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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 11 (November 2011), Pages 7286-8315

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Open AccessArticle Chitosan Fibers Modified with HAp/β–TCP Nanoparticles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7286-7300; doi:10.3390/ijms12117286
Received: 25 July 2011 / Revised: 23 September 2011 / Accepted: 11 October 2011 / Published: 25 October 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes a method for preparing chitosan fibers modified with hydroxyapatite (HAp), tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP), and HAp/β-TCP nanoparticles. Fiber-grade chitosan derived from the northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) and nanoparticles of tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) and hydroxyapatite (HAp) suspended in a diluted chitosan [...] Read more.
This paper describes a method for preparing chitosan fibers modified with hydroxyapatite (HAp), tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP), and HAp/β-TCP nanoparticles. Fiber-grade chitosan derived from the northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) and nanoparticles of tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) and hydroxyapatite (HAp) suspended in a diluted chitosan solution were used in the investigation. Diluted chitosan solution containing nanoparticles of Hap/β-TCP was introduced to a 5.16 wt% solution of chitosan in 3.0 wt% acetic acid. The properties of the spinning solutions were examined. Chitosan fibers modified with nanoparticles of HAp/β-TCP were characterized by a level of tenacity and calcium content one hundred times higher than that of regular chitosan fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite Materials in Skeletal Engineering)
Open AccessArticle A Germin-Like Protein Gene (CchGLP) of Capsicum chinense Jacq. Is Induced during Incompatible Interactions and Displays Mn-Superoxide Dismutase Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7301-7313; doi:10.3390/ijms12117301
Received: 21 July 2011 / Revised: 4 September 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 25 October 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A germin-like gene (CchGLP) cloned from geminivirus-resistant pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq. Line BG-3821) was characterized and the enzymatic activity of the expressed protein analyzed. The predicted protein consists of 203 amino acids, similar to other germin-like proteins. A highly [...] Read more.
A germin-like gene (CchGLP) cloned from geminivirus-resistant pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq. Line BG-3821) was characterized and the enzymatic activity of the expressed protein analyzed. The predicted protein consists of 203 amino acids, similar to other germin-like proteins. A highly conserved cupin domain and typical germin boxes, one of them containing three histidines and one glutamate, are also present in CchGLP. A signal peptide was predicted in the first 18 N-terminal amino acids, as well as one putative N-glycosylation site from residues 44–47. CchGLP was expressed in E. coli and the recombinant protein displayed manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) activity. Molecular analysis showed that CchGLP is present in one copy in the C. chinense Jacq. genome and was induced in plants by ethylene (Et) and salicylic acid (SA) but not jasmonic acid (JA) applications in the absence of pathogens. Meanwhile, incompatible interactions with either Pepper golden mosaic virus (PepGMV) or Pepper huasteco yellow vein virus (PHYVV) caused local and systemic CchGLP induction in these geminivirus-resistant plants, but not in a susceptible accession. Compatible interactions with PHYVV, PepGMV and oomycete Phytophthora capsici did not induce CchGLP expression. Thus, these results indicate that CchGLP encodes a Mn-SOD, which is induced in the C. chinense geminivirus-resistant line BG-3821, likely using SA and Et signaling pathways during incompatible interactions with geminiviruses PepGMV and PHYVV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessCommunication Molecular Diagnosis of Analbuminemia: A New Case Caused by a Nonsense Mutation in the Albumin Gene
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7314-7322; doi:10.3390/ijms12117314
Received: 5 August 2011 / Revised: 15 September 2011 / Accepted: 13 October 2011 / Published: 25 October 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (478 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Analbuminemia is a rare autosomal recessive disorder manifested by the absence, or severe reduction, of circulating serum albumin (ALB). We report here a new case diagnosed in a 45 years old man of Southwestern Asian origin, living in Switzerland, on the basis [...] Read more.
Analbuminemia is a rare autosomal recessive disorder manifested by the absence, or severe reduction, of circulating serum albumin (ALB). We report here a new case diagnosed in a 45 years old man of Southwestern Asian origin, living in Switzerland, on the basis of his low ALB concentration (0.9 g/L) in the absence of renal or gastrointestinal protein loss, or liver dysfunction. The clinical diagnosis was confirmed by a mutational analysis of the albumin (ALB) gene, carried out by single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP), heteroduplex analysis (HA), and DNA sequencing. This screening of the ALB gene revealed that the proband is homozygous for two mutations: the insertion of a T in a stretch of eight Ts spanning positions c.1289 + 23–c.1289 + 30 of intron 10 and a c.802 G > T transversion in exon 7. Whereas the presence of an additional T in the poly-T tract has no direct deleterious effect, the latter nonsense mutation changes the codon GAA for Glu244 to the stop codon TAA, resulting in a premature termination of the polypeptide chain. The putative protein product would have a length of only 243 amino acid residues instead of the normal 585 found in the mature serum albumin, but no evidence for the presence in serum of such a truncated polypeptide chain could be obtained by two dimensional electrophoresis and western blotting analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Increase in Docetaxel-Resistance of Ovarian Carcinoma-Derived RMG-1 Cells with Enhanced Expression of Lewis Y Antigen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7323-7334; doi:10.3390/ijms12117323
Received: 11 July 2011 / Revised: 13 October 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 26 October 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Epithelial carcinomas of the ovary exhibit the highest mortality rate among gynecologic malignancies. Studies found that the metabolism of glycolipids or carbohydrates is associated with acquirement of anticancer drug-resistance by cancer cells. This study was to characterize possible involvement of Lewis Y [...] Read more.
Epithelial carcinomas of the ovary exhibit the highest mortality rate among gynecologic malignancies. Studies found that the metabolism of glycolipids or carbohydrates is associated with acquirement of anticancer drug-resistance by cancer cells. This study was to characterize possible involvement of Lewis Y (LeY) antigen in the drug-resistance of cancer cells. We transfected the α1,2-fucosyltransferase gene into human ovarian carcinoma-derived RMG-1 cells and established RMG-1-hFUT cells with enhanced expression of LeY. We determined the effects of docetaxel on the survival of cells by MTT assaying and observed the apoptosis of cells in the presence of docetaxel by flow cytometric analysis and by transmission electron microscopy. Plasma membranes and intracellular granules in RMG-1-hFUT cells were stained with anti-LeY antibody, the intensity of the staining was higher than that in control cells. The RMG-1-hFUT cells exhibited higher resistance to docetaxel than the control cells with regard to the docetaxel concentration and time course. After treatment with 10 μg/mL docetaxel for 72 h, the control cells, but not RMG-1-hFUT, contained abundant positively stained cell debris due to disintegration of the cytoskeleton. On transmission electron microscopy, although the control cells treated with docetaxel as above showed the following morphology, i.e., absence of villi, cells shrunken in size, pyknosis, agglutinated chromatin and cell buds containing nuclei in the process of apoptosis, the RMG-1-hFUT cells showed only agglutinated chromatin and vacuoles in the cytoplasm. In summary, cells with enhanced expression of LeY were shown to acquire docetaxel-resistance, indicating the possible involvement of glycoconjugates in the drug-resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle A Supramolecular Sensing Platform for Phosphate Anions and an Anthrax Biomarker in a Microfluidic Device
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7335-7351; doi:10.3390/ijms12117335
Received: 24 August 2011 / Revised: 19 October 2011 / Accepted: 20 October 2011 / Published: 26 October 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2514 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A supramolecular platform based on self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) has been implemented in a microfluidic device. The system has been applied for the sensing of two different analyte types: biologically relevant phosphate anions and aromatic carboxylic acids, which are important for anthrax detection. [...] Read more.
A supramolecular platform based on self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) has been implemented in a microfluidic device. The system has been applied for the sensing of two different analyte types: biologically relevant phosphate anions and aromatic carboxylic acids, which are important for anthrax detection. A Eu(III)-EDTA complex was bound to β-cyclodextrin monolayers via orthogonal supramolecular host-guest interactions. The self-assembly of the Eu(III)-EDTA conjugate and naphthalene β-diketone as an antenna resulted in the formation of a highly luminescent lanthanide complex on the microchannel surface. Detection of different phosphate anions and aromatic carboxylic acids was demonstrated by monitoring the decrease in red emission following displacement of the antenna by the analyte. Among these analytes, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and pyrophosphate, as well as dipicolinic acid (DPA) which is a biomarker for anthrax, showed a strong response. Parallel fabrication of five sensing SAMs in a single multichannel chip was performed, as a first demonstration of phosphate and carboxylic acid screening in a multiplexed format that allows a general detection platform for both analyte systems in a single test run with µM and nM detection sensitivity for ATP and DPA, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Self-Assembly 2011)
Open AccessArticle Antiproliferative Effect of Aaptamine on Human Chronic Myeloid Leukemia K562 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7352-7359; doi:10.3390/ijms12117352
Received: 26 September 2011 / Revised: 18 October 2011 / Accepted: 20 October 2011 / Published: 26 October 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We previously isolated aaptamine, a benzonaphthyridine alkaloid, from marine sponge Aaptos suberitoids. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferative effect of aaptamine on chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) K562 cells. Aaptamine inhibited growth of K562 with a GI50 as 10 μM, and [...] Read more.
We previously isolated aaptamine, a benzonaphthyridine alkaloid, from marine sponge Aaptos suberitoids. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferative effect of aaptamine on chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) K562 cells. Aaptamine inhibited growth of K562 with a GI50 as 10 μM, and arrested cell cycle at G2/M phase. Western blot analysis indicated that aaptamine induced p21 expression in K562 cells. Moreover, p21 promoter was activated by aaptamine treatment in p21 transfected K562 cells. Since K562 is p53 negative, aaptamine was demonstrated to be a p53-independent p21 inducer in CML cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Microsatellite Analysis in Multistage Carcinogenesis of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma from Chongqing in Southern China
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7401-7409; doi:10.3390/ijms12117401
Received: 15 August 2011 / Revised: 13 October 2011 / Accepted: 26 October 2011 / Published: 28 October 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (113 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to characterize the molecular events in the carcinogenesis of esophageal cancer and to identify biomarkers for the early detection of the disease, matched precancerous and cancerous tissues resected from 34 esophageal cancer patients in Chongqing of southern China were compared for the extent of loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Sixteen microsatellite markers on nine chromosome regions were used for the PCR-based LOH analysis. The overall frequency of LOH at the 16 microsatellite loci was significantly increased as the pathological status of the resection specimens changed from low-grade dysplasia (LGD) to high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (P < 0.001), indicating that tumorigenesis of the esophageal squamous epithelia is a progressive process involving accumulative changes of LOH. A total of eight markers showed LOH in the LGD samples, suggesting that these loci may be involved in the early-stage tumorigenesis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and that LOH analysis at these loci may help improve the early detection of this disease. In addition, heterozygosity was regained at four loci in the SCC samples of four patients compared with the HGD samples, suggesting the possibility of genetic heterogeneity in the tumorigenesis of esophageal cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle A Sandwich Electrochemical Immunosensor Using Magnetic DNA Nanoprobes for Carcinoembryonic Antigen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7410-7423; doi:10.3390/ijms12117410
Received: 11 July 2011 / Revised: 23 September 2011 / Accepted: 21 October 2011 / Published: 28 October 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (785 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel magnetic nanoparticle-based electrochemical immunoassay of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was designed as a model using CEA antibody-functionalized magnetic beads [DNA/Fe3O4/ZrO2; Fe3O4 (core)/ZrO2 (shell) nano particles (ZMPs)] as immunosensing probes. To design [...] Read more.
