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Life, Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 130 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): METTL16 methyltransferase is responsible for the methylation of N6-adenosine (m6A) in several RNAs. However, the proper physiological role of the METTL16 protein in RNA processing and function is not as fully elucidated as the precise mechanism of METTL16 function in DNA damage response. We analyzed how DNA damage and cell cycle phases affect the levels and distribution of the METTL16 and how A- and B-type lamins and lamin-associated proteins contribute to METTL16 function and distribution in the cell nucleus. Furthermore, we studied the regulatory role of METTL16 in the post-transcription processing of ribosomal genes. Together, our data show that the METTL16 protein is multifunctional, likely regulating processes in the nucleolus and contributing to DNA damage response. View this paper.
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Article
Small Molecules of Natural Origin as Potential Anti-HIV Agents: A Computational Approach
Life 2021, 11(7), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070722 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 850
Abstract
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), one of the leading causes of infectious death globally, generates severe damages to people’s immune systems and makes them susceptible to serious diseases. To date, there are no drugs that completely remove HIV from the body. [...] Read more.
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), one of the leading causes of infectious death globally, generates severe damages to people’s immune systems and makes them susceptible to serious diseases. To date, there are no drugs that completely remove HIV from the body. This paper focuses on screening 224,205 natural compounds of ZINC15 NPs subset to identify those with bioactivity similar to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) as promising candidates to treat HIV-1. To reach the goal, an in silico approach involving 3D-similarity search, ADMETox, HIV protein-inhibitor prediction, docking, and MM-GBSA free-binding energies was trained. The FDA-approved HIV drugs, efavirenz, etravirine, rilpivirine, and doravirine, were used as queries. The prioritized compounds were subjected to ADMETox, docking, and MM-GBSA studies against HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT). Lys101, Tyr181, Tyr188, Trp229, and Tyr318 residues and free-binding energies have proved that ligands can stably bind to HIV-1 RT. Three natural products (ZINC37538901, ZINC38321654, and ZINC67912677) containing oxan and oxolan rings with hydroxyl substituents and one (ZINC2103242) having 3,6,7,8-tetrahydro-2H-pyrido[1,2-a]pyrazine-1,4-dione core exhibited comparable profiles to etravirine and doravirine, with ZINC2103242 being the most promising anti-HIV candidate in terms of drug metabolism and safety profile. These findings may open new avenues to guide the rational design of novel HIV-1 NNRTIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmaceutical Science)
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Article
Efficacy of a Graphene Oxide/Chitosan Sponge for Removal of Radioactive Iodine-131 from Aqueous Solutions
Life 2021, 11(7), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070721 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1049
Abstract
Iodine-131 is increasingly used for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The excretion of radioactive iodine is primarily through the urine. The safe disposal of radioactive waste is an important component of overall hospital waste management. This study investigated the feasibility of using graphene oxide/chitosan [...] Read more.
Iodine-131 is increasingly used for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The excretion of radioactive iodine is primarily through the urine. The safe disposal of radioactive waste is an important component of overall hospital waste management. This study investigated the feasibility of using graphene oxide/chitosan (GO/CS) sponges as an adsorbent for the removal of iodine-131 from aqueous solutions. The adsorption efficiency was investigated using iodine-131 radioisotopes to confirm the results in conjunction with stable isotopes. The results revealed that the synthetic structure consists of randomly connected GO sheets without overlapping layers. The equilibrium adsorption data fitted well with the Langmuir model. The separation factor (RL) value was in the range of 0–1, confirming the favorable uptake of the iodide on the GO/CS sponge. The maximum adsorption capacity of iodine-131 by GO/CS sponges was 0.263 MBq/mg. The highest removal efficiency was 92.6% at pH 7.2 ± 0.2. Due to its attractive characteristics, including its low cost, the ease of obtaining it, and its eco-friendly properties, the developed GO/CS sponge could be used as an alternative adsorbent for removing radioiodine from wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactive Pollution and Biological Effects of Radioactivity)
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Article
Loss of Group II Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Signaling Exacerbates Hypertension in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats
Life 2021, 11(7), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070720 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
High blood pressure is a major risk factor of cerebro-cardiovascular outcomes. Blood pressure is partly regulated by the autonomic nervous system and its reflex functions; therefore, we hypothesized that pharmacological intervention in the brainstem that can regulate blood pressure could be a novel [...] Read more.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor of cerebro-cardiovascular outcomes. Blood pressure is partly regulated by the autonomic nervous system and its reflex functions; therefore, we hypothesized that pharmacological intervention in the brainstem that can regulate blood pressure could be a novel therapeutic strategy to control hypertension. We infused a group II metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) antagonist (LY341495, 0.40 μg/day), using a mini-osmotic pump, into the dorsal medulla oblongata in young spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), as this area is adjacent to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), of which the neurons are involved in baroreflex pathways with glutamatergic transmission. Blood pressure was recorded for conscious rats with the tail cuff method. A 6-week antagonist treatment from 6 to 12 weeks of age slightly but significantly increased systolic blood pressure by >30 mmHg, compared to that in SHRs without treatment. Moreover, the effect continued even 3 weeks after the treatment ended, and concurred with an increase in blood catecholamine concentration. However, heart rate variability analysis revealed that LY341495 treatment had little effect on autonomic activity. Meanwhile, mRNA expression level of mGluR subtype 2, but not subtype 3 in the brainstem was significantly enhanced by the antagonist treatment in SHRs, possibly compensating the lack of mGluR signaling. In conclusion, mGluR2 signaling in the dorsal brainstem is crucial for preventing the worsening of hypertension over a relatively long period in SHRs, through a mechanism of catecholamine secretion. This may be a specific drug target for hypertension therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glutamate Receptors)
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Article
In Vitro Assays for the Assessment of Impaired Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Equine Atypical Myopathy
Life 2021, 11(7), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070719 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 607
Abstract
Equine atypical myopathy is a seasonal intoxication of grazing equids. In Europe, this poisoning is associated with the ingestion of toxins contained in the seeds and seedlings of the sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus). The toxins involved in atypical myopathy are known [...] Read more.
