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Biomolecules, Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 128 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Bioactive cytokinins (CKs) can be metabolized in plants by the N-glucosyltransferase pathway to CK N7- and N9-glucosides. Both these forms were in the past considered irreversible and inactive CK products lacking any relevant physiological impact. We report (1) widespread distribution of CK N-glucosides across the plant kingdom with distinct representation in the total CK pool, (2) their changing profiles and expression of UGT76C1 and UGT76C2 genes during Arabidopsis ontogenesis, (3) obvious physiological activities in selected CK bioassays, (4) noticeable effects on expression of CK-related genes in maize and activation of TCSv2::3XVENUS signal in tomato, and (5) their role in inducing CKX activity in oats. View this paper.
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Review
Exploring the Intracrine Functions of VEGF-A
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010128 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A or VEGF) is a highly conserved secreted signalling protein best known for its roles in vascular development and angiogenesis. Many non-endothelial roles for VEGF are now established, with the discovery that VEGF and its receptors VEGFR1 and [...] Read more.
Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A or VEGF) is a highly conserved secreted signalling protein best known for its roles in vascular development and angiogenesis. Many non-endothelial roles for VEGF are now established, with the discovery that VEGF and its receptors VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 are expressed in many non-vascular cell-types, as well as various cancers. In addition to secreted VEGF binding to its receptors in the extracellular space at the cell membrane (i.e., in a paracrine or autocrine mode), intracellularly localised VEGF is emerging as an important signalling molecule regulating cell growth, survival, and metabolism. This intracellular mode of signalling has been termed “intracrine”, and refers to the direct action of a signalling molecule within the cell without being secreted. In this review, we describe examples of intracrine VEGF signalling in regulating cell growth, differentiation and survival, both in normal cell homeostasis and development, as well as in cancer. We further discuss emerging evidence for the molecular mechanisms underpinning VEGF intracrine function, as well as the implications this intracellular mode of VEGF signalling may have for use and design of anti-VEGF cancer therapeutics. Full article
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Review
Rose Flowers—A Delicate Perfume or a Natural Healer?
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010127 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
Plants from the Rosacea family are rich in natural molecules with beneficial biological properties, and they are widely appreciated and used in the food industry, perfumery, and cosmetics. In this review, we are considering Rosa damascena Mill., Rosa alba L., Rosa centifolia L., [...] Read more.
Plants from the Rosacea family are rich in natural molecules with beneficial biological properties, and they are widely appreciated and used in the food industry, perfumery, and cosmetics. In this review, we are considering Rosa damascena Mill., Rosa alba L., Rosa centifolia L., and Rosa gallica L. as raw materials important for producing commercial products, analyzing and comparing the main biological activities of their essential oils, hydrolates, and extracts. A literature search was performed to find materials describing (i) botanical characteristics; (ii) the phytochemical profile; and (iii) biological properties of the essential oil sand extracts of these so called “old roses” that are cultivated in Bulgaria, Turkey, India, and the Middle East. The information used is from databases PubMed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar. Roses have beneficial healing properties due to their richness of beneficial components, the secondary metabolites as flavonoids (e.g., flavones, flavonols, anthocyanins), fragrant components (essential oils, e.g., monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes), and hydrolysable and condensed tannins. Rose essential oils and extracts with their therapeutic properties—as respiratory antiseptics, anti-inflammatories, mucolytics, expectorants, decongestants, and antioxidants—are able to act as symptomatic prophylactics and drugs, and in this way alleviate dramatic sufferings during severe diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cellular Biochemistry)
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Article
Glycyl-L-Prolyl-L-Glutamate Pseudotripeptides for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010126 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
So far, there is no effective disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in clinical practice. In this context, glycine-L-proline-L-glutamate (GPE) and its analogs may open the way for developing a novel molecule for treating neurodegenerative disorders, including AD. In turn, this study was [...] Read more.
So far, there is no effective disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in clinical practice. In this context, glycine-L-proline-L-glutamate (GPE) and its analogs may open the way for developing a novel molecule for treating neurodegenerative disorders, including AD. In turn, this study was aimed to investigate the neuroprotective potentials exerted by three novel GPE peptidomimetics (GPE1, GPE2, and GPE3) using an in vitro AD model. Anti-Alzheimer potentials were determined using a wide array of techniques, such as measurements of mitochondrial viability (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assays, determination of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), α-secretase and β-secretase activities, comparisons of total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and total oxidative status (TOS) levels, flow cytometric and microscopic detection of apoptotic and necrotic neuronal death, and investigating gene expression responses via PCR arrays involving 64 critical genes related to 10 different pathways. Our analysis showed that GPE peptidomimetics modulate oxidative stress, ACh depletion, α-secretase inactivation, apoptotic, and necrotic cell death. In vitro results suggested that treatments with novel GPE analogs might be promising therapeutic agents for treatment and/or or prevention of AD. Full article
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Review
Insulin/IGF Axis in Breast Cancer: Clinical Evidence and Translational Insights
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010125 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common neoplasm in women. Many clinical and preclinical studies investigated the possible relationship between host metabolism and BC. Significant differences among BC subtypes have been reported for glucose metabolism. Insulin can promote tumorigenesis through a direct [...] Read more.
Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common neoplasm in women. Many clinical and preclinical studies investigated the possible relationship between host metabolism and BC. Significant differences among BC subtypes have been reported for glucose metabolism. Insulin can promote tumorigenesis through a direct effect on epithelial tissues or indirectly by affecting the levels of other modulators, such as the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family of receptors, sex hormones, and adipokines. The potential anti-cancer activity of metformin is based on two principal effects: first, its capacity for lowering circulating insulin levels with indirect endocrine effects that may impact on tumor cell proliferation; second, its direct influence on many pro-cancer signaling pathways that are key drivers of BC aggressiveness. Methods: In the present review, the interaction between BC, host metabolism, and patients’ prognosis has been reviewed across available literature evidence. Conclusions: Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance are all involved in BC growth and could have a relevant impact on prognosis. All these factors act through a pro-inflammatory state, mediated by cytokines originated in fat tissue, and seem to be related to a higher risk of BC development and worse prognosis. Full article
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Article
Modeling the Influenza A NP-vRNA-Polymerase Complex in Atomic Detail
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010124 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 849
Abstract
Seasonal flu is an acute respiratory disease that exacts a massive toll on human populations, healthcare systems and economies. The disease is caused by an enveloped Influenza virus containing eight ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. Each RNP incorporates multiple copies of nucleoprotein (NP), a fragment [...] Read more.
Seasonal flu is an acute respiratory disease that exacts a massive toll on human populations, healthcare systems and economies. The disease is caused by an enveloped Influenza virus containing eight ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. Each RNP incorporates multiple copies of nucleoprotein (NP), a fragment of the viral genome (vRNA), and a viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (POL), and is responsible for packaging the viral genome and performing critical functions including replication and transcription. A complete model of an Influenza RNP in atomic detail can elucidate the structural basis for viral genome functions, and identify potential targets for viral therapeutics. In this work we construct a model of a complete Influenza A RNP complex in atomic detail using multiple sources of structural and sequence information and a series of homology-modeling techniques, including a motif-matching fragment assembly method. Our final model provides a rationale for experimentally-observed changes to viral polymerase activity in numerous mutational assays. Further, our model reveals specific interactions between the three primary structural components of the RNP, including potential targets for blocking POL-binding to the NP-vRNA complex. The methods developed in this work open the possibility of elucidating other functionally-relevant atomic-scale interactions in additional RNP structures and other biomolecular complexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics)
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Editorial
DNA Damage Response
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010123 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 821
Abstract
DNA in our cells is constantly modified by internal and external factors [...] Full article
Review
Focus on Osteosclerotic Progression in Primary Myelofibrosis
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010122 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by hematopoietic stem-cell-derived clonal proliferation, leading to bone marrow (BM) fibrosis. Hematopoiesis alterations are closely associated with modifications of the BM microenvironment, characterized by defective interactions between vascular and endosteal niches. As such, neoangiogenesis, megakaryocytes [...] Read more.
Primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by hematopoietic stem-cell-derived clonal proliferation, leading to bone marrow (BM) fibrosis. Hematopoiesis alterations are closely associated with modifications of the BM microenvironment, characterized by defective interactions between vascular and endosteal niches. As such, neoangiogenesis, megakaryocytes hyperplasia and extensive bone marrow fibrosis, followed by osteosclerosis and bone damage, are the most relevant consequences of PMF. Moreover, bone tissue deposition, together with progressive fibrosis, represents crucial mechanisms of disabilities in patients. Although the underlying mechanisms of bone damage observed in PMF are still unclear, the involvement of cytokines, growth factors and bone marrow microenvironment resident cells have been linked to disease progression. Herein, we focused on the role of megakaryocytes and their alterations, associated with cytokines and chemokines release, in modulating functions of most of the bone marrow cell populations and in creating a complex network where impaired signaling strongly contributes to progression and disabilities. Full article
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Editorial
Peering into the Kaleidoscope of Cyclodextrins
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010121 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Cyclodextrins (CDs) are known to us for 130 years, yet they remain ever as new and as fascinating as in their early years, when Villiers marveled at the unexpected growth of “beautiful radiated crystals” in the alcoholic media of his experiments on bacterial [...] Read more.
Cyclodextrins (CDs) are known to us for 130 years, yet they remain ever as new and as fascinating as in their early years, when Villiers marveled at the unexpected growth of “beautiful radiated crystals” in the alcoholic media of his experiments on bacterial fermentation of starches, or when Freudenberg struggled to solve the puzzle of their unusual shape and structure [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives of Cyclodextrins)
Article
Molecular Basis of NDT-Mediated Activation of Nucleoside-Based Prodrugs and Application in Suicide Gene Therapy
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010120 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Herein we report the first proof for the application of type II 2′-deoxyribosyltransferase from Lactobacillus delbrueckii (LdNDT) in suicide gene therapy for cancer treatment. To this end, we first confirm the hydrolytic ability of LdNDT over the nucleoside-based prodrugs 2′-deoxy-5-fluorouridine [...] Read more.
Herein we report the first proof for the application of type II 2′-deoxyribosyltransferase from Lactobacillus delbrueckii (LdNDT) in suicide gene therapy for cancer treatment. To this end, we first confirm the hydrolytic ability of LdNDT over the nucleoside-based prodrugs 2′-deoxy-5-fluorouridine (dFUrd), 2′-deoxy-2-fluoroadenosine (dFAdo), and 2′-deoxy-6-methylpurine riboside (d6MetPRib). Such activity was significantly increased (up to 30-fold) in the presence of an acceptor nucleobase. To shed light on the strong nucleobase dependence for enzymatic activity, different molecular dynamics simulations were carried out. Finally, as a proof of concept, we tested the LdNDT/dFAdo system in human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. Interestingly, LdNDT/dFAdo showed a pronounced reduction in cellular viability with inhibitory concentrations in the low micromolar range. These results open up future opportunities for the clinical implementation of nucleoside 2′-deoxyribosyltransferases (NDTs) in cancer treatment. Full article
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Article
Salivary Gland Dysfunction in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure Is Aggravated by Nitrosative Stress, as Well as Oxidation and Glycation of Proteins
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010119 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 970
Abstract
Chronic heart failure (HF) is an important clinical, social, and economic problem. A key role in HF progression is played by oxidative stress. Free oxygen radicals, formed under the conditions of hypoxia and reperfusion, participate in myocardial stunning and other forms of post-reperfusion [...] Read more.
