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Biology, Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 151 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Schematic diagram illustrates a human alpha-1 antitrypsin (hAAT)-engineered MSC secreting extracellular vesicles that contain hAAT. Upper-left: hAAT-MSC. Lower-right: exosome. Red irregular shapes indicate hAATs. The tetraspanin proteins on the membrane of the exosome are CD9, CD63, and CD81. The diagram is illustrated by Jennifer Lee, Wellesley College. The title of the article is “Proteomic Analysis of Exosomes Secreted from Human Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Overexpressing Mesenchymal Stromal Cells", by Hua Wei and colleagues from the Medical University of South Carolina. View this paper
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Article
Effects of Green Light on Elongation Do Not Interact with Far-Red, Unless the Phytochrome Photostationary State (PSS) Changes in Tomato
Biology 2022, 11(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010151 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Green light (G) could trigger a “shade avoidance syndrome” (SAS) similarly to far-red light. We aimed to test the hypothesis that G interacts with far-red light to induce SAS, with this interaction mediated by phytochromes (phys). The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Moneymaker) [...] Read more.
Green light (G) could trigger a “shade avoidance syndrome” (SAS) similarly to far-red light. We aimed to test the hypothesis that G interacts with far-red light to induce SAS, with this interaction mediated by phytochromes (phys). The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Moneymaker) wild-type (WT) and phyA, phyB1B2, and phyAB1B2 mutants were grown in a climate room with or without 30 µmol m−2 s−1 G on red/blue and red/blue/far-red backgrounds, maintaining the same photosynthetically active radiation (400–700 nm) of 150 µmol m−2 s−1 and red/blue ratio of 3. G hardly affected the dry mass accumulation or leaf area of WT, phyA, and phyB1B2 with or without far-red light. A lower phytochrome photostationary state (PSS) by adding far-red light significantly increased the total dry mass by enhancing the leaf area in WT plants but not in phy mutants. When the background light did not contain far-red light, partially replacing red/blue with G did not significantly affect stem elongation. However, when the background light contained far-red light, partially replacing red/blue with G enhanced elongation only when associated with a decrease in PSS, indicating that G interacts with far-red light on elongation only when the PSS changes. Full article
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Article
Bacterial Communities in Lanna Phak-Gard-Dong (Pickled Mustard Green) from Three Different Ethnolinguistic Groups in Northern Thailand
Biology 2022, 11(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010150 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 592
Abstract
The Lanna region, the main part of northern Thailand, is a place of ethnic diversity. In this study, we investigated phak-gard-dong (PGD), or pickled mustard green (Brassica juncea L. Czern.), for its beneficial bacteria content and to analyse the variations in bacterial [...] Read more.
The Lanna region, the main part of northern Thailand, is a place of ethnic diversity. In this study, we investigated phak-gard-dong (PGD), or pickled mustard green (Brassica juncea L. Czern.), for its beneficial bacteria content and to analyse the variations in bacterial compositions among the PGD of three different ethnolinguistic groups, the Karen, Lawa, and Shan. DNA was extracted from the PGD pickled brine, and 16S rRNA gene Illumina sequencing was performed. Metagenomic data were analysed and the results demonstrated that the dominant bacterial species were Weissella (54.2%, 65.0%, and 10.0%) and Lactobacillus (17.5%, 5.6%, and 79.1%) in the PGD of the Karen, Lawa, and Shan, respectively. Pediococcus was found only in the PGD of the Karen and Shan. Bacterial communities in PGD of the Lawa were distinctive from the other ethnic groups, both in the alpha and beta diversity, as well as the predicted functions of the bacterial communities. In addition, overall network analysis results were correlated to bacterial proportions in every ethnic PGD. We suggest that all ethnic PGDs have the potential to be a good source of beneficial bacteria, warranting its conservation and further development into health food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology)
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Review
Breeding for Economically and Environmentally Sustainable Wheat Varieties: An Integrated Approach from Genomics to Selection
Biology 2022, 11(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010149 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1356
Abstract
There is currently a strong societal demand for sustainability, quality, and safety in bread wheat production. To address these challenges, new and innovative knowledge, resources, tools, and methods to facilitate breeding are needed. This starts with the development of high throughput genomic tools [...] Read more.
There is currently a strong societal demand for sustainability, quality, and safety in bread wheat production. To address these challenges, new and innovative knowledge, resources, tools, and methods to facilitate breeding are needed. This starts with the development of high throughput genomic tools including single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays, high density molecular marker maps, and full genome sequences. Such powerful tools are essential to perform genome-wide association studies (GWAS), to implement genomic and phenomic selection, and to characterize the worldwide diversity. This is also useful to breeders to broaden the genetic basis of elite varieties through the introduction of novel sources of genetic diversity. Improvement in varieties particularly relies on the detection of genomic regions involved in agronomical traits including tolerance to biotic (diseases and pests) and abiotic (drought, nutrient deficiency, high temperature) stresses. When enough resolution is achieved, this can result in the identification of candidate genes that could further be characterized to identify relevant alleles. Breeding must also now be approached through in silico modeling to simulate plant development, investigate genotype × environment interactions, and introduce marker–trait linkage information in the models to better implement genomic selection. Breeders must be aware of new developments and the information must be made available to the world wheat community to develop new high-yielding varieties that can meet the challenge of higher wheat production in a sustainable and fluctuating agricultural context. In this review, we compiled all knowledge and tools produced during the BREEDWHEAT project to show how they may contribute to face this challenge in the coming years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Improvement Now and Beyond)
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Review
Atrial Fibrillation in β-Thalassemia: Overview of Mechanism, Significance and Clinical Management
Biology 2022, 11(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010148 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 771
Abstract
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder with worldwide distribution. Transfusion and chelation therapy have radically improved the prognosis of β-thalassemic patients in the developed world, but this has led to the development of new chronic cardiac complications like atrial fibrillation (AF). Prevalence of [...] Read more.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder with worldwide distribution. Transfusion and chelation therapy have radically improved the prognosis of β-thalassemic patients in the developed world, but this has led to the development of new chronic cardiac complications like atrial fibrillation (AF). Prevalence of AF in patients with β-thalassemia is higher than in the general population, ranging from 2 to 33%. Studies are lacking, and the little evidence available comes from a small number of observational studies. The pathophysiology is not well understood but, while iron overload seems to be the principal mechanism, AF could develop even in the absence of iron deposition. Furthermore, the clinical presentation is mainly paroxysmal, and patients are highly symptomatic. The underlying disease, the pathophysiology, and the clinical presentation require a different management of AF in β-thalassemia than in the general population. Rhythm control should be preferred over rate control, and the most important antiarrhythmic therapy is represented by chelation drugs. Thromboembolic risk is high, but the available risk scores are not validated in β-thalassemia, and the choice of anticoagulation therapy should be considered early. The main purpose of this review is to summarize the actual knowledge about AF in β-thalassemia, with a specific focus on the clinical management of these complex patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biophysics Arrhythmias and Pacing)
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Review
Stem Cell Transplantation Therapy and Neurological Disorders: Current Status and Future Perspectives
Biology 2022, 11(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010147 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1024
Abstract
Neurodegenerative diseases are a global health issue with inadequate therapeutic options and an inability to restore the damaged nervous system. With advances in technology, health scientists continue to identify new approaches to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Lost or injured neurons and glial [...] Read more.
