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Latest Review Papers in Molecular Biophysics 2023

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biophysics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 11008

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Department of Molecular Medicine and USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
Interests: protein physics; protein folding; protein misfolding; intrinsically disordered proteins; protein function; protein interactions
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to collect high quality review papers in all the fields of Molecular Biophysics. We encourage researchers from related fields to contribute review papers highlighting the latest developments in Molecular Biophysics, or to invite relevant experts and colleagues to do so. Full length comprehensive reviews will be preferred.

Prof. Dr. Ian A. Nicholls
Prof. Dr. Vladimir N. Uversky
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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20 pages, 13135 KiB  
Review
Advanced Microscopy Techniques for Molecular Biophysics
by Laura Barsanti, Lorenzo Birindelli, Francesca Sbrana, Giovanni Lombardi and Paolo Gualtieri
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(12), 9973; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24129973 - 9 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2064
Abstract
Though microscopy is most often intended as a technique for providing qualitative assessment of cellular and subcellular properties, when coupled with other instruments such as wavelength selectors, lasers, photoelectric devices and computers, it can perform a wide variety of quantitative measurements, which are [...] Read more.
Though microscopy is most often intended as a technique for providing qualitative assessment of cellular and subcellular properties, when coupled with other instruments such as wavelength selectors, lasers, photoelectric devices and computers, it can perform a wide variety of quantitative measurements, which are demanding in establishing relationships between the properties and structures of biological material in all their spatial and temporal complexities. These combinations of instruments are a powerful approach to improve non-destructive investigations of cellular and subcellular properties (both physical and chemical) at a macromolecular scale resolution. Since many subcellular compartments in living cells are characterized by structurally organized molecules, this review deals with three advanced microscopy techniques well-suited for these kind of investigations, i.e., microspectrophotometry (MSP), super-resolution localization microscopy (SRLM) and holotomographic microscopy (HTM). These techniques can achieve an insight view into the role intracellular molecular organizations such as photoreceptive and photosynthetic structures and lipid bodies play in many cellular processes as well as their biophysical properties. Microspectrophotometry uses a set-up based on the combination of a wide-field microscope and a polychromator, which allows the measurement of spectroscopic features such as absorption spectra. Super resolution localization microscopy combines dedicated optics and sophisticated software algorithms to overcome the diffraction limit of light and allow the visualization of subcellular structures and dynamics in greater detail with respect to conventional optical microscopy. Holotomographic microscopy combines holography and tomography techniques into a single microscopy set-up, and allows 3D reconstruction by means of the phase separation of biomolecule condensates. This review is organized in sections, which for each technique describe some general aspects, a peculiar theoretical aspect, a specific experimental configuration and examples of applications (fish and algae photoreceptors, single labeled proteins and endocellular aggregates of lipids). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Review Papers in Molecular Biophysics 2023)
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29 pages, 10752 KiB  
Review
The Strategies of Development of New Non-Toxic Inhibitors of Amyloid Formation
by Oxana V. Galzitskaya, Sergei Y. Grishin, Anna V. Glyakina, Nikita V. Dovidchenko, Anastasiia V. Konstantinova, Sergey V. Kravchenko and Alexey K. Surin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3781; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043781 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2263
Abstract
In recent years, due to the aging of the population and the development of diagnostic medicine, the number of identified diseases associated with the accumulation of amyloid proteins has increased. Some of these proteins are known to cause a number of degenerative diseases [...] Read more.
