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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 15, Issue 5 (May 2014), Pages 7049-9172

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Open AccessArticle Antheraea pernyi Silk Fibroin-Coated PEI/DNA Complexes for Targeted Gene Delivery in HEK 293 and HCT 116 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7049-7063; doi:10.3390/ijms15057049
Received: 26 March 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyethylenimine (PEI) has attracted much attention as a DNA condenser, but its toxicity and non-specific targeting limit its potential. To overcome these limitations, Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (ASF), a natural protein rich in arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid (RGD) peptides that contains negative surface charges [...] Read more.
Polyethylenimine (PEI) has attracted much attention as a DNA condenser, but its toxicity and non-specific targeting limit its potential. To overcome these limitations, Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (ASF), a natural protein rich in arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid (RGD) peptides that contains negative surface charges in a neutral aqueous solution, was used to coat PEI/DNA complexes to form ASF/PEI/DNA ternary complexes. Coating these complexes with ASF caused fewer surface charges and greater size compared with the PEI/DNA complexes alone. In vitro transfection studies revealed that incorporation of ASF led to greater transfection efficiencies in both HEK (human embryonic kidney) 293 and HCT (human colorectal carcinoma) 116 cells, albeit with less electrostatic binding affinity for the cells. Moreover, the transfection efficiency in the HCT 116 cells was higher than that in the HEK 293 cells under the same conditions, which may be due to the target bonding affinity of the RGD peptides in ASF for integrins on the HCT 116 cell surface. This result indicated that the RGD binding affinity in ASF for integrins can enhance the specific targeting affinity to compensate for the reduction in electrostatic binding between ASF-coated PEI carriers and cells. Cell viability measurements showed higher cell viability after transfection of ASF/PEI/DNA ternary complexes than after transfection of PEI/DNA binary complexes alone. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release studies further confirmed the improvement in the targeting effect of ASF/PEI/DNA ternary complexes to cells. These results suggest that ASF-coated PEI is a preferred transfection reagent and useful for improving both the transfection efficiency and cell viability of PEI-based nonviral vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
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Open AccessArticle SREBP-1 Has a Prognostic Role and Contributes to Invasion and Metastasis in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7124-7138; doi:10.3390/ijms15057124
Received: 22 February 2014 / Revised: 16 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (3089 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1) is a well-known nuclear transcription factor involved in lipid synthesis. Recent studies have focused on its functions in tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis, but its role in cell migration and invasion, especially in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), [...] Read more.
Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1) is a well-known nuclear transcription factor involved in lipid synthesis. Recent studies have focused on its functions in tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis, but its role in cell migration and invasion, especially in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is still unclear. In this study, we found that the expression of SREBP-1 in HCC tissues was significantly higher than those in matched tumor-adjacent tissues (p < 0.05). SREBP-1 was expressed at significantly higher levels in patients with large tumor size, high histological grade and advanced tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage (p < 0.05). The positive expression of SREBP-1 correlated with a worse 3-year overall and disease-free survival of HCC patients (p < 0.05). Additionally, SREBP-1 was an independent factor for predicting both 3-year overall and disease-free survival of HCC patients (p < 0.05). In vitro studies revealed that downregulation of SREBP-1 inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in both HepG2 and MHCC97L cells (p < 0.05). Furthermore, wound healing and transwell assays showed that SREBP-1 knockdown prominently inhibited cell migration and invasion in both HepG2 and MHCC97L cells (p < 0.05). These results suggest that SREBP-1 may serve as a prognostic marker in HCC and may promote tumor progression by promoting cell growth and metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Oncology 2014)
Open AccessArticle Generation of Bladder Urothelium from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells under Chemically Defined Serum- and Feeder-Free System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7139-7157; doi:10.3390/ijms15057139
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 25 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Human stem cells are promising sources for bladder regeneration. Among several possible sources, pluripotent stem cells are the most fascinating because they can differentiate into any cell type, and proliferate limitlessly in vitro. Here, we developed a protocol for differentiation of [...] Read more.
Human stem cells are promising sources for bladder regeneration. Among several possible sources, pluripotent stem cells are the most fascinating because they can differentiate into any cell type, and proliferate limitlessly in vitro. Here, we developed a protocol for differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into bladder urothelial cells (BUCs) under a chemically defined culture system. We first differentiated hPSCs into definitive endoderm (DE), and further specified DE cells into BUCs by treating retinoic acid under a keratinocyte-specific serum free medium. hPSC-derived DE cells showed significantly expressed DE-specific genes, but did not express mesodermal or ectodermal genes. After DE cells were specified into BUCs, they notably expressed urothelium-specific genes such as UPIb, UPII, UPIIIa, P63 and CK7. Immunocytochemistry showed that BUCs expressed UPII, CK8/18 and P63 as well as tight junction molecules, E-CADHERIN and ZO-1. Additionally, hPSCs-derived BUCs exhibited low permeability in a FITC-dextran permeability assay, indicating BUCs possessed the functional units of barrier on their surfaces. However, BUCs did not express the marker genes of other endodermal lineage cells (intestine and liver) as well as mesodermal or ectodermal lineage cells. In summary, we sequentially differentiated hPSCs into DE and BUCs in a serum- and feeder-free condition. Our differentiation protocol will be useful for producing cells for bladder regeneration and studying normal and pathological development of the human bladder urothelium in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Simultaneous Microwave Extraction and Separation of Volatile and Non-Volatile Organic Compounds of Boldo Leaves. From Lab to Industrial Scale
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7183-7198; doi:10.3390/ijms15057183
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 9 April 2014 / Accepted: 11 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microwave extraction and separation has been used to increase the concentration of the extract compared to the conventional method with the same solid/liquid ratio, reducing extraction time and separate at the same time Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from non-Volatile Organic Compounds (NVOC) [...] Read more.
Microwave extraction and separation has been used to increase the concentration of the extract compared to the conventional method with the same solid/liquid ratio, reducing extraction time and separate at the same time Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from non-Volatile Organic Compounds (NVOC) of boldo leaves. As preliminary study, a response surface method has been used to optimize the extraction of soluble material and the separation of VOC from the plant in laboratory scale. The results from the statistical analysis revealed that the optimized conditions were: microwave power 200 W, extraction time 56 min and solid liquid ratio of 7.5% of plants in water. Lab scale optimized microwave method is compared to conventional distillation, and requires a power/mass ratio of 0.4 W/g of water engaged. This power/mass ratio is kept in order to upscale from lab to pilot plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Study on Biopharmaceutics Classification and Oral Bioavailability of a Novel Multikinase Inhibitor NCE for Cancer Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7199-7212; doi:10.3390/ijms15057199
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
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Abstract
Specific biopharmaceutics classification investigation and study on phamacokinetic profile of a novel drug candidate (2-methylcarbamoyl-4-{4-[3- (trifluoromethyl) benzamido] phenoxy} pyridinium 4-methylbenzenesulfonate monohydrate, NCE) were carried out. Equilibrium solubility and intrinsic dissolution rate (IDR) of NCE were estimated in different phosphate buffers. Effective intestinal [...] Read more.
Specific biopharmaceutics classification investigation and study on phamacokinetic profile of a novel drug candidate (2-methylcarbamoyl-4-{4-[3- (trifluoromethyl) benzamido] phenoxy} pyridinium 4-methylbenzenesulfonate monohydrate, NCE) were carried out. Equilibrium solubility and intrinsic dissolution rate (IDR) of NCE were estimated in different phosphate buffers. Effective intestinal permeability (Peff) of NCE was determined using single-pass intestinal perfusion technique in rat duodenum, jejunum and ileum at three concentrations. Theophylline (high permeability) and ranitidine (low permeability) were also applied to access the permeability of NCE as reference compounds. The bioavailability after intragastrical and intravenous administration was measured in beagle dogs. The solubility of NCE in tested phosphate buffers was quite low with the maximum solubility of 81.73 μg/mL at pH 1.0. The intrinsic dissolution ratio of NCE was 1 × 104 mg·min−1·cm2. The Peff value of NCE in all intestinal segments was more proximate to the high-permeability reference theophylline. Therefore, NCE was classified as class II drug according to Biopharmaceutics Classification System due to its low solubility and high intestinal permeability. In addition, concentration-dependent permeability was not observed in all the segments, indicating that there might be passive transportation for NCE. The absolute oral bioavailability of NCE in beagle dogs was 26.75%. Therefore, dissolution promotion will be crucial for oral formulation development and intravenous administration route will also be suggested for further NCE formulation development. All the data would provide a reference for biopharmaceutics classification research of other novel drug candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle The Association of Il28b Genotype with the Histological Features of Chronic Hepatitis C Is HCV Genotype Dependent
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7213-7224; doi:10.3390/ijms15057213
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The interleukin 28B (IL28B) rs12979860 polymorphism is associated with treatment outcome in hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 and 4 patients. Its association with the histological features of chronic hepatitis C and disease severity needs further clarifications. To assess the correlation between [...] Read more.
The interleukin 28B (IL28B) rs12979860 polymorphism is associated with treatment outcome in hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 and 4 patients. Its association with the histological features of chronic hepatitis C and disease severity needs further clarifications. To assess the correlation between IL28B genotype, HCV genotype and liver biopsy findings in untreated patients. Materials and Methods: Pre-treatment liver biopsies from 335 HCV Caucasian patients (59% males, age 50 years) enrolled in the MIST study were staged for fibrosis and inflammation according to the METAVIR and the Ishak scoring systems; steatosis was dichotomized as <5% or ≥5%. IL28B was typed by Taqman Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) genotyping assay. HCV genotype was 1 in 151 (45%), 2 in 99 (30%), 3 in 50 (15%) and 4 in 35 (10%) patients. IL28B genotype was CC in 117 (34%), CT in 166 (49%) and TT in 52 (15%). At univariate analysis, the IL28B CC genotype was associated with severe portal inflammation in HCV-1 patients (CC vs. CT/TT: 86% vs. 63%, p = 0.005), severe lobular inflammation in HCV-2 patients (CC vs. CT/TT: 44% vs. 23%, p = 0.03), and less fatty infiltration in HCV-1 patients (CC vs. CT/TT: 72% vs. 51%, p = 0.02). Despite the lack of any association between IL28B and fibrosis stage, in HCV-3 patients IL28B CC correlated with METAVIR F3-F4 (CC vs. CT/TT: 74% vs. 26%, p = 0.05). At multivariate analysis, the genotype CC remained associated with severe portal inflammation in HCV-1, only (Odds Ratio (OR): 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 3.24 (1.23–8.51)). IL28B genotype is associated with the histological features of chronic hepatitis C in a HCV genotype dependent manner, with CC genotype being independently associated with severe portal inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
Open AccessArticle Potential Activity of Fevicordin-A from Phaleria macrocarpa (Scheff) Boerl. Seeds as Estrogen Receptor Antagonist Based on Cytotoxicity and Molecular Modelling Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7225-7249; doi:10.3390/ijms15057225
Received: 22 November 2013 / Revised: 10 January 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
PDF Full-text (4603 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fevicordin-A (FevA) isolated from Phaleria macrocarpa (Scheff) Boerl. seeds was evaluated for its potential anticancer activity by in vitro and in silico approaches. Cytotoxicity studies indicated that FevA was selective against cell lines of human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) with an IC50 [...] Read more.
Fevicordin-A (FevA) isolated from Phaleria macrocarpa (Scheff) Boerl. seeds was evaluated for its potential anticancer activity by in vitro and in silico approaches. Cytotoxicity studies indicated that FevA was selective against cell lines of human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) with an IC50 value of 6.4 µM. At 11.2 µM, FevA resulted in 76.8% cell death of T-47D human breast cancer cell lines. Critical pharmacophore features amongst human Estrogen Receptor-α (hERα) antagonists were conserved in FevA with regard to a hypothesis that they could make notable contributions to its pharmacological activity. The binding stability as well as the dynamic behavior of FevA towards the hERα receptor in agonist and antagonist binding sites were probed using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation approach. Analysis of MD simulation suggested that the tail of FevA was accountable for the repulsion of the C-terminal of Helix-11 (H11) in both agonist and antagonist receptor forms. The flexibility of loop-534 indicated the ability to disrupt the hydrogen bond zipper network between H3 and H11 in hERα. In addition, MM/GBSA calculation from the molecular dynamic simulations also revealed a stronger binding affinity of FevA in antagonistic action as compared to that of agonistic action. Collectively, both the experimental and computational results indicated that FevA has potential as a candidate for an anticancer agent, which is worth promoting for further preclinical evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Proteins and Protein-Ligand Interactions)
Open AccessArticle Indian Hedgehog in Synovial Fluid Is a Novel Marker for Early Cartilage Lesions in Human Knee Joint
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7250-7265; doi:10.3390/ijms15057250
Received: 10 February 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 28 April 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To determine whether there is a correlation between the concentration of Indian hedgehog (Ihh) in synovial fluid (SF) and the severity of cartilage damage in the human knee joints, the knee cartilages from patients were classified using the Outer-bridge scoring system and [...] Read more.
