CBL, we found that at high EGF doses, CBL is required for EGFR endocytosis in mitotic cells, but not in interphase cells. In addition, the endocytosis of mutant EGFR Y1045F-YFP (mutation at the direct CBL binding site) is strongly delayed. The endocytosis of truncated EGFR Δ1044-YFP that does not bind to CBL is completely inhibited in mitosis. Moreover, EGF induces stronger ubiquitination of mitotic EGFR than interphase EGFR, and mitotic EGFR is trafficked to lysosomes for degradation. Furthermore, we showed that, different from interphase, low doses of EGF still stimulate EGFR endocytosis by non-clathrin mediated endocytosis (NCE) in mitosis. Contrary to interphase, CBL and the CBL-binding regions of EGFR are required for mitotic EGFR endocytosis at low doses. This is due to the mitotic ubiquitination of the EGFR even at low EGF doses. We conclude that mitotic EGFR endocytosis exclusively proceeds through CBL-mediated NCE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling)
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Open AccessArticle Role of the p38 MAPK/C/EBPβ Pathway in the Regulation of Phenotype and IL-10 and IL-12 Production by Tolerogenic Bone Marrow-Derived Dendritic Cells
Cells 2018, 7(12), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120256
Received: 8 September 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
Dendritic cells (DCs) play a major role in innate and adaptive immunity and self-immune tolerance. Immunogenic versus tolerogenic DC functions are dictated by their levels of costimulatory molecules and their cytokine expression profile. The transcription factor C/EBPβ regulates the expression of several inflammatory [...] Read more.
Dendritic cells (DCs) play a major role in innate and adaptive immunity and self-immune tolerance. Immunogenic versus tolerogenic DC functions are dictated by their levels of costimulatory molecules and their cytokine expression profile. The transcription factor C/EBPβ regulates the expression of several inflammatory genes in many cell types including macrophages. However, little is known regarding the role of C/EBPβ in tolerogenic versus immunogenic DCs functions. We have previously reported that bone marrow-derived DCs generated with GM-CSF (GM/DCs) acquire the signature of semi-mature tolerogenic IL-10-producing DCs as opposed to immunogenic DCs generated with GM-CSF and IL-4 (IL-4/DCs). Here, we show that tolerogenic GM/DCs exhibit higher levels of phosphorylation and enhanced DNA binding activity of C/EBPβ and CREB than immunogenic IL-4/DCs. We also show that the p38 MAPK/CREB axis and GSK3 play an important role in regulating C/EBPβ phosphorylation and DNA binding activity. Inhibition of p38 MAPK in GM/DCs resulted in a drastic decrease of C/EBPβ and CREB DNA binding activities, a reduction of their IL-10 production and an increase of their IL-12p70 production, a characteristic of immunogenic IL-4/DCs. We also present evidence that GSK3 inhibition in GM/DCs reduced C/EBPβ DNA binding activity and increased expression of costimulatory molecules in GM/DCs and their production of IL-10. Analysis of GM/DCs of C/EBPβ−/− mice showed that C/EBPβ was essential to maintain the semimature phenotype and the production of IL-10 as well as low CD4+ T cell proliferation. Our results highlight the importance of the p38MAPK-C/EBPβ pathway in regulating phenotype and function of tolerogenic GM/DCs. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Winding Road of Cardiac Regeneration—Stem Cell Omics in the Spotlight
Cells 2018, 7(12), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120255
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
Despite significant progress in treating ischemic cardiac disease and succeeding heart failure, there is still an unmet need to develop effective therapeutic strategies given the persistent high-mortality rate. Advances in stem cell biology hold great promise for regenerative medicine, particularly for cardiac regeneration. [...] Read more.
