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Cells, Volume 7, Issue 9 (September 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) IKKβ has been the historical focus of drug development pipelines aimed at inhibiting canonical [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Platelet-Rich Plasma Prevents In Vitro Transforming Growth Factor-β1-Induced Fibroblast to Myofibroblast Transition: Involvement of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)-A/VEGF Receptor-1-Mediated Signaling
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 16 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
The antifibrotic potential of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is controversial. This study examined the effects of PRP on in vitro transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-induced differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, the main drivers of fibrosis, and the involvement of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A in
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The antifibrotic potential of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is controversial. This study examined the effects of PRP on in vitro transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-induced differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, the main drivers of fibrosis, and the involvement of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A in mediating PRP-induced responses. The impact of PRP alone on fibroblast differentiation was also assessed. Myofibroblastic phenotype was evaluated by confocal fluorescence microscopy and western blotting analyses of α-smooth muscle actin (sma) and type-1 collagen expression, vinculin-rich focal adhesion clustering, and stress fiber assembly. Notch-1, connexin 43, and VEGF-A expression were also analyzed by RT-PCR. PRP negatively regulated fibroblast-myofibroblast transition via VEGF-A/VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-1-mediated inhibition of TGF-β1/Smad3 signaling. Indeed TGF-β1/PRP co-treated fibroblasts showed a robust attenuation of the myofibroblastic phenotype concomitant with a decrease of Smad3 expression levels. The VEGFR-1 inhibition by KRN633 or blocking antibodies, or VEGF-A neutralization in these cells prevented the PRP-promoted effects. Moreover PRP abrogated the TGF-β1-induced reduction of VEGF-A and VEGFR-1 cell expression. The role of VEGF-A signaling in counteracting myofibroblast generation was confirmed by cell treatment with soluble VEGF-A. PRP as single treatment did not induce fibroblast myodifferentiation. This study provides new insights into cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning PRP antifibrotic action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tissue Regeneration and Fibrosis)
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Open AccessArticle Preclinical Evaluation of [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377: A Promising Affibody-Based Probe for Noninvasive PET Imaging of EGFR Expression in Tumors
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Radionuclide imaging of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression in tumors may stratify patients for EGFR-targeting therapies and predict response or resistance to certain treatments. Affibody molecules, which are nonimmunoglobulin scaffold proteins, have a high potential as probes for molecular imaging. In this
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Radionuclide imaging of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression in tumors may stratify patients for EGFR-targeting therapies and predict response or resistance to certain treatments. Affibody molecules, which are nonimmunoglobulin scaffold proteins, have a high potential as probes for molecular imaging. In this study, maleimido derivative of desferrioxamine B (DFO) chelator was site-specifically coupled to the C-terminal cysteine of the anti-EGFR affibody molecule ZEGFR:2377, and the DFO-ZEGFR:2377 conjugate was labeled with the generator-produced positron-emitting radionuclide 68Ga. Stability, specificity of binding to EGFR-expressing cells, and processing of [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 by cancer cells after binding were evaluated in vitro. In vivo studies were performed in nude mice bearing human EGFR-expressing A431 epidermoid cancer xenografts. The biodistribution of [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 was directly compared with the biodistribution of [89Zr]Zr-DFO-ZEGFR:2377. DFO-ZEGFR:2377 was efficiently (isolated yield of 73 ± 3%) and stably labeled with 68Ga. Binding of [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 to EGFR-expressing cells in vitro was receptor-specific and proportional to the EGFR expression level. In vivo saturation experiment demonstrated EGFR-specific accumulation of [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 in A431 xenografts. Compared to [89Zr]Zr-DFO-ZEGFR:2377, [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 demonstrated significantly (p < 0.05) higher uptake in tumors and lower uptake in spleen and bones. This resulted in significantly higher tumor-to-organ ratios for [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377. In conclusion, [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 is a promising probe for imaging of EGFR expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling)
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Open AccessReview Tracing Early Neurodevelopment in Schizophrenia with Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a devastating mental disorder that is characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotion, language, sense of self, and behavior. Epidemiological evidence suggests that subtle perturbations in early neurodevelopment increase later susceptibility for disease, which typically manifests in adolescence to early
