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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 1 (January 2011), Pages 1-864

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Open AccessArticle Stabilization of the Single-Chain Fragment Variable by an Interdomain Disulfide Bond and Its Effect on Antibody Affinity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 1-11; doi:10.3390/ijms12010001
Received: 12 October 2010 / Revised: 8 December 2010 / Accepted: 16 December 2010 / Published: 23 December 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The interdomain instability of single-chain fragment variable (scFv) might result in intermolecular aggregation and loss of function. In the present study, we stabilized H4—an anti-aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) scFv—with an interdomain disulfide bond and studied the effect of the disulfide [...] Read more.
The interdomain instability of single-chain fragment variable (scFv) might result in intermolecular aggregation and loss of function. In the present study, we stabilized H4—an anti-aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) scFv—with an interdomain disulfide bond and studied the effect of the disulfide bond on antibody affinity. With homology modeling and molecular docking, we designed a scFv containing an interdomain disulfide bond between the residues H44 and L100. The stability of scFv (H4) increased from a GdnHCl50 of 2.4 M to 4.2 M after addition of the H44-L100 disulfide bond. Size exclusion chromatography revealed that the scFv (H44-L100) mutant existed primarily as a monomer, and no aggregates were detected. An affinity assay indicated that scFv (H4) and the scFv (H44-L100) mutant had similar IC50 values and affinity to AFB1. Our results indicate that interdomain disulfide bonds could stabilize scFv without affecting affinity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Biological Properties of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Cellular and Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 12-23; doi:10.3390/ijms12010012
Received: 14 October 2010 / Revised: 9 December 2010 / Accepted: 21 December 2010 / Published: 23 December 2010
Cited by 40 | PDF Full-text (865 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Superparamagnetic iron-oxide particles (SPIO) are used in different ways as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Particles with high nonspecific uptake are required for unspecific labeling of phagocytic cells whereas those that target specific molecules need to have very low unspecific cellular [...] Read more.
Superparamagnetic iron-oxide particles (SPIO) are used in different ways as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Particles with high nonspecific uptake are required for unspecific labeling of phagocytic cells whereas those that target specific molecules need to have very low unspecific cellular uptake. We compared iron-oxide particles with different core materials (magnetite, maghemite), different coatings (none, dextran, carboxydextran, polystyrene) and different hydrodynamic diameters (20–850 nm) for internalization kinetics, release of internalized particles, toxicity, localization of particles and ability to generate contrast in MRI. Particle uptake was investigated with U118 glioma cells und human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), which exhibit different phagocytic properties. In both cell types, the contrast agents Resovist, B102, non-coated Fe3O4 particles and microspheres were better internalized than dextran-coated Nanomag particles. SPIO uptake into the cells increased with particle/iron concentrations. Maximum intracellular accumulation of iron particles was observed between 24 h to 36 h of exposure. Most particles were retained in the cells for at least two weeks, were deeply internalized, and only few remained adsorbed at the cell surface. Internalized particles clustered in the cytosol of the cells. Furthermore, all particles showed a low toxicity. By MRI, monolayers consisting of 5000 Resovist-labeled cells could easily be visualized. Thus, for unspecific cell labeling, Resovist and microspheres show the highest potential, whereas Nanomag particles are promising contrast agents for target-specific labeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanoparticles)
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Open AccessArticle Erwinia mallotivora sp., a New Pathogen of Papaya (Carica papaya) in Peninsular Malaysia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 39-45; doi:10.3390/ijms12010039
Received: 3 November 2010 / Revised: 10 December 2010 / Accepted: 20 December 2010 / Published: 24 December 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Erwinia mallotivora was isolated from papaya infected with dieback disease showing the typical symptoms of greasy, water-soaked lesions and spots on leaves. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the strain belonged to the genus Erwinia and was united in [...] Read more.
Erwinia mallotivora was isolated from papaya infected with dieback disease showing the typical symptoms of greasy, water-soaked lesions and spots on leaves. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the strain belonged to the genus Erwinia and was united in a monophyletic group with E. mallotivora DSM 4565 (AJ233414). Earlier studies had indicated that the causal agent for this disease was E. papayae. However, our current studies, through Koch’s postulate, have confirmed that papaya dieback disease is caused by E. mallotivora. To our knowledge, this is the first new discovery of E. mallotivora as a causal agent of papaya dieback disease in Peninsular Malaysia. Previous reports have suggested that E. mallotivora causes leaf spot in Mallotus japonicus. However, this research confirms it also to be pathogenic to Carica papaya. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Flexible and Asymmetric Ligand in Constructing Coordinated Complexes: Synthesis, Crystal Structures and Fluorescent Characterization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 46-55; doi:10.3390/ijms12010046
Received: 31 October 2010 / Revised: 1 December 2010 / Accepted: 13 December 2010 / Published: 27 December 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (386 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flexible and asymmetric ligand L [L = 1-((pyridin-3-yl)methyl)-1H-benzotriazole], is used as a basic backbone to construct complicated metal-organic frameworks. Two new polymers, namely, [Ag2(L)2(NO3)2]n (1) and [Ag(L)(ClO4)] [...] Read more.
Flexible and asymmetric ligand L [L = 1-((pyridin-3-yl)methyl)-1H-benzotriazole], is used as a basic backbone to construct complicated metal-organic frameworks. Two new polymers, namely, [Ag2(L)2(NO3)2]n (1) and [Ag(L)(ClO4)]n (2), were synthesized and characterized by X-ray structure analysis and fluorescent spectroscopy. The complex 1 gives an “S” type double helical conformation, whereas complex 2 exhibits a 1D zigzag configuration. Different anions affect the silver coordination geometry and crystal packing topology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle The Chitinolytic Activities of Streptomyces sp. TH-11
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 56-65; doi:10.3390/ijms12010056
Received: 28 October 2010 / Revised: 10 December 2010 / Accepted: 18 December 2010 / Published: 27 December 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chitin is an abundant biopolymer composed of units of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine linked by b-1,4 glycosidic bonds. Chitin is the main component of the shells of mollusks, the cell wall of fungi and yeast and of the exoskeleton of crustaceans and insects. The [...] Read more.
Chitin is an abundant biopolymer composed of units of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine linked by b-1,4 glycosidic bonds. Chitin is the main component of the shells of mollusks, the cell wall of fungi and yeast and of the exoskeleton of crustaceans and insects. The degradation of chitin is catalyzed by chitinases that occur in a wide range of organisms. Among them, the chitinases from microorganisms are extremely important for the degradation and recycling of the carbon and nitrogen trapped in the large amount of insoluble chitin in nature. Streptomyces sp. TH-11 was isolated from the sediment of the Tou-Chien River, Taiwan. The chitinolytic enzyme activities were detected using a rapid in-gel detection method from the cell-free preparation of the culture medium of TH-11. The chitinolytic enzyme activity during prolonged liquid culturing was also analyzed by direct measurement of the chitin consumption. Decomposition of the exoskeleton of shrimps was demonstrated using electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins)
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Open AccessArticle Toxic Compound, Anti-Nutritional Factors and Functional Properties of Protein Isolated from Detoxified Jatropha curcas Seed Cake
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 66-77; doi:10.3390/ijms12010066
Received: 24 November 2010 / Revised: 3 December 2010 / Accepted: 23 December 2010 / Published: 28 December 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Jatropha curcas is a multipurpose tree, which has potential as an alternative source for biodiesel. All of its parts can also be used for human food, animal feed, fertilizer, fuel and traditional medicine. J. curcas seed cake is a low-value by-product obtained [...] Read more.
Jatropha curcas is a multipurpose tree, which has potential as an alternative source for biodiesel. All of its parts can also be used for human food, animal feed, fertilizer, fuel and traditional medicine. J. curcas seed cake is a low-value by-product obtained from biodiesel production. The seed cake, however, has a high amount of protein, with the presence of a main toxic compound: phorbol esters as well as anti-nutritional factors: trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid, lectin and saponin. The objective of this work was to detoxify J. curcas seed cake and study the toxin, anti-nutritional factors and also functional properties of the protein isolated from the detoxified seed cake. The yield of protein isolate was approximately 70.9%. The protein isolate was obtained without a detectable level of phorbol esters. The solubility of the protein isolate was maximal at pH 12.0 and minimal at pH 4.0. The water and oil binding capacities of the protein isolate were 1.76 g water/g protein and 1.07 mL oil/g protein, respectively. The foam capacity and stability, including emulsion activity and stability of protein isolate, had higher values in a range of basic pHs, while foam and emulsion stabilities decreased with increasing time. The results suggest that the detoxified J. curcas seed cake has potential to be exploited as a novel source of functional protein for food applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Behavioral Impairment and Oxidative Damage Induced by Chronic Application of Nonylphenol
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 114-127; doi:10.3390/ijms12010114
Received: 5 November 2010 / Revised: 20 December 2010 / Accepted: 28 December 2010 / Published: 30 December 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (434 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nonylphenol (NP) is a degradation product of nonylphenol polyethoxylates, which are widely used in the production of industrial and consumer surfactants. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of NP on the antioxidant capacity and cognitive ability of [...] Read more.