Despite significant progress in treating ischemic cardiac disease and succeeding heart failure, there is still an unmet need to develop effective therapeutic strategies given the persistent high-mortality rate. Advances in stem cell biology hold great promise for regenerative medicine, particularly for cardiac regeneration. Various cell types have been used both in preclinical and clinical studies to repair the injured heart, either directly or indirectly. Transplanted cells may act in an autocrine and/or paracrine manner to improve the myocyte survival and migration of remote and/or resident stem cells to the site of injury. Still, the molecular mechanisms regulating cardiac protection and repair are poorly understood. Stem cell fate is directed by multifaceted interactions between genetic, epigenetic, transcriptional, and post-transcriptional mechanisms. Decoding stem cells’ “panomic” data would provide a comprehensive picture of the underlying mechanisms, resulting in patient-tailored therapy. This review offers a critical analysis of omics data in relation to stem cell survival and differentiation. Additionally, the emerging role of stem cell-derived exosomes as “cell-free” therapy is debated. Last but not least, we discuss the challenges to retrieve and analyze the huge amount of publicly available omics data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modulation of Protein Synthesis by eIF2α Phosphorylation Protects Cell from Heat Stress-Mediated Apoptosis
Cells 2018, 7(12), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120254
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
Global warming poses a considerable threat to human health, necessitating a proper understanding of mechanisms underlying cell death in the pathogenesis of heat-related diseases. Although mechanisms governing cytoplasmic response to heat are well understood, processes regulating cellular response to disruption of proteostasis in [...] Read more.
Global warming poses a considerable threat to human health, necessitating a proper understanding of mechanisms underlying cell death in the pathogenesis of heat-related diseases. Although mechanisms governing cytoplasmic response to heat are well understood, processes regulating cellular response to disruption of proteostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) due to heat stress remain unclear. The current study reveals that hyperthermic conditions may lead to a disturbance of ER homeostasis, also known as ER stress. Subsequent activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) resulted in concomitant induction of cell death. Among the three UPR signaling pathways, the eIF2α phosphorylation pathway, and not the IRE1α/ATF6α pathways, is likely the main contributor to cell death under heat stress. Considering the role of eIF2α in translational control, we investigated the protective effect of translation rate on heat stress-mediated cell death. When protein synthesis was attenuated using cycloheximide or homoharringtonine, cell death due to heat stress was significantly reduced. In summation, we propose that transient modulation of protein synthesis by eIF2α phosphorylation has a pivotal role in protecting cells from heat stress-induced apoptosis. Therefore, pharmacological agents that promote eIF2α phosphorylation or reduce ER stress may contribute to the development of promising therapeutic approaches against heat-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Stress Response in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Modeling and Therapy
Cells 2018, 7(12), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120253
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disorder, caused by mutation of the DMD gene which encodes the protein dystrophin. This dystrophin defect leads to the progressive degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscles. Currently, there is no effective therapy for this disorder. [...] Read more.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disorder, caused by mutation of the DMD gene which encodes the protein dystrophin. This dystrophin defect leads to the progressive degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscles. Currently, there is no effective therapy for this disorder. However, the technology of cell reprogramming, with subsequent controlled differentiation to skeletal muscle cells or cardiomyocytes, may provide a unique tool for the study, modeling, and treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In the present review, we describe current methods of induced pluripotent stem cell generation and discuss their implications for the study, modeling, and development of cell-based therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stem Cells)
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Open AccessReview Different Pathogen Defense Strategies in Arabidopsis: More than Pathogen Recognition
Cells 2018, 7(12), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120252
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
Plants constantly suffer from simultaneous infection by multiple pathogens, which can be divided into biotrophic, hemibiotrophic, and necrotrophic pathogens, according to their lifestyles. Many studies have contributed to improving our knowledge of how plants can defend against pathogens, involving different layers of defense [...] Read more.
