Special Issue "2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences"

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Life Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Jung
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Cellbiology, Institute of Biotechnology, Brandenburg University of Technology, 01968 Senftenberg, Germany
Interests: cell culture; endothelial cells; thrombocytes; cell biology; hypertension; biomaterials; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular medicine; microalgae
Prof. Dr. Christian Doerig
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Biomedical Sciences Cluster, School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Interests: molecular parasitology; malaria; kinomics of parasitic infections; signalling
Prof. Dr. Gustavo Caetano-Anollés
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Evolutionary Bioinformatics Laboratory, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Interests: plant pathology; plant protection; plant physiology; plant breeding and genetics; crop genetic improvement; molecular evolution; genomics; bioinformatics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Edgar Lehr
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 61702-2900, USA
Interests: taxonomy; systematics; vertebrate biology; herpetology; comparative anatomy; conservation biology; biodiversity
Prof. Dr. Ronald S. Oremland
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Emeritus, United States Geological Survey (USGS), Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
Interests: contamination and pollution; toxic trace element; contamination; greenhouse effect

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Life was first launched back in 2011, and this year, its tenth volume is scheduled to be released. To mark this significant anniversary, a Special Issue edited by the editorial board members is inviting all prominent scientists in the field for contributions. This Special Issue is dedicated to the publication and discussion of research articles, letters, reviews, and communications on all aspects of life sciences. This comprises the interaction of blood and tissue cells with foreign body molecules or materials, infection processes, pathogens, Infection and Immunity, astrobiology, biochemistry, biodiversity, bioinformatics, biomedicine, biophysics, biotechnology, botany, cell biology, definition of life, developmental biology, ecology, extremophiles, evolutionary biology, genetics, genomics, geobiology, habitability, life detection technology, microbiology, molecular biology, molecular phylogeny, neurobiology, origins of life, paleontology, prebiotic chemistry, proteomics, space life sciences/space biology, structural biology, systems biology, synthetic biology, theoretical biology, and virology. We very much look forward to your valued contributions to make this Special Issue a unique resource for future researchers from the exciting field of life sciences.

Prof. Dr. Edgar Lehr
Prof. Dr. Ronald S. Oremland
Prof. Dr. Christian Doerig
Prof. Dr. Friedrich Jung
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Life 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 1600 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.

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Article
Menzerath–Altmann’s Law of Syntax in RNA Accretion History
Life 2021, 11(6), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060489 - 27 May 2021
Viewed by 377
Abstract
RNA evolves by adding substructural parts to growing molecules. Molecular accretion history can be dissected with phylogenetic methods that exploit structural and functional evidence. Here, we explore the statistical behaviors of lengths of double-stranded and single-stranded segments of growing tRNA, 5S rRNA, RNase [...] Read more.
RNA evolves by adding substructural parts to growing molecules. Molecular accretion history can be dissected with phylogenetic methods that exploit structural and functional evidence. Here, we explore the statistical behaviors of lengths of double-stranded and single-stranded segments of growing tRNA, 5S rRNA, RNase P RNA, and rRNA molecules. The reconstruction of character state changes along branches of phylogenetic trees of molecules and trees of substructures revealed strong pushes towards an economy of scale. In addition, statistically significant negative correlations and strong associations between the average lengths of helical double-stranded stems and their time of origin (age) were identified with the Pearson’s correlation and Spearman’s rho methods. The ages of substructures were derived directly from published rooted trees of substructures. A similar negative correlation was detected in unpaired segments of rRNA but not for the other molecules studied. These results suggest a principle of diminishing returns in RNA accretion history. We show this principle follows a tendency of substructural parts to decrease their size when molecular systems enlarge that follows the Menzerath–Altmann’s law of language in full generality and without interference from the details of molecular growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Communication
Lectin Staining of Microvascular Glycocalyx in Microfluidic Cancer Cell Extravasation Assays
Life 2021, 11(3), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11030179 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 719
Abstract
The endothelial glycocalyx forms the inner-most lining of human microvasculature. It ensures the physiological function of blood vessels and plays a crucial role in the occurrence and progression of microvascular diseases. The present communication aims to highlight the usefulness of high-resolution imaging of [...] Read more.