Neurodegenerative diseases are a global health issue with inadequate therapeutic options and an inability to restore the damaged nervous system. With advances in technology, health scientists continue to identify new approaches to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Lost or injured neurons and glial cells can lead to the development of several neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. In recent years, neurons and glial cells have successfully been generated from stem cells in the laboratory utilizing cell culture technologies, fueling efforts to develop stem cell-based transplantation therapies for human patients. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or differentiate into a germ cell with specialized characteristics, such as muscle cells, red blood cells, or brain cells. Although several obstacles remain before stem cells can be used for clinical applications, including some potential disadvantages that must be overcome, this cellular development represents a potential pathway through which patients may eventually achieve the ability to live more normal lives. In this review, we summarize the stem cell-based therapies that have been explored for various neurological disorders, discuss the potential advantages and drawbacks of these therapies, and examine future directions for this field. Full article
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Article
A TRICk to Improve the Effectiveness of RIC: Role of Limb Temperature in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Remote Ischemic Conditioning
Biology 2022, 11(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010146 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 402
Abstract
Background: Treatment of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury is still an unmet clinical need. A large variability of remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) protection has been reported; however, no studies have considered the temperature of the ischemic limb. We analyzed the effects of temperature on [...] Read more.
Background: Treatment of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury is still an unmet clinical need. A large variability of remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) protection has been reported; however, no studies have considered the temperature of the ischemic limb. We analyzed the effects of temperature on RIC protection. Methods: Left hind-limbs of anesthetized male mice were immersed in warm (40 °C, warm-RIC) or cold (20 °C, cold-RIC) water and subjected to a RIC protocol (4 × 5 min limb ischemia/reperfusion). In the control groups (warm-CTR or cold-CTR), the limbs underwent thermic conditions only. Isolated hearts underwent 30 min ischemia and 60 min reperfusion. A PI3K-inhibitor, LY294002 (5 µM), was infused in warm-RIC hearts before the IR protocol (warm-RIC LY). Infarct size was evaluated by nitro blue tetrazolium staining and expressed as the percent of risk area. Results: While cold-RIC did not reduce the infarct size compared to cold-CTR (51 ± 1.62% vs. 54 ± 1.07% of risk area, p = NS), warm-RIC (44 ± 1.13%) significantly reduced the infarct size with respect to either cold-RIC (p < 0.001) or warm-CTR (58 ± 1.41%, p < 0.0001). LY294002 infusion revealed the PI3K/Akt involvement in the warm-RIC protection. Infarct size reduction was abrogated by LY294002 pretreatment (warm-RIC: 44 ± 1.13% vs. warm-CTR 58 ± 1.41% p < 0.0001; vs. warm-RIC LY 54 ± 1.69% p = 0.0002). Conclusion: our study shows a remarkable difference between warm-RIC and cold-RIC in terms of infarct size reduction, supporting a pivotal role for limb temperature in RIC-induced cardioprotection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Biology)
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Article
Extracellular Vesicles Derived-LAT1 mRNA as a Powerful Inducer of Colorectal Cancer Aggressive Phenotype
Biology 2022, 11(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010145 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in the world and represents the third most deadly tumor worldwide. About 15–25% of patients present metastasis in the moment of diagnosis, the liver being the most common site of metastization. Therefore, the development [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in the world and represents the third most deadly tumor worldwide. About 15–25% of patients present metastasis in the moment of diagnosis, the liver being the most common site of metastization. Therefore, the development of new therapeutic agents is needed, to improve the patients’ prognosis. Amino acids transporters, LAT1 and ASCT2, are described as upregulated in CRC, being associated with a poor prognosis. Extracellular vesicles have emerged as key players in cell-to-cell communication due to their ability to transfer biomolecules between cells, with a phenotypic impact on the recipient cells. Thus, this study analyzes the presence of LAT1 and ASCT2 mRNAs in CRC-EVs and evaluates their role in phenotype modulation in a panel of four recipient cell lines (HCA-7, HEPG-2, SK-HEP-1, HKC-8). We found that HCT 116-EVs carry LAT1, ASCT2 and other oncogenic mRNAs being taken up by recipient cells. Moreover, the HCT 116-EVs’ internalization was associated with the increase of LAT1 mRNA in SK-HEP-1 cells. We also observed that HCT 116-EVs induce a higher cell migration capacity and proliferation of SK-HEP-1 and HKC-8 cells. The present study supports the LAT1-EVs’ mRNA involvement in cell phenotype modulation, conferring advantages in cell migration and proliferation. Full article
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Article
Metabolic, Cardiac, and Hemorheological Responses to Submaximal Exercise under Light and Moderate Hypobaric Hypoxia in Healthy Men
Biology 2022, 11(1), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010144 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 481
Abstract
We compared the effects of metabolic, cardiac, and hemorheological responses to submaximal exercise under light hypoxia (LH) and moderate hypoxia (MH) versus normoxia (N). Ten healthy men (aged 21.3 ± 1.0 years) completed 30 min submaximal exercise corresponding to 60% maximal oxygen uptake [...] Read more.
