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Cells, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 259 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) As we age, failure to maintain the structural interface between muscle fibers and the motoneuron [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Translocation of Drought-Responsive Proteins from the Chloroplasts
Cells 2020, 9(1), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010259 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 436
Abstract
Some chloroplast proteins are known to serve as messengers to transmit retrograde signals from chloroplasts to the nuclei in response to environmental stresses. However, whether particular chloroplast proteins respond to drought stress and serve as messengers for retrograde signal transduction are unclear. Here, [...] Read more.
Some chloroplast proteins are known to serve as messengers to transmit retrograde signals from chloroplasts to the nuclei in response to environmental stresses. However, whether particular chloroplast proteins respond to drought stress and serve as messengers for retrograde signal transduction are unclear. Here, we used isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) to monitor the proteomic changes in tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) treated with drought stress/re-watering. We identified 3936 and 1087 differentially accumulated total leaf and chloroplast proteins, respectively, which were grouped into 16 categories. Among these, one particular category of proteins, that includes carbonic anhydrase 1 (CA1), exhibited a great decline in chloroplasts, but a remarkable increase in leaves under drought stress. The subcellular localizations of CA1 proteins from moss (Physcomitrella patens), Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa) in P. patens protoplasts consistently showed that CA1 proteins gradually diminished within chloroplasts but increasingly accumulated in the cytosol under osmotic stress treatment, suggesting that they could be translocated from chloroplasts to the cytosol and act as a signal messenger from the chloroplast. Our results thus highlight the potential importance of chloroplast proteins in retrograde signaling pathways and provide a set of candidate proteins for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling and Regulated Cell Death)
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Open AccessReview
The Emerging Roles of Fox Family Transcription Factors in Chromosome Replication, Organization, and Genome Stability
Cells 2020, 9(1), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010258 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 370
Abstract
The forkhead box (Fox) transcription factors (TFs) are widespread from yeast to humans. Their mutations and dysregulation have been linked to a broad spectrum of malignant neoplasias. They are known as critical players in DNA repair, metabolism, cell cycle control, differentiation, and aging. [...] Read more.
The forkhead box (Fox) transcription factors (TFs) are widespread from yeast to humans. Their mutations and dysregulation have been linked to a broad spectrum of malignant neoplasias. They are known as critical players in DNA repair, metabolism, cell cycle control, differentiation, and aging. Recent studies, especially those from the simple model eukaryotes, revealed unexpected contributions of Fox TFs in chromosome replication and organization. More importantly, besides functioning as a canonical TF in cell signaling cascades and gene expression, Fox TFs can directly participate in DNA replication and determine the global replication timing program in a transcription-independent mechanism. Yeast Fox TFs preferentially recruit the limiting replication factors to a subset of early origins on chromosome arms. Attributed to their dimerization capability and distinct DNA binding modes, Fkh1 and Fkh2 also promote the origin clustering and assemblage of replication elements (replication factories). They can mediate long-range intrachromosomal and interchromosomal interactions and thus regulate the four-dimensional chromosome organization. The novel aspects of Fox TFs reviewed here expand their roles in maintaining genome integrity and coordinating the multiple essential chromosome events. These will inevitably be translated to our knowledge and new treatment strategies of Fox TF-associated human diseases including cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The FoxO Transcription Factors and Metabolic Regulation)
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Open AccessReview
Regulation of Autophagy Is a Novel Tumorigenesis-Related Activity of Multifunctional Translationally Controlled Tumor Protein
Cells 2020, 9(1), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010257 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is highly conserved in eukaryotic organisms and plays multiple roles regulating cellular growth and homeostasis. Because of its anti-apoptotic activity and its role in the regulation of cancer metastasis, TCTP has become a promising target for cancer therapy. [...] Read more.
Translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is highly conserved in eukaryotic organisms and plays multiple roles regulating cellular growth and homeostasis. Because of its anti-apoptotic activity and its role in the regulation of cancer metastasis, TCTP has become a promising target for cancer therapy. Moreover, growing evidence points to its clinical role in cancer prognosis. How TCTP regulates cellular growth in cancer has been widely studied, but how it regulates cellular homeostasis has received relatively little attention. This review discusses how TCTP is related to cancer and its potential as a target in cancer therapeutics, including its novel role in the regulation of autophagy. Regulation of autophagy is essential for cell recycling and scavenging cellular materials to sustain cell survival under the metabolic stress that cancer cells undergo during their aggressive proliferation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of TCTP in Cell Biological and Disease Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Agonist Antibody Converts Stem Cells into Migrating Brown Adipocyte-Like Cells in Heart
Cells 2020, 9(1), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010256 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 348
Abstract
We present data showing that Iodotyrosine Deiodinase (IYD) is a dual-function enzyme acting as a catalyst in metabolism and a receptor for cooperative stem cell differentiation. IYD is present both in thyroid cells where it is critical for scavenging iodine from halogenated by-products [...] Read more.