A novel magnetic nanoparticle-based electrochemical immunoassay of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was designed as a model using CEA antibody-functionalized magnetic beads [DNA/Fe3O4/ZrO2; Fe3O4 (core)/ZrO2 (shell) nano particles (ZMPs)] as immunosensing probes. To design the immunoassay, the CEA antibody and O-phenylenediamine (OPD) were initially immobilized on a chitosan/nano gold composite membrane on a glassy carbon electrode (GCE/CS-nano Au), which was used for CEA recognition. Then, horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled anti-CEA antibodies (HRP-CEA Ab2) were bound to the surface of the synthesized magnetic ZMP nanoparticles as signal tag. Thus, the sandwich-type immune complex could be formed between secondary antibody (Ab2) modified DNA/ZMPs nanochains tagged by HRP and GCE/CS-nano Au. Unlike conventional nanoparticle-based electrochemical immunoassays, the recognition elements of this immunoassay included both electron mediators and enzyme labels, which obviously simplifies the electrochemical measurement process. The sandwich-type immunoassay format was used for online formation of the immunocomplex of CEA captured in the detection cell with an external magnet. The electrochemical signals derived from HRP during the reduction of H2O2 with OPD as electron mediator were measured. The method displayed a high sensitivity for CEA detection in the range of 0.008–200 ng/mL, with a detection limit of 5 pg/mL (estimated at a signal-to-noise ratio of 3). The precision, reproducibility, and stability of the immunoassay were good. The use of the assay was evaluated with clinical serum samples, and the results were in excellent accordance with those obtained using the standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. Thus, the magnetic nanoparticle-based assay format is a promising approach for clinical applications, and it could be further developed for the detection of other biomarkers in cancer diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle Distribution and Clinical Significance of Th17 Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment and Peripheral Blood of Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7424-7437; doi:10.3390/ijms12117424
Received: 8 August 2011 / Revised: 12 October 2011 / Accepted: 19 October 2011 / Published: 28 October 2011
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (596 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was designed to investigate the distribution of Th17 cells in the tumor microenvironment and peripheral blood of pancreatic cancer patients, its clinical significance, and the expression profile of Th17 cell-associated cytokines. The percentage of Th17 cells detected by flow cytometry [...] Read more.
This study was designed to investigate the distribution of Th17 cells in the tumor microenvironment and peripheral blood of pancreatic cancer patients, its clinical significance, and the expression profile of Th17 cell-associated cytokines. The percentage of Th17 cells detected by flow cytometry analysis (FACS) was significantly higher in 46 pancreatic tumor tissues (5.28 ± 1.65%) compared with corresponding adjacent normal tissues (2.57 ± 0.83%) (P = 0.031). In addition, the percentage of Th17 cells was significantly higher in stage III-IV tumors than stage I-II tumors (P = 0.039). The percentage of Th17 cells in peripheral blood of 20 pancreatic cancer patients (3.99 ± 1.15%) was significantly higher than 15 healthy volunteers (1.98 ± 0.57%) (P = 0.027). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to detect IL-17+ cells in 46 pancreatic tumor tissues, as well as expression of CD34 in 24 tumor tissues. IL-17 was shown to mainly locate in cytoplasm, and the frequency of IL-17+ cells in tumor tissues (39/46) was higher than control (29/46). The presence of IL-17+ cells in tumor tissues was associated with tumor, node, and metastasis (TNM) stage, and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.012 and P = 0.009) but not with patient sex, age, tumor size, and histological grade (P > 0.05). Interestingly, distribution of Th17 cells in tumor tissues was positively correlated with microvessel density (MVD) (r = 0.86, P = 0.018). Furthermore, the median survival time of patients with high and low level of IL-17+ cells frequency was 14.5 and 18.5 months respectively (P = 0.023). The serum levels of Th17 cell-associated cytokines, IL-17 and IL-23 in 20 pancreatic patients detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were 69.2 ± 28.5 pg/mL and 266.5 ± 98.1 pg/mL, respectively, which were significantly higher than 15 healthy volunteers (P = 0.015 and P = 0.02). Moreover, levels of IL-17 and IL-23 were significantly higher in stage III-IV tumors than stage I-II tumors (P = 0.04 and P = 0.036). This study suggests that increase in Th17 cells frequency and its related cytokines levels in pancreatic tumor tissues may indicate involvement in the invasion and metastasis of pancreatic cancer, which may thereby affect patient prognosis. Therefore, Th17 cells and related cytokines may be served as important immune indicators for predicting the prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Pathology)
Open AccessArticle Novel Ionic Liquid with Both Lewis and Brønsted Acid Sites for Michael Addition
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7438-7444; doi:10.3390/ijms12117438
Received: 29 September 2011 / Revised: 19 October 2011 / Accepted: 19 October 2011 / Published: 28 October 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (103 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ionic liquid with both Lewis and Brønsted acid sites has been synthesized and its catalytic activities for Michael addition were carefully studied. The novel ionic liquid was stable to water and could be used in aqueous solution. The molar ratio of the [...] Read more.
Ionic liquid with both Lewis and Brønsted acid sites has been synthesized and its catalytic activities for Michael addition were carefully studied. The novel ionic liquid was stable to water and could be used in aqueous solution. The molar ratio of the Lewis and Brønsted acid sites could be adjusted to match different reactions. The results showed that the novel ionic liquid was very efficient for Michael addition with good to excellent yields within several min. Operational simplicity, high stability to water and air, small amount used, low cost of the catalyst used, high yields, chemoselectivity, applicability to large-scale reactions and reusability are the key features of this methodology, which indicated that this novel ionic liquid also holds great potential for environmentally friendly processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle gef Gene Expression in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells is Associated with a Better Prognosis and Induction of Apoptosis by p53-Mediated Signaling Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7445-7458; doi:10.3390/ijms12117445
Received: 26 September 2011 / Revised: 20 October 2011 / Accepted: 26 October 2011 / Published: 31 October 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Breast cancer research has developed rapidly in the past few decades, leading to longer survival times for patients and opening up the possibility of developing curative treatments for advanced breast cancer. Our increasing knowledge of the biological pathways associated with the progression [...] Read more.
Breast cancer research has developed rapidly in the past few decades, leading to longer survival times for patients and opening up the possibility of developing curative treatments for advanced breast cancer. Our increasing knowledge of the biological pathways associated with the progression and development of breast cancer, alongside the failure of conventional treatments, has prompted us to explore gene therapy as an alternative therapeutic strategy. We previously reported that gef gene from E. coli has shown considerable cytotoxic effects in breast cancer cells. However, its action mechanism has not been elucidated. Indirect immunofluorescence technique using flow cytometry and immunocytochemical analysis were used to detect breast cancer markers: estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) hormonal receptors, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 proto-oncogene (c-erbB-2), ki-67 antigen and p53 protein. gef gene induces an increase in ER and PR expressions and a decrease in ki-67 and c-erbB-2 gene expressions, indicating a better prognosis and response to treatment and a longer disease‑free interval and survival. It also increased p53 expression, suggesting that gef‑induced apoptosis is regulated by a p53-mediated signaling pathway. These findings support the hypothesis that the gef gene offers a new approach to gene therapy in breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle DNA Sequence Analysis of South African Helicobacter pylori Vacuolating Cytotoxin Gene (vacA)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7459-7468; doi:10.3390/ijms12117459
Received: 22 August 2011 / Accepted: 28 October 2011 / Published: 31 October 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sequence diversity and population structures can vary widely among pathogenic bacteria species. In some species, all isolates are highly similar, whereas in others most of the isolates are distinguished easily. H. pylori is known for its wide genetic diversity amongst the various [...] Read more.
Sequence diversity and population structures can vary widely among pathogenic bacteria species. In some species, all isolates are highly similar, whereas in others most of the isolates are distinguished easily. H. pylori is known for its wide genetic diversity amongst the various strains most especially in the genes involved in virulence. The aim of this study was to evaluate by PCR and sequence analysis, the genetic profile of H. pylori vacA gene (s1, s2, m1 and m2). We sequenced small DNA segments from 13 vacAs1, 10 vacAm2, 6 vacAm1 and 6 vacAs2 strains which were amplified with amplicon size of 259/286 bp, 290 bp and 352 bp for vacAs1/s2, m1 and m2 respectively. Based on similarities among our strains accession numbers were provided for seven vacAs1 (HQ709109–HQ709115), six vacAs2 (JN848463–JN848468), six vacAm1 (JN848469–JN848474) and six vacAm2 (HQ650801–HQ650806) strains. Amongst the strains studied, 98.07%, 98.58%, 97.38% and 95.41% of vacAs1, vacAs2, vacAm1 and vacAm2 of the strains were conserved respectively. Findings of this study underscores the importance of understanding the virulence composition and diversity of H. pylori in South Africa for enhanced clinico-epidemiological monitoring and pathophysiology of disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Membrane Lipid Composition on Macrophage Activation in the Immune Defense against Rhodococcus equi and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7510-7528; doi:10.3390/ijms12117510
Received: 25 August 2011 / Revised: 17 October 2011 / Accepted: 26 October 2011 / Published: 2 November 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (980 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nutritional fatty acids are known to have an impact on membrane lipid composition of body cells, including cells of the immune system, thus providing a link between dietary fatty acid uptake, inflammation and immunity. In this study we reveal the significance of [...] Read more.
Nutritional fatty acids are known to have an impact on membrane lipid composition of body cells, including cells of the immune system, thus providing a link between dietary fatty acid uptake, inflammation and immunity. In this study we reveal the significance of macrophage membrane lipid composition on gene expression and cytokine synthesis thereby highlighting signal transduction processes, macrophage activation as well as macrophage defense mechanisms. Using RAW264.7 macrophages as a model system, we identified polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of both the n-3 and the n-6 family to down-regulate the synthesis of: (i) the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α; (ii) the co-stimulatory molecule CD86; as well as (iii) the antimicrobial polypeptide lysozyme. The action of the fatty acids partially depended on the activation status of the macrophages. It is particularly important to note that the anti-inflammatory action of the PUFA could also be seen in case of infection of RAW264.7 with viable microorganisms of the genera R. equi and P. aeruginosa. In summary, our data provide strong evidence that PUFA from both the n-3 and the n-6 family down-regulate inflammation processes in context of chronic infections caused by persistent pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutraceutical Research)
Open AccessArticle Solubility Enhancement of Steviol Glycosides and Characterization of Their Inclusion Complexes with Gamma-Cyclodextrin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7529-7553; doi:10.3390/ijms12117529
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 26 October 2011 / Published: 3 November 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (988 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Steviol glycosidesrebaudioside (reb) A, C and D have low aqueous solubilities. To improve their aqueous solubilities, inclusion complex of steviol glycosides, reb A, C and D and gamma cyclodextrin were prepared by freeze drying method and further characterized by means of differential [...] Read more.
Steviol glycosidesrebaudioside (reb) A, C and D have low aqueous solubilities. To improve their aqueous solubilities, inclusion complex of steviol glycosides, reb A, C and D and gamma cyclodextrin were prepared by freeze drying method and further characterized by means of differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The effect of gamma cyclodextrin on chemical shifts of the steviol glycosides was also studied in proton NMR experiments as well as in solid state 13C CP/MAS NMR experiments. These results indicated that the steviol glycosides were clearly in inclusion complex formation with the gamma cyclodextrin which also results in solubility enhancement of these steviol glycosides. Phase solubility studies showed that amounts of soluble reb A, C and D increased with increasing amounts of gamma cyclodextrin indicating formation of 1:1 stoichiometric and higher order inclusion complexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutraceutical Research)
Open AccessArticle Enhanced Differentiation of Three-Gene-Reprogrammed Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Adipocytes via Adenoviral-Mediated PGC-1α Overexpression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7554-7568; doi:10.3390/ijms12117554
Received: 5 August 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 4 November 2011 / Published: 7 November 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3052 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Induced pluripotent stem cells formed by the introduction of only three factors, Oct4/Sox2/Klf4 (3-gene iPSCs), may provide a safer option for stem cell-based therapy than iPSCs conventionally introduced with four-gene iPSCs. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) plays an important role during [...] Read more.
Induced pluripotent stem cells formed by the introduction of only three factors, Oct4/Sox2/Klf4 (3-gene iPSCs), may provide a safer option for stem cell-based therapy than iPSCs conventionally introduced with four-gene iPSCs. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) plays an important role during brown fat development. However, the potential roles of PGC-1α in regulating mitochondrial biogenesis and the differentiation of iPSCs are still unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of adenovirus-mediated PGC-1α overexpression in 3-gene iPSCs. PGC-1α overexpression resulted in increased mitochondrial mass, reactive oxygen species production, and oxygen consumption. Microarray-based bioinformatics showed that the gene expression pattern of PGC-1α-overexpressing 3-gene iPSCs resembled the expression pattern observed in adipocytes. Furthermore, PGC-1α overexpression enhanced adipogenic differentiation and the expression of several brown fat markers, including uncoupling protein-1, cytochrome C, and nuclear respiratory factor-1, whereas it inhibited the expression of the white fat marker uncoupling protein-2. Furthermore, PGC-1α overexpression significantly suppressed osteogenic differentiation. These data demonstrate that PGC-1α directs the differentiation of 3-gene iPSCs into adipocyte-like cells with features of brown fat cells. This may provide a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of mitochondrial disorders and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Nifedipine Protects INS-1 β-Cell from High Glucose-Induced ER Stress and Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7569-7580; doi:10.3390/ijms12117569
Received: 30 August 2011 / Revised: 19 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 7 November 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1644 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustained high concentration of glucose has been verified toxic to β-cells. Glucose augments Ca2+-stimulated insulin release in pancreatic β-cells, but chronic high concentration of glucose could induce a sustained level of Ca2+ in β-cells, which leads to cell apoptosis. [...] Read more.