Equine atypical myopathy is a seasonal intoxication of grazing equids. In Europe, this poisoning is associated with the ingestion of toxins contained in the seeds and seedlings of the sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus). The toxins involved in atypical myopathy are known to inhibit ß-oxidation of fatty acids and induce a general decrease in mitochondrial respiration, as determined by high-resolution respirometry applied to muscle samples taken from cases of atypical myopathy. The severe impairment of mitochondrial bioenergetics induced by the toxins may explain the high rate of mortality observed: about 74% of horses with atypical myopathy die, most within the first two days of signs of poisoning. The mechanism of toxicity is not completely elucidated yet. To improve our understanding of the pathological process and to assess therapeutic candidates, we designed in vitro assays using equine skeletal myoblasts cultured from muscle biopsies and subjected to toxins involved in atypical myopathy. We established that equine primary myoblasts do respond to one of the toxins incriminated in the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impaired Mitochondrial Bioenergetics under Pathological Conditions)
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Review
Awareness, Diagnosis and Management of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
Life 2021, 11(7), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070718 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 910
Abstract
The diagnosis and management of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) can be difficult and multiple medical subspecialities are often involved. Several national and international guidelines regarding the investigations and management of IIH have been published in recent years but still there is no consensus [...] Read more.
The diagnosis and management of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) can be difficult and multiple medical subspecialities are often involved. Several national and international guidelines regarding the investigations and management of IIH have been published in recent years but still there is no consensus about the optimal organization of IIH-care. The objective of this review was to propose and describe a referral pathway and an organization scheme for diagnosis and management of IIH. An extensive search of existing literature was conducted and summarized. In total, 237 IIH-articles were identified and hereof 43 included. The clinical practice in our specialized IIH-clinic is characterized and described. We conclude that an educational campaign involving medical care providers and patients with chronic headaches is necessary. A detailed organizational proposal for a referral pathway and management of IIH patients based on the literature search and our clinical experience from a highly specialized IIH outpatient clinic is suggested and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension)
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Review
Neutrophil Recruitment and Participation in Severe Diseases Caused by Flavivirus Infection
Life 2021, 11(7), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070717 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 930
Abstract
Neutrophils are first-line responders to infections and are recruited to target tissues through the action of chemoattractant molecules, such as chemokines. Neutrophils are crucial for the control of bacterial and fungal infections, but their role in the context of viral infections has been [...] Read more.
Neutrophils are first-line responders to infections and are recruited to target tissues through the action of chemoattractant molecules, such as chemokines. Neutrophils are crucial for the control of bacterial and fungal infections, but their role in the context of viral infections has been understudied. Flaviviruses are important human viral pathogens transmitted by arthropods. Infection with a flavivirus may result in a variety of complex disease manifestations, including hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis or congenital malformations. Our understanding of flaviviral diseases is incomplete, and so is the role of neutrophils in such diseases. Here we present a comprehensive overview on the participation of neutrophils in severe disease forms evolving from flavivirus infection, focusing on the role of chemokines and their receptors as main drivers of neutrophil function. Neutrophil activation during viral infection was shown to interfere in viral replication through effector functions, but the resulting inflammation is significant and may be detrimental to the host. For congenital infections in humans, neutrophil recruitment mediated by CXCL8 would be catastrophic. Evidence suggests that control of neutrophil recruitment to flavivirus-infected tissues may reduce immunopathology in experimental models and patients, with minimal loss to viral clearance. Further investigation on the roles of neutrophils in flaviviral infections may reveal unappreciated functions of this leukocyte population while increasing our understanding of flaviviral disease pathogenesis in its multiple forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemokines and Their Receptors)
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Article
Single-Cell Transcriptome Profiling Simulation Reveals the Impact of Sequencing Parameters and Algorithms on Clustering
Life 2021, 11(7), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070716 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 891
Abstract
Despite the scRNA-seq analytic algorithms developed, their performance for cell clustering cannot be quantified due to the unknown “true” clusters. Referencing the transcriptomic heterogeneity of cell clusters, a “true” mRNA number matrix of cell individuals was defined as ground truth. Based on the [...] Read more.
Despite the scRNA-seq analytic algorithms developed, their performance for cell clustering cannot be quantified due to the unknown “true” clusters. Referencing the transcriptomic heterogeneity of cell clusters, a “true” mRNA number matrix of cell individuals was defined as ground truth. Based on the matrix and the actual data generation procedure, a simulation program (SSCRNA) for raw data was developed. Subsequently, the consistency between simulated data and real data was evaluated. Furthermore, the impact of sequencing depth and algorithms for analyses on cluster accuracy was quantified. As a result, the simulation result was highly consistent with that of the actual data. Among the clustering algorithms, the Gaussian normalization method was the more recommended. As for the clustering algorithms, the K-means clustering method was more stable than K-means plus Louvain clustering. In conclusion, the scRNA simulation algorithm developed restores the actual data generation process, discovers the impact of parameters on classification, compares the normalization/clustering algorithms, and provides novel insight into scRNA analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatics Methods for Single Cell Sequencing Data Analysis)
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Review
Microbiota Gut–Brain Axis in Ischemic Stroke: A Narrative Review with a Focus about the Relationship with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Life 2021, 11(7), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070715 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
The gut microbiota is emerging as an important player in neurodevelopment and aging as well as in brain diseases including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. The complex interplay between gut microbiota and the brain, and vice versa, has recently become not only [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota is emerging as an important player in neurodevelopment and aging as well as in brain diseases including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. The complex interplay between gut microbiota and the brain, and vice versa, has recently become not only the focus of neuroscience, but also the starting point for research regarding many diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The bi-directional interaction between gut microbiota and the brain is not completely understood. The aim of this review is to sum up the evidencesconcerningthe role of the gut–brain microbiota axis in ischemic stroke and to highlight the more recent evidences about the potential role of the gut–brain microbiota axis in the interaction between inflammatory bowel disease and ischemic stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis in Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Review
The Effect of Different Traditional Chinese Exercises on Blood Lipid in Middle-Aged and Elderly Individuals: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis
Life 2021, 11(7), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070714 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
Although the impact of physical exercise on blood lipids is well documented, less information is available regarding the effect of traditional Chinese exercises (TCEs), and it is unclear what the best TCE treatment for dyslipidemia in middle-aged and elderly individuals is. The aim [...] Read more.
