Abstract: The understanding of the mechanisms behind nucleotide recognition by Argonaute 2, core protein of the RNA-induced silencing complex, is a key aspect in the optimization of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) activity. To date, great efforts have been focused on the modification of certain regions of siRNA, such as the 3'/5'-termini and the seed region. Only a few reports have described the roles of central positions flanking the cleavage site during the silence process. In this study, we investigate the potential correlations between the thermodynamic and silencing properties of siRNA molecules carrying, at internal positions, an acyclic L-threoninol nucleic acid (aTNA) modification. Depending on position, the silencing is weakened or impaired. Furthermore, we evaluate the contribution of mismatches facing either a natural nucleotide or an aTNA modification to the siRNA potency. The position 11 of the antisense strand is more permissive to mismatches and aTNA modification, in respect to the position 10. Additionally, comparing the ON-/OFF-target silencing of central mismatched siRNAs with 5'-terminal modified siRNA, we concluded: (i) central perturbation of duplex pairing features weights more on potency rather than silencing asymmetry; (ii) complete bias for the ON-target silencing can be achieved with single L-threoninol modification near the 5'-end of the sense strand.
Abstract: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) control many developmental and physiological processes, including skeleton formation and homeostasis. Previous studies in zebrafish revealed the crucial importance of proper BMP signaling before 48 h post-fertilization (hpf) for cartilage formation in the skull. Here, we focus on the involvement of the BMP pathway between 48 and 96 hpf in bone formation after 96 hpf. Using BMP inhibitors and the expression of a dominant-negative BMP receptor, we analyze whether the loss of BMP signaling affects osteoblastogenesis, osteoblast function and bone mineralization. To this end, we used the transgenic zebrafish line Tg(osterix:mCherry), detection of nitric oxide (NO) production, and alizarin red staining, respectively. We observed that inhibition of BMP signaling between 48 and 72 hpf led to a reduction of NO production and bone mineralization. Osteoblast maturation and chondrogenesis, on the other hand, seemed unchanged. Osteoblast function and bone formation were less affected when BMP signaling was inhibited between 72 and 96 hpf. These results suggest that for the onset of bone formation, proper BMP signaling between 48 and 72 hpf is crucial to ensure osteoblast function and ossification. Furthermore, detection of NO in developing zebrafish larvae appears as an early indicator of bone calcification activity.
Abstract: Nitric oxide (NO), a well-known signaling molecule plays an important role in abiotic and biotic stress-induced production of plant secondary metabolites. In this study, roles of NO in water stress-induced tanshinone production in Salvia miltiorrhiza hairy roots were investigated. The results showed that accumulations of four tanshinone compounds in S. miltiorrhiza hairy roots were significantly stimulated by sodium nitroprusside (SNP, a NO donor) at 100 μM. Effects of SNP were just partially arrested by the mevalonate (MVA) pathway inhibitor (mevinolin), but were completely inhibited by the 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway (MEP) inhibitor (fosmidomycin). The increase of tanshinone accumulation and the up-regulation of HMGR and DXR expression by PEG and ABA treatments were partially inhibited by an inhibitor of NO biosynthesis (Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME)) and a NO scavenger (2-(4-Carboxyphenyl)- 4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (c-PTIO)). Simultaneously, NO generation in the hairy roots was triggered by PEG and ABA, and the effects were also arrested by c-PTIO and L-NAME. These results indicated that NO signaling probably plays a central role in water stress-induced tanshinone production in S. miltiorrhiza hairy roots. SNP mainly stimulated the MEP pathway to increase tanshinone accumulation.
Abstract: Human Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) is an important member of the cytochrome P450 superfamily with responsibility for metabolizing ~50% of clinical drugs. Experimental evidence showed that CYP3A4 can adopt multiple substrates in its active site to form a cooperative binding model, accelerating substrate metabolism efficiency. In the current study, we constructed both normal and cooperative binding models of human CYP3A4 with antifungal drug ketoconazoles (KLN). Molecular dynamics simulation and free energy calculation were then carried out to study the cooperative binding mechanism. Our simulation showed that the second KLN in the cooperative binding model had a positive impact on the first one binding in the active site by two significant pi-pi stacking interactions. The first one was formed by Phe215, functioning to position the first KLN in a favorable orientation in the active site for further metabolism reactions. The second one was contributed by Phe304. This pi-pi stacking was enhanced in the cooperative binding model by the parallel conformation between the aromatic rings in Phe304 and the dioxolan moiety of the first KLN. These findings can provide an atomic insight into the cooperative binding in CYP3A4, revealing a novel pi-pi stacking mechanism for drug-drug interactions.
Abstract: The Suzuki-Miyaura reaction (SMR), involving the coupling of an organoboron reagent and an organic halide or pseudo-halide in the presence of a palladium or nickel catalyst and a base, has arguably become one of most utilized tools for the construction of a C-C bond. This review intends to be general account of all types of catalytic systems, new coupling partners and applications, including the literature between September 2010 and December 2014.
Abstract: Altered glycosylation is a common feature of cancer cells. It takes a variety of forms, which includes loss of expression or excessive expression of some structures, the accumulation of precursors, the appearance of novel structures, etc. Notably, these changes in glycan structure do not occur as a random consequence of disorder biology. Only a limited subset of oligosaccharides is found frequently enriched on the tumor cell surface and implicated in different tumor phenotypes. Among these, altered sialylation has long been associated with metastatic cell behaviors such as invasion and enhanced cell survival and accumulating evidence points to the alteration occurring in the sialic acid linkage to other sugars, which normally exists in three main configurations: α2,3, α2,6, and α2,8, catalyzed by a group of sialyltransferases. The aberrant expression of all three configurations has been described in cancer progression. However, the increased α2,6 sialylation catalyzed by β-galactoside α2,6 sialyltranferase 1 (ST6Gal I) is frequently observed in many types of the cancers. In this review, we describe the findings on the role of ST6Gal I in cancer progression, and highlight in particular the knowledge of how ST6Gal I-mediated α2,6 sialylated glycans or sialylated carrier proteins regulate cell signaling to promote the malignant phenotype of human carcinoma.