The endothelial glycocalyx forms the inner-most lining of human microvasculature. It ensures the physiological function of blood vessels and plays a crucial role in the occurrence and progression of microvascular diseases. The present communication aims to highlight the usefulness of high-resolution imaging of lectin (Bandeiraea Simplicifolia) stained endothelial glycocalyx in 3-dimensional microfluidic cell cultures. The microfluidic system allowed visualizing cancer cell extravasation, which is a key event in metastasis formation in cancer pathologies. In brief, microvascular networks were created through spontaneous vasculogenesis. This occurred from 3 dimensional (3D) suspensions of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in hydrogels confined within microfluidic devices. Extravasation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells from perfusable endothelial lumens was observed with confocal imaging of lectin-stained microvascular networks. The present work provides guidance towards optimizing the methodology used to elucidate the role of the endothelial glycocalyx during cancer cell extravasation. In particular, a high-resolution view of the endothelial glycocalyx at the site of extravasation is presented. The occurrence of glycocalyx defects is well aligned with the contemporary notion in the field that glycocalyx shedding precedes cancer cell extravasation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Article
Spatio-Temporal Expression Pattern of Ki-67, pRB, MMP-9 and Bax in Human Secondary Palate Development
Life 2021, 11(2), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020164 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 538
Abstract
We analyzed the immunohistochemical expression of Ki-67, pRb, Bax, and MMP-9 during the human secondary palate formation (7th to 12th developmental weeks (DWs). The most significant proliferation was observed in the seventh DW with 32% of Ki-67-positive cells in the epithelium, while loose [...] Read more.
We analyzed the immunohistochemical expression of Ki-67, pRb, Bax, and MMP-9 during the human secondary palate formation (7th to 12th developmental weeks (DWs). The most significant proliferation was observed in the seventh DW with 32% of Ki-67-positive cells in the epithelium, while loose ectomesenchyme condensations (lec) and loose non-condensing ectomesenchyme (lnc) had only 18 and 11%, respectively (Kruskal–Wallis, p < 0.001), and diminished afterwards. Contrarily, pRb-positive cells were mostly located in the lnc (67%), with significant difference in comparison to epithelium and lec in all investigated periods (Kruskal–Wallis, p < 0.001). Ki-67- and pRb-positive cells co-expressed occasionally in all investigated periods. MMP-9 displayed a strong expression pattern with the highest number of positive cells during the seventh DW in the epithelium, with significant difference in comparison to lec and lnc (Kruskal–Wallis, p < 0.0001). The ninth DW is particularly important for the Bax expression, especially in the epithelium (84%), in comparison to lec (58%) and lnc (47%) (Kruskal–Wallis, p < 0.001). The co-expression of Bax and MMP-9 was seen only in the epithelium during seventh and ninth DWs. Our study indicates the parallel persistence of proliferation (Ki-67, pRb) and remodeling (MMP-9) that enables growth and apoptotic activity (Bax) that enable the removal of the epithelial cells at the fusion point during secondary palate formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Communication
The Road towards Polyclonal Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulins (Hyperimmune Serum) for Passive Immunization in COVID-19
Life 2021, 11(2), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020144 - 15 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Effective treatments specific for COVID-19 are still lacking. In the setting of passive immunotherapies based on neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), randomized controlled trials of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein monoclonal antibodies (mAb), which have been granted emergency use authorization, have suggested benefit [...] Read more.
