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Biomolecules, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Plaques consisting of amyloid-β (Aβ) are a major pathological hallmark of Alzheimer´s disease. Aβ [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Natural CLA-Enriched Lamb Meat Fat Modifies Tissue Fatty Acid Profile and Increases n-3 HUFA Score in Obese Zucker Rats
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110751 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
Ruminant fats are characterized by different levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3, ALA), according to animal diet. Tissue fatty acids and their N-acylethanolamides were analyzed in male obese Zucker rats fed diets containing lamb meat fat with different fatty [...] Read more.
Ruminant fats are characterized by different levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3, ALA), according to animal diet. Tissue fatty acids and their N-acylethanolamides were analyzed in male obese Zucker rats fed diets containing lamb meat fat with different fatty acid profiles: (A) enriched in CLA; (B) enriched in ALA and low in CLA; (C) low in ALA and CLA; and one containing a mixture of olive and corn oils: (D) high in linoleic acid (18:2n-6, LA) and ALA, in order to evaluate early lipid metabolism markers. No changes in body and liver weights were observed. CLA and ALA were incorporated into most tissues, mirroring the dietary content; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) increased according to dietary ALA, which was strongly influenced by CLA. The n-3 highly-unsaturated fatty acid (HUFA) score, biomarker of the n-3/n-6 fatty acid ratio, was increased in tissues of rats fed animal fats high in CLA and/or ALA compared to those fed vegetable fat. DHA and CLA were associated with a significant increase in oleoylethanolamide and decrease in anandamide in subcutaneous fat. The results showed that meat fat nutritional values are strongly influenced by their CLA and ALA contents, modulating the tissue n-3 HUFA score. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fatty Acids in Natural Ecosystems and Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessReview
Biomaterials for In Situ Tissue Regeneration: A Review
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110750 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
This review focuses on a somewhat unexplored strand of regenerative medicine, that is in situ tissue engineering. In this approach manufactured scaffolds are implanted in the injured region for regeneration within the patient. The scaffold is designed to attract cells to the required [...] Read more.
This review focuses on a somewhat unexplored strand of regenerative medicine, that is in situ tissue engineering. In this approach manufactured scaffolds are implanted in the injured region for regeneration within the patient. The scaffold is designed to attract cells to the required volume of regeneration to subsequently proliferate, differentiate, and as a consequence develop tissue within the scaffold which in time will degrade leaving just the regenerated tissue. This review highlights the wealth of information available from studies of ex-situ tissue engineering about the selection of materials for scaffolds. It is clear that there are great opportunities for the use of additive manufacturing to prepare complex personalized scaffolds and we speculate that by building on this knowledge and technology, the development of in situ tissue engineering could rapidly increase. Ex-situ tissue engineering is handicapped by the need to develop the tissue in a bioreactor where the conditions, however optimized, may not be optimum for accelerated growth and maintenance of the cell function. We identify that in both methodologies the prospect of tissue regeneration has created much promise but delivered little outside the scope of laboratory-based experiments. We propose that the design of the scaffolds and the materials selected remain at the heart of developments in this field and there is a clear need for predictive modelling which can be used in the design and optimization of materials and scaffolds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Targets and Strategies in Regenerative Medicine)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Steroidogenesis Inhibitor Finasteride Reduces the Response to Both Stressful and Rewarding Stimuli
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110749 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
Finasteride (FIN) is the prototypical inhibitor of steroid 5α-reductase (5αR), the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step of the conversion of progesterone and testosterone into their main neuroactive metabolites. FIN is clinically approved for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and male baldness; [...] Read more.
Finasteride (FIN) is the prototypical inhibitor of steroid 5α-reductase (5αR), the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step of the conversion of progesterone and testosterone into their main neuroactive metabolites. FIN is clinically approved for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and male baldness; while often well-tolerated, FIN has also been shown to cause or exacerbate psychological problems in vulnerable subjects. Evidence on the psychological effects of FIN, however, remains controversial, in view of inconsistent clinical reports. Here, we tested the effects of FIN in a battery of tests aimed at capturing complementary aspects of mood regulation and stress reactivity in rats. FIN reduced exploratory, incentive, prosocial, and risk-taking behavior; furthermore, it decreased stress coping, as revealed by increased immobility in the forced-swim test (FST). This last effect was also observed in female and orchiectomized male rats, suggesting that the mechanism of action of FIN does not primarily reflect changes in gonadal steroids. The effects of FIN on FST responses were associated with a dramatic decrease in corticotropin release hormone (CRH) mRNA and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels. These results suggest that FIN impairs stress reactivity and reduces behavioral activation and impulsive behavior by altering the function of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Lipids in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
What Happened to the Phycobilisome?
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110748 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
The phycobilisome (PBS) is the major light-harvesting complex of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, red algae, and glaucophyte algae. In spite of the fact that it is very well structured to absorb light and transfer it efficiently to photosynthetic reaction centers, it has been completely [...] Read more.
