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Biomolecules, Volume 9, Issue 3 (March 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Parvulin 42 (TbPar42) of Trypanosoma brucei plays a key role in cell growth. Knockdown of this [...] Read more.
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Open AccessCommunication Structure and Ligands Interactions of Citrus Tryptophan Decarboxylase by Molecular Modeling and Docking Simulations
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030117
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
In a previous work, we in silico annotated protein sequences of Citrus genus plants as putative tryptophan decarboxylase (pTDC). Here, we investigated the structural properties of Citrus pTDCs by using the TDC sequence of Catharanthus roseus as an experimentally annotated reference to carry [...] Read more.
In a previous work, we in silico annotated protein sequences of Citrus genus plants as putative tryptophan decarboxylase (pTDC). Here, we investigated the structural properties of Citrus pTDCs by using the TDC sequence of Catharanthus roseus as an experimentally annotated reference to carry out comparative modeling and substrate docking analyses. The functional annotation as TDC was verified by combining 3D molecular modeling and docking simulations, evidencing the peculiarities and the structural similarities with C. roseus TDC. Docking with l-tryptophan as a ligand showed specificity of pTDC for this substrate. These combined results confirm our previous in silico annotation of the examined protein sequences of Citrus as TDC and provide support for TDC activity in this plant genus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Electrostatics of Tau Protein by Molecular Dynamics
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030116
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
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Abstract
Tau is a microtubule-associated protein that promotes microtubule assembly and stability. This protein is implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. To date, the three-dimensional (3D) structure of tau has not been fully solved, experimentally. Even the most recent information is sometimes controversial [...] Read more.
Tau is a microtubule-associated protein that promotes microtubule assembly and stability. This protein is implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. To date, the three-dimensional (3D) structure of tau has not been fully solved, experimentally. Even the most recent information is sometimes controversial in regard to how this protein folds, interacts, and behaves. Predicting the tau structure and its profile sheds light on the knowledge about its properties and biological function, such as the binding to microtubules (MT) and, for instance, the effect on ionic conductivity. Our findings on the tau structure suggest a disordered protein, with discrete portions of well-defined secondary structure, mostly at the microtubule binding region. In addition, the first molecular dynamics simulation of full-length tau along with an MT section was performed, unveiling tau structure when associated with MT and interaction sites. Electrostatics and conductivity were also examined to understand how tau affects the ions in the intracellular fluid environment. Our results bring a new insight into tau and tubulin MT proteins, their characteristics, and the structure–function relationship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessEditorial New Approaches for the Discovery of Pharmacologically-Active Natural Compounds
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030115
Received: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
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Abstract
Natural products continue to be a major source of active compounds [...] Full article
Open AccessReview Spontaneous Switching among Conformational Ensembles in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030114
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
The common conception of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) is that they stochastically sample all possible configurations driven by thermal fluctuations. This is certainly true for many IDPs, which behave as swollen random coils that can be described using polymer models developed for homopolymers. [...] Read more.
The common conception of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) is that they stochastically sample all possible configurations driven by thermal fluctuations. This is certainly true for many IDPs, which behave as swollen random coils that can be described using polymer models developed for homopolymers. However, the variability in interaction energy between different amino acid sequences provides the possibility that some configurations may be strongly preferred while others are forbidden. In compact globular IDPs, core hydration and packing density can vary between segments of the polypeptide chain leading to complex conformational dynamics. Here, we describe a growing number of proteins that appear intrinsically disordered by biochemical and bioinformatic characterization but switch between restricted regions of conformational space. In some cases, spontaneous switching between conformational ensembles was directly observed, but few methods can identify when an IDP is acting as a restricted chain. Such switching between disparate corners of conformational space could bias ligand binding and regulate the volume of IDPs acting as structural or entropic elements. Thus, mapping the accessible energy landscape and capturing dynamics across a wide range of timescales are essential to recognize when an IDP is acting as such a switch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Metformin Induces Different Responses in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Caki Cell Lines
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030113
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 17 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common and lethal form of urological cancer diagnosed globally. Mutations of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor-suppressor gene and the resultant overexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α protein are considered hallmarks of ccRCC. Persistently activated HIF-1α [...] Read more.
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common and lethal form of urological cancer diagnosed globally. Mutations of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor-suppressor gene and the resultant overexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α protein are considered hallmarks of ccRCC. Persistently activated HIF-1α is associated with increased cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), consequently leading to ccRCC progression and metastasis to other organs. However, the VHL status alone cannot predict the differential sensitivity of ccRCC to cancer treatments, which suggests that other molecular differences may contribute to the differential response of ccRCC cells to drug therapies. In this study, we investigated the response to metformin (an antidiabetic drug) of two human ccRCC cell lines Caki-1 and Caki-2, which express wild-type VHL. Our findings demonstrate a differential response between the two ccRCC cell lines studied, with Caki-2 cells being more sensitive to metformin compared to Caki-1 cells, which could be linked to the differential expression of HIF-1α despite both cell lines carrying a wild-type VHL. Our study unveils the therapeutic potential of metformin to inhibit the progression of ccRCC in vitro. Additional preclinical and clinical studies are required to ascertain the therapeutic efficacy of metformin against ccRCC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Monoterpenes in Biological Activities of Nectandra megapotamica (Spreng.) Mez Essential Oils
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030112
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
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Abstract
Investigating the influence of seasonal variations on biological activities is important for pharmacological studies and metabolic engineering. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the variation of the chemical composition of essential oils obtained from Nectandra megapotamica leaves, collected at different stages of [...] Read more.