To determine whether there is a correlation between the concentration of Indian hedgehog (Ihh) in synovial fluid (SF) and the severity of cartilage damage in the human knee joints, the knee cartilages from patients were classified using the Outer-bridge scoring system and graded using the Modified Mankin score. Expression of Ihh in cartilage and SF samples were analyzed with immunohistochemistry (IHC), western blot, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Furthermore, we detected and compared Ihh protein levels in rat and mice cartilages between normal control and surgery-induced osteoarthritis (OA) group by IHC and fluorescence molecular tomography in vivo respectively. Ihh expression was increased 5.2-fold in OA cartilage, 3.1-fold in relative normal OA cartilage, and 1.71-fold in OA SF compared to normal control samples. The concentrations of Ihh in cartilage and SF samples was significantly increased in early-stage OA samples when compared to normal samples (r = 0.556; p < 0.001); however, there were no significant differences between normal samples and late-stage OA samples. Up-regulation of Ihh protein was also an early event in the surgery-induced OA models. Increased Ihh is associated with the severity of OA cartilage damage. Elevated Ihh content in human knee joint synovial fluid correlates with early cartilage lesions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Chondrocyte Phenotype in Cartilage Biology)
Open AccessArticle Proteomic Study of Differential Protein Expression in Mouse Lung Tissues after Aerosolized Ricin Poisoning
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7281-7292; doi:10.3390/ijms15057281
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 28 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ricin is one of the most poisonous natural toxins from plants and is classified as a Class B biological threat pathogen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of U.S.A. Ricin exposure can occur through oral or aerosol routes. Ricin [...] Read more.
Ricin is one of the most poisonous natural toxins from plants and is classified as a Class B biological threat pathogen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of U.S.A. Ricin exposure can occur through oral or aerosol routes. Ricin poisoning has a rapid onset and a short incubation period. There is no effective treatment for ricin poisoning. In this study, an aerosolized ricin-exposed mouse model was developed and the pathology was investigated. The protein expression profile in the ricin-poisoned mouse lung tissue was analyzed using proteomic techniques to determine the proteins that were closely related to the toxicity of ricin. 2D gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry and subsequent biological functional analysis revealed that six proteins including Apoa1 apolipoprotein, Ywhaz 14-3-3 protein, Prdx6 Uncharacterized Protein, Selenium-binding protein 1, HMGB1, and DPYL-2, were highly related to ricin poisoning. Full article
Open AccessArticle Efficient Delivery of Plasmid DNA Using Cholesterol-Based Cationic Lipids Containing Polyamines and Ether Linkages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7293-7312; doi:10.3390/ijms15057293
Received: 27 January 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 28 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cationic liposomes are broadly used as non-viral vectors to deliver genetic materials that can be used to treat various diseases including cancer. To circumvent problems associated with cationic liposome-mediated delivery systems such as low transfection efficiency and serum-induced inhibition, cholesterol-based cationic lipids [...] Read more.
Cationic liposomes are broadly used as non-viral vectors to deliver genetic materials that can be used to treat various diseases including cancer. To circumvent problems associated with cationic liposome-mediated delivery systems such as low transfection efficiency and serum-induced inhibition, cholesterol-based cationic lipids have been synthesized that resist the effects of serum. The introduction of an ether-type linkage and extension of the aminopropyl head group on the cholesterol backbone increased the transfection efficiency and DNA binding affinity compared to a carbamoyl-type linkage and a mono aminopropyl head group, respectively. Under optimal conditions, each liposome formulation showed higher transfection efficiency in AGS and Huh-7 cells than commercially available cationic liposomes, particularly in the presence of serum. The following molecular structures were found to have a positive effect on transfection properties: (i) extended aminopropyl head groups for a strong binding affinity to plasmid DNA; (ii) an ether linkage that favors electrostatic binding to plasmid DNA; and (iii) a cholesterol backbone for serum resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Nanoparticles 2014)
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Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Identification, 3D Modeling, Expression and Enzymatic Activity Analysis of Cell Wall Invertase Gene Family from Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7313-7331; doi:10.3390/ijms15057313
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 9 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 28 April 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The cell wall invertases play a crucial role on the sucrose metabolism in plant source and sink organs. In this research, six cell wall invertase genes (MeCWINV1-6) were cloned from cassava. All the MeCWINVs contain a putative signal peptide with [...] Read more.
The cell wall invertases play a crucial role on the sucrose metabolism in plant source and sink organs. In this research, six cell wall invertase genes (MeCWINV1-6) were cloned from cassava. All the MeCWINVs contain a putative signal peptide with a predicted extracellular location. The overall predicted structures of the MeCWINV1-6 are similar to AtcwINV1. Their N-terminus domain forms a β-propeller module and three conserved sequence domains (NDPNG, RDP and WECP(V)D), in which the catalytic residues are situated in these domains; while the C-terminus domain consists of a β-sandwich module. The predicted structure of Pro residue from the WECPD (MeCWINV1, 2, 5, and 6), and Val residue from the WECVD (MeCWINV3 and 4) are different. The activity of MeCWINV1 and 3 were higher than other MeCWINVs in leaves and tubers, which suggested that sucrose was mainly catalyzed by the MeCWINV1 and 3 in the apoplastic space of cassava source and sink organs. The transcriptional levels of all the MeCWINVs and their enzymatic activity were lower in tubers than in leaves at all the stages during the cassava tuber development. It suggested that the major role of the MeCWINVs was on the regulation of carbon exportation from source leaves, and the ratio of sucrose to hexose in the apoplasts; the role of these enzymes on the sucrose unloading to tuber was weaker. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Characterisation of Indica Special Protein (ISP), a Marker Protein for the Differentiation of Oryza sativa Subspecies indica and japonica
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7332-7343; doi:10.3390/ijms15057332
Received: 12 November 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
PDF Full-text (816 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Based on both morphological and physiological traits, Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) can be classified into two distinct subspecies, indica and japonica. To better understand the differences between the two subspecies, a proteomic approach was used to profile proteins [...] Read more.
Based on both morphological and physiological traits, Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) can be classified into two distinct subspecies, indica and japonica. To better understand the differences between the two subspecies, a proteomic approach was used to profile proteins present in the yellow seedling stage of 10 indica and 10 japonica rice varieties. We report the discovery of a new protein, Indica Special Protein (ISP), which was only detected in yellow seedlings of indica varieties, and was absent from japonica varieties. Hence, ISP may represent a key gene for the differentiation of indica and japonica subspecies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Symbiotic Activity of Pea (Pisum sativum) after Application of Nod Factors under Field Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7344-7351; doi:10.3390/ijms15057344
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Growth and symbiotic activity of legumes are mediated by Nod factors (LCO, lipo-chitooligosaccharides). To assess the effects of application of Nod factors on symbiotic activity and yield of pea, a two-year field experiment was conducted on a Haplic Luvisol developed from loess. [...] Read more.
Growth and symbiotic activity of legumes are mediated by Nod factors (LCO, lipo-chitooligosaccharides). To assess the effects of application of Nod factors on symbiotic activity and yield of pea, a two-year field experiment was conducted on a Haplic Luvisol developed from loess. Nod factors were isolated from Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae strain GR09. Pea seeds were treated with the Nod factors (10−11 M) or water (control) before planting. Symbiotic activity was evaluated by measurements of nitrogenase activity (acetylene reduction assay), nodule number and mass, and top growth by shoot mass, leaf area, and seed and protein yield. Nod factors generally improved pea yield and nitrogenase activity in the relatively dry growing season 2012, but not in the wet growing season in 2013 due to different weather conditions. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Novel Protein Is Lower Expressed in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7398-7408; doi:10.3390/ijms15057398
Received: 10 March 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Engrailed-2 (EN2) has been identified as a candidate oncogene in breast cancer and prostate cancer. It is usually recognized as a mainly nuclear staining in the cells. However, recent studies showed a cytoplasmic staining occurred in prostate cancer, bladder cancer [...] Read more.
Engrailed-2 (EN2) has been identified as a candidate oncogene in breast cancer and prostate cancer. It is usually recognized as a mainly nuclear staining in the cells. However, recent studies showed a cytoplasmic staining occurred in prostate cancer, bladder cancer and clear cell renal cell carcinoma. The inconsistency makes us confused. To clarify the localization and expression of EN2 in renal cell carcinoma, anti-EN2 antibody (ab28731) and anti-EN2 antibody (MAB2600) were used for immunohistochemistry (IHC) respectively. Interestingly, we found that EN2 detected by ab28731 was mainly presented in cytoplasm while EN2 detected by MAB2600 was mainly presented in nucleus. To further investigate the different patterns observed above, lysates from full-length EN2 over expression in HEK293T cells were used to identify which antibody the EN2 molecule bound by western blot. Results showed ab28731 did not react with the lysates. For this reason, the novel specific protein detected by ab28731 was not the EN2 molecule and was named nonEN2. Then using the renal carcinoma tissue microarray and renal tissues, we found that the protein expression levels of nonEN2 in kidney tumor tissues was significantly lower than that in kidney normal tissues (p < 0.05), so was in renal cell lines. Taken together, nonEN2 is lower expressed and may play an important role in renal cell carcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessCommunication Antenna-Specific Glutathione S-Transferase in Male Silkmoth Bombyx mori
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7429-7443; doi:10.3390/ijms15057429
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2482 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are multifunctional enzymes that are widely distributed in different species. GSTs detoxify exogenous and endogenous substances by conjugation to reduced glutathione. We characterized BmGSTD4, an antenna-specific GST, in male silkmoths. The full-length mRNA of Bmgstd4 was cloned [...] Read more.
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are multifunctional enzymes that are widely distributed in different species. GSTs detoxify exogenous and endogenous substances by conjugation to reduced glutathione. We characterized BmGSTD4, an antenna-specific GST, in male silkmoths. The full-length mRNA of Bmgstd4 was cloned by RACE-PCR and contained an open reading frame of 738 bp encoding a 245 amino acid protein. The antenna specificity of BmGSTD4 was validated at the mRNA and protein levels and BmGSTD4 was shown to localize in the sensillum of male silkmoth antennae. Homology modeling and multi-sequence alignment suggested that BmGSTD4 was a typical GST belonging to the δ class and had a canonical GST fold with a conserved N-terminus, including a glutathione-binding site and a C-terminal domain harboring a hydrophobic substrate-binding site. Restricted expression of BmGSTD4 in silkmoth antennae combined with GST activity suggested that BmGSTD4 was involved in the detoxification of harmful chemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Fiber Length on Carbon Nanotube-Induced Fibrogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7444-7461; doi:10.3390/ijms15057444
Received: 6 March 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (1315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Given their extremely small size and light weight, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be readily inhaled by human lungs resulting in increased rates of pulmonary disorders, particularly fibrosis. Although the fibrogenic potential of CNTs is well established, there is a lack of consensus [...] Read more.
Given their extremely small size and light weight, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be readily inhaled by human lungs resulting in increased rates of pulmonary disorders, particularly fibrosis. Although the fibrogenic potential of CNTs is well established, there is a lack of consensus regarding the contribution of physicochemical attributes of CNTs on the underlying fibrotic outcome. We designed an experimentally validated in vitro fibroblast culture model aimed at investigating the effect of fiber length on single-walled CNT (SWCNT)-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The fibrogenic response to short and long SWCNTs was assessed via oxidative stress generation, collagen expression and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) production as potential fibrosis biomarkers. Long SWCNTs were significantly more potent than short SWCNTs in terms of reactive oxygen species (ROS) response, collagen production and TGF-β release. Furthermore, our finding on the length-dependent in vitro fibrogenic response was validated by the in vivo lung fibrosis outcome, thus supporting the predictive value of the in vitro model. Our results also demonstrated the key role of ROS in SWCNT-induced collagen expression and TGF-β activation, indicating the potential mechanisms of length-dependent SWCNT-induced fibrosis. Together, our study provides new evidence for the role of fiber length in SWCNT-induced lung fibrosis and offers a rapid cell-based assay for fibrogenicity testing of nanomaterials with the ability to predict pulmonary fibrogenic response in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology and Lung Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle The Minor Structural Difference between the Antioxidants Quercetin and 4'O-Methylquercetin Has a Major Impact on Their Selective Thiol Toxicity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7475-7484; doi:10.3390/ijms15057475
Received: 19 March 2014 / Revised: 16 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Antioxidants act as intermediates by picking up the high unselective reactivity of radicals and transferring it to other molecules. In this process the reactivity is reduced and becomes selective. This channeling of the reactivity can cause selective toxicity. The antioxidant quercetin is [...] Read more.