We compared the effects of metabolic, cardiac, and hemorheological responses to submaximal exercise under light hypoxia (LH) and moderate hypoxia (MH) versus normoxia (N). Ten healthy men (aged 21.3 ± 1.0 years) completed 30 min submaximal exercise corresponding to 60% maximal oxygen uptake at normoxia on a cycle ergometer under normoxia (760 mmHg), light hypoxia (596 mmHg, simulated 2000 m altitude), and moderate hypoxia (526 mmHg, simulated 3000 m altitude) after a 30 min exposure in the respective environments on different days, in a random order. Metabolic parameters (oxygen saturation (SPO2), minute ventilation, oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide excretion, respiratory exchange ratio, and blood lactate), cardiac function (heart rate (HR), stroke volume, cardiac output, and ejection fraction), and hemorheological properties (erythrocyte deformability and aggregation) were measured at rest and 5, 10, 15, and 30 min after exercise. SPO2 significantly reduced as hypoxia became more severe (MH > LH > N), and blood lactate was significantly higher in the MH than in the LH and N groups. HR significantly increased in the MH and LH groups compared to the N group. There was no significant difference in hemorheological properties, including erythrocyte deformability and aggregation. Thus, submaximal exercise under light/moderate hypoxia induced greater metabolic and cardiac responses but did not affect hemorheological properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Extreme Sport on Body Functions)
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Article
Astrocyte Control of Zika Infection Is Independent of Interferon Type I and Type III Expression
Biology 2022, 11(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010143 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 588
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a pathogenic neurotropic virus that infects the central nervous system (CNS) and results in various neurological complications. Astrocytes are the dominant CNS cell producer of the antiviral cytokine IFN-β, however little is known about the factors involved in their [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a pathogenic neurotropic virus that infects the central nervous system (CNS) and results in various neurological complications. Astrocytes are the dominant CNS cell producer of the antiviral cytokine IFN-β, however little is known about the factors involved in their ability to mediate viral infection control. Recent studies have displayed differential responses in astrocytes to ZIKV infection, and this study sought to elucidate astrocyte cell-specific responses to ZIKV using a variety of cell models infected with either the African (MR766) or Asian (PRVABC59) ZIKV strains. Expression levels of pro-inflammatory (TNF-α and IL-1β) and inflammatory (IL-8) cytokines following viral infection were low and mostly comparable within the ZIKV-resistant and ZIKV-susceptible astrocyte models, with better control of proinflammatory cytokines displayed in resistant astrocyte cells, synchronising with the viral infection level at specific timepoints. Astrocyte cell lines displaying ZIKV-resistance also demonstrated early upregulation of multiple antiviral genes compared with susceptible astrocytes. Interestingly, pre-stimulation of ZIKV-susceptible astrocytes with either poly(I:C) or poly(dA:dT) showed efficient protection against ZIKV compared with pre-stimulation with either recombinant IFN-β or IFN-λ, perhaps indicating that a more diverse antiviral gene expression is necessary for astrocyte control of ZIKV, and this is driven in part through interferon-independent mechanisms. Full article
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Article
Open Healing: A Minimally Invasive Protocol with Flapless Ridge Preservation in Implant Patients
Biology 2022, 11(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010142 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 695
Abstract
We aimed to validate the safety and efficacy of the minimally invasive “open healing” flapless technique for post-extraction socket and alveolar ridge preservation, while assessing the alveolar bone changes. The study enrolled (n = 104) patients (0.55 sex ratio), with atraumatic extraction [...] Read more.
We aimed to validate the safety and efficacy of the minimally invasive “open healing” flapless technique for post-extraction socket and alveolar ridge preservation, while assessing the alveolar bone changes. The study enrolled (n = 104) patients (0.55 sex ratio), with atraumatic extraction of (N = 135) hopeless teeth, followed by either immediate placement of tissue level implants (N1 = 26), or later stage implant insertion (N2 = 109). No flap was raised in either situation. Post-extraction sockets were filled with deproteinized bovine bone granules and covered by collagen resorbable membrane—left purposely exposed during healing. This yielded an uneventful healing, with sufficient bone formation, while avoiding soft-tissue problems. The need for additional augmentation was assessed clinically and by calibrated CBCT scans at six months, before either loading (N1) or implant insertion (N2). Implant success and survival rate were evaluated at 12-, 24-, and 60-month follow-up control sessions. The inserted implants had a survival rate of 98.5% and a success rate of 94.8% at five-year follow-up. Open healing technique with flapless approach can be favorable for preserving the 3D architecture of the post-extraction socket, as well as the alveolar ridge width and height. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Precision Medicine, Dentistry and Oral Health)
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Article
TERT Promoter Revertant Mutation Inhibits Melanoma Growth through Intrinsic Apoptosis
Biology 2022, 11(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010141 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Human telomerase is a specialized DNA polymerase whose catalytic core includes both TERT and human telomerase RNA (hTR). Telomerase in humans, which is silent in most somatic cells, is activated to maintain the telomere length (TEL) in various types of cancer cells, including [...] Read more.