Investigating the influence of seasonal variations on biological activities is important for pharmacological studies and metabolic engineering. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the variation of the chemical composition of essential oils obtained from Nectandra megapotamica leaves, collected at different stages of plant development, as well as its influence on the biological activities. A total of 38 compounds were identified that accounted for 97–99.2% of the chemical composition of the oils. Major differences were observed in the monoterpenic fraction, representing 5.1% of the compounds identified in the productive rest phase to 37.1% in the blooming phase. Bicyclogermacrene and germacrene D were the predominant compounds identified in the oil of all collections. Furthermore, limonene, β-pinene, and spathulenol were identified predominantly in the samples of blooming and fruiting phases. The oils exhibited significant antichemotactic activity and different effects in scavenging the radical 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl. Variations were also observed in the antifungal activity, with the minimum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 125 to 500 μg/mL. These results demonstrate the influence of monoterpenes, primarily limonene, α-pinene, and β-pinene, on the bioactivities of the oil. Studies investigating the variations in the chemical composition of essential oil may offer a strategy to produce a compound or a group of compounds of interest to industries with a specific pharmacological focus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluation and formulation of Bioactive Terpenes)
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Open AccessArticle Human Semen Samples with High Antioxidant Reservoir May Exhibit Lower Post-Cryopreservation Recovery of Sperm Motility
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030111
Received: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Cryopreservation-thawing of human semen was found to reduce the level of antioxidant activity surrounding the sperm, which may negatively affect post-cryopreservation (post-thaw) recovery of sperm motility. Therefore, the current manufactured cryoprotectant media have been supplemented with certain antioxidants to preserve the loss in [...] Read more.
Cryopreservation-thawing of human semen was found to reduce the level of antioxidant activity surrounding the sperm, which may negatively affect post-cryopreservation (post-thaw) recovery of sperm motility. Therefore, the current manufactured cryoprotectant media have been supplemented with certain antioxidants to preserve the loss in seminal antioxidant activity. In this study, we aimed to explore the correlation between total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of human semen samples before cryopreservation and the post-thaw recovery of sperm motility. Normal semen specimens (n = 77) were recruited in this study. Sperm motility was measured for each semen sample before and after cryopreservation and the post-thaw recovery of sperm motility was calculated. Seminal TAC was measured spectrophotometrically before cryopreservation for each semen sample using the sensitive cupric ion-reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC) method. The results from this study showed that the post-thaw recovery of sperm motility is negatively correlated (p = 0.0404, p = 0.0402) with the absorbance at 450 nm and the values of seminal TAC in terms of µM Trolox equivalents, as evaluated by CUPRAC, respectively. In conclusion, the total antioxidant reservoir in each ejaculated semen specimen could be a factor in determining the post-thaw recovery of sperm motility toward lower recovery for semen specimens of high antioxidant content. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Antifreeze Glycoproteins on Organoid Survival during and after Hypothermic Storage
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030110
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
We study the effect of antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) on the survival of organoids under hypothermic conditions. We find that the survival of organoids in cold conditions depends on their developmental stage. Mature organoids die within 24 h when being stored at 4 °C, [...] Read more.
We study the effect of antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) on the survival of organoids under hypothermic conditions. We find that the survival of organoids in cold conditions depends on their developmental stage. Mature organoids die within 24 h when being stored at 4 °C, while cystic organoids can survive up to 48 h. We find that in the presence of AFGPs, the organoid survival is prolonged up to 72 h, irrespective of their developmental stage. Fluorescence microscopy experiments reveal that the AFGPs predominately localize at the cell surface and cover the cell membranes. Our findings support a mechanism in which the positive effect of AFGPs on cell survival during hypothermic storage involves the direct interaction of AFGPs with the cell membrane. Our research highlights organoids as an attractive multicellular model system for studying the action of AFGPs that bridges the gap between single-cell and whole-organ studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifreeze Protein: New Insight from Different Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle Antimicrobial Films Based on Nanocomposites of Chitosan/Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Graphene Oxide for Biomedical Applications
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030109
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 10 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Today, tissue regeneration is one of the greatest challenges in the field of medicine, since it represents hope after accidents or illnesses. Tissue engineering is the science based on improving or restoring tissues and organs. In this work, five formulations of chitosan/poly(vinyl alcohol)/graphene [...] Read more.
Today, tissue regeneration is one of the greatest challenges in the field of medicine, since it represents hope after accidents or illnesses. Tissue engineering is the science based on improving or restoring tissues and organs. In this work, five formulations of chitosan/poly(vinyl alcohol)/graphene oxide (CS/PVA/GO) nanocomposites were studied for the development of biodegradable films with potential biomedical applications. The characterization of the films consisted of Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The antibacterial activity was evaluated in vitro against Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli, by contact of the film above inoculum bacterial in Müeller–Hinton agar. On the other hand, in vivo tests in which the material implanted in the subcutaneous tissue of Wistar rats demonstrated that the formulation CS/PVA/GO (14.25:85:0.75) was the best antibacterial film with adequate degradation in vivo. All together, these results indicate the potential of the films using nanocomposites of CS/PVA/GO in tissue engineering and cell regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle Diagnostic Value of Soluble Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Receptor in Addition to High-Sensitivity Troponin I in Early Diagnosis of Acute Myocardial Infarction
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030108
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
The soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a new marker for immune activation and inflammation and may provide diagnostic value on top of established biomarkers in patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Here, we evaluate the diagnostic potential of suPAR levels [...] Read more.
The soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a new marker for immune activation and inflammation and may provide diagnostic value on top of established biomarkers in patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Here, we evaluate the diagnostic potential of suPAR levels on top of high-sensitivity troponin I (hs-TnI) in a cohort of patients with suspected AMI. A total of 1220 patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected AMI were included, of whom 245 were diagnosed with AMI. Median suPAR levels at admission were elevated in subjects with AMI compared to non-AMI (3.8 ng/mL vs. 3.3 ng/mL, p = 0.001). In C-statistics, the area under the curve (AUC) regarding the diagnosis of AMI was low (0.57 at an optimized cut-off of 3.7 ng/mL). Moreover, baseline suPAR levels on top of troponin values at admission and hour 1 reduced the number of patients who were correctly ruled-out as non-AMI, and who were correctly ruled-in as AMI. Our study shows that circulating levels of suPAR on top of high-sensitivity troponin I do not improve the early diagnosis of AMI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomolecules for Translational Approaches in Cardiology)
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Open AccessArticle Association of MMP9-1562C/T and MMP13-77A/G Polymorphisms with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in Southern Chinese Population
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030107
Received: 1 December 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are capable of degrading and modifying most components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the basal membrane (BM), and play crucial roles in cancer invasion and metastasis. MMP gene expressions were regulated primarily at the transcriptional level, which was [...] Read more.
Background: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are capable of degrading and modifying most components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the basal membrane (BM), and play crucial roles in cancer invasion and metastasis. MMP gene expressions were regulated primarily at the transcriptional level, which was associated with tumor spread and patient prognosis. Polymorphisms in MMPs have been reported to be associated with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The objective of this study aim to evaluate the serum levels and polymorphisms of MMP-9 and MMP-13 in non-small cell lung cancer patients compared to normal subjects and their correlation to non-small cell lung cancer histopathology findings in Southern Chinese people. Methods: This case–control study included 245 patients with NSCLC and 258 healthy controls. Genomic DNA was extracted by using DNA extraction kit, genotyping was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and direct DNA sequencing, and serum levels of MMP-9 and MMP-13 were measured by using a specific ELISA, Human Matrix Metalloproteinase Enzyme Immunoassay Kits. Statistical analysis was carried out using the SPSS 23.0 software package. Results: The subjects carrying the TT genotype had a decreased risk of lung cancer in MMP9-1562C/T comparing with the CC genotype (p = 0.00, OR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.29–0.68), and the MMP13-77 AA genotype was associated with a decreased risk of NSCLC by comparing with the GG genotype (p = 0.03, OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.33–0.94). Moreover, the C allele of MMP9-1562C/T could increase serum level of NSCLC in compared with the A allele (OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 0.75–1.89). Similarly, the AA genotype of MMP13 might be a marker of decreased serum level of lung cancer (OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.51–1.14). Conclusions: The results of these analyses underline the support of the notion that the CC genotype of MMP9-1562C/T and GG genotypes of MMP13-77G/A were associated with the increased risk NSCLC, and the serum levels of MMP9 and MMP13 were consistent with the results of the SNP analysis. MMP13 and MMP9 might be function as a key oncogene in NSCLC with a Southern Chinese population. Combined detection of SNP and enzyme activity between MMP9 and MMP13 are expected to be a potential diagnostic method of non-small cell lung cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers for Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Plant-Derived Bioactives in Oral Mucosal Lesions: A Key Emphasis to Curcumin, Lycopene, Chamomile, Aloe vera, Green Tea and Coffee Properties
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030106
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 17 March 2019
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Abstract
Oral mucosal lesions have many etiologies, including viral or bacterial infections, local trauma or irritation, systemic disorders, and even excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption. Folk knowledge on medicinal plants and phytochemicals in the treatment of oral mucosal lesions has gained special attention among [...] Read more.
Oral mucosal lesions have many etiologies, including viral or bacterial infections, local trauma or irritation, systemic disorders, and even excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption. Folk knowledge on medicinal plants and phytochemicals in the treatment of oral mucosal lesions has gained special attention among the scientific community. Thus, this review aims to provide a brief overview on the traditional knowledge of plants in the treatment of oral mucosal lesions. This review was carried out consulting reports between 2008 and 2018 of PubMed (Medline), Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Database, Science Direct, and Google Scholar. The chosen keywords were plant, phytochemical, oral mucosa, leukoplakia, oral lichen planus and oral health. A special emphasis was given to certain plants (e.g., chamomile, Aloe vera, green tea, and coffea) and plant-derived bioactives (e.g., curcumin, lycopene) with anti-oral mucosal lesion activity. Finally, preclinical (in vitro and in vivo) and clinical studies examining both the safety and efficacy of medicinal plants and their derived phytochemicals were also carefully addressed. Full article
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Open AccessReview Structure and Functions of Microtubule Associated Proteins Tau and MAP2c: Similarities and Differences
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030105
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
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Abstract
The stability and dynamics of cytoskeleton in brain nerve cells are regulated by microtubule associated proteins (MAPs), tau and MAP2. Both proteins are intrinsically disordered and involved in multiple molecular interactions important for normal physiology and pathology of chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Nuclear magnetic [...] Read more.