The phycobilisome (PBS) is the major light-harvesting complex of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, red algae, and glaucophyte algae. In spite of the fact that it is very well structured to absorb light and transfer it efficiently to photosynthetic reaction centers, it has been completely lost in the green algae and plants. It is difficult to see how selection alone could account for such a major loss. An alternative scenario takes into account the role of chance, enabled by (contingent on) the evolution of an alternative antenna system early in the diversification of the three lineages from the first photosynthetic eukaryote. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary and Molecular Aspects of Plastid Endosymbioses)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Systems-Level Effect of Pueraria lobata for Menopause-Related Metabolic Diseases Using an Ovariectomized Rat Model and Network Pharmacological Analysis
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110747 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the biological activities of Pueraria lobata (PL) on menopause-related metabolic diseases and to explore the underlying mechanism of PL by network pharmacological analyses. We used ovariectomized (OVX) rats as a postmenopausal model and administered PL at different [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to evaluate the biological activities of Pueraria lobata (PL) on menopause-related metabolic diseases and to explore the underlying mechanism of PL by network pharmacological analyses. We used ovariectomized (OVX) rats as a postmenopausal model and administered PL at different doses (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg). In OVX rats, decreased uterine weights and PPAR-γ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma) mRNA expression in the thigh muscle were significantly recovered after PL administration. PL also significantly alleviated OVX-induced increases in total cholesterol, triglyceride, alanine aminotransferase (ALT/GPT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST/GOT) levels. To identify the systems-level mechanism of PL, we performed network pharmacological analyses by predicting the targets of the potential bioactive compounds and their associated pathways. We identified 61 targets from four potential active compounds of PL: formononetin, beta-sitosterol, 3’-methoxydaidzein, and daidzein-4,7-diglucoside. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed that among female sex hormone-related pathways, the estrogen signaling pathways, progesterone-mediated oocyte maturation, oxytocin signaling pathways, and prolactin signaling pathways were associated with multiple targets of PL. In conclusion, we found that PL improved various indicators associated with lipid metabolism in the postmenopausal animal model, and we also identified that its therapeutic effects are exerted via multiple female sex hormone-related pathways. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmacological Discrimination of Effects of MK801 on Thalamocortical, Mesothalamic, and Mesocortical Transmissions
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110746 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
N-methyl-d-aspartate/glutamate receptor (NMDAR) is one of the major voltage-sensitive ligand-gated cation channel. Several noncompetitive NMDAR antagonists contribute to pathophysiology of schizophrenia and mood disorders; however, the effects of inhibition of NMDAR on several transmitter system have not been well clarified. [...] Read more.
N-methyl-d-aspartate/glutamate receptor (NMDAR) is one of the major voltage-sensitive ligand-gated cation channel. Several noncompetitive NMDAR antagonists contribute to pathophysiology of schizophrenia and mood disorders; however, the effects of inhibition of NMDAR on several transmitter system have not been well clarified. Thus, this study determined the selective NMDAR antagonist, MK801 (dizocilpine), on thalamocortical, mesothalamic, and mesocortical transmissions associated with l-glutamate, GABA, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine using multiprobe microdialysis. Perfusion with MK801 into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) increased and decreased respective regional releases of monoamine and GABA without affecting l-glutamate. The mPFC MK801-induced monoamine release is generated by the regional GABAergic disinhibition. Perfusion with MK801 into the reticular thalamic nucleus (RTN) decreased GABA release in the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MDTN) but increased releases of l-glutamate and catecholamine without affecting serotonin in the mPFC. The RTN MK801-induced l-glutamate release in the mPFC was generated by GABAergic disinhibition in the MDTN, but RTN MK801-induced catecholamine release in the mPFC was generated by activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate/glutamate receptor (AMPAR) which received l-glutamate release from thalamocortical glutamatergic terminals in the mPFC. Perfusion with MK801 into the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) decreased GABA release in the DRN but selectively increased serotonin release in the MDTN and mPFC. These DRN MK801-induced serotonin releases in the both mPFC and MDTN were also generated by GABAergic disinhibition in the DRN. These results indicate that the GABAergic disinhibition induced by NMDAR inhibition plays important roles in the MK801-induced releases of l-glutamate and monoamine in thalamic nuclei and cortex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NMDA Receptor in Health and Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Dynamics Simulations Suggest a Non-Doublet Decoding Model of −1 Frameshifting by tRNASer3
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110745 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
In-frame decoding in the ribosome occurs through canonical or wobble Watson–Crick pairing of three mRNA codon bases (a triplet) with a triplet of anticodon bases in tRNA. Departures from the triplet–triplet interaction can result in frameshifting, meaning downstream mRNA codons are then read [...] Read more.
In-frame decoding in the ribosome occurs through canonical or wobble Watson–Crick pairing of three mRNA codon bases (a triplet) with a triplet of anticodon bases in tRNA. Departures from the triplet–triplet interaction can result in frameshifting, meaning downstream mRNA codons are then read in a different register. There are many mechanisms to induce frameshifting, and most are insufficiently understood. One previously proposed mechanism is doublet decoding, in which only codon bases 1 and 2 are read by anticodon bases 34 and 35, which would lead to −1 frameshifting. In E. coli, tRNASer3GCU can induce −1 frameshifting at alanine (GCA) codons. The logic of the doublet decoding model is that the Ala codon’s GC could pair with the tRNASer3′s GC, leaving the third anticodon residue U36 making no interactions with mRNA. Under that model, a U36C mutation would still induce −1 frameshifting, but experiments refute this. We perform all-atom simulations of wild-type tRNASer3, as well as a U36C mutant. Our simulations revealed a hydrogen bond between U36 of the anticodon and G1 of the codon. The U36C mutant cannot make this interaction, as it lacks the hydrogen-bond-donating H3. The simulation thus suggests a novel, non-doublet decoding mechanism for −1 frameshifting by tRNASer3 at Ala codons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nucleic Acids, Structure and Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of the Addition of Blue Honeysuckle Berry Juice to Apple Juice on the Selected Quality Characteristics, Anthocyanin Stability, and Antioxidant Properties
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110744 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Apple juice is rich in phenolic compounds that are important as natural antioxidants. In turn, blue honeysuckle berry juice is a valuable source of bioactive ingredients and can be an interesting and beneficial supplement to fruit juices. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Apple juice is rich in phenolic compounds that are important as natural antioxidants. In turn, blue honeysuckle berry juice is a valuable source of bioactive ingredients and can be an interesting and beneficial supplement to fruit juices. The aim of this study was to examine the physicochemical and sensory properties of the newly designed mixture of apple juice and blue honeysuckle berry juice. The addition of blue honeysuckle berry juice to apple juice had a significant effect on the content of anthocyanin and vitamin C in the newly designed fruit juices. After production, the content of anthocyanins and polyphenols in the blue honeysuckle berry juice was high (595.39 and 767.88 mg/100 mL, respectively). As the concentration of blue honeysuckle berry juice added to apple juice was increased, the polyphenol content also increased. The juices analyzed after 4 months of storage were lighter and showed a less intense red color than the juices analyzed directly after production. Antioxidant activity (ABTS assay) in the apple juice mixed with 10% blueberry juice was almost 3 times higher than the pure apple juice after 3 months of storage; the addition of 30% blueberry juice significantly increased the antioxidant activity of the apple juice. Thus, the results of this research have expanded the existing knowledge about the health and sensory properties of apple juice mixed with blue honeysuckle berry juice. These findings can be utilized in further research aiming at the development of new products that can meet consumer expectations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives on Tannins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A Perspective on the Development of TGF-β Inhibitors for Cancer Treatment
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110743 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is a secreted multifunctional cytokine that signals via plasma membrane TGF-β type I and type II receptors and intercellular SMAD transcriptional effectors. Aberrant inter- and intracellular TGF-β signaling can contribute to cancer progression. In normal cells and early stages [...] Read more.