Nonylphenol (NP) is a degradation product of nonylphenol polyethoxylates, which are widely used in the production of industrial and consumer surfactants. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of NP on the antioxidant capacity and cognitive ability of mice. NP was given orally by gavages at doses of 0, 50, 100, and 200 mg kg−1 d−1 for 90 days. The results showed that NP significantly decreased the activity of superoxide dismutases (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR) and at the same time increased malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in mice brains. Exploration, memory function and ability to learn a novel task were significantly decreased in NP fed mice. These results indicate that chronic high dose of NP exposure has the potential to generate oxidative stress and induce the cognitive impairment in male mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
Open AccessArticle Insight into a Novel p53 Single Point Mutation (G389E) by Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 128-140; doi:10.3390/ijms12010128
Received: 26 November 2010 / Revised: 8 December 2010 / Accepted: 23 December 2010 / Published: 30 December 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The majority of inactivating mutations of p53 reside in the central core DNA binding domain of the protein. In this computational study, we investigated the structural effects of a novel p53 mutation (G389E), identified in a patient with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which [...] Read more.
The majority of inactivating mutations of p53 reside in the central core DNA binding domain of the protein. In this computational study, we investigated the structural effects of a novel p53 mutation (G389E), identified in a patient with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which is located within the extreme C-terminal domain (CTD) of p53, an unstructured, flexible region (residues 367–393) of major importance for the regulation of the protein. Based on the three-dimensional structure of a carboxyl-terminal peptide of p53 in complex with the S100B protein, which is involved in regulation of the tumor suppressor activity, a model of wild type (WT) and mutant extreme CTD was developed by molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulation. It was found that the G389E amino acid replacement has negligible effects on free p53 in solution whereas it significantly affects the interactions of p53 with the S100B protein. The results suggest that the observed mutation may interfere with p53 transcription activation and provide useful information for site-directed mutagenesis experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Molecular Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Computational Docking of Antibody-Antigen Complexes, Opportunities and Pitfalls Illustrated by Influenza Hemagglutinin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 226-251; doi:10.3390/ijms12010226
Received: 2 November 2010 / Revised: 22 December 2010 / Accepted: 4 January 2011 / Published: 5 January 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (771 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Antibodies play an increasingly important role in both basic research and the pharmaceutical industry. Since their efficiency depends, in ultimate analysis, on their atomic interactions with an antigen, studying such interactions is important to understand how they function and, in the long [...] Read more.
Antibodies play an increasingly important role in both basic research and the pharmaceutical industry. Since their efficiency depends, in ultimate analysis, on their atomic interactions with an antigen, studying such interactions is important to understand how they function and, in the long run, to design new molecules with desired properties. Computational docking, the process of predicting the conformation of a complex from its separated components, is emerging as a fast and affordable technique for the structural characterization of antibody-antigen complexes. In this manuscript, we first describe the different computational strategies for the modeling of antibodies and docking of their complexes, and then predict the binding of two antibodies to the stalk region of influenza hemagglutinin, an important pharmaceutical target. The purpose is two-fold: on a general note, we want to illustrate the advantages and pitfalls of computational docking with a practical example, using different approaches and comparing the results to known experimental structures. On a more specific note, we want to assess if docking can be successful in characterizing the binding to the same influenza epitope of other antibodies with unknown structure, which has practical relevance for pharmaceutical and biological research. The paper clearly shows that some of the computational docking predictions can be very accurate, but the algorithm often fails to discriminate them from inaccurate solutions. It is of paramount importance, therefore, to use rapidly obtained experimental data to validate the computational results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Recognition)
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Open AccessArticle Screening and Evaluation of Polyhydroxybutyrate-Producing Strains from Indigenous Isolate Cupriavidus taiwanensis Strains
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 252-265; doi:10.3390/ijms12010252
Received: 28 November 2010 / Revised: 26 December 2010 / Accepted: 1 January 2011 / Published: 5 January 2011
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (436 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is a biodegradable material with many potential biomedical applications, including medical implants and drug delivery. This study developed a system for screening production strains in order to optimize PHA production in Cupriavidus taiwanensis 184, 185, 186, 187, 204, 208, 209 [...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is a biodegradable material with many potential biomedical applications, including medical implants and drug delivery. This study developed a system for screening production strains in order to optimize PHA production in Cupriavidus taiwanensis 184, 185, 186, 187, 204, 208, 209 and Pseudomona oleovorans ATCC 29347. In this study, Sudan black B staining, Infrared (IR) and Gas Chromatography (GC) analysis indicated that the best strain for PHA synthesis is C. taiwanensis 184, which obtains polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). Cultivation of C. taiwanensis 184 under a pH of 7.0, at 30 °C, and at an agitation rate of 200 rpm, obtained a PHB content of 10% and PHB production of 0.14 g/L. The carbon and nitrogen types selected for analysis of PHB production by C. taiwanensis 184 were gluconic acid and NH4Cl, respectively. Optimal carbon/nitrogen ratio for PHB production was also determined. This study demonstrated a PHB content of 58.81% and a PHB production of 2.44 g/L when the carbon/nitrogen ratio of 8/1 was selected for C. taiwanensis 184. A two‑stage fermentation strategy significantly enhanced PHB content and PHB production. Under a two-stage fermentation strategy with nutrient‑limited conditions, C. taiwanensis 184 obtained a PHB content of 72% and a PHB concentration of 7 g/L. Finally, experimental results confirmed that optimizing the growth medium and fermentation conditions for cultivating the indigenous C. taiwanensis 184 strain substantially elevated PHB content from 10% to 72% and PHB production from 0.14 g/L to 7 g/L, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability of Materials in Biomedical Applications 2011)
Open AccessArticle Effects of the Molecular Weight and the Degree of Deacetylation of Chitosan Oligosaccharides on Antitumor Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 266-277; doi:10.3390/ijms12010266
Received: 26 November 2010 / Revised: 3 January 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2011 / Published: 6 January 2011
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Effects of the degree of deacetylation (DDA) and the molecular mass of chitosan oligosaccharides (CTS-OS), obtained from the enzymatic hydrolysis of high molecular weight chitosan (HMWC), on antitumor activity was explored. The DDA and molecular weights of CTS-OS were determined by matrix-assisted [...] Read more.
Effects of the degree of deacetylation (DDA) and the molecular mass of chitosan oligosaccharides (CTS-OS), obtained from the enzymatic hydrolysis of high molecular weight chitosan (HMWC), on antitumor activity was explored. The DDA and molecular weights of CTS-OS were determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis. The CTS-OS were found to be a mixture of mainly dimers (18.8%), trimers (24.8%), tetramers (24.9%), pentamers (17.7%), hexamers (7.1%), heptamers (3.3%), and octamers (3.4%). The CTS-OS were further fractionated by gel-filtration chromatography into two major fractions: (1) COS, consisting of glucosamine (GlcN)n, n = 3–5 with DDA 100%; and (2) HOS, consisting of (GlcN)5 as the minimum residues and varying number of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc)n, n = 1–2 with DDA about 87.5% in random order. The cytotoxicities, expressed as the concentration needed for 50% cell death (CC50), of CTS-OS, COS, and HOS against PC3 (prostate cancer cell), A549 (lung cancer cell), and HepG2 (hepatoma cell), were determined to be 25 mg∙mL-1, 25 mg∙mL-1, and 50 mg∙mL-1, respectively. The HMWC was approximately 50% less effective than both CTS-OS and COS. These results demonstrate that the molecular weight and DDA of chitosan oligosaccharides are important factors for suppressing cancer cell growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins)
Open AccessArticle Symmetry-Adapted Rotator Functions for Molecules in Cylindrical Confinement
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 317-333; doi:10.3390/ijms12010317
Received: 2 December 2010 / Revised: 7 January 2011 / Accepted: 12 January 2011 / Published: 13 January 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present a general description of the formalism of symmetry-adapted rotator functions (SARFs) for molecules in cylindrical confinement. Molecules are considered as clusters of interaction centers (ICs), can have any symmetry, and can display different types of ICs. Cylindrical confinement can be [...] Read more.