The stability and dynamics of cytoskeleton in brain nerve cells are regulated by microtubule associated proteins (MAPs), tau and MAP2. Both proteins are intrinsically disordered and involved in multiple molecular interactions important for normal physiology and pathology of chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Nuclear magnetic resonance and cryo-electron microscopy recently revealed propensities of MAPs to form transient local structures and long-range contacts in the free state, and conformations adopted in complexes with microtubules and filamentous actin, as well as in pathological aggregates. In this paper, we compare the longest, 441-residue brain isoform of tau (tau40), and a 467-residue isoform of MAP2, known as MAP2c. For both molecules, we present transient structural motifs revealed by conformational analysis of experimental data obtained for free soluble forms of the proteins. We show that many of the short sequence motifs that exhibit transient structural features are linked to functional properties, manifested by specific interactions. The transient structural motifs can be therefore classified as molecular recognition elements of tau40 and MAP2c. Their interactions are further regulated by post-translational modifications, in particular phosphorylation. The structure-function analysis also explains differences between biological activities of tau40 and MAP2c. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Class II PI3Ks at the Intersection between Signal Transduction and Membrane Trafficking
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030104
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
Phosphorylation of inositol phospholipids by the family of phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) is crucial in controlling membrane lipid composition and regulating a wide range of intracellular processes, which include signal transduction and vesicular trafficking. In spite of the extensive knowledge on class I PI3Ks, [...] Read more.
Phosphorylation of inositol phospholipids by the family of phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) is crucial in controlling membrane lipid composition and regulating a wide range of intracellular processes, which include signal transduction and vesicular trafficking. In spite of the extensive knowledge on class I PI3Ks, recent advances in the study of the three class II PI3Ks (PIK3C2A, PIK3C2B and PIK3C2G) reveal their distinct and non-overlapping cellular roles and localizations. By finely tuning membrane lipid composition in time and space among different cellular compartments, this class of enzymes controls many cellular processes, such as proliferation, survival and migration. This review focuses on the recent developments regarding the coordination of membrane trafficking and intracellular signaling of class II PI3Ks through the confined phosphorylation of inositol phospholipids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phosphoinositide 3-kinase, a Field in Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Diagnostic and Prognostic Significance of Carboxypeptidase A4 (CPA4) in Breast Cancer
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030103
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Recent research focused on prolonged survival has suggested that carboxypeptidase A4 (CPA4) plays a role in both tumor microenvironment formation and distant metastasis in cancer. In some patients, serum and expression (mRNA) levels of CPA4 have been found to be correlated with the [...] Read more.
Recent research focused on prolonged survival has suggested that carboxypeptidase A4 (CPA4) plays a role in both tumor microenvironment formation and distant metastasis in cancer. In some patients, serum and expression (mRNA) levels of CPA4 have been found to be correlated with the aggressiveness and progression of the disease. Accordingly, we conducted a first study to investigate the diagnostic and prognostic significance of CPA4 in the case of breast cancer (BC), the most common form of malignancy in women. The study included a total of 50 patients with BC and 20 healthy women as the control group. The participants’ serum CPA4 levels were determined by the ELISA test, and, for assessment of CPA4 mRNA, we used the PCR method. The serum CPA4 (p = 0.001) and CPA4 mRNA (p = 0.015) levels were found to be statistically significantly higher in the controls, compared to the patient group. When the results of patient group were statistically analyzed based on subgrouping by tumor characteristics, the measured CPA4 mRNA levels showed significant difference with respect to the molecular subtype (p = 0.006), pN status (p = 0.023), and pathological stage (p = 0.039), while the serum CPA4 measurements differed significantly in terms of pathological type only (p = 0.024). We conclude that CPA4 is diagnostically and prognostically not futile when used in combination with the other considerations and measurements in breast cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Flavonoids Bioactivity for Cholestatic Liver Disease: Systematic Literature Search and Experimental Approaches
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030102
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract
Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds that show health benefits on the liver. However, there is little investigation about identification and evaluation of new flavonoid-containing drugs for cholestatic liver disease, one of the most common liver illnesses. We aimed to a systematic search regarding [...] Read more.
Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds that show health benefits on the liver. However, there is little investigation about identification and evaluation of new flavonoid-containing drugs for cholestatic liver disease, one of the most common liver illnesses. We aimed to a systematic search regarding efficacy of flavonoids for treatment of cholestatic liver disease, and then evaluate naringenin (NG) as representative flavonoid in an obstructive cholestasis model. We searched for information of experimental and clinical studies in four major databases without time and language limits. Intervention was defined as any flavonoid derivate compared with other flavonoid, placebo, or without comparator. In addition, we evaluated NG on a bile duct-ligated model in order to contribute evidence of its actions. Eleven experimental reports that support the efficacy of flavonoids in cholestatic liver disease were identified. However, there was no homogeneity in efficacy endpoints evaluated and methodology. On the other hand, NG showed beneficial effects by improving specific metabolic (cholesterol and lipoproteins) and liver damage (bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase) biomarkers. The review lacks homogeneous evidence about efficacy of flavonoids in experimental settings, and is susceptible to risk for bias. NG only showed improvements in specific disease biomarkers. More investigation is still needed to determine its potential for drug development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cellular and Immunohistochemical Changes in Anaphylactic Shock Induced in the Ovalbumin-Sensitized Wistar Rat Model
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030101
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
Anaphylactic shock (AS) is a life-threatening, multisystem disorder arising from sudden release of mast cell- and basophil-derived mediators into the circulation. In this study, we have used a Wistar rat model to investigate AS-associated histopathologic changes in various organs. Rats were sensitized with [...] Read more.