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Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a devastating mental disorder that is characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotion, language, sense of self, and behavior. Epidemiological evidence suggests that subtle perturbations in early neurodevelopment increase later susceptibility for disease, which typically manifests in adolescence to early adulthood. Early perturbations are thought to be significantly mediated through incompletely understood genetic risk factors. The advent of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology allows for the in vitro analysis of disease-relevant neuronal cell types from the early stages of human brain development. Since iPSCs capture each donor’s genotype, comparison between neuronal cells derived from healthy and diseased individuals can provide important insights into the molecular and cellular basis of SCZ. In this review, we discuss results from an increasing number of iPSC-based SCZ/control studies that highlight alterations in neuronal differentiation, maturation, and neurotransmission in addition to perturbed mitochondrial function and micro-RNA expression. In light of this remarkable progress, we consider also ongoing challenges from the field of iPSC-based disease modeling that call for further improvements on the generation and design of patient-specific iPSC studies to ultimately progress from basic studies on SCZ to tailored treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stem Cells)
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Open AccessReview Roles for the IKK-Related Kinases TBK1 and IKKε in Cancer
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
While primarily studied for their roles in innate immune response, the IκB kinase (IKK)-related kinases TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and IKKε also promote the oncogenic phenotype in a variety of cancers. Additionally, several substrates of these kinases control proliferation, autophagy, cell survival, and
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While primarily studied for their roles in innate immune response, the IκB kinase (IKK)-related kinases TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and IKKε also promote the oncogenic phenotype in a variety of cancers. Additionally, several substrates of these kinases control proliferation, autophagy, cell survival, and cancer immune responses. Here we review the involvement of TBK1 and IKKε in controlling different cancers and in regulating responses to cancer immunotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NF-κB in Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Relationship between Altered miRNA Expression and DNA Methylation of the DLK1-DIO3 Region in Azacitidine-Treated Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Acute Myeloid Leukemia with Myelodysplasia-Related Changes
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
The DLK1–DIO3 region contains a large miRNA cluster, the overexpression of which has previously been associated with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). To reveal whether this overexpression is epigenetically regulated, we performed an integrative analysis of miRNA/mRNA expression and DNA methylation of the regulatory sequences
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The DLK1–DIO3 region contains a large miRNA cluster, the overexpression of which has previously been associated with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). To reveal whether this overexpression is epigenetically regulated, we performed an integrative analysis of miRNA/mRNA expression and DNA methylation of the regulatory sequences in the region (promoter of the MEG3 gene) in CD34+ bone marrow cells from the patients with higher-risk MDS and acute myeloid leukemia with myelodysplasia-related changes (AML-MRC), before and during hypomethylating therapy with azacytidine (AZA). Before treatment, 50% of patients showed significant miRNA/mRNA overexpression in conjunction with a diagnosis of AML-MRC. Importantly, increased level of MEG3 was associated with poor outcome. After AZA treatment, the expression levels were reduced and were closer to those seen in the healthy controls. In half of the patients, we observed significant hypermethylation in a region preceding the MEG3 gene that negatively correlated with expression. Interestingly, this hypermethylation (when found before treatment) was associated with longer progression-free survival after therapy initiation. However, neither expression nor methylation status were associated with future responsiveness to AZA treatment. In conclusion, we correlated expression and methylation changes in the DLK1–DIO3 region, and we propose a complex model for regulation of this region in myelodysplasia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulatory microRNA)
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Open AccessPerspective Retinoids Issued from Hepatic Stellate Cell Lipid Droplet Loss as Potential Signaling Molecules Orchestrating a Multicellular Liver Injury Response
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) serve as the main body storage compartment for vitamin A through retinyl ester (RE)-filled lipid droplets (LDs). Upon liver injury, HSCs adopt a myofibroblastic phenotype characterized by an elevated expression of extracellular matrix proteins and a concomitant loss of
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Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) serve as the main body storage compartment for vitamin A through retinyl ester (RE)-filled lipid droplets (LDs). Upon liver injury, HSCs adopt a myofibroblastic phenotype characterized by an elevated expression of extracellular matrix proteins and a concomitant loss of LDs. On the one hand, LD breakdown has been suggested to provide the energy required for HSC activation into myofibroblast-like cells. On the other hand, this process could mitigate HSC activation following the transformation of released REs into retinoic acids (RAs), ligands for nuclear receptors exerting antifibrotic transcriptional regulatory activities in HSCs. Importantly, RAs may also constitute a means for HSCs to orchestrate the liver response to injury by triggering transcriptional effects in multiple additional surrounding liver cell populations. We envision that new approaches, such as single-cell technologies, will allow to better define how RAs are issued from LD loss in HSCs exert a multicellular control of the liver (patho)physiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipid Droplets in Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Alterations in Cell Mechanics by Actin Cytoskeletal Changes Correlate with Strain-Specific Rubella Virus Phenotypes for Cell Migration and Induction of Apoptosis
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
The cellular cytoskeleton is central for key cellular functions, and as such is a marker for diseased and infected cell states. Here we analyzed infection with rubella virus (RV) strains with respect to phenotypes in cellular mechanical properties, cell movement, and viral cytopathogenicity.