Human telomerase is a specialized DNA polymerase whose catalytic core includes both TERT and human telomerase RNA (hTR). Telomerase in humans, which is silent in most somatic cells, is activated to maintain the telomere length (TEL) in various types of cancer cells, including melanoma. In the vast majority of tumor cells, the TERT promoter is mutated to promote proliferation and inhibit apoptosis. Here, we exploited NG-ABEmax to revert TERT -146 T to -146 C in melanoma, and successfully obtained TERT promoter revertant mutant cells. These TERT revertant mutant cells exhibited significant growth inhibition both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, A375−146C/C cells exhibited telomere shortening and the downregulation of TERT at both the transcription and protein levels, and migration and invasion were inhibited. In addition, TERT promoter revertant mutation abrogated the inhibitory effect of mutant TERT on apoptosis via B-cell lymphoma 2 (Blc-2), ultimately leading to cell death. Collectively, the results of our work demonstrate that reverting mutations in the TERT promoter is a potential therapeutic option for melanoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Signaling Pathways, Crosstalk and Therapeutics)
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Article
Plant Growth-Promoting Activity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa FG106 and Its Ability to Act as a Biocontrol Agent against Potato, Tomato and Taro Pathogens
Biology 2022, 11(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010140 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
P. aeruginosa strain FG106 was isolated from the rhizosphere of tomato plants and identified through morphological analysis, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and whole-genome sequencing. In vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that this strain could control several pathogens on tomato, potato, taro, and [...] Read more.
P. aeruginosa strain FG106 was isolated from the rhizosphere of tomato plants and identified through morphological analysis, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and whole-genome sequencing. In vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that this strain could control several pathogens on tomato, potato, taro, and strawberry. Volatile and non-volatile metabolites produced by the strain are known to adversely affect the tested pathogens. FG106 showed clear antagonism against Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Phytophthora colocasiae, P. infestans, Rhizoctonia solani, and Xanthomonas euvesicatoria pv. perforans. FG106 produced proteases and lipases while also inducing high phosphate solubilization, producing siderophores, ammonia, indole acetic acid (IAA), and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and forming biofilms that promote plant growth and facilitate biocontrol. Genome mining approaches showed that this strain harbors genes related to biocontrol and growth promotion. These results suggest that this bacterial strain provides good protection against pathogens of several agriculturally important plants via direct and indirect modes of action and could thus be a valuable bio-control agent. Full article
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Article
Characterization of Cell-Envelope Proteinases from Two Lacticaseibacillus casei Strains Isolated from Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Biology 2022, 11(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010139 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 439
Abstract
In the present work, two cell-envelope proteinases (CEPs) from Lacticaseibacillus casei strains PRA205 and 2006 were characterized at both the biochemical and genetic levels. The genomes of both L. casei strains included two putative CEPs genes prtP2 and prtR1, but only prtR1 [...] Read more.
In the present work, two cell-envelope proteinases (CEPs) from Lacticaseibacillus casei strains PRA205 and 2006 were characterized at both the biochemical and genetic levels. The genomes of both L. casei strains included two putative CEPs genes prtP2 and prtR1, but only prtR1 was transcribed. The extracted PrtR1 proteinases were serine proteinases with optimal activity at 40 °C and pH 7.5, and were activated by Ca2+ ions. Interestingly, PrtR1 from L. casei PRA205 exhibited high residual activity at pH 4 and at 5 °C, suggesting its possible exploitation for fermented food production. The caseinolytic activity against αS1- and β-casein indicated that both PrtR1s belonged to the PI/PIII type. These PrtR1s cleaved β-casein peptide bonds preferentially when amino acid M or N was present at the P1 subsite and amino acids A and D were at the P1′ subsite. Several bioactive peptides were found to be released from PrtR1 after αs1- and β-casein hydrolysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology)
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Article
In Vivo Accelerator-Based Boron Neutron Capture Therapy for Spontaneous Tumors in Large Animals: Case Series
Biology 2022, 11(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010138 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 494
Abstract
(1) Background: accelerator-based neutron sources are a new frontier for BNCT but many technical issues remain. We aimed to study such issues and results in larger-animal BNCT (cats and dogs) with naturally occurring, malignant tumors in different locations as an intermediate step in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: accelerator-based neutron sources are a new frontier for BNCT but many technical issues remain. We aimed to study such issues and results in larger-animal BNCT (cats and dogs) with naturally occurring, malignant tumors in different locations as an intermediate step in translating current research into clinical practice. (2) Methods: 10 pet cats and dogs with incurable, malignant tumors that had no treatment alternatives were included in this study. A tandem accelerator with vacuum insulation was used as a neutron source. As a boron-containing agent, 10B-enriched sodium borocaptate (BSH) was used at a dose of 100 mg/kg. Animal condition as well as tumor progression/regression were monitored. (3) Results: regression of tumors in response to treatment, improvements in the overall clinical picture, and an increase in the estimated duration and quality of life were observed. Treatment-related toxicity was mild and reversible. (4) Conclusions: our study contributes to preparations for human BNCT clinical trials and suggests utility for veterinary oncology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Boron Neutron Capture Therapy: From Nuclear Physics to Biomedicine)
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Article
Perception of Biocontrol Potential of Bacillus inaquosorum KR2-7 against Tomato Fusarium Wilt through Merging Genome Mining with Chemical Analysis
Biology 2022, 11(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010137 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Tomato Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (Fol), is a destructive disease that threatens the agricultural production of tomatoes. In the present study, the biocontrol potential of strain KR2-7 against Fol was investigated through integrated genome mining and [...] Read more.
Tomato Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (Fol), is a destructive disease that threatens the agricultural production of tomatoes. In the present study, the biocontrol potential of strain KR2-7 against Fol was investigated through integrated genome mining and chemical analysis. Strain KR2-7 was identified as B. inaquosorum based on phylogenetic analysis. Through the genome mining of strain KR2-7, we identified nine antifungal and antibacterial compound biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) including fengycin, surfactin and Bacillomycin F, bacillaene, macrolactin, sporulation killing factor (skf), subtilosin A, bacilysin, and bacillibactin. The corresponding compounds were confirmed through MALDI-TOF-MS chemical analysis. The gene/gene clusters involved in plant colonization, plant growth promotion, and induced systemic resistance were also identified in the KR2-7 genome, and their related secondary metabolites were detected. In light of these results, the biocontrol potential of strain KR2-7 against tomato Fusarium wilt was identified. This study highlights the potential to use strain KR2-7 as a plant-growth promotion agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria: Mechanisms and Applications)
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Review
Atoh8 in Development and Disease
Biology 2022, 11(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010136 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 436
Abstract
Atoh8 belongs to a large superfamily of transcriptional regulators called basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins. bHLH proteins have been identified in a wide range of organisms from yeast to humans. The members of this special group of transcription factors were found to be involved [...] Read more.