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is a secreted multifunctional cytokine that signals via plasma membrane TGF-β type I and type II receptors and intercellular SMAD transcriptional effectors. Aberrant inter- and intracellular TGF-β signaling can contribute to cancer progression. In normal cells and early stages of cancer, TGF-β can stimulate epithelial growth arrest and elicit a tumor suppressor function. However, in late stages of cancer, when the cytostatic effects of TGF-β in cancer cells are blocked, TGF-β signaling can act as tumor promoter by its ability to stimulate epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of cancer cells, by stimulating angiogenesis, and by promoting evasion of immune responses. In this review, we will discuss the rationale and challenges of targeting TGF-β signaling in cancer and summarize the clinical status of TGF-β signaling inhibitors that interfere with TGF−β bioavailability, TGF-β/receptor interaction, or TGF-β receptor kinase function. Moreover, we will discuss targeting of TGF-β signaling modulators and downstream effectors as well as alternative approaches by using promising technologies that may lead to entirely new classes of drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TGF-Beta Signaling in Physiology and Pathology)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Insect Antifeedant and Ixodicidal Nootkatone Derivatives
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110742 - 16 Nov 2019
Abstract
Naturally occurring nootkatone, with reported insecticidal and acaricidal properties, has been used as a lead to generate molecular diversity and, consequently, new insect antifeedant and ixodicidal compounds. A total of 22 derivatives were generated by subjecting this molecule to several reactions including dehydrogenation [...] Read more.
Naturally occurring nootkatone, with reported insecticidal and acaricidal properties, has been used as a lead to generate molecular diversity and, consequently, new insect antifeedant and ixodicidal compounds. A total of 22 derivatives were generated by subjecting this molecule to several reactions including dehydrogenation with the iodine/DMSO system, oxidation with SeO2, epoxidation with mCPBA, oxidation or carbon homologations of the α-carbonyl position with TMSOTf (trimethylsilyl trifluoromethanesulfonate) followed by Rubottom and Dess Martin periodane oxidations, condensation with formaldehyde using Yb(OTf)3 as catalyst and dehydroxilation using the Grieco protocol. The insect antifeedant (against Myzus persicae and Ropaloshysum padi) and ixodicidal (against the tick Hyalomma lusitanicum) activities of these compounds were tested. Compound 20 was the most active substance against M. persicae and R. padi, and twice more efficient than nootkatone in the antitick test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural and Bio-inspired Molecules)
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Open AccessArticle
Antibodies from the Sera of Multiple Sclerosis Patients Efficiently Hydrolyze Five Histones
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110741 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
It is known that intranuclear histones can be pernicious after entering to the extracellular space. In addition, the immunization of animals with exogenous histones leads to systemic inflammatory and toxic reactions. Abzymes—autoantibodies with enzymatic activities—are the distinctive feature of autoimmune diseases and they [...] Read more.
It is known that intranuclear histones can be pernicious after entering to the extracellular space. In addition, the immunization of animals with exogenous histones leads to systemic inflammatory and toxic reactions. Abzymes—autoantibodies with enzymatic activities—are the distinctive feature of autoimmune diseases and they can be especially dangerous to humans. Here, electrophoretically homogeneous IgGs were isolated from sera of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by chromatography on several affinity sorbents. We present evidence that sera of all MS patients contain autoantibodies against histones and 73% of IgGs purified from the sera of 59 MS patients efficiently hydrolyze from one to five histones: H1, H2a, H2b, H3, and H4. The relative average efficiency of the histones hydrolysis was ~3.9-fold higher than that for healthy donors. The relative average activity of IgGs depends on the type of MS and decreased approximately in the following order: debut of MS, secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, remitting multiple sclerosis, remittent progressive multiple sclerosis. Similar to proteolytic abzymes of patients with several autoimmune diseases, histone-hydrolyzing IgGs from MS patients were inhibited in the presence of specific inhibitors of serine and of metal-dependent proteases, but an unexpected significant inhibition of the activity by inhibitors of thiol-like and especially acidic proteases was observed. Since IgGs can efficiently hydrolyze histones, a negative role of abzymes in the development of MS cannot be excluded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Docking Studies of a Cyclic Octapeptide-Cyclosaplin from Sandalwood
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110740 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Natural products from plants, such as chemopreventive agents, attract huge attention because of their low toxicity and high specificity. The rational drug design in combination with structure-based modeling and rapid screening methods offer significant potential for identifying and developing lead anticancer molecules. Thus, [...] Read more.