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The cellular cytoskeleton is central for key cellular functions, and as such is a marker for diseased and infected cell states. Here we analyzed infection with rubella virus (RV) strains with respect to phenotypes in cellular mechanical properties, cell movement, and viral cytopathogenicity. Real-time deformability cytometry (RT-DC), as a high-throughput platform for the assessment of cell mechanics, revealed a correlation of an increase in cortical filamentous-actin (F-actin) with a higher cellular stiffness. The additional reduction of stress fibers noted for only some RV strains as the most severe actin rearrangement lowered cell stiffness. Furthermore, a reduced collective and single cell migration speed in a wound healing assay was detected in addition to severe changes in cell morphology. The latter was followed by activation of caspase 3/7 as a sign for induction of apoptosis. Our study emphasizes RT-DC technology as a sensitive means to characterize viral cell populations and to implicate alterations of cell mechanical properties with cell functions. These interdependent events are not only promising options to elucidate viral spread and to understand viral pathologies within the infected host. They also contribute to any diseased cell state, as exemplified by RV as a representative agent for cytoskeletal alterations involved in a cytopathological outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Cytoskeleton Research—From Development to Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Cell Group Recognition Method Based on Adaptive Mutation PSO-SVM
Received: 18 August 2018 / Revised: 2 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
The increased volume and complexity of flow cytometry (FCM) data resulting from the increased throughput greatly boosts the demand for reliable statistical methods for the analysis of multidimensional data. The Support Vector Machines (SVM) model can be used for classification recognition. However, the
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The increased volume and complexity of flow cytometry (FCM) data resulting from the increased throughput greatly boosts the demand for reliable statistical methods for the analysis of multidimensional data. The Support Vector Machines (SVM) model can be used for classification recognition. However, the selection of penalty factor c and kernel parameter g in the model has a great influence on the correctness of clustering. To solve the problem of parameter optimization of the SVM model, a support vector machine algorithm of particle swarm optimization (PSO-SVM) based on adaptive mutation is proposed. Firstly, a large number of FCM data were used to carry out the experiment, and the kernel function adapted to the sample data was selected. Then the PSO algorithm of adaptive mutation was used to optimize the parameters of the SVM classifier. Finally, the cell clustering results were obtained. The method greatly improves the clustering correctness of traditional SVM. That also overcomes the shortcomings of PSO algorithm, which is easy to fall into local optimum in the iterative optimization process and has poor convergence effect in dealing with a large number of data. Compared with the traditional SVM algorithm, the experimental results show that, the correctness of the method is improved by 19.38%. Compared with the cross-validation algorithm and the PSO algorithm, the adaptive mutation PSO algorithm can also improve the correctness of FCM data clustering. The correctness of the algorithm can reach 99.79% and the time complexity is relatively lower. At the same time, the method does not need manual intervention, which promotes the research of cell group identification in biomedical detection technology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integration of miRNA and mRNA Co-Expression Reveals Potential Regulatory Roles of miRNAs in Developmental and Immunological Processes in Calf Ileum during Early Growth
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the potential regulatory roles of miRNAs in calf ileum developmental transition from the pre- to the post-weaning period. For this purpose, ileum tissues were collected from eight calves at the pre-weaning period and another eight calves at the
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This study aimed to investigate the potential regulatory roles of miRNAs in calf ileum developmental transition from the pre- to the post-weaning period. For this purpose, ileum tissues were collected from eight calves at the pre-weaning period and another eight calves at the post-weaning period and miRNA expression characterized by miRNA sequencing, followed by functional analyses. A total of 388 miRNAs, including 81 novel miRNAs, were identified. A total of 220 miRNAs were differentially expressed (DE) between the two periods. The potential functions of DE miRNAs in ileum development were supported by significant enrichment of their target genes in gene ontology terms related to metabolic processes and transcription factor activities or pathways related to metabolism (peroxisomes), vitamin digestion and absorption, lipid and protein metabolism, as well as intracellular signaling. Integration of DE miRNAs and DE mRNAs revealed several DE miRNA-mRNA pairs with crucial roles in ileum development (bta-miR-374a—FBXO18, bta-miR-374a—GTPBP3, bta-miR-374a—GNB2) and immune function (bta-miR-15b—IKBKB). This is the first integrated miRNA-mRNA analysis exploring the potential roles of miRNAs in calf ileum growth and development during early life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulatory microRNA)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview NFKB1 and Cancer: Friend or Foe?
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
Current evidence strongly suggests that aberrant activation of the NF-κB signalling pathway is associated with carcinogenesis. A number of key cellular processes are governed by the effectors of this pathway, including immune responses and apoptosis, both crucial in the development of cancer. Therefore,
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Current evidence strongly suggests that aberrant activation of the NF-κB signalling pathway is associated with carcinogenesis. A number of key cellular processes are governed by the effectors of this pathway, including immune responses and apoptosis, both crucial in the development of cancer. Therefore, it is not surprising that dysregulated and chronic NF-κB signalling can have a profound impact on cellular homeostasis. Here we discuss NFKB1 (p105/p50), one of the five subunits of NF-κB, widely implicated in carcinogenesis, in some cases driving cancer progression and in others acting as a tumour-suppressor. The complexity of the role of this subunit lies in the multiple dimeric combination possibilities as well as the different interacting co-factors, which dictate whether gene transcription is activated or repressed, in a cell and organ-specific manner. This review highlights the multiple roles of NFKB1 in the development and progression of different cancers, and the considerations to make when attempting to manipulate NF-κB as a potential cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NF-κB in Cancer)
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Open AccessFeature PaperPerspective Challenges of Decoding Transcription Factor Dynamics in Terms of Gene Regulation