In recent years, due to the aging of the population and the development of diagnostic medicine, the number of identified diseases associated with the accumulation of amyloid proteins has increased. Some of these proteins are known to cause a number of degenerative diseases in humans, such as amyloid-beta (Aβ) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), α-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease (PD), and insulin and its analogues in insulin-derived amyloidosis. In this regard, it is important to develop strategies for the search and development of effective inhibitors of amyloid formation. Many studies have been carried out aimed at elucidating the mechanisms of amyloid aggregation of proteins and peptides. This review focuses on three amyloidogenic peptides and proteins—Aβ, α-synuclein, and insulin—for which we will consider amyloid fibril formation mechanisms and analyze existing and prospective strategies for the development of effective and non-toxic inhibitors of amyloid formation. The development of non-toxic inhibitors of amyloid will allow them to be used more effectively for the treatment of diseases associated with amyloid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Review Papers in Molecular Biophysics 2023)
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34 pages, 7469 KiB  
Review
Lanthanides-Substituted Hydroxyapatite for Biomedical Applications
by María del Carmen De Lama-Odría, Luis J. del Valle and Jordi Puiggalí
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043446 - 8 Feb 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3487
Abstract
Lately, there has been an increasing demand for materials that could improve tissue regenerative therapies and provide antimicrobial effects. Similarly, there is a growing need to develop or modify biomaterials for the diagnosis and treatment of different pathologies. In this scenario, hydroxyapatite (HAp) [...] Read more.
Lately, there has been an increasing demand for materials that could improve tissue regenerative therapies and provide antimicrobial effects. Similarly, there is a growing need to develop or modify biomaterials for the diagnosis and treatment of different pathologies. In this scenario, hydroxyapatite (HAp) appears as a bioceramic with extended functionalities. Nevertheless, there are certain disadvantages related to the mechanical properties and lack of antimicrobial capacity. To circumvent them, the doping of HAp with a variety of cationic ions is emerging as a good alterative due to the different biological roles of each ion. Among many elements, lanthanides are understudied despite their great potential in the biomedical field. For this reason, the present review focuses on the biological benefits of lanthanides and how their incorporation into HAp can alter its morphology and physical properties. A comprehensive section of the applications of lanthanides-substituted HAp nanoparticles (HAp NPs) is presented to unveil the potential biomedical uses of these systems. Finally, the need to study the tolerable and non-toxic percentages of substitution with these elements is highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Review Papers in Molecular Biophysics 2023)
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29 pages, 3545 KiB  
Review
The Analytical Possibilities of FT-IR Spectroscopy Powered by Vibrating Molecules
by Piotr Koczoń, Jakub T. Hołaj-Krzak, Bharani K. Palani, Tymoteusz Bolewski, Jarosław Dąbrowski, Bartłomiej J. Bartyzel and Eliza Gruczyńska-Sękowska
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(2), 1013; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24021013 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2147
Abstract
This paper discusses the state of advancement in the development of spectroscopic methods based on the use of mid (proper) infrared radiation in the context of applications in various fields of science and technology. The authors drew attention to the most important solutions [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the state of advancement in the development of spectroscopic methods based on the use of mid (proper) infrared radiation in the context of applications in various fields of science and technology. The authors drew attention to the most important solutions specific to both spectroscopy itself (ATR technique) and chemometric data processing tools (PCA and PLS models). The objective of the current paper is to collect and consistently present information on various aspects of FT-IR spectroscopy, which is not only a well-known and well-established method but is also continuously developing. The innovative aspect of the current review is to show FT-IR’s great versatility that allows its applications to solve and explain issues from both the scientific domain (e.g., hydrogen bonds) and practical ones (e.g., technological processes, medicine, environmental protection, and food analysis). Particular attention was paid to the issue of hydrogen bonds as key non-covalent interactions, conditioning the existence of living matter and determining the number of physicochemical properties of various materials. Since the role of FT-IR spectroscopy in the field of hydrogen bond research has great significance, a historical outline of the most important qualitative and quantitative hydrogen bond theories is provided. In addition, research on selected unconventional spectral effects resulting from the substitution of protons with deuterons in hydrogen bridges is presented. The state-of-the-art and originality of the current review are that it presents a combination of uses of FT-IR spectroscopy to explain the way molecules vibrate and the effects of those vibrations on macroscopic properties, hence practical applications of given substances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Review Papers in Molecular Biophysics 2023)
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