Natural products from plants, such as chemopreventive agents, attract huge attention because of their low toxicity and high specificity. The rational drug design in combination with structure-based modeling and rapid screening methods offer significant potential for identifying and developing lead anticancer molecules. Thus, the molecular docking method plays an important role in screening a large set of molecules based on their free binding energies and proposes structural hypotheses of how the molecules can inhibit the target. Several peptide-based therapeutics have been developed to combat several health disorders, including cancers, metabolic disorders, heart-related diseases, and infectious diseases. Despite the discovery of hundreds of such therapeutic peptides however, only few peptide-based drugs have made it to the market. Moreover, the in silico activities of cyclic peptides towards molecular targets, such as protein kinases, proteases, and apoptosis related proteins have not been extensively investigated. In this study, we explored the in silico kinase and protease inhibitor potentials of cyclosaplin, and studied the interactions of cyclosaplin with other apoptosis-related proteins. Previously, the structure of cyclosaplin was elucidated by molecular modeling associated with dynamics that were used in the current study as well. Docking studies showed strong affinity of cyclosaplin towards cancer-related proteins. The binding affinity closer to 10 kcal/mol indicated efficient binding. Cyclosaplin showed strong binding affinities towards protein kinases such as EGFR, VEGFR2, PKB, and p38, indicating its potential role in protein kinase inhibition. Moreover, it displayed strong binding affinity to apoptosis-related proteins and revealed the possible role of cyclosaplin in apoptotic cell death. The protein–ligand interactions using LigPlot displayed some similar interactions between cyclosaplin and peptide-based ligands, especially in case of protein kinases and a few apoptosis related proteins. Thus, the in silico analyses gave the insights of cyclosaplin being a potential apoptosis inducer and protein kinase inhibitor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics and Systems Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Association of RS708272 (CETP Gene Variant) with Lipid Profile Parameters and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in the White Population of Western Siberia
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110739 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
The TaqI B (rs708272) single-nucleotide variant, i.e., the +279 G/A substitution in intron 1 of the CETP gene, is actively investigated as a risk factor of lipid metabolism disorders. The aim of this study was to analyze the association of rs708272 with lipid [...] Read more.
The TaqI B (rs708272) single-nucleotide variant, i.e., the +279 G/A substitution in intron 1 of the CETP gene, is actively investigated as a risk factor of lipid metabolism disorders. The aim of this study was to analyze the association of rs708272 with lipid parameters and the risk of myocardial infarction in the population of Western Siberia (Russia). The study population was selected from a sample surveyed within the framework of the Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial Factors In Eastern Europe (HAPIEE) study (9360 participants, >90% white, aged 45–69 years, males: 50%). In total, 3132 randomly selected patients were included. Plasma lipid levels were determined by standard enzymatic assays. Rs708272 was analyzed by RT-PCR via TaqMan single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) Genotyping Assays (Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA). The frequencies of rs708272 genotypes AA (homozygote), AG (heterozygote), and GG were 0.21, 0.49, and 0.30, respectively, in this population. Allele A frequency was 0.46. We found an association of allele G with low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a high index of atherogenicity in this population (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). Allele G was significantly associated with the risk of myocardial infarction among the male participants (odds ratio 1.96, 95% confidence interval 1.208–3.178, p = 0.008) and in the study population (odds ratio 1.465, 95% confidence interval 1.028–2.087, p = 0.036). Thus, rs708272 is associated with myocardial infarction in the white population of Western Siberia (Russia). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Lipids in Health and Disease)
Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110738 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
α- and β-pinene are well-known representatives of the monoterpenes group, and are found in many plants’ essential oils. A wide range of pharmacological activities have been reported, including antibiotic resistance modulation, anticoagulant, antitumor, antimicrobial, antimalarial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-Leishmania, and analgesic effects. [...] Read more.
α- and β-pinene are well-known representatives of the monoterpenes group, and are found in many plants’ essential oils. A wide range of pharmacological activities have been reported, including antibiotic resistance modulation, anticoagulant, antitumor, antimicrobial, antimalarial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-Leishmania, and analgesic effects. This article aims to summarize the most prominent effects of α- and β-pinene, namely their cytogenetic, gastroprotective, anxiolytic, cytoprotective, anticonvulsant, and neuroprotective effects, as well as their effects against H2O2-stimulated oxidative stress, pancreatitis, stress-stimulated hyperthermia, and pulpal pain. Finally, we will also discuss the bioavailability, administration, as well as their biological activity and clinical applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Retinol Saturase Knock-Out Mice are Characterized by Impaired Clearance of Apoptotic Cells and Develop Mild Autoimmunity
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110737 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Apoptosis and the proper clearance of apoptotic cells play a central role in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Previous work in our laboratory has shown that when a high number of cells enters apoptosis in a tissue, the macrophages that engulf them produce retinoids to [...] Read more.
Apoptosis and the proper clearance of apoptotic cells play a central role in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Previous work in our laboratory has shown that when a high number of cells enters apoptosis in a tissue, the macrophages that engulf them produce retinoids to enhance their own phagocytic capacity by upregulating several phagocytic genes. Our data indicated that these retinoids might be dihydroretinoids, which are products of the retinol saturase (RetSat) pathway. In the present study, the efferocytosis of RetSat-null mice was investigated. We show that among the retinoid-sensitive phagocytic genes, only transglutaminase 2 responded in macrophages and in differentiating monocytes to dihydroretinol. Administration of dihydroretinol did not affect the expression of the tested genes differently between differentiating wild type and RetSat-null monocytes, despite the fact that the expression of RetSat was induced. However, in the absence of RetSat, the expression of numerous differentiation-related genes was altered. Among these, impaired production of MFG-E8, a protein that bridges apoptotic cells to the αvβ35 integrin receptors of macrophages, resulted in impaired efferocytosis, very likely causing the development of mild autoimmunity in aged female mice. Our data indicate that RetSat affects monocyte/macrophage differentiation independently of its capability to produce dihydroretinol at this stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinoids in Embryonic Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Biological Activity of 4-Oxo-4H-furo[2,3-h]chromene Derivatives as Potential Multi-Target-Directed Ligands Inhibiting Cholinesterases, β-Secretase, Cyclooxygenase-2, and Lipoxygenase-5/15
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110736 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
A series of 5-oxo-5H-furo[3,2-g]chromene-6-carbaldehydes and their hydrazone derivatives were evaluated as potential multi-target-directed ligands in vitro against cholinesterases, β-secretase, cyclooxygenase-2, and lipoxygenase-15 (LOX-15), as well as for free radical-scavenging activities. The most active compounds against LOX-15 were also evaluated [...] Read more.