Antioxidants act as intermediates by picking up the high unselective reactivity of radicals and transferring it to other molecules. In this process the reactivity is reduced and becomes selective. This channeling of the reactivity can cause selective toxicity. The antioxidant quercetin is known to channel the reactivity towards thiol groups. The present study compares the thiol reactivity of quercetin with that of 4'O-methylquercetin (tamarixetin) towards creatine kinase (CK), a vital protein that contains a critical thiol moiety. Our results showed that oxidized quercetin and oxidized tamarixetin both adduct CK, which then loses its enzymatic function. Ascorbate, an important representative of the antioxidant network, is able to prevent adduction to and thus the inhibition of the enzyme by tamarixetin but not by quercetin. Apparently, tamarixetin is less thiol toxic than quercetin, because—rather than adduction to CK—tamarixetin quinone prefers to pass reactivity to the antioxidant network, i.e., to ascorbate. The findings exemplify that radical scavenging flavonoids pick up the reactivity of radicals and act as a pivot in directing the way the reactivity is channeled. A mere minor structural difference of only one methyl moiety between quercetin and tamarixetin appears to have a high impact on the selective, thiol toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Dioxin Congeners in the Breast Milk of Vietnamese Women and Sister Chromatid Exchange
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7485-7499; doi:10.3390/ijms15057485
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between dioxin concentrations in breast milk and the sister chromatid exchange (SCE) frequency in women from herbicide-sprayed and non sprayed areas. Blood samples were taken from 21 women with high TCDD (tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between dioxin concentrations in breast milk and the sister chromatid exchange (SCE) frequency in women from herbicide-sprayed and non sprayed areas. Blood samples were taken from 21 women with high TCDD (tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) levels from sprayed areas, 23 women with moderate TCDD levels from sprayed areas, and 19 women from non sprayed areas to determine their SCE frequency. The SCE frequencies for the high and moderate TCDD groups from the sprayed area and for the non sprayed area group were 2.40, 2.19, and 1.48 per cell, respectively. Multiple regression analysis showed that the standardized β values for 1,2,3,6,7,8-hexaCDD (β = 0.60), 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptaCDD (β = 0.64), and octaCDD (β = 0.65) were higher than those for TCDD (β = 0.34) and 1,2,3,7,8-pentaCDD (β = 0.42). The adjusted R2 value for polyCDDs (R2 = 0.38) was higher than that for polyCDD toxic equivalents (TEQ (toxic equivalents); R2 = 0.23). This study therefore shows that levels of hexa-, hepta-, and octaCDD, which were previously regarded as being less toxic than TCDD, are closely related to SCE frequency and that the level of dioxin (pg/g lipid) is potentially more useful as an indicator than TEQ value for explaining SCE frequency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Toxicity of Dioxins and Related Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis, Characterization and Anti-Breast Cancer Activity of New 4-Aminoantipyrine-Based Heterocycles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7539-7553; doi:10.3390/ijms15057539
Received: 19 March 2014 / Revised: 9 April 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 2 May 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
4-Aminoantipyrine was utilized as key intermediate for the synthesis of pyrazolone derivatives bearing biologically active moieties. The newly synthesized compounds were characterized by IR, 1H- and 13C-NMR spectral and microanalytical studies. The compounds were screened as anticancer agents against a [...] Read more.
4-Aminoantipyrine was utilized as key intermediate for the synthesis of pyrazolone derivatives bearing biologically active moieties. The newly synthesized compounds were characterized by IR, 1H- and 13C-NMR spectral and microanalytical studies. The compounds were screened as anticancer agents against a human tumor breast cancer cell line MCF7, and the results showed that (Z)-4-((3-amino-5-imino-1-phenyl-1H-pyrazol-4(5H)-ylidene)methylamino)-1,5-dimethyl-2-phenyl-1,2-dihydropyrazol-3-one 5, 3-(4-bromophenyl) -1-(1,5-dimethyl-3-oxo-2-phenyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-4-oxo-2-thioxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine-5-carbonitrile 13, 1-(1,5-dimethyl-3-oxo-2-phenyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-3-(4-iodophenyl)-4-oxo-2-thioxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine-5-carbonitrile 14, 3,3′-(4,4′-sulfonylbis(4,1-phenylene))bis(1-(1,5-dimethyl-3-oxo-2-phenyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-4-oxo-2-thioxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine-5-carbonitrile) 16, (Z)-1- (1,5-dimethyl-3-oxo-2-phenyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-2-hydrazono-4-oxo-3-phenyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine-5-carbonitrile 17, (Z)-1-(1,5-dimethyl-3-oxo-2-phenyl- 2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-4-oxo-3-phenyl-2-(2-phenylhydrazono)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro pyrimidine-5-carbonitrile 18, and (Z)-4-(3-amino-6-hydrazono-7-phenyl-6,7-dihydro pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidin-5-yl)-1,5-dimethyl-2-phenyl-1,2-dihydropyrazol-3-one 19 were the most active compounds with IC50 values ranging from 30.68 to 60.72 µM compared with Doxorubicin as positive control with the IC50 value 71.8 µM. Full article
Open AccessArticle 3D Radiation Therapy Boost Improves the Outcome of Whole Brain Radiation Therapy Treated RPA II Patients with One or Two Brain Metastases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7554-7562; doi:10.3390/ijms15057554
Received: 6 February 2014 / Revised: 7 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 2 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Purpose: to evaluate the role of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) and radiation boost (RB) for 208 patients recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) II with 1 or 2 brain metastases (BM) at a single institution. Methods and Materials: the dose of WBRT was 30 [...] Read more.
Purpose: to evaluate the role of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) and radiation boost (RB) for 208 patients recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) II with 1 or 2 brain metastases (BM) at a single institution. Methods and Materials: the dose of WBRT was 30 Gy (10 fractions of 3 Gy). One hundred thirty-two patients (63.5%) benefited from RB of 9 Gy in 3 fractions of 3 Gy at the metastatic site. Patients had 1 or 2 BM in 122 (58.7%) and 86 cases (41.3%), respectively. Results: patients with one or two metastases had similar survival (4.6 and 5.1 months, respectively) (p = 0.4). Median overall survival (OS) for patients treated with WBRT and RB, and with WBRT alone was 5.9 and 3.7 months, respectively (p = 0.03). The 6-, 12- and 24-month OS rates after WBRT and RB were 48.5%, 25% and 10.6%, respectively, while WBRT alone resulted in OS rates of 34%, 22.4% and 3.2%, respectively (p = 0.03). After WBRT and RB, the 6-, 12- and 24-month local control rates were 92%, 82% and 67%, respectively, while they were 81.2%, 75% and 37.5%, respectively, after WBRT alone (p = 0.03). The 6-, 12- and 24-month brain control rates after WBRT and RB were 88.7%, 75.8% and 62%, respectively, and after WBRT alone they were 78.5%, 59% and 37.7%, respectively (p = 0.03). Conclusion: additional boost delivered with 3D conformal radiotherapy improves local and brain control rates significantly as well as overall survival for RPA II patients with 1 or 2 unresectable BM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Metastasis 2014)
Open AccessArticle Topical N-Acetylcysteine Accelerates Wound Healing in Vitro and in Vivo via the PKC/Stat3 Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7563-7578; doi:10.3390/ijms15057563
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 17 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 2 May 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2689 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
N-Acetylcysteine (Nac) is an antioxidant administered in both oral and injectable forms. In this study, we used Nac topically to treat burn wounds in vitro and in vivo to investigate mechanisms of action. In vitro, we monitored glutathione levels, cell [...] Read more.
N-Acetylcysteine (Nac) is an antioxidant administered in both oral and injectable forms. In this study, we used Nac topically to treat burn wounds in vitro and in vivo to investigate mechanisms of action. In vitro, we monitored glutathione levels, cell proliferation, migration, scratch-wound healing activities and the epithelialization-related proteins, matrixmetalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and proteins involved in regulating the expression of MMP-1 in CCD-966SK cells treated with Nac. Various Nac concentrations (0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mM) increased glutathione levels, cell viability, scratch-wound healing activities and migration abilities of CCD-966SK cells in a dose-dependent manner. The MMP-1 expression of CCD-966SK cells treated with 1.0 mM Nac for 24 h was significantly increased. Levels of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase C (PKC), janus kinase 1 (Jak1), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3), c-Fos and Jun, but not extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (Erk1/2), were also significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner compared to the controls. In addition, Nac induced collagenous expression of MMP-1 via the PKC/Stat3 signaling pathway. In vivo, a burn wound healing rat model was applied to assess the stimulation activity and histopathological effects of Nac, with 3.0% Nac-treated wounds being found to show better characteristics on re-epithelialization. Our results demonstrated that Nac can potentially promote wound healing activity, and may be a promising drug to accelerate burn wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Thermotropic Studies of Two Novel Series of Kinked Liquid Crystals: 2-(4'-Alkoxybiphen-4-yl)-6-methylquinolines and 2-(6-Alkoxynaphthalen-2-yl)-6-methylquinolines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7579-7593; doi:10.3390/ijms15057579
Received: 11 March 2014 / Revised: 15 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 2 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two novel homologous series of kinked (Z-shaped) liquid crystalline compounds were synthesized using a short two-step reaction. Yields of 30%–40% and 51%–57% were obtained for 2-(4'-alkoxybiphen-4-yl)-6-methylquinolines (nO-PPQMe, n = 3–8) and 2-(6-alkoxynaphthalen-2-yl)-6-methylquinolines (iO-NpQMe, i = 3–7), respectively. Spectral [...] Read more.
Two novel homologous series of kinked (Z-shaped) liquid crystalline compounds were synthesized using a short two-step reaction. Yields of 30%–40% and 51%–57% were obtained for 2-(4'-alkoxybiphen-4-yl)-6-methylquinolines (nO-PPQMe, n = 3–8) and 2-(6-alkoxynaphthalen-2-yl)-6-methylquinolines (iO-NpQMe, i = 3–7), respectively. Spectral analyses agreed with the expected structures. The thermotropic behaviors of these compounds were investigated using polarized optical microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. An enantiotropic nematic phase appeared to be the main mesophase in these two series of kinked liquid crystalline compounds, and an additional enantiotropic smectic C phase appeared when n = 8. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Anisotropic and Smart Materials)
Open AccessArticle iHyd-PseAAC: Predicting Hydroxyproline and Hydroxylysine in Proteins by Incorporating Dipeptide Position-Specific Propensity into Pseudo Amino Acid Composition
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7594-7610; doi:10.3390/ijms15057594
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 58 | PDF Full-text (1218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) play crucial roles in various cell functions and biological processes. Protein hydroxylation is one type of PTM that usually occurs at the sites of proline and lysine. Given an uncharacterized protein sequence, which site of its Pro (or Lys) [...] Read more.
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) play crucial roles in various cell functions and biological processes. Protein hydroxylation is one type of PTM that usually occurs at the sites of proline and lysine. Given an uncharacterized protein sequence, which site of its Pro (or Lys) can be hydroxylated and which site cannot? This is a challenging problem, not only for in-depth understanding of the hydroxylation mechanism, but also for drug development, because protein hydroxylation is closely relevant to major diseases, such as stomach and lung cancers. With the avalanche of protein sequences generated in the post-genomic age, it is highly desired to develop computational methods to address this problem. In view of this, a new predictor called “iHyd-PseAAC” (identify hydroxylation by pseudo amino acid composition) was proposed by incorporating the dipeptide position-specific propensity into the general form of pseudo amino acid composition. It was demonstrated by rigorous cross-validation tests on stringent benchmark datasets that the new predictor is quite promising and may become a useful high throughput tool in this area. A user-friendly web-server for iHyd-PseAAC is accessible at http://app.aporc.org/iHyd-PseAAC/. Furthermore, for the convenience of the majority of experimental scientists, a step-by-step guide on how to use the web-server is given. Users can easily obtain their desired results by following these steps without the need of understanding the complicated mathematical equations presented in this paper just for its integrity. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Proteins and Protein-Ligand Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of Cell Adhesion on Mg Based Implant Materials by Pre-Incubation under Cell Culture Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7639-7650; doi:10.3390/ijms15057639
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Magnesium based implants could revolutionize applications where orthopedic implants such as nails, screws or bone plates are used because they are load bearing and degrade over time. This prevents a second surgery to remove conventional implants. To improve the biocompatibility we studied [...] Read more.
Magnesium based implants could revolutionize applications where orthopedic implants such as nails, screws or bone plates are used because they are load bearing and degrade over time. This prevents a second surgery to remove conventional implants. To improve the biocompatibility we studied here if and for how long a pre-incubation of the material under cell culture conditions is favorable for cell attachment and proliferation. For two materials, Mg and Mg10Gd1Nd, we could show that 6 h pre-incubation are already enough to form a natural protective layer suitable for cell culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Magnesium Alloys and Implants)
Open AccessArticle Molecular Modelling Study of the PPARγ Receptor in Relation to the Mode of Action/Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework for Liver Steatosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7651-7666; doi:10.3390/ijms15057651
Received: 30 March 2014 / Revised: 18 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The comprehensive understanding of the precise mode of action and/or adverse outcome pathway (MoA/AOP) of chemicals has become a key step toward the development of a new generation of predictive toxicology tools. One of the challenges of this process is to test [...] Read more.