Chronic heart failure (HF) is an important clinical, social, and economic problem. A key role in HF progression is played by oxidative stress. Free oxygen radicals, formed under the conditions of hypoxia and reperfusion, participate in myocardial stunning and other forms of post-reperfusion damage. HF patients also suffer from disorders connected with saliva secretion. However, still little is known about the mechanisms that impair the secretory function of salivary glands in these patients. In the presented study, we were the first to compare the antioxidant barrier, protein glycoxidation, and nitrosative/nitrative stress in non-stimulated (non-stimulated whole saliva (NWS)) and stimulated (SWS) saliva of HF patients. The study included 50 HF patients with normal saliva (NS) secretion (n = 27) and hyposalivation (HS) (n = 23), as well as an age- and gender-matched control group (n = 50). We demonstrated that, in NWS of HF patients with HS, the concentration of low-molecular-weight non-enzymatic antioxidants decreased (↓total polyphenols, ↓ascorbic acid, ↓reduced glutathione, ↓albumin) compared to HF patients with normal saliva (NS) secretion, as well as the control group (except albumin). We also observed increased content of protein glycoxidation products (↑dityrosine, ↑kynurenine, ↑glycophore) in NWS and SWS of HF patients with HS compared to healthy controls. Interestingly, the content of dityrosine, N-formylkynurenine, and glycophore in NWS was also significantly higher in HF patients with HS compared to those with NS secretion. The concentration of NO was considerably lower, while the levels of peroxynitrite and nitrotyrosine were significantly higher in NWS and SWS of HF subjects with HS compared to the controls. Salivary gland dysfunction occurs in patients with chronic HF with the submandibular salivary glands being the least efficient. Oxidative/nitrosative stress may be one of the mechanisms responsible for the impairment of salivary gland secretory function in HF patients. Full article
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Article
Ginsenoside Rg3 Prevents Oncogenic Long Noncoding RNA ATXN8OS from Inhibiting Tumor-Suppressive microRNA-424-5p in Breast Cancer Cells
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010118 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
Ginsenoside Rg3 exerts antiproliferation activity on cancer cells by regulating diverse noncoding RNAs. However, little is known about the role of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) or their relationship with competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) in Rg3-treated cancer cells. Here, a lncRNA (ATXN8OS) was found [...] Read more.
Ginsenoside Rg3 exerts antiproliferation activity on cancer cells by regulating diverse noncoding RNAs. However, little is known about the role of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) or their relationship with competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) in Rg3-treated cancer cells. Here, a lncRNA (ATXN8OS) was found to be downregulated via Rg3-mediated promoter hypermethylation in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. SiRNA-induced downregulation of ATXN8OS decreased cell proliferation but increased apoptosis, suggesting that the noncoding RNA possessed proproliferation activity. An in silico search for potential ATXN8OS-targeting microRNAs (miRs) identified a promising candidate (miR-424-5p) based on its high binding score. As expected, miR-424-5p suppressed proliferation and stimulated apoptosis of the MCF-7 cells. The in silico miR-target-gene prediction identified 200 potential target genes of miR-424-5p, which were subsequently narrowed down to seven that underwent hypermethylation at their promoter by Rg3. Among them, three genes (EYA1, DACH1, and CHRM3) were previously known oncogenes and were proven to be oppositely regulated by ATXN8OS and miR-424-5p. When taken together, Rg3 downregulated ATXN8OS that inhibited the tumor-suppressive miR-424-5p, leading to the downregulation of the oncogenic target genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural and Bio-inspired Molecules)
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Article
Biochemical Characterization and Functional Analysis of Heat Stable High Potential Protease of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens Strain HM48 from Soils of Dachigam National Park in Kashmir Himalaya
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010117 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1011
Abstract
A novel temperature stable alkaline protease yielding bacteria was isolated from the soils of Dachigam National Park, which is known to be inhabited by a wide variety of endemic plant and animal species of Western Himalaya. This high-potential protease producing isolate was characterized [...] Read more.