Sustained high concentration of glucose has been verified toxic to β-cells. Glucose augments Ca2+-stimulated insulin release in pancreatic β-cells, but chronic high concentration of glucose could induce a sustained level of Ca2+ in β-cells, which leads to cell apoptosis. However, the mechanism of high glucose-induced β-cell apoptosis remains unclear. In this study, we use a calcium channel blocker, nifedipine, to investigate whether the inhibition of intracellular Ca2+ concentration could protect β-cells from chronic high glucose-induced apoptosis. It was found that in a concentration of 33.3 mM, chronic stimulation of glucose could induce INS-1 β-cells apoptosis at least through the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway and 10 μM nifedipine inhibited Ca2+ release to protect β-cells from high glucose-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and apoptosis. These results indicated that inhibition of Ca2+ over-accumulation might provide benefit to attenuate islet β-cell decompensation in a high glucose environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Pu-erh Tea Inhibits Tumor Cell Growth by Down-Regulating Mutant p53
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7581-7593; doi:10.3390/ijms12117581
Received: 5 September 2011 / Revised: 4 October 2011 / Accepted: 26 October 2011 / Published: 7 November 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (811 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pu-erh tea is a kind of fermented tea with the incorporation of microorganisms’ metabolites. Unlike green tea, the chemical characteristics and bioactivities of Pu-erh tea are still not well understood. Using water extracts of Pu-erh tea, we analyzed the tumor cell growth [...] Read more.
Pu-erh tea is a kind of fermented tea with the incorporation of microorganisms’ metabolites. Unlike green tea, the chemical characteristics and bioactivities of Pu-erh tea are still not well understood. Using water extracts of Pu-erh tea, we analyzed the tumor cell growth inhibition activities on several genetically engineered mouse tumor cell lines. We found that at the concentration that did not affect wild type mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) growth, Pu-erh tea extracts could inhibit tumor cell growth by down-regulated S phase and cause G1 or G2 arrest. Further study showed that Pu-erh tea extracts down-regulated the expression of mutant p53 in tumor cells at the protein level as well as mRNA level. The same concentration of Pu-erh tea solution did not cause p53 stabilization or activation of its downstream pathways in wild type cells. We also found that Pu-erh tea treatment could slightly down-regulate both HSP70 and HSP90 protein levels in tumor cells. These data revealed the action of Pu-erh tea on tumor cells and provided the possible mechanism for Pu-erh tea action, which explained its selectivity in inhibiting tumor cells without affecting wild type cells. Our data sheds light on the application of Pu-erh tea as an anti-tumor agent with low side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Rice Protein Extracted by Different Methods Affects Cholesterol Metabolism in Rats Due to Its Lower Digestibility
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7594-7608; doi:10.3390/ijms12117594
Received: 11 August 2011 / Revised: 18 October 2011 / Accepted: 1 November 2011 / Published: 7 November 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (158 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To elucidate whether the digestibility is responsible for the hypocholesterolemic action of rice protein, the effects of rice proteins extracted by alkali (RP-A) and α-amylase (RP-E) on cholesterol metabolism were investigated in 7-week-old male Wistar rats fed cholesterol-free diets for 3 weeks. The in vitro and in vivo digestibility was significantly reduced by RP-A and RP-E as compared to casein (CAS). The digestibility was lower in RP-E than that of RP-A. Compared with CAS, the significant cholesterol-lowering effects were observed in rats fed by RP-A and RP-E. Fecal excretion of bile acids was significantly stimulated by RP-E, but not by RP-A. The apparent cholesterol absorption was more effectively inhibited by RP-E than RP-A because more fecal neutral sterols were excreted in rats fed RP-E. There was a significant correlation between protein digestibility and cholesterol absorption (r = 0.8662, P < 0.01), resulting in a significant correlation between protein digestibility and plasma cholesterol level (r = 0.7357, P < 0.01) in this study. The present study demonstrates that the digestibility of rice protein affected by extraction method plays a major role in the modulation of cholesterol metabolism. Results suggest that the hypocholesterolemic action induced by rice protein with lower digestibility primarily contribute to the inhibition of cholesterol absorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Biochemical Properties and Potential Applications of Recombinant Leucine Aminopeptidase from Bacillus kaustophilus CCRC 11223
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7609-7625; doi:10.3390/ijms12117609
Received: 27 September 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 28 October 2011 / Published: 7 November 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (469 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Experiments were carried out to investigate the effects of various factors on the activity and conformation of recombinant leucine aminopeptidase of Bacillus kaustophilus CCRC 11223 (BkLAP) and potential utilization of BkLAP in the hydrolysis of anchovy protein. Optimal temperature and pH of [...] Read more.
Experiments were carried out to investigate the effects of various factors on the activity and conformation of recombinant leucine aminopeptidase of Bacillus kaustophilus CCRC 11223 (BkLAP) and potential utilization of BkLAP in the hydrolysis of anchovy protein. Optimal temperature and pH of BkLAP were 70 °C and 8.0 in potassium-phosphate buffer, respectively, and the activity was strongly stimulated by Ni2+, followed by Mn2+ and Co2+. Conformational studies via circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated that various factors could influence the secondary structure of BkLAP to different extents and further induce the changes in enzymatic activity. The secondary structure of BkLAP was slightly modified by Ni2+ at the concentration of 1×10−4 M, however, significant changes on the secondary structures of the enzyme were observed when Hg2+ was added to the concentration of 1×10−4 M. The potential application of BkLAP was evaluated through combination with the commercial or endogenous enzyme to hydrolysis the anchovy protein. Results showed that combining the BkLAP with other enzymes could significantly increase the degree of hydrolysis and amino acid component of hydrolysate. In this regard, BkLAP is a potential enzyme that can be used in the protein hydrolysate industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessCommunication Molecular Systematics of Polygonum minus Huds. Based on ITS Sequences
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7626-7634; doi:10.3390/ijms12117626
Received: 19 August 2011 / Revised: 8 October 2011 / Accepted: 18 October 2011 / Published: 7 November 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (397 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plastid trnL-trnF and nuclear ribosomal ITS sequences were obtained from selected wild-type individuals of Polygonum minus Huds. in Peninsular Malaysia. The 380 bp trnL-trnF sequences of the Polygonum minus accessions were identical. Therefore, the trnL- [...] Read more.
Plastid trnL-trnF and nuclear ribosomal ITS sequences were obtained from selected wild-type individuals of Polygonum minus Huds. in Peninsular Malaysia. The 380 bp trnL-trnF sequences of the Polygonum minus accessions were identical. Therefore, the trnL-trnF failed to distinguish between the Polygonum minus accessions. However, the divergence of ITS sequences (650 bp) among the Polygonum minus accessions was 1%, indicating that these accessions could be distinguished by the ITS sequences. A phylogenetic relationship based on the ITS sequences was inferred using neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference. All of the tree topologies indicated that Polygonum minus from Peninsular Malaysia is unique and different from the synonymous Persicaria minor (Huds.) Opiz and Polygonum kawagoeanum Makino. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle A 1HNMR-Based Metabonomics Study of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis and Intervention Effects of Er-Xian Decoction in Ovariectomized Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7635-7651; doi:10.3390/ijms12117635
Received: 30 July 2011 / Revised: 29 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1876 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A metabonomics method using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1HNMR) was applied to obtain a systematic view of the development and progression of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Using partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), 26 and 34 characteristic resonances were found [...] Read more.
A metabonomics method using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1HNMR) was applied to obtain a systematic view of the development and progression of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Using partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), 26 and 34 characteristic resonances were found respectively in urine and plasma of ovariectomized rats (Variable importance, VIP value ≥1.0), and the significant altered metabolites identified in the plasma and urine were 10 and 9, respectively. Changes in these metabolites were related to the pathways of lipid, energy and amino acid metabolism, some of which involved the oxidative system. The described method was also used to analyze the therapeutic effects of Er-Xian Decoction (EXD), a traditional Chinese medicine widely used in the clinical treatment of osteoporosis in China. The results showed that EXD administration could provide satisfactory effects on osteoporosis through partially regulating the perturbed pathways of lipid, energy and amino acid metabolism and improving the anti-oxidative ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Lidocaine Induces Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Associated Apoptosis in Vitro and in Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7652-7661; doi:10.3390/ijms12117652
Received: 11 October 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 26 October 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (746 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We demonstrated that upregulation of both gene expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress chaperones (BiP, calnexin, calreticulin, and PDI) and ER stress sensors (ATF6, IRE1 and PERK) was induced by lidocaine, a local anesthetic, in PC12 cells. In addition to gene regulation, [...] Read more.
We demonstrated that upregulation of both gene expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress chaperones (BiP, calnexin, calreticulin, and PDI) and ER stress sensors (ATF6, IRE1 and PERK) was induced by lidocaine, a local anesthetic, in PC12 cells. In addition to gene regulation, lidocaine also induced typical ER stress phenomena such as ART6 proteolytic cleavage, eIF2 alpha phosphorylation, and XBP1 mRNA splicing. In in vivo experiments, while lidocaine downregulated gene expression of anti-apoptotic factors (Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl), pro-apoptotic factor (Bak and Bax) gene expression was upregulated. Furthermore, lidocaine induced apoptosis, as measured histochemically, and upregulated PARP1, a DNA damage repair enzyme. These results are the first to show that lidocaine induces apoptosis through ER stress in vitro and in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
Open AccessArticle Characterization of a Wheat Heme Oxygenase-1 Gene and Its Responses to Different Abiotic Stresses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7692-7707; doi:10.3390/ijms12117692
Received: 4 September 2011 / Revised: 31 October 2011 / Accepted: 1 November 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In animals and recently in plants, heme oxygenase-1 (HO1) has been found to confer protection against a variety of oxidant-induced cell and tissue injuries. In this study, a wheat (Triticum aestivum) HO1 gene TaHO1 was cloned and sequenced. It encodes [...] Read more.
In animals and recently in plants, heme oxygenase-1 (HO1) has been found to confer protection against a variety of oxidant-induced cell and tissue injuries. In this study, a wheat (Triticum aestivum) HO1 gene TaHO1 was cloned and sequenced. It encodes a polypeptide of 31.7 kD with a putative N-terminal plastid transit peptide. The amino acid sequence of TaHO1 was found to be 78% similar to that of maize HO1. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that TaHO1 clusters together with the HO1-like sequences in plants. The purified recombinant TaHO1 protein expressed in Escherichia coli was active in the conversion of heme to biliverdin IXa (BV), and showed that the Vmax was 8.8 U·mg−1 protein with an apparent Km value for hemin of 3.04 μM. The optimum Tm and pH were 35 °C and 7.4, respectively. The result of subcellular localization of TaHO1 showed that the putative transit peptide was sufficient for green fluorescent protein (GFP) to localize in chloroplast and implied that TaHO1 gene product is at least localized in the chloroplast. Moreover, we found that TaHO1 mRNA could be differentially induced by the well-known nitric oxide (NO) donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP), gibberellin acid (GA), abscisic acid (ABA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and NaCl treatments. Therefore, the results suggested that TaHO1 might play an important role in abiotic stress responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Fatty Acid Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Tea (Camellia sinensis L.) Seed Oil Extracted by Optimized Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7708-7719; doi:10.3390/ijms12117708
Received: 17 October 2011 / Revised: 27 October 2011 / Accepted: 30 October 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Seeds are another product in addition to leaves (raw materials for teas) of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) plant. The great increase of tea consumption in recent years raises the challenge of finding commercial applications for tea seeds. In the present study, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) extraction edible oil from tea seed was carried out, response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize processing parameters including time (20–90 min), temperature (35–45 °C) and pressure (50–90 MPa). The fatty acid composition and antioxidant activity of the extracted oil was also investigated. The highest yield of oil (29.2 ± 0.6%) was obtained under optimal SC-CO2 extraction conditions (45 °C, 89.7 min and 32 MPa, respectively), which was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that (25.3 ± 1.0%) given by Soxhlet extraction. Meanwhile, tea seed oil extracted by SC-CO2 contained approximately 80% unsaturated fatty acids and showed a much stronger scavenging ability on the DPPH radical than that extracted by Soxhlet. SC-CO2 is a promising alternative for efficient extraction of edible oil from tea seed. Moreover, tea seed oil extracted by SC-CO2 is highly edible and has good antioxidant activity, and therefore may play a potential role as a health-promoting food resource in human diets. Full article
Open AccessArticle Chemical Compositions, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of Essential Oils of Piper caninum Blume
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7720-7731; doi:10.3390/ijms12117720
Received: 12 October 2011 / Revised: 28 October 2011 / Accepted: 2 November 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the fresh leaves and stems oils of Piper caninum were investigated. A total of forty eight constituents were identified in the leaves (77.9%) and stems (87.0%) oil which were characterized by high proportions of phenylpropanoid, [...] Read more.
Chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the fresh leaves and stems oils of Piper caninum were investigated. A total of forty eight constituents were identified in the leaves (77.9%) and stems (87.0%) oil which were characterized by high proportions of phenylpropanoid, safrole with 17.1% for leaves and 25.5% for stems oil. Antioxidant activities were evaluated by using β-carotene/linoleic acid bleaching, DPPH radical scavenging and total phenolic content. Stems oil showed the highest inhibitory activity towards lipid peroxidation (114.9 ± 0.9%), compared to BHT (95.5 ± 0.5%), while leaves oil showed significant total phenolic content (27.4 ± 0.5 mg GA/g) equivalent to gallic acid. However, the essential oils showed weak activity towards DPPH free-radical scavenging. Evaluation of antimicrobial activity revealed that both oils exhibited strong activity against all bacteria strains with MIC values in the range 62.5 to 250 µg/mL, but weak activity against fungal strains. These findings suggest that the essential oils can be used as antioxidant and antimicrobial agents for therapeutic, nutraceutical industries and food manufactures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Internal Reference Genes for Quantitative Expression Analysis by Real-Time PCR in Ovine Whole Blood
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7732-7747; doi:10.3390/ijms12117732
Received: 18 October 2011 / Accepted: 1 November 2011 / Published: 9 November 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of reference genes is commonly accepted as the most reliable approach to normalize qRT-PCR and to reduce possible errors in the quantification of gene expression. The most suitable reference genes in sheep have been identified for a restricted range of [...] Read more.
The use of reference genes is commonly accepted as the most reliable approach to normalize qRT-PCR and to reduce possible errors in the quantification of gene expression. The most suitable reference genes in sheep have been identified for a restricted range of tissues, but no specific data on whole blood are available. The aim of this study was to identify a set of reference genes for normalizing qRT-PCR from ovine whole blood. We designed 11 PCR assays for commonly employed reference genes belonging to various functional classes and then determined their expression stability in whole blood samples from control and disease-stressed sheep. SDHA and YWHAZ were considered the most suitable internal controls as they were stably expressed regardless of disease status according to both geNorm and NormFinder software; furthermore, geNorm indicated SDHA/HPRT, YWHAZ/GAPDH and SDHA/YWHAZ as the best reference gene combinations in control, disease-stressed and combined sheep groups, respectively. Our study provides a validated panel of optimal control genes which may be useful for the identification of genes differentially expressed by qRT-PCR in a readily accessible tissue, with potential for discovering new physiological and disease markers and as a tool to improve production traits (e.g., by identifying expression Quantitative Trait Loci). An additional outcome of the study is a set of intron-spanning primer sequences suitable for gene expression experiments employing SYBR Green chemistry on other ovine tissues and cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle A Lateral Flow Protein Microarray for Rapid and Sensitive Antibody Assays
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7748-7759; doi:10.3390/ijms12117748
Received: 5 September 2011 / Revised: 31 October 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 9 November 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Protein microarrays are useful tools for highly multiplexed determination of presence or levels of clinically relevant biomarkers in human tissues and biofluids. However, such tools have thus far been restricted to laboratory environments. Here, we present a novel 384-plexed easy to use lateral flow protein microarray device capable of sensitive (< 30 ng/mL) determination of antigen-specific antibodies in ten minutes of total assay time. Results were developed with gold nanobeads and could be recorded by a cell-phone camera or table top scanner. Excellent accuracy with an area under curve (AUC of 98% was achieved in comparison with an established glass microarray assay for 26 antigen-specific antibodies. We propose that the presented framework could find use in convenient and cost-efficient quality control of antibody production, as well as in providing a platform for multiplexed affinity-based assays in low-resource or mobile settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Use of Brassica Plants in the Phytoremediation and Biofumigation Processes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7760-7771; doi:10.3390/ijms12117760
Received: 30 August 2011 / Revised: 28 October 2011 / Accepted: 4 November 2011 / Published: 9 November 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent decades, serious contamination of soils by heavy metals has been reported. It is therefore a matter of urgency to develop a new and efficient technology for removing contaminants from soil. Another aspect to this problem is that environmental pollution decreases [...] Read more.
In recent decades, serious contamination of soils by heavy metals has been reported. It is therefore a matter of urgency to develop a new and efficient technology for removing contaminants from soil. Another aspect to this problem is that environmental pollution decreases the biological quality of soil, which is why pesticides and fertilizers are being used in ever-larger quantities. The environmentally friendly solutions to these problems are phytoremediation, which is a technology that cleanses the soil of heavy metals, and biofumigation, a process that helps to protect crops using natural plant compounds. So far, these methods have only been used separately; however, research on a technology that combines them both using white cabbage has been carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry 2011)
Open AccessArticle Tunicamycin Depresses P-Glycoprotein Glycosylation Without an Effect on Its Membrane Localization and Drug Efflux Activity in L1210 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7772-7784; doi:10.3390/ijms12117772
Received: 25 September 2011 / Revised: 20 October 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 10 November 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
P-glycoprotein (P-gp), also known as ABCB1, is a member of the ABC transporter family of proteins. P-gp is an ATP-dependent drug efflux pump that is localized to the plasma membrane of mammalian cells and confers multidrug resistance in neoplastic cells. P-gp is [...] Read more.
P-glycoprotein (P-gp), also known as ABCB1, is a member of the ABC transporter family of proteins. P-gp is an ATP-dependent drug efflux pump that is localized to the plasma membrane of mammalian cells and confers multidrug resistance in neoplastic cells. P-gp is a 140-kDa polypeptide that is glycosylated to a final molecular weight of 170 kDa. Our experimental model used two variants of L1210 cells in which overexpression of P-gp was achieved: either by adaptation of parental cells (S) to vincristine (R) or by transfection with the human gene encoding P-gp (T). R and T cells were found to differ from S cells in transglycosylation reactions in our recent studies. The effects of tunicamycin on glycosylation, drug efflux activity and cellular localization of P-gp in R and T cells were examined in the present study. Treatment with tunicamycin caused less concentration-dependent cellular damage to R and T cells compared with S cells. Tunicamycin inhibited P-gp N-glycosylation in both of the P-gp-positive cells. However, tunicamycin treatment did not alter either the P-gp cellular localization to the plasma membrane or the P-gp transport activity. The present paper brings evidence that independently on the mode of P-gp expression (selection with drugs or transfection with a gene encoding P-gp) in L1210 cells, tunicamycin induces inhibition of N-glycosylation of this protein, without altering its function as plasma membrane drug efflux pump. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Transport)
Open AccessArticle Correlation of the Rates of Solvolysis of i-Butyl Fluoroformate and a Consideration of Leaving-Group Effects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7806-7817; doi:10.3390/ijms12117806
Received: 9 September 2011 / Revised: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 10 November 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The specific rates of solvolysis of isobutyl fluoroformate (1) have been measured at 40.0 °C in 22 pure and binary solvents. These results correlated well with the extended Grunwald-Winstein (G-W) equation, which incorporated the NT solvent nucleophilicity scale and [...] Read more.
The specific rates of solvolysis of isobutyl fluoroformate (1) have been measured at 40.0 °C in 22 pure and binary solvents. These results correlated well with the extended Grunwald-Winstein (G-W) equation, which incorporated the NT solvent nucleophilicity scale and the YCl solvent ionizing power scale. The sensitivities (l and m-values) to changes in solvent nucleophilicity and solvent ionizing power, and the kF/kCl values are very similar to those observed previously for solvolyses of n-octyl fluoroformate, consistent with the additional step of an addition-elimination pathway being rate-determining. The solvent deuterium isotope effect value (kMeOH/kMeOD) for methanolysis of 1 was determined, and for solvolyses in ethanol, methanol, 80% ethanol, and 70% TFE, the values of the enthalpy and the entropy of activation for the solvolysis of 1 were also determined. The results are compared with those reported earlier for isobutyl chloroformate (2) and other alkyl haloformate esters and mechanistic conclusions are drawn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correlation Analysis Applied to Solvolysis Reactions)
Open AccessArticle Isolation and Characterization of Microsatellite Loci in Pistacia weinmannifolia (Anacardiaceae)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7818-7823; doi:10.3390/ijms12117818
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 31 October 2011 / Accepted: 1 November 2011 / Published: 11 November 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (89 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fourteen polymorphic microsatellite loci were isolated from the genomic DNA of Pistacia weinmannifolia, using the Fast Isolation by AFLP of Sequences Containing repeats (FIASCO) method, and screened on 12 individuals from each of two wild populations. The 14 polymorphic loci had an average of 4.1 alleles per locus varying from 1 to 9. The observed (Ho) and expected (He) heterozygosities across the two populations ranged from 0.000 to 0.933 and from 0.000 to 0.906, respectively. Tests for departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) and genotypic linkage disequilibrium (LD) were conducted for each of the two populations separately. It was found that no locus significantly deviated from HWE proportions and no significant LD was detected between loci (p < 0.001). In the test of cross-species utility, we successfully amplified nine (64.2%) of 14 loci in P. chinensis and four (28.6%) in P. mexicana. The relatively high level of polymorphism for these markers will facilitate further studies of gene flow, population structure and evolutionary history of P. weinmannifolia and its congeners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle A Facile and Convenient Synthesis of some Novel Hydrazones, Schiff’s Base and Pyrazoles Incorporating Thieno[2,3-b]thiophenes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7824-7834; doi:10.3390/ijms12117824
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 11 November 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A facile and convenient synthesis of some novel hydrazones, schiff’s base and pyrazoles from thieno[2,3-b]thiophene derivatives 1 have been achieved in high yields assisted by microwave and classical methods. The structures of all the title compounds have been elucidated by [...] Read more.
A facile and convenient synthesis of some novel hydrazones, schiff’s base and pyrazoles from thieno[2,3-b]thiophene derivatives 1 have been achieved in high yields assisted by microwave and classical methods. The structures of all the title compounds have been elucidated by elemental analysis, IR, MS, 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR. Generally, these findings represent a new class of sulfur and nitrogen moieties that should also be of interest as new materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Rapid and Green Analytical Method for the Determination of Quinoline Alkaloids from Cinchona succirubra Based on Microwave-Integrated Extraction and Leaching (MIEL) Prior to High Performance Liquid Chromatography
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7846-7860; doi:10.3390/ijms12117846
Received: 9 September 2011 / Revised: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 14 November 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (562 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quinas contains several compounds, such as quinoline alkaloids, principally quinine, quinidine, cinchonine and cichonidine. Identified from barks of Cinchona, quinine is still commonly used to treat human malaria. Microwave-Integrated Extraction and Leaching (MIEL) is proposed for the extraction of quinoline alkaloids [...] Read more.
Quinas contains several compounds, such as quinoline alkaloids, principally quinine, quinidine, cinchonine and cichonidine. Identified from barks of Cinchona, quinine is still commonly used to treat human malaria. Microwave-Integrated Extraction and Leaching (MIEL) is proposed for the extraction of quinoline alkaloids from bark of Cinchona succirubra. The process is performed in four steps, which ensures complete, rapid and accurate extraction of the samples. Optimal conditions for extraction were obtained using a response surface methodology reached from a central composite design. The MIEL extraction has been compared with a conventional technique soxhlet extraction. The extracts of quinoline alkaloids from C. succirubra obtained by these two different methods were compared by HPLC. The extracts obtained by MIEL in 32 min were quantitatively (yield) and qualitatively (quinine, quinidine, cinchonine, cinchonidine) similar to those obtained by conventional Soxhlet extraction in 3 hours. MIEL is a green technology that serves as a good alternative for the extraction of Cinchona alkaloids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry 2011)
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Open AccessArticle Thin Layer Drying Kinetics of By-Products from Olive Oil Processing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7885-7897; doi:10.3390/ijms12117885
Received: 1 September 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 15 November 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The thin-layer behavior of by-products from olive oil production was determined in a solar dryer in passive and active operation modes for a temperature range of 20–50 °C. The increase in the air temperature reduced the drying time of olive pomace, sludge [...] Read more.