Although the impact of physical exercise on blood lipids is well documented, less information is available regarding the effect of traditional Chinese exercises (TCEs), and it is unclear what the best TCE treatment for dyslipidemia in middle-aged and elderly individuals is. The aim of this study was to systematically assess the effects of TCEs (Taijiquan, TJQ; Wuqinxi, WQX; Baduanjin, BDJ; Liuzijue, LZJ; Yijinjing, YJJ; Dawu, DW) on blood lipids in middle-aged and elderly individuals. Chinese and English databases were searched, including PubMed, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Database, Chongqing VIP, and Web of Science. A total of 42 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) including 2977 subjects were analyzed. Outcome indicators include total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triacylglyceride (TAG), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). Summary mean differences (MD) were calculated using pairwise and network meta-analysis with a random-effects model. The results of this study showed that compared to non-exercise intervention (NEI), all six kinds of TCE treatment had some kind of influence on blood lipid indicators, among which WQX and TJQ could improve all four blood lipid indicators, whereas BDJ was effective on three indicators but not on TC. The results of cumulative probability ranking showed that WQX (84.9%, 73.8%, 63.4%, 63.1% to TC, TAG, HDL-C, LDL-C, respectively) was at the top spot being the best intervention, followed by BDJ (55.6%, 83.7%, 68.4%, 56.1%) and TJQ (73.7%, 47.6%, 63.1%, 54.1%). The network meta-analysis of RCTs demonstrates that WQX may be the best TCE treatment for dyslipidemia in middle-aged and elderly individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health Related Quality of Life)
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Case Report
Extrathyroidal Manifestations of Persistent Sporadic Non-Autoimmune Hyperthyroidism in a 6-Year-Old Boy: A Case Report
Life 2021, 11(7), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070713 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) belongs in a subfamily of the G protein-coupled receptors. Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor gene (TSHR), a gene encoding TSHR, is a major controller of thyroid cell metabolism, and its gain of function mutation leads to non-autoimmune hyperthyroidism (NAH), [...] Read more.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) belongs in a subfamily of the G protein-coupled receptors. Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor gene (TSHR), a gene encoding TSHR, is a major controller of thyroid cell metabolism, and its gain of function mutation leads to non-autoimmune hyperthyroidism (NAH), a condition of a prolonged state of hyperthyroidism. Diverse human diseases, and genetic, constitutional, or environmental factors contribute to the phenotypic variations of TSHR mutations; however, the underlying mechanisms leading to various extrathyroidal manifestations across ages are poorly understood. In 2018, the first Korean case of persistent sporadic NAH due to missense mutation of TSHR was reported, and this report highlights the extrathyroidal manifestations of NAH. Further investigation is warranted to clarify the roles of functional mutations of TSHR by investigating the correlation between G protein-dependent signaling properties and clinical phenotypes associated with persistent hyperthyroidism in order to develop novel therapies that could be provided for numerous conditions caused by NAH. Full article
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Review
The Value of OCT and OCTA as Potential Biomarkers for Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease: A Review Study
Life 2021, 11(7), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070712 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1344
Abstract
Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) includes cognitively healthy subjects with at least one positive biomarker: reduction in cerebrospinal fluid Aβ42 or visualization of cerebral amyloidosis by positron emission tomography imaging. The use of these biomarkers is expensive, invasive, and not always possible. It [...] Read more.
Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) includes cognitively healthy subjects with at least one positive biomarker: reduction in cerebrospinal fluid Aβ42 or visualization of cerebral amyloidosis by positron emission tomography imaging. The use of these biomarkers is expensive, invasive, and not always possible. It has been shown that the retinal changes measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT-angiography (OCTA) could be biomarkers of AD. Diagnosis in early stages before irreversible AD neurological damage takes place is important for the development of new therapeutic interventions. In this review, we summarize the findings of different published studies using OCT and OCTA in participants with preclinical AD. To date, there have been few studies on this topic and they are methodologically very dissimilar. Moreover, these include only two longitudinal studies. For these reasons, it would be interesting to unify the methodology, make the inclusion criteria more rigorous, and conduct longer longitudinal studies to assess the evolution of these subjects. If the results were consistent across repeated studies with the same methodology, this could provide us with insight into the value of the retinal changes observed by OCT/OCTA as potential reliable, cost-effective, and noninvasive biomarkers of preclinical AD. Full article
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Review
TCA Cycle Replenishing Pathways in Photosynthetic Purple Non-Sulfur Bacteria Growing with Acetate
Life 2021, 11(7), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070711 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB) are anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria harnessing simple organic acids as electron donors. PNSB produce a-aminolevulinic acid, polyhydroxyalcanoates, bacteriochlorophylls a and b, ubiquinones, and other valuable compounds. They are highly promising producers of molecular hydrogen. PNSB can be cultivated [...] Read more.
Purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB) are anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria harnessing simple organic acids as electron donors. PNSB produce a-aminolevulinic acid, polyhydroxyalcanoates, bacteriochlorophylls a and b, ubiquinones, and other valuable compounds. They are highly promising producers of molecular hydrogen. PNSB can be cultivated in organic waste waters, such as wastes after fermentation. In most cases, wastes mainly contain acetic acid. Therefore, understanding the anaplerotic pathways in PNSB is crucial for their potential application as producers of biofuels. The present review addresses the recent data on presence and diversity of anaplerotic pathways in PNSB and describes different classifications of these pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism of Photosynthetic Organisms)
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Article
Delayed Comprehensive Stroke Unit Care Attributable to the Evolution of Infection Protection Measures across Two Consecutive Waves of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Life 2021, 11(7), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070710 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
We aimed to assess how evidence-based stroke care changed over the two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed acute stroke patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital in Germany during the first (2 March 2020–9 June 2020) and second (23 September 2020–31 [...] Read more.