A series of 5-oxo-5H-furo[3,2-g]chromene-6-carbaldehydes and their hydrazone derivatives were evaluated as potential multi-target-directed ligands in vitro against cholinesterases, β-secretase, cyclooxygenase-2, and lipoxygenase-15 (LOX-15), as well as for free radical-scavenging activities. The most active compounds against LOX-15 were also evaluated for activity against the human lipoxygenase-5 (LOX-5). Kinetic studies against AChE, BChE, and β-secretase (BACE-1) were performed on 2-(3-fluorophenyl)- (3b) and 2-(4-chlorophenyl)-6-[(4-trifluoromethylphenyl)hydrazonomethyl]furo[3,2-h]chromen-5-one (3e) complemented with molecular docking (in silico) to determine plausible protein-ligand interactions on a molecular level. The docking studies revealed hydrogen and/or halogen bonding interactions between the strong electron-withdrawing fluorine atoms of the trifluoromethyl group with several residues of the enzyme targets, which are probably responsible for the observed increased biological activity of these hydrazone derivatives. The two compounds were found to moderately inhibit COX-2 and lipoxygenases (LOX-5 and LOX-15). Compounds 3b and 3e were also evaluated for cytotoxicity against the breast cancer MCF-7 cell line and Hek293-T cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cholinesterases in Alzheimer's Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in Cancer Progression: Molecular Mechanisms and Recent Advancements
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110735 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a pivotal role in biological processes and continuous ROS production in normal cells is controlled by the appropriate regulation between the silver lining of low and high ROS concentration mediated effects. Interestingly, ROS also dynamically influences the tumor [...] Read more.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a pivotal role in biological processes and continuous ROS production in normal cells is controlled by the appropriate regulation between the silver lining of low and high ROS concentration mediated effects. Interestingly, ROS also dynamically influences the tumor microenvironment and is known to initiate cancer angiogenesis, metastasis, and survival at different concentrations. At moderate concentration, ROS activates the cancer cell survival signaling cascade involving mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1/2 (MAPK/ERK1/2), p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and phosphoinositide-3-kinase/ protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt), which in turn activate the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). At high concentrations, ROS can cause cancer cell apoptosis. Hence, it critically depends upon the ROS levels, to either augment tumorigenesis or lead to apoptosis. The major issue is targeting the dual actions of ROS effectively with respect to the concentration bias, which needs to be monitored carefully to impede tumor angiogenesis and metastasis for ROS to serve as potential therapeutic targets exogenously/endogenously. Overall, additional research is required to comprehend the potential of ROS as an effective anti-tumor modality and therapeutic target for treating malignancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antitumor Agents from Natural Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Elevated Plasma microRNA-206 Levels Predict Cognitive Decline and Progression to Dementia from Mild Cognitive Impairment
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110734 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
The need for practical biomarkers for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remains largely unmet. Here we investigated the use of blood-based microRNAs as prognostic biomarkers for AD and their application in a novel electrochemical microfluidic device for microRNA detection. MicroRNA transcriptome was [...] Read more.
The need for practical biomarkers for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remains largely unmet. Here we investigated the use of blood-based microRNAs as prognostic biomarkers for AD and their application in a novel electrochemical microfluidic device for microRNA detection. MicroRNA transcriptome was profiled in plasma from patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD. MicroRNAs Let-7b and microRNA-206 were validated at elevated levels in MCI and AD, respectively. MicroRNA-206 displayed a strong correlation with cognitive decline and memory deficits. Longitudinal follow-ups over five years identified microRNA-206 increases preceding the onset of dementia. MicroRNA-206 was increased in unprocessed plasma of AD and MCI subjects, detected by our microfluidic device. While increased Let-7b levels in plasma may be used to identify patients with MCI, changes in plasma levels of microRNA-206 may be used to predict cognitive decline and progression towards dementia at an MCI stage. MicroRNA quantification via a microfluidic device could provide a practical cost-effective tool for the stratification of patients with MCI according to risk of developing AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology)
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Open AccessReview
Strategy for the Biosynthesis of Short Oligopeptides: Green and Sustainable Chemistry
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110733 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Short oligopeptides are some of the most promising and functionally important amide bond-containing components, with widespread applications. Biosynthesis of these oligopeptides may potentially become the ultimate strategy because it has better cost efficiency and environmental-friendliness than conventional solid phase peptide synthesis and chemo-enzymatic [...] Read more.
Short oligopeptides are some of the most promising and functionally important amide bond-containing components, with widespread applications. Biosynthesis of these oligopeptides may potentially become the ultimate strategy because it has better cost efficiency and environmental-friendliness than conventional solid phase peptide synthesis and chemo-enzymatic synthesis. To successfully apply this strategy for the biosynthesis of structurally diverse amide bond-containing components, the identification and selection of specific biocatalysts is extremely important. Given that perspective, this review focuses on the current knowledge about the typical enzymes that might be potentially used for the synthesis of short oligopeptides. Moreover, novel enzymatic methods of producing desired peptides via metabolic engineering are highlighted. It is believed that this review will be helpful for technological innovation in the production of desired peptides. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Total Phenolic and Flavonoid Content and Biological Activities of Extracts and Isolated Compounds of Cytisus villosus Pourr.