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 1 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
Technological advances are continually improving our ability to obtain more accurate views about the inner workings of biological systems. One such rapidly evolving area is single cell biology, and in particular gene expression and its regulation by transcription factors in response to intrinsic
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Technological advances are continually improving our ability to obtain more accurate views about the inner workings of biological systems. One such rapidly evolving area is single cell biology, and in particular gene expression and its regulation by transcription factors in response to intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Regarding the study of transcription factors, we discuss some of the promises and pitfalls associated with investigating how individual cells regulate gene expression through modulation of transcription factor activities. Specifically, we discuss four leading experimental approaches, the data that can be obtained from each, and important considerations that investigators should be aware of when drawing conclusions from such data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Methods to Monitor Single Live Cells)
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Open AccessArticle PDGFR and IGF-1R Inhibitors Induce a G2/M Arrest and Subsequent Cell Death in Human Glioblastoma Cell Lines
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
Glioblastomas are highly resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. Currently, there are no effective therapies for this type of tumor. Signaling mechanisms initiated by PDGFR and IGF-1R are important in glioblastoma, and inhibition of the signal transduction pathways initiated by these receptors could be
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Glioblastomas are highly resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. Currently, there are no effective therapies for this type of tumor. Signaling mechanisms initiated by PDGFR and IGF-1R are important in glioblastoma, and inhibition of the signal transduction pathways initiated by these receptors could be a useful alternative strategy for glioblastoma treatment. We have studied the effects of the PDGFR inhibitor JNJ-10198409 (JNJ) and the IGF-1R inhibitor picropodophyllin (PPP) in glioblastoma cell lines as well as in primary cultures derived from patients affected by this type of tumor. JNJ and PPP treatment blocked PDGFR and IGF-1R signaling respectively and reduced Akt and Erk 1/2 phosphorylation. Both inhibitors diminished cell proliferation, inducing a G2/M block of the cell cycle. Cell death induced by JNJ was caspase-dependent, Annexin-V positive and caused PARP cleavage, especially in T98 cells, suggesting an apoptotic mechanism. However, cell death induced by PPP was not completely inhibited by caspase inhibitors in all cell lines apart from LN-229 cells, indicating a caspase-independent mechanism. Several inhibitors targeted against different cell death pathways could not block this caspase-independent component, which may be a non-programmed necrotic mechanism. Apoptotic arrays performed in T98 and LN-229 cells upon JNJ and PPP treatment revealed that procaspase 3 levels were augmented by both drugs in T98 cells and only by JNJ in LN229-cells. Furthermore, XIAP and survivin levels were much higher in LN-229 cells than in T98 cells, revealing that LN-229 cells are more susceptible to undergo caspase-independent cell death mechanisms. JNJ and PPP combination was more effective than each treatment alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling and Regulated Cell Death)
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Open AccessReview Genetic Renal Diseases: The Emerging Role of Zebrafish Models
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
The structural and functional similarity of the larval zebrafish pronephros to the human nephron, together with the recent development of easier and more precise techniques to manipulate the zebrafish genome have motivated many researchers to model human renal diseases in the zebrafish. Over
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The structural and functional similarity of the larval zebrafish pronephros to the human nephron, together with the recent development of easier and more precise techniques to manipulate the zebrafish genome have motivated many researchers to model human renal diseases in the zebrafish. Over the last few years, great advances have been made, not only in the modeling techniques of genetic diseases in the zebrafish, but also in how to validate and exploit these models, crossing the bridge towards more informative explanations of disease pathophysiology and better designed therapeutic interventions in a cost-effective in vivo system. Here, we review the significant progress in these areas giving special attention to the renal phenotype evaluation techniques. We further discuss the future applications of such models, particularly their role in revealing new genetic diseases of the kidney and their potential use in personalized medicine. Full article
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Open AccessArticle HDAC Inhibition Counteracts Metastatic Re-Activation of Prostate Cancer Cells Induced by Chronic mTOR Suppression
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
This study was designed to investigate whether epigenetic modulation by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition might circumvent resistance towards the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor temsirolimus in a prostate cancer cell model. Parental (par) and temsirolimus-resistant (res) PC3 prostate cancer cells were exposed
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This study was designed to investigate whether epigenetic modulation by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition might circumvent resistance towards the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor temsirolimus in a prostate cancer cell model. Parental (par) and temsirolimus-resistant (res) PC3 prostate cancer cells were exposed to the HDAC inhibitor valproic acid (VPA), and tumor cell adhesion, chemotaxis, migration, and invasion were evaluated. Temsirolimus resistance was characterized by reduced binding of PC3res cells to endothelium, immobilized collagen, and fibronectin, but increased adhesion to laminin, as compared to the parental cells. Chemotaxis, migration, and invasion of PC3res cells were enhanced following temsirolimus re-treatment. Integrin α and β receptors were significantly altered in PC3res compared to PC3par cells. VPA significantly counteracted temsirolimus resistance by down-regulating tumor cell–matrix interaction, chemotaxis, and migration. Evaluation of integrin expression in the presence of VPA revealed a significant down-regulation of integrin α5 in PC3res cells. Blocking studies demonstrated a close association between α5 expression on PC3res and chemotaxis. In this in vitro model, temsirolimus resistance drove prostate cancer cells to become highly motile, while HDAC inhibition reversed the metastatic activity. The VPA-induced inhibition of metastatic activity was accompanied by a lowered integrin α5 surface level on the tumor cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue mTOR Signaling in Metabolism and Cancer)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Evaluation of Unconventional Protein Secretion by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other Fungi