We present data showing that Iodotyrosine Deiodinase (IYD) is a dual-function enzyme acting as a catalyst in metabolism and a receptor for cooperative stem cell differentiation. IYD is present both in thyroid cells where it is critical for scavenging iodine from halogenated by-products of thyroid hormone production and on hematopoietic stem cells. To close the cooperative loop, the mono- and di-Iodotyrosine (MIT and DIT) substrates of IYD in the thyroid are also agonists for IYD now acting as a receptor on bone marrow stem cells. While studying intracellular combinatorial antibody libraries, we discovered an agonist antibody, H3 Ab, of which the target is the enzyme IYD. When agonized by H3 Ab, IYD expressed on stem cells induces differentiation of the cells into brown adipocyte-like cells, which selectively migrate to mouse heart tissue. H3 Ab also binds to IYD expressed on human myocardium. Thus, one has a single enzyme acting in different ways on different cells for the cooperative purpose of enhancing thermogenesis or of regenerating damaged heart tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stem Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
Human Skin Keratinocytes on Sustained TGF-β Stimulation Reveal Partial EMT Features and Weaken Growth Arrest Responses
Cells 2020, 9(1), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010255 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Defects in wound closure can be related to the failure of keratinocytes to re-epithelize. Potential mechanisms driving this impairment comprise unbalanced cytokine signaling, including Transforming Growth Factor-β (TFG-β). Although the etiologies of chronic wound development are known, the relevant molecular events are poorly [...] Read more.
Defects in wound closure can be related to the failure of keratinocytes to re-epithelize. Potential mechanisms driving this impairment comprise unbalanced cytokine signaling, including Transforming Growth Factor-β (TFG-β). Although the etiologies of chronic wound development are known, the relevant molecular events are poorly understood. This lack of insight is a consequence of ethical issues, which limit the available evidence to humans. In this work, we have used an in vitro model validated for the study of epidermal physiology and function, the HaCaT cells to provide a description of the impact of sustained exposure to TGF-β. Long term TGF-β1 treatment led to evident changes, HaCaT cells became spindle-shaped and increased in size. This phenotype change involved conformational re-arrangements for actin filaments and E-Cadherin cell-adhesion structures. Surprisingly, the signs of consolidated epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition were absent. At the molecular level, modified gene expression and altered protein contents were found. Non-canonical TGF-β pathway elements did not show relevant changes. However, R-Smads experienced alterations best characterized by decreased Smad3 levels. Functionally, HaCaT cells exposed to TGF-β1 for long periods showed cell-cycle arrest. Yet, the strength of this restraint weakens the longer the treatment, as revealed when challenged by pro-mitogenic factors. The proposed setting might offer a useful framework for future research on the mechanisms driving wound chronification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TGF-beta/BMP Signaling Pathway)
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Open AccessReview
Sensor Sensibility—HIV-1 and the Innate Immune Response
Cells 2020, 9(1), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010254 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Innate immunity represents the human immune system’s first line of defense against a pathogenic intruder and is initiated by the recognition of conserved molecular structures known as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by specialized cellular sensors, called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Human immunodeficiency virus [...] Read more.
Innate immunity represents the human immune system’s first line of defense against a pathogenic intruder and is initiated by the recognition of conserved molecular structures known as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by specialized cellular sensors, called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a unique human RNA virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in infected individuals. During the replication cycle, HIV-1 undergoes reverse transcription of its RNA genome and integrates the resulting DNA into the human genome. Subsequently, transcription of the integrated provirus results in production of new virions and spreading infection of the virus. Throughout the viral replication cycle, numerous nucleic acid derived PAMPs can be recognized by a diverse set of innate immune sensors in infected cells. However, HIV-1 has evolved efficient strategies to evade or counteract this immune surveillance and the downstream responses. Understanding the molecular underpinnings of the concerted actions of the innate immune system, as well as the corresponding viral evasion mechanisms during infection, is critical to understanding HIV-1 transmission and pathogenesis, and may provide important guidance for the design of appropriate adjuvant and vaccine strategies. Here, we summarize current knowledge of the molecular basis for sensing HIV-1 in human cells, including CD4+ T cells, dendritic cells, and macrophages. Furthermore, we discuss the underlying mechanisms by which innate sensing is regulated, and describe the strategies developed by HIV-1 to evade sensing and immune responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV and Host Interaction)
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Open AccessArticle
Case Report on: Very Early Afterdepolarizations in HiPSC-Cardiomyocytes—An Artifact by Big Conductance Calcium Activated Potassium Current (Ibk,Ca)
Cells 2020, 9(1), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010253 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) represent an unlimited source of human CMs that could be a standard tool in drug research. However, there is concern whether hiPSC-CMs express all cardiac ion channels at physiological level and whether they might express non-cardiac [...] Read more.
Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) represent an unlimited source of human CMs that could be a standard tool in drug research. However, there is concern whether hiPSC-CMs express all cardiac ion channels at physiological level and whether they might express non-cardiac ion channels. In a control hiPSC line, we found large, “noisy” outward K+ currents, when we measured outward potassium currents in isolated hiPSC-CMs. Currents were sensitive to iberiotoxin, the selective blocker of big conductance Ca2+-activated K+ current (IBK,Ca). Seven of 16 individual differentiation batches showed a strong initial repolarization in the action potentials (AP) recorded from engineered heart tissue (EHT) followed by very early afterdepolarizations, sometimes even with consecutive oscillations. Iberiotoxin stopped oscillations and normalized AP shape, but had no effect in other EHTs without oscillations or in human left ventricular tissue (LV). Expression levels of the alpha-subunit (KCa1.1) of the BKCa correlated with the presence of oscillations in hiPSC-CMs and was not detectable in LV. Taken together, individual batches of hiPSC-CMs can express sarcolemmal ion channels that are otherwise not found in the human heart, resulting in oscillating afterdepolarizations in the AP. HiPSC-CMs should be screened for expression of non-cardiac ion channels before being applied to drug research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology)
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Open AccessArticle
PPARγ-Independent Side Effects of Thiazolidinediones on Mitochondrial Redox State in Rat Isolated Hearts
Cells 2020, 9(1), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010252 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 308
Abstract
The effect of anti-diabetic thiazolidinediones (TZDs) on contributing to heart failure and cardiac ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury is controversial. In this study we investigated the effect of select TZDs on myocardial and mitochondrial function in Brown Norway rat isolated hearts. In a first set [...] Read more.