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110732 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the total phenolic and flavonoid content, and the in vitro antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antimalarial, cytotoxicity, and antiprotozoal activities of the Algerian plant Cytisus villosus Pourr. (Syn. Cytisus triflorus L’Hérit.). Additionally, the radioligand displacement affinity [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the total phenolic and flavonoid content, and the in vitro antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antimalarial, cytotoxicity, and antiprotozoal activities of the Algerian plant Cytisus villosus Pourr. (Syn. Cytisus triflorus L’Hérit.). Additionally, the radioligand displacement affinity on opioid and cannabinoid receptors was assessed for the extracts and isolated pure compounds. The hydro alcoholic extract of the aerial part of C. villosus was partitioned with chloroform (CHCl3), ethyl acetate (EtOAc), and n-butanol (n-BuOH). The phenolic content of the C. villosus extracts was evaluated using a modified Folin–Ciocalteau method. The total flavonoid content was measured spectrometrically using the aluminum chloride colorimetric assay. The known flavonoids genistein (1), chrysin (2), chrysin-7-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (3), and 2″-O-α-l-rhamnosylorientin (4) were isolated. The antioxidant activities of the extracts and isolated compounds were evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DDPH) and cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assays. The plant extracts showed moderate antioxidant activity. EtOAc and n-BuOH extracts showed moderate anti-inflammatory activity through the inhibition of induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) with IC50 values of 48 and 90 µg/mL, respectively. The isolated pure compounds 1 and 3 showed good inhibition of Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) with IC50 values of 9 and 20 µg/mL, respectively. Compounds 1 and 2 exhibited lower inhibition of Nuclear Factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) with IC50 values of 28 and 38 µg/mL, respectively. Furthermore, the extracts and isolated pure compounds have been shown to exhibit low affinity for cannabinoid and opioid receptors. Finally, n-BuOH extract was a potent inhibitor of Trypanosoma brucei with IC50 value of 7.99 µg/mL and IC90 value of 12.61 µg/mL. The extracts and isolated compounds showed no antimicrobial, antimalarial nor antileishmanial activities. No cytotoxic effect was observed on cancer cell lines. The results highlight this species as a promising source of anti-inflammatory and antitrypanosomal agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Bio.Natural Meeting 2019)
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Open AccessReview
Recent Trends in the Application of Chromatographic Techniques in the Analysis of Luteolin and Its Derivatives
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110731 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Luteolin is a flavonoid often found in various medicinal plants that exhibits multiple biological effects such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity. Commercially available medicinal plants and their preparations containing luteolin are often used in the treatment of hypertension, inflammatory diseases, and even [...] Read more.
Luteolin is a flavonoid often found in various medicinal plants that exhibits multiple biological effects such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity. Commercially available medicinal plants and their preparations containing luteolin are often used in the treatment of hypertension, inflammatory diseases, and even cancer. However, to establish the quality of such preparations, appropriate analytical methods should be used. Therefore, the present paper provides the first comprehensive review of the current analytical methods that were developed and validated for the quantitative determination of luteolin and its C- and O-derivatives including orientin, isoorientin, luteolin 7-O-glucoside and others. It provides a systematic overview of chromatographic analytical techniques including thin layer chromatography (TLC), high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), liquid chromatography (LC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC) and counter-current chromatography (CCC), as well as the conditions used in the determination of luteolin and its derivatives in plant material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemical Omics in Medicinal Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization and Antioxidant Activity of a Low-Molecular-Weight Xanthan Gum
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110730 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
In the present work, a low-molecular-weight xanthan gum (LW-XG) was successfully obtained via biodegradation of commercial xanthan by the endophytic fungus Chaetomium globosum CGMCC 6882. The monosaccharide composition of LW-XG was glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid in a molar ratio of 1.63:1.5:1.0. The [...] Read more.
In the present work, a low-molecular-weight xanthan gum (LW-XG) was successfully obtained via biodegradation of commercial xanthan by the endophytic fungus Chaetomium globosum CGMCC 6882. The monosaccharide composition of LW-XG was glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid in a molar ratio of 1.63:1.5:1.0. The molecular weight of LW-XG was 4.07 × 104 Da and much smaller than that of commercial xanthan (2.95 × 106 Da). Antioxidant assays showed that LW-XG had a good scavenging ability on DPPH radicals, superoxide anions, and hydroxyl radicals and good ferric reducing power. Moreover, LW-XG exhibited excellent protective effect on H2O2-injured Caco-2 cells. Results of this work suggested that LW-XG could be used in foods or pharmaceuticals to alleviate and resist the oxidative damage induced by the overproduction of reactive oxygen species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Damage on Biomolecules and Antioxidants)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Transmembrane Protein Shape on Surrounding Lipid Domain Formation by Wetting
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110729 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Signal transduction through cellular membranes requires the highly specific and coordinated work of specialized proteins. Proper functioning of these proteins is provided by an interplay between them and the lipid environment. Liquid-ordered lipid domains are believed to be important players here, however, it [...] Read more.
Signal transduction through cellular membranes requires the highly specific and coordinated work of specialized proteins. Proper functioning of these proteins is provided by an interplay between them and the lipid environment. Liquid-ordered lipid domains are believed to be important players here, however, it is still unclear whether conditions for a phase separation required for lipid domain formation exist in cellular membranes. Moreover, membrane leaflets are compositionally asymmetric, that could be an obstacle for the formation of symmetric domains spanning the lipid bilayer. We theoretically show that the presence of protein in the membrane leads to the formation of a stable liquid-ordered lipid phase around it by the mechanism of protein wetting by lipids, even in the absence of conditions necessary for the global phase separation in the membrane. Moreover, we show that protein shape plays a crucial role in this process, and protein conformational rearrangement can lead to changes in the size and characteristics of surrounding lipid domains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Dynamic Core in Human NQO1 Controls the Functional and Stability Effects of Ligand Binding and Their Communication across the Enzyme Dimer
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110728 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Human NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is a multi-functional protein whose alteration is associated with cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer´s diseases. NQO1 displays a remarkable functional chemistry, capable of binding different functional ligands that modulate its activity, stability and interaction with proteins and nucleic acids. [...] Read more.
