Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Biomolecules, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2019)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Cupin-type phosphoglucose isomerase (PfPGI) from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-47
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Correlating Lipid Membrane Permeabilities of Imidazolium Ionic Liquids with Their Cytotoxicities on Yeast, Bacterial, and Mammalian Cells
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060251
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
Viewed by 334 | PDF Full-text (1685 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alkyl-imidazolium chloride ionic liquids (ILs) have been broadly studied for biochemical and biomedical technologies. They can permeabilize lipid bilayer membranes and have cytotoxic effects, which makes them targets for drug delivery biomaterials. We assessed the lipid-membrane permeabilities of ILs with increasing alkyl chain [...] Read more.
Alkyl-imidazolium chloride ionic liquids (ILs) have been broadly studied for biochemical and biomedical technologies. They can permeabilize lipid bilayer membranes and have cytotoxic effects, which makes them targets for drug delivery biomaterials. We assessed the lipid-membrane permeabilities of ILs with increasing alkyl chain lengths from ethyl to octyl groups on large unilamellar vesicles using a trapped-fluorophore fluorescence lifetime-based leakage experiment. Only the most hydrophobic IL, with the octyl chain, permeabilizes vesicles, and the concentration required for permeabilization corresponds to its critical micelle concentration. To correlate the model vesicle studies with biological cells, we quantified the IL permeabilities and cytotoxicities on different cell lines including bacterial, yeast, and ovine blood cells. The IL permeabilities on vesicles strongly correlate with permeabilities and minimum inhibitory concentrations on biological cells. Despite exhibiting a broad range of lipid compositions, the ILs appear to have similar effects on the vesicles and cell membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Misfolding of a Single Disulfide Bonded Globular Protein into a Low-Solubility Species Conformationally and Biophysically Distinct from the Native One
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060250
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
Viewed by 471 | PDF Full-text (896 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In practice and despite Anfinsen’s dogma, the refolding of recombinant multiple SS-bonded proteins is famously difficult because misfolded species with non-native SS-bonds appear upon the oxidization of their cysteine residues. On the other hand, single SS-bond proteins are thought to be simple to [...] Read more.
In practice and despite Anfinsen’s dogma, the refolding of recombinant multiple SS-bonded proteins is famously difficult because misfolded species with non-native SS-bonds appear upon the oxidization of their cysteine residues. On the other hand, single SS-bond proteins are thought to be simple to refold because their cysteines have only one SS-bond partner. Here, we report that dengue 4 envelope protein domain 3 (DEN4 ED3), a single SS-bonded protein can be irreversibly trapped into a misfolded species through the formation of its sole intramolecular SS-bond. The misfolded species had a much lower solubility than the native one at pHs higher than about 7, and circular dichroism measurements clearly indicated that its secondary structure content was different from the native species. Furthermore, the peaks in the Heteronuclear Single Quantum Correlation spectroscopy (HSQC) spectrum of DEN4 ED3 from the supernatant fraction were sharp and well dispersed, reflecting the beta-sheeted native structure, whereas the spectrum of the precipitated fraction showed broad signals clustered near its center suggesting no or little structure and a strong tendency to aggregate. The two species had distinct biophysical properties and could interconvert into each other only by cleaving and reforming the SS-bond, strongly suggesting that they are topologically different. This phenomenon can potentially happen with any single SS-bonded protein, and our observation emphasizes the need for assessing the conformation and biophysical properties of bacterially produced therapeutic proteins in addition to their chemical purities. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Bioevaluation of Ranatuerin-2Pb from the Frog Skin Secretion of Rana pipiens and Its Truncated Analogues
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060249
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
Viewed by 305 | PDF Full-text (5349 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are considered as a promising agent to overcome the drug-resistance of bacteria. Large numbers of AMPs have been identified from the skin secretion of Rana pipiens, including brevinins, ranatuerins, temporins and esculentins. In this study, the cDNA precursor of [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are considered as a promising agent to overcome the drug-resistance of bacteria. Large numbers of AMPs have been identified from the skin secretion of Rana pipiens, including brevinins, ranatuerins, temporins and esculentins. In this study, the cDNA precursor of a broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptide, ranatuerin-2Pb, was cloned and identified. Additionally, two truncated analogues, RPa and RPb, were synthesised to investigate the structure-activity relationship of ranatuerin-2Pb. RPa lost antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans, MRSA, Enterococcus faecalis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, while RPb retained its broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Additionally, ranatuerin-2Pb, RPa and RPb demonstrated inhibition and eradication effects against Staphylococcus aureus biofilm. RPb showed a rapid bacterial killing manner via membrane permeabilization without damaging the cell membrane of erythrocytes. Moreover, RPb decreased the mortality of S. aureus infected Galleria mellonella larvae. Collectively, our results suggested that RPb may pave a novel way for natural antimicrobial drug design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peptides: Molecular and Biotechnological Aspects)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Melanins of Inonotus Obliquus: Bifidogenic and Antioxidant Properties
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060248
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
Viewed by 190 | PDF Full-text (1332 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extracts and melanins from Inonotus obliquus are widely used in medicine due to their high antioxidant properties. This study is dedicated to define the influence of the physicochemical and antioxidant properties of Inonotus obliquus melanins and their bifidogenic effects on Bifidobacterium bifidum 1 [...] Read more.