Plants constantly suffer from simultaneous infection by multiple pathogens, which can be divided into biotrophic, hemibiotrophic, and necrotrophic pathogens, according to their lifestyles. Many studies have contributed to improving our knowledge of how plants can defend against pathogens, involving different layers of defense mechanisms. In this sense, the review discusses: (1) the functions of PAMP (pathogen-associated molecular pattern)-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI), (2) evidence highlighting the functions of salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA)/ethylene (ET)-mediated signaling pathways downstream of PTI and ETI, and (3) other defense aspects, including many novel small molecules that are involved in defense and phenomena, including systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and priming. In particular, we mainly focus on SA and (JA)/ET-mediated signaling pathways. Interactions among them, including synergistic effects and antagonistic effects, are intensively explored. This might be critical to understanding dynamic disease regulation. Full article
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Open AccessReview Tendon Remodeling in Response to Resistance Training, Anabolic Androgenic Steroids and Aging
Cells 2018, 7(12), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120251
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
Exercise training (ET), anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), and aging are potential factors that affect tendon homeostasis, particularly extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. The goal of this review is to aggregate findings regarding the effects of resistance training (RT), AAS, and aging on tendon homeostasis. [...] Read more.
Exercise training (ET), anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), and aging are potential factors that affect tendon homeostasis, particularly extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. The goal of this review is to aggregate findings regarding the effects of resistance training (RT), AAS, and aging on tendon homeostasis. Data were gathered from our studies regarding the impact of RT, AAS, and aging on the calcaneal tendon (CT) of rats. We demonstrated a series of detrimental effects of AAS and aging on functional and biomechanical parameters, including the volume density of blood vessel cells, adipose tissue cells, tendon calcification, collagen content, the regulation of the major proteins related to the metabolic/development processes of tendons, and ECM remodeling. Conversely, RT seems to mitigate age-related tendon dysfunction. Our results suggest that AAS combined with high-intensity RT exert harmful effects on ECM remodeling, and also instigate molecular and biomechanical adaptations in the CT. Moreover, we provide further information regarding the harmful effects of AAS on tendons at a transcriptional level, and demonstrate the beneficial effects of RT against the age-induced tendon adaptations of rats. Our studies might contribute in terms of clinical approaches in favor of the benefits of ET against tendinopathy conditions, and provide a warning on the harmful effects of the misuse of AAS on tendon development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling)
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Open AccessArticle Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) Coculture Protects [Ca2+]i Orchestrated Oxidant Mediated Damage in Differentiated Neurons In Vitro
Cells 2018, 7(12), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7120250
Received: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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Abstract
Cell-therapy modalities using mesenchymal stem (MSCs) in experimental strokes are being investigated due to the role of MSCs in neuroprotection and regeneration. It is necessary to know the sequence of events that occur during stress and how MSCs complement the rescue of neuronal [...] Read more.
Cell-therapy modalities using mesenchymal stem (MSCs) in experimental strokes are being investigated due to the role of MSCs in neuroprotection and regeneration. It is necessary to know the sequence of events that occur during stress and how MSCs complement the rescue of neuronal cell death mediated by [Ca2+]i and reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the current study, SH-SY5Y-differentiated neuronal cells were subjected to in vitro cerebral ischemia-like stress and were experimentally rescued from cell death using an MSCs/neuronal cell coculture model. Neuronal cell death was characterized by the induction of proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and -12, up to 35-fold with corresponding downregulation of anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, IL-6 and -10 by approximately 1 to 7 fold. Increased intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i and ROS clearly reaffirmed oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis, while upregulation of nuclear factor NF-κB and cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 expressions, along with ~41% accumulation of early and late phase apoptotic cells, confirmed ischemic stress-mediated cell death. Stressed neuronal cells were rescued from death when cocultured with MSCs via increased expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines (TGF-β, 17%; IL-6, 4%; and IL-10, 13%), significantly downregulated NF-κB and proinflammatory COX-2 expression. Further accumulation of early and late apoptotic cells was diminished to 23%, while corresponding cell death decreased from 40% to 17%. Low superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) expression at the mRNA level was rescued by MSCs coculture, while no significant changes were observed with catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Interestingly, increased serotonin release into the culture supernatant was proportionate to the elevated [Ca2+]i and corresponding ROS, which were later rescued by the MSCs coculture to near normalcy. Taken together, all of these results primarily support MSCs-mediated modulation of stressed neuronal cell survival in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stem Cells)
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