We present a general description of the formalism of symmetry-adapted rotator functions (SARFs) for molecules in cylindrical confinement. Molecules are considered as clusters of interaction centers (ICs), can have any symmetry, and can display different types of ICs. Cylindrical confinement can be realized by encapsulation in a carbon nanotube (CNT). The potential energy of a molecule surrounded by a CNT can be calculated by evaluating a limited number of terms of an expansion into SARFs, which offers a significant reduction of the computation time. Optimal molecular orientations can be deduced from the resulting potential energy landscape. Examples, including the case of a molecule with cubic symmetry inside a CNT, are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Symmetry)
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Open AccessArticle Laser Induced C60 Cage Opening Studied by Semiclassical Dynamics Simulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 353-361; doi:10.3390/ijms12010353
Received: 30 September 2010 / Revised: 22 October 2010 / Accepted: 9 November 2010 / Published: 13 January 2011
PDF Full-text (456 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Laser induced opening of the C60 cage is studied by a semiclassical electron-radiation-ion dynamics technique. The simulation results indicate that the C60 cage is abruptly opened immediately after laser excitation. The opening of the C60 cage induces a quick [...] Read more.
Laser induced opening of the C60 cage is studied by a semiclassical electron-radiation-ion dynamics technique. The simulation results indicate that the C60 cage is abruptly opened immediately after laser excitation. The opening of the C60 cage induces a quick increase in kinetic energy and a sharp decrease in electronic energy, suggesting that the breaking of the C60 cage efficiently heats up the cluster and enhances the thermal fragmentation of C60 fullerene. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Three-Dimensional, Magnetic and Electroactive Nanoprobe for Amperometric Determination of Tumor Biomarkers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 362-375; doi:10.3390/ijms12010362
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 30 December 2010 / Accepted: 7 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel electrochemical immunosensor for tumor biomarker detection based on three-dimensional, magnetic and electroactive nanoprobes was developed in this study. To fabricate the nanoprobes, negatively charged Fe3O4 nanoparticles (Fe3O4 NPs) and gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) were [...] Read more.
A novel electrochemical immunosensor for tumor biomarker detection based on three-dimensional, magnetic and electroactive nanoprobes was developed in this study. To fabricate the nanoprobes, negatively charged Fe3O4 nanoparticles (Fe3O4 NPs) and gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) were first loaded on the surface of multiple wall carbon nanotubes (MCNTs) which were functioned with redox-active hemin and cationic polyelectrolyte poly(dimethyldiallylammonium chloride) (PDDA). Using alpha fetoprotein (AFP) as a model analyte, AFP antibody (anti-AFP) was absorbed on the surface of Au NPs, bovine serum albumin (BSA) was then used to block sites against non-specific binding, and finally formed anti-AFP/Au NPs/Fe3O4/hemin/MCNTs named anti-AFP nanoprobes. When the target antigen AFP was present, it interacted with anti-AFP and formed an antigen-antibody complex on the nanoprobe interface. This resulted in a decreased electrochemical signal of hemin for quantitative determination of AFP when immobilized onto the screen-printed working electrode (SPCE). The results showed that the nanoprobe-based electrochemical immunosensor was sensitive to AFP detection at a concentration of 0.1 to 200 ng×mL-1 with a detection limit of 0.04 ng×mL-1, it also demonstrated good selectivity against other interferential substances. The electroactive nanoprobes can be massively prepared, easily immobilized on the SPCE for target detection and rapidly renewed with a magnet. The proposed immunosensor is fast, simple, sensitive, stable, magnet-controlled, nontoxic, label-free and reproducible. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of the Methanol Extract of Basella alba L (Basellaceae) on Steroid Production in Leydig Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 376-384; doi:10.3390/ijms12010376
Received: 10 December 2010 / Revised: 21 December 2010 / Accepted: 8 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, Leydig cells were purified from 70 day-old Sprague Dawley male rats and incubated with 10 and 100 µg/mL of methanol extract of Basella alba (MEBa) for 4 hours followed by the evaluation of cell viability, steroid (testosterone and estradiol) production, and the level of aromatase mRNA. Results showed that MEBa did not affect Leydig cell viability. At the concentration of 10 µg/mL, MEBa significantly stimulated testosterone and estradiol production (p < 0.01 and p < 0.03, respectively), and enhanced aromatase mRNA level (p < 0.04). These observations suggest that MEBa directly stimulated testosterone, estradiol and aromatase mRNA levels in isolated Leydig cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle RNA Interference Targeting Slug Increases Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Sensitivity to Cisplatin via Upregulating PUMA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 385-400; doi:10.3390/ijms12010385
Received: 9 December 2010 / Revised: 6 January 2011 / Accepted: 7 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Slug is an E-cadherin repressor and a suppressor of PUMA (p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis) and it has recently been demonstrated that Slug plays an important role in controlling apoptosis. In this study, we examined whether Slug’s ability to silence expression suppresses [...] Read more.
Slug is an E-cadherin repressor and a suppressor of PUMA (p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis) and it has recently been demonstrated that Slug plays an important role in controlling apoptosis. In this study, we examined whether Slug’s ability to silence expression suppresses the growth of cholangiocarcinoma cells and/or sensitizes cholangiocarcinoma cells to chemotherapeutic agents through induction of apoptosis. We targeted the Slug gene using siRNA (Slug siRNA) via full Slug cDNA plasmid (Slug cDNA) transfection of cholangiocarcinoma cells. Slug siRNA, cisplatin, or Slug siRNA in combination with cisplatin, were used to treat cholangiocarcinoma cells in vitro. Western blot was used to detect the expression of Slug, PUMA, and E-cadherin protein. TUNEL, Annexin V Staining, and cell cycle analysis were used to detect apoptosis. A nude mice subcutaneous xenograft model of QBC939 cells was used to assess the effect of Slug silencing and/or cisplatin on tumor growth. Immunohistochemical staining was used to analyze the expression of Slug and PUMA. TUNEL was used to detect apoptosis in vivo. The results showed that PUMA and E-cadherin expression in cholangiocarcinoma cells is Slug dependent. We demonstrated that Slug silencing and cisplatin both promote apoptosis by upregulation of PUMA, not by upregulation of E-cadherin. Slug silencing significantly sensitized cholangiocarcinoma cells to cisplatin through upregulation of PUMA. Finally, we showed that Slug silencing suppressed the growth of QBC939 xenograft tumors and sensitized the tumor cells to cisplatin through PUMA upregulation and induction of apoptosis. Our findings indicate that Slug is an important modulator of the therapeutic response of cholangiocarcinoma cells and is potentially useful as a sensitizer in cholangiocarcinoma therapy. One of the mechanisms is the regulation of PUMA by Slug. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Study of OH Radicals in Human Serum Blood of Healthy Individuals and Those with Pathological Schizophrenia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 401-409; doi:10.3390/ijms12010401
Received: 19 November 2010 / Revised: 29 December 2010 / Accepted: 4 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The human body is constantly under attack from free radicals that occur as part of normal cell metabolism, and by exposure to environmental factors such as UV light, cigarette smoke, environmental pollutants and gamma radiation. The resulting “Reactive Oxygen Species” (ROS) circulate [...] Read more.
The human body is constantly under attack from free radicals that occur as part of normal cell metabolism, and by exposure to environmental factors such as UV light, cigarette smoke, environmental pollutants and gamma radiation. The resulting “Reactive Oxygen Species” (ROS) circulate freely in the body with access to all organs and tissues, which can have serious repercussions throughout the body. The body possesses a number of mechanisms both to control the production of ROS and to cope with free radicals in order to limit or repair damage to tissues. Overproduction of ROS or insufficient defense mechanisms leads to a dangerous disbalance in the organism. Thereby several pathomechanisms implicated in over 100 human diseases, e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus, physiological disease, aging, etc., can be induced. Thus, a detailed investigation on the quantity of oxygen radicals, such as hydroxyl radicals (OH) in human serum blood, and its possible correlation with antioxidant therapy effects, is highly topical. The subject of this study was the influence of schizophrenia on the amount of OH in human serum blood. The radicals were detected by fluorimetry, using terephthalic acid as a chemical trap. For all experiments the serum blood of healthy people was used as a control group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Inherently Chiral Calixarenes: Synthesis, Optical Resolution, Chiral Recognition and Asymmetric Catalysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 429-455; doi:10.3390/ijms12010429
Received: 6 December 2010 / Revised: 30 December 2010 / Accepted: 12 January 2011 / Published: 17 January 2011
Cited by 41 | PDF Full-text (421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Inherently chiral calixarenes, whose chirality is based on the absence of a planar symmetry or an inversion center in the molecules as a whole through the asymmetric array of several achiral groups upon the three-dimensional calix-skeletons, are challenging and attractive chiral molecules, [...] Read more.