Extracts and melanins from Inonotus obliquus are widely used in medicine due to their high antioxidant properties. This study is dedicated to define the influence of the physicochemical and antioxidant properties of Inonotus obliquus melanins and their bifidogenic effects on Bifidobacterium bifidum 1 and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis. For this purpose, melanins precipitated from Inonotus obliquus aqueous extracts, obtained by a few methods, and separated melanin fractions by organic solvents were used. For the melanin physicochemical properties analysis spectrophotometry, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering methods were applied. Melanins and their fractions difference in particle size and charge, antioxidant properties, and redox potential were revealed. It was shown that the redox potential, the size of melanin particles and the z-potential had maximum influence on bifidobacteria growth. The greatest activating effect on bifidobacteria was established by using melanin isolated from aqueous microwave extracts in concentrations of 10−13, 10−10, 10−5 g/cm3. The use of this melanin with antioxidant activity 0.67 ± 0.06 mg/g (expressed as ascorbic acid equivalent), and with redox potential −5.51 ± 2.22 mV as a prebiotic allowed the growth of Bifidobacterium bifidum 1 s to increase by 1.4 times in comparison with ascorbic acid by 24 h of cultivation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Cross-Talk between Cadmium and Selenium at Elevated Cadmium Stress Determines the Fate of Selenium Uptake in Rice
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060247
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 22 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
Viewed by 247 | PDF Full-text (1092 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is a well-known metal imposing threats to human health, and it can be accumulated in polished rice over the permitted range of 0.2 mg kg−1 (GB 2762-2017). It has been reported that selenium (Se) application decreases Cd uptake. Se-rich diets [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) is a well-known metal imposing threats to human health, and it can be accumulated in polished rice over the permitted range of 0.2 mg kg−1 (GB 2762-2017). It has been reported that selenium (Se) application decreases Cd uptake. Se-rich diets have gained attention recently, but the potential of Se-rich rice in mitigating Cd stress needs further investigation. In this study, a pot experiment in the field was conducted to assess the influence of environmental factors and exogenous split application of Se on the nutritional status of rice under Cd stress. The results indicated that the increased fertilizer treatment in soil bulk linearly increased the metal content in rice grains. Approximately 50–70% of metal was recovered in rice tissues, while 5–20% of the metal that was applied leached down into the soil. A Se concentration of 0.4 mg kg−1 could significantly improve the total Se content in grain and mitigate Cd toxicity (1 mg kg−1) below the permitted range. Panicles and roots were more active for total Se accumulation in Se-rich and non-Se-rich rice, respectively. Polishing and milling operations can significantly reduce the Cd content, as rice bran in rice tissues accumulated most of the metal’s residues. The late matured rice cultivars consumed more heat units, and more metal contents were found in them. Collectively, it was found that Se can mitigate Cd toxicity, but the rice cultivation at T2 (high Cd; 2 mg kg−1 and Se; 1 mg kg−1) increased the metal uptake capability and health-risk index in polished rice, with its Se content heightened over permitted range of 0.04 to 0.30 mg kg−1 (GB/T 22499-2008). However, further molecular studies are required, in order to completely access the inverted Se accumulation behavior in rice tissues at high Cd soil stress. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Secretome Profiling Reveals Virulence-Associated Proteins of Fusarium proliferatum during Interaction with Banana Fruit
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060246
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 22 June 2019 / Published: 23 June 2019
Viewed by 312 | PDF Full-text (889 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Secreted proteins are vital for the pathogenicity of many fungi through manipulating their hosts for efficient colonization. Fusarium proliferatum is a phytopathogenic fungus infecting many crops, vegetables, and fruit, including banana fruit. To access the proteins involved in pathogen–host interaction, we used label-free [...] Read more.
Secreted proteins are vital for the pathogenicity of many fungi through manipulating their hosts for efficient colonization. Fusarium proliferatum is a phytopathogenic fungus infecting many crops, vegetables, and fruit, including banana fruit. To access the proteins involved in pathogen–host interaction, we used label-free quantitative proteomics technology to comparatively analyze the secretomes of F. proliferatum cultured with and without banana peel in Czapek’s broth medium. By analyzing the secretomes of F. proliferatum, we have identified 105 proteins with 40 exclusively secreted and 65 increased in abundance in response to a banana peel. These proteins were involved in the promotion of invasion of banana fruit, and they were mainly categorized into virulence factors, cell wall degradation, metabolic process, response to stress, regulation, and another unknown biological process. The expressions of corresponding genes confirmed the existence of these secreted proteins in the banana peel. Furthermore, expression pattern suggested variable roles for these genes at different infection stages. This study expanded the current database of F. proliferatum secreted proteins which might be involved in the infection strategy of this fungus. Additionally, this study warranted the further attention of some secreted proteins that might initiate infection of F. proliferatum on banana fruit. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Facile Preparation of Fe3O4/C Nanocomposite and Its Application for Cost-Effective and Sensitive Detection of Tryptophan
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060245
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
Viewed by 283 | PDF Full-text (4319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we reported facile synthesis of Fe3O4/C composite and its application for the cost-effective and sensitive determination of tryptophan (Trp) in human serum samples. Fe3O4/C composites were prepared by a simple one-pot hydrothermal [...] Read more.
In this study, we reported facile synthesis of Fe3O4/C composite and its application for the cost-effective and sensitive determination of tryptophan (Trp) in human serum samples. Fe3O4/C composites were prepared by a simple one-pot hydrothermal method followed by a mild calcination procedure, using FeCl3∙6H2O as Fe3O4 precursor, and glucose as reducing agent and carbon source simultaneously. The Fe3O4/C composite modified glassy carbon electrode (Fe3O4/C/GCE) was prepared by drop-casting method. The microstructure and morphology of Fe3O4/C composite was characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. Due to large specific surface area and synergistic effect from Fe3O4 nanoparticles and carbon coating, Fe3O4/C composite showed excellent electrocatalytic activity toward the oxidation of Trp. As a result, the proposed Fe3O4/C/GCE displayed superior analytical performances toward Trp determination, with two wide detection ranges (1.0–80 μM and 80–800 μM) and a low detection limit (0.26 μM, S/N = 3). Moreover, successful detection of Trp in human serum samples further validate the practicability of the proposed sensor. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Phenolic Content of Brown Algae (Pheophyceae) Species: Extraction, Identification, and Quantification
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060244
Received: 22 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
Viewed by 337 | PDF Full-text (505 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the last few decades, isolations and chemical characterizations of secondary metabolites with proved biological activities have been of interest for numerous research groups across the world. Phenolics, as one of the largest and most widely distributed group of phytochemicals, have gained special [...] Read more.