A novel temperature stable alkaline protease yielding bacteria was isolated from the soils of Dachigam National Park, which is known to be inhabited by a wide variety of endemic plant and animal species of Western Himalaya. This high-potential protease producing isolate was characterized and identified as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain HM48 by morphological, Gram’s staining and biochemical techniques followed by molecular characterization using 16S rRNA approach. The extracellular protease of B. amyloliquefaciens HM48 was purified by precipitating with ammonium sulfate (80%), followed by dialysis and Gel filtration chromatography increasing its purity by 5.8-fold. The SDS–PAGE analysis of the purified enzyme confirmed a molecular weight of about ≈25 kDa. The enzyme displayed exceptional activity in a broad temperature range (10–90 °C) at pH 8.0, retaining its maximum at 70 °C, being the highest reported for this proteolytic Bacillus sp., with KM and Vmax of 11.71 mg/mL and 357.14 µmol/mL/min, respectively. The enzyme exhibited remarkable activity and stability against various metal ions, surfactants, oxidizing agent (H2O2), organic solvents and displayed outstanding compatibility with widely used detergents. This protease showed effective wash performance by exemplifying complete blood and egg-yolk stains removal at 70 °C and efficiently disintegrated chicken feathers making it of vital importance for laundry purpose and waste management. For functional analysis, protease gene amplification of strain HM48 yielded a nucleotide sequence of about 700 bp, which, when checked against the available sequences in NCBI, displayed similarity with subtilisin-like serine protease of B. amyloliquefaciens. The structure of this protease and its highest-priority substrate β-casein was generated through protein modeling. These protein models were validated through futuristic algorithms following which protein–protein (protease from HM48 and β-casein) docking was performed. The interaction profile of these proteins in the docked state with each other was also generated, shedding light on their finer details. Such attributes make this thermally stable protease novel and suitable for high-temperature industrial and environmental applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Enzymology)
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Review
Immune Monitoring upon Treatment with Biologics in Sjögren’s Syndrome: The What, Where, When, and How
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010116 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 987
Abstract
Over the years, a wide variety of therapeutic antibodies has been successfully introduced in the auto-immunology clinic, and many more are on the way. Many of these treatments address either a pathogenic circulating molecule or a cell-bound molecule. Whereas addressing the former target [...] Read more.
Over the years, a wide variety of therapeutic antibodies has been successfully introduced in the auto-immunology clinic, and many more are on the way. Many of these treatments address either a pathogenic circulating molecule or a cell-bound molecule. Whereas addressing the former target results in neutralization of the soluble factor and binding to the latter target either inhibits cellular function or induces selective cell death. If this targeted molecule or cell is part of the immune system, this therapy evokes a state of immunodeficiency with infections as a possible consequence. Therefore, immune monitoring is needed to prevent such adverse side effects of immunotherapy. In this paper, different immunotherapies used in Sjögren’s syndrome, as well as different approaches to monitoring the immune system, are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Molecular Targets in Sjogren’s Syndrome)
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Article
Kartogenin Enhances Chondrogenic Differentiation of MSCs in 3D Tri-Copolymer Scaffolds and the Self-Designed Bioreactor System
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010115 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
Human cartilage has relatively slow metabolism compared to other normal tissues. Cartilage damage is of great clinical consequence since cartilage has limited intrinsic healing potential. Cartilage tissue engineering is a rapidly emerging field that holds great promise for tissue function repair and artificial/engineered [...] Read more.
Human cartilage has relatively slow metabolism compared to other normal tissues. Cartilage damage is of great clinical consequence since cartilage has limited intrinsic healing potential. Cartilage tissue engineering is a rapidly emerging field that holds great promise for tissue function repair and artificial/engineered tissue substitutes. However, current clinical therapies for cartilage repair are less than satisfactory and rarely recover full function or return the diseased tissue to its native healthy state. Kartogenin (KGN), a small molecule, can promote chondrocyte differentiation both in vitro and in vivo. The purpose of this research is to optimize the chondrogenic process in mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based chondrogenic constructs with KGN for potential use in cartilage tissue engineering. In this study, we demonstrate that KGN treatment can promote MSC condensation and cell cluster formation within a tri-copolymer scaffold. Expression of Acan, Sox9, and Col2a1 was significantly up-regulated in three-dimensional (3D) culture conditions. The lacuna-like structure showed active deposition of type II collagen and aggrecan deposition. We expect these results will open new avenues for the use of small molecules in chondrogenic differentiation protocols in combination with scaffolds, which may yield better strategies for cartilage tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Mesenchymal Stem Cell Fate and Potential Therapy)
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Article
The Influence of Melatonin and Light on VEGF Secretion in Primary RPE Cells
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010114 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
(1) Background: Retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) cells constitutively secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the retina, protecting the neuronal cells and the choroid. Increased VEGF secretion, however, can result in neovascularization and edema. Many factors regulate VEGF secretion. In this study, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) cells constitutively secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the retina, protecting the neuronal cells and the choroid. Increased VEGF secretion, however, can result in neovascularization and edema. Many factors regulate VEGF secretion. In this study, we investigated the effect of external stimuli in relation to diurnal rhythm on constitutive VEGF secretion. (2) Methods: Single-eye RPE cell culture was prepared from porcine eyes. RPE cells were cultured in darkness, treated with daylight or room light, and treated with melatonin at different time frames, either respectively or in combination. Supernatants were collected and VEGF content evaluated using ELISA. Expression of the clock protein BMAL1 was evaluated with Western blot. (3) Results: VEGF secretion of the RPE shows a diurnal rhythm. While the rhythm is not influenced by either light or melatonin, the amount of secreted VEGF can be increased by nocturnal melatonin, especially in combination with morning daylight. These findings disclose another layer of VEGF regulation in the retina. Full article
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Article
Eicosanoid Content in Fetal Calf Serum Accounts for Reproducibility Challenges in Cell Culture
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010113 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 739
Abstract
Reproducibility issues regarding in vitro cell culture experiments are related to genetic fluctuations and batch-wise variations of biological materials such as fetal calf serum (FCS). Genome sequencing may control the former, while the latter may remain unrecognized. Using a U937 macrophage model for [...] Read more.