We aimed to assess how evidence-based stroke care changed over the two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed acute stroke patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital in Germany during the first (2 March 2020–9 June 2020) and second (23 September 2020–31 December 2020, 100 days each) infection waves. Stroke care performance indicators were compared among waves. A 25.2% decline of acute stroke admissions was noted during the second (n = 249) compared with the first (n = 333) wave of the pandemic. Patients were more frequently tested SARS-CoV-2 positive during the second than the first wave (11 (4.4%) vs. 0; p < 0.001). There were no differences in rates of reperfusion therapies (37% vs. 36.5%; p = 1.0) or treatment process times (p > 0.05). However, stroke unit access was more frequently delayed (17 (6.8%) vs. 5 (1.5%); p = 0.001), and hospitalization until inpatient rehabilitation was longer (20 (1, 27) vs. 12 (8, 17) days; p < 0.0001) during the second compared with the first pandemic wave. Clinical severity, stroke etiology, appropriate secondary prevention medication, and discharge disposition were comparable among both waves. Infection control measures may adversely affect access to stroke unit care and extend hospitalization, while performance indicators of hyperacute stroke care seem to be untainted. Full article
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Article
Metabolic Actions of a Supplement of Ilex Paraguariensis (An Extract of the Leaf Standardized to 2% I-Deoxinojirimcina), White Mulberry and Chromium Picolinate in Nondiabetic Subjects with Dysglycemia: A Randomized Trial
Life 2021, 11(7), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070709 - 18 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
Aim: To prove if a nutraceutical containing Ilex paraguariensis (Ilex L. spp. Aquifoliales) (an extract of the leaf standardized to 2% I-deoxinojirimcina), white mulberry (Morus spp., Moraceae), and chromium picolinate can be effective in improving glycemic status in subject with dysglycemia. [...] Read more.
Aim: To prove if a nutraceutical containing Ilex paraguariensis (Ilex L. spp. Aquifoliales) (an extract of the leaf standardized to 2% I-deoxinojirimcina), white mulberry (Morus spp., Moraceae), and chromium picolinate can be effective in improving glycemic status in subject with dysglycemia. Methods: We randomized patients to consume placebo or the nutraceutical, self-administered once a day, one tablet at breakfast, for 3 months. Results: A reduction in fasting plasma glucose, postprandial glucose, and glycated hemoglobin was observed with the nutraceutical combination, both compared to baseline and placebo. Data suggested a decrease in the Homeostasis Model Assessment index with the nutraceutical, both compared to baseline and placebo. The M value, an index of insulin sensitivity, obtained after nutraceutical treatment was higher compared to baseline. We recorded a decrease in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and triglycerides with the nutraceutical combination compared to baseline and placebo. A decrease in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was observed with the nutraceutical combination compared to baseline and placebo. Conclusions: A nutraceutical containing Ilex paraguariensis, white mulberry, and chromium picolinate can be helpful in improving glycemic status and lipid profile in dysglycemic subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Biomarkers and Precision Medicine)
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Article
Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 Effect on Human Glioblastoma Cell Transmigration and Migration
Life 2021, 11(7), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070708 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 963
Abstract
Glioblastoma, World Health Organization—grade IV, is the most malignant glioma type and it is still an incurable tumor due to the high level of heterogeneity and uncontrolled metastatic nature. In addition to the tumorigenicity-suppressing activity, bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7) has recently been [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma, World Health Organization—grade IV, is the most malignant glioma type and it is still an incurable tumor due to the high level of heterogeneity and uncontrolled metastatic nature. In addition to the tumorigenicity-suppressing activity, bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7) has recently been found for its invasion-promoting role in glioblastoma. However, the detailed and precise mechanism in this issue should have more elucidation. Thus, in this study, we determined the BMP7 effect on glioblastoma transmigration and migration regulations and the underlying mechanisms. Human LN18/LN229 glioblastoma cells were used in this study. Our results showed a higher BMP7/pSmad5 level in human malignant glioma tissues compared to healthy brain tissues. In addition, it was demonstrated that endogenous and exogenous BMP7 stimulation could increase the transmigration and migration capabilities of human LN18/LN229 glioblastoma cells. Moreover, this event is regulated by Smad5 and p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) signaling. Furthermore, unexpected data are that the Smad1 gene knockdown could lead to the cell death of human LN18 glioblastoma cells. Overall, the present study finds that the invasion-promoting activity of BMP7 might be an autocrine stimulation of glioblastoma and this effect could be regulated by Smad5-p75NTR signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physiology and Pathology)
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Article
Which Body Density Equations Calculate Body Fat Percentage Better in Olympic Wrestlers?—Comparison Study with Air Displacement Plethysmography
Life 2021, 11(7), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070707 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 953
Abstract
Although skinfold-derived equations seem to be practical for field application in estimating body fat percentage (BF%) and minimum body mass in Olympic wrestlers, prediction equations applied first need to be cross-validated in Olympic wrestlers to define the best prediction equation. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Although skinfold-derived equations seem to be practical for field application in estimating body fat percentage (BF%) and minimum body mass in Olympic wrestlers, prediction equations applied first need to be cross-validated in Olympic wrestlers to define the best prediction equation. This study aimed to evaluate the most accurate field method to predict BF% in Olympic wrestlers compared to BF% estimated by air displacement plethysmography (ADP). Sixty-one male (body mass 72.4 ± 13.5 kg; height 170.3 ± 7.0 cm; body mass index (BMI) 24.9 ± 3.5 kg.m−2; BF% 8.5 ± 4.9%) and twenty-five female wrestlers (body mass 60.3 ± 9.9 kg; height 161.3 ± 7.1 cm; BMI 23.1 ± 2.5 kg.m−2; BF% 18.7 ± 4.7%) undertook body composition assessments including ADP and nine-site skinfold measurements. Correlations, bias, limits of agreement, and standardized differences between alterations in BF% measured by ADP and other prediction equations were evaluated to validate measures, and multiple regression analyses to develop an Olympic wrestlers-specific prediction formula. The Stewart and Hannan equation for male wrestlers and the Durnin and Womersley equation for female wrestlers provided the most accurate BF% compared to the measured BF% by ADP, with the lowest bias and presented no significant differences between the measured and predicted BF%. A new prediction equation was developed using only abdominal skinfold and sex as variables, predicting 83.2% of the variance. The findings suggest the use of the new wrestler-specific prediction equation proposed in the study as a valid and accurate alternative to ADP to quantify BF% among Olympic wrestlers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Exercise Biomechanics and Physiology)
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Article
Accelerating the Mdx Heart Histo-Pathology through Physical Exercise
Life 2021, 11(7), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070706 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Chronic cardiac muscle inflammation and fibrosis are key features of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Around 90% of 18-year-old patients already show signs of DMD-related cardiomyopathy, and cardiac failure is rising as the main cause of death among DMD patients. The evaluation of novel [...] Read more.