Inherently chiral calixarenes, whose chirality is based on the absence of a planar symmetry or an inversion center in the molecules as a whole through the asymmetric array of several achiral groups upon the three-dimensional calix-skeletons, are challenging and attractive chiral molecules, because of their potential in supramolecular chemistry. The synthesis and optical resolution of all varieties of inherently chiral calixarenes are systematically discussed and classified, and their applications in chiral recognition and asymmetric catalysis are thoroughly illustrated in this review. Full article
Open AccessArticle Immunomodulatory Activity of Dietary Fiber: Arabinoxylan and Mixed-Linked Beta-Glucan Isolated from Barley Show Modest Activities in Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 570-587; doi:10.3390/ijms12010570
Received: 26 November 2010 / Revised: 20 December 2010 / Accepted: 4 January 2011 / Published: 18 January 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (550 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High intake of dietary fiber is claimed to protect against development of colorectal cancer. Barley is a rich source of dietary fiber, and possible immunomodulatory effects of barley polysaccharides might explain a potential protective effect. Dietary fiber was isolated by extraction and [...] Read more.
High intake of dietary fiber is claimed to protect against development of colorectal cancer. Barley is a rich source of dietary fiber, and possible immunomodulatory effects of barley polysaccharides might explain a potential protective effect. Dietary fiber was isolated by extraction and enzyme treatment. A mixed-linked β-glucan (WSM-TPX, 96.5% β-glucan, Mw 886 kDa), an arabinoxylan (WUM-BS-LA, 96.4% arabinoxylan, Mw 156 kDa), a mixed-linked β-glucan rich fraction containing 10% arabinoxylan (WSM-TP) and an arabinoxylan rich fraction containing 30% mixed-linked β-glucan (WUM-BS) showed no significant effect on IL-8 secretion and proliferation of two intestinal epithelial cell lines, Caco-2 and HT-29, and had no significant effect on the NF-κB activity in the monocytic cell line U937-3κB-LUC. Further enriched arabinoxylan fractions (WUM-BS-LA) from different barley varieties (Tyra, NK96300, SB94897 and CDCGainer) were less active than the mixed-linked β-glucan rich fractions (WSM-TP and WSM-TPX) in the complement-fixing test. The mixed-linked β-glucan rich fraction from NK96300 and CDCGainer showed similar activities as the positive control while mixed‑linked β-glucan rich fractions from Tyra and SB94897 were less active. From these results it is concluded that the isolated high molecular weight mixed-linked β-glucans and arabinoxylans from barley show low immunological responses in selected in vitro test systems and thus possible anti-colon cancer effects of barley dietary fiber cannot be explained by our observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fibre: Biochemistry and Nutritional Science)
Open AccessArticle Construction and Characterization of a cDNA Library from Wheat Infected with Fusarium graminearum Fg 2
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 613-626; doi:10.3390/ijms12010613
Received: 26 November 2010 / Revised: 14 January 2011 / Accepted: 17 January 2011 / Published: 18 January 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (469 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Total RNA from wheat spikes infected with F. graminearum Fg2 was extracted and the mRNA was purified. Switching Mechanism at 5' end of the RNA Transcript (SMART) technique and CDS Ill/3' primer were used for first-strand cDNA synthesis using reverse transcriptase by [...] Read more.
Total RNA from wheat spikes infected with F. graminearum Fg2 was extracted and the mRNA was purified. Switching Mechanism at 5' end of the RNA Transcript (SMART) technique and CDS Ill/3' primer were used for first-strand cDNA synthesis using reverse transcriptase by RT-PCR. Primer extension polymerase chain reaction was used to construct the double-strand cDNA that was digested by proteinase K, then by Sfi I and fractionated. cDNAs longer than 0.5 kb were collected and ligated to λTriplEx2 vector followed λ phage packaging reaction and library amplification. The qualities of both unamplified and amplified cDNA libraries were strictly checked by conventional titer determination. One hundred and sixty five plaques were randomly picked and tested using PCR with universal primers derived from the sequence flanking the vector. A high quality cDNA library from wheat spikes that have been infected by F. graminearum was successfully constructed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Herbaceous Peony (Paeonia lactiflora Pall.) as an Alternative Source of Oleanolic and Ursolic Acids
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 655-667; doi:10.3390/ijms12010655
Received: 6 December 2010 / Revised: 6 January 2011 / Accepted: 10 January 2011 / Published: 18 January 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Oleanolic acid (OA) and ursolic acid (UA) have been proven to possess many biological activities, and much attention is focused on the search for plants which are rich in OA and UA. In this report, the OA and UA accumulation characteristics were [...] Read more.
Oleanolic acid (OA) and ursolic acid (UA) have been proven to possess many biological activities, and much attention is focused on the search for plants which are rich in OA and UA. In this report, the OA and UA accumulation characteristics were investigated in 47 cultivars of Chinese herbaceous peony (Paeonia lactiflora Pall.) and were followed in three cultivars over different developmental stages as measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). OA and UA levels in leaves and stems demonstrated an overall upward trend from May 1 to September 15 except for UA in the leaves of “Hong Feng”. The maximum values of OA and UA in leaves of “Yangfei Chu Yu”, “Fen Zhu Pan” and “Hong Feng” were 852.98, 575.60, 290.48 μg/g FW and 924.94, 827.36, 432.67 μg/g FW, respectively. The maximum values of OA and UA in stems of “Yangfei Chu Yu”, “Fen Zhu Pan” and “Hong Feng” were 359.28, 90.49, 43.90 μg/g FW and 326.86, 82.25, 56.63 μg/g FW, respectively. OA and UA contents in leaves of 47 different herbaceous peony cultivars ranged from 66.73–618.12 and 36.23–665.14 μg/g FW, respectively, with average values of 171.62 and 227.57 μg/g FW, respectively. The results suggested that the aboveground parts of herbaceous peony may be used as an alternative source of OA and UA for medicinal purposes in addition to its ornamental purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Combined Effects of Cyclooxygenase-1 and Cyclooxygenase-2 Selective Inhibitors on Ovarian Carcinoma in Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 668-681; doi:10.3390/ijms12010668
Received: 30 November 2010 / Revised: 28 December 2010 / Accepted: 10 January 2011 / Published: 18 January 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study was designed to investigate the combined effects of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 selective inhibitors on human ovarian SKOV-3 carcinoma cells xenograft-bearing mice. The animals were treated with 3 mg/kg SC-560 (a COX-1 selective inhibitor) alone, 25 mg/kg celecoxib (a COX-2 selective inhibitor) alone, or SC-560/celecoxib by gavage, twice a day for three weeks. To test the mechanism of inhibition of tumor growth by COX selective inhibitors, the index of proliferating cells in tumor tissues was determined by immunostaining and the index of apoptotic cells by the terminal-deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling (TUNEL) method. The inhibitory rate on tumor growth in the combination group was 35.54% which is significant statistically compared with that of the control group (P < 0.05). In the combination group, the index of cell proliferation and apoptosis were 12.40% and 51.03% respectively, which are significant statistically compared with those of the control group (22.56%, 19.07%, all P < 0.05). These studies indicate that synergism between two COX inhibitors and inhibitor combination treatment has particular potential for chemoprevention of ovarian cancer growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Molecules in Ovarian Cancer)
Open AccessArticle Detection of Mycosphaerella graminicola in Wheat Leaves by a Microsatellite Dinucleotide Specific-Primer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 682-693; doi:10.3390/ijms12010682
Received: 2 December 2010 / Revised: 4 January 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Early detection of infection is very important for efficient management of Mycosphaerella graminicola leaf blotch. To monitor and quantify the occurrence of this fungus during the growing season, a diagnostic method based on real-time PCR was developed. Standard and real-time PCR assays [...] Read more.