Reproducibility issues regarding in vitro cell culture experiments are related to genetic fluctuations and batch-wise variations of biological materials such as fetal calf serum (FCS). Genome sequencing may control the former, while the latter may remain unrecognized. Using a U937 macrophage model for cell differentiation and inflammation, we investigated whether the formation of effector molecules was dependent on the FCS batch used for cultivation. High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) was used to identify FCS constituents and to explore their effects on cultured cells evaluating secreted cytokines, eicosanoids, and other inflammatory mediators. Remarkably, the FCS eicosanoid composition showed more batch-dependent variations than the protein composition. Efficient uptake of fatty acids from the medium by U937 macrophages and inflammation-induced release thereof was evidenced using C13-labelled arachidonic acid, highlighting rapid lipid metabolism. For functional testing, FCS batch-dependent nanomolar concentration differences of two selected eicosanoids, 5-HETE and 15-HETE, were balanced out by spiking. Culturing U937 cells at these defined conditions indeed resulted in significant proteome alterations indicating HETE-induced PPARγ activation, independently corroborated by HETE-induced formation of peroxisomes observed by high-resolution microscopy. In conclusion, the present data demonstrate that FCS-contained eicosanoids, subject to substantial batch-wise variation, may modulate cellular effector functions in cell culture experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Multi-Omics in Biomedical Research)
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Review
Evolution and Adaptation of Legionella pneumophila to Manipulate the Ubiquitination Machinery of Its Amoebae and Mammalian Hosts
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010112 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
The ubiquitin pathway is highly conserved across the eukaryotic domain of life and plays an essential role in a plethora of cellular processes. It is not surprising that many intracellular bacterial pathogens often target the essential host ubiquitin pathway. The intracellular bacterial pathogen [...] Read more.
The ubiquitin pathway is highly conserved across the eukaryotic domain of life and plays an essential role in a plethora of cellular processes. It is not surprising that many intracellular bacterial pathogens often target the essential host ubiquitin pathway. The intracellular bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila injects into the host cell cytosol multiple classes of classical and novel ubiquitin-modifying enzymes that modulate diverse ubiquitin-related processes in the host cell. Most of these pathogen-injected proteins, designated as effectors, mimic known E3-ubiquitin ligases through harboring F-box or U-box domains. The classical F-box effector, AnkB targets host proteins for K48-linked polyubiquitination, which leads to excessive proteasomal degradation that is required to generate adequate supplies of amino acids for metabolism of the pathogen. In contrast, the SidC and SdcA effectors share no structural similarity to known eukaryotic ligases despite having E3-ubiquitin ligase activity, suggesting that the number of E3-ligases in eukaryotes is under-represented. L. pneumophila also injects into the host many novel ubiquitin-modifying enzymes, which are the SidE family of effectors that catalyze phosphoribosyl-ubiquitination of serine residue of target proteins, independently of the canonical E1-2-3 enzymatic cascade. Interestingly, the environmental bacterium, L. pneumophila, has evolved within a diverse range of amoebal species, which serve as the natural hosts, while accidental transmission through contaminated aerosols can cause pneumonia in humans. Therefore, it is likely that the novel ubiquitin-modifying enzymes of L. pneumophila were acquired by the pathogen through interkingdom gene transfer from the diverse natural amoebal hosts. Furthermore, conservation of the ubiquitin pathway across eukaryotes has enabled these novel ubiquitin-modifying enzymes to function similarly in mammalian cells. Studies on the biological functions of these effectors are likely to reveal further novel ubiquitin biology and shed further lights on the evolution of ubiquitin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitin-Like Modifiers and Their Diverse Impact on Cell Signaling)
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Article
Derivatives of Tenuazonic Acid as Potential New Multi-Target Anti-Alzheimer’s Disease Agents
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010111 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is generally recognized as a multifactorial neurodegenerative pathology with an increasing impact on society. Tenuazonic acid (TA) is a natural compound that was recently identified as a potential multitarget ligand with anti-cholinesterase, anti-amyloidogenic and antioxidant activities. Using its structure as [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is generally recognized as a multifactorial neurodegenerative pathology with an increasing impact on society. Tenuazonic acid (TA) is a natural compound that was recently identified as a potential multitarget ligand with anti-cholinesterase, anti-amyloidogenic and antioxidant activities. Using its structure as a chemical scaffold, we synthesized and evaluated new derivatives (1–5), including tenuazonic-donepezil (TA-DNP) hybrids (4 and 5) due to the clinical importance of the anti-AD drug donepezil. These novel compounds all achieved activity in the micromolar range towards all selected targets and demonstrated to be potentially orally absorbed. Moreover, a selected compound (1) was further investigated as a chelating agent towards copper (II), zinc (II) and iron (III) and showed good chelating ability (pFe = 16.6, pCu = 11.6, pZn = 6.0 at pH 7.4). Therefore, the TA motif can be considered an interesting building block in the search for innovative multi-functional anti-neurodegenerative drugs, as exemplified by hybrid 5, a promising non-cytotoxic lead compound adequate for the early stages of AD, and capable of ameliorating the oxidative status of SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic and Essential Metals in Human Health and Disease 2021)
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Review
Breakdown of Filamentous Myofibrils by the UPS–Step by Step
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010110 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1130
Abstract
Protein degradation maintains cellular integrity by regulating virtually all biological processes, whereas impaired proteolysis perturbs protein quality control, and often leads to human disease. Two major proteolytic systems are responsible for protein breakdown in all cells: autophagy, which facilitates the loss of organelles, [...] Read more.