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Development of proteome analysis of extracellular proteins has revealed that a wide variety of proteins, including fungal allergens are present outside the cell. These secreted allergens often do not contain known secretion signal sequences. Recent research progress shows that some fungal allergens are
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Development of proteome analysis of extracellular proteins has revealed that a wide variety of proteins, including fungal allergens are present outside the cell. These secreted allergens often do not contain known secretion signal sequences. Recent research progress shows that some fungal allergens are secreted by unconventional secretion pathways, including autophagy- and extracellular-vesicle-dependent pathways. However, secretion pathways remain unknown for the majority of extracellular proteins. This review summarizes recent data on unconventional protein secretion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other fungi. Particularly, methods for evaluating unconventional protein secretion are proposed for fungal species, including S. cerevisiae, a popular model organism for investigating protein secretion pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unconventional Protein Secretion in Development and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Injured Achilles Tendons Treated with Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Transplantation and GDF-5
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
Tendon injuries represent a clinical challenge in regenerative medicine because their natural repair process is complex and inefficient. The high incidence of tendon injuries is frequently associated with sports practice, aging, tendinopathies, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and the use of corticosteroids. The growing interest
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Tendon injuries represent a clinical challenge in regenerative medicine because their natural repair process is complex and inefficient. The high incidence of tendon injuries is frequently associated with sports practice, aging, tendinopathies, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and the use of corticosteroids. The growing interest of scientists in using adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSC) in repair processes seems to be mostly due to their paracrine and immunomodulatory effects in stimulating specific cellular events. ADMSC activity can be influenced by GDF-5, which has been successfully used to drive tenogenic differentiation of ADMSC in vitro. Thus, we hypothesized that the application of ADMSC in isolation or in association with GDF-5 could improve Achilles tendon repair through the regulation of important remodeling genes expression. Lewis rats had tendons distributed in four groups: Transected (T), transected and treated with ADMSC (ASC) or GDF-5 (GDF5), or with both (ASC+GDF5). In the characterization of cells before application, ADMSC expressed the positive surface markers, CD90 (90%) and CD105 (95%), and the negative marker, CD45 (7%). ADMSC were also differentiated in chondrocytes, osteoblast, and adipocytes. On the 14th day after the tendon injury, GFP-ADMSC were observed in the transected region of tendons in the ASC and ASC+GDF5 groups, and exhibited and/or stimulated a similar genes expression profile when compared to the in vitro assay. ADMSC up-regulated Lox, Dcn, and Tgfb1 genes expression in comparison to T and ASC+GDF5 groups, which contributed to a lower proteoglycans arrangement, and to a higher collagen fiber organization and tendon biomechanics in the ASC group. The application of ADMSC in association with GDF-5 down-regulated Dcn, Gdf5, Lox, Tgfb1, Mmp2, and Timp2 genes expression, which contributed to a lower hydroxyproline concentration, lower collagen fiber organization, and to an improvement of the rats’ gait 24 h after the injury. In conclusion, although the literature describes the benefic effect of GDF-5 for the tendon healing process, our results show that its application, isolated or associated with ADMSC, cannot improve the repair process of partial transected tendons, indicating the higher effectiveness of the application of ADMSC in injured Achilles tendons. Our results show that the application of ADMSC in injured Achilles tendons was more effective in relation to its association with GDF-5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling)
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Open AccessArticle Transient Receptor Potential Channel A1 (TRPA1) Regulates Sulfur Mustard-Induced Expression of Heat Shock 70 kDa Protein 6 (HSPA6) In Vitro
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
The chemosensory transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) ion channel perceives different sensory stimuli. It also interacts with reactive exogenous compounds including the chemical warfare agent sulfur mustard (SM). Activation of TRPA1 by SM results in elevation of intracellular calcium levels but the
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The chemosensory transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) ion channel perceives different sensory stimuli. It also interacts with reactive exogenous compounds including the chemical warfare agent sulfur mustard (SM). Activation of TRPA1 by SM results in elevation of intracellular calcium levels but the cellular consequences are not understood so far. In the present study we analyzed SM-induced and TRPA1-mediated effects in human TRPA1-overexpressing HEK cells (HEKA1) and human lung epithelial cells (A549) that endogenously exhibit TRPA1. The specific TRPA1 inhibitor AP18 was used to distinguish between SM-induced and TRPA1-mediated or TRPA1-independent effects. Cells were exposed to 600 µM SM and proteome changes were investigated 24 h afterwards by 2D gel electrophoresis. Protein spots with differential staining levels were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and nano liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Results were verified by RT-qPCR experiments in both HEKA1 or A549 cells. Heat shock 70 kDa protein 6 (HSPA6) was identified as an SM-induced and TRPA1-mediated protein. AP18 pre-treatment diminished the up-regulation. RT-qPCR measurements verified these results and further revealed a time-dependent regulation. Our results demonstrate that SM-mediated activation of TRPA1 influences the protein expression and confirm the important role of TRPA1 ion channels in the molecular toxicology of SM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TRP Channels in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview NF-κB, Mesenchymal Differentiation and Glioblastoma
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
Although glioblastoma (GBM) has always been recognized as a heterogeneous tumor, the advent of largescale molecular analysis has enabled robust categorization of this malignancy into several specific subgroups. Among the subtypes designated by expression profiling, mesenchymal tumors have been associated with an inflammatory