Early detection of infection is very important for efficient management of Mycosphaerella graminicola leaf blotch. To monitor and quantify the occurrence of this fungus during the growing season, a diagnostic method based on real-time PCR was developed. Standard and real-time PCR assays were developed using SYBR Green chemistry to quantify M. graminicola in vitro or in wheat samples. Microsatellite dinucleotide specific-primers were designed based on microsatellite repeats of sequences present in the genome of M. graminicola. Specificity was checked by analyzing DNA of 55 M. graminicola isolates obtained from different geographical origins. The method appears to be highly specific for detecting M. graminicola; no fluorescent signals were observed from 14 other closely related taxa. Primer (CT) 7 G amplified a specific amplicon of 570 bp from all M. graminicola isolates. The primers did not amplify DNA extracted from 14 other fungal species. The approximate melting temperature (Tm) of the (CT) 7 G primer was 84.2 °C. The detection limit of the real-time PCR assay with the primer sets (CT) 7 G is 10 fg/25 µL, as compared to 10 pg/25 µL using conventional PCR technology. From symptomless leaves, a PCR fragment could be generated two days after inoculation. Both conventional and real-time PCR could successfully detect the fungus from artificially inoculated wheat leaves. However, real-time PCR appeared much more sensitive than conventional PCR. The developed quantitative real-time PCR method proved to be rapid, sensitive, specific, cost-effective and reliable for the identification and quantification of M. graminicola in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle In Silico Theoretical Molecular Modeling for Alzheimer’s Disease: The Nicotine-Curcumin Paradigm in Neuroprotection and Neurotherapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 694-724; doi:10.3390/ijms12010694
Received: 2 December 2010 / Revised: 14 January 2011 / Accepted: 15 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (1440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aggregation of the amyloid-β-peptide (AβP) into well-ordered fibrils has been considered as the key pathological marker of Alzheimer’s disease. Molecular attributes related to the specific binding interactions, covalently and non-covalently, of a library of compounds targeting of conformational scaffolds were computed [...] Read more.
The aggregation of the amyloid-β-peptide (AβP) into well-ordered fibrils has been considered as the key pathological marker of Alzheimer’s disease. Molecular attributes related to the specific binding interactions, covalently and non-covalently, of a library of compounds targeting of conformational scaffolds were computed employing static lattice atomistic simulations and array constructions. A combinatorial approach using isobolographic analysis was stochastically modeled employing Artificial Neural Networks and a Design of Experiments approach, namely an orthogonal Face-Centered Central Composite Design for small molecules, such as curcumin and glycosylated nornicotine exhibiting concentration-dependent behavior on modulating AβP aggregation and oligomerization. This work provides a mathematical and in silico approach that constitutes a new frontier in providing neuroscientists with a template for in vitro and in vivo experimentation. In future this could potentially allow neuroscientists to adopt this in silico approach for the development of novel therapeutic interventions in the neuroprotection and neurotherapy of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the neuroprotective entities identified in this study may also be valuable in this regard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotective Strategies (special issue))
Open AccessArticle Susceptibility of Mycobacterium immunogenum and Pseudomonas fluorescens to Formaldehyde and Non-Formaldehyde Biocides in Semi-Synthetic Metalworking Fluids
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 725-741; doi:10.3390/ijms12010725
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 17 January 2011 / Accepted: 18 January 2011 / Published: 20 January 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (472 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mycobacterium immunogenum, a newly identified member of the Mycobacterium chelonae_M. abscessus complex is considered a potential etiological agent for hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) in machine workers exposed to contaminated metalworking fluid (MWF). This study investigated the biocidal efficacy of the frequently applied [...] Read more.
Mycobacterium immunogenum, a newly identified member of the Mycobacterium chelonae_M. abscessus complex is considered a potential etiological agent for hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) in machine workers exposed to contaminated metalworking fluid (MWF). This study investigated the biocidal efficacy of the frequently applied commercial formaldehyde-releasing (HCHO) biocides Grotan and Bioban CS 1135 and non-HCHO type biocides Kathon 886 MW (isothiazolone) and Preventol CMK 40 (phenolic) toward this emerging mycobacterial species (M. immunogenum) in HP-linked MWFs, alone and in presence of a representative of the Gram-negative bacterial contaminants, Pseudomonas fluorescens, using two semi-synthetic MWF matrices (designated Fluid A and Fluid B). Relative biocide susceptibility analysis indicated M immunogenum to be comparatively more resistant (2–1600 fold) than P. fluorescens to the tested biocides under the varied test conditions. In terms of minimum inhibitory concentration, Kathon was the most effective biocide against M. immunogenum. Fluid factors had a major effect on the biocide susceptibility. Fluid A formulation provided greater protective advantage to the test organisms than Fluid B. Fluid dialysis (Fluid A) led to an increased biocidal efficacy of Grotan, Kathon and Preventol against M. immunogenum further implying the role of native fluid components. Used fluid matrix, in general, increased the resistance of the two test organisms against the biocides, with certain exceptions. M. immunogenum resistance increased in presence of the co-contaminant P. fluorescens. Collectively, the results show a multifactorial nature of the biocide susceptibility of MWF-colonizing mycobacteria and highlight the importance of more rigorous efficacy testing and validation of biocides prior to and during their application in metalworking fluid operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocides)
Open AccessArticle Modulation of Ca2+ Signals by Epigallocatechin-3-gallate(EGCG) in Cultured Rat Hippocampal Neurons
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 742-754; doi:10.3390/ijms12010742
Received: 22 December 2010 / Revised: 30 December 2010 / Accepted: 4 January 2011 / Published: 20 January 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (489 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green tea has been receiving considerable attention as a possible neuroprotective agent against neurodegenerative disease. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the major compound of green tea. Calcium signaling has profound effects on almost all aspects of neuronal function. Using digital calcium imaging and patch-clamp [...] Read more.
Green tea has been receiving considerable attention as a possible neuroprotective agent against neurodegenerative disease. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the major compound of green tea. Calcium signaling has profound effects on almost all aspects of neuronal function. Using digital calcium imaging and patch-clamp technique, we determined the effects of EGCG on Ca2+ signals in hippocampal neurons. The results indicated that EGCG caused a dose-dependent increase in intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i). This [Ca2+]i increase was blocked by depleting intracellular Ca2+ stores with the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pump inhibitor thapsigargin and cyclopiazonic acid. Furthermore, EGCG-stimulated increase in [Ca2+]i was abolished following treatment with a PLC inhibitor. However, EGCG inhibited high-voltage activated Ca2+ currents (IHVA) and NMDA-induced inward currents (INMDA). These data suggest that EGCG triggers a cascade of events: it activates phospholipase C (PLC), mobilizes intracellular Ca2+ stores, raises the cytosolic Ca2+ levels, and inhibits the VGCC and NMDA receptors-mediated Ca2+ influx through a process that remains to be determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Isolation and Characterization of Microsatellite Loci in the Asian Rice Gall Midge (Orseolia oryzae) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 755-772; doi:10.3390/ijms12010755
Received: 10 December 2010 / Revised: 1 January 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2011 / Published: 20 January 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (695 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microsatellite loci were isolated from the genomic DNA of the Asian rice gall midge, Orseolia oryzae (Wood-Mason) using a hybridization capture approach. A total of 90 non-redundant primer pairs, representing unique loci, were designed. These simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers represented di [...] Read more.
Microsatellite loci were isolated from the genomic DNA of the Asian rice gall midge, Orseolia oryzae (Wood-Mason) using a hybridization capture approach. A total of 90 non-redundant primer pairs, representing unique loci, were designed. These simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers represented di (72%), tri (15.3%), and complex repeats (12.7%). Three biotypes of gall midge (20 individuals for each biotype) were screened using these SSRs. The results revealed that 15 loci were hyper variable and showed polymorphism among different biotypes of this pest. The number of alleles ranged from two to 11 and expected heterozygosity was above 0.5. Inheritance studies with three markers (observed to be polymorphic between sexes) revealed sex linked inheritance of two SSRs (Oosat55 and Oosat59) and autosomal inheritance of one marker (Oosat43). These markers will prove to be a useful tool to devise strategies for integrated pest management and in the study of biotype evolution in this important rice pest. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effectiveness of Chitosan against Mature Biofilms Formed by Food Related Bacteria
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 817-828; doi:10.3390/ijms12010817
Received: 21 December 2010 / Revised: 15 January 2011 / Accepted: 17 January 2011 / Published: 21 January 2011
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (1086 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chitosan has proven antimicrobial properties against planktonic cell growth. Little is known, however, about its effects on already established biofilms. Oriented for application in food industry disinfection, the effectiveness of both medium molecular weight (MMW) chitosan and its enzymatically hydrolyzed product was [...] Read more.
Chitosan has proven antimicrobial properties against planktonic cell growth. Little is known, however, about its effects on already established biofilms. Oriented for application in food industry disinfection, the effectiveness of both medium molecular weight (MMW) chitosan and its enzymatically hydrolyzed product was tested against mature biofilms of four pathogenic strains, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica, and a food spoilage species, Pseudomonas fluorescens. Unexpectedly, log reductions were in some cases higher for biofilm than for planktonic cells. One hour exposure to MMW chitosan (1% w/v) caused a 6 log viable cell reduction on L. monocytogenes monospecies mature biofilms and reduced significantly (3–5 log reductions) the attached population of the other organisms tested, except S. aureus. Pronase-treated chitosan was more effective than MMW chitosan on all tested microorganisms, also with the exception of S. aureus, offering best results (8 log units) against the attached cells of B. cereus. These treatments open a new possibility to fight against mature biofilms in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Antioxidant Effects of Honey, Glibenclamide, Metformin, and Their Combinations in the Kidneys of Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 829-843; doi:10.3390/ijms12010829
Received: 29 October 2010 / Revised: 7 December 2010 / Accepted: 21 December 2010 / Published: 21 January 2011
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hyperglycemia-induced increase in oxidative stress is implicated in diabetic complications. This study investigated the effect of metformin and/or glibenclamide in combination with honey on antioxidant enzymes and oxidative stress markers in the kidneys of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; intraperitoneal)-induced diabetic rats. Diabetic rats [...] Read more.