The comprehensive understanding of the precise mode of action and/or adverse outcome pathway (MoA/AOP) of chemicals has become a key step toward the development of a new generation of predictive toxicology tools. One of the challenges of this process is to test the feasibility of the molecular modelling approaches to explore key molecular initiating events (MIE) within the integrated strategy of MoA/AOP characterisation. The description of MoAs leading to toxicity and liver damage has been the focus of much interest. Growing evidence underlines liver PPARγ ligand-dependent activation as a key MIE in the elicitation of liver steatosis. Synthetic PPARγ full agonists are of special concern, since they may trigger a number of adverse effects not observed with partial agonists. In this study, molecular modelling was performed based on the PPARγ complexes with full agonists extracted from the Protein Data Bank. The receptor binding pocket was analysed, and the specific ligand-receptor interactions were identified for the most active ligands. A pharmacophore model was derived, and the most important pharmacophore features were outlined and characterised in relation to their specific role for PPARγ activation. The results are useful for the characterisation of the chemical space of PPARγ full agonists and could facilitate the development of preliminary filtering rules for the effective virtual ligand screening of compounds with PPARγ full agonistic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Proteins and Protein-Ligand Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Huperzine A Ameliorates Cognitive Deficits in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7667-7683; doi:10.3390/ijms15057667
Received: 24 February 2014 / Revised: 15 April 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1876 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study was designed to probe the effects of Huperzine A (HupA) on diabetes-associated cognitive decline (DACD) using a streptozotocin (STZ)-injected rat model. Diabetic rats were treated with HupA (0.05 and 0.1 mg/kg) for seven weeks. Memory functions were evaluated by [...] Read more.
The present study was designed to probe the effects of Huperzine A (HupA) on diabetes-associated cognitive decline (DACD) using a streptozotocin (STZ)-injected rat model. Diabetic rats were treated with HupA (0.05 and 0.1 mg/kg) for seven weeks. Memory functions were evaluated by the water maze test. Nissl staining was selected for detecting neuronal loss. Protein and mRNA levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were analyzed by ELISA and real-time PCR, respectively. The activities of choline acetylase (ChAT), Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), catalase (CAT), NF-κB p65 unit, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and caspase-3 were measured using corresponding kits. After seven weeks, diabetic rats exhibited remarkable reductions in: body weight, percentage of time spent in target quadrant, number of times crossing the platform, ChAT and BDNF levels, SOD, GSH-Px and CAT accompanied with increases in neuronal damage, plasma glucose levels, escape latency, mean path length, AChE, MDA level as well as CAT, NF-κB p65 unit, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and caspase-3 in cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Supplementation with HupA significantly and dose-dependently reversed the corresponding values in diabetes. It is concluded that HupA ameliorates DACD via modulating BDNF, oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Different Role of Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Polymorphism in Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas among Caucasian and Asian Populations: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7684-7698; doi:10.3390/ijms15057684
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 15 April 2014 / Accepted: 23 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is an immunoregulatory cytokine involved in B- and T-cell function, and also plays an important role in inflammation and cancer. TNF-α-308G>A has been associated with constitutively elevated TNF-α expression. Several studies have reported the association between the TNF-α-308G>A [...] Read more.
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is an immunoregulatory cytokine involved in B- and T-cell function, and also plays an important role in inflammation and cancer. TNF-α-308G>A has been associated with constitutively elevated TNF-α expression. Several studies have reported the association between the TNF-α-308G>A polymorphism and non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) risk, however, results are still inconsistent. To solve these conflicts, we conducted the first meta-analysis to assess the effect of TNF-α-308G>A polymorphism on the risk of NHL and various subtypes (additive model) including 10,619 cases and 12,977 controls in Caucasian and Asian populations. Our meta-analysis indicated that TNF-α-308G>A polymorphism is not associated with NHL risk when pooling all studies together (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 0.92–1.23, p = 0.413). In stratified analyses, we found TNF-α-308A allele was significantly associated with higher risk of NHL, B-cell lymphomas (BCL), T-cell lymphomas (TCL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) in Caucasians (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.06–1.40, p = 0.007; OR = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.03–1.34, p = 0.014; OR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.01–1.42, p = 0.040; OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.11–1.32, p < 0.001, respectively). Interestingly, it was associated with decreased risk of NHL, BCL and DLBCL in Asians (OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.66–0.86, p < 0.001; OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.52–0.94, p = 0.018; OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.57–0.86, p = 0.001). These findings also suggest TNF-α might play a distinct role in pathogenesis of NHL in different populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Disease Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Development of a Multiplex and Cost-Effective Genotype Test toward More Personalized Medicine for the Antiplatelet Drug Clopidogrel
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7699-7710; doi:10.3390/ijms15057699
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 20 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
PDF Full-text (604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There has been a wide range of inter-individual variations in platelet responses to clopidogrel. The variations in response to clopidogrel can be driven by genetic polymorphisms involved in the pathway of absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and the target receptor P2Y12. A set [...] Read more.
There has been a wide range of inter-individual variations in platelet responses to clopidogrel. The variations in response to clopidogrel can be driven by genetic polymorphisms involved in the pathway of absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and the target receptor P2Y12. A set of genetic variants known for causing variations in clopidogrel responses was selected, which included CYP2C19*2, *3, *17, CYP2B6*4, *6, *9, CYP3A4*18, CYP3A5*3, MDR1 2677G > T/A, 3435C > T, and P2Y12 H2 (742T > C). The simultaneous detection of these 10 variants was developed by using a multiplex PCR and single-base extension (MSSE) methodology. The newly developed genotyping test was confirmed by direct DNA sequencing in the representative positive control samples and validated in an extended set of 100 healthy Korean subjects. Genotyping results from the developed MSSE exhibited a perfect concordance with the direct DNA sequencing data and all of variants tested in 100 healthy Korean subjects were in agreement with Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (p > 0.05). The present molecular diagnostic studies provide an accurate, convenient, and fast genotyping method for the detection of multiple variants. This would be helpful for researchers, as well as clinicians, to use genetic information toward more personalized medicine of clopidogrel and other antiplatelet drugs in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Disease Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Enamel Matrix Derivative Promote Primary Human Pulp Cell Differentiation and Mineralization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7731-7749; doi:10.3390/ijms15057731
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enamel matrix derivative (EMD) has been found to induce reactive dentin formation; however the molecular mechanisms involved are unclear. The effect of EMD (5–50 μg/mL) on primary human pulp cells were compared to untreated cells and cells incubated with 10−8 M [...] Read more.
Enamel matrix derivative (EMD) has been found to induce reactive dentin formation; however the molecular mechanisms involved are unclear. The effect of EMD (5–50 μg/mL) on primary human pulp cells were compared to untreated cells and cells incubated with 10−8 M dexamethasone (DEX) for 1, 2, 3, 7, and 14 days in culture. Expression analysis using Affymetrix microchips demonstrated that 10 μg/mL EMD regulated several hundred genes and stimulated the gene expression of proteins involved in mesenchymal proliferation and differentiation. Both EMD and DEX enhanced the expression of amelogenin (amel), and the dentinogenic markers dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSSP) and dentin matrix acidic phosphoprotein 1 (DMP1), as well as the osteogenic markers osteocalcin (OC, BGLAP) and collagen type 1 (COL1A1). Whereas, only EMD had effect on alkaline phosphatase (ALP) mRNA expression, the stimulatory effect were verified by enhanced secretion of OC and COL1A from EMD treated cells, and increased ALP activity in cell culture medium after EMD treatment. Increased levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and monocyte chemoattractant proteins (MCP-1) in the cell culture medium were also found. Consequently, the suggested effect of EMD is to promote differentiation of pulp cells and increases the potential for pulpal mineralization to favor reactive dentine formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signalling Molecules and Signal Transduction in Cells 2014)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Estradiol and Methoxychlor on Leydig Cell Regeneration in the Adult Rat Testis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7812-7826; doi:10.3390/ijms15057812
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 19 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
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Abstract
The objective of the present study is to determine whether methoxychlor (MXC) exposure in adulthood affects rat Leydig cell regeneration and to compare its effects with estradiol (E2). Adult 90-day-old male Sprague-Dawley rats received ethane dimethane sulfonate (EDS) to eliminate the adult [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study is to determine whether methoxychlor (MXC) exposure in adulthood affects rat Leydig cell regeneration and to compare its effects with estradiol (E2). Adult 90-day-old male Sprague-Dawley rats received ethane dimethane sulfonate (EDS) to eliminate the adult Leydig cell population. Subsequently, rats were randomly assigned to four groups and gavaged with corn oil (control), 0.25 mg/kg E2 and 10 or 100 mg/kg MXC daily from days 5 to 30 post-EDS treatment. The results showed that MXC and E2 reduced serum testosterone levels on day 58 post-EDS treatment. qPCR showed Hsd17b3 mRNA levels were downregulated 7–15 fold by E2 and MXC, indicating that development of the new population of Leydig cells was arrested at the earlier stage. This observation was supported by the results of histochemical staining, which demonstrated that Leydig cells in MXC-treated testis on day 58 post-EDS treatment were mostly progenitor Leydig cells. However, Pdgfb mRNA levels were downregulated, while Lif transcript levels were increased by MXC. In contrast, E2 did not affect gene expression for these growth factors. In conclusion, our findings indicated that both MXC and E2 delayed rat Leydig cell regeneration in the EDS-treated model, presumably acting by different mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
Open AccessArticle Treatment with Panax Ginseng Antagonizes the Estrogen Decline in Ovariectomized Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7827-7840; doi:10.3390/ijms15057827
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (5772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ginseng is a popular herb for alleviating menopausal symptoms; however, no conclusive scientific data has shown ginseng as being efficient in such therapies. The present study was designed to evaluate the estrogenic efficacy of ginseng on reproductive target tissues of ovariectomized (OVX) [...] Read more.
Ginseng is a popular herb for alleviating menopausal symptoms; however, no conclusive scientific data has shown ginseng as being efficient in such therapies. The present study was designed to evaluate the estrogenic efficacy of ginseng on reproductive target tissues of ovariectomized (OVX) mice. The OVX mice were treated with ginseng at doses of 12.0, 18.0 and 24.0 g/kg per day for four weeks. Ginseng treatments restored the estrus cycle and demonstrated significant estrogenic activity, as indicated by the reversal of the atrophy of the uterus and vagina, upregulation of estrogen receptor (ER) α and ER β expression at the protein and mRNA level in the reproductive tissues, where ER α upregulation was stronger than that of ER β. Meanwhile, treatment with ginseng significantly increased adrenal gland weight and serum estradiol and clearly decreased follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in circulation. Notably, the largest changes in these parameters were found at the highest dose of 24.0 g/kg. Moreover, ginseng at 18.0 g/kg resulted in the greatest decrease in weight gain caused by ovariectomy. The data suggest that ginseng estrogenic responses show tissue variation that reflects different affinities of ERs for ginseng components. This study demonstrates that ginseng activity is mediated through estrogenic components and provides further evidence for ginseng treatment of postmenopausal symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Alpha-Bulges in G Protein-Coupled Receptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7841-7864; doi:10.3390/ijms15057841
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (6168 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agonist binding is related to a series of motions in G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that result in the separation of transmembrane helices III and VI at their cytosolic ends and subsequent G protein binding. A large number of smaller motions also seem [...] Read more.
Agonist binding is related to a series of motions in G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that result in the separation of transmembrane helices III and VI at their cytosolic ends and subsequent G protein binding. A large number of smaller motions also seem to be associated with activation. Most helices in GPCRs are highly irregular and often contain kinks, with extensive literature already available about the role of prolines in kink formation and the precise function of these kinks. GPCR transmembrane helices also contain many α-bulges. In this article we aim to draw attention to the role of these α-bulges in ligand and G-protein binding, as well as their role in several aspects of the mobility associated with GPCR activation. This mobility includes regularization and translation of helix III in the extracellular direction, a rotation of the entire helix VI, an inward movement of the helices near the extracellular side, and a concerted motion of the cytosolic ends of the helices that makes their orientation appear more circular and that opens up space for the G protein to bind. In several cases, α-bulges either appear or disappear as part of the activation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling and Regulation)
Open AccessArticle The Canonical Notch Signaling Was Involved in the Regulation of Intestinal Epithelial Cells Apoptosis after Intestinal Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7883-7896; doi:10.3390/ijms15057883
Received: 22 February 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Notch signaling plays a critical role in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of Notch signaling in the apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells after intestinal ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury. Male C57BL/6 mice [...] Read more.
Notch signaling plays a critical role in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of Notch signaling in the apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells after intestinal ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury. Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to sham operation or I/R injury. Intestinal tissue samples were collected at 12 h after reperfusion. TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling) staining showed that intestinal I/R injury induced significantly increased apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells. Meanwhile, the mRNA expression of Jagged1, DLL1, Notch2, and Hes5, and protein expression of NICD2 and Hes5 were increased significantly after I/R injury in intestinal epithelial cells. In an in vitro IEC-6 culture model, flow cytometry analyses showed that inhibition of Notch signaling by γ-secretase inhibitor DAPT and the suppression of Hes5 expression using siRNA both significantly increased the apoptosis of IEC-6 cells under the condition of hypoxia/ reoxygenation (H/R). In conclusion, the Notch2/Hes5 signaling pathway was activated and involved in the regulation of intestinal epithelial cells apoptosis in intestinal I/R injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Homology Modeling Study of Bovine μ-Calpain Inhibitor-Binding Domains
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7897-7938; doi:10.3390/ijms15057897
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 15 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4994 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The activated mammalian CAPN-structures, the CAPN/CAST complex in particular, have become an invaluable target model using the structure-based virtual screening of drug candidates from the discovery phase to development for over-activated CAPN linked to several diseases, such as post-ischemic injury and cataract [...] Read more.