The thin-layer behavior of by-products from olive oil production was determined in a solar dryer in passive and active operation modes for a temperature range of 20–50 °C. The increase in the air temperature reduced the drying time of olive pomace, sludge and olive mill wastewater. Moisture ratio was analyzed to obtain effective diffusivity values, varying in the oil mill by-products from 9.136 × 10−11 to 1.406 × 10−9 m2/s in forced convection (ma = 0.22 kg/s), and from 9.296 × 10−11 to 6.277 × 10−10 m2/s in natural convection (ma = 0.042 kg/s). Diffusivity values at each temperature were obtained using the Fick’s diffusion model and, regardless of the convection, they increased with the air temperature. The temperature dependence on the effective diffusivity was determined by an Arrhenius type relationship. The activation energies were found to be 38.64 kJ/mol, 30.44 kJ/mol and 47.64 kJ/mol for the olive pomace, the sludge and the olive mill wastewater in active mode, respectively, and 91.35 kJ/mol, 14.04 kJ/mol and 77.15 kJ/mol in natural mode, in that order. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Topological Anisotropy of Stone-Wales Waves in Graphenic Fragments
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7934-7949; doi:10.3390/ijms12117934
Received: 31 August 2011 / Revised: 24 October 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 15 November 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stone-Wales operators interchange four adjacent hexagons with two pentagon-heptagon 5|7 pairs that, graphically, may be iteratively propagated in the graphene layer, originating a new interesting structural defect called here Stone-Wales wave. By minimization, the Wiener index topological invariant evidences a marked anisotropy [...] Read more.
Stone-Wales operators interchange four adjacent hexagons with two pentagon-heptagon 5|7 pairs that, graphically, may be iteratively propagated in the graphene layer, originating a new interesting structural defect called here Stone-Wales wave. By minimization, the Wiener index topological invariant evidences a marked anisotropy of the Stone-Wales defects that, topologically, are in fact preferably generated and propagated along the diagonal of the graphenic fragments, including carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoribbons. This peculiar edge-effect is shown in this paper having a predominant topological origin, leaving to future experimental investigations the task of verifying the occurrence in nature of wave-like defects similar to the ones proposed here. Graph-theoretical tools used in this paper for the generation and the propagation of the Stone-Wales defects waves are applicable to investigate isomeric modifications of chemical structures with various dimensionality like fullerenes, nanotubes, graphenic layers, schwarzites, zeolites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atoms in Molecules and in Nanostructures)
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Open AccessArticle MicroRNAs miR-27a and miR-143 Regulate Porcine Adipocyte Lipid Metabolism
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7950-7959; doi:10.3390/ijms12117950
Received: 23 September 2011 / Revised: 7 November 2011 / Accepted: 8 November 2011 / Published: 15 November 2011
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding small RNAs that play roles in regulating gene expression. Some miRNAs have been classed as epigenetic regulators of metabolism and energy homeostasis. Previous reports indicated that the miRNAs miR-27a and miR-143 were involved in lipid metabolism in human and rodents. To determine the roles of porcine miR-27a and miR-143 in adipocyte lipid metabolism, porcine adipocytes were cultured and allowed to induce differentiation for 10 days. The lipid-filled adipocytes were then transfected with miRNA mimics and inhibitors. We measured how the indicators of adipogenesis and adipolysis in porcine adipocytes were affected by the over-expression and by the inhibition of both miR-27a and miR-143. The results indicated that the over-expression of miR-27a could accelerate adipolysis releasing significantly more glycerol and free fatty acids than the negative control (P < 0.001), while the mimic of miR-143 expression, promoted adipogenesis by accumulating more triglycerides (P < 0.001) in the adipocytes. In addition, we demonstrated that there was good correlation (r > 0.98, P < 0.001) between the indicators of adipolysis in cell lysates and in the culture medium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Temporary Nitrogen Deprivation on Tomato Leaf Phenolics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7971-7981; doi:10.3390/ijms12117971
Received: 9 September 2011 / Revised: 7 November 2011 / Accepted: 8 November 2011 / Published: 16 November 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reducing the use of pesticides represents a major challenge of modern agriculture. Plants synthesize secondary metabolites such as polyphenols that participate in the resistance to parasites. The aim of this study was to test: (1) the impact of nitrogen deficiency on tomato [...] Read more.
Reducing the use of pesticides represents a major challenge of modern agriculture. Plants synthesize secondary metabolites such as polyphenols that participate in the resistance to parasites. The aim of this study was to test: (1) the impact of nitrogen deficiency on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) leaf composition and more particularly on two phenolic molecules (chlorogenic acid and rutin) as well as on the general plant biomass; and (2) whether this effect continued after a return to normal nitrogen nutrition. Our results showed that plants deprived of nitrogen for 10 or 19 days contained higher levels of chlorogenic acid and rutin than control plants. In addition, this difference persisted when the plants were once again cultivated on a nitrogen-rich medium. These findings offer interesting perspectives on the use of a short period of deprivation to modulate the levels of compounds of interest in a plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Expression Patterns of Glutathione Transferase Gene (GstI) in Maize Seedlings Under Juglone-Induced Oxidative Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7982-7995; doi:10.3390/ijms12117982
Received: 9 October 2011 / Revised: 3 November 2011 / Accepted: 8 November 2011 / Published: 16 November 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (676 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) has been identified in organs of many plant species within Juglandaceae family. This secondary metabolite is considered as a highly bioactive substance that functions as direct oxidant stimulating the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in acceptor plants. Glutathione transferases [...] Read more.
Juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) has been identified in organs of many plant species within Juglandaceae family. This secondary metabolite is considered as a highly bioactive substance that functions as direct oxidant stimulating the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in acceptor plants. Glutathione transferases (GSTs, E.C.2.5.1.18) represent an important group of cytoprotective enzymes participating in detoxification of xenobiotics and limiting oxidative damages of cellular macromolecules. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of tested allelochemical on growth and development of maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings. Furthermore, the effect of juglone-induced oxidative stress on glutathione transferase (GstI) gene expression patterns in maize seedlings was recorded. It was revealed that 4-day juglone treatment significantly stimulated the transcriptional activity of GstI in maize seedlings compared to control plants. By contrast, at the 6th and 8th day of experiments the expression gene responses were slightly lower as compared with non-stressed seedlings. Additionally, the specific gene expression profiles, as well as the inhibition of primary roots and coleoptile elongation were proportional to juglone concentrations. In conclusion, the results provide strong molecular evidence that allelopathic influence of juglone on growth and development of maize seedlings may be relevant with an induction of oxidative stress in acceptor plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocides)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of the Fusarium Mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol on the Health and Performance of Broiler Chickens
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7996-8012; doi:10.3390/ijms12117996
Received: 15 September 2011 / Revised: 2 November 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 16 November 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (754 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the present experiment was to investigate the effects of feeding grains naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins on morphometric indices of jejunum and to follow the passage of deoxynivalenol (DON) through subsequent segments of the digestive tract of broilers. A total of 45 1-d-old broiler chickens (Ross 308 males) were randomly allotted to three dietary treatments (15 birds/treatment): (1) control diet; (2) diet contaminated with 1 mg DON/kg feed; (3) diet contaminated with 5 mg DON/kg feed for five weeks. None of the zootechnical traits (body weight, body weight gain, feed intake, and feed conversion) responded to increased DON levels in the diet. However, DON at both dietary levels (1 mg and 5 mg DON/kg feed) significantly altered the small intestinal morphology. In the jejunum, the villi were significantly (P < 0.01) shorter in both DON treated groups compared with the controls. Furthermore, the dietary inclusion of DON decreased (P < 0.05) the villus surface area in both DON treated groups. The absolute or relative organ weights (liver, heart, proventriculus, gizzard, small intestine, spleen, pancreas, colon, cecum, bursa of Fabricius and thymus) were not altered (P > 0.05) in broilers fed the diet containing DON compared with controls. DON and de-epoxy-DON (DOM-1) were analyzed in serum, bile, liver, feces and digesta from consecutive segments of the digestive tract (gizzard, cecum, and rectum). Concentrations of DON and its metabolite DOM-1 in serum, bile, and liver were lower than the detection limits of the applied liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Only about 10 to 12% and 6% of the ingested DON was recovered in gizzard and feces, irrespective of the dietary DON-concentration. However, the DON recovery in the cecum as percentage of DON-intake varied between 18 to 22% and was not influenced by dietary DON-concentration. Interestingly, in the present trial, DOM-1 did not appear in the large intestine and in feces. The results indicate that deepoxydation in the present study hardly occurred in the distal segments of the digestive tract, assuming that the complete de-epoxydation occurs in the proximal small intestine where the majority of the parent toxin is absorbed. In conclusion, diets with DON contamination below levels that induce a negative impact on performance could alter small intestinal morphology in broilers. Additionally, the results confirm that the majority of the ingested DON quickly disappears through the gastrointestinal tract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
Open AccessArticle Resorcylidene Aminoguanidine (RAG) Improves Cardiac Mitochondrial Bioenergetics Impaired by Hyperglycaemia in a Model of Experimental Diabetes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8013-8026; doi:10.3390/ijms12118013
Received: 25 July 2011 / Revised: 2 November 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 16 November 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diabetes is associated with a mitochondrial dysfunction. Hyperglycaemia is also clearly recognized as the primary culprit in the pathogenesis of cardiac complications. In response to glycation and oxidative stress, cardiac mitochondria undergo cumulative alterations, often leading to heart deterioration. There is a [...] Read more.
Diabetes is associated with a mitochondrial dysfunction. Hyperglycaemia is also clearly recognized as the primary culprit in the pathogenesis of cardiac complications. In response to glycation and oxidative stress, cardiac mitochondria undergo cumulative alterations, often leading to heart deterioration. There is a continuous search for innovative treatment strategies for protecting the heart mitochondria from the destructive impact of diabetes. Aminoguanidine derivatives have been successfully used in animal model studies on the treatment of experimental diabetes, as well as the diabetes-driven dysfunctions of peripheral tissues and cells. Considerable attention has been paid particularly to β-resorcylidene aminoguanidine (RAG), often shown as the efficient anti-glycation and anti-oxidant agent in both animal studies and in vitro experiments. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that RAG improves oxidative phosphorylation and electron transport capacity in mitochondria impaired by hyperglycaemia. Diabetes mellitus was induced in Wistar rats by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (70 mg/kg body weight). Heart mitochondria were isolated from healthy rats and rats with streptozotocin-diabetes. Mitochondrial respiratory capacity was measured by high resolution respirometry with the OROBOROS Oxygraph-2k according to experimental protocol including respiratory substrates and inhibitors. The results revealed that RAG protects the heart against diabetes-associated injury by improving the mitochondrial bioenergetics, thus suggesting a possible novel pharmacological strategy for cardioprotection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
Open AccessArticle 3,3′-Diethylthiatricarbocyanine Iodide: A Highly Sensitive Chiroptical Reporter of DNA Helicity and Sequence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8052-8062; doi:10.3390/ijms12118052
Received: 21 October 2011 / Revised: 2 November 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 16 November 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Using UV-vis absorption and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopies, we explored the binding interactions of 3,3′-diethylthiatricarbocyanine iodide (Cy7) with polynucleotides of different sequences and helicity. CD showed to be a very diagnostic tool giving different spectroscopic chiroptical signatures for all explored [...] Read more.