Human NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is a multi-functional protein whose alteration is associated with cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer´s diseases. NQO1 displays a remarkable functional chemistry, capable of binding different functional ligands that modulate its activity, stability and interaction with proteins and nucleic acids. Our understanding of this functional chemistry is limited by the difficulty of obtaining structural and dynamic information on many of these states. Herein, we have used hydrogen/deuterium exchange monitored by mass spectrometry (HDXMS) to investigate the structural dynamics of NQO1 in three ligation states: without ligands (NQO1apo), with FAD (NQO1holo) and with FAD and the inhibitor dicoumarol (NQO1dic). We show that NQO1apo has a minimally stable folded core holding the protein dimer, with FAD and dicoumarol binding sites populating binding non-competent conformations. Binding of FAD significantly decreases protein dynamics and stabilizes the FAD and dicoumarol binding sites as well as the monomer:monomer interface. Dicoumarol binding further stabilizes all three functional sites, a result not previously anticipated by available crystallographic models. Our work provides an experimental perspective into the communication of stability effects through the NQO1 dimer, which is valuable for understanding at the molecular level the effects of disease-associated variants, post-translational modifications and ligand binding cooperativity in NQO1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Structure and Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Atherosclerotic Effects of Fruits of Vitex rotundifolia and Their Isolated Compounds via Inhibition of Human LDL and HDL Oxidation
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110727 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) oxidation are well known to increase the risk for atherosclerosis. In our ongoing research on natural products with inhibitory activities against oxidation of lipoproteins, fruits of Vitex rotundifolia were found to be highly active. There is [...] Read more.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) oxidation are well known to increase the risk for atherosclerosis. In our ongoing research on natural products with inhibitory activities against oxidation of lipoproteins, fruits of Vitex rotundifolia were found to be highly active. There is no report on the effects on LDL and HDL oxidation. Herein, we investigated the inhibitory effects of V. rotundifolia fruit extract and its six compounds, which are: (1) artemetin, (2) casticin, (3) hesperidin, (4) luteolin, (5) vitexin, and (6) vanillic acid, against LDL and HDL oxidation. The LDL and HDL oxidations were determined by measuring production of conjugated dienes and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, amount of hyperchromicity and carbonyl content, change in electrical charge, and apoA-I aggregation. In addition, the contents of the compounds in the extracts were analyzed using HPLC-DAD. Consequently, extracts of Vitex rotundifolia fruits and compounds 2 and 4 suppressed oxidation of LDL and HDL, showing inhibition of lipid peroxidation, decrease of negative charges in lipoproteins, reduction of hyperchromicity, decrease in carbonyl contents, and prevention of apoA-I aggregation. In particular, compounds 2 and 4 exhibited more potent inhibitory effect on oxidation of LDL and HDL than the extracts, suggesting their protective role against atherosclerosis via inhibition of LDL and HDL oxidation. The contents of artemetin, casticin, and vanillic acid in the extracts were 1.838 ± 0.007, 8.629 ± 0.078, and 1.717 ± 0.006 mg/g, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Viral Infections and Interferons in the Development of Obesity
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110726 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Obesity is now a prevalent disease worldwide and has a multi-factorial etiology. Several viruses or virus-like agents including members of adenoviridae, herpesviridae, slow virus (prion), and hepatitides, have been associated with obesity; meanwhile obese patients are shown to be more susceptible to viral [...] Read more.
Obesity is now a prevalent disease worldwide and has a multi-factorial etiology. Several viruses or virus-like agents including members of adenoviridae, herpesviridae, slow virus (prion), and hepatitides, have been associated with obesity; meanwhile obese patients are shown to be more susceptible to viral infections such as during influenza and dengue epidemics. We examined the co-factorial role of viral infections, particularly of the persistent cases, in synergy with high-fat diet in induction of obesity. Antiviral interferons (IFNs), as key immune regulators against viral infections and in autoimmunity, emerge to be a pivotal player in the regulation of adipogenesis. In this review, we examine the recent evidence indicating that gut microbiota uphold intrinsic IFN signaling, which is extensively involved in the regulation of lipid metabolism. However, the prolonged IFN responses during persistent viral infections and obesogenesis comprise reciprocal causality between virus susceptibility and obesity. Furthermore, some IFN subtypes have shown therapeutic potency in their anti-inflammation and anti-obesity activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biological Factors)
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Open AccessArticle
CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Multiplex Genome Editing of JAGGED Gene in Brassica napus L.
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110725 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Pod shattering resistance is an essential component to achieving a high yield, which is a substantial objective in polyploid rapeseed cultivation. Previous studies have suggested that the Arabidopsis JAGGED (JAG) gene is a key factor implicated in the regulatory web of dehiscence fruit. [...] Read more.