Effective treatments specific for COVID-19 are still lacking. In the setting of passive immunotherapies based on neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), randomized controlled trials of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein monoclonal antibodies (mAb), which have been granted emergency use authorization, have suggested benefit in early disease course (less than 72 hours from symptoms and seronegative). Meanwhile, polyclonal immunoglobulins (i.e., hyperimmune serum), derived either from CCP donations or from animals immunized with SARS-CoV-2 antigens, are likely to become the next nAb-derived candidate. We here discuss the pros and cons of hyperimmune serum versus CCP and mAb, and summarize the ongoing clinical trials of COVID-19 hyperimmune sera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
Article
Smart Nanoformulation Based on Polymeric Magnetic Nanoparticles and Vincristine Drug: A Novel Therapy for Apoptotic Gene Expression in Tumors
Life 2021, 11(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11010071 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
Background: Advanced nanobiotechnology provides safe and efficient drug delivery systems to deliver chemotherapy that targets cancer cells efficiently. Methods: A polymeric-magnetic nanocarrier was composed of a dextran (DEX) shell, a superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPION) core and was conjugated with folate (FA) to carry [...] Read more.
Background: Advanced nanobiotechnology provides safe and efficient drug delivery systems to deliver chemotherapy that targets cancer cells efficiently. Methods: A polymeric-magnetic nanocarrier was composed of a dextran (DEX) shell, a superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPION) core and was conjugated with folate (FA) to carry the anticancer drug vincristine (VNC) in Tera-1 testicular tumor cells. The molecular mechanisms by which apoptosis was induced were analyzed using flow cytometry and qPCR, which exhibited anticancer activity of nanoparticles (NPs). Results: This nanocarrier revealed a controlled release of VNC in citrate and phosphate buffer solutions that were maintained at pH 5.5 and pH 7.4, respectively. The Inhibitory concentration (IC50) values were greater than 5 mg/mL and displayed ten times higher cytotoxicity than the comparable free drug concentration. The Caspase-9 and P53 expressions were increased, whereas P21 and AKt1 decreased noticeably in the treated cells. The results point to the possible activation of apoptosis following treatment with NPs loaded with vincristine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Article
Comparison of Treatment Effects of Different Iron Chelators in Experimental Models of Sepsis
Life 2021, 11(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11010057 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 713
Abstract
Growing evidence indicates that dysregulated iron metabolism with altered and excess iron availability in some body compartments plays a significant role in the course of infection and sepsis in humans. Given that all bacterial pathogens require iron for growth, that iron withdrawal is [...] Read more.
Growing evidence indicates that dysregulated iron metabolism with altered and excess iron availability in some body compartments plays a significant role in the course of infection and sepsis in humans. Given that all bacterial pathogens require iron for growth, that iron withdrawal is a normal component of innate host defenses and that bacterial pathogens have acquired increasing levels of antibiotic resistance, targeting infection and sepsis through use of appropriate iron chelators has potential to provide new therapeutics. We have directly compared the effects of three Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved chelators (deferoxamine—DFO; deferiprone—DFP; and deferasirox—DFX), as were developed for treating hematological iron overload conditions, to DIBI, a novel purpose-designed, anti-infective and anti-inflammatory water-soluble hydroxypyridinone containing iron-selective copolymers. Two murine sepsis models, endotoxemia and polymicrobial abdominal sepsis, were utilized to help differentiate anti-inflammatory versus anti-infective activities of the chelators. Leukocyte adhesion, as measured by intravital microscopy, was observed in both models, with DIBI providing the most effective reduction and DFX the poorest. Inflammation in the abdominal sepsis model, assessed by cytokine measurements, indicated exacerbation by DFX and DFO for plasma Interleukin (IL)-6 and reductions to near-control levels for DIBI and DFP. Peritoneal infection burden was reduced 10-fold by DIBI while DFX and DFP provided no reductions. Overall, the results, together with those from other studies, revealed serious limitations for each of the three hematological chelators, i.e., as potentially repurposed for treating infection/sepsis. In contrast, DIBI provided therapeutic benefits, consistent with various in vitro and in vivo results from other studies, supporting the potential for its use in treating sepsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Article
Shear Stress and RBC-NOS Serine1177 Phosphorylation in Humans: A Dose Response
Life 2021, 11(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11010036 - 08 Jan 2021
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Red blood cells (RBC) express a nitric oxide synthase isoform (RBC-NOS) that appears dependent on shear stress for Serine1177 phosphorylation. Whether this protein is equally activated by varied shears in the physiological range is less described. Here, we explored RBC-NOS Serine1177 phosphorylation in [...] Read more.
