Special Issue "Molecular Targets and Targeting in Biomedical Sciences"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carmen Burtea
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Guest Editor
Department of General, Organic and Biomedical Chemistry, NMR and Molecular Imaging Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Mons, Avenue Maistriau 19, Mendeleev Building, B-7000 Mons, Belgium
Interests: bioactive peptides; cell biology; molecular targets; drug discovery; biomedicine; molecular imaging; MRI
Prof. Dr. Sven Saussez
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Human Anatomy and Experimental Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Mons, Avenue du Champ de Mars 6, Pentagone Building, B-7000 Mons, Belgium
Interests: cancer; biology; head and neck; oncoimmunology; prognostic; immunotherapy
Prof. Dr. Marc Port
Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire de Génomique, Bioinformatique et Chimie Moléculaire (EA 7528), Equipe Chimie Moléculaire, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Cnam), HESAM Université, 75003 Paris, France
Interests: molecular targets; drug discovery; biomedicine; molecular imaging; nanopaticles; theranostic; medicinal chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The personalized medicine endorsed by the remarkable breakthrough of genomic and proteomic technologies during the last decades will hopefully enable the fashioning of preventive, diagnostic, prognostic, and curative medicine, according to the individual’s genetic and molecular profile. Such tremendous progress in biomedical concepts will have an overwhelming impact on patient healthcare, both by preventing or limiting the medication side effects and reducing the healthcare costs as a result of an improved disease outcome.

The biomarkers represent key players in personalized medicine, and they are defined by the FDA-NIH Biomarker Working Group as a measurable molecular signature of normal or pathogenic processes, or as a therapeutic outcome of medical intervention. Among them, molecular biomarkers serve as targets for the development of molecularly targeted imaging probes and therapeutics through a wide range of library-based display technologies. But what are the real progresses, challenges, and perspectives of all of these modern tools of molecular biology for biomedical research in general and for patient care in particular?

This Special Issue welcomes the submission of original research and review manuscripts focusing on biomarkers of interest for the diagnosis, therapy, and theranostics of a wide range of pathologies, but also on the specific technologies employed in their identification and targeting, helping us to achieve a realistic overview of this exciting and interdisciplinary field of biomedical research.

Prof. Dr. Carmen Burtea
Prof. Dr. Sven Saussez
Prof. Dr. Marc Port
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomarkers
  • targeted therapy
  • molecular targeting
  • imaging probes
  • molecular imaging
  • theranostics
  • library-based display technologies
  • peptides
  • aptamers
  • antibodies