The activated mammalian CAPN-structures, the CAPN/CAST complex in particular, have become an invaluable target model using the structure-based virtual screening of drug candidates from the discovery phase to development for over-activated CAPN linked to several diseases, such as post-ischemic injury and cataract formation. The effect of Ca2+-binding to the enzyme is thought to include activation, as well as the dissociation, aggregation, and autolysis of small regular subunits. Unfortunately, the Ca2+-activated enzyme tends to aggregate when provided as a divalent ion at the high-concentration required for the protease crystallization. This is also makes it very difficult to crystallize the whole-length enzyme itself, as well as the enzyme-inhibitor complex. Several parameters that influence CAPN activity have been investigated to determine its roles in Ca2+-modulation, autoproteolysis, phosphorylation, and intracellular distribution and inhibition by its endogenous inhibitor CAST. CAST binds and inhibits CAPN via its CAPN-inhibitor domains (four repeating domains 1–4; CAST1–4) when CAPN is activated by Ca2+-binding. An important key to understanding CAPN1 inhibition by CAST is to determine how CAST interacts at the molecular level with CAPN1 to inhibit its protease activity. In this study, a 3D structure model of a CAPN1 bound bovine CAST4 complex was built by comparative modeling based on the only known template structure of a rat CAPN2/CAST4 complex. The complex model suggests certain residues of bovine CAST4, notably, the TIPPKYQ motif sequence, and the structural elements of these residues, which are important for CAPN1 inhibition. In particular, as CAST4 docks near the flexible active site of CAPN1, conformational changes at the interaction site after binding could be directly related to CAST4 inhibitory activity. These functional interfaces can serve as a guide to the site-mutagenesis in research on bovine CAPN1 structure-function relationships for the design of small molecules inhibitors to prevent uncontrolled and unspecific degradation in the proteolysis of key protease substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Repressor and TiPARP (ARTD14) Use Similar, but also Distinct Mechanisms to Repress Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Signaling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7939-7957; doi:10.3390/ijms15057939
Received: 9 April 2014 / Accepted: 23 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1011 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) regulates the toxic effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The AHR repressor (AHRR) is an AHR target gene and functions as a ligand-induced repressor of AHR; however, its mechanism of inhibition is controversial. Recently, we reported that [...] Read more.
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) regulates the toxic effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The AHR repressor (AHRR) is an AHR target gene and functions as a ligand-induced repressor of AHR; however, its mechanism of inhibition is controversial. Recently, we reported that TCDD-inducible poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (TiPARP; ARTD14) also acts as a repressor of AHR, representing a new player in the mechanism of AHR action. Here we compared the ability of AHRR- and TiPARP-mediated inhibition of AHR activity. TCDD increased AHRR mRNA levels and recruitment of AHRR to cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) in MCF7 cells. Knockdown of TiPARP, but not AHRR, increased TCDD-induced CYP1A1 mRNA and AHR protein levels. Similarly, immortalized TiPARP−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and AHRR−/− MEFs exhibited enhanced AHR transactivation. However, unlike TiPARP−/− MEFs, AHRR−/− MEFs did not exhibit increased AHR protein levels. Overexpression of TiPARP in AHRR−/− MEFs or AHRRΔ8, the active isoform of AHRR, in TiPARP−/− MEFs reduced TCDD-induced CYP1A1 mRNA levels, suggesting that they independently repress AHR. GFP-AHRRΔ8 and GFP-TiPARP expressed as small diffuse nuclear foci in MCF7 and HuH7 cells. GFP-AHRRΔ8_Δ1-49, which lacks its putative nuclear localization signal, localized to both the nucleus and the cytoplasm, while the GFP-AHRRΔ8_Δ1-100 mutant localized predominantly in large cytoplasmic foci. Neither GFP-AHRRΔ8_Δ1-49 nor GFP-AHRRΔ8_Δ1-100 repressed AHR. Taken together, AHRR and TiPARP repress AHR transactivation by similar, but also different mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Toxicity of Dioxins and Related Compounds)
Open AccessArticle Human Papillomavirus 16 E6 Contributes HIF-1α Induced Warburg Effect by Attenuating the VHL-HIF-1α Interaction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7974-7986; doi:10.3390/ijms15057974
Received: 10 February 2014 / Revised: 5 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
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Abstract
Cervical cancer is still one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women worldwide, especially in the developing countries. It is a major metabolic character of cancer cells to consume large quantities of glucose and derive more energy by glycolysis even [...] Read more.
Cervical cancer is still one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women worldwide, especially in the developing countries. It is a major metabolic character of cancer cells to consume large quantities of glucose and derive more energy by glycolysis even in the presence of adequate oxygen, which is called Warburg effect that can be exaggerated by hypoxia. The high risk subtype HPV16 early oncoprotein E6 contributes host cell immortalization and transformation through interacting with a number of cellular factors. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), a ubiquitously expressed transcriptional regulator involved in induction of numerous genes associated with angiogenesis and tumor growth, is highly increased by HPV E6. HIF-1α is a best-known target of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (VHL) as an E3 ligase for degradation. In the present work, we found that HPV16 E6 promotes hypoxia induced Warburg effect through hindering the association of HIF-1α and VHL. This disassociation attenuates VHL-mediated HIF-1α ubiquitination and causes HIF-1α accumulation. These results suggest that oncoprotein E6 plays a major role in the regulation of Warburg effect and can be a valuable therapeutic target for HPV-related cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) 4b/a Gene Polymorphisms and Coronary Artery Disease: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7987-8003; doi:10.3390/ijms15057987
Received: 25 March 2014 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A variety of studies have suggested that the 4b/a polymorphism in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) was associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) risk. However, the data remain conflicting. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to estimate the [...] Read more.
A variety of studies have suggested that the 4b/a polymorphism in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) was associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) risk. However, the data remain conflicting. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to estimate the overall association between risk of CAD and eNOS 4b/a polymorphism. Case-control, cohort or cross-sectional studies evaluating the association between eNOS 4b/a polymorphism and CAD susceptibility were systematically identified in PubMed up to 31 October 2013. Pooled odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to assess the association in overall and subgroup analyses. A total of 10,617 cases and 8302 controls from 37 studies were included in the study. The results of overall analysis revealed significant positive associations between CAD risk and eNOS 4b/a polymorphism in homozygote comparisons (OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.16–1.87), heterozygote comparisons (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.02–1.27) and dominant models (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.06–1.33). In subgroup analyses, similar associations were identified in African individuals, as determined using population-based source subgroups and noted in small-and-moderate sample size subgroups (case sample size or control sample size <500). The current meta-analysis revealed that eNOS 4b/a polymorphisms could be a risk factor for developing CAD, particularly in African populations and population-based subgroups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Characterization of Timed Changes in Hepatic Copper Concentrations, Methionine Metabolism, Gene Expression, and Global DNA Methylation in the Jackson Toxic Milk Mouse Model of Wilson Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8004-8023; doi:10.3390/ijms15058004
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
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Abstract
Background: Wilson disease (WD) is characterized by hepatic copper accumulation with progressive liver damage to cirrhosis. This study aimed to characterize the toxic milk mouse from The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME, USA) (tx-j) mouse model of WD according to changes over [...] Read more.
Background: Wilson disease (WD) is characterized by hepatic copper accumulation with progressive liver damage to cirrhosis. This study aimed to characterize the toxic milk mouse from The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME, USA) (tx-j) mouse model of WD according to changes over time in hepatic copper concentrations, methionine metabolism, global DNA methylation, and gene expression from gestational day 17 (fetal) to adulthood (28 weeks). Methods: Included liver histology and relevant biochemical analyses including hepatic copper quantification, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) liver levels, qPCR for transcript levels of genes relevant to methionine metabolism and liver damage, and DNA dot blot for global DNA methylation. Results: Hepatic copper was lower in tx-j fetuses but higher in weanling (three weeks) and adult tx-j mice compared to controls. S-adenosylhomocysteinase transcript levels were significantly lower at all time points, except at three weeks, correlating negatively with copper levels and with consequent changes in the SAM:SAH methylation ratio and global DNA methylation. Conclusion: Compared to controls, methionine metabolism including S-adenosylhomocysteinase gene expression is persistently different in the tx-j mice with consequent alterations in global DNA methylation in more advanced stages of liver disease. The inhibitory effect of copper accumulation on S-adenosylhomocysteinase expression is associated with progressively abnormal methionine metabolism and decreased methylation capacity and DNA global methylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
Open AccessArticle SHSST Cyclodextrin Complex Prevents the Fibrosis Effect on CCl4-Induced Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy in Rats through TGF-β Pathway Inhibition Effects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8037-8048; doi:10.3390/ijms15058037
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1988 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Patients with liver cirrhosis also have subtle cardiac structure or function abnormalities. This cardiac dysfunction commonly occurs in 56% of waiting orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) patients and is defined as cirrhotic cardiomyopathy (CCM). Up to now, there is no standard treatment because [...] Read more.
Patients with liver cirrhosis also have subtle cardiac structure or function abnormalities. This cardiac dysfunction commonly occurs in 56% of waiting orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) patients and is defined as cirrhotic cardiomyopathy (CCM). Up to now, there is no standard treatment because CCM does not have a solidly established diagnosis and is based on high clinical suspicion. The liver function of CCM is particularly limited, making patients vulnerable to more drug treatments. Here, we use silymarin (100 mg/kg/day), baicalein (30 mg/kg/day), San Huang Shel Shin Tang (SHSST, 30 mg/kg/day) and β-cyclodextrin modified SHSST (SHSSTc, 30 and 300 mg/kg/day) treatments for a CCl4-induced CCM rat model. The results show that silymarin, baicalein and SHSST treatments can only slightly reduce the collagen accumulation in CCM rat hearts. However, SHSSTc treatment protects the heart in CCM and significantly inhibits collagen acumination and the fibrosis regulating transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) pathway expression. SHSSTc treatments further reduced the heart weight and the ratio between left ventricular weight (LVW) and tibia length (TL). This experimental data show that water solubility improved β-cyclodextrin modified Chinese herbal medicine formula (SHSSTc) can provide an excellent heart protection effect through TGF-β pathway inhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle MADS-Box Transcription Factor SsMADS Is Involved in Regulating Growth and Virulence in Sclerotinia sclerotiorum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8049-8062; doi:10.3390/ijms15058049
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 10 April 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
MADS-box proteins, a well-conserved family of transcription factors in eukaryotic organisms, specifically regulate a wide range of cellular functions, including primary metabolism, cell cycle, and cell identity. However, little is known about roles of the MADS-box protein family in the fungal pathogen [...] Read more.
MADS-box proteins, a well-conserved family of transcription factors in eukaryotic organisms, specifically regulate a wide range of cellular functions, including primary metabolism, cell cycle, and cell identity. However, little is known about roles of the MADS-box protein family in the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. In this research, the S. sclerotiorum MADS-box gene SsMADS was cloned; it encodes a protein that is highly similar to Mcm1 orthologs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other fungi, and includes a highly conserved DNA-binding domain. MADS is a member of the MADS box protein SRF (serum response factor) lineage. SsMADS function was investigated using RNA interference. Silenced strains were obtained using genetic transformation of the RNA interference vectors pS1-SsMADS and pSD-SsMADS. SsMADS expression levels in silenced strains were analyzed using RT-PCR. The results showed that SsMADS mRNA expression in these silenced strains was reduced to different degrees, and growth rate in these silenced strains was significantly decreased. Infecting tomato leaflets with silenced strains indicated that SsMADS was required for leaf pathogenesis in a susceptible host. Our results suggest that the MADS-box transcription factor SsMADS is involved in S. sclerotiorum growth and virulence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessCommunication CB2 Receptor Activation Inhibits Melanoma Cell Transmigration through the Blood-Brain Barrier
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8063-8074; doi:10.3390/ijms15058063
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During parenchymal brain metastasis formation tumor cells need to migrate through cerebral endothelial cells, which form the morphological basis of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The mechanisms of extravasation of tumor cells are highly uncharacterized, but in some aspects recapitulate the diapedesis of [...] Read more.
During parenchymal brain metastasis formation tumor cells need to migrate through cerebral endothelial cells, which form the morphological basis of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The mechanisms of extravasation of tumor cells are highly uncharacterized, but in some aspects recapitulate the diapedesis of leukocytes. Extravasation of leukocytes through the BBB is decreased by the activation of type 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2); therefore, in the present study we sought to investigate the role of CB2 receptors in the interaction of melanoma cells with the brain endothelium. First, we identified the presence of CB1, CB2(A), GPR18 (transcriptional variant 1) and GPR55 receptors in brain endothelial cells, while melanoma cells expressed CB1, CB2(A), GPR18 (transcriptional variants 1 and 2), GPR55 and GPR119. We observed that activation of CB2 receptors with JWH-133 reduced the adhesion of melanoma cells to the layer of brain endothelial cells. JWH-133 decreased the transendothelial migration rate of melanoma cells as well. Our results suggest that changes induced in endothelial cells are critical in the mediation of the effect of CB2 agonists. Our data identify CB2 as a potential target in reducing the number of brain metastastes originating from melanoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Metastasis 2014)
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Open AccessArticle Microwave Assistant Synthesis, Antifungal Activity and DFT Theoretical Study of Some Novel 1,2,4-Triazole Derivatives Containing Pyridine Moiety
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8075-8090; doi:10.3390/ijms15058075
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (452 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to investigate the biological activity of novel 1,2,4-triazole compounds, seventeen novel 1,2,4-triazole derivatives containing pyridine moiety were synthesized under microwave assistant condition by multi-step reactions. The structures were characterized by 1H NMR, MS and elemental analyses. The target compounds [...] Read more.