Hyperglycemia-induced increase in oxidative stress is implicated in diabetic complications. This study investigated the effect of metformin and/or glibenclamide in combination with honey on antioxidant enzymes and oxidative stress markers in the kidneys of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; intraperitoneal)-induced diabetic rats. Diabetic rats were randomized into eight groups of five to seven rats and received distilled water (0.5 mL); honey (1.0 g/kg); metformin (100 mg/kg); metformin (100 mg/kg) and honey (1.0 g/kg); glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg); glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg) and honey (1.0 g/kg); metformin (100 mg/kg) and glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg); or metformin (100 mg/kg), glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg) and honey (1.0 g/kg) orally once daily for four weeks. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were significantly elevated while catalase (CAT) activity, total antioxidant status (TAS), reduced glutathione (GSH), and GSH:oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio was significantly reduced in the diabetic kidneys. CAT, glutathione reductase (GR), TAS, and GSH remained significantly reduced in the diabetic rats treated with metformin and/or glibenclamide. In contrast, metformin or glibenclamide combined with honey significantly increased CAT, GR, TAS, and GSH. These results suggest that combination of honey with metformin or glibenclamide might offer additional antioxidant effect to these drugs. This might reduce oxidative stress-mediated damage in diabetic kidneys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Cloning, Expression, and Characterization of Thermotolerant Manganese Superoxide Dismutase from Bacillus sp. MHS47
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 844-856; doi:10.3390/ijms12010844
Received: 20 December 2010 / Revised: 11 January 2011 / Accepted: 21 January 2011 / Published: 24 January 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A superoxide dismutase gene from thermotolerant Bacillus sp. MHS47 (MnSOD47) was cloned, sequenced, and expressed. The gene has an open reading frame of 612 bp, corresponding to 203 deduced amino acids, with high homology to the amino acid sequences of [...] Read more.
A superoxide dismutase gene from thermotolerant Bacillus sp. MHS47 (MnSOD47) was cloned, sequenced, and expressed. The gene has an open reading frame of 612 bp, corresponding to 203 deduced amino acids, with high homology to the amino acid sequences of B. thuringiensis (accession no. EEN01322), B. anthracis (accession no. NP_846724), B. cereus (accession no. ZP_04187911), B. weihenstephanensis (accession no. YP_001646918), and B. pseudomycoides. The conserved manganese-binding sites (H28, H83, D165, and H169) show that MnSOD47 has the specific characteristics of the manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) enzymes. MnSOD47 expressed an enzyme with a molecular weight of approximately 22.65 kDa and a specific activity of 3537.75 U/mg. The enzyme is active in the pH range 7–8.5, with an optimum pH of 7.5, and at temperatures in the range 30–45 °C, with an optimum temperature of 37 °C. Tests of inhibitors and metal ions indicated that the enzyme activity is inhibited by sodium azide, but not by hydrogen peroxide or potassium cyanide. These data should benefit future studies of MnSODs in other microorganisms and the biotechnological production of MnSOD47, and could also be used to develop a biosensor for the detection of antioxidants and free radical activity. In the future, this basic knowledge could be applicable to the detection of cancer risks in humans and therapeutic treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Identification of a Male-Specific Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) and a Sequence Characterized Amplified Region (SCAR) Marker in Eucommia ulmoides Oliv.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 857-864; doi:10.3390/ijms12010857
Received: 1 January 2011 / Revised: 10 January 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2011 / Published: 24 January 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. is a dioecious species. Currently, there is no method to identify the sex during the juvenile stage that lasts a relatively long time. This study aimed to develop a sex specific Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) marker for Eucommia [...] Read more.
Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. is a dioecious species. Currently, there is no method to identify the sex during the juvenile stage that lasts a relatively long time. This study aimed to develop a sex specific Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) marker for Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. Of a total of 64 AFLP primer combinations screened, primer combination E-ACA/M-CTT produced a 350 bp male-specific marker. This 350 bp AFLP marker was converted into a 247 bp Sequence Characterized Amplified Region (SCAR) marker. Results suggest that the SCAR marker can be utilized for early sexual identification in Eucommia ulmoides Oliv., and it will greatly facilitate future breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)

Review

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Open AccessReview Biomarkers in Rare Disorders: The Experience with Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 24-38; doi:10.3390/ijms12010024
Received: 10 November 2010 / Revised: 6 December 2010 / Accepted: 16 December 2010 / Published: 23 December 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by homozygous mutations of the SMN1 gene. Based on clinical severity, three forms of SMA are recognized (type I–III). All patients have at least one (usually 2–4) copies of a highly [...] Read more.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by homozygous mutations of the SMN1 gene. Based on clinical severity, three forms of SMA are recognized (type I–III). All patients have at least one (usually 2–4) copies of a highly homologous gene (SMN2) which produces insufficient levels of functional SMN protein, due to alternative splicing of exon7. Recently, evidence has been provided that SMN2 expression can be enhanced by different strategies. The availability of potential candidates to treat SMA has raised a number of issues, including the availability of data on the natural history of the disease, the reliability and sensitivity of outcome measures, the duration of the studies, and the number and clinical homogeneity of participating patients. Equally critical is the availability of reliable biomarkers. So far, different tools have been proposed as biomarkers in SMA, classifiable into two groups: instrumental (the Compound Motor Action Potential, the Motor Unit Number Estimation, and the Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and molecular (SMN gene products dosage, either transcripts or protein). However, none of the biomarkers available so far can be considered the gold standard. Preclinical studies on SMA animal models and double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are crucial to evaluate the appropriateness of biomarkers, on the basis of correlations with clinical outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers)
Open AccessReview Cell Surface Markers in Colorectal Cancer Prognosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 78-113; doi:10.3390/ijms12010078
Received: 30 November 2010 / Revised: 16 December 2010 / Accepted: 20 December 2010 / Published: 28 December 2010
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (443 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The classification of colorectal cancers (CRC) is currently based largely on histologically determined tumour characteristics, such as differentiation status and tumour stage, i.e., depth of tumour invasion, involvement of regional lymph nodes and the occurrence of metastatic spread to other organs. [...] Read more.
The classification of colorectal cancers (CRC) is currently based largely on histologically determined tumour characteristics, such as differentiation status and tumour stage, i.e., depth of tumour invasion, involvement of regional lymph nodes and the occurrence of metastatic spread to other organs. These are the conventional prognostic factors for patient survival and often determine the requirement for adjuvant therapy after surgical resection of the primary tumour. However, patients with the same CRC stage can have very different disease-related outcomes. For some, surgical removal of early-stage tumours leads to full recovery, while for others, disease recurrence and metastasis may occur regardless of adjuvant therapy. It is therefore important to understand the molecular processes that lead to disease progression and metastasis and to find more reliable prognostic markers and novel targets for therapy. This review focuses on cell surface proteins that correlate with tumour progression, metastasis and patient outcome, and discusses some of the challenges in finding prognostic protein markers in CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers)
Figures

Open AccessReview Diversity of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetases Involved in the Biosynthesis of Lipopeptide Biosurfactants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 141-172; doi:10.3390/ijms12010141
Received: 19 October 2010 / Revised: 3 December 2010 / Accepted: 10 December 2010 / Published: 30 December 2010
Cited by 53 | PDF Full-text (567 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lipopeptide biosurfactants (LPBSs) consist of a hydrophobic fatty acid portion linked to a hydrophilic peptide chain in the molecule. With their complex and diverse structures, LPBSs exhibit various biological activities including surface activity as well as anti-cellular and anti-enzymatic activities. LPBSs are [...] Read more.