Anaphylactic shock (AS) is a life-threatening, multisystem disorder arising from sudden release of mast cell- and basophil-derived mediators into the circulation. In this study, we have used a Wistar rat model to investigate AS-associated histopathologic changes in various organs. Rats were sensitized with ovalbumin (1 mg s.c), and AS was induced by intravenous injection of ovalbumin (1 mg). Experimental groups included nonallergic rats (n = 6) and allergic rats (n = 6). Heart rate and blood pressure were monitored during one hour. Organs were harvested at the end of the experiment and prepared for histologic and immunohistochemical studies. Lung, small bowel mucosa and spleen were found to undergo heavy infiltration by mast cells and eosinophils, with less prominent mast cell infiltration of cardiac tissue. The mast cells in lung, small bowel and spleen exhibited increased expression of tryptase, c-kit and induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Increased expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) by vascular endothelial cells was noted principally in lung, heart and small bowel wall. The Wistar rat model of AS exhibited accumulation of mast cells and eosinophils in the lung, small bowel, and spleen to a greater extent than in the heart. We conclude that lung and gut are principal inflammatory targets in AS, and likely contribute to the severe hypotension of AS. Targeting nitric oxide (NO) production may help reduce AS mortality. Full article
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Open AccessReview Antidiabetic Properties of Naringenin: A Citrus Fruit Polyphenol
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030099
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by insulin resistance and hyperglycemia and is associated with personal health and global economic burdens. Current strategies/approaches of insulin resistance and T2DM prevention and treatment are lacking in efficacy resulting in the need [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by insulin resistance and hyperglycemia and is associated with personal health and global economic burdens. Current strategies/approaches of insulin resistance and T2DM prevention and treatment are lacking in efficacy resulting in the need for new preventative and targeted therapies. In recent years, epidemiological studies have suggested that diets rich in vegetables and fruits are associated with health benefits including protection against insulin resistance and T2DM. Naringenin, a citrus flavanone, has been reported to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, immunomodulatory and antidiabetic properties. The current review summarizes the existing in vitro and in vivo animal studies examining the anti-diabetic effects of naringenin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prevent Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-Induced Memory Impairment
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030100
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can happen after exposure to a traumatic event. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among mental health disorders that include mood and anxiety disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids (OMGs) are essential for the maintenance of brain [...] Read more.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can happen after exposure to a traumatic event. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among mental health disorders that include mood and anxiety disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids (OMGs) are essential for the maintenance of brain function and prevention of cognition dysfunctions. However, the possible effect of OMG on memory impairment induced by PTSD has not been studied. In here, such an effect was explored using a rat model of PTSD. The PTSD-like behavior was induced in animals using a single-prolonged stress (SPS) rat model of PTSD (2 h restraint, 20 min forced swimming, 15 min rest, 1–2 min diethyl ether exposure). The OMG was administered orally at a dose of 100 mg omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)/100 g body weight/day. Spatial learning and memory were assessed using the radial arm water maze (RAWM) method. Changes in oxidative stress biomarkers, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and brain derived neuroptrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus following treatments were measured. The results revealed that SPS impaired both short- and long-term memory (p < 0.05). Use of OMG prevented memory impairment induced by SPS. Furthermore, OMG normalized SPS induced changes in the hippocampus that reduced glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), GSH/GSSG ratios, the activity of catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and TBARSs levels. In conclusion, the SPS model of PTSD-like behavior generated memory impairment, whereas OMG prevented this impairment, possibly through normalizing antioxidant mechanisms in the hippocampus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Main Metabolites of Fluorouracil + Adriamycin + Cyclophosphamide (FAC) Are Not Major Contributors to FAC Toxicity in H9c2 Cardiac Differentiated Cells
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030098
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
In the clinical practice, the combination of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) + Adriamycin (also known as doxorubicin, DOX) + cyclophosphamide (CYA) (known as FAC) is used to treat breast cancer. The FAC therapy, however, carries some serious risks, namely potential cardiotoxic effects, although the mechanisms [...] Read more.