In order to investigate the biological activity of novel 1,2,4-triazole compounds, seventeen novel 1,2,4-triazole derivatives containing pyridine moiety were synthesized under microwave assistant condition by multi-step reactions. The structures were characterized by 1H NMR, MS and elemental analyses. The target compounds were evaluated for their fungicidal activities against Stemphylium lycopersici (Enjoji) Yamamoto, Fusarium oxysporum. sp. cucumebrium, and Botrytis cinerea in vivo, and the results indicated that some of the title compounds displayed excellent fungicidal activities. Theoretical calculation of the title compound was carried out with B3LYP/6-31G (d,p). The full geometry optimization was carried out using 6-31G (d,p) basis set, and the frontier orbital energy, atomic net charges were discussed, and the structure-activity relationship was also studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Purpurinimides as Photosensitizers for Photodynamic Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8091-8105; doi:10.3390/ijms15058091
Received: 5 January 2014 / Revised: 25 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1067 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A series of novel purpurinimides with long wavelength absorption were designed and synthesized to develop novel and potential photosensitizers. These compounds were investigated through reduction, oxidation, rearrangement reaction and amidation reactions of methyl pheophorbide a. They demonstrated a considerable bathochromic shift [...] Read more.
A series of novel purpurinimides with long wavelength absorption were designed and synthesized to develop novel and potential photosensitizers. These compounds were investigated through reduction, oxidation, rearrangement reaction and amidation reactions of methyl pheophorbide a. They demonstrated a considerable bathochromic shift of the major absorption band in the red region of the optical spectrum (695–704 nm). Newly synthesized purpurinimides were screened for their antitumor activities, and showed higher photodynamic efficiency against A549 cell lines as compared to purpurin-18 methyl ester. The results revealed the novel purpurinimides could be potential photosensitizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Inhibition of Autophagy Potentiates Atorvastatin-Induced Apoptotic Cell Death in Human Bladder Cancer Cells in Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8106-8121; doi:10.3390/ijms15058106
Received: 4 March 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Statins are cholesterol reduction agents that exhibit anti-cancer activity in several human cancers. Because autophagy is a crucial survival mechanism for cancer cells under stress conditions, cooperative inhibition of autophagy acts synergistically with other anti-cancer drugs. Thus, this study investigates whether combined [...] Read more.
Statins are cholesterol reduction agents that exhibit anti-cancer activity in several human cancers. Because autophagy is a crucial survival mechanism for cancer cells under stress conditions, cooperative inhibition of autophagy acts synergistically with other anti-cancer drugs. Thus, this study investigates whether combined treatment of atorvastatin and autophagy inhibitors results in enhancing the cytotoxic effects of atorvastatin, upon human bladder cancer cells, T24 and J82, in vitro. To measure cell viability, we performed the EZ-Cytox cell viability assay. We examined apoptosis by flow cytometry using annexin-V/propidium iodide (PI and western blot using procaspase-3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) antibodies. To examine autophagy activation, we evaluated the co-localization of LC3 and LysoTracker by immunocytochemistry, as well as the expression of LC3 and p62/sequestosome-1 (SQSTM1) by western blot. In addition, we assessed the survival and proliferation of T24 and J82 cells by a clonogenic assay. We found that atorvastatin reduced the cell viability of T24 and J82 cells via apoptotic cell death and induced autophagy activation, shown by the co-localization of LC3 and LysoTracker. Moreover, pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy significantly enhanced atorvastatin-induced apoptosis in T24 and J82 cells. In sum, inhibition of autophagy potentiates atorvastatin-induced apoptotic cell death in human bladder cancer cells in vitro, providing a potential therapeutic approach to treat bladder cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Ionic Liquid Electrolytes for Li–Air Batteries: Lithium Metal Cycling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8122-8137; doi:10.3390/ijms15058122
Received: 7 March 2014 / Revised: 16 April 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1033 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, the electrochemical stability and lithium plating/stripping performance of N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (Pyr14TFSI) are reported, by investigating the behavior of Li metal electrodes in symmetrical Li/electrolyte/Li cells. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements and galvanostatic cycling at different [...] Read more.
In this work, the electrochemical stability and lithium plating/stripping performance of N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (Pyr14TFSI) are reported, by investigating the behavior of Li metal electrodes in symmetrical Li/electrolyte/Li cells. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements and galvanostatic cycling at different temperatures are performed to analyze the influence of temperature on the stabilization of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI), showing that TFSI-based ionic liquids (ILs) rank among the best candidates for long-lasting Li–air cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Liquids 2014 & Selected Papers from ILMAT 2013)
Open AccessArticle Baicalin Inhibits Hypoxia-Induced Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation via the AKT/HIF-1α/p27-Associated Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8153-8168; doi:10.3390/ijms15058153
Received: 25 March 2014 / Revised: 27 April 2014 / Accepted: 30 April 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1059 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Baicalin, a flavonoid compound purified from the dry roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, has been shown to possess various pharmacological actions. Previous studies have revealed that baicalin inhibits the growth of cancer cells through the induction of apoptosis. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) [...] Read more.
Baicalin, a flavonoid compound purified from the dry roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, has been shown to possess various pharmacological actions. Previous studies have revealed that baicalin inhibits the growth of cancer cells through the induction of apoptosis. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease characterized by enhanced pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMCs) proliferation and suppressed apoptosis. However, the potential mechanism of baicalin in the regulation of PASMC proliferation and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases remains unexplored. To test the effects of baicalin on hypoxia, we used rats treated with or without baicalin (100 mg·kg−1 each rat) at the beginning of the third week after hypoxia. Hemodynamic and pulmonary pathomorphology data showed that right ventricular systolic pressures (RVSP), the weight of the right ventricle/left ventricle plus septum (RV/LV + S) ratio and the medial width of pulmonary arterioles were much higher in chronic hypoxia. However, baicalin treatment repressed the elevation of RVSP, RV/LV + S and attenuated the pulmonary vascular structure remodeling (PVSR) of pulmonary arterioles induced by chronic hypoxia. Additionally, baicalin (10 and 20 μmol·L−1) treatment suppressed the proliferation of PASMCs and attenuated the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-α (HIF-α) under hypoxia exposure. Meanwhile, baicalin reversed the hypoxia-induced reduction of p27 and increased AKT/protein kinase B phosphorylation p-AKT both in vivo and in vitro. These results suggested that baicalin could effectively attenuate PVSR and hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Efficient pH Dependent Drug Delivery to Target Cancer Cells by Gold Nanoparticles Capped with Carboxymethyl Chitosan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8216-8234; doi:10.3390/ijms15058216
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 30 April 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1036 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Doxorubicin (DOX) was immobilized on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) capped with carboxymethyl chitosan (CMC) for effective delivery to cancer cells. The carboxylic group of carboxymethyl chitosan interacts with the amino group of the doxorubicin (DOX) forming stable, non-covalent interactions on the surface of [...] Read more.
Doxorubicin (DOX) was immobilized on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) capped with carboxymethyl chitosan (CMC) for effective delivery to cancer cells. The carboxylic group of carboxymethyl chitosan interacts with the amino group of the doxorubicin (DOX) forming stable, non-covalent interactions on the surface of AuNPs. The carboxylic group ionizes at acidic pH, thereby releasing the drug effectively at acidic pH suitable to target cancer cells. The DOX loaded gold nanoparticles were effectively absorbed by cervical cancer cells compared to free DOX and their uptake was further increased at acidic conditions induced by nigericin, an ionophore that causes intracellular acidification. These results suggest that DOX loaded AuNPs with pH-triggered drug releasing properties is a novel nanotheraputic approach to overcome drug resistance in cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle Betulinic Acid in Complex with a Gamma-Cyclodextrin Derivative Decreases Proliferation and in Vivo Tumor Development of Non-Metastatic and Metastatic B164A5 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8235-8255; doi:10.3390/ijms15058235
Received: 4 January 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (2448 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Betulinic acid, a very promising anti-melanoma agent, has very low water solubility that causes low bioavailability. To overcome this inconvenience, a highly water-soluble cyclodextrin was used (octakis-[6-deoxy-6-(2-sulfanyl ethanesulfonic acid)]-γ-cyclodextrin). The complex was physico-chemically analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray and scanning [...] Read more.
Betulinic acid, a very promising anti-melanoma agent, has very low water solubility that causes low bioavailability. To overcome this inconvenience, a highly water-soluble cyclodextrin was used (octakis-[6-deoxy-6-(2-sulfanyl ethanesulfonic acid)]-γ-cyclodextrin). The complex was physico-chemically analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) methods and then in vitro tested for its antiproliferative activity by the MTT assay and by cell cycle analysis. Finally, the complex was tested in vivo using an animal model of murine melanoma developed in C57BL/6J mice, where it caused a reduction in tumor volume and weight. The study revealed the beneficial influence of betulinic acid inclusion into the cyclodextrin in terms of antiproliferative activity and in vivo tumor development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Legionella dumoffii Utilizes Exogenous Choline for Phosphatidylcholine Synthesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8256-8279; doi:10.3390/ijms15058256
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 20 April 2014 / Accepted: 23 April 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (915 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phosphatidycholine (PC) is the major membrane-forming phospholipid in eukaryotes but it has been found in only a limited number of prokaryotes. Bacteria synthesize PC via the phospholipid N-methylation pathway (Pmt) or via the phosphatidylcholine synthase pathway (Pcs) or both. Here, we [...] Read more.
Phosphatidycholine (PC) is the major membrane-forming phospholipid in eukaryotes but it has been found in only a limited number of prokaryotes. Bacteria synthesize PC via the phospholipid N-methylation pathway (Pmt) or via the phosphatidylcholine synthase pathway (Pcs) or both. Here, we demonstrated that Legionella dumoffii has the ability to utilize exogenous choline for phosphatidylcholine (PC) synthesis when bacteria grow in the presence of choline. The Pcs seems to be a primary pathway for synthesis of this phospholipid in L. dumoffii. Structurally different PC species were distributed in the outer and inner membranes. As shown by the LC/ESI-MS analyses, PC15:0/15:0, PC16:0/15:0, and PC17:0/17:1 were identified in the outer membrane and PC14:0/16:0, PC16:0/17:1, and PC20:0/15:0 in the inner membrane. L. dumoffii pcsA gene encoding phosphatidylcholine synthase revealed the highest sequence identity to pcsA of L. bozemanae (82%) and L. longbeachae (81%) and lower identity to pcsA of L. drancourtii (78%) and L. pneumophila (71%). The level of TNF-α in THP1-differentiated cells induced by live and temperature-killed L. dumoffii cultured on a medium supplemented with choline was assessed. Live L. dumoffii bacteria cultured on the choline-supplemented medium induced TNF-α three-fold less efficiently than cells grown on the non-supplemented medium. There is an evident effect of PC modification, which impairs the macrophage inflammatory response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Spectrometry Application in Biology) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Effect of Black Soybean Koji Extract on Glucose Utilization and Adipocyte Differentiation in 3T3-L1 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8280-8292; doi:10.3390/ijms15058280
Received: 13 March 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 5 May 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (685 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adipocyte differentiation and the extent of subsequent fat accumulation are closely related to the occurrence and progression of diseases such as insulin resistance and obesity. Black soybean koji (BSK) is produced by the fermentation of black soybean with Aspergilllus awamori. Previous [...] Read more.
Adipocyte differentiation and the extent of subsequent fat accumulation are closely related to the occurrence and progression of diseases such as insulin resistance and obesity. Black soybean koji (BSK) is produced by the fermentation of black soybean with Aspergilllus awamori. Previous study indicated that BSK extract has antioxidative and multifunctional bioactivities, however, the role of BSK in the regulation of energy metabolism is still unclear. We aimed to investigate the effect of glucose utilization on insulin-resistant 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and adipogenesis-related protein expression in differentiated adipocytes with BSK treatment. Cytoxicity assay revealed that BSK did not adversely affect cell viability at levels up to 200 µg/mL. The potential for glucose utilization was increased by increased glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), GLUT4 and protein kinase B (AKT) protein expression in insulin-resistant 3T3-L1 cells in response to BSK treatment. Simultaneously, BSK inhibited lipid droplet accumulation in differentiated 3T3-L1 cells. The inhibitory effect of adipogenesis was associated with downregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g (PPARγ) level and upregulated Acrp30 protein expression. Our results suggest that BSK extract could improve glucose uptake by modulating GLUT1 and GLUT4 expression in a 3T3-L1 insulin-resistance cell model. In addition, BSK suppressed differentiation and lipid accumulation in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, which may suggest its potential for food supplementation to prevent obesity and related metabolic abnormalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Silencing of the CaCP Gene Delays Salt- and Osmotic-Induced Leaf Senescence in Capsicum annuum L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8316-8334; doi:10.3390/ijms15058316
Received: 28 March 2014 / Revised: 23 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3766 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cysteine proteinases have been known to participate in developmental processes and in response to stress in plants. Our present research reported that a novel CP gene, CaCP, was involved in leaf senescence in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). The full-length CaCP [...] Read more.