Over the last few decades, isolations and chemical characterizations of secondary metabolites with proved biological activities have been of interest for numerous research groups across the world. Phenolics, as one of the largest and most widely distributed group of phytochemicals, have gained special attention due to their pharmacological activity and array of health-promoting benefits. Reports on phenolic potentials of marine algae, especially brown algae (Pheophyceae) that are characterized by the presence of phlorotannins, are still scarce. The aim of this review paper is to provide an overview of current knowledge about phenolic potential of different brown algae species (74 species from 7 different orders). Studies on brown algae phenolics usually involve few species, thus the focus of this review is to provide information about the phenolic potential of reported algae species and to get an insight into some issues related to the applied extraction procedures and determination/quantification methods to facilitate the comparison of results from different studies. The information provided through this review should be useful for the design and interpretation of studies investigating the brown algae as a source of valuable phytochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactives from Marine Products)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Important Metabolites in Maintaining Folate Cycle, Homocysteine, and Polyamine Metabolism Associated with Ranibizumab Treatment in Cultured Human Tenon’s Fibroblasts
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060243
Received: 12 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
Viewed by 273 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The anti-fibrotic properties of ranibizumab have been well documented. As an antagonist to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), ranibizumab works by binding and neutralizing all active VEGF-A, thus limiting progressive cell growth and proliferation. Ranibizumab application in ocular diseases has shown remarkable desired [...] Read more.
The anti-fibrotic properties of ranibizumab have been well documented. As an antagonist to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), ranibizumab works by binding and neutralizing all active VEGF-A, thus limiting progressive cell growth and proliferation. Ranibizumab application in ocular diseases has shown remarkable desired effects; however, to date, its antifibrotic mechanism is not well understood. In this study, we identified metabolic changes in ranibizumab-treated human Tenon’s fibroblasts (HTFs). Cultured HTFs were treated for 48 h with 0.5 mg/mL of ranibizumab and 0.5 mg/mL control IgG antibody which serves as a negative control. Samples from each group were injected into Agilent 6520 Q-TOF liquid chromatography/mass spectrometer (LC/MS) system to establish the metabolite expression in both ranibizumab treated cells and control group. Data obtained was analyzed using Agilent Mass Hunter Qualitative Analysis software to identify the most regulated metabolite following ranibizumab treatment. At p-value < 0.01 with the cut off value of two-fold change, 31 identified metabolites were found to be significantly upregulated in ranibizumab-treated group, with six of the mostly upregulated having insignificant role in fibroblast cell cycle and wound healing regulations. Meanwhile, 121 identified metabolites that were downregulated, and seven of the mostly downregulated are significantly involved in cell cycle and proliferation. Our findings suggest that ranibizumab abrogates the tissue scarring and wound healing process by regulating the expression of metabolites associated with fibrotic activity. In particular, we found that vitamin Bs are important in maintaining normal folate cycle, nucleotide synthesis, and homocysteine and spermidine metabolism. This study provides an insight into ranibizumab’s mechanism of action in HTFs from the perspective of metabolomics. Full article
Open AccessArticle
LFB: A Novel Antimicrobial Brevinin-Like Peptide from the Skin Secretion of the Fujian Large Headed Frog, Limnonectes fujianensi
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060242
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
Viewed by 346 | PDF Full-text (2964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amphibians are a natural source of abundant antimicrobial peptides and thus have been widely investigated for isolation of such biomolecules. Many new antimicrobial peptide families have been discovered from amphibians. In this study, a novel antimicrobial peptide named Limnonectes fujianensis Brevinvin (LFB) has [...] Read more.
Amphibians are a natural source of abundant antimicrobial peptides and thus have been widely investigated for isolation of such biomolecules. Many new antimicrobial peptide families have been discovered from amphibians. In this study, a novel antimicrobial peptide named Limnonectes fujianensis Brevinvin (LFB) has been identified in the skin secretion from the Fujian large headed frog, Limnonectes fujianensis. The cDNA sequence was cloned from a skin secretion library and the predicted mature peptide was identified through MS/MS fragmentation sequencing of reverse phase HPLC fractions on the same sample. LFB was predicted to be an amphipathic, hydrophobic, alpha helical, and beta turn peptide that inserts into a lipid bilayer in order to kill the cells. In antimicrobial assays, a synthetic replicate of this novel antimicrobial peptide demonstrated significant activity against the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli and the yeast, Candida albicans. This novel peptide was highly potent (MIC 4.88 uM) against Gram-negative bacterium, and also has the ability to inhibit the growth of human cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 18.9 μM down to 2.0 μM. These findings help to enrich our understanding of Brevinin-like peptides. Moreover, the data presented here validate frog secretion as a source of potential novel antimicrobial peptides, that also exhibit anti-tumor properties, that could be useful for the treatment of cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peptides: Molecular and Biotechnological Aspects)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Inclusion Complexes of β and HPβ-Cyclodextrin with α, β Amyrin and In Vitro Anti-Inflammatory Activity
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060241
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 15 June 2019 / Accepted: 16 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
Viewed by 285 | PDF Full-text (2031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
α, β amyrin (ABAM) is a natural mixture of pentacyclic triterpenes that has a wide range of biological activities. ABAM is isolated from the species of the Burseraceae family, in which the species Protium is commonly found in the Amazon region of Brazil. [...] Read more.
α, β amyrin (ABAM) is a natural mixture of pentacyclic triterpenes that has a wide range of biological activities. ABAM is isolated from the species of the Burseraceae family, in which the species Protium is commonly found in the Amazon region of Brazil. The aim of this work was to develop inclusion complexes (ICs) of ABAM and β-cyclodextrin (βCD) and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD) by physical mixing (PM) and kneading (KN) methods. Interactions between ABAM and the CD’s as well as the formation of ICs were confirmed by physicochemical characterization in the solid state by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetry (TG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Physicochemical characterization indicated the formation of ICs with both βCD and HPβCD. Such ICs were able to induce changes in the physicochemical properties of ABAM. In addition, the formation of ICs with cyclodextrins showed to be an effective and promising alternative to enhance the anti-inflammatory activity and safety of ABAM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluation and formulation of Bioactive Terpenes)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Nanoscale Restructuring of Polymer Materials to Produce Single Polymer Composites and Miscible Blends
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060240
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
Viewed by 261 | PDF Full-text (25645 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
I summarize work conducted in our laboratories over the past 30 years using small host molecules to restructure polymer materials at the nanometer level. Certain small molecules, such as the cyclic starches cyclodextrins (CDs) and urea (U) can form non-covalent crystalline inclusion compounds [...] Read more.