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Although glioblastoma (GBM) has always been recognized as a heterogeneous tumor, the advent of largescale molecular analysis has enabled robust categorization of this malignancy into several specific subgroups. Among the subtypes designated by expression profiling, mesenchymal tumors have been associated with an inflammatory microenvironment, increased angiogenesis, and resistance to therapy. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a ubiquitous transcription factor that plays a prominent role in mediating many of the central features associated with mesenchymal differentiation. This review summarizes the mechanisms by which NF-κB proteins and their co-regulating partners induce the transcriptional network that underlies the mesenchymal phenotype. Moreover, both the intrinsic changes within mesenchymal GBM cells and the microenvironmental factors that modify the overall NF-κB response are detailed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NF-κB in Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle CFAP70 Is a Novel Axoneme-Binding Protein That Localizes at the Base of the Outer Dynein Arm and Regulates Ciliary Motility
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
In the present study, we characterized CFAP70, a candidate of cilia-related protein in mice. As this protein has a cluster of tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domains like many components of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) complex, we investigated the domain functions of particular interest in
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In the present study, we characterized CFAP70, a candidate of cilia-related protein in mice. As this protein has a cluster of tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domains like many components of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) complex, we investigated the domain functions of particular interest in ciliary targeting and/or localization. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry of various mouse tissues demonstrated the association of CFAP70 with motile cilia and flagella. A stepwise extraction of proteins from swine tracheal cilia showed that CFAP70 bound tightly to the ciliary axoneme. Fluorescence microscopy of the cultured ependyma expressing fragments of CFAP70 demonstrated that the N-terminus rather than the C-terminus with the TPR domains was more important for the ciliary localization. When CFAP70 was knocked down in cultured mouse ependyma, reductions in cilia beating frequency were observed. Consistent with these observations, a Chlamydomonas mutant lacking the CFAP70 homolog, FAP70, showed defects in outer dynein arm (ODA) activity and a reduction in flagellar motility. Cryo-electron tomography revealed that the N-terminus of FAP70 resided stably at the base of the ODA. These results demonstrated that CFAP70 is a novel regulatory component of the ODA in motile cilia and flagella, and that the N-terminus is important for its ciliary localization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cilia and Flagella: Structure, Function and Beyond)
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Open AccessReview Aquaporin Activity to Improve Crop Drought Tolerance
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
In plants, aquaporins (AQP) occur in multiple isoforms in both plasmalemma and tonoplast membranes resulting in regulation of water flow in and out of cells, and ultimately, water transfer through a series of cells in leaves and roots. Consequently, it is not surprising
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In plants, aquaporins (AQP) occur in multiple isoforms in both plasmalemma and tonoplast membranes resulting in regulation of water flow in and out of cells, and ultimately, water transfer through a series of cells in leaves and roots. Consequently, it is not surprising that physiological and molecular studies have identified AQPs as playing key roles in regulating hydraulic conductance in roots and leaves. As a result, the activity of AQPs influences a range of physiological processes including phloem loading, xylem water exit, stomatal aperture and gas exchange. The influence of AQPs on hydraulic conductance in plants is particularly important in regulating plant transpiration rate, particularly under conditions of developing soil water-deficit stress and elevated atmospheric vapor pressure deficit (VPD). In this review, we examine the impact of AQP activity and hydraulic conductance on crop water use and the identification of genotypes that express soil water conservation as a result of these traits. An important outcome of this research has been the identification and commercialization of cultivars of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), maize (Zea mays L.), and soybean (Glycine max (Merr) L.) for dry land production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Inflammation and NF-κB Signaling in Prostate Cancer: Mechanisms and Clinical Implications
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
Prostate cancer is a highly prevalent form of cancer that is usually slow-developing and benign. Due to its high prevalence, it is, however, still the second most common cause of death by cancer in men in the West. The higher prevalence of prostate
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Prostate cancer is a highly prevalent form of cancer that is usually slow-developing and benign. Due to its high prevalence, it is, however, still the second most common cause of death by cancer in men in the West. The higher prevalence of prostate cancer in the West might be due to elevated inflammation from metabolic syndrome or associated comorbidities. NF-κB activation and many other signals associated with inflammation are known to contribute to prostate cancer malignancy. Inflammatory signals have also been associated with the development of castration resistance and resistance against other androgen depletion strategies, which is a major therapeutic challenge. Here, we review the role of inflammation and its link with androgen signaling in prostate cancer. We further describe the role of NF-κB in prostate cancer cell survival and proliferation, major NF-κB signaling pathways in prostate cancer, and the crosstalk between NF-κB and androgen receptor signaling. Several NF-κB-induced risk factors in prostate cancer and their potential for therapeutic targeting in the clinic are described. A better understanding of the inflammatory mechanisms that control the development of prostate cancer and resistance to androgen-deprivation therapy will eventually lead to novel treatment options for patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NF-κB in Cancer)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Centrosomal and Non-Centrosomal Microtubule-Organizing Centers (MTOCs) in Drosophila melanogaster
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 19 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
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Abstract
The centrosome is the best-understood microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) and is essential in particular cell types and at specific stages during Drosophila development. The centrosome is not required zygotically for mitosis or to achieve full animal development. Nevertheless, centrosomes are essential maternally during cleavage