Red blood cells (RBC) express a nitric oxide synthase isoform (RBC-NOS) that appears dependent on shear stress for Serine1177 phosphorylation. Whether this protein is equally activated by varied shears in the physiological range is less described. Here, we explored RBC-NOS Serine1177 phosphorylation in response to shear stress levels reflective of in vivo conditions. Whole blood samples were exposed to specific magnitudes of shear stress (0.5, 1.5, 4.5, 13.5 Pa) for discrete exposure times (1, 10, 30 min). Thereafter, RBC-NOS Serine1177 phosphorylation was measured utilising immunofluorescence labelling. Shear stress exposure at 0.5, 1.5, and 13.5 Pa significantly increased RBC-NOS Serine1177 phosphorylation following 1 min (p < 0.0001); exposure to 4.5 Pa had no effect after 1 min. RBC-NOS Serine1177 phosphorylation was significantly increased following 10 min at each magnitude of shear stress (0.5, 1.5, 13.5 Pa, p < 0.0001; 4.5 Pa, p = 0.0042). Shear stress exposure for 30 min significantly increased RBC-NOS Serine1177 phosphorylation at 0.5 Pa and 13.5 Pa (p < 0.0001). We found that RBC-NOS phosphorylation via shear stress is non-linear and differs for a given magnitude and duration of exposure. This study provides a new understanding of the discrete relation between RBC-NOS and shear stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Article
Histological and SEM Assessment of Blood Stasis in Kidney Blood Vessels after Repeated Intra-Arterial Application of Radiographic Contrast Media
Life 2020, 10(9), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10090167 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Background: After application of iodinated contrast media (CM), a pronounced deterioration of the microcirculation in skin and myocardium was reported. Clinically, the repeated application of CM, especially, led to an increase of the renal resistance index (RRI). With respect to the transiency of [...] Read more.
Background: After application of iodinated contrast media (CM), a pronounced deterioration of the microcirculation in skin and myocardium was reported. Clinically, the repeated application of CM, especially, led to an increase of the renal resistance index (RRI). With respect to the transiency of the RRI increase, it is reasonable to assume that the deterioration of blood flow could be due to transient blood stasis caused by reversible morphologic cell alterations due to osmotic discrepancies between CM and human blood. Therefore, the hypothesis was investigated whether CM are able to induce in vivo such blood stasis and cell deformations in the renal vasculature of well-hydrated pigs. Methods: The in vivo study was performed as a prospective randomized examination to compare the effects of two different CM in 16 pigs (German Landrace). Pigs were randomized to receive either Iodixanol (n = 8), or Iopromide (n = 8). Each animal received 10 injections separated by 5-min intervals via the suprarenal aorta at a rate of 10 mL/s according to the usual procedure during a cardiac catheter examination. Finally, the kidneys were explanted and processed for histology (H & E staining and fibrin staining according to Weigert) as well as for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with regards to morphologic correlates explaining the changes in the microcirculation. Results: In each of the predefined four categories of vascular diameters, blood stasis were found, but clearly more often after application of Iopromide than after application of Iodixanol (p < 0.001). In addition, Iopromide induced more blood stasis in all of the examined kidney regions compared to Iodixanol (p = 0.0001). There were no obstructive events in the middle cortex following the application of Iodixanol. Except for the region around a puncture channel of a placed-in catheter probe, no fibrin was detected in Weigert’s fibrin-stained samples, neither around the histologically assessed thrombi nor in vessels with blood stasis. Complementary SEM analyses revealed in a few cases only a slight generation of fibrin and thrombi and deformations, such as echinocyte and “box-like” deformations. Conclusions: According to previous in vitro studies, pathological erythrocyte deformations, such as echinocyte and box-like formation of erythrocytes, were observed also in vivo. In addition, blood stasis and/or thrombi could be detected in histological samples from explanted kidneys from young pigs after repeated in vivo administration of CM. In only a few cases, mural platelet aggregates within minimal fibrin meshes occurred only after the application of Iopromide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Review

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Review
Effects of CNS Injury-Induced Immunosuppression on Pulmonary Immunity
Life 2021, 11(6), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060576 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Patients suffering from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other forms of central nervous system (CNS) injury have an increased risk of nosocomial infections due to CNS injury-induced immunosuppression (CIDS). Immediately after CNS-injury, the response in the brain is pro-inflammatory; however, subsequently, local and [...] Read more.