I summarize work conducted in our laboratories over the past 30 years using small host molecules to restructure polymer materials at the nanometer level. Certain small molecules, such as the cyclic starches cyclodextrins (CDs) and urea (U) can form non-covalent crystalline inclusion compounds (ICs) with a range of guest molecules, including many polymers. In polymer-CD- and -U-ICs, guest polymer chains reside in narrow channels created by the host molecule crystals, where they are separated and highly extended. When the host crystalline lattice is carefully removed, the guest polymer chains coalesce into a bulk sample with an organization that is distinct from that normally produced from its melt or from solution. Amorphous regions of such coalesced polymer samples have a greater density, likely with less chain entanglement and more chain alignment. As a consequence, after cooling from their melts, coalesced amorphous polymers show glass-transition temperatures (Tgs) that are elevated above those of samples prepared from their solutions or melts. Upon cooling from their melts, coalesced samples of crystallizable polymers show dramatically-increased abilities to crystallize more rapidly and much closer to their melting temperatures (Tms). These unique behaviors of polymers coalesced from their CD- and U-ICs are unexpectedly resistant to extended annealing above their Tgs and Tms. Taking advantage of this behavior permits us to create polymer materials with unique and improved properties. Among these are amorphous polymers with elevated Tgs and semi-crystalline polymers with finer more uniform morphologies. Improved mechanical properties can be achieved through self-nucleation with small amounts of the same polymer made rapidly crystallizable through coalescence from its CD- or U-IC. This can lead to single polymer composites with as-received polymer matrices and self-nucleated reinforcements. Through simultaneous formation and subsequent coalescence from their common CD–ICs, stable well-mixed blends can be achieved between any two or more polymers, despite their inherent immiscibilities. Such coalesced and well-mixed blends are also resistant to phase segregation when heated for extensive periods well above their Tgs and Tms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives of Cyclodextrins)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Selenyl and Sulfur-l-Dopa Derivatives as Potential Anti-Parkinson’s Disease Agents
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060239
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 326 | PDF Full-text (2425 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons at level of substantia nigra pars compacta. To date, there is no cure for this pathology, except for some drugs able to alleviate the symptoms of PD. In this [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons at level of substantia nigra pars compacta. To date, there is no cure for this pathology, except for some drugs able to alleviate the symptoms of PD. In this paper we report the synthesis and biological evaluation of novel sulfur- and selenyl-l-Dopa (LD) derivatives (SP1–6) obtained through the amide junction between the amino group of LD and carboxylic moiety of sulfur- and selenyl-organic compounds, which are commercially available. Biological activity was evaluated on human undifferentiated and retinoic acid/phorbol myristyl acetate (RA/PMA)-differentiated SY-SH5Y neuroblastoma cell line using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Antioxidant activity against oxidative stress was measured using nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) and 2’,7’-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCFDA) assays. Finally, physico-chemical characterization and plasma stability studies of SP1–6 were also performed. Biological data revealed that SP6 has a significant protective action against the neurotoxic action of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and H2O2 in a RA/PMA-differentiated SY-SH5Y neuroblastoma cell line that proved to be an effective antioxidant and protective compound. SP6, endowed with a lipophilic nature, low molecular weight, and plasma stability, can easily cross biological membranes via passive diffusion such as through the blood–brain barrier. SP6 has great potential for developing novel pharmacological approach for neurodegenerative diseases, such as PD. Further studies will help define its exact antioxidant mechanism and determine whether the neuroprotective action is mediated or modulated by glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parkinson's Disease Drugs)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
COP9 Signalosome Interaction with UspA/Usp15 Deubiquitinase Controls VeA-Mediated Fungal Multicellular Development
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060238
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 16 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Viewed by 329 | PDF Full-text (4458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
COP9 signalosome (CSN) and Den1/A deneddylases physically interact and promote multicellular development in fungi. CSN recognizes Skp1/cullin-1/Fbx E3 cullin-RING ligases (CRLs) without substrate and removes their posttranslational Nedd8 modification from the cullin scaffold. This results in CRL complex disassembly and allows Skp1 adaptor/Fbx [...] Read more.
COP9 signalosome (CSN) and Den1/A deneddylases physically interact and promote multicellular development in fungi. CSN recognizes Skp1/cullin-1/Fbx E3 cullin-RING ligases (CRLs) without substrate and removes their posttranslational Nedd8 modification from the cullin scaffold. This results in CRL complex disassembly and allows Skp1 adaptor/Fbx receptor exchange for altered substrate specificity. We characterized the novel ubiquitin-specific protease UspA of the mold Aspergillus nidulans, which corresponds to CSN-associated human Usp15 and interacts with six CSN subunits. UspA reduces amounts of ubiquitinated proteins during fungal development, and the uspA gene expression is repressed by an intact CSN. UspA is localized in proximity to nuclei and recruits proteins related to nuclear transport and transcriptional processing, suggesting functions in nuclear entry control. UspA accelerates the formation of asexual conidiospores, sexual development, and supports the repression of secondary metabolite clusters as the derivative of benzaldehyde (dba) genes. UspA reduces protein levels of the fungal NF-kappa B-like velvet domain protein VeA, which coordinates differentiation and secondary metabolism. VeA stability depends on the Fbx23 receptor, which is required for light controlled development. Our data suggest that the interplay between CSN deneddylase, UspA deubiquitinase, and SCF-Fbx23 ensures accurate levels of VeA to support fungal development and an appropriate secondary metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Broader Cellular Impact of Proteasome-CSN-eIf3 (PCI) Complexes)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
A Novel View of Human Helicobacter pylori Infections: Interplay between Microbiota and Beta-Defensins
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060237
Received: 18 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Viewed by 619 | PDF Full-text (2180 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The gut microbiota is significantly involved in the preservation of the immune system of the host, protecting it against the pathogenic bacteria of the stomach. The correlation between gut microbiota and the host response supports human gastric homeostasis. Gut microbes may be shifted [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota is significantly involved in the preservation of the immune system of the host, protecting it against the pathogenic bacteria of the stomach. The correlation between gut microbiota and the host response supports human gastric homeostasis. Gut microbes may be shifted in Helicobacter pylori (Hp)-infected individuals to advance gastric inflammation and distinguished diseases. Particularly interesting is the establishment of cooperation between gut microbiota and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) of the host in the gastrointestinal tract. AMPs have great importance in the innate immune reactions to Hp and participate in conservative co-evolution with an intricate microbiome. β-Defensins, a class of short, cationic, arginine-rich proteins belonging to the AMP group, are produced by epithelial and immunological cells. Their expression is enhanced during Hp infection. In this review, we discuss the impact of the gut microbiome on the host response, with particular regard to β-defensins in Hp-associated infections. In microbial infections, mostly in precancerous lesions induced by Hp infection, these modifications could lead to different outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammation as Target treatment for Chronic Diseases)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Characterization of Three Chalcone Synthase Genes in Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060236
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 16 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Viewed by 360 | PDF Full-text (3829 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Phenolics are a group of important plant secondary metabolites that have been proven to possess remarkable antioxidant activity and to be beneficial for human health. Pecan nuts are an excellent source of dietary phenolics. In recent years, many studies have focused on the [...] Read more.