Protein degradation maintains cellular integrity by regulating virtually all biological processes, whereas impaired proteolysis perturbs protein quality control, and often leads to human disease. Two major proteolytic systems are responsible for protein breakdown in all cells: autophagy, which facilitates the loss of organelles, protein aggregates, and cell surface proteins; and the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), which promotes degradation of mainly soluble proteins. Recent findings indicate that more complex protein structures, such as filamentous assemblies, which are not accessible to the catalytic core of the proteasome in vitro, can be efficiently degraded by this proteolytic machinery in systemic catabolic states in vivo. Mechanisms that loosen the filamentous structure seem to be activated first, hence increasing the accessibility of protein constituents to the UPS. In this review, we will discuss the mechanisms underlying the disassembly and loss of the intricate insoluble filamentous myofibrils, which are responsible for muscle contraction, and whose degradation by the UPS causes weakness and disability in aging and disease. Several lines of evidence indicate that myofibril breakdown occurs in a strictly ordered and controlled manner, and the function of AAA-ATPases is crucial for their disassembly and loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Looking Back and Ahead: Emerging Concepts in Ubiquitin and UBLs)
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Article
Chemopreventive Effect of 5-Flurouracil Polymeric Hybrid PLGA-Lecithin Nanoparticles against Colon Dysplasia Model in Mice and Impact on p53 Apoptosis
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010109 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
The use of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) is associated with multifaceted challenges and poor pharmacokinetics. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-lipid hybrid nanoparticles (PLNs)-based therapy has received attention as efficient carriers for a diversity of drugs. This study evaluated the in vivo chemotherapeutic and anti-proliferative efficacy of 5FU-loaded PLNs [...] Read more.
The use of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) is associated with multifaceted challenges and poor pharmacokinetics. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-lipid hybrid nanoparticles (PLNs)-based therapy has received attention as efficient carriers for a diversity of drugs. This study evaluated the in vivo chemotherapeutic and anti-proliferative efficacy of 5FU-loaded PLNs against 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (Di-MH) prompted colon dysplasia in mice compared to free 5FU. 5FU PLNs were prepared. Male Swiss albino mice were distributed to six experimental groups. Group 1: Saline group. All the other groups were injected weekly with Di-MH [20 mg/kg, s.c.]. Group 2: Di-MH induced colon dysplasia control group. Groups 3 and 4: Di-MH + free 5FU treated group [2.5 and 5 mg/kg]. Groups 5 and 6: Di-MH + 5FU-PLNs treated group [2.5 and 5 mg/kg]. Free 5FU and 5FU-PLNs doses were administered orally, twice weekly. Treatment with 5FU-PLNs induced a higher cytoprotective effect compared to free 5FU as indicated by lower mucosal histopathologic score and reduction in number of Ki-67 immunpositive proliferating nuclei. Additionally, there was significant upregulation of p53 and caspase 3 genes in colon specimens. Our results support the validity of utilizing the PLNs technique to improve the chemopreventive action of 5FU in treating colon cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
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Article
The Vasoactive Role of Perivascular Adipose Tissue and the Sulfide Signaling Pathway in a Nonobese Model of Metabolic Syndrome
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010108 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 807
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the mutual relationship among perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) and endogenous and exogenous H2S in vasoactive responses of isolated arteries from adult normotensive (Wistar) rats and hypertriglyceridemic (HTG) rats, which are a nonobese model [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the mutual relationship among perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) and endogenous and exogenous H2S in vasoactive responses of isolated arteries from adult normotensive (Wistar) rats and hypertriglyceridemic (HTG) rats, which are a nonobese model of metabolic syndrome. In HTG rats, mild hypertension was associated with glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, increased amount of retroperitoneal fat, increased arterial contractility, and endothelial dysfunction associated with arterial wall injury, which was accompanied by decreased nitric oxide (NO)-synthase activity, increased expression of H2S producing enzyme, and an altered oxidative state. In HTG, endogenous H2S participated in the inhibition of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation regardless of PVAT presence; on the other hand, aortas with preserved PVAT revealed a stronger anticontractile effect mediated at least partially by H2S. Although we observed a higher vasorelaxation induced by exogenous H2S donor in HTG rats than in Wistar rats, intact PVAT subtilized this effect. We demonstrate that, in HTG rats, endogenous H2S could manifest a dual effect depending on the type of triggered signaling pathway. H2S within the arterial wall contributes to endothelial dysfunction. On the other hand, PVAT of HTG is endowed with compensatory vasoactive mechanisms, which include stronger anti-contractile action of H2S. Nevertheless, the possible negative impact of PVAT during hypertriglyceridemia on the activity of exogenous H2S donors needs to be taken into consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaseous Transmitters and Cardiovascular System)
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Review
Renaissance of VDAC: New Insights on a Protein Family at the Interface between Mitochondria and Cytosol
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010107 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1206
Abstract
It has become impossible to review all the existing literature on Voltage-Dependent Anion selective Channel (VDAC) in a single article. A real Renaissance of studies brings this protein to the center of decisive knowledge both for cell physiology and therapeutic application. This review, [...] Read more.