Patients suffering from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other forms of central nervous system (CNS) injury have an increased risk of nosocomial infections due to CNS injury-induced immunosuppression (CIDS). Immediately after CNS-injury, the response in the brain is pro-inflammatory; however, subsequently, local and systemic immunity is suppressed due to the compensatory release of immunomodulatory neurotransmitters. CIDS makes patients susceptible to contracting infections, among which pneumonia is very common and often lethal. Ventilator-acquired pneumonia has a mortality of 20–50% and poses a significant risk to vulnerable patients such as stroke survivors. The mechanisms involved in CIDS are not well understood. In this review, we consolidate the evidence for cellular processes underlying the pathogenesis of CIDS, the emerging treatments, and speculate further on the immune elements at play. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Review
Recent Progress Using De Novo Design to Study Protein Structure, Design and Binding Interactions
Life 2021, 11(3), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11030225 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
De novo protein design is a powerful methodology used to study natural functions in an artificial-protein context. Since its inception, it has been used to reproduce a plethora of reactions and uncover biophysical principles that are often difficult to extract from direct studies [...] Read more.
De novo protein design is a powerful methodology used to study natural functions in an artificial-protein context. Since its inception, it has been used to reproduce a plethora of reactions and uncover biophysical principles that are often difficult to extract from direct studies of natural proteins. Natural proteins are capable of assuming a variety of different structures and subsequently binding ligands at impressively high levels of both specificity and affinity. Here, we will review recent examples of de novo design studies on binding reactions for small molecules, nucleic acids, and the formation of protein-protein interactions. We will then discuss some new structural advances in the field. Finally, we will discuss some advancements in computational modeling and design approaches and provide an overview of some modern algorithmic tools being used to design these proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Review
Endocannabinoid System as Therapeutic Target of PTSD: A Systematic Review
Life 2021, 11(3), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11030214 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 821
Abstract
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a complex disorder involving dysregulation of stress-related hormones and neurotransmitter systems. Research focused on the endocannabinoid system (eCBS) for anxiety and stress regulation, cognitive and emotional responses modulation and aversive memories extinction, leading to the hypothesis that it [...] Read more.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a complex disorder involving dysregulation of stress-related hormones and neurotransmitter systems. Research focused on the endocannabinoid system (eCBS) for anxiety and stress regulation, cognitive and emotional responses modulation and aversive memories extinction, leading to the hypothesis that it could represent a possible alternative treatment target for PTSD. In this systematic review, we summarize evidence about the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabidiol (CBD), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), and nabilone in PTSD treatment. The PRISMA statement guidelines were followed. A systematic literature search was conducted in MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science by two independent researchers, who also performed data extraction and quality assessment. Among the initial 495 papers, 234 were screened for eligibility and 10 were included. Studies suggested that different medicinal cannabinoids at distinct doses and formulations could represent promising treatment strategies for the improvement of overall PTSD symptomatology as well as specific symptom domains (e.g., sleep disorders, arousal disturbances, suicidal thoughts), also influencing quality of life, pain and social impact. Although there is a robust rationale for treatment with drugs that target the eCBS and the results are promising, further studies are needed to investigate the safety and efficacy profile of their prolonged use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Review
The Need for Head Space: Brachycephaly and Cerebrospinal Fluid Disorders
Life 2021, 11(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020139 - 12 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1987
Abstract
Brachycephalic dogs remain popular, despite the knowledge that this head conformation is associated with health problems, including airway compromise, ocular disorders, neurological disease, and other co-morbidities. There is increasing evidence that brachycephaly disrupts cerebrospinal fluid movement and absorption, predisposing ventriculomegaly, hydrocephalus, quadrigeminal cistern [...] Read more.