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study of Rat Urine 1H-NMR Metabolome Changes Presumably Arising from Isoproterenol-Induced Heart Necrosis Versus Clarithromycin-Induced QT Interval Prolongation
Biology 2020, 9(5), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9050098 - 13 May 2020
Abstract
Cardiotoxicity remains a challenging concern both in drug development and in the management of various clinical situations. There are a lot of examples of drugs withdrawn from the market or stopped during clinical trials due to unpredicted cardiac adverse events. Obviously, current conventional [...] Read more.
Cardiotoxicity remains a challenging concern both in drug development and in the management of various clinical situations. There are a lot of examples of drugs withdrawn from the market or stopped during clinical trials due to unpredicted cardiac adverse events. Obviously, current conventional methods for cardiotoxicity assessment suffer from a lack of predictivity and sensitivity. Therefore, there is a need for developing new tools to better identify and characterize any cardiotoxicity that can occur during the pre-clinical and clinical phases of drug development as well as after marketing in exposed patients. In this study, isoproterenol and clarithromycin were used as prototypical cardiotoxic agents in rats in order to evaluate potential biomarkers of heart toxicity at very early stages using 1H-NMR-based metabonomics. While isoproterenol is known to cause heart necrosis, clarithromycin may induce QT interval prolongation. Heart necrosis and QT prolongation were validated by histological analysis, serum measurement of lactate dehydrogenase/creatine phosphate kinase and QTc measurement by electrocardiogram (ECG). Urine samples were collected before and repeatedly during daily exposure to the drugs for 1H-NMR based-metabonomics investigations. Specific metabolic signatures, characteristic of each tested drug, were obtained from which potential predictive biomarkers for drug-induced heart necrosis and drug-induced QT prolongation were retrieved. Isoproterenol-induced heart necrosis was characterized by higher levels of taurine, creatine, glucose and by lower levels of Krebs cycle intermediates, creatinine, betaine/trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), dimethylamine (DMA)/sarcosine. Clarithromycin-induced QT prolongation was characterized by higher levels of creatinine, taurine, betaine/TMAO and DMA/sarcosine and by lower levels of Krebs cycle intermediates, glucose and hippurate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Targets and Targeting in Biomedical Sciences)
Open AccessArticle
Molecular Imaging of Galectin-1 Expression as a Biomarker of Papillary Thyroid Cancer by Using Peptide-Functionalized Imaging Probes
Biology 2020, 9(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9030053 - 14 Mar 2020
Abstract
Thyroid cancers are the most frequent endocrine cancers and their incidence is increasing worldwide. Thyroid nodules occur in over 19–68% of the population, but only 7–15% of them are diagnosed as malignant. Diagnosis relies on a fine needle aspiration biopsy, which is often [...] Read more.
Thyroid cancers are the most frequent endocrine cancers and their incidence is increasing worldwide. Thyroid nodules occur in over 19–68% of the population, but only 7–15% of them are diagnosed as malignant. Diagnosis relies on a fine needle aspiration biopsy, which is often inconclusive and about 90% of thyroidectomies are performed for benign lesions. Galectin-1 has been proposed as a confident biomarker for the discrimination of malignant from benign nodules. We previously identified by phage display two peptides (P1 and P7) targeting galectin-1, with the goal of developing imaging probes for non-invasive diagnosis of thyroid cancer. The peptides were coupled to ultra-small superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (USPIO) or to a near-infrared dye (CF770) for non-invasive detection of galectin-1 expression in a mouse model of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC, as the most frequent one) by magnetic resonance imaging and fluorescence lifetime imaging. The imaging probes functionalized with the two peptides presented comparable image enhancement characteristics. However, those coupled to P7 were more favorable, and showed decreased retention by the liver and spleen (known for their galectin-1 expression) and high sensitivity (75%) and specificity (100%) of PTC detection, which confirm the aptitude of this peptide to discriminate human malignant from benign nodules (80% sensitivity, 100% specificity) previously observed by immunohistochemistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Targets and Targeting in Biomedical Sciences)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Lymphocyte-Activation Gene 3 (LAG3) Protein as a Possible Therapeutic Target for Parkinson’s Disease: Molecular Mechanisms Connecting Neuroinflammation to α-Synuclein Spreading Pathology
Biology 2020, 9(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9040086 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder without any objective biomarker available to date. Increasing evidence highlights the critical role of neuroinflammation, including T cell responses, and spreading of aggregated α-synuclein in PD progression. Lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3) belongs to [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder without any objective biomarker available to date. Increasing evidence highlights the critical role of neuroinflammation, including T cell responses, and spreading of aggregated α-synuclein in PD progression. Lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3) belongs to the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily expressed by peripheral immune cells, microglia and neurons and plays a key role in T cell regulation. The role of LAG3 has been extensively investigated in several human cancers, whereas until recently, the role of LAG3 in the central nervous system (CNS) has been largely unknown. Accumulating evidence highlights the potential role of LAG3 in PD pathogenesis, mainly by binding to α-synuclein fibrils and affecting its endocytosis and intercellular transmission, which sheds more light on the connection between immune dysregulation and α-synuclein spreading pathology. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) soluble LAG3 (sLAG3) levels have been demonstrated to be potentially associated with PD development and clinical phenotype, suggesting that sLAG3 could represent an emerging PD biomarker. Specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the LAG3 gene have been also related to PD occurrence especially in the female population, enlightening the pathophysiological background of gender-related PD clinical differences. Given also the ongoing clinical trials investigating various LAG3-targeting strategies in human diseases, new opportunities are being developed for PD treatment research. In this review, we discuss recent preclinical and clinical evidence on the role of LAG3 in PD pathogenesis and biomarker potential, aiming to elucidate its underlying molecular mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Targets and Targeting in Biomedical Sciences)
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