Lipopeptide biosurfactants (LPBSs) consist of a hydrophobic fatty acid portion linked to a hydrophilic peptide chain in the molecule. With their complex and diverse structures, LPBSs exhibit various biological activities including surface activity as well as anti-cellular and anti-enzymatic activities. LPBSs are also involved in multi-cellular behaviors such as swarming motility and biofilm formation. Among the bacterial genera, Bacillus (Gram-positive) and Pseudomonas (Gram-negative) have received the most attention because they produce a wide range of effective LPBSs that are potentially useful for agricultural, chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries. The biosynthetic mechanisms and gene regulation systems of LPBSs have been extensively analyzed over the last decade. LPBSs are generally synthesized in a ribosome-independent manner with megaenzymes called nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). Production of active‑form NRPSs requires not only transcriptional induction and translation but also post‑translational modification and assemblage. The accumulated knowledge reveals the versatility and evolutionary lineage of the NRPSs system. This review provides an overview of the structural and functional diversity of LPBSs and their different biosynthetic mechanisms in Bacillus and Pseudomonas, including both typical and unique systems. Finally, successful genetic engineering of NRPSs for creating novel lipopeptides is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosurfactants)
Open AccessReview Molecular Photovoltaics in Nanoscale Dimension
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 173-225; doi:10.3390/ijms12010173
Received: 16 November 2010 / Revised: 1 December 2010 / Accepted: 15 December 2010 / Published: 5 January 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1570 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review focuses on the intrinsic charge transport in organic photovoltaic (PVC) devices and field-effect transistors (SAM-OFETs) fabricated by vapor phase molecular self-assembly (VP-SAM) method. The dynamics of charge transport are determined and used to clarify a transport mechanism. The 1,4,5,8-naphthalene-tetracarboxylic diphenylimide [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the intrinsic charge transport in organic photovoltaic (PVC) devices and field-effect transistors (SAM-OFETs) fabricated by vapor phase molecular self-assembly (VP-SAM) method. The dynamics of charge transport are determined and used to clarify a transport mechanism. The 1,4,5,8-naphthalene-tetracarboxylic diphenylimide (NTCDI) SAM devices provide a useful tool to study the fundamentals of polaronic transport at organic surfaces and to discuss the performance of organic photovoltaic devices in nanoscale. Time-resolved photovoltaic studies allow us to separate the charge annihilation kinetics in the conductive NTCDI channel from the overall charge kinetic in a SAM-OFET device. It has been demonstrated that tuning of the type of conductivity in NTCDI SAM-OFET devices is possible by changing Si substrate doping. Our study of the polaron charge transfer in organic materials proposes that a cation-radical exchange (redox) mechanism is the major transport mechanism in the studied SAM-PVC devices. The role and contribution of the transport through delocalized states of redox active surface molecular aggregates of NTCDI are exposed and investigated. This example of technological development is used to highlight the significance of future technological development of nanotechnologies and to appreciate a structure-property paradigm in organic nanostructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Cells)
Open AccessReview Thermophysical Properties of Undercooled Alloys: An Overview of the Molecular Simulation Approaches
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 278-316; doi:10.3390/ijms12010278
Received: 5 November 2010 / Revised: 29 November 2010 / Accepted: 15 December 2010 / Published: 10 January 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (839 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We review the studies on the thermophysical properties of undercooled metals and alloys by molecular simulations in recent years. The simulation methods of melting temperature, enthalpy, specific heat, surface tension, diffusion coefficient and viscosity are introduced and the simulated results are summarized. [...] Read more.
We review the studies on the thermophysical properties of undercooled metals and alloys by molecular simulations in recent years. The simulation methods of melting temperature, enthalpy, specific heat, surface tension, diffusion coefficient and viscosity are introduced and the simulated results are summarized. By comparing the experimental results and various theoretical models, the temperature and the composition dependences of the thermophysical properties in undercooled regime are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amorphous Alloys)
Open AccessReview The Role of Reactive-Oxygen-Species in Microbial Persistence and Inflammation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 334-352; doi:10.3390/ijms12010334
Received: 4 November 2010 / Revised: 19 December 2010 / Accepted: 5 January 2011 / Published: 13 January 2011
Cited by 45 | PDF Full-text (273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mechanisms of chronic infections caused by opportunistic pathogens are of keen interest to both researchers and health professionals globally. Typically, chronic infectious disease can be characterized by an elevation in immune response, a process that can often lead to further destruction. [...] Read more.
The mechanisms of chronic infections caused by opportunistic pathogens are of keen interest to both researchers and health professionals globally. Typically, chronic infectious disease can be characterized by an elevation in immune response, a process that can often lead to further destruction. Reactive-Oxygen-Species (ROS) have been strongly implicated in the aforementioned detrimental response by host that results in self-damage. Unlike excessive ROS production resulting in robust cellular death typically induced by acute infection or inflammation, lower levels of ROS produced by host cells are increasingly recognized to play a critical physiological role for regulating a variety of homeostatic cellular functions including growth, apoptosis, immune response, and microbial colonization. Sources of cellular ROS stimulation can include “danger-signal-molecules” such as extracellular ATP (eATP) released by stressed, infected, or dying cells. Particularly, eATP-P2X7 receptor mediated ROS production has been lately found to be a key modulator for controlling chronic infection and inflammation. There is growing evidence that persistent microbes can alter host cell ROS production and modulate eATP-induced ROS for maintaining long-term carriage. Though these processes have yet to be fully understood, exploring potential positive traits of these “injurious” molecules could illuminate how opportunistic pathogens maintain persistence through physiological regulation of ROS signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Recognition)
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Open AccessReview Exploring the Immunoproteome for Ovarian Cancer Biomarker Discovery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 410-428; doi:10.3390/ijms12010410
Received: 30 November 2010 / Accepted: 12 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1380 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most scientific efforts towards early detection of ovarian cancer are commonly focused on the discovery of tumour-associated antigens (TAA). Autologous antibodies against TAA, however, may serve as more sensitive diagnostic markers. They circulate in the blood before TAA and are usually more [...] Read more.
Most scientific efforts towards early detection of ovarian cancer are commonly focused on the discovery of tumour-associated antigens (TAA). Autologous antibodies against TAA, however, may serve as more sensitive diagnostic markers. They circulate in the blood before TAA and are usually more abundant than the TAAs themselves as a result of amplification through the humoral immune response. Accumulating evidence also suggests that a humoral response already exists during malignant transformation when aberrant gene expression is translated into premalignant cellular changes. This article reviews the current knowledge about autoantibodies against TAA in ovarian cancer and presents current immunoproteomic approaches for their detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Molecules in Ovarian Cancer)
Open AccessReview Biosurfactants for Microbubble Preparation and Application
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 462-475; doi:10.3390/ijms12010462
Received: 17 December 2010 / Revised: 11 January 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2011 / Published: 17 January 2011
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biosurfactants can be classified by their chemical composition and their origin. This review briefly describes various classes of biosurfactants based on their origin and introduces a few of the most widely used biosurfactants. The current status and future trends in biosurfactant production [...] Read more.
Biosurfactants can be classified by their chemical composition and their origin. This review briefly describes various classes of biosurfactants based on their origin and introduces a few of the most widely used biosurfactants. The current status and future trends in biosurfactant production are discussed, with an emphasis on those derived from plants. Following a brief introduction of the properties of microbubbles, recent progress in the application of microbubble technology to molecular imaging, wastewater treatment, and aerobic fermentation are presented. Several studies on the preparation, characterization and applications of biosurfactant-based microbubbles are reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosurfactants)
Open AccessReview High Photoelectric Conversion Efficiency of Metal Phthalocyanine/Fullerene Heterojunction Photovoltaic Device
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 476-505; doi:10.3390/ijms12010476
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 27 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 17 January 2011
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (476 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper introduces the fundamental physical characteristics of organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices. Photoelectric conversion efficiency is crucial to the evaluation of quality in OPV devices, and enhancing efficiency has been spurring on researchers to seek alternatives to this problem. In this paper, [...] Read more.
This paper introduces the fundamental physical characteristics of organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices. Photoelectric conversion efficiency is crucial to the evaluation of quality in OPV devices, and enhancing efficiency has been spurring on researchers to seek alternatives to this problem. In this paper, we focus on organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices and review several approaches to enhance the energy conversion efficiency of small molecular heterojunction OPV devices based on an optimal metal-phthalocyanine/fullerene (C60) planar heterojunction thin film structure. For the sake of discussion, these mechanisms have been divided into electrical and optical sections: (1) Electrical: Modification on electrodes or active regions to benefit carrier injection, charge transport and exciton dissociation; (2) Optical: Optional architectures or infilling to promote photon confinement and enhance absorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Cells)
Open AccessReview The Biochemical and Cellular Basis for Nutraceutical Strategies to Attenuate Neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 506-569; doi:10.3390/ijms12010506
Received: 18 November 2010 / Revised: 5 January 2011 / Accepted: 14 January 2011 / Published: 17 January 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Future therapeutic intervention that could effectively decelerate the rate of degeneration within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) could add years of mobility and reduce morbidity associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Neurodegenerative decline associated with PD is distinguished by extensive damage to [...] Read more.