Phenolics are a group of important plant secondary metabolites that have been proven to possess remarkable antioxidant activity and to be beneficial for human health. Pecan nuts are an excellent source of dietary phenolics. In recent years, many studies have focused on the separation and biochemical analysis of pecan phenolics, but the molecular mechanisms of phenolic metabolism in pecans have not been fully elucidated, which significantly hinders quality breeding research for this plant. Chalcone synthase (CHS) plays crucial roles in phenolic biosynthesis. In this study, three Carya illinoinensis CHSs (CiCHS1, CiCHS2, and CiCHS3), were isolated and analyzed. CiCHS2 and CiCHS3 present high expression levels in different tissues, and they are also highly expressed at the initial developmental stages of kernels in three pecan genotypes. A correlation analysis was performed between the phenolic content and CHSs expression values during kernel development. The results indicated that the expression variations of CiCHS2 and CiCHS3 are significantly related to changes in total phenolic content. Therefore, CiCHSs play crucial roles in phenolic components synthesis in pecan. We believe that the isolation of CiCHSs is helpful for understanding phenolic metabolism in C. illinoinensis, which will improve quality breeding and resistance breeding studies in this plant. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Ensemble of Conformations of Antifreeze Glycoproteins (AFGP8): A Study Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060235
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
Viewed by 328 | PDF Full-text (4049 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The primary sequence of antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) is highly degenerate, consisting of multiple repeats of the same tripeptide, Ala–Ala–Thr*, in which Thr* is a glycosylated threonine with the disaccharide beta-d-galactosyl-(1,3)-alpha-N-acetyl-d-galactosamine. AFGPs seem to function as intrinsically disordered proteins, presenting [...] Read more.
The primary sequence of antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) is highly degenerate, consisting of multiple repeats of the same tripeptide, Ala–Ala–Thr*, in which Thr* is a glycosylated threonine with the disaccharide beta-d-galactosyl-(1,3)-alpha-N-acetyl-d-galactosamine. AFGPs seem to function as intrinsically disordered proteins, presenting challenges in determining their native structure. In this work, a different approach was used to elucidate the three-dimensional structure of AFGP8 from the Arctic cod Boreogadus saida and the Antarctic notothenioid Trematomus borchgrevinki. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), a non-native solvent, was used to make AFGP8 less dynamic in solution. Interestingly, DMSO induced a non-native structure, which could be determined via nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The overall three-dimensional structures of the two AFGP8s from two different natural sources were different from a random coil ensemble, but their “compactness” was very similar, as deduced from NMR measurements. In addition to their similar compactness, the conserved motifs, Ala–Thr*–Pro–Ala and Ala–Thr*–Ala–Ala, present in both AFGP8s, seemed to have very similar three-dimensional structures, leading to a refined definition of local structural motifs. These local structural motifs allowed AFGPs to be considered functioning as effectors, making a transition from disordered to ordered upon binding to the ice surface. In addition, AFGPs could act as dynamic linkers, whereby a short segment folds into a structural motif, while the rest of the AFGPs could still be disordered, thus simultaneously interacting with bulk water molecules and the ice surface, preventing ice crystal growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifreeze Protein: New Insight from Different Approaches)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Clozapine Normalizes a Glutamatergic Transmission Abnormality Induced by an Impaired NMDA Receptor in the Thalamocortical Pathway via the Activation of a Group III Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060234
Received: 25 May 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
Viewed by 354 | PDF Full-text (4254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pharmacological mechanisms of gold-standard antipsychotics against treatment-refractory schizophrenia, such as clozapine (CLZ), remain unclear. We aimed to explore the mechanisms of CLZ by investigating the effects of MK801 and CLZ on tripartite synaptic transmission in the thalamocortical glutamatergic pathway using multi-probe microdialysis and [...] Read more.
Pharmacological mechanisms of gold-standard antipsychotics against treatment-refractory schizophrenia, such as clozapine (CLZ), remain unclear. We aimed to explore the mechanisms of CLZ by investigating the effects of MK801 and CLZ on tripartite synaptic transmission in the thalamocortical glutamatergic pathway using multi-probe microdialysis and primary cultured astrocytes. l-glutamate release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was unaffected by local MK801 administration into mPFC but was enhanced in the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MDTN) and reticular thalamic nucleus (RTN) via GABAergic disinhibition in the RTN–MDTN pathway. The local administration of therapeutically relevant concentrations of CLZ into mPFC and MDTN increased and did not affect mPFC l-glutamate release. The local administration of the therapeutically relevant concentration of CLZ into mPFC reduced MK801-induced mPFC l-glutamate release via presynaptic group III metabotropic glutamate receptor (III-mGluR) activation. However, toxic concentrations of CLZ activated l-glutamate release associated with hemichannels. This study demonstrated that RTN is a candidate generator region in which impaired N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)/glutamate receptors likely produce thalamocortical hyperglutamatergic transmission. Additionally, we identified several mechanisms of CLZ relating to its superiority in treatment-resistant schizophrenia and its severe adverse effects: (1) the prevention of thalamocortical hyperglutamatergic transmission via activation of mPFC presynaptic III-mGluR and (2) activation of astroglial l-glutamate release associated with hemichannels. These actions may contribute to the unique clinical profile of CLZ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NMDA Receptor in Health and Diseases)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessBrief Report
IL7RA rs6897932 Polymorphism Is Associated with Better CD4+ T-Cell Recovery in HIV Infected Patients Starting Combination Antiretroviral Therapy
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060233
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 16 June 2019
Viewed by 386 | PDF Full-text (402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Interleukin-7 receptor subunit alpha (IL7RA) rs6897932 polymorphism IS related to CD4+ recovery after combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), but no studies so far have analyzed its potential impact in patients with very low CD4+ T-cells count. We aimed to analyze [...] Read more.