Cysteine proteinases have been known to participate in developmental processes and in response to stress in plants. Our present research reported that a novel CP gene, CaCP, was involved in leaf senescence in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). The full-length CaCP cDNA is comprised of 1316 bp, contains 1044 nucleotides in open reading frame (ORF), and encodes a 347 amino acid protein. The deduced protein belongs to the papain-like cysteine proteases (CPs) superfamily, containing a highly conserved ERFNIN motif, a GCNGG motif and a conserved catalytic triad. This protein localized to the vacuole of plant cells. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis revealed that the expression level of CaCP gene was dramatically higher in leaves and flowers than that in roots, stems and fruits. Moreover, CaCP transcripts were induced upon during leaf senescence. CaCP expression was upregulated by plant hormones, especially salicylic acid. CaCP was also significantly induced by abiotic and biotic stress treatments, including high salinity, mannitol and Phytophthora capsici. Loss of function of CaCP using the virus-induced gene-silencing technique in pepper plants led to enhanced tolerance to salt- and osmotic-induced stress. Taken together, these results suggest that CaCP is a senescence-associated gene, which is involved in developmental senescence and regulates salt- and osmotic-induced leaf senescence in pepper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Long-Term Dietary Arginyl-Fructose (AF) on Hyperglycemia and HbA1c in Diabetic db/db Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8352-8359; doi:10.3390/ijms15058352
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 29 April 2014 / Accepted: 3 May 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have previously reported that Amadori compounds exert anti-diabetic effects by lowering sucrose-induced hyperglycemia in normal Sprague-Dawley rats. In the present study we extended our recent findings to evaluate whether α-glucosidase inhibitor arginyl-fructose (AF) lowers blood glucose level in diabetic db/ [...] Read more.
We have previously reported that Amadori compounds exert anti-diabetic effects by lowering sucrose-induced hyperglycemia in normal Sprague-Dawley rats. In the present study we extended our recent findings to evaluate whether α-glucosidase inhibitor arginyl-fructose (AF) lowers blood glucose level in diabetic db/db mice, a genetic model for type 2 diabetes. The db/db mice were randomly assigned to high-carbohydrate diets (66.1% corn starch) with and without AF (4% in the diet) for 6 weeks. Changes in body weight, blood glucose level, and food intake were measured daily for 42 days. Dietary supplementation of AF resulted in a significant decrease of blood glucose level (p < 0.001) and body weight (p < 0.001). The level of HbA1c, a better indicator of plasma glucose concentration over prolonged periods of time, was also significantly decreased for 6-week period (p < 0.001). Dietary treatment of acarbose® (0.04% in diet), a positive control, also significantly alleviated the level of blood glucose, HbA1c, and body weight. These results indicate that AF Maillard reaction product improves postprandial hyperglycemia by suppressing glucose absorption as well as decreasing HbA1c level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle In Vitro Antiprotozoal Activity of Abietane Diterpenoids Isolated from Plectranthus barbatus Andr.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8360-8371; doi:10.3390/ijms15058360
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
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Abstract
Chromatographic separation of the n-hexane extract of the aerial part of Plectranthus barbatus led to the isolation of five abietane-type diterpenes: dehydroabietane (1); 5,6-didehydro-7-hydroxy-taxodone (2); taxodione (3); 20-deoxocarnosol (4) and 6α,11,12,-trihydroxy-7β,20-epoxy-8,11,13-abietatriene (5 [...] Read more.
Chromatographic separation of the n-hexane extract of the aerial part of Plectranthus barbatus led to the isolation of five abietane-type diterpenes: dehydroabietane (1); 5,6-didehydro-7-hydroxy-taxodone (2); taxodione (3); 20-deoxocarnosol (4) and 6α,11,12,-trihydroxy-7β,20-epoxy-8,11,13-abietatriene (5). The structures were determined using spectroscopic methods including one- and two-dimensional NMR methods. Compounds (1)–(3) and (5) are isolated here for the first time from the genus Plectranthus. The isolated abietane-type diterpenes tested in vitro for their antiprotozoal activity against erythrocytic schizonts of Plasmodium falciparum, intracellular amastigotes of Leishmania infantum and Trypanosoma cruzi and free trypomastigotes of T. brucei. Cytotoxicity was determined against fibroblast cell line MRC-5. Compound (2) 5,6-didehydro-7-hydroxy-taxodone showed remarkable activity with acceptable selectivity against P. falciparum (IC50 9.2 µM, SI 10.4) and T. brucei (IC50 1.9 µM, SI 50.5). Compounds (3)–(5) exhibited non-specific antiprotozoal activity due to high cytotoxicity. Compound (1) dehydroabietane showed no antiprotozoal potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Functional Annotation of Proteomic Data from Chicken Heterophils and Macrophages Induced by Carbon Nanotube Exposure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8372-8392; doi:10.3390/ijms15058372
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 28 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (676 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
With the expanding applications of carbon nanotubes (CNT) in biomedicine and agriculture, questions about the toxicity and biocompatibility of CNT in humans and domestic animals are becoming matters of serious concern. This study used proteomic methods to profile gene expression in chicken [...] Read more.
With the expanding applications of carbon nanotubes (CNT) in biomedicine and agriculture, questions about the toxicity and biocompatibility of CNT in humans and domestic animals are becoming matters of serious concern. This study used proteomic methods to profile gene expression in chicken macrophages and heterophils in response to CNT exposure. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis identified 12 proteins in macrophages and 15 in heterophils, with differential expression patterns in response to CNT co-incubation (0, 1, 10, and 100 µg/mL of CNT for 6 h) (p < 0.05). Gene ontology analysis showed that most of the differentially expressed proteins are associated with protein interactions, cellular metabolic processes, and cell mobility, suggesting activation of innate immune functions. Western blot analysis with heat shock protein 70, high mobility group protein, and peptidylprolyl isomerase A confirmed the alterations of the profiled proteins. The functional annotations were further confirmed by effective cell migration, promoted interleukin-1β secretion, and more cell death in both macrophages and heterophils exposed to CNT (p < 0.05). In conclusion, results of this study suggest that CNT exposure affects protein expression, leading to activation of macrophages and heterophils, resulting in altered cytoskeleton remodeling, cell migration, and cytokine production, and thereby mediates tissue immune responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advances in Proteomic Research)
Open AccessArticle High Expression of SOX2 Is Associated with Poor Prognosis in Patients with Salivary Gland Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8393-8406; doi:10.3390/ijms15058393
Received: 19 January 2014 / Revised: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
PDF Full-text (688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sex determining region Y-BOX2 (SOX2), one of the key members of the SOX family, is a transcription factor that is involved in the maintenance of embryonic stem cell pluripotency and in multiple developmental processes. Recent studies have shown that SOX2 [...] Read more.
Sex determining region Y-BOX2 (SOX2), one of the key members of the SOX family, is a transcription factor that is involved in the maintenance of embryonic stem cell pluripotency and in multiple developmental processes. Recent studies have shown that SOX2 is aberrantly expressed in several types of tumors. The present study aimed to investigate the clinicopathological and prognostic significance of SOX2 in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of salivary gland. In this study, the expression of SOX2 in ACC tissues and matched adjacent non-cancerous tissues was measured by immunohistochemistry, western blot, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. High SOX2 expression occurred in approximately 62.6% of primary ACC. In addition, high expression of SOX2 was significantly associated with T classification (p = 0.003) and distant metastasis (p = 0.002). The 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with high SOX2 expression is poorer than those with low SOX2 expression. When adjusted by multivariate analysis, high SOX2 expression, together with distant metastasis, was an independent prognostic factor. The findings of the present study provide evidence that SOX2 represents a potential novel prognostic biomarker for ACC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Access of Hydrogen-Radicals to the Peptide-Backbone as a Measure for Estimating the Flexibility of Proteins Using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8428-8442; doi:10.3390/ijms15058428
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 30 April 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A factor for estimating the flexibility of proteins is described that uses a cleavage method of “in-source decay (ISD)” coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS). The MALDI-ISD spectra of bovine serum albumin (BSA), myoglobin and thioredoxin show discontinuous intense [...] Read more.
A factor for estimating the flexibility of proteins is described that uses a cleavage method of “in-source decay (ISD)” coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS). The MALDI-ISD spectra of bovine serum albumin (BSA), myoglobin and thioredoxin show discontinuous intense ion peaks originating from one-side preferential cleavage at the N-Cα bond of Xxx-Asp, Xxx-Asn, Xxx-Cys and Gly-Xxx residues. Consistent with these observations, Asp, Asn and Gly residues are also identified by other flexibility measures such as B-factor, turn preference, protection and fluorescence decay factors, while Asp, Asn, Cys and Gly residues are identified by turn preference factor based on X-ray crystallography. The results suggest that protein molecules embedded in/on MALDI matrix crystals partly maintain α-helix and that the reason some of the residues are more susceptible to ISD (Asp, Asn, Cys and Gly) and others less so (Ile and Val) is because of accessibility of the peptide backbone to hydrogen-radicals from matrix molecules. The hydrogen-radical accessibility in MALDI-ISD could therefore be adopted as a factor for measuring protein flexibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Spectrometry Application in Biology) Print Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Inhibitory Effects of Palmultang on Inflammatory Mediator Production Related to Suppression of NF-κB and MAPK Pathways and Induction of HO-1 Expression in Macrophages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8443-8457; doi:10.3390/ijms15058443
Received: 21 February 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
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Abstract
Palmultang (PM) is an herbal decoction that has been used to treat anorexia, anemia, general prostration, and weakness due to chronic illness since medieval times in Korea, China, and Japan. The present study focused on the inhibitory effects of PM on the [...] Read more.
Palmultang (PM) is an herbal decoction that has been used to treat anorexia, anemia, general prostration, and weakness due to chronic illness since medieval times in Korea, China, and Japan. The present study focused on the inhibitory effects of PM on the production of inflammatory factors and on the activation of mechanisms in murine macrophages. PM suppressed the expression of nitric oxide (NO), inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory proteins by inhibiting nuclear factor (NF)-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways and by inducing heme oxygenase (HO)-1 expression. Collectively, our results explain the anti-inflammatory effect and inhibitory mechanism of PM in macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Full article
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Open AccessArticle MicroRNA-103 Promotes Colorectal Cancer by Targeting Tumor Suppressor DICER and PTEN
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8458-8472; doi:10.3390/ijms15058458
Received: 8 March 2014 / Revised: 17 April 2014 / Accepted: 18 April 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (2278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, noncoding RNAs that act as key regulators in various physiological and pathological processes. However, the regulatory mechanisms for miRNAs in colorectal cancer remain largely unknown. Here, we found that miR-103 is up-regulated in colorectal cancer [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, noncoding RNAs that act as key regulators in various physiological and pathological processes. However, the regulatory mechanisms for miRNAs in colorectal cancer remain largely unknown. Here, we found that miR-103 is up-regulated in colorectal cancer and its overexpression is closely associated with tumor proliferation and migration. In addition, repressing the expression of miR-103 apparently inhibits colorectal cancer cell proliferation and migration in vitro and HCT-116 xenograft tumor growth in vivo. Subsequent software analysis and dual-luciferase reporter assay identified two tumor suppressor genes DICER and PTEN as direct targets of miR-103, and up-regulation of DICER and PTEN obtained similar results to that occurred in the silencing of miR-103. In addition, restoration of DICER and PTEN can inhibit miR-103-induced colorectal cancer cell proliferation and migration. Our data collectively demonstrate that miR-103 is an oncogene miRNA that promotes colorectal cancer proliferation and migration through down-regulation of the tumor suppressor genes DICER and PTEN. Thus, miR-103 may represent a new potential diagnostic and therapeutic target for colorectal cancer treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Oncology 2014)
Open AccessArticle Arabidopsis ABA Receptor RCAR1/PYL9 Interacts with an R2R3-Type MYB Transcription Factor, AtMYB44
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8473-8490; doi:10.3390/ijms15058473
Received: 22 March 2014 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 5 May 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (798 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Abscisic acid (ABA) signaling plays important roles in plant growth, development and adaptation to various stresses. RCAR1/PYL9 has been known as a cytoplasm and nuclear ABA receptor in Arabidopsis. To obtain further insight into the regulatory mechanism of RCAR1/PYL9, a yeast [...] Read more.