Chronic cardiac muscle inflammation and fibrosis are key features of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Around 90% of 18-year-old patients already show signs of DMD-related cardiomyopathy, and cardiac failure is rising as the main cause of death among DMD patients. The evaluation of novel therapies for the treatment of dystrophic heart problems depends on the availability of animal models that closely mirror the human pathology. The widely used DMD animal model, the mdx mouse, presents a milder cardiac pathology compared to humans, with a late onset, which precludes large-scale and reliable studies. In this study, we used an exercise protocol to accelerate and worsen the cardiac pathology in mdx mice. The mice were subjected to a 1 h-long running session on a treadmill, at moderate speed, twice a week for 8 weeks. We demonstrate that subjecting young mdx mice (4-week-old) to “endurance” exercise accelerates heart pathology progression, as shown by early fibrosis deposition, increases necrosis and inflammation, and reduces heart function compared to controls. We believe that our exercised mdx model represents an easily reproducible and useful tool to study the molecular and cellular networks involved in dystrophic heart alterations, as well as to evaluate novel therapeutic strategies aimed at ameliorating dystrophic heart pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Strategies)
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Review
The Role of Protein S-Nitrosylation in Protein Misfolding-Associated Diseases
Life 2021, 11(7), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070705 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Abnormal and excessive nitrosative stress contributes to neurodegenerative disease associated with the production of pathological levels of misfolded proteins. The accumulated findings strongly suggest that excessive NO production can induce and deepen these pathological processes, particularly by the S-nitrosylation of target proteins. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Abnormal and excessive nitrosative stress contributes to neurodegenerative disease associated with the production of pathological levels of misfolded proteins. The accumulated findings strongly suggest that excessive NO production can induce and deepen these pathological processes, particularly by the S-nitrosylation of target proteins. Therefore, the relationship between S-nitrosylated proteins and the accumulation of misfolded proteins was reviewed. We particularly focused on the S-nitrosylation of E3-ubiquitin-protein ligase, parkin, and endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, PDI, which contribute to the accumulation of misfolded proteins. In addition to the target proteins being S-nitrosylated, NOS, which produces NO, and GSNOR, which inhibits S-nitrosylation, were also suggested as potential therapeutic targets for protein misfolding-associated diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology of Protein Folding for Discovery of Novel Drugs)
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Review
Sorghum’s Whole-Plant Transcriptome and Proteome Responses to Drought Stress: A Review
Life 2021, 11(7), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070704 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Sorghum is a cereal crop with key agronomic traits of drought and heat stress tolerance, making it an ideal food and industrial commodity for hotter and more arid climates. These stress tolerances also present a useful scientific resource for studying the molecular basis [...] Read more.
Sorghum is a cereal crop with key agronomic traits of drought and heat stress tolerance, making it an ideal food and industrial commodity for hotter and more arid climates. These stress tolerances also present a useful scientific resource for studying the molecular basis for environmental resilience. Here we provide an extensive review of current transcriptome and proteome works conducted with laboratory, greenhouse, or field-grown sorghum plants exposed to drought, osmotic stress, or treated with the drought stress-regulatory phytohormone, abscisic acid. Large datasets from these studies reveal changes in gene/protein expression across diverse signaling and metabolic pathways. Together, the emerging patterns from these datasets reveal that the overall functional classes of stress-responsive genes/proteins within sorghum are similar to those observed in equivalent studies of other drought-sensitive model species. This highlights a monumental challenge of distinguishing key regulatory genes/proteins, with a primary role in sorghum adaptation to drought, from genes/proteins that change in expression because of stress. Finally, we discuss possible options for taking the research forward. Successful exploitation of sorghum research for implementation in other crops may be critical in establishing climate-resilient agriculture for future food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Proteomics)
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Review
Structure, Activity and Function of the Suv39h1 and Suv39h2 Protein Lysine Methyltransferases
Life 2021, 11(7), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070703 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
SUV39H1 and SUV39H2 were the first protein lysine methyltransferases that were identified more than 20 years ago. Both enzymes introduce di- and trimethylation at histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) and have important roles in the maintenance of heterochromatin and gene repression. They consist [...] Read more.