Atoh8 belongs to a large superfamily of transcriptional regulators called basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins. bHLH proteins have been identified in a wide range of organisms from yeast to humans. The members of this special group of transcription factors were found to be involved not only in embryonic development but also in disease initiation and its progression. Given their importance in several fundamental processes, the translation, subcellular location and turnover of bHLH proteins is tightly regulated. Alterations in the expression of bHLH proteins have been associated with multiple diseases also in context with Atoh8 which seems to unfold its functions as both transcriptional activator and repressor. Like many other bHLH transcription factors, so far, Atoh8 has also been observed to be involved in both embryonic development and carcinogenesis where it mainly acts as tumor suppressor. This review summarizes our current understanding of Atoh8 structure, function and regulation and its complex and partially controversial involvement in development and disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Biology)
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Article
Functionally Antagonistic Transcription Factors IRF1 and IRF2 Regulate the Transcription of the Dopamine Receptor D2 Gene Associated with Aggressive Behavior of Weaned Pigs
Biology 2022, 11(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010135 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Aggressive behavior has negative effects on animal welfare and growth performance in pigs. The dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) has a critical neuromodulator role in the dopamine signal pathway within the brain to control behavior. A functional single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs1110730503, in the promoter [...] Read more.
Aggressive behavior has negative effects on animal welfare and growth performance in pigs. The dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) has a critical neuromodulator role in the dopamine signal pathway within the brain to control behavior. A functional single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs1110730503, in the promoter region of the porcine DRD2 gene was identified, which affects aggressive behavior in pigs. A chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay was used to identify the interactions between interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) and IRF2 with the DRD2 gene. The overexpression or knockdown of these two transcription factors in porcine kidney-15 (PK15) and porcine neuronal cells (PNCs) indicate that the binding of IRF1 to DRD2 promotes the transcription of the DRD2 gene, but the binding of IRF2 to the DRD2 gene inhibits its transcription. Furthermore, IRF1 and IRF2 are functionally antagonistic to each other. The downregulation of DRD2 or upregulation of IRF2 increased the apoptosis rate of porcine neuroglial cells. Taken together, we found that transcriptional factors IRF1 and IRF2 have vital roles in regulating the transcription of the DRD2 gene, and rs1110730503 (−915A/T) is a functional SNP that influences IRF2 binding to the promoter of the DRD2 gene. These findings will provide further insight towards controlling aggressive behavior in pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavior Biology)
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Article
PeMNet for Pectoral Muscle Segmentation
Biology 2022, 11(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010134 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 464
Abstract
As an important imaging modality, mammography is considered to be the global gold standard for early detection of breast cancer. Computer-Aided (CAD) systems have played a crucial role in facilitating quicker diagnostic procedures, which otherwise could take weeks if only radiologists were involved. [...] Read more.
As an important imaging modality, mammography is considered to be the global gold standard for early detection of breast cancer. Computer-Aided (CAD) systems have played a crucial role in facilitating quicker diagnostic procedures, which otherwise could take weeks if only radiologists were involved. In some of these CAD systems, breast pectoral segmentation is required for breast region partition from breast pectoral muscle for specific analysis tasks. Therefore, accurate and efficient breast pectoral muscle segmentation frameworks are in high demand. Here, we proposed a novel deep learning framework, which we code-named PeMNet, for breast pectoral muscle segmentation in mammography images. In the proposed PeMNet, we integrated a novel attention module called the Global Channel Attention Module (GCAM), which can effectively improve the segmentation performance of Deeplabv3+ using minimal parameter overheads. In GCAM, channel attention maps (CAMs) are first extracted by concatenating feature maps after paralleled global average pooling and global maximum pooling operation. CAMs are then refined and scaled up by multi-layer perceptron (MLP) for elementwise multiplication with CAMs in next feature level. By iteratively repeating this procedure, the global CAMs (GCAMs) are then formed and multiplied elementwise with final feature maps to lead to final segmentation. By doing so, CAMs in early stages of a deep convolution network can be effectively passed on to later stages of the network and therefore leads to better information usage. The experiments on a merged dataset derived from two datasets, INbreast and OPTIMAM, showed that PeMNet greatly outperformed state-of-the-art methods by achieving an IoU of 97.46%, global pixel accuracy of 99.48%, Dice similarity coefficient of 96.30%, and Jaccard of 93.33%, respectively. Full article
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Article
In Silico Research of New Therapeutics Rotenoids Derivatives against Leishmania amazonensis Infection
Biology 2022, 11(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010133 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Yearly, 1,500,000 cases of leishmaniasis are diagnosed, causing thousands of deaths. To advance in its therapy, we present an interdisciplinary protocol that unifies ethnobotanical knowledge of natural compounds and the latest bioinformatics advances to respond to an orphan disease such as leishmaniasis and [...] Read more.
Yearly, 1,500,000 cases of leishmaniasis are diagnosed, causing thousands of deaths. To advance in its therapy, we present an interdisciplinary protocol that unifies ethnobotanical knowledge of natural compounds and the latest bioinformatics advances to respond to an orphan disease such as leishmaniasis and specifically the one caused by Leishmania amazonensis. The use of ethnobotanical information serves as a basis for the development of new drugs, a field in which computer-aided drug design (CADD) has been a revolution. Taking this information from Amazonian communities, located in the area with a high prevalence of this disease, a protocol has been designed to verify new leads. Moreover, a method has been developed that allows the evaluation of lead molecules, and the improvement of their affinity and specificity against therapeutic targets. Through this approach, deguelin has been identified as a good lead to treat the infection due to its potential as an ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) inhibitor, a key enzyme in Leishmania development. Using an in silico-generated combinatorial library followed by docking approaches, we have found deguelin derivatives with better affinity and specificity against ODC than the original compound, suggesting that this approach could be adapted for developing new drugs against leishmaniasis. Full article
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Article
Zinc Supplementation Enhances the Pro-Death Function of UPR in Lymphoma Cells Exposed to Radiation
Biology 2022, 11(1), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010132 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 401
Abstract
We have previously shown that Zinc supplementation triggered ER stress/UPR in cancer cells undergoing treatment by genotoxic agents, reactivated wtp53 in cancer cells harboring mutant p53 (mutp53) and potentiated the activity of wtp53 in those carrying wtp53. In this study, we used Zinc [...] Read more.