It has become impossible to review all the existing literature on Voltage-Dependent Anion selective Channel (VDAC) in a single article. A real Renaissance of studies brings this protein to the center of decisive knowledge both for cell physiology and therapeutic application. This review, after highlighting the similarities between the cellular context and the study methods of the solute carriers present in the inner membrane and VDAC in the outer membrane of the mitochondria, will focus on the isoforms of VDAC and their biochemical characteristics. In particular, the possible reasons for their evolutionary onset will be discussed. The variations in their post-translational modifications and the differences between the regulatory regions of their genes, probably the key to understanding the current presence of these genes, will be described. Finally, the situation in the higher eukaryotes will be compared to that of yeast, a unicellular eukaryote, where there is only one active isoform and the role of VDAC in energy metabolism is better understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Transport Proteins)
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Review
From Cell Culture to Organoids-Model Systems for Investigating Prion Strain Characteristics
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010106 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1210
Abstract
Prion diseases are the hallmark protein folding neurodegenerative disease. Their transmissible nature has allowed for the development of many different cellular models of disease where prion propagation and sometimes pathology can be induced. This review examines the range of simple cell cultures to [...] Read more.
Prion diseases are the hallmark protein folding neurodegenerative disease. Their transmissible nature has allowed for the development of many different cellular models of disease where prion propagation and sometimes pathology can be induced. This review examines the range of simple cell cultures to more complex neurospheres, organoid, and organotypic slice cultures that have been used to study prion disease pathogenesis and to test therapeutics. We highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each system, giving special consideration to the importance of strains when choosing a model and when interpreting results, as not all systems propagate all strains, and in some cases, the technique used, or treatment applied, can alter the very strain properties being studied. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Constituents of Citrus hystrix DC. Leaves Attenuate Inflammation via NF-κB Signaling and NLRP3 Inflammasome Activity in Macrophages
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010105 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Citrus hystrix DC. (CH) is found in many countries in Southeast Asia. This plant has been reported for anti-microbial, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory bioactivities. However, the anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammasome properties of the leaves remain poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate the effect of [...] Read more.
Citrus hystrix DC. (CH) is found in many countries in Southeast Asia. This plant has been reported for anti-microbial, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory bioactivities. However, the anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammasome properties of the leaves remain poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate the effect of CH leaves on NLRP3 and NF-κB signaling pathways. CH leaves were sequentially extracted using hexane, ethyl acetate and 95% ethanol to give three crude extracts. An active compound, lupeol was fractionated from the ethanolic extract using chromatographic techniques, and its structure was identified and confirmed by spectroscopic methods. Anti-inflammatory activities were observed on both lipopolysaccharide-stimulated and NLRP3 adenosine triphosphate-induced macrophages. The release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α) was analyzed by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Real-time qRT-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to measure inflammatory-associated gene expression. NF-κB protein expressions were investigated using the immunoblotting technique. The active fraction of ethanolic CH leaves and lupeol significantly reduced the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and suppressed the expression of both inflammasome genes and NF-κB proteins. The ethanolic extract of CH leaves and lupeol showed potent anti-inflammatory activities by targeting NF-κB and NLRP3 signaling pathways. Full article
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Review
Neuronal Dopamine D3 Receptors: Translational Implications for Preclinical Research and CNS Disorders
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010104 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1481
Abstract
Dopamine (DA), as one of the major neurotransmitters in the central nervous system (CNS) and periphery, exerts its actions through five types of receptors which belong to two major subfamilies such as D1-like (i.e., D1 and D5 receptors) and D2-like (i.e., D2, D3 [...] Read more.
Dopamine (DA), as one of the major neurotransmitters in the central nervous system (CNS) and periphery, exerts its actions through five types of receptors which belong to two major subfamilies such as D1-like (i.e., D1 and D5 receptors) and D2-like (i.e., D2, D3 and D4) receptors. Dopamine D3 receptor (D3R) was cloned 30 years ago, and its distribution in the CNS and in the periphery, molecular structure, cellular signaling mechanisms have been largely explored. Involvement of D3Rs has been recognized in several CNS functions such as movement control, cognition, learning, reward, emotional regulation and social behavior. D3Rs have become a promising target of drug research and great efforts have been made to obtain high affinity ligands (selective agonists, partial agonists and antagonists) in order to elucidate D3R functions. There has been a strong drive behind the efforts to find drug-like compounds with high affinity and selectivity and various functionality for D3Rs in the hope that they would have potential treatment options in CNS diseases such as schizophrenia, drug abuse, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and restless leg syndrome. In this review, we provide an overview and update of the major aspects of research related to D3Rs: distribution in the CNS and periphery, signaling and molecular properties, the status of ligands available for D3R research (agonists, antagonists and partial agonists), behavioral functions of D3Rs, the role in neural networks, and we provide a summary on how the D3R-related drug research has been translated to human therapy. Full article
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Article
Expression of Gallus Epidermal Growth Factor (gEGF) with Food-Grade Lactococcus lactis Expression System and Its Biological Effects on Broiler Chickens
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010103 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 874
Abstract
As a multifunctional polypeptide, epidermal growth factor (EGF) increases growth performance or enhances resistance to diseases in commercial broilers under adverse conditions. In this study, a recombinant Lactococcus lactis was established to produce the secretory form of bioactive gEGF. The results of in [...] Read more.
As a multifunctional polypeptide, epidermal growth factor (EGF) increases growth performance or enhances resistance to diseases in commercial broilers under adverse conditions. In this study, a recombinant Lactococcus lactis was established to produce the secretory form of bioactive gEGF. The results of in vitro testing showed that gEGF promoted the proliferation of chicken embryo fibroblast cells. A total of 63 5-day-old broiler chickens were evenly divided into three groups and treated with either M17 medium (the control group), supernatant of LL-pNZ8149 fermentation product (the P-LL group), or supernatant of LL-pNZ8149-gEGF fermentation product (the gEGF group). In two weeks, many measurements of growth, immunity and the intestines were significantly higher in the gEGF group than those in the control and the P-LL groups. Our study showed that the bioactive gEGF could be expressed with Lactococcus lactis expression system with the potential to enhance growth performance, immune function, and intestinal development in broiler chickens. Full article
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Review
Blueberry Supplementation in Neuronal Health and Protective Technologies for Efficient Delivery of Blueberry Anthocyanins
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010102 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Blueberries are consumed as healthy fruits that provide a variety of benefits to the nervous system. Scientists have found that blueberries can be used as a daily edible source for supplementation to prevent and minimize complexities of age-related diseases as well as to [...] Read more.