Brachycephalic dogs remain popular, despite the knowledge that this head conformation is associated with health problems, including airway compromise, ocular disorders, neurological disease, and other co-morbidities. There is increasing evidence that brachycephaly disrupts cerebrospinal fluid movement and absorption, predisposing ventriculomegaly, hydrocephalus, quadrigeminal cistern expansion, Chiari-like malformation, and syringomyelia. In this review, we focus on cerebrospinal fluid physiology and how this is impacted by brachycephaly, airorhynchy, and associated craniosynostosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Review
Phycocyanin from Arthrospira platensis as Potential Anti-Cancer Drug: Review of In Vitro and In Vivo Studies
Life 2021, 11(2), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020091 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
The application of cytostatic drugs or natural substances to inhibit cancer growth and progression is an important and evolving subject of cancer research. There has been a surge of interest in marine bioresources, particularly algae, as well as cyanobacteria and their bioactive ingredients. [...] Read more.
The application of cytostatic drugs or natural substances to inhibit cancer growth and progression is an important and evolving subject of cancer research. There has been a surge of interest in marine bioresources, particularly algae, as well as cyanobacteria and their bioactive ingredients. Dried biomass products of Arthrospira and Chlorella have been categorized as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Of particular importance is an ingredient of Arthrospira: phycocyanin, a blue-red fluorescent, water-soluble and non-toxic biliprotein pigment. It is reported to be the main active ingredient of Arthrospira and was shown to have therapeutic properties, including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and anti-cancer activities. In the present review, in vitro and in vivo data on the effects of phycocyanin on various tumor cells and on cells from healthy tissues are summarized. The existing knowledge of underlying molecular mechanisms, and strategies to improve the efficiency of potential phycocyanin-based anti-cancer therapies are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Review
The Emerging Physiological Role of AGMO 10 Years after Its Gene Identification
Life 2021, 11(2), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020088 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
The gene encoding alkylglycerol monooxygenase (AGMO) was assigned 10 years ago. So far, AGMO is the only known enzyme capable of catalysing the breakdown of alkylglycerols and lyso-alkylglycerophospholipids. With the knowledge of the genetic information, it was possible to relate a potential contribution [...] Read more.
The gene encoding alkylglycerol monooxygenase (AGMO) was assigned 10 years ago. So far, AGMO is the only known enzyme capable of catalysing the breakdown of alkylglycerols and lyso-alkylglycerophospholipids. With the knowledge of the genetic information, it was possible to relate a potential contribution for mutations in the AGMO locus to human diseases by genome-wide association studies. A possible role for AGMO was implicated by genetic analyses in a variety of human pathologies such as type 2 diabetes, neurodevelopmental disorders, cancer, and immune defence. Deficient catabolism of stored lipids carrying an alkyl bond by an absence of AGMO was shown to impact on the overall lipid composition also outside the ether lipid pool. This review focuses on the current evidence of AGMO in human diseases and summarises experimental evidence for its role in immunity, energy homeostasis, and development in humans and several model organisms. With the progress in lipidomics platform and genetic identification of enzymes involved in ether lipid metabolism such as AGMO, it is now possible to study the consequence of gene ablation on the global lipid pool and further on certain signalling cascades in a variety of model organisms in more detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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Review
Vascular Wall Reactions to Coronary Stents—Clinical Implications for Stent Failure
Life 2021, 11(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11010063 - 17 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
Coronary stents belong to the most commonly implanted devices worldwide. A number of different types of stent exist, with very different mechanical and biochemical characteristics that influence their interactions with vascular tissues. Inappropriate inflammatory reactions are the major cause of the two major [...] Read more.
Coronary stents belong to the most commonly implanted devices worldwide. A number of different types of stent exist, with very different mechanical and biochemical characteristics that influence their interactions with vascular tissues. Inappropriate inflammatory reactions are the major cause of the two major complications that follow implantation of stents in a percentage as high as 5–20%. It is therefore important to understand these reactions and how different they are among different generations of stents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020: A 10 Years Journey—Advances in Life Sciences)
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