We have previously shown that Zinc supplementation triggered ER stress/UPR in cancer cells undergoing treatment by genotoxic agents, reactivated wtp53 in cancer cells harboring mutant p53 (mutp53) and potentiated the activity of wtp53 in those carrying wtp53. In this study, we used Zinc chloride alone or in combination with 2 Gy radiation to treat Primary Effusion Lymphoma (PEL) cells, an aggressive B-cell lymphoma associated with KSHV that harbors wt or partially functioning p53. We found that Zinc triggered a mild ER stress/UPR in these lymphoma cells and activated ERK1/2, molecule known to sustain cell survival in the course of UPR activation. In combination with radiations, Zinc triggered a stronger p53 activation that counteracted its mediated ERK1/2 phosphorylation, further upregulating the UPR molecule CHOP and promoting cell death. These data suggest that Zinc supplementation could be a promising strategy to reduce the doses of radiation and possibly of other DNA-damaging agents to obtain an efficient capacity to induce lymphoma cell death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Biomolecular Radiation Research)
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Article
A Bibliometric Analysis of Mexican Bioinformatics: A Portrait of Actors, Structure, and Dynamics
Biology 2022, 11(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010131 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Bioinformatics is a very important informatics tool for health and biological sciences, focusing on biological data management. The objective of this work was to perform a bibliometric analysis regarding the development of Mexican bioinformatics. An exhaustive revision of the literature associated with Mexican [...] Read more.
Bioinformatics is a very important informatics tool for health and biological sciences, focusing on biological data management. The objective of this work was to perform a bibliometric analysis regarding the development of Mexican bioinformatics. An exhaustive revision of the literature associated with Mexican bioinformatics in a period of 25-years was performed. Bibliometric tools, such as performance analysis and science mapping were included in the analysis. We identified the main actors as well as the structure and dynamics of Mexican bioinformatics. Some of the main findings were as follows: the thematic structure in the field is defined by the research lines of outstanding authors; the outstanding collaborations of Mexican institutions with foreign countries and institutions are influenced by the geographic proximity and binational agreements, as well as philanthropic and academic programs that promote collaborations, and there is an inclination for health issues promoted by public health financing and philanthropic organizations. It is identified that publications had an explosion since 2012, we consider that this growth may be influenced by the democratization of data, derived from the mass sequencing of biological molecules stored in public databases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics)
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Article
Characterization of miRNAs in Embryonic, Larval, and Adult Lumpfish Provides a Reference miRNAome for Cyclopterus lumpus
Biology 2022, 11(1), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010130 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small RNA molecules involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of protein expression by binding to the mRNA of target genes. They are key regulators in teleost development, maintenance of tissue-specific functions, and immune responses. Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) is [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small RNA molecules involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of protein expression by binding to the mRNA of target genes. They are key regulators in teleost development, maintenance of tissue-specific functions, and immune responses. Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) is becoming an emergent aquaculture species as it has been utilized as a cleaner fish to biocontrol sea lice (e.g., Lepeophtheirus salmonis) infestation in the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) aquaculture. The lumpfish miRNAs repertoire is unknown. This study identified and characterized miRNA encoding genes in lumpfish from three developmental stages (adult, embryos, and larvae). A total of 16 samples from six different adult lumpfish organs (spleen, liver, head kidney, brain, muscle, and gill), embryos, and larvae were individually small RNA sequenced. Altogether, 391 conserved miRNA precursor sequences (discovered in the majority of teleost fish species reported in miRbase), eight novel miRNA precursor sequences (so far only discovered in lumpfish), and 443 unique mature miRNAs were identified. Transcriptomics analysis suggested organ-specific and age-specific expression of miRNAs (e.g., miR-122-1-5p specific of the liver). Most of the miRNAs found in lumpfish are conserved in teleost and higher vertebrates, suggesting an essential and common role across teleost and higher vertebrates. This study is the first miRNA characterization of lumpfish that provides the reference miRNAome for future functional studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptome and Genome Analyses Applied to Aquaculture Research)
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Article
Microorganismal Cues Involved in Host-Location in Asilidae Parasitoids
Biology 2022, 11(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010129 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 398
Abstract
Parasitoids are organisms that kill their host before completing their development. Typical parasitoids belong to Hymenoptera, whose females search for the hosts. But some atypical Diptera parasitoids also have searching larvae that must orientate toward, encounter, and accept hosts, through cues with different [...] Read more.