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The centrosome is the best-understood microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) and is essential in particular cell types and at specific stages during Drosophila development. The centrosome is not required zygotically for mitosis or to achieve full animal development. Nevertheless, centrosomes are essential maternally during cleavage cycles in the early embryo, for male meiotic divisions, for efficient division of epithelial cells in the imaginal wing disc, and for cilium/flagellum assembly in sensory neurons and spermatozoa. Importantly, asymmetric and polarized division of stem cells is regulated by centrosomes and by the asymmetric regulation of their microtubule (MT) assembly activity. More recently, the components and functions of a variety of non-centrosomal microtubule-organizing centers (ncMTOCs) have begun to be elucidated. Throughout Drosophila development, a wide variety of unique ncMTOCs form in epithelial and non-epithelial cell types at an assortment of subcellular locations. Some of these cell types also utilize the centrosomal MTOC, while others rely exclusively on ncMTOCs. The impressive variety of ncMTOCs being discovered provides novel insight into the diverse functions of MTOCs in cells and tissues. This review highlights our current knowledge of the composition, assembly, and functional roles of centrosomal and non-centrosomal MTOCs in Drosophila. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Biology of Centrosomal Structures in Eukaryotes)
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Open AccessArticle Identification and Characterization of LRR-RLK Family Genes in Potato Reveal Their Involvement in Peptide Signaling of Cell Fate Decisions and Biotic/Abiotic Stress Responses
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) represent the largest subfamily of receptor-like kinases (RLKs) and play important roles in regulating growth, development, and stress responses in plants. In this study, 246 LRR-RLK genes were identified in the potato (Solanum tuberosum) genome, which
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Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) represent the largest subfamily of receptor-like kinases (RLKs) and play important roles in regulating growth, development, and stress responses in plants. In this study, 246 LRR-RLK genes were identified in the potato (Solanum tuberosum) genome, which were further classified into 14 subfamilies. Gene structure analysis revealed that genes within the same subgroup shared similar exon/intron structures. A signature small peptide recognition motif (RxR) was found to be largely conserved within members of subfamily IX, suggesting that these members may recognize peptide signals as ligands. 26 of the 246 StLRR-RLK genes were found to have arisen from tandem or segmental duplication events. Expression profiling revealed that StLRR-RLK genes were differentially expressed in various organs/tissues, and several genes were found to be responsive to different stress treatments. Furthermore, StLRR-RLK117 was found to be able to form homodimers and heterodimers with StLRR-RLK042 and StLRR-RLK052. Notably, the overlapping expression region of StLRR-RLK117 with Solanum tuberosum WUSCHEL (StWUS) suggested that the CLV3–CLV1/BAM–WUS feedback loop may be conserved in potato to maintain stem cell homeostasis within the shoot apical meristem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stem Cells)
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Open AccessArticle The Dual Immunoregulatory function of Nlrp12 in T Cell-Mediated Immune Response: Lessons from Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
Although the etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) remains enigmatic, the role of T cells is unquestionably central in this pathology. Immune cells respond to pathogens and danger signals via pattern-recognition receptors (PRR). Several reports implicate Nlrp12, an intracellular PRR, in the development
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Although the etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) remains enigmatic, the role of T cells is unquestionably central in this pathology. Immune cells respond to pathogens and danger signals via pattern-recognition receptors (PRR). Several reports implicate Nlrp12, an intracellular PRR, in the development of a mouse MS-like disease, called Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE). In this study, we used induced and spontaneous models of EAE, as well as in vitro T cell assays, to test the hypothesis that Nlrp12 inhibits Th1 response and prevents T-cell mediated autoimmunity. We found that Nlrp12 plays a protective role in induced EAE by reducing IFNγ/IL-4 ratio in lymph nodes, whereas it potentiates the development of spontaneous EAE (spEAE) in 2D2 T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic mice. Looking into the mechanism of Nlrp12 activity in T cell response, we found that it inhibits T cell proliferation and suppresses Th1 response by reducing IFNγ and IL-2 production. Following TCR activation, Nlrp12 inhibits Akt and NF-κB phosphorylation, while it has no effect on S6 phosphorylation in the mTOR pathway. In conclusion, we propose a model that can explain the dual immunoregulatory function of Nlrp12 in EAE. We also propose a model explaining the molecular mechanism of Nlrp12-dependent regulation of T cell response. Full article
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Open AccessReview Ubiquitin Regulation: The Histone Modifying Enzyme′s Story
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
Histone post-translational modifications influence many fundamental cellular events by regulating chromatin structure and gene transcriptional activity. These modifications are highly dynamic and tightly controlled, with many enzymes devoted to the addition and removal of these modifications. Interestingly, these modifying enzymes are themselves fine-tuned
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Histone post-translational modifications influence many fundamental cellular events by regulating chromatin structure and gene transcriptional activity. These modifications are highly dynamic and tightly controlled, with many enzymes devoted to the addition and removal of these modifications. Interestingly, these modifying enzymes are themselves fine-tuned and precisely regulated at the level of protein turnover by ubiquitin-proteasomal processing. Here, we focus on recent progress centered on the mechanisms regulating ubiquitination of histone modifying enzymes, including ubiquitin proteasomal degradation and the reverse process of deubiquitination. We will also discuss the potential pathophysiological significance of these processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitination in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview Agonist-Biased Signaling via Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Promotes Extracellular Matrix Remodeling
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 12 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 26 August 2018
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Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a highly dynamic noncellular structure that is crucial for maintaining tissue architecture and homeostasis. The dynamic nature of the ECM undergoes constant remodeling in response to stressors, tissue needs, and biochemical signals that are mediated primarily by matrix