Interleukin-7 receptor subunit alpha (IL7RA) rs6897932 polymorphism IS related to CD4+ recovery after combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), but no studies so far have analyzed its potential impact in patients with very low CD4+ T-cells count. We aimed to analyze the association between IL7RA rs6897932 polymorphism and CD4+ T-cells count restoration in HIV-infected patients starting combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) with CD4+ T-cells count <200 cells/mm3. We performed a retrospective study in 411 patients followed for 24 months with a DNA sample available for genotyping. The change in CD4+ T-cells count during the follow-up was considered as the primary outcome. The rs6897932 polymorphism had a minimum allele frequency (MAF) >20% and was in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (p = 0.550). Of 411 patients, 256 carried the CC genotype, while 155 had the CT/TT genotype. The CT/TT genotype was associated with a higher slope of CD4+ T-cells recovery (arithmetic mean ratio; AMR = 1.16; p = 0.016), higher CD4+ T-cells increase (AMR = 1.19; p = 0.004), and higher CD4+ T-cells count at the end of follow-up (AMR = 1.13; p = 0.006). Besides, rs6897932 CT/TT was related to a higher odds of having a value of CD4+ T-cells at the end of follow-up ≥500 CD4+ cells/mm3 (OR = 2.44; p = 0.006). After multiple testing correction (Benjamini–Hochberg), only the increase of ≥ 400 CD4+ cells/mm3 lost statistical significance (p = 0.052). IL7RA rs6897932 CT/TT genotype was related to a better CD4+ T-cells recovery and it could be used to improve the management of HIV-infected patients starting cART with CD4+ T-cells count <200 cells/mm3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Biosynthesis, Signaling, and Neurological Functions of Bile Acids
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060232
Received: 27 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 15 June 2019
Viewed by 455 | PDF Full-text (1428 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bile acids (BA) are amphipathic steroid acids synthesized from cholesterol in the liver. They act as detergents to expedite the digestion and absorption of dietary lipids and lipophilic vitamins. BA are also considered to be signaling molecules, being ligands of nuclear and cell-surface [...] Read more.
Bile acids (BA) are amphipathic steroid acids synthesized from cholesterol in the liver. They act as detergents to expedite the digestion and absorption of dietary lipids and lipophilic vitamins. BA are also considered to be signaling molecules, being ligands of nuclear and cell-surface receptors, including farnesoid X receptor and Takeda G-protein receptor 5. Moreover, BA also activate ion channels, including the bile acid-sensitive ion channel and epithelial Na+ channel. BA regulate glucose and lipid metabolism by activating these receptors in peripheral tissues, such as the liver and brown and white adipose tissue. Recently, 20 different BA have been identified in the central nervous system. Furthermore, BA affect the function of neurotransmitter receptors, such as the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor and γ-aminobutyric acid receptor. BA are also known to be protective against neurodegeneration. Here, we review recent findings regarding the biosynthesis, signaling, and neurological functions of BA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Impact of Water Pollution on Trophic Transfer of Fatty Acids in Fish, Microalgae, and Zoobenthos in the Food Web of a Freshwater Ecosystem
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060231
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 8 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
Viewed by 329 | PDF Full-text (435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research work was carried out to determine the effects of water contamination on the fatty acid (FA) profile of periphyton, zoobenthos, two Chinese carps and a common carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Ctenopharygodon idella and Cyprinus carpio), captured from highly polluted (HP), [...] Read more.
This research work was carried out to determine the effects of water contamination on the fatty acid (FA) profile of periphyton, zoobenthos, two Chinese carps and a common carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Ctenopharygodon idella and Cyprinus carpio), captured from highly polluted (HP), less polluted (LP), and non-polluted (NP) sites of the Indus river. We found that the concentration of heavy metals in the river water from the polluted locations exceeded the permissible limits suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Fatty acid profiles in periphyton, zoobenthos, H. molitrix, C. idella, and C. carpio in the food web of river ecosystems with different pollution levels were assessed. Lauric acid and arachidic acids were not detected in the biomass of periphyton and zoobenthos from HP and LP sites compared to NP sites. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosadienoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid were not recorded in the biomass samples of periphyton and zoobenthos in both HP and LP sites. Caprylic acid, lauric acid, and arachidic acid were not found in H. molitrix, C. idella, and C. carpio captured from HP. In this study, 6 and 9 omega series FAs were identified in the muscle samples of H. molitrix, C. idella and C. carpio captured from HP and LP sites compared to NP sites, respectively. Less polyunsaturated fatty acids were observed in the muscle samples of H. molitrix, C. idella, and C. carpio collected from HP than from LP. The heavy metals showed significant negative correlations with the total FAs in periphyton, zoobenthos, and fish samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fatty Acids in Natural Ecosystems and Human Nutrition)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Hunt for Degrons of the 26S Proteasome
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060230
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
Viewed by 404 | PDF Full-text (1202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the discovery of ubiquitin conjugation as a cellular mechanism that triggers proteasomal degradation, the mode of substrate recognition by the ubiquitin-ligation system has been the holy grail of research in the field. This entails the discovery of recognition determinants within protein substrates, [...] Read more.