SUV39H1 and SUV39H2 were the first protein lysine methyltransferases that were identified more than 20 years ago. Both enzymes introduce di- and trimethylation at histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) and have important roles in the maintenance of heterochromatin and gene repression. They consist of a catalytically active SET domain and a chromodomain, which binds H3K9me2/3 and has roles in enzyme targeting and regulation. The heterochromatic targeting of SUV39H enzymes is further enhanced by the interaction with HP1 proteins and repeat-associated RNA. SUV39H1 and SUV39H2 recognize an RKST motif with additional residues on both sides, mainly K4 in the case of SUV39H1 and G12 in the case of SUV39H2. Both SUV39H enzymes methylate different non-histone proteins including RAG2, DOT1L, SET8 and HupB in the case of SUV39H1 and LSD1 in the case of SUV39H2. Both enzymes are expressed in embryonic cells and have broad expression profiles in the adult body. SUV39H1 shows little tissue preference except thymus, while SUV39H2 is more highly expressed in the brain, testis and thymus. Both enzymes are connected to cancer, having oncogenic or tumor-suppressive roles depending on the tumor type. In addition, SUV39H2 has roles in the brain during early neurodevelopment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure, Activity, and Function of Protein Methyltransferases)
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Review
Characterization of Contractile Machinery of Vascular Smooth Muscles in Hypertension
Life 2021, 11(7), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070702 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 891
Abstract
Hypertension is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease and it is a growing public health problem worldwide. The pathophysiological mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle (VSM) contraction contribute to the development of hypertension. Calcium (Ca2+)-dependent and -independent signaling mechanisms regulate the [...] Read more.
Hypertension is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease and it is a growing public health problem worldwide. The pathophysiological mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle (VSM) contraction contribute to the development of hypertension. Calcium (Ca2+)-dependent and -independent signaling mechanisms regulate the balance of the myosin light chain kinase and myosin light chain phosphatase to induce myosin phosphorylation, which activates VSM contraction to control blood pressure (BP). Here, we discuss the mechanism of the contractile machinery in VSM, especially RhoA/Rho kinase and PKC/CPI-17 of Ca2+ sensitization pathway in hypertension. The two signaling pathways affect BP in physiological and pathophysiological conditions and are highlighted in pulmonary, pregnancy, and salt-sensitive hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell (VSMC) Differentiation)
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Article
RiboNT: A Noise-Tolerant Predictor of Open Reading Frames from Ribosome-Protected Footprints
Life 2021, 11(7), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070701 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 994
Abstract
Ribo-seq, also known as ribosome profiling, refers to the sequencing of ribosome-protected mRNA fragments (RPFs). This technique has greatly advanced our understanding of translation and facilitated the identification of novel open reading frames (ORFs) within untranslated regions or non-coding sequences as well as [...] Read more.
Ribo-seq, also known as ribosome profiling, refers to the sequencing of ribosome-protected mRNA fragments (RPFs). This technique has greatly advanced our understanding of translation and facilitated the identification of novel open reading frames (ORFs) within untranslated regions or non-coding sequences as well as the identification of non-canonical start codons. However, the widespread application of Ribo-seq has been hindered because obtaining periodic RPFs requires a highly optimized protocol, which may be difficult to achieve, particularly in non-model organisms. Furthermore, the periodic RPFs are too short (28 nt) for accurate mapping to polyploid genomes, but longer RPFs are usually produced with a compromise in periodicity. Here we present RiboNT, a noise-tolerant ORF predictor that can utilize RPFs with poor periodicity. It evaluates RPF periodicity and automatically weighs the support from RPFs and codon usage before combining their contributions to identify translated ORFs. The results demonstrate the utility of RiboNT for identifying both long and small ORFs using RPFs with either good or poor periodicity. We implemented the pipeline on a dataset of RPFs with poor periodicity derived from membrane-bound polysomes of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings and identified several small ORFs (sORFs) evolutionarily conserved in diverse plant species. RiboNT should greatly broaden the application of Ribo-seq by minimizing the requirement of RPF quality and allowing the use of longer RPFs, which is critical for organisms with complex genomes because these RPFs can be more accurately mapped to the position from which they were derived. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life: Computational Genomics)
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Review
Lytic Release of Cellular ATP: Physiological Relevance and Therapeutic Applications
Life 2021, 11(7), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070700 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
The lytic release of ATP due to cell and tissue injury constitutes an important source of extracellular nucleotides and may have physiological and pathophysiological roles by triggering purinergic signalling pathways. In the lungs, extracellular ATP can have protective effects by stimulating surfactant and [...] Read more.
The lytic release of ATP due to cell and tissue injury constitutes an important source of extracellular nucleotides and may have physiological and pathophysiological roles by triggering purinergic signalling pathways. In the lungs, extracellular ATP can have protective effects by stimulating surfactant and mucus secretion. However, excessive extracellular ATP levels, such as observed in ventilator-induced lung injury, act as a danger-associated signal that activates NLRP3 inflammasome contributing to lung damage. Here, we discuss examples of lytic release that we have identified in our studies using real-time luciferin-luciferase luminescence imaging of extracellular ATP. In alveolar A549 cells, hypotonic shock-induced ATP release shows rapid lytic and slow-rising non-lytic components. Lytic release originates from the lysis of single fragile cells that could be seen as distinct spikes of ATP-dependent luminescence, but under physiological conditions, its contribution is minimal <1% of total release. By contrast, ATP release from red blood cells results primarily from hemolysis, a physiological mechanism contributing to the regulation of local blood flow in response to tissue hypoxia, mechanical stimulation and temperature changes. Lytic release of cellular ATP may have therapeutic applications, as exemplified by the use of ultrasound and microbubble-stimulated release for enhancing cancer immunotherapy in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic ATP Release in Health and Disease)
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Article
Q-Switched 1064/532 nm Laser with Nanosecond Pulse in Tattoo Treatment: A Double-Center Retrospective Study
Life 2021, 11(7), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070699 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Tattoo removal is a well-established procedure in dermatology. Lasers represent the gold standard in the management of this condition nowadays. In this study, we report our experience on the use of a Q-switched nanosecond source. A total of 52 patients were consecutively enrolled [...] Read more.