Parasitoids are organisms that kill their host before completing their development. Typical parasitoids belong to Hymenoptera, whose females search for the hosts. But some atypical Diptera parasitoids also have searching larvae that must orientate toward, encounter, and accept hosts, through cues with different levels of detectability. In this work, the chemical cues involved in the detection of the host by parasitoid larvae of the genus Mallophora are shown with a behavioral approach. Through olfactometry assays, we show that two species of Mallophora orient to different host species and that chemical cues are produced by microorganisms. We also show that treating potential hosts with antibiotics reduces attractiveness on M. ruficauda but not to M. bigoti suggesting that endosymbiotic bacteria responsible for the host cues production should be located in different parts of the host. In fact, we were able to show that M. bigoti is attracted to frass from the most common host. Additionally, we evaluated host orientation under a context of interspecific competence and found that both parasitoid species orient to Cyclocephaala signaticollis showing that host competition could occur in the field. Our work shows how microorganisms mediate orientation to hosts but differences in their activity or location in the host result in differences in the attractiveness of different cues. We show for the first time that M. bigoti behaves similar to M. ruficauda extending and reinforcing that all Mallophora species have adopted a parasitoid lifestyle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cues Followed by Parasites and Predators in Detecting Their Victims)
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Review
Teucrium polium: Potential Drug Source for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Biology 2022, 11(1), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010128 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 623
Abstract
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is rising globally and this disease is proposed to be the next pandemic after COVID-19. Although the cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus is unknown, it is believed to involve a complex array of genetic defects [...] Read more.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is rising globally and this disease is proposed to be the next pandemic after COVID-19. Although the cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus is unknown, it is believed to involve a complex array of genetic defects that affect metabolic pathways which eventually lead to hyperglycaemia. This hyperglycaemia arises from an inability of the insulin-sensitive cells to sufficiently respond to the secreted insulin, which eventually results in the inadequate secretion of insulin from pancreatic β-cells. Several treatments, utilising a variety of mechanisms, are available for type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, more medications are needed to assist with the optimal management of the different stages of the disease in patients of varying ages with the diverse combinations of other medications co-administered. Throughout modern history, some lead constituents from ancient medicinal plants have been investigated extensively and helped in developing synthetic antidiabetic drugs, such as metformin. Teucrium polium L. (Tp) is a herb that has a folk reputation for its antidiabetic potential. Previous studies indicate that Tp extracts significantly decrease blood glucose levels r and induce insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells in vitro. Nonetheless, the constituent/s responsible for this action have not yet been elucidated. The effects appear to be, at least in part, attributable to the presence of selected flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, and rutin). This review aims to examine the reported glucose-lowering effect of the herb, with a keen focus on insulin secretion, specifically related to type 2 diabetes mellitus. An analysis of the contribution of the key constituent flavonoids of Tp extracts will also be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanistic Insights into the Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes)
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Article
Effect of Displacement Degree of Distal Chevron Osteotomy on Metatarsal Stress: A Finite Element Method
Biology 2022, 11(1), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010127 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 380
Abstract
Background: The stress of foot bone can effectively evaluate the functional damage caused by foot deformity and the results of operation. In this study, the finite element method was used to investigate the degree of displacement of distal chevron osteotomy on metatarsal stress [...] Read more.
Background: The stress of foot bone can effectively evaluate the functional damage caused by foot deformity and the results of operation. In this study, the finite element method was used to investigate the degree of displacement of distal chevron osteotomy on metatarsal stress and metatarsophalangeal joint load; Methods: Four finite element models of displacement were established by using the CT images of a patient with moderate hallux valgus (hallux valgus angle and intermetatarsal angle were 26.74° and 14.09°, respectively), and the validity of the model was verified. Each finite element model consisted of bones and various cartilage structures, ligaments, and plantar fascia, as well as encapsulated soft tissue. Except for soft tissue, the material properties of other parts were isotropic linear elastic material, and the encapsulated soft tissue was set as nonlinear hyperelastic material. The mesh was tetrahedral mesh. Link elements were used in ligament and plantar fascia. A ground reaction force with a half-body weight was applied at the bottom of the floor to simulate the ground reaction when standing. The upper surfaces of the encapsulated soft tissue, distal tibia, and distal fibula were fixed. The stress distribution of metatarsals and the stress of cartilage of the first metatarsophalangeal joint were compared and analyzed; Results: Compared with the hallux valgus without osteotomy, the stress of the first metatarsals and second metatarsals of 2–4 mm decreased, and the stress of the interarticular cartilage of the first metatarsophalangeal joint with 4 mm was reduced. In the case of 6 mm, the stress value between the first metatarsal and the first metatarsophalangeal joint increased, and 4 mm was the most suitable distance; Conclusions: Compared with the hallux valgus without osteotomy, the stress of the first metatarsals and second metatarsals of 2–4 mm decreased, and the stress of the interarticular cartilage of the first metatarsophalangeal joint with 4 mm was reduced. In the case of 6 mm, the stress value between the first metatarsal and the first metatarsophalangeal joint increased, and 4 mm was the most suitable distance. For the degree of displacement of the distal chevron osteotomy, the postoperative stability and the stress distribution of metatarsal bone should be considered. Factors such as hallux valgus angle, intermetatarsal angle, patient’s age, body weight, and metatarsal width should be considered comprehensively. The factors affecting osteotomy need to be further explored. The degree of displacement of osteotomy can be evaluated by FE method before the operation, and the most suitable distance can be obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Bodywork: Applications in Health, Disease, and Rehabilitation)
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Article
Evaluation of the Saline–Alkaline Tolerance of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Mutants Induced by Heavy-Ion Beam Mutagenesis
Biology 2022, 11(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010126 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Soil salinity is a widespread and important abiotic factor impeding rice production by adversely affecting seed germination, seedling growth, and plant productivity. In this study, the rice cultivar TH899 was treated with 200 Gy of heavy-ion beam irradiation, and 89 mutant lines with [...] Read more.