The effect of anti-diabetic thiazolidinediones (TZDs) on contributing to heart failure and cardiac ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury is controversial. In this study we investigated the effect of select TZDs on myocardial and mitochondrial function in Brown Norway rat isolated hearts. In a first set of experiments, the TZD rosiglitazone was given acutely before global myocardial IR, and pre- and post-IR function and infarct size were assessed. In a second set of experiments, different concentrations of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone were administered in the presence or absence of the specific PPARγ antagonist GW9662, and their effects on the mitochondrial redox state were measured by online NADH and FAD autofluorescence. The administration of rosiglitazone did not significantly affect myocardial function except for transiently increasing coronary flow, but it increased IR injury compared to the control hearts. Both TZDs resulted in dose-dependent, reversible increases in mitochondrial oxidation which was not attenuated by GW9662. Taken together, these data suggest that TZDs cause excessive mitochondrial uncoupling by a PPARγ-independent mechanism. Acute rosiglitazone administration before IR was associated with enhanced cardiac injury. If translated clinically, susceptible patients on PPARγ agonists may experience enhanced myocardial IR injury by mitochondrial dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondria in Health and Diseases)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Cells in 2019
Cells 2020, 9(1), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010251 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 318
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Mechanical Forces as Determinants of Disseminated Metastatic Cell Fate
Cells 2020, 9(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010250 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Disseminated metastatic cancer cells represent one of the most relevant causes of disease relapse and associated death for cancer patients, and a therapeutic target of the highest priority. Still, our understanding of how disseminated cancer cells survive in the foreign metastatic environment, and [...] Read more.
Disseminated metastatic cancer cells represent one of the most relevant causes of disease relapse and associated death for cancer patients, and a therapeutic target of the highest priority. Still, our understanding of how disseminated cancer cells survive in the foreign metastatic environment, and eventually cause metastatic outgrowth, remains rather limited. In this review we focus on the cell microenvironment as a key regulator of cell behavior at the metastatic site, and especially on the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix and associated integrin signaling. We discuss available evidence pointing to a pervasive role of extracellular matrix (ECM) mechanical properties in regulating cancer cell proliferation and survival after dissemination, and propose that this might represent an important bottleneck for cells invading and establishing into a novel tissue. We point to the known molecular players, how these might contribute to modulate the mechanical properties of the metastatic environment, and the response of cells to these cues. Finally, we propose that emerging knowledge on the physical interaction of disseminated metastatic cells and on the downstream mechanotransduction pathways, including YAP/TAZ (Yes-associated protein-1 and WW-domain transcription activator 1) and MRTFs (Myocardin-related transcription factors), may help to identify novel approaches for therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanotransduction in Control of Cell Fate and Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Metabolic Stress Alters Antioxidant Systems, Suppresses the Adiponectin Receptor 1 and Induces Alzheimer’s Like Pathology in Mice Brain
Cells 2020, 9(1), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010249 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 366
Abstract
Oxidative stress and insulin resistance play major roles in numerous neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A high-fat diet induces obesity-associated oxidative stress, neuronal insulin resistance, microglial activation, and neuroinflammation, which are considered important risk factors for neurodegeneration. Obesity-related metabolic dysfunction is a [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress and insulin resistance play major roles in numerous neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A high-fat diet induces obesity-associated oxidative stress, neuronal insulin resistance, microglial activation, and neuroinflammation, which are considered important risk factors for neurodegeneration. Obesity-related metabolic dysfunction is a risk factor for cognitive decline. The present study aimed to elucidate whether chronic consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD; 24 weeks) can induce insulin resistance, neuroinflammation, and amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition in mouse brains. Male C57BL/6N mice were used for a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced pre-clinical model of obesity. The protein expression levels were examined via Western blot, immunofluorescence, and the behavior analysis was performed using the Morris water maze test. To obtain metabolic parameters, insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance tests were performed. We found that metabolic perturbations from the chronic consumption of HFD elevated neuronal oxidative stress and insulin resistance through adiponectin receptor (AdipoR1) suppression in HFD-fed mice. Similarly, our in vitro results also indicated that knockdown of AdipoR1 in the embryonic mouse hippocampal cell line mHippoE-14 leads to increased oxidative stress in neurons. In addition, HFD markedly increased neuroinflammatory markers’ glial activation in the cortex and hippocampus regions of HFD mouse brains. More importantly, we observed that AdipoR1 suppression increased the amyloidogenic pathway both in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, deregulated synaptic proteins and behavioral deficits were observed in the HFD mouse brains. Taken together, our findings suggest that excessive consumption of an HFD has a profound impact on brain function, which involves the acceleration of cognitive impairment due to increased obesity-associated oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and neuroinflammation, which ultimately may cause early onset of Alzheimer’s pathology via the suppression of AdipoR1 signaling in the brain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms in Metabolic Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Four-And-A-Half LIM-Domain Protein 2 (FHL2) Deficiency Aggravates Cholestatic Liver Injury
Cells 2020, 9(1), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010248 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 310
Abstract
Cholestasis occurs in different clinical circumstances and leads to severe hepatic disorders. The four-and-a-half LIM-domain protein 2 (FHL2) is a scaffolding protein that modulates multiple signal transduction pathways in a tissue- and cell context-specific manner. In this study, we aimed to gain insight [...] Read more.