Tattoo removal is a well-established procedure in dermatology. Lasers represent the gold standard in the management of this condition nowadays. In this study, we report our experience on the use of a Q-switched nanosecond source. A total of 52 patients were consecutively enrolled in performing tattoo removal at Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro and Tor Vergata University of Rome. Black and blue tattoos were treated with a 1064 nm laser, with a pulse duration of 6 ns and a fluence up to 10 J/cm2, while colored tattoos were treated with sessions of 532 nm laser, with a pulse duration of 6 ns and a fluence up to 5 J/cm2. Up to nine treatments with a minimum interval of 8 weeks between each session were performed. A six-month follow-up visit assessed patient satisfaction (Visual Analogue Scale). Overall clinical result was assessed with a clinical evaluation by two blinded dermatologists using a 5-point scale, comparing pictures before treatment and at follow up. A total of 52 patients were included and analyzed: 30 females (57.7%) and 22 males (42.3%). Mean age was 43.7 ± 12.7 years. According to Fitzpatrick’s skin classification, 16 individuals (30.8%) were type II, 15 (28.8%) were type III, and 21 (40.4%) were type IV. Most of the treated tattoos were carried out by professionals. The mean number of sessions required to obtain a result was 4.6 ± 2.5, and the final tattoo removal rate was 60% or higher, with 51.9% of the patients reporting highest satisfaction scores Q-Switched 1064/532 nm laser may be considered today as the gold-standard treatment for tattoo removal. Our results confirm literature findings of the safety and effectiveness of these devices. Full article
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Review
Association of Gut Microbiome Dysbiosis with Neurodegeneration: Can Gut Microbe-Modifying Diet Prevent or Alleviate the Symptoms of Neurodegenerative Diseases?
Life 2021, 11(7), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070698 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
The central nervous system was classically perceived as anatomically and functionally independent from the other visceral organs. But in recent decades, compelling evidence has led the scientific community to place a greater emphasis on the role of gut microbes on the brain. Pathological [...] Read more.
The central nervous system was classically perceived as anatomically and functionally independent from the other visceral organs. But in recent decades, compelling evidence has led the scientific community to place a greater emphasis on the role of gut microbes on the brain. Pathological observations and early gastrointestinal symptoms highlighted that gut dysbiosis likely precedes the onset of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. The delicate balance in the number and functions of pathogenic microbes and alternative probiotic populations is critical in the modulation of systemic inflammation and neuronal health. However, there is limited success in restoring healthy microbial biodiversity in AD and PD patients with general probiotics interventions and fecal microbial therapies. Fortunately, the gut microflora is susceptible to long-term extrinsic influences such as lifestyle and dietary choices, providing opportunities for treatment through comparatively individual-specific control of human behavior. In this review, we examine the impact of restrictive diets on the gut microbiome populations associated with AD and PD. The overall evidence presented supports that gut dysbiosis is a plausible prelude to disease onset, and early dietary interventions are likely beneficial for the prevention and treatment of progressive neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis in Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Article
The Role of Oral Contraceptive Pills in Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Cohort Study
Life 2021, 11(7), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070697 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 837
Abstract
There is a need to establish the role of antiandrogens as an alternative or concomitant therapy for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). Thus, the objectives of this study are (1) to assess the effectiveness of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) at week 12 in HS women, [...] Read more.
There is a need to establish the role of antiandrogens as an alternative or concomitant therapy for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). Thus, the objectives of this study are (1) to assess the effectiveness of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) at week 12 in HS women, and (2) to describe the clinical profile of patients receiving oral contraceptive pills (OCPs). A prospective observational study was designed. This study included 100 participants, 50 women with HS who started OCPs for the first time at our HS Clinic and 50 participants without OCP treatment. The main outcome of interest was the percentage of reduction in total abscess and inflammatory nodule (AN) count at week 12. Thirty-three women received combined OCPs and 17 non-combined OCP. HS patients with OCPs treatment were younger (31.7 vs. 40.9 years, p < 0.001), thinner (28.62 vs. 33.35 kg/m2), and have a higher number of areas affected (2.32 vs. 1.38, p = 0.02) than those without OCPs. After 12-weeks of treatment, it was observed that the percentage of AN reduction was higher in HS women receiving OCP than in patients without OCP (53.9% vs. 38.42%, p = 0.049). It was observed that OCP prescription (β = 3.79, p = 0.034) and concomitant therapy (β = 3.91, p = 0.037) were independently associated with a higher % AN when controlling for disease duration, concomitant therapy, and treatment with/without OCP (R2 = 0.67). The factors potentially associated with the percentage AN reduction at week 12 in HS women treated with OCPs were disease duration (β = −1.327, p = 0.052), concomitant therapy (β = 11.04, p = 0.079), and HS worsening with the menstrual cycle (β = 10.55, p = 0.087). In conclusion, OCPs might be effective for improving AN count in women with HS. Women whose HS worsens in relation to the menstrual cycle and have a shorter disease may benefit more from the therapeutic effect of OCPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Health Concerns for Women)
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Review
Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) versus Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLIF) in Interbody Fusion Technique for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Life 2021, 11(7), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070696 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Preoperative pathology requiring fusion surgery has a great impact on postoperative outcomes. However, the previous clinical and meta-analysis studies did not control for the pathology. In this systematic review, the authors aimed to compare oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF) with transforaminal interbody fusion [...] Read more.