Since the discovery of ubiquitin conjugation as a cellular mechanism that triggers proteasomal degradation, the mode of substrate recognition by the ubiquitin-ligation system has been the holy grail of research in the field. This entails the discovery of recognition determinants within protein substrates, which are part of a degron, and explicit E3 ubiquitin (Ub)-protein ligases that trigger their degradation. Indeed, many protein substrates and their cognate E3′s have been discovered in the past 40 years. In the course of these studies, various degrons have been randomly identified, most of which are acquired through post-translational modification, typically, but not exclusively, protein phosphorylation. Nevertheless, acquired degrons cannot account for the vast diversity in cellular protein half-life times. Obviously, regulation of the proteome is largely determined by inherent degrons, that is, determinants integral to the protein structure. Inherent degrons are difficult to predict since they consist of diverse sequence and secondary structure features. Therefore, unbiased methods have been employed for their discovery. This review describes the history of degron discovery methods, including the development of high throughput screening methods, state of the art data acquisition and data analysis. Additionally, it summarizes major discoveries that led to the identification of cognate E3 ligases and hitherto unrecognized complexities of degron function. Finally, we discuss future perspectives and what still needs to be accomplished towards achieving the goal of understanding how the eukaryotic proteome is regulated via coordinated action of components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Broader Cellular Impact of Proteasome-CSN-eIf3 (PCI) Complexes)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Maternal Leucine-Rich Diet Minimises Muscle Mass Loss in Tumour-bearing Adult Rat Offspring by Improving the Balance of Muscle Protein Synthesis and Degradation
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060229
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 8 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
Viewed by 339 | PDF Full-text (1814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cachexia syndrome can affect cancer patients and new prevention strategies are required. Maternal nutritional supplementation can modify metabolic programming in the offspring, which lasts until adulthood. This could be a good approach against diseases such as cancer. A 3% leucine-rich diet treatment improved [...] Read more.
Cachexia syndrome can affect cancer patients and new prevention strategies are required. Maternal nutritional supplementation can modify metabolic programming in the offspring, which lasts until adulthood. This could be a good approach against diseases such as cancer. A 3% leucine-rich diet treatment improved muscle protein turnover by modifying the mTOR and proteolytic pathways, thus we analysed whether maternal supplementation could ameliorate muscle protein turnover in adult offspring tumour-bearing rats. Pregnant Wistar rats received a control diet or 3% leucine-rich diet during pregnancy/lactation, and their weaned male offspring received a control diet until adulthood when they were distributed into following groups (n = 7–8 per group): C, Control; W, tumour-bearing; L, without tumour with a maternal leucine-rich diet; and WL, tumour-bearing with a maternal leucine-rich diet. Protein synthesis and degradation were assessed in the gastrocnemius muscle, focusing on the mTOR pathway, which was extensively altered in W group. However, the WL adult offspring showed no decrease in muscle weight, higher food intake, ameliorated muscle turnover, activated mTOR and p70S6K, and maintained muscle cathepsin H and calpain activities. Maternal leucine nutritional supplementation could be a positive strategy to improve muscle protein balance in cancer cachexia-induced muscle damage in adult offspring rats. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Extraction of Cathepsin D-Like Protease from Neon Flying Squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) Viscera and Application in Antioxidant Hydrolysate Production
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060228
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 9 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
Viewed by 250 | PDF Full-text (1847 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A protease from neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) viscera (SVCE3(f)) was partially purified by isoelectric solubilization/precipitation combined with ultra-membrane filtration (ISP-UMF). Two protein bands of 45 and 27 KDa were determined by SDS-PAGE assay. The protease characteristic of the protein band [...] Read more.
A protease from neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) viscera (SVCE3(f)) was partially purified by isoelectric solubilization/precipitation combined with ultra-membrane filtration (ISP-UMF). Two protein bands of 45 and 27 KDa were determined by SDS-PAGE assay. The protease characteristic of the protein band of 45 KDa was confirmed using casein zymography analysis. The result of UPLC-ESI-MS/MS suggested that the band of 45 KDa could be a cathepsin D-like protease. This cathepsin D-like protease showed an optimum pH of 3.0 and optimum temperature of 60 °C when casein was used as s substrate. Furthermore, its protease activity was stable at 30–50 °C and under a pH range of 1.0–5.0, maintaining about 60% of its initial activity. SVCE3(f) can digest half-fin anchovy (Setipinna taty) to generate antioxidant hydrolysates (HAHp-SEs). The degree of hydrolysis (DH) of HAHp-SEs increased along with the hydrolysis time and reached stability after 60 min of digestion. HAHp-SEs(30) with relatively lower DH exhibited the highest DPPH radical scavenging activity as compared with other HAHp-SEs. However, a stronger hydroxyl radical scavenging activity and greater reducing power were observed for HAHp-SEs that underwent higher DH. Accordingly, the partially purified cathepsin D-like protease of neon flying squid viscera using ISP-UMF could have potential application in antioxidant hydrolysates production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactives from Marine Products)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Marjoram Relaxes Rat Thoracic Aorta Via a PI3-K/eNOS/cGMP Pathway
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060227
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
Viewed by 342 | PDF Full-text (1821 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite pharmacotherapeutic advances, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the primary cause of global mortality. Alternative approaches, such as herbal medicine, continue to be sought to reduce this burden. Origanum majorana is recognized for many medicinal values, yet its vasculoprotective effects remain poorly investigated. Here, [...] Read more.
Despite pharmacotherapeutic advances, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the primary cause of global mortality. Alternative approaches, such as herbal medicine, continue to be sought to reduce this burden. Origanum majorana is recognized for many medicinal values, yet its vasculoprotective effects remain poorly investigated. Here, we subjected rat thoracic aortae to increasing doses of an ethanolic extract of Origanum majorana (OME). OME induced relaxation in a dose-dependent manner in endothelium-intact rings. This relaxation was significantly blunted in denuded rings. N(ω)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) or 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3,-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) significantly reduced the OME-induced vasorelaxation. Cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels were also increased by OME. Moreover, wortmannin or LY294002 significantly reduced OME-induced vasorelaxation. Blockers of ATP-sensitive or Ca2+-activated potassium channels such as glibenclamide or tetraethylamonium (TEA), respectively, did not significantly affect OME-induced relaxation. Similarly, verapamil, a Ca2+ channel blocker, indomethacin, a non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor, and pyrilamine, a H1 histamine receptor blocker, did not significantly modulate the observed relaxation. Taken together, our results show that OME induces vasorelaxation via an endothelium-dependent mechanism involving the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K)/ endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS)/cGMP pathway. Our findings further support the medicinal value of marjoram and provide a basis for its beneficial intake. Although consuming marjoram may have an antihypertensive effect, further studies are needed to better determine its effects in different vascular beds. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Promising Directions in Atherosclerosis Treatment Based on Epigenetic Regulation Using MicroRNAs and Long Noncoding RNAs
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060226
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
Viewed by 341 | PDF Full-text (2155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is a chronic inflammatory disease of the middle and large arteries caused by a disruption of lipid metabolism. Noncoding RNA (ncRNA), including microRNA (miRNA), small interfering RNA (siRNA) and [...] Read more.
Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is a chronic inflammatory disease of the middle and large arteries caused by a disruption of lipid metabolism. Noncoding RNA (ncRNA), including microRNA (miRNA), small interfering RNA (siRNA) and long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), was investigated for the treatment of atherosclerosis. Regulation of the expression of noncoding RNA targets the constituent element of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Currently, miRNA therapy commonly employs miRNA antagonists and mimic compounds. In this review, attention is focused on approaches to correcting molecular disorders based on the genetic regulation of the transcription of key genes responsible for the development of atherosclerosis. Promising technologies were considered for the treatment of atherosclerosis, and examples are given for technologies that have been shown to be effective in clinical trials. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Bioactivities of Halometabolites from Marine Actinobacteria
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060225
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
Viewed by 286 | PDF Full-text (1785 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural halogenated compounds (halometabolites) are produced mainly by marine organisms, including marine Actinobacteria. Many commercially important compounds for pharmaceuticals contain halogen, and the halogen is responsible for the physical and chemical properties as well as bioactivities and toxicities. In the exploration of marine [...] Read more.
Natural halogenated compounds (halometabolites) are produced mainly by marine organisms, including marine Actinobacteria. Many commercially important compounds for pharmaceuticals contain halogen, and the halogen is responsible for the physical and chemical properties as well as bioactivities and toxicities. In the exploration of marine environment that is supported by advanced structure elucidation, varied panel bioassays and high-throughput screening have accelerated number of halometabolites isolated from marine Actinobacteria to date. The metabolites exhibited unique structures and promising bioactivities. This review focuses on the chemodiversity and bioactivities of marine halometabolites from marine Actinobacteria reported in the last 15 years (2003–2018). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactives from Marine Products)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Role of Cop9 Signalosome Subunits in the Environmental and Hormonal Balance of Plant
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060224
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 8 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
Viewed by 475 | PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The COP9 (Constitutive photomorphogenesis 9) signalosome (CSN) is a highly conserved protein complex that influences several signaling and developmental processes. The COP9 signalosome consists of eight subunits, among which two subunits, CSN5 and CSN6, contain an Mpr1/Pad1 N-terminal (MPN) domain and the remaining [...] Read more.
The COP9 (Constitutive photomorphogenesis 9) signalosome (CSN) is a highly conserved protein complex that influences several signaling and developmental processes. The COP9 signalosome consists of eight subunits, among which two subunits, CSN5 and CSN6, contain an Mpr1/Pad1 N-terminal (MPN) domain and the remaining six subunits contain a proteasome, COP9 signalosome, and initiation factor 3 (PCI) domain. In plants, each MPN subunit is encoded by two genes, which is not the case in other organisms. This review aims to provide in-depth knowledge of each COP9 signalosome subunit, concentrating on genetic analysis of both partial and complete loss-of-function mutants. At the beginning of this review, the role of COP9 signalosome in the hormonal signaling and defense is discussed, whereas later sections deal in detail with the available partial loss-of-function, hypomorphic mutants of each subunit. All available hypomorphic mutants are compared based on their growth response and deneddylation activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Broader Cellular Impact of Proteasome-CSN-eIf3 (PCI) Complexes)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessPerspective
Chronic Inflammation as an Immunological Abnormality and Effectiveness of Exercise
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060223
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
Viewed by 798 | PDF Full-text (241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reduced levels of physical activity in people’s daily lives cause the development of metabolic syndromes or age-related disorders. Chronic inflammation is now understood to be an underlying pathological condition in which inflammatory cells such as neutrophils and monocyte/macrophages infiltrate into fat and other [...] Read more.
Reduced levels of physical activity in people’s daily lives cause the development of metabolic syndromes or age-related disorders. Chronic inflammation is now understood to be an underlying pathological condition in which inflammatory cells such as neutrophils and monocyte/macrophages infiltrate into fat and other tissues and accumulate when people become obese due to overeating and/or physical inactivity. Pro-inflammatory mediators such as cytokines that are secreted in excess from inflammatory cells will not only lead to the development of arteriosclerosis when they chronically affect blood vessels but also bring tissue degeneration and/or dysfunction to various organs. Chronic inflammation is also involved in sarcopenia that brings hypofunction in the elderly, dementia, osteoporosis, or cancer and negatively affects many chronic diseases and people’s healthy life expectancy. In this paper, outlines of such studies are introduced in terms of homeostatic inflammation, which occurs chronically due to the innate immune system and its abnormalities, while focusing on the efficacy of exercise from aspects of immunology and oxidative stress. The preventative effects of functional food ingredients in combination with exercise are also introduced and described. The challenges and future directions in understanding the role of exercise in the control of chronic inflammation are discussed. Full article
Open AccessBrief Report
PIN2 Polarity Establishment in Arabidopsis in the Absence of an Intact Cytoskeleton
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060222
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
Viewed by 705 | PDF Full-text (1042 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cell polarity is crucial for the coordinated development of all multicellular organisms. In plants, this is exemplified by the PIN-FORMED (PIN) efflux carriers of the phytohormone auxin: The polar subcellular localization of the PINs is instructive to the directional intercellular auxin transport, and [...] Read more.
Cell polarity is crucial for the coordinated development of all multicellular organisms. In plants, this is exemplified by the PIN-FORMED (PIN) efflux carriers of the phytohormone auxin: The polar subcellular localization of the PINs is instructive to the directional intercellular auxin transport, and thus to a plethora of auxin-regulated growth and developmental processes. Despite its importance, the regulation of PIN polar subcellular localization remains poorly understood. Here, we have employed advanced live-cell imaging techniques to study the roles of microtubules and actin microfilaments in the establishment of apical polar localization of PIN2 in the epidermis of the Arabidopsis root meristem. We report that apical PIN2 polarity requires neither intact actin microfilaments nor microtubules, suggesting that the primary spatial cue for polar PIN distribution is likely independent of cytoskeleton-guided endomembrane trafficking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Biology of Action of Auxins)
Figures

Figure 1

Biomolecules EISSN 2218-273X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top