Using UV-vis absorption and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopies, we explored the binding interactions of 3,3′-diethylthiatricarbocyanine iodide (Cy7) with polynucleotides of different sequences and helicity. CD showed to be a very diagnostic tool giving different spectroscopic chiroptical signatures for all explored DNA sequences upon Cy7 binding. Cy7 was able to spectroscopically discriminate between the right handed B-DNA of poly(dG-dC)2 and its left handed Z-DNA counterpart induced by spermine or Co(III)hexamine via nearly opposite induced circular dichroic signal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Circular Dichroism)
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Open AccessArticle Protective Effects of Polysaccharides from Soybean Meal Against X-ray Radiation Induced Damage in Mouse Spleen Lymphocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8096-8104; doi:10.3390/ijms12118096
Received: 21 October 2011 / Revised: 8 November 2011 / Accepted: 9 November 2011 / Published: 17 November 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (115 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate radioprotective effect of the polysaccharides from soybean meal (SMP) against X-ray radiation-induced damage in mouse spleen lymphocytes. MTT and comet assay were performed to evaluate SMP’s ability to prevent cell death and DNA damage induced by radiation. The results show that, X-ray radiation (30 KV, 10 mA, 8 min (4 Gy)) can significantly increase cell death and DNA fragmentation of mouse spleen lymphocytes. Pretreatment with SMP for 2 h before radiation could increase cell viability, moreover, the SMP can reduce X-ray radiation-induced DNA damage. The percentage of tail DNA and the tail moment of the SMP groups were significantly lower than those of the radiation alone group (p < 0.05). These results suggest SMP may be a good candidate as a radioprotective agent. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparative Study of Quality Characteristics of Korean Soy Sauce Made with Soybeans Germinated Under Dark and Light Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8105-8118; doi:10.3390/ijms12118105
Received: 10 August 2011 / Revised: 26 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 17 November 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of germinating soybeans under dark and light conditions on the quality characteristics of Korean soy sauce made with germinated soybeans. The germination rate of soybeans germinated under dark conditions (GSD) was higher than that [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of germinating soybeans under dark and light conditions on the quality characteristics of Korean soy sauce made with germinated soybeans. The germination rate of soybeans germinated under dark conditions (GSD) was higher than that of soybeans germinated under light conditions (GSL), whereas the lengths of sprouts and relative weights of GSL did not differ from those of GSD. The L, a, b, and ΔT values of GSL were significantly lower than GSD. The color of GSD remained yellow, while GSL changed to a green color due to photosynthesis by chlorophyll. The total amino acid contents in soy sauce fermented with soybeans germinated under dark conditions (SSGD) and soy sauce fermented with soybeans germinated under light conditions (SSGL) were lower than in soy sauce fermented with non-germinated soybeans (SNGS). The levels of isoflavone content in SSGD and SSGL were significantly increased compared to the SNGS. In conclusion, the germination of soybeans under dark and light conditions is not only an increasing organoleptic preference, but also has implications for the health benefits of Korean soy sauce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Different Reactive Oxygen Species Lead to Distinct Changes of Cellular Metal Ions in the Eukaryotic Model Organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8119-8132; doi:10.3390/ijms12118119
Received: 10 October 2011 / Revised: 4 November 2011 / Accepted: 15 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (423 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Elemental uptake and export of the cell are tightly regulated thereby maintaining the ionomic homeostasis. This equilibrium can be disrupted upon exposure to exogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to reduction or elevation of the intracellular metal ions. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Elemental uptake and export of the cell are tightly regulated thereby maintaining the ionomic homeostasis. This equilibrium can be disrupted upon exposure to exogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to reduction or elevation of the intracellular metal ions. In this study, the ionomic composition in the eukaryotic model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae was profiled using the inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) following the treatment with individual ROS, including hydrogen peroxide, cumen hydroperoxide, linoleic acid hydroperoxide (LAH), the superoxide-generating agent menadione, the thiol-oxidising agent diamide [diazine-dicarboxylic acid-bis(dimethylamide)], dimedone and peroxynitrite. The findings demonstrated that different ROS resulted in distinct changes in cellular metal ions. Aluminium (Al3+) level rose up to 50-fold after the diamide treatment. Cellular potassium (K+) in LAH-treated cells was 26-fold less compared to the non-treated controls. The diamide-induced Al3+ accumulation was further validated by the enhanced Al3+ uptake along the time course and diamide doses. Pre-incubation of yeast with individual elements including iron, copper, manganese and magnesium failed to block diamide-induced Al3+ uptake, suggesting Al3+-specific transporters could be involved in Al3+ uptake. Furthermore, LAH-induced potassium depletion was validated by a rescue experiment in which addition of potassium increased yeast growth in LAH-containing media by 26% compared to LAH alone. Taken together, the data, for the first time, demonstrated the linkage between ionomic profiles and individual oxidative conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle C57BL/KsJ-db/db-ApcMin/+ Mice Exhibit an Increased Incidence of Intestinal Neoplasms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8133-8145; doi:10.3390/ijms12118133
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 30 October 2011 / Accepted: 11 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (862 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The numbers of obese people and diabetic patients are ever increasing. Obesity and diabetes are high-risk conditions for chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer (CRC). The aim of this study was to develop a novel animal model [...] Read more.
The numbers of obese people and diabetic patients are ever increasing. Obesity and diabetes are high-risk conditions for chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer (CRC). The aim of this study was to develop a novel animal model in order to clarify the pathobiology of CRC development in obese and diabetic patients. We developed an animal model of obesity and colorectal cancer by breeding the C57BL/KsJ-db/db (db/db) mouse, an animal model of obesity and type II diabetes, and the C57BL/6J-ApcMin/+ (Min/+) mouse, a model of familial adenomatous polyposis. At 15 weeks of age, the N9 backcross generation of C57BL/KsJ-db/db-ApcMin/+ (db/db-Min/+) mice developed an increased incidence and multiplicity of adenomas in the intestinal tract when compared to the db/m-Min/+ and m/m-Min/+ mice. Blood biochemical profile showed significant increases in insulin (8.3-fold to 11.7-fold), cholesterol (1.2-fold to 1.7-fold), and triglyceride (1.2-fold to 1.3-fold) in the db/db-Min/+ mice, when compared to those of the db/m-Min/+ and m/m-Min/+ mice. Increases (1.4-fold to 2.6-fold) in RNA levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, IRF-1R, and IGF-2 were also observed in the db/db-Min/+ mice. These results suggested that the IGFs, as well as hyperlipidemia and hyperinsulinemia, promoted adenoma formation in the db/db-Min/+ mice. Our results thus suggested that the db/db-Min/+ mice should be invaluable for studies on the pathogenesis of CRC in obese and diabetes patients and the therapy and prevention of CRC in these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Protective Effect of the Ethyl Acetate Fraction of Sargassum muticum against Ultraviolet B–Irradiated Damage in Human Keratinocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8146-8160; doi:10.3390/ijms12118146
Received: 5 September 2011 / Revised: 8 October 2011 / Accepted: 15 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (859 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the cytoprotective properties of the ethyl acetate fraction of Sargassum muticum (SME) against ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced cell damage in human keratinocytes (HaCaT cells). SME exhibited scavenging activity toward the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the cytoprotective properties of the ethyl acetate fraction of Sargassum muticum (SME) against ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced cell damage in human keratinocytes (HaCaT cells). SME exhibited scavenging activity toward the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and UVB-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). SME also scavenged the hydroxyl radicals generated by the Fenton reaction (FeSO4 + H2O2), which was detected using electron spin resonance spectrometry. In addition, SME decreased the level of lipid peroxidation that was increased by UVB radiation, and restored the level of protein expression and the activities of antioxidant enzymes that were decreased by UVB radiation. Furthermore, SME reduced UVB-induced apoptosis as shown by decreased DNA fragmentation and numbers of apoptotic bodies. These results suggest that SME protects human keratinocytes against UVB-induced oxidative stress by enhancing antioxidant activity in cells, thereby inhibiting apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle In Silico Identification of Structure Requirement for Novel Thiazole and Oxazole Derivatives as Potent Fructose 1,6-Bisphosphatase Inhibitors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8161-8180; doi:10.3390/ijms12118161
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 10 November 2011 / Accepted: 16 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) has been identified as a drug discovery target for lowering glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus. In this study, a large series of 105 FBPase inhibitors were studied using a combinational method by 3D-QSAR, molecular docking and molecular dynamics [...] Read more.
Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) has been identified as a drug discovery target for lowering glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus. In this study, a large series of 105 FBPase inhibitors were studied using a combinational method by 3D-QSAR, molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations for a further improvement in potency. The optimal 3D models exhibit high statistical significance of the results, especially for the CoMFA results with rncv2, q2 values of 0.986, 0.514 for internal validation, and rpred2, rm2 statistics of 0.902, 0.828 statistics for external validation. Graphic representation of the results, as contoured 3D coefficient plots, also provides a clue to the reasonable modification of molecules. (1) Substituents with a proper length and size at the C5 position of the thiazole core are required to enhance the potency; (2) A small and electron-withdrawing group at the C2 position linked to the thiazole core is likely to help increase the FBPase inhibition; (3) Substituent groups as hydrogen bond acceptors at the C2 position of the furan ring are favored. In addition, the agreement between 3D-QSAR, molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation proves the rationality of the developed models. These results, we hope, may be helpful in designing novel and potential FBPase inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Bio-Activity Evaluation of Scutellarein as a Potent Agent for the Therapy of Ischemic Cerebrovascular Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8208-8216; doi:10.3390/ijms12118208
Received: 28 June 2011 / Revised: 6 October 2011 / Accepted: 1 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Scutellarein, the main metabolite of scutellarin in vivo, has relatively better solubility, bioavailability and bio-activity than scutellarin. However, it is very difficult to obtain scutellarein in nature compared with scutellarin. Therefore, the present study focused on establishing an efficient route for [...] Read more.
Scutellarein, the main metabolite of scutellarin in vivo, has relatively better solubility, bioavailability and bio-activity than scutellarin. However, it is very difficult to obtain scutellarein in nature compared with scutellarin. Therefore, the present study focused on establishing an efficient route for the synthesis of scutellarein by hydrolyzing scutellarin. The in vitro antioxidant activities of scutellarein were evaluated by measuring its scavenging capacities toward DPPH, ABTS+•, OH free radicals and its protective effect on H2O2-induced cytotoxicity in PC12 cells using MTT assay method. The results showed that essential point to the synthesis was the implementation of H2SO4 in 90% ethanol in N2 atmosphere; scutellarein had stronger antioxidant activity than scutellarin. The results have laid the foundation for further research and the development of scutellarein as a promising candidate for ischemic cerebrovascular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Removal of Mercury by Foam Fractionation Using Surfactin, a Biosurfactant
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8245-8258; doi:10.3390/ijms12118245
Received: 11 October 2011 / Revised: 4 November 2011 / Accepted: 9 November 2011 / Published: 21 November 2011
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (171 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The separation of mercury ions from artificially contaminated water by the foam fractionation process using a biosurfactant (surfactin) and chemical surfactants (SDS and Tween-80) was investigated in this study. Parameters such as surfactant and mercury concentration, pH, foam volume, and digestion time were varied and their effects on the efficiency of mercury removal were investigated. The recovery efficiency of mercury ions was highly sensitive to the concentration of the surfactant. The highest mercury ion recovery by surfactin was obtained using a surfactin concentration of 10 × CMC, while recovery using SDS required < 10 × CMC and Tween-80 >10 × CMC. However, the enrichment of mercury ions in the foam was superior with surfactin, the mercury enrichment value corresponding to the highest metal recovery (10.4%) by surfactin being 1.53. Dilute solutions (2-mg L−1 Hg2+) resulted in better separation (36.4%), while concentrated solutions (100 mg L−1) enabled only a 2.3% recovery using surfactin. An increase in the digestion time of the metal solution with surfactin yielded better separation as compared with a freshly-prepared solution, and an increase in the airflow rate increased bubble production, resulting in higher metal recovery but low enrichment. Basic solutions yielded higher mercury separation as compared with acidic solutions due to the precipitation of surfactin under acidic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry 2011)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Different Force Fields and Temperatures on the Structural Character of Abeta (12–28) Peptide in Aqueous Solution
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8259-8274; doi:10.3390/ijms12118259
Received: 22 July 2011 / Revised: 12 October 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 21 November 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (717 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this work is to investigate the effects of different force fields and temperatures on the structural character of Aβ (12–28) peptide in aqueous solution. Moreover, the structural character of Aβ (12–28) peptide is compared with other amyloid peptides (such [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to investigate the effects of different force fields and temperatures on the structural character of Aβ (12–28) peptide in aqueous solution. Moreover, the structural character of Aβ (12–28) peptide is compared with other amyloid peptides (such as H1 and α-syn12 peptide). The two independent temperature replica exchange molecular dynamics (T-REMD) simulations were completed by using two different models (OPLS-AA/TIP4P and GROMOS 43A1/SPC). We compared the models by analyzing the distributions of backbone dihedral angles, the secondary structure propensity, the free energy surface and the formation of β-hairpin. The results show that the mostly populated conformation state is random coil for both models. The population of β-hairpin is below 8 percent for both models. However, the peptide modeled by GROMOS 43A1 form β-hairpin with turn located at residues F19-E22, while the peptide modeled by OPLS-AA form β-hairpin with turn located at residues L17-F20. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biomolecular Simulation)
Open AccessArticle Coenzyme Q10 Ameliorates Ultraviolet B Irradiation Induced Cell Death Through Inhibition of Mitochondrial Intrinsic Cell Death Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8302-8315; doi:10.3390/ijms12118302
Received: 23 August 2011 / Revised: 8 October 2011 / Accepted: 21 November 2011 / Published: 24 November 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1994 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ultraviolet B (UVB) induces cell death by increasing free radical production, activating apoptotic cell death pathways and depolarizing mitochondrial membrane potential. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an essential cofactor in the mitochondrial electron transport chain, serves as a potent antioxidant in the mitochondria. The [...] Read more.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) induces cell death by increasing free radical production, activating apoptotic cell death pathways and depolarizing mitochondrial membrane potential. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an essential cofactor in the mitochondrial electron transport chain, serves as a potent antioxidant in the mitochondria. The aim of the present study is to establish whether CoQ10 is capable of protecting neuronal cells against UVB-induced damage. Murine hippocampal HT22 cells were treated with 0.01, 0.1 or 1 µM of CoQ10 3 or 24 h prior to the cells being exposed to UVB irradiation. The CoQ10 concentrations were maintained during irradiation and 24 h post-UVB. Cell viability was assessed by counting viable cells and MTT conversion assay. Superoxide production and mitochondrial membrane potential were measured using fluorescent probes. Levels of cleaved caspase-9, caspase-3, and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) were detected using immunocytochemistry and Western blotting. The results showed that UVB irradiation decreased cell viability and such damaging effect was associated with increased superoxide production, mitochondrial depolarization, and activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. Treatment with CoQ10 at three different concentrations started 24 h before UVB exposure significantly increased the cell viability. The protective effect of CoQ10 was associated with reduction in superoxide production, normalization of mitochondrial membrane potential and inhibition of caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation. It is concluded that the neuroprotective effect of CoQ10 results from inhibiting oxidative stress and blocking caspase-3 dependent cell death pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UV-Induced Cell Death)

Review

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Open AccessReview Review of Crystalline Structures of Some Selected Homologous Series of Rod-Like Molecules Capable of Forming Liquid Crystalline Phases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7360-7400; doi:10.3390/ijms12117360
Received: 7 July 2011 / Revised: 9 October 2011 / Accepted: 11 October 2011 / Published: 28 October 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The crystal structures of four homologous series of rod-like molecules are reviewed, two of which form hydrogen bonds and two with a symmetric chemical constitution. Many of the compounds investigated turn into liquid crystalline phases upon temperature increase. It is of valuable [...] Read more.