Cholestasis occurs in different clinical circumstances and leads to severe hepatic disorders. The four-and-a-half LIM-domain protein 2 (FHL2) is a scaffolding protein that modulates multiple signal transduction pathways in a tissue- and cell context-specific manner. In this study, we aimed to gain insight into the function of FHL2 in cholestatic liver injury. FHL2 expression was significantly increased in the bile duct ligation (BDL) model in mice. In Fhl2-deficient (Fhl2-ko) mice, BDL caused a more severe portal and parenchymal inflammation, extended portal fibrosis, higher serum transaminase levels, and higher pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrogenic gene expression compared to wild type (wt) mice. FHL2 depletion in HepG2 cells with siRNA resulted in a higher expression of the bile acid transporter Na+-taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) gene. Furthermore, FHL2-depleted HepG2 cells showed higher expression of markers for oxidative stress, lower B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2) expression, and higher Bcl2-associated X protein (BAX) expression after stimulation with deoxycholic acid (DCA). In hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), FHL2 depletion caused an increased expression of TGF-β and several pro-fibrogenic matrix metalloproteinases. In summary, our study shows that deficiency in FHL2 aggravates cholestatic liver injury and suggests FHL2-mediated effects on bile acid metabolisms and HSCs as potential mechanisms for pronounced hepatocellular injury and fibrosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
AXL Controls Directed Migration of Mesenchymal Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells
Cells 2020, 9(1), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010247 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive form of breast cancer with high risk of relapse and metastasis. TNBC is a heterogeneous disease comprising different molecular subtypes including those with mesenchymal features. The tyrosine kinase AXL is expressed in mesenchymal cells and plays [...] Read more.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive form of breast cancer with high risk of relapse and metastasis. TNBC is a heterogeneous disease comprising different molecular subtypes including those with mesenchymal features. The tyrosine kinase AXL is expressed in mesenchymal cells and plays a role in drug resistance, migration and metastasis. We confirm that AXL is more expressed in mesenchymal TNBC cells compared to luminal breast cancer cells, and that its invalidation impairs cell migration while having no or little effect on cell viability. Here, we found that AXL controls directed migration. We observed that AXL displays a polarized localization at the Golgi apparatus and the leading edge of migratory mesenchymal TNBC cells. AXL co-localizes with F-actin at the front of the cells. In migratory polarized cells, the specific AXL inhibitor R428 displaces AXL and F-actin from the leading edge to a lateral area localized between the front and the rear of the cells where both are enriched in protrusions. In addition, R428 treatment disrupts the polarized localization of the Golgi apparatus towards the leading edge in migratory cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of aggressive chemo-resistant TNBC samples obtained before treatment reveals inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity of the percentage of AXL expressing tumor cells, and a preference of these cells to be in contact with the stroma. Taken together, our study demonstrates that AXL controls directed cell migration most likely by regulating cell polarity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Motility and Adhesion)
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Open AccessReview
Novel Approaches for Identifying the Molecular Background of Schizophrenia
Cells 2020, 9(1), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010246 - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Recent advances in psychiatric genetics have led to the discovery of dozens of genomic loci associated with schizophrenia. However, a gap exists between the detection of genetic associations and understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms. This review describes the basic approaches used in the [...] Read more.
Recent advances in psychiatric genetics have led to the discovery of dozens of genomic loci associated with schizophrenia. However, a gap exists between the detection of genetic associations and understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms. This review describes the basic approaches used in the so-called post-GWAS studies to generate biological interpretation of the existing population genetic data, including both molecular (creation and analysis of knockout animals, exploration of the transcriptional effects of common variants in human brain cells) and computational (fine-mapping of causal variability, gene set enrichment analysis, partitioned heritability analysis) methods. The results of the crucial studies, in which these approaches were used to uncover the molecular and neurobiological basis of the disease, are also reported. Full article
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Open AccessReview
RhoA-ROCK Signaling as a Therapeutic Target in Traumatic Brain Injury
Cells 2020, 9(1), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010245 - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 336
Abstract
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. TBIs, which range in severity from mild to severe, occur when a traumatic event, such as a fall, a traffic accident, or a blow, causes the brain to move rapidly [...] Read more.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. TBIs, which range in severity from mild to severe, occur when a traumatic event, such as a fall, a traffic accident, or a blow, causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull, resulting in damage. Long-term consequences of TBI can include motor and cognitive deficits and emotional disturbances that result in a reduced quality of life and work productivity. Recovery from TBI can be challenging due to a lack of effective treatment options for repairing TBI-induced neural damage and alleviating functional impairments. Central nervous system (CNS) injury and disease are known to induce the activation of the small GTPase RhoA and its downstream effector Rho kinase (ROCK). Activation of this signaling pathway promotes cell death and the retraction and loss of neural processes and synapses, which mediate information flow and storage in the brain. Thus, inhibiting RhoA-ROCK signaling has emerged as a promising approach for treating CNS disorders. In this review, we discuss targeting the RhoA-ROCK pathway as a therapeutic strategy for treating TBI and summarize the recent advances in the development of RhoA-ROCK inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rho GTPases in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Pathogenic Carboxyl Ester Lipase (CEL) Variants Interact with the Normal CEL Protein in Pancreatic Cells
Cells 2020, 9(1), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010244 - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 227
Abstract
Mutations in the gene encoding the digestive enzyme carboxyl ester lipase (CEL) are linked to pancreatic disease. The CEL variant denoted CEL-HYB predisposes to chronic pancreatitis, whereas the CEL-MODY variant causes MODY8, an inherited disorder of endocrine and exocrine pancreatic dysfunction. Both pathogenic [...] Read more.