Blueberries are consumed as healthy fruits that provide a variety of benefits to the nervous system. Scientists have found that blueberries can be used as a daily edible source for supplementation to prevent and minimize complexities of age-related diseases as well as to improve learning and memory in children. Anthocyanins are the most mentioned compounds among the components in blueberries, as they play a major role in providing the health benefits of this fruit. However, while they are highly active in impeding biological impairment in neuronal functions, they have poor bioavailability. This review focuses on neurological investigations of blueberries from in vitro cell studies to in vivo studies, including animal and human studies, with respect to their positive outcomes of neuroprotection and intervention in neurodegenerative conditions. Readers will also find information on the bioavailability of anthocyanins and the considerable factors affecting them so that they can make informed decisions regarding the daily consumption of blueberries. In this context, the ways in which blueberries or blueberry supplementation forms are consumed and which of these forms is best for maximizing the health benefits of blueberries should be considered important decision-making factors in the consumption of blueberries; all of these aspects are covered in this review. Finally, we discuss recent technologies that have been employed to improve the bioavailability of blueberry anthocyanins in the development of effective delivery vehicles supporting brain health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Natural and Synthetic Compounds in Neurodegenerative Disorders)
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Editorial
Topical Collection “Pharmacology of Medicinal Plants”
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010101 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
The use of remedies based on medicinal plants continues to expand rapidly around the world, with many people now resorting to this type of product for the treatment and prevention of several pathologies [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Pharmacology of Medicinal Plants)
Article
Nradd Acts as a Negative Feedback Regulator of Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling and Promotes Apoptosis
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010100 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1430
Abstract
Wnt/β-catenin signaling controls many biological processes for the generation and sustainability of proper tissue size, organization and function during development and homeostasis. Consequently, mutations in the Wnt pathway components and modulators cause diseases, including genetic disorders and cancers. Targeted treatment of pathway-associated diseases [...] Read more.
Wnt/β-catenin signaling controls many biological processes for the generation and sustainability of proper tissue size, organization and function during development and homeostasis. Consequently, mutations in the Wnt pathway components and modulators cause diseases, including genetic disorders and cancers. Targeted treatment of pathway-associated diseases entails detailed understanding of the regulatory mechanisms that fine-tune Wnt signaling. Here, we identify the neurotrophin receptor-associated death domain (Nradd), a homolog of p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), as a negative regulator of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in zebrafish embryos and in mammalian cells. Nradd significantly suppresses Wnt8-mediated patterning of the mesoderm and neuroectoderm during zebrafish gastrulation. Nradd is localized at the plasma membrane, physically interacts with the Wnt receptor complex and enhances apoptosis in cooperation with Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Our functional analyses indicate that the N-glycosylated N-terminus and the death domain-containing C-terminus regions are necessary for both the inhibition of Wnt signaling and apoptosis. Finally, Nradd can induce apoptosis in mammalian cells. Thus, Nradd regulates cell death as a modifier of Wnt/β-catenin signaling during development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish: A Model for the Study of Human Diseases)
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Review
Microglia-Mediated Neurodegeneration in Perinatal Brain Injuries
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010099 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1433
Abstract
Perinatal brain injuries, including encephalopathy related to fetal growth restriction, encephalopathy of prematurity, neonatal encephalopathy of the term neonate, and neonatal stroke, are a major cause of neurodevelopmental disorders. They trigger cellular and molecular cascades that lead in many cases to permanent motor, [...] Read more.
Perinatal brain injuries, including encephalopathy related to fetal growth restriction, encephalopathy of prematurity, neonatal encephalopathy of the term neonate, and neonatal stroke, are a major cause of neurodevelopmental disorders. They trigger cellular and molecular cascades that lead in many cases to permanent motor, cognitive, and/or behavioral deficits. Damage includes neuronal degeneration, selective loss of subclasses of interneurons, blocked maturation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells leading to dysmyelination, axonopathy and very likely synaptopathy, leading to impaired connectivity. The nature and severity of changes vary according to the type and severity of insult and maturation stage of the brain. Microglial activation has been demonstrated almost ubiquitously in perinatal brain injuries and these responses are key cell orchestrators of brain pathology but also attempts at repair. These divergent roles are facilitated by a diverse suite of transcriptional profiles and through a complex dialogue with other brain cell types. Adding to the complexity of understanding microglia and how to modulate them to protect the brain is that these cells have their own developmental stages, enabling them to be key participants in brain building. Of note, not only do microglia help build the brain and respond to brain injury, but they are a key cell in the transduction of systemic inflammation into neuroinflammation. Systemic inflammatory exposure is a key risk factor for poor neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm born infants. Based on these observations, microglia appear as a key cell target for neuroprotection in perinatal brain injuries. Numerous strategies have been developed experimentally to modulate microglia and attenuate brain injury based on these strong supporting data and we will summarize these. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microglia in Neurodegeneration)
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