Soil salinity is a widespread and important abiotic factor impeding rice production by adversely affecting seed germination, seedling growth, and plant productivity. In this study, the rice cultivar TH899 was treated with 200 Gy of heavy-ion beam irradiation, and 89 mutant lines with stable phenotypes were selected using the pedigree method based on continuous assessment over six years. The seed germination performance of these mutants was tested under different saline–alkaline concentrations. Five highly tolerant lines were further evaluated in a series of experiments at the seedling stage and in the field. During the seedling stage, the reduction of seedling length, root length, fresh weight, and dry weight were dramatically lower in these five mutants than those in TH899 under saline–alkali stress. The K+/Na+ ratio was higher in these five mutants than in TH899. In the field experiment, the grain yield of mutant lines was higher than that of TH899. In addition, the grain yield of mutant line M89 was higher than that of the local cultivar in actual production. These mutant lines are expected to increase grain yield in soda saline–alkaline regions in northeast China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Physiological and Molecular Basis of Stress Tolerance in Plants)
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Article
The COVID-19 Infection Diffusion in the US and Japan: A Graph-Theoretical Approach
Biology 2022, 11(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010125 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 513
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first discovered in China; within several months, it spread worldwide and became a pandemic. Although the virus has spread throughout the globe, its effects have differed. The pandemic diffusion network dynamics (PDND) approach was proposed to better understand [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first discovered in China; within several months, it spread worldwide and became a pandemic. Although the virus has spread throughout the globe, its effects have differed. The pandemic diffusion network dynamics (PDND) approach was proposed to better understand the spreading behavior of COVID-19 in the US and Japan. We used daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 from 5 January 2020 to 31 July 2021, for all states (prefectures) of the US and Japan. By applying the pandemic diffusion network dynamics (PDND) approach to COVID-19 time series data, we developed diffusion graphs for the US and Japan. In these graphs, nodes represent states and prefectures (regions), and edges represent connections between regions based on the synchrony of COVID-19 time series data. To compare the pandemic spreading dynamics in the US and Japan, we used graph theory metrics, which targeted the characterization of COVID-19 bedhavior that could not be explained through linear methods. These metrics included path length, global and local efficiency, clustering coefficient, assortativity, modularity, network density, and degree centrality. Application of the proposed approach resulted in the discovery of mostly minor differences between analyzed countries. In light of these findings, we focused on analyzing the reasons and defining research hypotheses that, upon addressing, could shed more light on the complex phenomena of COVID-19 virus spread and the proposed PDND methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Bodywork: Applications in Health, Disease, and Rehabilitation)
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Article
Tomato Prosystemin Is Much More than a Simple Systemin Precursor
Biology 2022, 11(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010124 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 568
Abstract
Systemin (Sys) is an octadecapeptide, which upon wounding, is released from the carboxy terminus of its precursor, Prosystemin (ProSys), to promote plant defenses. Recent findings on the disordered structure of ProSys prompted us to investigate a putative biological role of the whole precursor [...] Read more.
Systemin (Sys) is an octadecapeptide, which upon wounding, is released from the carboxy terminus of its precursor, Prosystemin (ProSys), to promote plant defenses. Recent findings on the disordered structure of ProSys prompted us to investigate a putative biological role of the whole precursor deprived of the Sys peptide. We produced transgenic tomato plants expressing a truncated ProSys gene in which the exon coding for Sys was removed and compared their defense response with that induced by the exogenous application of the recombinant truncated ProSys (ProSys(1-178), the Prosystemin sequence devoid of Sys region). By combining protein structure analyses, transcriptomic analysis, gene expression profiling and bioassays with different pests, we demonstrate that truncated ProSys promotes defense barriers in tomato plants through a hormone-independent defense pathway, likely associated with the production of oligogalacturonides (OGs). Both transgenic and plants treated with the recombinant protein showed the modulation of the expression of genes linked with defense responses and resulted in protection against the lepidopteran pest Spodoptera littoralis and the fungus Botrytis cinerea. Our results suggest that the overall function of the wild-type ProSys is more complex than previously shown, as it might activate at least two tomato defense pathways: the well-known Sys-dependent pathway connected with the induction of jasmonic acid biosynthesis and the successive activation of a set of defense-related genes, and the ProSys(1-178)-dependent pathway associated with OGs production leading to the OGs mediate plant immunity. Full article
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Article
Secretome of Stressed Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Alters Transcriptome Signature in Heart, Liver, and Spleen after an Experimental Acute Myocardial Infarction: An In Silico Analysis
Biology 2022, 11(1), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010116 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 461
Abstract
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a result of cardiac non-perfusion and leads to cardiomyocyte necrosis, inflammation, and compromised cardiac performance. Here, we showed that the secretome of γ-irradiated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCsec) improved heart function in a porcine AMI model and displayed [...] Read more.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a result of cardiac non-perfusion and leads to cardiomyocyte necrosis, inflammation, and compromised cardiac performance. Here, we showed that the secretome of γ-irradiated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCsec) improved heart function in a porcine AMI model and displayed beneficial long- and short-term effects. As an AMI is known to strongly affect gene regulation of the ischemia non-affected heart muscle and distal organs, we employed a transcriptomics approach to further study the immediate molecular events orchestrated using the PBMCsec in myocardium, liver, and spleen 24 h post ischemia. In the infarcted area, the PBMCsec mainly induced genes that were essential for cardiomyocyte function and simultaneously downregulated pro-inflammatory genes. Interestingly, genes associated with pro-inflammatory processes were activated in the transition zone, while being downregulated in the remote zone. In the liver, we observed a pronounced inhibition of immune responses using the PBMCsec, while genes involved in urea and tricarboxylic cycles were induced. The spleen displayed elevated lipid metabolism and reduced immunological processes. Together, our study suggested several types of pharmacodynamics by which the PBMCsec conferred immediate cardioprotection. Furthermore, our data supported the assumption that an AMI significantly affects distal organs, suggesting that a holistic treatment of an AMI, as achieved by PBMCsec, might be highly beneficial. Full article
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Article
Iron Inhibits the Translation and Activity of the Renal Epithelial Sodium Channel
Biology 2022, 11(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010123 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Hypertension is associated with an increased renal expression and activity of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and iron deficiency. Distal tubules absorb iron, causing perturbations that may influence local responses. In this observational study, we investigated the relationship between iron content and ENaC [...] Read more.
Hypertension is associated with an increased renal expression and activity of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and iron deficiency. Distal tubules absorb iron, causing perturbations that may influence local responses. In this observational study, we investigated the relationship between iron content and ENaC expression and activity using two cell lines and hepcidin knockout mice (a murine model of iron overload). We found that iron did not transcriptionally regulate ENaC in hepcidin knockout mice or in vitro in collecting duct cells. However, the renal tubules of hepcidin knockout mice have a lower expression of ENaC protein. ENaC activity in cultured Xenopus 2F3 cells and mpkCCD cells was inhibited by iron, which could be reversed by iron chelation. Thus, our novel findings implicate iron as a regulator of ENaC protein and its activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scaffolding Proteins and Ion Channel Regulation)
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