Mutations in the gene encoding the digestive enzyme carboxyl ester lipase (CEL) are linked to pancreatic disease. The CEL variant denoted CEL-HYB predisposes to chronic pancreatitis, whereas the CEL-MODY variant causes MODY8, an inherited disorder of endocrine and exocrine pancreatic dysfunction. Both pathogenic variants exhibit altered biochemical and cellular properties compared with the normal CEL protein (CEL-WT, wild type). We here aimed to investigate effects of CEL variants on pancreatic acinar and ductal cell lines. Following extracellular exposure, CEL-HYB, CEL-MODY, and CEL-WT were endocytosed. The two pathogenic CEL proteins significantly reduced cell viability compared with CEL-WT. We also found evidence of CEL uptake in primary human pancreatic acinar cells and in native ductal tissue. Moreover, coexpression of CEL-HYB or CEL-MODY with CEL-WT affected secretion of the latter, as CEL-WT was observed to accumulate intracellularly to a higher degree in the presence of either pathogenic variant. Notably, in coendocytosis experiments, both pathogenic variants displayed a modest effect on cell viability when CEL-WT was present, indicating that the normal protein might diminish toxic effects conferred by CEL-HYB and CEL-MODY. Taken together, our findings provide valuable insight into how the pathogenic CEL variants predispose to pancreatic disease and why these disorders develop slowly over time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aspirin Enhances the Protection of Hsp90 from Heat-Stressed Injury in Cardiac Microvascular Endothelial Cells Through PI3K-Akt and PKM2 Pathways
Cells 2020, 9(1), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010243 - 18 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Heat stress (HS) often causes sudden death of humans and animals due to heart failure, mainly resulting from the contraction of cardiac microvasculature followed by myocardial ischemia. Cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMVECs) play an important role in maintaining vasodilatation. Aspirin (ASA) is well [...] Read more.
Heat stress (HS) often causes sudden death of humans and animals due to heart failure, mainly resulting from the contraction of cardiac microvasculature followed by myocardial ischemia. Cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMVECs) play an important role in maintaining vasodilatation. Aspirin (ASA) is well known for its protective abilities of febrile animals. However, there is little knowledge about molecular resistance mechanisms of CMVECs and which role ASA may play in this context. Therefore, we used a heat stress model of rat cardiac microvascular endothelial cell cultures in vitro and investigated the cell injuries and molecular resistance mechanism of CMVECs caused by heat stress, and the effect of aspirin (ASA) on it. HS induced severe pathological damage of CMVECs and cellular oxidative stress and dysfunction of NO release. Hsp90 was proven to be indispensable for resisting HS-injury of CMVECs through PI3K-Akt and PKM2 signaling pathways. Meanwhile, PKM2 functioned in reducing Akt phosphorylation. ASA treatment of CMVECs induced a significant expression of Hsp90, which promoted both Akt and PKM2 signals, which are beneficial for relieving HS damage and maintaining the function of CMVECs. Akt activation also promoted HSF-1 that regulates the expression of Hsp70, which is known to assist Hsp90′s molecular chaperone function and when released to the extracellular liquid to protect myocardial cells from HS damage. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that HS damages CMVECs and the protection mechanism of Hsp90 on it, and that ASA provides a new potential strategy for regulating cardiac microcirculation preventing HS-induced heart failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cellular Pathology)
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Open AccessReview
Cellular and Molecular Differences between HFpEF and HFrEF: A Step Ahead in an Improved Pathological Understanding
Cells 2020, 9(1), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010242 - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Heart failure (HF) is the most rapidly growing cardiovascular health burden worldwide. HF can be classified into three groups based on the percentage of the ejection fraction (EF): heart failure with reduced EF (HFrEF), heart failure with mid-range—also called mildly reduced EF— (HFmrEF), [...] Read more.
Heart failure (HF) is the most rapidly growing cardiovascular health burden worldwide. HF can be classified into three groups based on the percentage of the ejection fraction (EF): heart failure with reduced EF (HFrEF), heart failure with mid-range—also called mildly reduced EF— (HFmrEF), and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). HFmrEF can progress into either HFrEF or HFpEF, but its phenotype is dominated by coronary artery disease, as in HFrEF. HFrEF and HFpEF present with differences in both the development and progression of the disease secondary to changes at the cellular and molecular level. While recent medical advances have resulted in efficient and specific treatments for HFrEF, these treatments lack efficacy for HFpEF management. These differential response rates, coupled to increasing rates of HF, highlight the significant need to understand the unique pathogenesis of HFrEF and HFpEF. In this review, we summarize the differences in pathological development of HFrEF and HFpEF, focussing on disease-specific aspects of inflammation and endothelial function, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and death, alterations in the giant spring titin, and fibrosis. We highlight the areas of difference between the two diseases with the aim of guiding research efforts for novel therapeutics in HFrEF and HFpEF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cardiovascular Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Exosomes in Bone Sarcomas: Key Players in Metastasis
Cells 2020, 9(1), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010241 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Bone sarcomas are rare cancers which often present with metastatic disease and are still associated with poor survival rates. Studies in the last decade have identified that exosomes, a type of extracellular vesicle released by cells, play an important role in tumour progression [...] Read more.