In the clinical practice, the combination of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) + Adriamycin (also known as doxorubicin, DOX) + cyclophosphamide (CYA) (known as FAC) is used to treat breast cancer. The FAC therapy, however, carries some serious risks, namely potential cardiotoxic effects, although the mechanisms are still unclear. In the present study, the role of the main metabolites regarding FAC-induced cardiotoxicity was assessed at clinical relevant concentrations. Seven-day differentiated H9c2 cells were exposed for 48 h to the main metabolites of FAC, namely the metabolite of 5-FU, α-fluoro-β-alanine (FBAL, 50 or 100 μM), of DOX, doxorubicinol (DOXOL, 0.2 or 1 μM), and of CYA, acrolein (ACRO, 1 or 10 μM), as well as to their combination. The parent drugs (5-FU 50 μM, DOX 1 μM, and CYA 50 μM) were also tested isolated or in combination with the metabolites. Putative cytotoxicity was evaluated through phase contrast microscopy, Hoechst staining, membrane mitochondrial potential, and by two cytotoxicity assays: the reduction of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and the neutral red (NR) lysosomal incorporation. The metabolite DOXOL was more toxic than FBAL and ACRO in the MTT and NR assays. When in combination, neither FBAL nor ACRO increased DOXOL-induced cytotoxicity. No nuclear condensation was observed for any of the tested combinations; however, a significant mitochondrial potential depolarization after FBAL 100 μM + DOXOL 1 μM + ACRO 10 μM or FBAL 100 μM + DOXOL 1 μM exposure was seen at 48 h. When tested alone DOX 1 μM was more cytotoxic than all the parent drugs and metabolites in both the cytotoxicity assays performed. These results demonstrated that DOXOL was the most toxic of all the metabolites tested; nonetheless, the metabolites do not seem to be the major contributors to FAC-induced cardiotoxicity in this cardiac model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multidrug Combinations)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Epicardial Adipose Tissue Thickness and Serum Interleukin-17a Level in Patients with Isolated Metabolic Syndrome
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030097
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
In this study, it was aimed to investigate the relationship between the epicardial adipose tissue thickness (EATT) and serum IL-17A level insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome patients. This study enrolled a total of 160 subjects, of whom 80 were consecutive patients who applied [...] Read more.
In this study, it was aimed to investigate the relationship between the epicardial adipose tissue thickness (EATT) and serum IL-17A level insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome patients. This study enrolled a total of 160 subjects, of whom 80 were consecutive patients who applied to our outpatient clinic and were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, and the other 80 were consecutive patients who were part of the control group with similar age and demographics in whom the metabolic syndrome was excluded. The metabolic syndrome diagnosis was made according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF)-2005 criteria. EATT was measured with transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in the subjects. IL-17A serum levels were determined using the ELISA method. Fasting blood glucose, HDL, triglyceride, and fasting insulin levels were significantly higher in the metabolic syndrome group compared to the control group. In addition, the metabolic syndrome group had significantly higher high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and Homeostatic Model Assessment Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) levels than the control group. Similarly, serum IL-17A levels were significantly elevated in the metabolic syndrome group compared to the control group statistically (p < 0.001). As well, EATT was higher in the metabolic syndrome than the control group. Conclusion: By virtue of their proinflammatory properties, EATT and IL-17 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Hormones)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Plasma Taurine Levels and Diabetic Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030096
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: Taurine has an active role in providing glucose homeostasis and diabetes causes a decline in taurine levels. This paper investigates the relationship between taurine and diabetic complications, patients’ demographic features, and biochemical parameters. Methods: Fifty-nine patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), [...] Read more.
Background: Taurine has an active role in providing glucose homeostasis and diabetes causes a decline in taurine levels. This paper investigates the relationship between taurine and diabetic complications, patients’ demographic features, and biochemical parameters. Methods: Fifty-nine patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and 28 healthy control subjects between the ages of 32 and 82 were included in the study. The mean age of subjects was 55.6 ± 10.3 and mean diabetes duration was 10.2 ± 6.0 years. The most commonly accompanying comorbidity was hypertension (HT) (64.5%, n = 38), and the most frequent diabetic complication was neuropathy (50.8%, n = 30). Plasma taurine concentrations were measured by an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) kit. Results: Plasma taurine concentrations were significantly lower in diabetic patients (0.6 ± 0.1 mmol/L) than controls (0.8 ± 0.2 mmol/L) and in hypertensive (0. 6 ± 0.1 mmol/L) patients (p = 0.000, p = 0.027 respectively). Conclusion: Plasma taurine levels were decreased in patients with T2DM and this was not related to FBG, HbA1c, and microalbuminuria. With regard to complications, we only found a correlation with neuropathy. We suggest that taurine levels may be more important in the development of diabetes; however, it may also have importance for the progression of the disease and the subsequent complications. We further assert that taurine measurement at different times may highlight whether there is a causal relationship in the development of complications. Full article
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Open AccessReview Role of Phosphorylation in the Modulation of the Glucocorticoid Receptor’s Intrinsically Disordered Domain
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030095
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Protein phosphorylation often switches cellular activity from one state to another, and this post-translational modification plays an important role in gene regulation by the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, including the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Cell signaling pathways that regulate phosphorylation of the GR are [...] Read more.
Protein phosphorylation often switches cellular activity from one state to another, and this post-translational modification plays an important role in gene regulation by the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, including the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Cell signaling pathways that regulate phosphorylation of the GR are important determinants of GR actions, including lymphoid cell apoptosis, DNA binding, and interaction with coregulatory proteins. All major functionally important phosphorylation sites in the human GR are located in its N-terminal domain (NTD), which possesses a powerful transactivation domain, AF1. The GR NTD exists as an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) and undergoes disorder-order transition for AF1’s efficient interaction with several coregulatory proteins and subsequent AF1-mediated GR activity. It has been reported that GR’s NTD/AF1 undergoes such disorder-order transition following site-specific phosphorylation. This review provides currently available information regarding the role of GR phosphorylation in its action and highlights the possible underlying mechanisms of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Advance on Resveratrol Application in Bone Regeneration: Progress and Perspectives for Use in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030094
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
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Abstract
The natural polyphenol Resveratrol (RSV) claims numerous positive effects on health due to the well documented biological effects demonstrating its potential as a disease-preventing agent and as adjuvant for treatment of a wide variety of chronic diseases. Since several studies, both in vitro [...] Read more.