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The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a highly dynamic noncellular structure that is crucial for maintaining tissue architecture and homeostasis. The dynamic nature of the ECM undergoes constant remodeling in response to stressors, tissue needs, and biochemical signals that are mediated primarily by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which work to degrade and build up the ECM. Research on MMP-9 has demonstrated that this proteinase exists on the cell surface of many cell types in complex with G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) or Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Through a novel yet ubiquitous signaling platform, MMP-9 is found to play a crucial role not only in the direct remodeling of the ECM but also in the transactivation of associated receptors to mediate and recruit additional remodeling proteins. Here, we summarize the role of MMP-9 as it exists in a tripartite complex on the cell surface and discuss how its association with each of the TrkA receptor, Toll-like receptors, epidermal growth factor receptor, and the insulin receptor contributes to various aspects of ECM remodeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Matrix Remodeling)
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Open AccessArticle Cytotoxic Constituents from the Sclerotia of Poria cocos against Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells by Inducing Mitochondrial Apoptosis
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
Previous studies have revealed the antitumor potential of Poria cocos Wolf against a broad spectrum of cancers. However, the biological activity of P. cocos against lung cancer, which is known as the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, and its underlying chemical and
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Previous studies have revealed the antitumor potential of Poria cocos Wolf against a broad spectrum of cancers. However, the biological activity of P. cocos against lung cancer, which is known as the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, and its underlying chemical and molecular basis, remain to be investigated. We aimed to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxicity of P. cocos toward human lung adenocarcinoma cells with different p53 statuses, to identify the bioactive constituents of P. cocos, and explicate the molecular mechanisms underlying the cytotoxicity of these constituents in human lung adenocarcinoma cells. An EtOH extract of the sclerotia of P. cocos exhibited cytotoxicity toward four human lung cancer cell lines: A549, H1264, H1299, and Calu-6, regardless of their p53 status. Chemical investigation of the extract resulted in the isolation of two triterpenoids, dehydroeburicoic acid monoacetate (1) and acetyl eburicoic acid (4); a sterol, 9,11-dehydroergosterol peroxide (2); and a diterpenoid, dehydroabietic acid (3). All of the isolated compounds were cytotoxic to the lung adenocarcinoma cell lines, exhibiting IC50 values ranging from 63.6 μM to 171.0 μM at 48 h of treatment. The cytotoxicity of the extract and the isolated compounds were found to be mediated by apoptosis, and accompanied by elevated Bax expression and/or Bcl-2 phosphorylation along with caspase-3 activation. Our data demonstrate that the sclerotium of P. cocos and its four bioactive constituents (14) exert cytotoxicity against human lung adenocarcinoma cells, regardless of their p53 status, by inducing apoptosis associated with mitochondrial perturbation, and proposing the potential to employ P. cocos in the treatment of lung cancer. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Targeting IKKβ in Cancer: Challenges and Opportunities for the Therapeutic Utilisation of IKKβ Inhibitors
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 19 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
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Abstract
Deregulated NF-κB signalling is implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous human inflammatory disorders and malignancies. Consequently, the NF-κB pathway has attracted attention as an attractive therapeutic target for drug discovery. As the primary, druggable mediator of canonical NF-κB signalling the IKKβ protein kinase
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Deregulated NF-κB signalling is implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous human inflammatory disorders and malignancies. Consequently, the NF-κB pathway has attracted attention as an attractive therapeutic target for drug discovery. As the primary, druggable mediator of canonical NF-κB signalling the IKKβ protein kinase has been the historical focus of drug development pipelines. Thousands of compounds with activity against IKKβ have been characterised, with many demonstrating promising efficacy in pre-clinical models of cancer and inflammatory disease. However, severe on-target toxicities and other safety concerns associated with systemic IKKβ inhibition have thus far prevented the clinical approval of any IKKβ inhibitors. This review will discuss the potential reasons for the lack of clinical success of IKKβ inhibitors to date, the challenges associated with their therapeutic use, realistic opportunities for their future utilisation, and the alternative strategies to inhibit NF-κB signalling that may overcome some of the limitations associated with IKKβ inhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NF-κB in Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Impact of Biomaterials on Differentiation and Reprogramming Approaches for the Generation of Functional Cardiomyocytes
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
The irreversible loss of functional cardiomyocytes (CMs) after myocardial infarction (MI) represents one major barrier to heart regeneration and functional recovery. The combination of different cell sources and different biomaterials have been investigated to generate CMs by differentiation or reprogramming approaches although at
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The irreversible loss of functional cardiomyocytes (CMs) after myocardial infarction (MI) represents one major barrier to heart regeneration and functional recovery. The combination of different cell sources and different biomaterials have been investigated to generate CMs by differentiation or reprogramming approaches although at low efficiency. This critical review article discusses the role of biomaterial platforms integrating biochemical instructive cues as a tool for the effective generation of functional CMs. The report firstly introduces MI and the main cardiac regenerative medicine strategies under investigation. Then, it describes the main stem cell populations and indirect and direct reprogramming approaches for cardiac regenerative medicine. A third section discusses the main techniques for the characterization of stem cell differentiation and fibroblast reprogramming into CMs. Another section describes the main biomaterials investigated for stem cell differentiation and fibroblast reprogramming into CMs. Finally, a critical analysis of the scientific literature is presented for an efficient generation of functional CMs. The authors underline the need for biomimetic, reproducible and scalable biomaterial platforms and their integration with external physical stimuli in controlled culture microenvironments for the generation of functional CMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tissue Regeneration and Fibrosis)
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