Preoperative pathology requiring fusion surgery has a great impact on postoperative outcomes. However, the previous clinical and meta-analysis studies did not control for the pathology. In this systematic review, the authors aimed to compare oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF) with transforaminal interbody fusion (TLIF) as an interbody fusion technique in lumbar fusion surgery for patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS). We systematically searched for relevant articles in the available databases. Among the 3022 articles, three studies were identified and met the inclusion criteria. In terms of radiological outcome, the amount of disc height restoration was greater in the OLIF group than in the TLIF group, but there was no significant difference between the two surgical techniques (p = 0.18). In the clinical outcomes, the pain improvement was not significantly different between the two surgical techniques. In terms of surgical outcomes, OLIF resulted in a shorter length of hospital stay and less blood loss than TLIF (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.02, respectively). The present meta-analysis indicated no significant difference in clinical, radiological outcomes, and surgical time between TLIF and OLIF for DS, but the lengths of hospital stay and blood loss were better in OLIF than TLIF. Though encouraging, these findings were based on low-quality evidence from a small number of retrospective studies that are prone to bias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Review Papers for Life)
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Article
TGR5 Expression Is Associated with Changes in the Heart and Urinary Bladder of Rats with Metabolic Syndrome
Life 2021, 11(7), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070695 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 892
Abstract
Adipose-derived cytokines may contribute to the inflammation that occurs in metabolic syndrome (MetS). The Takeda G protein-coupled receptor (TGR5) regulates energy expenditure and affects the production of pro-inflammatory biomarkers in metabolic diseases. Etanercept, which acts as a tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α antagonist, can [...] Read more.
Adipose-derived cytokines may contribute to the inflammation that occurs in metabolic syndrome (MetS). The Takeda G protein-coupled receptor (TGR5) regulates energy expenditure and affects the production of pro-inflammatory biomarkers in metabolic diseases. Etanercept, which acts as a tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α antagonist, can also block the inflammatory response. Therefore, the interaction between TNF-α and TGR5 expression was investigated in rats with high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Heart tissues isolated from the HFD-induced MetS rats were analyzed. Changes in TGR5 expression were investigated with lithocholic acid (LCA) as the agonist. Betulinic acid (BA) was used to activate TGR5 in urinary bladders. LCA was more effective in the heart tissues of HFD-fed rats, although etanercept alleviated the function of LCA. STAT3 activation and higher TGR5 expression were observed in the heart tissues collected from HFD-fed rats. Thus, cardiac TGR5 expression is promoted by HFD through STAT3 activation in rats. Moreover, the urinary bladders of female rats fed a HFD showed a low response, which was reversed by etanercept. Relaxation by BA in the bladders was more marked in HFD-fed rats. The high TGR5 expression in HFD-fed rats was characterized using a mRNA assay, and the increased cAMP levels were found to be stimulated by BA in the isolated bladders. Therefore, TGR5 expression increases with a HFD in both the hearts and urinary bladders. Collectively, cytokine-medicated TGR5 activation was observed in the hearts and urinary bladders of rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Research)
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Article
Response of Controlled Cell Load Biofilms to Cold Atmospheric Plasma Jet: Evidence of Extracellular Matrix Contribution
Life 2021, 11(7), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070694 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 740
Abstract
Aim: Study of the biocidal effect of a cold atmospheric-pressure plasma in ambient air on single-species bacterial biofilms with controlled cell density, characterized by different extracellular matrices. Methods and results: Two bacterial strains were chosen to present different Gram properties and contrasted extracellular [...] Read more.
Aim: Study of the biocidal effect of a cold atmospheric-pressure plasma in ambient air on single-species bacterial biofilms with controlled cell density, characterized by different extracellular matrices. Methods and results: Two bacterial strains were chosen to present different Gram properties and contrasted extracellular matrices: Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 15442 (Gram-negative), and Leuconostoc citreum NRRL B-1299 (Gram-positive). P. aeruginosa biofilm exhibits a complex matrix, rich in proteins while L. citreum presents the specificity to produce glucan-type exopolysaccharides when grown in the presence of sucrose. Plasma was applied on both surface-spread cells and 24-h grown biofilms with controlled cell loads over 5, 10, or 20 min. Surface-spread bacteria showed a time dependent response, with a maximal bacterial reduction of 2.5 log after 20 min of treatment. On the other hand, in our experimental conditions, no bactericidal effect could be observed when treating biofilms of P. aeruginosa and glucan-rich L. citreum. Conclusions: For biofilms presenting equivalent cell loads, the response to plasma treatment seemed to depend on the properties of the extracellular matrix characterized by infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, or dry weight. Significance and impact of study: Both cell load standardization and biofilm characterization are paramount factors to consider the biocide effect of plasma treatments. The extracellular matrix could affect the plasma efficacy by physical and/or chemical protective effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cold Plasmas: A New Frontier for Disinfection?)
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Article
Estimating Real-Time qPCR Amplification Efficiency from Single-Reaction Data
Life 2021, 11(7), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070693 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 738
Abstract
Methods for estimating the qPCR amplification efficiency E from data for single reactions are tested on six multireplicate datasets, with emphasis on their performance as a function of the range of cycles n1n2 included in the analysis. The two-parameter [...] Read more.
Methods for estimating the qPCR amplification efficiency E from data for single reactions are tested on six multireplicate datasets, with emphasis on their performance as a function of the range of cycles n1n2 included in the analysis. The two-parameter exponential growth (EG) model that has been relied upon almost exclusively does not allow for the decline of E(n) with increasing cycle number n through the growth region and accordingly gives low-biased estimates. Further, the standard procedure of “baselining”—separately estimating and subtracting a baseline before analysis—leads to reduced precision. The three-parameter logistic model (LRE) does allow for such decline and includes a parameter E0 that represents E through the baseline region. Several four-parameter extensions of this model that accommodate some asymmetry in the growth profiles but still retain the significance of E0 are tested against the LRE and EG models. The recursion method of Carr and Moore also describes a declining E(n) but tacitly assumes E0 = 2 in the baseline region. Two modifications that permit varying E0 are tested, as well as a recursion method that directly fits E(n) to a sigmoidal function. All but the last of these can give E0 estimates that agree fairly well with calibration-based estimates but perform best when the calculations are extended to only about one cycle below the first-derivative maximum (FDM). The LRE model performs as well as any of the four-parameter forms and is easier to use. Its proper implementation requires fitting to it plus a suitable baseline function, which typically requires four–six adjustable parameters in a nonlinear least-squares fit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Amplification Curve Data)
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