Future therapeutic intervention that could effectively decelerate the rate of degeneration within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) could add years of mobility and reduce morbidity associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Neurodegenerative decline associated with PD is distinguished by extensive damage to SNc dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons and decay of the striatal tract. While genetic mutations or environmental toxins can precipitate pathology, progressive degenerative succession involves a gradual decline in DA neurotransmission/synaptic uptake, impaired oxidative glucose consumption, a rise in striatal lactate and chronic inflammation. Nutraceuticals play a fundamental role in energy metabolism and signaling transduction pathways that control neurotransmission and inflammation. However, the use of nutritional supplements to slow the progression of PD has met with considerable challenge and has thus far proven unsuccessful. This review re-examines precipitating factors and insults involved in PD and how nutraceuticals can affect each of these biological targets. Discussed are disease dynamics (Sections 1 and 2) and natural substances, vitamins and minerals that could impact disease processes (Section 3). Topics include nutritional influences on α-synuclein aggregation, ubiquitin proteasome function, mTOR signaling/lysosomal-autophagy, energy failure, faulty catecholamine trafficking, DA oxidation, synthesis of toxic DA-quinones, o-semiquinones, benzothiazolines, hyperhomocyseinemia, methylation, inflammation and irreversible oxidation of neuromelanin. In summary, it is clear that future research will be required to consider the multi-faceted nature of this disease and re-examine how and why the use of nutritional multi-vitamin-mineral and plant-based combinations could be used to slow the progression of PD, if possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotective Strategies (special issue))
Open AccessReview Phospholipases A1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 588-612; doi:10.3390/ijms12010588
Received: 15 December 2010 / Revised: 7 January 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2011 / Published: 18 January 2011
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phospholipase A1 (PLA1) is an enzyme that hydrolyzes phospholipids and produces 2-acyl-lysophospholipids and fatty acids. This lipolytic activity is conserved in a wide range of organisms but is carried out by a diverse set of PLA1 enzymes. Where [...] Read more.
Phospholipase A1 (PLA1) is an enzyme that hydrolyzes phospholipids and produces 2-acyl-lysophospholipids and fatty acids. This lipolytic activity is conserved in a wide range of organisms but is carried out by a diverse set of PLA1 enzymes. Where their function is known, PLA1s have been shown to act as digestive enzymes, possess central roles in membrane maintenance and remodeling, or regulate important cellular mechanisms by the production of various lysophospholipid mediators, such as lysophosphatidylserine and lysophosphatidic acid, which in turn have multiple biological functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phospholipids: Molecular Sciences)
Open AccessReview Environmental Applications of Biosurfactants: Recent Advances
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 633-654; doi:10.3390/ijms12010633
Received: 30 November 2010 / Revised: 8 December 2010 / Accepted: 10 January 2011 / Published: 18 January 2011
Cited by 156 | PDF Full-text (589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing public awareness of environmental pollution influences the search and development of technologies that help in clean up of organic and inorganic contaminants such as hydrocarbons and metals. An alternative and eco-friendly method of remediation technology of environments contaminated with these pollutants [...] Read more.
Increasing public awareness of environmental pollution influences the search and development of technologies that help in clean up of organic and inorganic contaminants such as hydrocarbons and metals. An alternative and eco-friendly method of remediation technology of environments contaminated with these pollutants is the use of biosurfactants and biosurfactant-producing microorganisms. The diversity of biosurfactants makes them an attractive group of compounds for potential use in a wide variety of industrial and biotechnological applications. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the applications of biosurfactants and biosurfactant-producing microorganisms in hydrocarbon and metal remediation technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosurfactants)
Open AccessReview MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-IMS)―Application of Spatial Proteomics for Ovarian Cancer Classification and Diagnosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 773-794; doi:10.3390/ijms12010773
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 10 January 2011 / Accepted: 17 January 2011 / Published: 21 January 2011
Cited by 43 | PDF Full-text (616 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) allows acquisition of mass data for metabolites, lipids, peptides and proteins directly from tissue sections. IMS is typically performed either as a multiple spot profiling experiment to generate tissue specific mass profiles, or a high resolution imaging [...] Read more.
MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) allows acquisition of mass data for metabolites, lipids, peptides and proteins directly from tissue sections. IMS is typically performed either as a multiple spot profiling experiment to generate tissue specific mass profiles, or a high resolution imaging experiment where relative spatial abundance for potentially hundreds of analytes across virtually any tissue section can be measured. Crucially, imaging can be achieved without prior knowledge of tissue composition and without the use of antibodies. In effect MALDI-IMS allows generation of molecular data which complement and expand upon the information provided by histology including immuno-histochemistry, making its application valuable to both cancer biomarker research and diagnostics. The current state of MALDI-IMS, key biological applications to ovarian cancer research and practical considerations for analysis of peptides and proteins on ovarian tissue are presented in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Molecules in Ovarian Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Development of Proteomics-Based Fungicides: New Strategies for Environmentally Friendly Control of Fungal Plant Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 795-816; doi:10.3390/ijms12010795
Received: 6 December 2010 / Revised: 17 January 2011 / Accepted: 17 January 2011 / Published: 21 January 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Proteomics has become one of the most relevant high-throughput technologies. Several approaches have been used for studying, for example, tumor development, biomarker discovery, or microbiology. In this “post-genomic” era, the relevance of these studies has been highlighted as the phenotypes determined by [...] Read more.
Proteomics has become one of the most relevant high-throughput technologies. Several approaches have been used for studying, for example, tumor development, biomarker discovery, or microbiology. In this “post-genomic” era, the relevance of these studies has been highlighted as the phenotypes determined by the proteins and not by the genotypes encoding them that is responsible for the final phenotypes. One of the most interesting outcomes of these technologies is the design of new drugs, due to the discovery of new disease factors that may be candidates for new therapeutic targets. To our knowledge, no commercial fungicides have been developed from targeted molecular research, this review will shed some light on future prospects. We will summarize previous research efforts and discuss future innovations, focused on the fight against one of the main agents causing a devastating crops disease, fungal phytopathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocides)

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Open AccessShort Note Isolation and Characterization of the First Microsatellite Markers for the Endangered Relict Mussel Hypanis colorata (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Cardiidae)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 456-461; doi:10.3390/ijms12010456
Received: 16 December 2010 / Revised: 23 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 17 January 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hypanis colorata (Eichwald, 1829) (Cardiidae: Lymnocardiinae) is a bivalve relict species with a Ponto-Caspian distribution and is under strict protection in Romania, according to national regulations. While the species is depressed in the western Black Sea lagoons from Romania and Ukraine, it [...] Read more.
Hypanis colorata (Eichwald, 1829) (Cardiidae: Lymnocardiinae) is a bivalve relict species with a Ponto-Caspian distribution and is under strict protection in Romania, according to national regulations. While the species is depressed in the western Black Sea lagoons from Romania and Ukraine, it is also a successful invader in the middle Dniepr and Volga regions. Establishing a conservation strategy for this species or studying its invasion process requires knowledge about the genetic structure of the species populations. We have isolated and characterized nine polymorphic microsatellite markers in H. colorata. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 4 to 28 and the observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.613 to 1.000. The microsatellites developed in the present study are highly polymorphic and they should be useful for the assessment of genetic variation within this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessCase Report HE4 in the Differential Diagnosis of a Pelvic Mass: A Case Report
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 627-632; doi:10.3390/ijms12010627
Received: 12 December 2010 / Revised: 28 December 2010 / Accepted: 5 January 2011 / Published: 18 January 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Neoplasms of the ovary present an increasing challenge to the physician. Neoplastic ovarian cysts can resemble endometriomas in ultrasound imaging and need to be carefully considered in the differential diagnosis. We report the case of a woman with a strong family history [...] Read more.
Neoplasms of the ovary present an increasing challenge to the physician. Neoplastic ovarian cysts can resemble endometriomas in ultrasound imaging and need to be carefully considered in the differential diagnosis. We report the case of a woman with a strong family history of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, who presented with a pelvic mass. The young girl refused oncogenetic counseling and genetic testing, even though she had a 50% a priori probability of being a BRCA1 mutation carrier. Pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a comparative analysis of the serum concentration of HE-4 and CA125 biomarkers provided accuracy and sensitivity in the diagnosis of a benign ovarian pathology. Based on this experience, we propose that the sensitivity of a screening program based on a HE4 and CA125 assay and MRI in high risk patients with mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes may be considered a useful pre-operative tool for the differential diagnosis of pelvic masses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)

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