The natural polyphenol Resveratrol (RSV) claims numerous positive effects on health due to the well documented biological effects demonstrating its potential as a disease-preventing agent and as adjuvant for treatment of a wide variety of chronic diseases. Since several studies, both in vitro and in vivo, have highlighted the protective bone aptitude of RSV both as promoter of osteoblasts’ proliferation and antagonist of osteoclasts’ differentiation, they could be interesting in view of applications in the field of dentistry and maxillofacial surgery. This review has brought together experimental findings on the use of RSV in the regeneration of bone tissue comprising also its application associated with scaffolds and non-transfusional hemocomponents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Key Biomolecules in Bone Resorption)
Open AccessArticle Structural Analysis of the 42 kDa Parvulin of Trypanosoma brucei
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030093
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
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Abstract
Trypanosoma brucei is a unicellular eukaryotic parasite, which causes the African sleeping sickness in humans. The recently discovered trypanosomal protein Parvulin 42 (TbPar42) plays a key role in parasite cell proliferation. Homologues of this two-domain protein are exclusively found in protozoa [...] Read more.
Trypanosoma brucei is a unicellular eukaryotic parasite, which causes the African sleeping sickness in humans. The recently discovered trypanosomal protein Parvulin 42 (TbPar42) plays a key role in parasite cell proliferation. Homologues of this two-domain protein are exclusively found in protozoa species. TbPar42 exhibits an N-terminal forkhead associated (FHA)-domain and a peptidyl-prolyl-cis/trans-isomerase (PPIase) domain, both connected by a linker. Using NMR and X-ray analysis as well as activity assays, we report on the structures of the single domains of TbPar42, discuss their intra-molecular interplay, and give some initial hints as to potential cellular functions of the protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Structure and Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] Induces Autophagy in Caki-1 Renal Cancer Cells
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030092
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 23 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
We have demonstrated the cytotoxic effects of [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(dimethyl sulfide (DMS))] on various immortalized cell lines, in primary cultures, and in murine xenograft models in vivo. Recently, we also showed that [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] is able to kill [...] Read more.
We have demonstrated the cytotoxic effects of [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(dimethyl sulfide (DMS))] on various immortalized cell lines, in primary cultures, and in murine xenograft models in vivo. Recently, we also showed that [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] is able to kill Caki-1 renal cells both in vivo and in vitro. In the present paper, apoptotic and autophagic effects of [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] and cisplatin were studied and compared using Caki-1 cancerous renal cells. The effects of cisplatin include activation of caspases, proteolysis of enzyme poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP), control of apoptosis modulators B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax), and BH3-interacting domain death agonist (Bid), and cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase. Conversely, [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] did not induce caspase activation, nor chromatin condensation or DNA fragmentation. The effects of [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] include microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3)-I to LC3-II conversion, Beclin-1 and Atg-3, -4, and -5 increase, Bcl-2 decrease, and monodansylcadaverine accumulation in autophagic vacuoles. [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] also modulated various kinases involved in intracellular transduction regulating cell fate. [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] inhibited the phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapmycin (mTOR), p70S6K, and AKT, and increased the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK1/2), a kinase activity pattern consistent with autophagy induction. In conclusion, while in past reports the high cytotoxicity of [Pt(O,O′-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] was always attributed to its ability to trigger an apoptotic process, in this paper we show that Caki-1 cells die as a result of the induction of a strong autophagic process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticancer Platinum Drugs Update)
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Open AccessArticle Rational Design, Synthesis and Preliminary Evaluation of Novel Fusarinine C-Based Chelators for Radiolabeling with Zirconium-89
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030091
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
Fusarinine C (FSC) has recently been shown to be a promising and novel chelator for 89Zr. Here, FSC has been further derivatized to optimize the complexation properties of FSC-based chelators for 89Zr-labeling by introducing additional carboxylic groups. These were expected to [...] Read more.
Fusarinine C (FSC) has recently been shown to be a promising and novel chelator for 89Zr. Here, FSC has been further derivatized to optimize the complexation properties of FSC-based chelators for 89Zr-labeling by introducing additional carboxylic groups. These were expected to improve the stability of 89Zr-complexes by saturating the 8-coordination sphere of [89Zr] Zr4+, and also to introduce functionalities suitable for conjugation to targeting vectors such as monoclonal antibodies. For proof of concept, succinic acid derivatization at the amine groups of FSC was carried out, resulting in FSC(succ)2 and FSC(succ)3. FSC(succ)2 was further derivatized to FSC(succ)2 AA by reacting with acetic anhydride (AA). The Zr4+ complexation properties of these chelators were studied by reacting with ZrCl4. Partition coefficient, protein binding, serum stability, acid dissociation, and transchelation studies of 89Zr-complexes were carried out in vitro and the results were compared with those for 89Zr-desferrioxamine B ([89Zr]Zr-DFO) and 89Zr-triacetylfusarinine C ([89Zr]Zr-TAFC). The in vivo properties of [89Zr]Zr-FSC(succ)3 were further compared with [89Zr]Zr-TAFC in BALB/c mice using micro-positron emission tomography/computer tomography (microPET/CT) imaging. Fusarinine C (succ)2AA and FSC(succ)3 were synthesized with satisfactory yields. Complexation with ZrCl4 was achieved using a simple strategy resulting in high-purity Zr-FSC(succ)2AA and Zr-FSC(succ)3 with 1:1 stoichiometry. Distribution coefficients of 89Zr-complexes revealed increased hydrophilic character compared to [89Zr]Zr-TAFC. All radioligands showed high stability in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and human serum and low protein-bound activity over a period of seven days. Acid dissociation and transchelation studies exhibited a range of in vitro stabilities following the order: [89Zr]Zr-FSC(succ)3 > [89Zr]Zr-TAFC > [89Zr]Zr-FSC(succ)2AA >> [89Zr]Zr-DFO. Biodistribution studies of [89Zr]Zr-FSC(succ)3 revealed a slower excretion pattern compared to [89Zr]Zr-TAFC. In conclusion, [89Zr]Zr-FSC(succ)3 showed the best stability and inertness. The promising results obtained with [89Zr]Zr-FSC(succ)2AA highlight the potential of FSC(succ)2 as a monovalent chelator for conjugation to targeted biomolecules, in particular, monoclonal antibodies. Full article
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Open AccessReview Calixarenes: Generalities and Their Role in Improving the Solubility, Biocompatibility, Stability, Bioavailability, Detection, and Transport of Biomolecules
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030090
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 24 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
The properties and characteristics of calix[n]arenes are described, as well as their capacity to form amphiphilic assemblies by means of the design of synthetic macrocycles with a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail. Their interaction with various substances of interest in [...] Read more.