Bone sarcomas are rare cancers which often present with metastatic disease and are still associated with poor survival rates. Studies in the last decade have identified that exosomes, a type of extracellular vesicle released by cells, play an important role in tumour progression and dissemination. Through the transfer of their cargo (RNAs, proteins, and lipids) across cells, they are involved in cellular cross-talk and can induce changes in cellular behaviour. Exosomes have been shown to be important in metastasis organotropism, induction of angiogenesis and vascular permeability, the education of cells towards a pro-metastatic phenotype or the interaction between stromal and tumour cells. Due to the importance exosomes have in disease progression and the high incidence of metastasis in bone sarcomas, recent studies have evaluated the implications of these extracellular vesicles in bone sarcomas. In this review, we discuss the studies that evaluate the role of exosomes in osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, and preliminary data on chondrosarcoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Cancers: Bone Sarcomas)
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Open AccessPerspective
The Expanding Therapeutic Potential of Neuronal KCC2
Cells 2020, 9(1), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010240 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Dysfunctions in GABAergic inhibitory neural transmission occur in neuronal injuries and neurological disorders. The potassium–chloride cotransporter 2 (KCC2, SLC12A5) is a key modulator of inhibitory GABAergic inputs in healthy adult neurons, as its chloride (Cl) extruding activity underlies the hyperpolarizing reversal [...] Read more.
Dysfunctions in GABAergic inhibitory neural transmission occur in neuronal injuries and neurological disorders. The potassium–chloride cotransporter 2 (KCC2, SLC12A5) is a key modulator of inhibitory GABAergic inputs in healthy adult neurons, as its chloride (Cl) extruding activity underlies the hyperpolarizing reversal potential for GABAA receptor Cl currents (EGABA). Manipulation of KCC2 levels or activity improve symptoms associated with epilepsy and neuropathy. Recent works have now indicated that pharmacological enhancement of KCC2 function could reactivate dormant relay circuits in an injured mouse’s spinal cord, leading to functional recovery and the attenuation of neuronal abnormality and disease phenotype associated with a mouse model of Rett syndrome (RTT). KCC2 interacts with Huntingtin and is downregulated in Huntington’s disease (HD), which contributed to GABAergic excitation and memory deficits in the R6/2 mouse HD model. Here, these recent advances are highlighted, which attest to KCC2’s growing potential as a therapeutic target for neuropathological conditions resulting from dysfunctional inhibitory input. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Applications of Genome Editing Technology in Research on Chromosome Aneuploidy Disorders
Cells 2020, 9(1), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010239 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Chromosomal segregation errors in germ cells and early embryonic development underlie aneuploidies, which are numerical chromosomal abnormalities causing fetal absorption, developmental anomalies, and carcinogenesis. It has been considered that human aneuploidy disorders cannot be resolved by radical treatment. However, recent studies have demonstrated [...] Read more.
Chromosomal segregation errors in germ cells and early embryonic development underlie aneuploidies, which are numerical chromosomal abnormalities causing fetal absorption, developmental anomalies, and carcinogenesis. It has been considered that human aneuploidy disorders cannot be resolved by radical treatment. However, recent studies have demonstrated that aneuploidies can be rescued to a normal diploid state using genetic engineering in cultured cells. Here, we summarize a series of studies mainly applying genome editing to eliminate an extra copy of human chromosome 21, the cause of the most common constitutional aneuploidy disorder Down syndrome. We also present findings on induced pluripotent stem cell reprogramming, which has been shown to be one of the most promising technologies for converting aneuploidies into normal diploidy without the risk of genetic alterations such as genome editing-mediated off-target effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Editing Systems, Methods, Techniques and Their Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Prevention of DNA Replication Stress by CHK1 Leads to Chemoresistance Despite a DNA Repair Defect in Homologous Recombination in Breast Cancer
Cells 2020, 9(1), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010238 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Chromosomal instability not only has a negative effect on survival in triple-negative breast cancer, but also on the well treatable subgroup of luminal A tumors. This suggests a general mechanism independent of subtypes. Increased chromosomal instability (CIN) in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is [...] Read more.
Chromosomal instability not only has a negative effect on survival in triple-negative breast cancer, but also on the well treatable subgroup of luminal A tumors. This suggests a general mechanism independent of subtypes. Increased chromosomal instability (CIN) in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is attributed to a defect in the DNA repair pathway homologous recombination. Homologous recombination (HR) prevents genomic instability by repair and protection of replication. It is unclear whether genetic alterations actually lead to a repair defect or whether superior signaling pathways are of greater importance. Previous studies focused exclusively on the repair function of HR. Here, we show that the regulation of HR by the intra-S-phase damage response at the replication is of overriding importance. A damage response activated by Ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related-checkpoint kinase 1 (ATR-CHK1) can prevent replication stress and leads to resistance formation. CHK1 thus has a preferred role over HR in preventing replication stress in TNBC. The signaling cascade ATR-CHK1 can compensate for a double-strand break repair error and lead to resistance of HR-deficient tumors. Established methods for the identification of HR-deficient tumors for Poly(ADP-Ribose)-Polymerase 1 (PARP1) inhibitor therapies should be extended to include analysis of candidates for intra-S phase damage response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Double-Strand DNA Break Repair and Human Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrogen Sulfide Impairs Meiosis Resumption in Xenopus laevis Oocytes
Cells 2020, 9(1), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010237 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 335
Abstract
The role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is addressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Three enzymes involved in H2S metabolism, cystathionine β-synthase, cystathionine γ-lyase, and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase, were detected in prophase I and metaphase II-arrested oocytes and drove an acceleration of [...] Read more.