The crystal structures of four homologous series of rod-like molecules are reviewed, two of which form hydrogen bonds and two with a symmetric chemical constitution. Many of the compounds investigated turn into liquid crystalline phases upon temperature increase. It is of valuable interest to know possible conformations and possible packing arrangements as prerequisites to model liquid crystalline structures. The hydrogen bonds of homologous series of pure 4-(ω-hydroxyalkyloxy)-4′-hydroxybiphenyl (HnHBP, n the alkyloxy tail length) are realized through head to tail arrangements of the hydroxyl groups and crystallize except one compound in chiral space groups without the molecules containing any asymmetric carbon. The hydrogen bonds of the homologous series of 4-substituted benzoic acids with various lengths of the tail provide dimers through strong polar bonding of adjacent carboxyl groups and thus provide the stiff part of a mesogenic unit prerequisite for liquid crystalline phases. The homologous series of dialkanoyloxybiphenyls (BP-n, n = 1, 19), of which nine compounds could be crystallized, show liquid crystalline behavior for longer alkane chain lengths, despite the high mobility of the alkane chain ends already detectable in the crystal phase. A single molecule, half a molecule or two half molecules form the asymmetric unit in a centrosymmetric space group. The homologous series of 1,4-terephthalidene-bis-N-(4′-n-alkylaniline) (TBAA-n) exhibit a large variety of packing arrangements in the crystalline state, with or without relying on the symmetry center within the molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystals 2011)
Open AccessReview Development of a Human Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Toolkit for Environmental Pollutants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7469-7480; doi:10.3390/ijms12117469
Received: 20 September 2011 / Revised: 13 October 2011 / Accepted: 24 October 2011 / Published: 31 October 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models can be used to determine the internal dose and strengthen exposure assessment. Many PBPK models are available, but they are not easily accessible for field use. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has conducted [...] Read more.
Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models can be used to determine the internal dose and strengthen exposure assessment. Many PBPK models are available, but they are not easily accessible for field use. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has conducted translational research to develop a human PBPK model toolkit by recoding published PBPK models. This toolkit, when fully developed, will provide a platform that consists of a series of priority PBPK models of environmental pollutants. Presented here is work on recoded PBPK models for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and metals. Good agreement was generally obtained between the original and the recoded models. This toolkit will be available for ATSDR scientists and public health assessors to perform simulations of exposures from contaminated environmental media at sites of concern and to help interpret biomonitoring data. It can be used as screening tools that can provide useful information for the protection of the public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Computational Toxicology)
Open AccessReview The “Autothixotropic” Phenomenon of Water and its Role in Proton Transfer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7481-7494; doi:10.3390/ijms12117481
Received: 19 September 2011 / Revised: 16 October 2011 / Accepted: 20 October 2011 / Published: 31 October 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In an experimental study, significantly higher conductivity values than those of freshly prepared chemically analogous solutions were found in aged (~one year old) aqueous solutions, except for those stored frozen. The results surprisingly resemble a previously noticed phenomenon in liquid water, which [...] Read more.
In an experimental study, significantly higher conductivity values than those of freshly prepared chemically analogous solutions were found in aged (~one year old) aqueous solutions, except for those stored frozen. The results surprisingly resemble a previously noticed phenomenon in liquid water, which develops when water is stored in closed vessels. This was observed as a disturbing phenomenon in gravimetric measurements and in luminescence spectroscopy measurements. The phenomenon was termed “autothixotropy of water” due to the weak gel-like behavior which develops spontaneously over time, in which ions seem to play an important role. Here, according to experimental results we propose that contact with hydrophilic surfaces also plays an important role. The role of the “autothixotropy of water” in proton transfer is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessReview Cancer Chemopreventive Ability of Conjugated Linolenic Acids
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7495-7509; doi:10.3390/ijms12117495
Received: 19 August 2011 / Revised: 12 October 2011 / Accepted: 25 October 2011 / Published: 2 November 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (1535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Conjugated fatty acids (CFA) have received increased interest because of their beneficial effects on human health, including preventing cancer development. Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are such CFA, and have been reviewed extensively for their multiple biological activities. In contrast to other types [...] Read more.
Conjugated fatty acids (CFA) have received increased interest because of their beneficial effects on human health, including preventing cancer development. Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are such CFA, and have been reviewed extensively for their multiple biological activities. In contrast to other types of CFAs including CLA that are found at low concentrations (less than 1%) in natural products, conjugated linolenic acids (CLN) are the only CFAs that occur in higher quantities in natural products. Some plant seeds contain a considerably high concentration of CLN (30 to 70 wt% lipid). Our research group has screened CLN from different plant seed oils to determine their cancer chemopreventive ability. This review describes the physiological functions of CLN isomers that occur in certain plant seeds. CLN are able to induce apoptosis through decrease of Bcl-2 protein in certain human cancer cell lines, increase expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ, and up-regulate gene expression of p53. Findings in our preclinical animal studies have indicated that feeding with CLN resulted in inhibition of colorectal tumorigenesis through modulation of apoptosis and expression of PPARγ and p53. In this review, we summarize chemopreventive efficacy of CLN against cancer development, especially colorectal cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutraceutical Research)
Open AccessReview Bioengineering Embryonic Stem Cell Microenvironments for the Study of Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7662-7691; doi:10.3390/ijms12117662
Received: 21 September 2011 / Revised: 27 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most prevalent disease amongst women worldwide and metastasis is the main cause of death due to breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells display similar characteristics. However, unlike metastatic breast cancer cells, ES cells [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent disease amongst women worldwide and metastasis is the main cause of death due to breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells display similar characteristics. However, unlike metastatic breast cancer cells, ES cells are nonmalignant. Furthermore, embryonic microenvironments have the potential to convert metastatic breast cancer cells into a less invasive phenotype. The creation of in vitro embryonic microenvironments will enable better understanding of ES cell-breast cancer cell interactions, help elucidate tumorigenesis, and lead to the restriction of breast cancer metastasis. In this article, we will present the characteristics of breast cancer cells and ES cells as well as their microenvironments, importance of embryonic microenvironments in inhibiting tumorigenesis, convergence of tumorigenic and embryonic signaling pathways, and state of the art in bioengineering embryonic microenvironments for breast cancer research. Additionally, the potential application of bioengineered embryonic microenvironments for the prevention and treatment of invasive breast cancer will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)
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Open AccessReview Green Aspects of Techniques for the Determination of Currently Used Pesticides in Environmental Samples
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7785-7805; doi:10.3390/ijms12117785
Received: 30 August 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 4 November 2011 / Published: 10 November 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pesticides are among the most dangerous environmental pollutants because of their stability, mobility and long-term effects on living organisms. Their presence in the environment is a particular danger. It is therefore crucial to monitor pesticide residues using all available analytical methods. The [...] Read more.
Pesticides are among the most dangerous environmental pollutants because of their stability, mobility and long-term effects on living organisms. Their presence in the environment is a particular danger. It is therefore crucial to monitor pesticide residues using all available analytical methods. The analysis of environmental samples for the presence of pesticides is very difficult: the processes involved in sample preparation are labor-intensive and time-consuming. To date, it has been standard practice to use large quantities of organic solvents in the sample preparation process; but as these solvents are themselves hazardous, solvent-less and solvent-minimized techniques are becoming popular. The application of Green Chemistry principles to sample preparation is primarily leading to the miniaturization of procedures and the use of solvent-less techniques, and these are discussed in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry 2011)
Open AccessReview Applications of Next-Generation Sequencing Technologies to Diagnostic Virology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7861-7884; doi:10.3390/ijms12117861
Received: 2 September 2011 / Revised: 20 October 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 14 November 2011
Cited by 78 | PDF Full-text (207 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Novel DNA sequencing techniques, referred to as “next-generation” sequencing (NGS), provide high speed and throughput that can produce an enormous volume of sequences with many possible applications in research and diagnostic settings. In this article, we provide an overview of the many [...] Read more.
Novel DNA sequencing techniques, referred to as “next-generation” sequencing (NGS), provide high speed and throughput that can produce an enormous volume of sequences with many possible applications in research and diagnostic settings. In this article, we provide an overview of the many applications of NGS in diagnostic virology. NGS techniques have been used for high-throughput whole viral genome sequencing, such as sequencing of new influenza viruses, for detection of viral genome variability and evolution within the host, such as investigation of human immunodeficiency virus and human hepatitis C virus quasispecies, and monitoring of low-abundance antiviral drug-resistance mutations. NGS techniques have been applied to metagenomics-based strategies for the detection of unexpected disease-associated viruses and for the discovery of novel human viruses, including cancer-related viruses. Finally, the human virome in healthy and disease conditions has been described by NGS-based metagenomics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessReview Environmental Signals and Regulatory Pathways That Influence Exopolysaccharide Production in Rhizobia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7898-7933; doi:10.3390/ijms12117898
Received: 29 August 2011 / Revised: 4 November 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 15 November 2011
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (1429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rhizobia are Gram-negative bacteria that can exist either as free-living bacteria or as nitrogen-fixing symbionts inside root nodules of leguminous plants. The composition of the rhizobial outer surface, containing a variety of polysaccharides, plays a significant role in the adaptation of these [...] Read more.