The properties and characteristics of calix[n]arenes are described, as well as their capacity to form amphiphilic assemblies by means of the design of synthetic macrocycles with a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail. Their interaction with various substances of interest in pharmacy, engineering, and medicine is also described. In particular, the role of the calix[n]arenes in the detection of dopamine, the design of vesicles and liposomes employed in the manufacture of systems of controlled release drugs used in the treatment of cancer, and their role in improving the solubility of testosterone and anthelmintic drugs and the biocompatibility of biomaterials useful for the manufacture of synthetic organs is emphasized. The versatility of these macrocycles, able to vary in size, shape, functional groups, and hydrophobicity and to recognize various biomolecules and molecules with biological activity without causing cytotoxicity is highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transport Properties for Pharmaceutical Controlled-Release Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Molecular Antioxidant Properties and In Vitro Cell Toxicity of the p-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) Functionalized Peptide Dendrimers §
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030089
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: Exposure to ozone level and ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the major concerns in the context of public health. Numerous studies confirmed that abundant free radicals initiate undesired processes, e.g. carcinogenesis, cells degeneration, etc. Therefore, the design of redox-active molecules with [...] Read more.
Background: Exposure to ozone level and ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the major concerns in the context of public health. Numerous studies confirmed that abundant free radicals initiate undesired processes, e.g. carcinogenesis, cells degeneration, etc. Therefore, the design of redox-active molecules with novel structures, containing radical quenchers molecules with novel structures, and understanding their chemistry and biology, might be one of the prospective solutions. Methods: We designed a group of peptide dendrimers carrying multiple copies of p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and evaluated their molecular antioxidant properties in 1,1′-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) tests. Cytotoxicity against human melanoma and fibroblast cells as well as against primary cerebral granule cells (CGC) alone and challenged by neurotoxic sodium glutamate and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in presence of dendrimers were measured. Results: PABA-terminated dendrimers express enhanced radical and radical cation scavenging properties in relation to PABA alone. In cellular tests, the dendrimers at 100 μM fully suppress and between 20–100 μM reduce proliferation of the human melanoma cell line. In concentration 20 μM dendrimers generate small amount of the reactive oxygen species (<25%) but even in their presence human fibroblast and mouse cerebellar granule cells remain intact Moreover, dendrimers at 0.2–20 µM concentration (except one) increased the percentage of viable fibroblasts and CGC cells treated with 100 μM glutamate. Conclusions: Designed PABA-functionalized peptide dendrimers might be a potential source of new antioxidants with cationic and neutral radicals scavenging potency and/or new compounds with marked selectivity against human melanoma cell or glutamate-stressed CGC neurons. The scavenging level of dendrimers depends strongly on the chemical structure of dendrimer and the presence of other groups that may be prompted into radical form. The present studies found different biological properties for dendrimers constructed from the same chemical fragments but the differing structure of the dendrimer tree provides once again evidence that the structure of dendrimer can have a significant impact on drug–target interactions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Functional Segments on Intrinsically Disordered Regions in Disease-Related Proteins
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030088
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
One of the unique characteristics of intrinsically disordered proteins (IPDs) is the existence of functional segments in intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). A typical function of these segments is binding to partner molecules, such as proteins and DNAs. These segments play important roles in [...] Read more.
One of the unique characteristics of intrinsically disordered proteins (IPDs) is the existence of functional segments in intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). A typical function of these segments is binding to partner molecules, such as proteins and DNAs. These segments play important roles in signaling pathways and transcriptional regulation. We conducted bioinformatics analysis to search these functional segments based on IDR predictions and database annotations. We found more than a thousand potential functional IDR segments in disease-related proteins. Large fractions of proteins related to cancers, congenital disorders, digestive system diseases, and reproductive system diseases have these functional IDRs. Some proteins in nervous system diseases have long functional segments in IDRs. The detailed analysis of some of these regions showed that the functional segments are located on experimentally verified IDRs. The proteins with functional IDR segments generally tend to come and go between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Proteins involved in multiple diseases tend to have more protein-protein interactors, suggesting that hub proteins in the protein-protein interaction networks can have multiple impacts on human diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Chronic Diseases)
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