The role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is addressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Three enzymes involved in H2S metabolism, cystathionine β-synthase, cystathionine γ-lyase, and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase, were detected in prophase I and metaphase II-arrested oocytes and drove an acceleration of oocyte meiosis resumption when inhibited. Moreover, meiosis resumption is associated with a significant decrease in endogenous H2S. On another hand, a dose-dependent inhibition was obtained using the H2S donor, NaHS (1 and 5 mM). NaHS impaired translation. NaHS did not induce the dissociation of the components of the M-phase promoting factor (MPF), cyclin B and Cdk1, nor directly impacted the MPF activity. However, the M-phase entry induced by microinjection of metaphase II MPF-containing cytoplasm was diminished, suggesting upstream components of the MPF auto-amplification loop were sensitive to H2S. Superoxide dismutase and catalase hindered the effects of NaHS, and this sensitivity was partially dependent on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In contrast to other species, no apoptosis was promoted. These results suggest a contribution of H2S signaling in the timing of amphibian oocytes meiosis resumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing a Female Gamete: An Oocyte Story)
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Open AccessArticle
DKK1 Induced by 1,25D3 Is Required for the Mineralization of Osteoblasts
Cells 2020, 9(1), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010236 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 256
Abstract
1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3), the most popular drug for osteoporosis treatment, drives osteoblast differentiation and bone mineralization. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is involved in commitment and differentiation of osteoblasts, but the role of the Dickkopf-related protein 1 (DKK1), a Wnt antagonist, in osteoblasts remains unknown. Here, [...] Read more.
1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3), the most popular drug for osteoporosis treatment, drives osteoblast differentiation and bone mineralization. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is involved in commitment and differentiation of osteoblasts, but the role of the Dickkopf-related protein 1 (DKK1), a Wnt antagonist, in osteoblasts remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate the molecular mechanism of DKK1 induction by 1,25D3 and its physiological role during osteoblast differentiation. 1,25D3 markedly promoted the expression of both CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (C/EBPβ) and DKK1 at day 7 during osteoblast differentiation. Interestingly, mRNA and protein levels of C/EBPβ and DKK1 in osteoblasts were elevated by 1,25D3. We also found that C/EBPβ, in response to 1,25D3, directly binds to the human DKK1 promoter. Knockdown of C/EBPβ downregulated the expression of DKK1 in osteoblasts, which was partially reversed by 1,25D3. In contrast, overexpression of C/EBPβ upregulated DKK1 expression in osteoblasts, which was enhanced by 1,25D3. Furthermore, 1,25D3 treatment in osteoblasts stimulated secretion of DKK1 protein within the endoplasmic reticulum to extracellular. Intriguingly, blocking DKK1 attenuated calcified nodule formation in mineralized osteoblasts, but not ALP activity or collagen synthesis. Taken together, these observations suggest that 1,25D3 promotes the mineralization of osteoblasts through activation of DKK1 followed by an increase of C/EBPβ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wnt Signaling in Health and Diseases 2020)
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Open AccessReview
Emerging Roles of Cancer Stem Cells in Bladder Cancer Progression, Tumorigenesis, and Resistance to Chemotherapy: A Potential Therapeutic Target for Bladder Cancer
Cells 2020, 9(1), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010235 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Bladder cancer (BC) is a complex and highly heterogeneous stem cell disease associated with high morbidity and mortality rates if it is not treated properly. Early diagnosis with personalized therapy and regular follow-up are the keys to a successful outcome. Cancer stem cells [...] Read more.
Bladder cancer (BC) is a complex and highly heterogeneous stem cell disease associated with high morbidity and mortality rates if it is not treated properly. Early diagnosis with personalized therapy and regular follow-up are the keys to a successful outcome. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the leading power behind tumor growth, with the ability of self-renewal, metastasis, and resistance to conventional chemotherapy. The fast-developing CSC field with robust genome-wide screening methods has found a platform for establishing more reliable therapies to target tumor-initiating cell populations. However, the high heterogeneity of the CSCs in BC disease remains a large issue. Therefore, in the present review, we discuss the various types of bladder CSC heterogeneity, important regulatory pathways, roles in tumor progression and tumorigenesis, and the experimental culture models. Finally, we describe the current stem cell-based therapies for BC disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell-based Therapy and Disease Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Cysteine on Methylglyoxal-Induced Renal Damage in Mesangial Cells
Cells 2020, 9(1), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010234 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Methylglyoxal (MGO), a highly reactive dicarbonyl compound, is a key precursor of the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). MGO and MGO-AGEs were reportedly increased in patients with diabetic dysfunction, including diabetic nephropathy. The activation of glyoxalase-I (GLO-I) increases MGO and MGO-AGE [...] Read more.
Methylglyoxal (MGO), a highly reactive dicarbonyl compound, is a key precursor of the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). MGO and MGO-AGEs were reportedly increased in patients with diabetic dysfunction, including diabetic nephropathy. The activation of glyoxalase-I (GLO-I) increases MGO and MGO-AGE detoxification. MGO-mediated glucotoxicity can also be ameliorated by MGO scavengers such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC), aminoguanidine (AG), and metformin. In this study, we noted that l-cysteine demonstrated protective effects against MGO-induced glucotoxicity in renal mesangial cells. l-cysteine prevented MGO-induced apoptosis and necrosis, together with a reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in MES13 cells. Interestingly, l-cysteine significantly reduced MGO-AGE formation and also acted as an MGO-AGE crosslink breaker. Furthermore, l-cysteine treatment accelerated MGO catabolism to D-lactate via the upregulation of GLO-I. The reduction of AGE formation and induction of AGE breakdown, following l-cysteine treatment, further supports the potential use of l-cysteine as an alternative for the therapeutic control of MGO-induced renal complications in diabetes, especially against diabetic nephropathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms in Metabolic Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Dysregulated Interorganellar Crosstalk of Mitochondria in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease
Cells 2020, 9(1), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010233 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 564
Abstract
The pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, is complex and involves the impairment of crucial intracellular physiological processes. Importantly, in addition to abnormal α-synuclein aggregation, the dysfunction of various mitochondria-dependent processes has been prominently implicated in PD pathogenesis. [...] Read more.
The pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, is complex and involves the impairment of crucial intracellular physiological processes. Importantly, in addition to abnormal α-synuclein aggregation, the dysfunction of various mitochondria-dependent processes has been prominently implicated in PD pathogenesis. Besides the long-known loss of the organelles’ bioenergetics function resulting in diminished ATP synthesis, more recent studies in the field have increasingly focused on compromised mitochondrial quality control as well as impaired biochemical processes specifically localized to ER–mitochondria interfaces (such as lipid biosynthesis and calcium homeostasis). In this review, we will discuss how dysregulated mitochondrial crosstalk with other organelles contributes to PD pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Dynamics: Fusion and Fission)
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Open AccessArticle
Intragenic MicroRNAs Autoregulate Their Host Genes in Both Direct and Indirect Ways—A Cross-Species Analysis
Cells 2020, 9(1), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010232 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 307
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) function as master switches for post-transcriptional gene expression. Their genes are either located in the extragenic space or within host genes, but these intragenic miRNA::host gene interactions are largely enigmatic. The aim of this study was to investigate the location and [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) function as master switches for post-transcriptional gene expression. Their genes are either located in the extragenic space or within host genes, but these intragenic miRNA::host gene interactions are largely enigmatic. The aim of this study was to investigate the location and co-regulation of all to date available miRNA sequences and their host genes in an unbiased computational approach. The majority of miRNAs were located within intronic regions of protein-coding and non-coding genes. These intragenic miRNAs exhibited both increased target probability as well as higher target prediction scores as compared to a model of randomly permutated genes. This was associated with a higher number of miRNA recognition elements for the hosted miRNAs within their host genes. In addition, strong indirect autoregulation of host genes through modulation of functionally connected gene clusters by intragenic miRNAs was demonstrated. In addition to direct miRNA-to-host gene targeting, intragenic miRNAs also appeared to interact with functionally related genes, thus affecting their host gene function through an indirect autoregulatory mechanism. This strongly argues for the biological relevance of autoregulation not only for the host genes themselves but, more importantly, for the entire gene cluster interacting with the host gene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNA Bioinformatics)
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Open AccessReview
Neutrophil Extracellular Traps and Cardiovascular Diseases: An Update
Cells 2020, 9(1), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010231 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 461
Abstract
Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are formed by decondensed chromatin, histones, and neutrophil granular proteins and have a role in entrapping microbial pathogens. NETs, however, have pro-thrombotic properties by stimulating fibrin deposition, and increased NET levels correlate with larger infarct size and predict major [...] Read more.
Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are formed by decondensed chromatin, histones, and neutrophil granular proteins and have a role in entrapping microbial pathogens. NETs, however, have pro-thrombotic properties by stimulating fibrin deposition, and increased NET levels correlate with larger infarct size and predict major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events. NETs have been involved also in the pathogenesis of diabetes, as high glucose levels were found to induce NETosis. Accordingly, NETs have been described as drivers of diabetic complications, such as diabetic wound and diabetic retinopathy. Inflammasomes are macromolecular structures involved in the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as interleukin-1, which is a key mediator in CV diseases. A crosstalk between the inflammasome and NETs is known for some rheumatologic diseases, while this link is still under investigation and not completely understood in CV diseases. In this review, we summarized the most recent updates about the role of NETs in acute myocardial infarction and metabolic diseases and provided an overview on the relationship between NET and inflammasome activities in rheumatologic diseases, speculating a possible link between these two entities also in CV diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
RhoA-GTPase Modulates Neurite Outgrowth by Regulating the Expression of Spastin and p60-Katanin
Cells 2020, 9(1), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010230 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 374
Abstract
RhoA-GTPase (RhoA) is widely regarded as a key molecular switch to inhibit neurite outgrowth by rigidifying the actin cytoskeleton. However, during neurite outgrowth, whether and how microtubule dynamics are regulated by RhoA remains to be elucidated. Herein, CT04 and Y27632 were used to [...] Read more.
RhoA-GTPase (RhoA) is widely regarded as a key molecular switch to inhibit neurite outgrowth by rigidifying the actin cytoskeleton. However, during neurite outgrowth, whether and how microtubule dynamics are regulated by RhoA remains to be elucidated. Herein, CT04 and Y27632 were used to inactivate RhoA and its downstream effector Rho-associated coiled coil-forming kinase (ROCK), while the RhoAQ63L lentiviral vector was utilized to overexpress the constitutively activated RhoA in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons or neuronal differentiated PC12 cells. The current data illustrate that the RhoA signaling pathway negatively modulates neurite outgrowth and elevates the expression of Glu-tubulin (a marker for a stabilized microtubule). Meanwhile, the microtubule-severing proteins spastin and p60-katanin were downregulated by the RhoA signaling pathway. When spastin and p60-katanin were knocked down, the effects of RhoA inhibition on neurite outgrowth were significantly reversed. Taken together, this study demonstrates that the RhoA pathway-mediated inhibition of neurite outgrowth is not only related to the modulation of microfilament dynamics but is also attributable to the regulation of the expression of spastin and p60-katanin and thus influences microtubule dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling and Regulated Cell Death)
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