Rhizobia are Gram-negative bacteria that can exist either as free-living bacteria or as nitrogen-fixing symbionts inside root nodules of leguminous plants. The composition of the rhizobial outer surface, containing a variety of polysaccharides, plays a significant role in the adaptation of these bacteria in both habitats. Among rhizobial polymers, exopolysaccharide (EPS) is indispensable for the invasion of a great majority of host plants which form indeterminate-type nodules. Various functions are ascribed to this heteropolymer, including protection against environmental stress and host defense, attachment to abiotic and biotic surfaces, and in signaling. The synthesis of EPS in rhizobia is a multi-step process regulated by several proteins at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Also, some environmental factors (carbon source, nitrogen and phosphate starvation, flavonoids) and stress conditions (osmolarity, ionic strength) affect EPS production. This paper discusses the recent data concerning the function of the genes required for EPS synthesis and the regulation of this process by several environmental signals. Up till now, the synthesis of rhizobial EPS has been best studied in two species, Sinorhizobium meliloti and Rhizobium leguminosarum. The latest data indicate that EPS synthesis in rhizobia undergoes very complex hierarchical regulation, in which proteins engaged in quorum sensing and the regulation of motility genes also participate. This finding enables a better understanding of the complex processes occurring in the rhizosphere which are crucial for successful colonization and infection of host plant roots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessReview Are Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers Useful in Predicting the Prognosis of Multiple Sclerosis Patients?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7960-7970; doi:10.3390/ijms12117960
Received: 3 August 2011 / Revised: 11 October 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 16 November 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the prototypical inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). Although many advances have been made in the comprehension of its pathogenesis, the etiology is still unknown. The complexity of MS reflects in the extreme variability of [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the prototypical inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). Although many advances have been made in the comprehension of its pathogenesis, the etiology is still unknown. The complexity of MS reflects in the extreme variability of the clinical manifestations and clinical course both between and within patients, in addition to immunopathological mechanisms and response to treatment. Several prognostic factors have been suggested in large scale studies, but predictions in individual cases are difficult to make. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, such as 14-3-3, tau, and cystatin C are promising sources of prognostic information with a good potential of quantitative measure, sensitivity, and reliability. However, none has shown sufficient reproducibility to be applied in clinical practice. Here we review the current literature addressing the above mentioned biomarkers as MS severity predictors at an early stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers 2011)
Open AccessReview Oncolytic Activities of Host Defense Peptides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8027-8051; doi:10.3390/ijms12118027
Received: 13 September 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 16 November 2011
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cancer continues to be a leading source of morbidity and mortality worldwide in spite of progress in oncolytic therapies. In addition, the incidence of cancers affecting the breast, kidney, prostate and skin among others continue to rise. Chemotherapeutic drugs are widely used [...] Read more.
Cancer continues to be a leading source of morbidity and mortality worldwide in spite of progress in oncolytic therapies. In addition, the incidence of cancers affecting the breast, kidney, prostate and skin among others continue to rise. Chemotherapeutic drugs are widely used in cancer treatment but have the serious drawback of nonspecific toxicity because these agents target any rapidly dividing cell without discriminating between healthy and malignant cells. In addition, many neoplasms eventually become resistant to conventional chemotherapy due to selection for multidrug-resistant variants. The limitations associated with existing chemotherapeutic drugs have stimulated the search for new oncolytic therapies. Host defense peptides (HDPs) may represent a novel family of oncolytic agents that can avoid the shortcomings of conventional chemotherapy because they exhibit selective cytotoxicity against a broad spectrum of malignant human cells, including multi-drug-resistant neoplastic cells. Oncolytic activity by HDPs is usually via necrosis due to cell membrane lysis, but some HDPs can trigger apoptosis in cancer cells via mitochondrial membrane disruption. In addition, certain HDPs are anti-angiogenic which may inhibit cancer progression. This paper reviews oncolytic HDP studies in order to address the suitability of selected HDPs as oncolytic therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessReview Chromatin Structure Following UV-Induced DNA Damage—Repair or Death?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8063-8085; doi:10.3390/ijms12118063
Received: 14 September 2011 / Revised: 5 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 17 November 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In eukaryotes, DNA is compacted into a complex structure known as chromatin. The unravelling of DNA is a crucial step in DNA repair, replication, transcription and recombination as this allows access to DNA for these processes. Failure to package DNA into the [...] Read more.
In eukaryotes, DNA is compacted into a complex structure known as chromatin. The unravelling of DNA is a crucial step in DNA repair, replication, transcription and recombination as this allows access to DNA for these processes. Failure to package DNA into the nucleosome, the individual unit of chromatin, can lead to genomic instability, driving a cell into apoptosis, senescence, or cellular proliferation. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage causes destabilisation of chromatin integrity. UV irradiation induces DNA damage such as photolesions and subjects the chromatin to substantial rearrangements, causing the arrest of transcription forks and cell cycle arrest. Highly conserved processes known as nucleotide and base excision repair (NER and BER) then begin to repair these lesions. However, if DNA repair fails, the cell may be forced into apoptosis. The modification of various histones as well as nucleosome remodelling via ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling complexes are required not only to repair these UV-induced DNA lesions, but also for apoptosis signalling. Histone modifications and nucleosome remodelling in response to UV also lead to the recruitment of various repair and pro-apoptotic proteins. Thus, the way in which a cell responds to UV irradiation via these modifications is important in determining its fate. Failure of these DNA damage response steps can lead to cellular proliferation and oncogenic development, causing skin cancer, hence these chromatin changes are critical for a proper response to UV-induced injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UV-Induced Cell Death)
Open AccessReview Effect of Polyphenols on Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neuronal Death and Brain Edema in Cerebral Ischemia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8181-8207; doi:10.3390/ijms12118181
Received: 19 September 2011 / Revised: 18 October 2011 / Accepted: 14 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyphenols are natural substances with variable phenolic structures and are elevated in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. There are over 8000 polyphenolic structures identified in plants, but edible plants contain only several hundred polyphenolic structures. In addition to their [...] Read more.
Polyphenols are natural substances with variable phenolic structures and are elevated in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. There are over 8000 polyphenolic structures identified in plants, but edible plants contain only several hundred polyphenolic structures. In addition to their well-known antioxidant effects, select polyphenols also have insulin-potentiating, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral, anti-ulcer, and anti-apoptotic properties. One important consequence of ischemia is neuronal death and oxidative stress plays a key role in neuronal viability. In addition, neuronal death may be initiated by the activation of mitochondria-associated cell death pathways. Another consequence of ischemia that is possibly mediated by oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction is glial swelling, a component of cytotoxic brain edema. The purpose of this article is to review the current literature on the contribution of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction to neuronal death, cell swelling, and brain edema in ischemia. A review of currently known mechanisms underlying neuronal death and edema/cell swelling will be undertaken and the potential of dietary polyphenols to reduce such neural damage will be critically reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress and Mitochondria)
Open AccessReview Cell-Biomaterial Mechanical Interaction in the Framework of Tissue Engineering: Insights, Computational Modeling and Perspectives
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8217-8244; doi:10.3390/ijms12118217
Received: 17 September 2011 / Revised: 19 October 2011 / Accepted: 2 November 2011 / Published: 21 November 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (4133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tissue engineering is an emerging field of research which combines the use of cell-seeded biomaterials both in vitro and/or in vivo with the aim of promoting new tissue formation or regeneration. In this context, how cells colonize and interact with the biomaterial [...] Read more.
Tissue engineering is an emerging field of research which combines the use of cell-seeded biomaterials both in vitro and/or in vivo with the aim of promoting new tissue formation or regeneration. In this context, how cells colonize and interact with the biomaterial is critical in order to get a functional tissue engineering product. Cell-biomaterial interaction is referred to here as the phenomenon involved in adherent cells attachment to the biomaterial surface, and their related cell functions such as growth, differentiation, migration or apoptosis. This process is inherently complex in nature involving many physico-chemical events which take place at different scales ranging from molecular to cell body (organelle) levels. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that the mechanical environment at the cell-biomaterial location may play an important role in the subsequent cell function, which remains to be elucidated. In this paper, the state-of-the-art research in the physics and mechanics of cell-biomaterial interaction is reviewed with an emphasis on focal adhesions. The paper is focused on the different models developed at different scales available to simulate certain features of cell-biomaterial interaction. A proper understanding of cell-biomaterial interaction, as well as the development of predictive models in this sense, may add some light in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)
Open AccessReview Active Protein Aggregates Produced in Escherichia coli
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8275-8287; doi:10.3390/ijms12118275
Received: 12 October 2011 / Revised: 11 November 2011 / Accepted: 11 November 2011 / Published: 22 November 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since recombinant proteins are widely used in industry and in research, the need for their low-cost production is increasing. Escherichia coli is one of the best known and most often used host organisms for economical protein production. However, upon over-expression, protein aggregates [...] Read more.
Since recombinant proteins are widely used in industry and in research, the need for their low-cost production is increasing. Escherichia coli is one of the best known and most often used host organisms for economical protein production. However, upon over-expression, protein aggregates called inclusion bodies (IBs) are often formed. Until recently IBs formation represented a bottleneck in protein production as they were considered as deposits of inactive proteins. However, recent studies show that by choosing the appropriate host strain and designing an optimal production process, IBs composed from properly folded and biologically active recombinant proteins can be prepared. Such active protein particles can be further used for the isolation of pure proteins or as whole active protein particles in various biomedical and other applications. Therefore interest in understanding the mechanisms of their formation as well as their properties is increasing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Aggregation)
Open AccessReview Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology in Retinopathy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8288-8301; doi:10.3390/ijms12118288
Received: 3 November 2011 / Revised: 21 November 2011 / Accepted: 21 November 2011 / Published: 23 November 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nanoparticles are nanometer-scaled particles, and can be utilized in the form of nanocapsules, nanoconjugates, or nanoparticles themselves for the treatment of retinopathy, including angiogensis-related blindness, retinal degeneration, and uveitis. They are thought to improve the bioavailability in the retina and the permeability [...] Read more.
Nanoparticles are nanometer-scaled particles, and can be utilized in the form of nanocapsules, nanoconjugates, or nanoparticles themselves for the treatment of retinopathy, including angiogensis-related blindness, retinal degeneration, and uveitis. They are thought to improve the bioavailability in the retina and the permeability of therapeutic molecules across the barriers of the eye, such as the cornea, conjunctiva, and especially, blood-retinal barriers (BRBs). However, consisting of multiple neuronal cells, the retina can be the target of neuronal toxicity of nanoparticles, in common with the central and peripheral nervous system. Furthermore, the ability of nanoparticles to pass through the BRBs might increase the possibility of toxicity, simultaneously promoting distribution in the retinal layers. In this regard, we discussed nanotechnology and nanotoxicology in the treatment of retinopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)

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Open AccessShort Note Development of Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) Markers in Setaria italica (Poaceae) and Cross-Amplification in Related Species
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7835-7845; doi:10.3390/ijms12117835
Received: 14 October 2011 / Revised: 28 October 2011 / Accepted: 4 November 2011 / Published: 11 November 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Foxtail millet is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. It has been adopted as a model organism for providing a deeper understanding of plant biology. In this study, 45 simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers of Setaria italica were developed. These markers [...] Read more.
Foxtail millet is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. It has been adopted as a model organism for providing a deeper understanding of plant biology. In this study, 45 simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers of Setaria italica were developed. These markers showing polymorphism were screened in 223 samples from 12 foxtail millet populations around Taiwan. The most common dinucleotide and trinucleotide repeat motifs are AC/TG (84.21%) and CAT (46.15%). The average number of alleles (Na), the average heterozygosities observed (Ho) and expected (He) are 3.73, 0.714, 0.587, respectively. In addition, 24 SSR markers had shown transferability to six related Poaceae species. These new markers provide tools for examining genetic relatedness among foxtail millet populations and other related species. It is suitable for germplasm management and protection in Poaceae. Full article
Open AccessTechnical Note An Efficient Method for Genomic DNA Extraction from Different Molluscs Species
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 8086-8095; doi:10.3390/ijms12118086
Received: 13 September 2011 / Revised: 20 October 2011 / Accepted: 8 November 2011 / Published: 17 November 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (551 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The selection of a DNA extraction method is a critical step when subsequent analysis depends on the DNA quality and quantity. Unlike mammals, for which several capable DNA extraction methods have been developed, for molluscs the availability of optimized genomic DNA extraction [...] Read more.
The selection of a DNA extraction method is a critical step when subsequent analysis depends on the DNA quality and quantity. Unlike mammals, for which several capable DNA extraction methods have been developed, for molluscs the availability of optimized genomic DNA extraction protocols is clearly insufficient. Several aspects such as animal physiology, the type (e.g., adductor muscle or gills) or quantity of tissue, can explain the lack of efficiency (quality and yield) in molluscs genomic DNA extraction procedure. In an attempt to overcome these aspects, this work describes an efficient method for molluscs genomic DNA extraction that was tested in several species from different orders: Veneridae, Ostreidae, Anomiidae, Cardiidae (Bivalvia) and Muricidae (Gastropoda), with different weight sample tissues. The isolated DNA was of high molecular weight with high yield and purity, even with reduced quantities of tissue. Moreover, the genomic DNA isolated, demonstrated to be suitable for several downstream molecular techniques, such as PCR sequencing among others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)

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