Pod shattering resistance is an essential component to achieving a high yield, which is a substantial objective in polyploid rapeseed cultivation. Previous studies have suggested that the Arabidopsis JAGGED (JAG) gene is a key factor implicated in the regulatory web of dehiscence fruit. However, its role in controlling pod shattering resistance in oilseed rape is still unknown. In this study, multiplex genome editing was carried out by the CRISPR/Cas9 system on five homoeologs (BnJAG.A02, BnJAG.C02, BnJAG.C06, BnJAG.A07, and BnJAG.A08) of the JAG gene. Knockout mutagenesis of all homoeologs drastically affected the development of the lateral organs in organizing pod shape and size. The cylindrical body of the pod comprised a number of undifferentiated cells like a callus, without distinctive valves, replum, septum, and valve margins. Pseudoseeds were produced, which were divided into two halves with an incomplete layer of cells (probably septum) that separated the undifferentiated cells. These mutants were not capable of generating any productive seeds for further generations. However, one mutant line was identified in which only a BnJAG.A08-NUB-Like paralog of the JAG gene was mutated. Knockout mutagenesis in BnJAG.A08-NUB gene caused significant changes in the pod dehiscence zone. The replum region of the mutant was increased to a great extent, resulting in enlarged cell size, bumpy fruit, and reduced length compared with the wild type. A higher replum–valve joint area may have increased the resistance to pod shattering by ~2-fold in JAG mutants compared with wild type. Our results offer a basis for understanding variations in Brassica napus fruit by mutating JAG genes and providing a way forward for other Brassicaceae species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Mutation S115T in IMP-Type Metallo-β-Lactamases Compensates for Decreased Expression Levels Caused by Mutation S119G
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110724 - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
(1) Background: Metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) have raised concerns due to their ability to inactivate carbapenems and newer generation cephalosporins and the absence of clinically available MBL inhibitors. Their genes are often transferred horizontally, and the number of MBL variants has grown exponentially, with many [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) have raised concerns due to their ability to inactivate carbapenems and newer generation cephalosporins and the absence of clinically available MBL inhibitors. Their genes are often transferred horizontally, and the number of MBL variants has grown exponentially, with many newer variants showing enhanced enzyme activity or stability. In this study, we investigated a closely related group of variants from the IMP family that all contain the combination of mutations S115T and S119G relative to IMP-1. (2) Methods: The effects of each individual mutation and their combination in the IMP-1 sequence background in comparison to IMP-1 were investigated. Their ability to confer resistance and their in-cell expression levels were determined. All enzymes were purified, and their secondary structure and thermal stability were determined with circular dichroism. Their Zn(II) content and kinetic constants with a panel of β-lactam antibiotics were determined. (3) Results: All four enzymes were viable and conferred resistance to all antibiotics tested except aztreonam. However, the single-mutant enzymes were slightly deficient, IMP-1S115T due to decreased enzyme activity and IMP-1-S119G due to decreased thermal stability and expression, while the double mutant did not show these defects. (4) Conclusions: These observations suggest that S119G was acquired due to its increased enzyme activity and S115T to suppress the thermal stability and expression defect introduced by S119G. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beta-Lactamases: Sequence, Structure, Function, and Inhibition)
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Open AccessArticle
The Novel Serine/Threonine Protein Kinase LmjF.22.0810 from Leishmania major May Be Involved in the Resistance to Drugs such as Paromomycin
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110723 - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
The identification and clarification of the mechanisms of action of drugs used against leishmaniasis may improve their administration regimens and prevent the development of resistant strains. Herein, for the first time, we describe the structure of the putatively essential Ser/Thr kinase LmjF.22.0810 from [...] Read more.
The identification and clarification of the mechanisms of action of drugs used against leishmaniasis may improve their administration regimens and prevent the development of resistant strains. Herein, for the first time, we describe the structure of the putatively essential Ser/Thr kinase LmjF.22.0810 from Leishmania major. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to assess the stability of the kinase model. The analysis of its sequence and structure revealed two druggable sites on the protein. Furthermore, in silico docking of small molecules showed that aminoglycosides preferentially bind to the phosphorylation site of the protein. Given that transgenic LmjF.22.0810-overexpressing parasites displayed less sensitivity to aminoglycosides such as paromomycin, our predicted models support the idea that the mechanism of drug resistance observed in those transgenic parasites is the tight binding of such compounds to LmjF.22.0810 associated with its overexpression. These results may be helpful to understand the complex machinery of drug response in Leishmania. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential Involvement of an ATP-Dependent Potassium Channel-Opening Mechanism in the Smooth Muscle Relaxant Properties of Tamarix dioica Roxb.
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110722 - 10 Nov 2019
Abstract
Background: Tamarix dioica is traditionally used to manage various disorders related to smooth muscle in the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. This study was planned to establish a pharmacological basis for the uses of Tamarix dioica in certain medical conditions related to [...] Read more.
Background: Tamarix dioica is traditionally used to manage various disorders related to smooth muscle in the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. This study was planned to establish a pharmacological basis for the uses of Tamarix dioica in certain medical conditions related to the digestive, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems, and to explore the underlying mechanisms. Methods: A phytochemical study was performed by preliminary methods, followed by HPLC-DAD and spectrometric methods. In vivo evaluation of a crude hydromethanolic extract of T. dioica (TdCr) was done with a castor-oil-provoked diarrheal model in rats to determine its antidiarrheal effect. Ex vivo experiments were done by using isolated tissues to determine the effects on smooth and cardiac muscles and explore the possible mechanisms. Results: TdCr tested positive for flavonoids, saponins, phenols, and tannins as methanolic solvable constituents in a preliminary study. The maximum quantity of gallic acid equivalent (GAE), phenolic, and quercetin equivalent (QE) flavonoid content found was 146 ± 0.001 μg GAE/mg extract and 36.17 ± 2.35 μg QE/mg extract. Quantification based on HPLC-DAD (reverse phase) exposed the presence of rutin at the highest concentration, followed by catechin, gallic acid, myricetin, kaempferol, and apigenin in TdCr. In vivo experiments showed the significant antidiarrheal effect of TdCr (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg) in the diarrheal (castor-oil-provoked) model. Ex vivo experiments revealed spasmolytic, bronchodilatory, and vasorelaxant activities as well as partial cardiac depressant activity, which may be potentiated by a potassium channel opener mechanism, similar to that of cromakalim. The potassium channel (KATP channel)-opening activity was further confirmed by repeating the experiments in glibenclamide-pretreated tissues. Conclusions: In vivo and ex vivo studies of T. dioica provided evidence of the antidiarrheal, spasmolytic, bronchodilator, vasorelaxant, and partial cardiodepressant properties facilitated through the opening of the KATP channel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural and Bio-inspired Molecules)
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