Abscisic acid (ABA) signaling plays important roles in plant growth, development and adaptation to various stresses. RCAR1/PYL9 has been known as a cytoplasm and nuclear ABA receptor in Arabidopsis. To obtain further insight into the regulatory mechanism of RCAR1/PYL9, a yeast two-hybrid approach was performed to screen for RCAR1/PYL9-interacting proteins and an R2R3-type MYB transcription factor, AtMYB44, was identified. The interaction between RCAR1/PYL9 and AtMYB44 was further confirmed by glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assays. Gene expression analysis showed that AtMYB44 negatively regulated the expression of ABA-responsive gene RAB18, in contrast to the opposite role reported for RCAR1/PYL9. Competitive GST pull-down assay and analysis of phosphatase activity demonstrated that AtMYB44 and ABI1 competed for binding to RCAR1/PYL9 and thereby reduced the inhibitory effect of RCAR1/PYL9 on ABI1 phosphatase activity in the presence of ABA in vitro. Furthermore, transient activation assay in protoplasts revealed AtMYB44 probably also decreased RCAR1/PYL9-mediated inhibition of ABI1 activity in vivo. Taken together, our work provides a reasonable molecular mechanism of AtMYB44 in ABA signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle DEFLATE Compression Algorithm Corrects for Overestimation of Phylogenetic Diversity by Grantham Approach to Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism Classification
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8491-8508; doi:10.3390/ijms15058491
Received: 22 January 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
PDF Full-text (571 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improvements in speed and cost of genome sequencing are resulting in increasing numbers of novel non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) in genes known to be associated with disease. The large number of nsSNPs makes laboratory-based classification infeasible and familial co-segregation with disease [...] Read more.
Improvements in speed and cost of genome sequencing are resulting in increasing numbers of novel non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) in genes known to be associated with disease. The large number of nsSNPs makes laboratory-based classification infeasible and familial co-segregation with disease is not always possible. In-silico methods for classification or triage are thus utilised. A popular tool based on multiple-species sequence alignments (MSAs) and work by Grantham, Align-GVGD, has been shown to underestimate deleterious effects, particularly as sequence numbers increase. We utilised the DEFLATE compression algorithm to account for expected variation across a number of species. With the adjusted Grantham measure we derived a means of quantitatively clustering known neutral and deleterious nsSNPs from the same gene; this was then used to assign novel variants to the most appropriate cluster as a means of binary classification. Scaling of clusters allows for inter-gene comparison of variants through a single pathogenicity score. The approach improves upon the classification accuracy of Align-GVGD while correcting for sensitivity to large MSAs. Open-source code and a web server are made available at https://github.com/aschlosberg/CompressGV. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Disease Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Lyophilized Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF) Promotes Craniofacial Bone Regeneration through Runx2
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8509-8525; doi:10.3390/ijms15058509
Received: 5 March 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Freeze-drying is an effective means to control scaffold pore size and preserve its composition. The purpose of the present study was to determine the applicability of lyophilized Platelet-rich fibrin (LPRF) as a scaffold for craniofacial tissue regeneration and to compare its biological [...] Read more.
Freeze-drying is an effective means to control scaffold pore size and preserve its composition. The purpose of the present study was to determine the applicability of lyophilized Platelet-rich fibrin (LPRF) as a scaffold for craniofacial tissue regeneration and to compare its biological effects with commonly used fresh Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF). LPRF caused a 4.8-fold ± 0.4-fold elevation in Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) expression in alveolar bone cells, compared to a 3.6-fold ± 0.2-fold increase when using fresh PRF, and a more than 10-fold rise of alkaline phosphatase levels and mineralization markers. LPRF-induced Runx2 expression only occurred in alveolar bone and not in periodontal or dental follicle cells. LPRF also caused a 1.6-fold increase in osteoblast proliferation (p < 0.001) when compared to fresh PRF. When applied in a rat craniofacial defect model for six weeks, LPRF resulted in 97% bony coverage of the defect, compared to 84% for fresh PRF, 64% for fibrin, and 16% without scaffold. Moreover, LPRF thickened the trabecular diameter by 25% when compared to fresh PRF and fibrin, and only LPRF and fresh PRF resulted in the formation of interconnected trabeculae across the defect. Together, these studies support the application of lyophilized PRF as a biomimetic scaffold for craniofacial bone regeneration and mineralized tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transduction of Tissue Repair)
Open AccessArticle MicroRNA-199a-5p Affects Porcine Preadipocyte Proliferation and Differentiation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8526-8538; doi:10.3390/ijms15058526
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding RNAs, have emerged as novel and potent regulators of adipogenesis. However, few miRNAs have been fully investigated in porcine adipogenesis, given the fact that pig is not only an apropos model of human obesity research, [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding RNAs, have emerged as novel and potent regulators of adipogenesis. However, few miRNAs have been fully investigated in porcine adipogenesis, given the fact that pig is not only an apropos model of human obesity research, but also a staple meat source of human diet. In this study, we showed that miRNA-199a-5p is highly expressed in porcine subcutaneous fat deposits compared to several other tissue types and organs measured alongside. Overexpression of miR-199a-5p in porcine preadipocytes significantly promoted cell proliferation while attenuating the lipid deposition in porcine adipocytes. By target gene prediction and experimental validation, we demonstrated that caveolin-1 (Cav-1) may be a bona fide target of miR-199a-5p in porcine adipocytes, accounting for some of miR-199a-5p’s functions. Taken together, our data established a role of miR-199a-5p in porcine preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation, which is at least partially played by downregulating Cav-1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Stimulation of Bone Healing by Sustained Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 (BMP-2) Delivery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8539-8552; doi:10.3390/ijms15058539
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1548 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of a sustained release of bone morphogenetic protein2 (BMP-2) incorporated in a polymeric implant coating on bone healing. In vitro analysis revealed a sustained, but incomplete BMP-2 release until Day 42. For [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of a sustained release of bone morphogenetic protein2 (BMP-2) incorporated in a polymeric implant coating on bone healing. In vitro analysis revealed a sustained, but incomplete BMP-2 release until Day 42. For the in vivo study, the rat tibia osteotomy was stabilized either with control or BMP-2 coated wires, and the healing progress was followed by micro computed tomography (µCT), biomechanical testing and histology at Days 10, 28, 42 and 84. MicroCT showed an accelerated formation of mineralized callus, as well as remodeling and an increase of mineralized/total callus volume (p = 0.021) at Day 42 in the BMP-2 group compared to the control. Histology revealed an increased callus mineralization at Days 42 and 84 (p = 0.006) with reduced cartilage at Day 84 (p = 0.004) in the BMP-2 group. Biomechanical stiffness was significantly higher in the BMP-2 group (p = 0.045) at Day 42. In summary, bone healing was enhanced after sustained BMP-2 application compared to the control. Using the same drug delivery system, but a burst release of BMP-2, a previous published study showed a similar positive effect on bone healing. Distinct differences in the healing outcome might be explained due to the different BMP release kinetics and dosages. However, further studies are necessary to adapt the optimal release profiles to physiological mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biologic Coatings for Orthopaedic Implant)
Open AccessArticle The Discovery of Potentially Selective Human Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase (nNOS) Inhibitors: A Combination of Pharmacophore Modelling, CoMFA, Virtual Screening and Molecular Docking Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8553-8569; doi:10.3390/ijms15058553
Received: 16 March 2014 / Revised: 30 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (779 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) plays an important role in neurotransmission and smooth muscle relaxation. Selective inhibition of nNOS over its other isozymes is highly desirable for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases to avoid undesirable effects. In this study, we present a [...] Read more.
Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) plays an important role in neurotransmission and smooth muscle relaxation. Selective inhibition of nNOS over its other isozymes is highly desirable for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases to avoid undesirable effects. In this study, we present a workflow for the identification and prioritization of compounds as potentially selective human nNOS inhibitors. Three-dimensional pharmacophore models were constructed based on a set of known nNOS inhibitors. The pharmacophore models were evaluated by Pareto surface and CoMFA (Comparative Molecular Field Analysis) analyses. The best pharmacophore model, which included 7 pharmacophore features, was used as a search query in the SPECS database (SPECS®, Delft, The Netherlands). The hit compounds were further filtered by scoring and docking. Ten hits were identified as potential selective nNOS inhibitors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The G Protein-Coupled Receptor Heterodimer Network (GPCR-HetNet) and Its Hub Components
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8570-8590; doi:10.3390/ijms15058570
Received: 19 December 2013 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 30 April 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (2142 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) oligomerization has emerged as a vital characteristic of receptor structure. Substantial experimental evidence supports the existence of GPCR-GPCR interactions in a coordinated and cooperative manner. However, despite the current development of experimental techniques for large-scale detection of GPCR [...] Read more.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) oligomerization has emerged as a vital characteristic of receptor structure. Substantial experimental evidence supports the existence of GPCR-GPCR interactions in a coordinated and cooperative manner. However, despite the current development of experimental techniques for large-scale detection of GPCR heteromers, in order to understand their connectivity it is necessary to develop novel tools to study the global heteroreceptor networks. To provide insight into the overall topology of the GPCR heteromers and identify key players, a collective interaction network was constructed. Experimental interaction data for each of the individual human GPCR protomers was obtained manually from the STRING and SCOPUS databases. The interaction data were used to build and analyze the network using Cytoscape software. The network was treated as undirected throughout the study. It is comprised of 156 nodes, 260 edges and has a scale-free topology. Connectivity analysis reveals a significant dominance of intrafamily versus interfamily connections. Most of the receptors within the network are linked to each other by a small number of edges. DRD2, OPRM, ADRB2, AA2AR, AA1R, OPRK, OPRD and GHSR are identified as hubs. In a network representation 10 modules/clusters also appear as a highly interconnected group of nodes. Information on this GPCR network can improve our understanding of molecular integration. GPCR-HetNet has been implemented in Java and is freely available at http://www.iiia.csic.es/~ismel/GPCR-Nets/index.html. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling and Regulation)
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Open AccessArticle Sub-Inhibitory Concentrations of Trans-Cinnamaldehyde Attenuate Virulence in Cronobacter sakazakii in Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8639-8655; doi:10.3390/ijms15058639
Received: 5 April 2014 / Revised: 28 April 2014 / Accepted: 5 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (765 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cronobacter sakazakii is a foodborne pathogen, which causes a life-threatening form of meningitis, necrotizing colitis and meningoencephalitis in neonates and children. Epidemiological studies implicate dried infant formula as the principal source of C. sakazakii. In this study, we investigated the efficacy [...] Read more.
Cronobacter sakazakii is a foodborne pathogen, which causes a life-threatening form of meningitis, necrotizing colitis and meningoencephalitis in neonates and children. Epidemiological studies implicate dried infant formula as the principal source of C. sakazakii. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of sub-inhibitory concentrations (SIC) of trans-cinnamaldehyde (TC), an ingredient in cinnamon, for reducing C. sakazakii virulence in vitro using cell culture, microscopy and gene expression assays. TC significantly (p ≤ 0.05) suppressed C. sakazakii adhesion to and invasion of human and rat intestinal epithelial cells, and human brain microvascular endothelial cells. In addition, TC inhibited C. sakazakii survival and replication in human macrophages. We also observed that TC reduced the ability of C. sakazakii to cause cell death in rat intestinal cells, by inhibiting nitric oxide production. Results from gene expression studies revealed that TC significantly downregulated the virulence genes critical for motility, host tissue adhesion and invasion, macrophage survival, and LPS (Lipopolysaccharide) synthesis in C. sakazakii. The efficacy of TC in attenuating these major virulence factors in C. sakazakii underscores its potential use in the prevention and/or control of infection caused by this pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Geminal Brønsted Acid Ionic Liquids as Catalysts for the Mannich Reaction in Water
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8656-8666; doi:10.3390/ijms15058656
Received: 21 March 2014 / Revised: 30 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (360 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Quaternary ammonium geminal Brønsted acid ionic liquids (GBAILs) based on zwitterionic 1,2-bis[N-methyl-N-(3-sulfopropyl)-alkylammonium]ethane (where the carbon number of the alkyl chain is 4, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, or 18) and p-toluenesulfonic acid monohydrate were synthesized. The catalytic [...] Read more.
Quaternary ammonium geminal Brønsted acid ionic liquids (GBAILs) based on zwitterionic 1,2-bis[N-methyl-N-(3-sulfopropyl)-alkylammonium]ethane (where the carbon number of the alkyl chain is 4, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, or 18) and p-toluenesulfonic acid monohydrate were synthesized. The catalytic ionic liquids were applied in three-component Mannich reactions with an aldehyde, ketone, and amine at 25 °C in water. The effects of the type and amount of catalyst and reaction time as well as the scope of the reaction were investigated. Results showed that GBAIL-C14 has excellent catalytic activity and fair reusability. The catalytic procedure was simple, and the catalyst could be recycled seven times via a simple separation process without noticeable decreases in catalytic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Liquids 2014 & Selected Papers from ILMAT 2013)
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Open AccessArticle Expression and Effects of High-Mobility Group Box 1 in Cervical Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8699-8712; doi:10.3390/ijms15058699
Received: 28 January 2014 / Revised: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 5 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (709 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated the significance of high- mobility group box1 (HMGB1) and T-cell-mediated immunity and prognostic value in cervical cancer. HMGB1, forkhead/winged helix transcription factor p3 (Foxp3), IL-2, and IL-10 protein expression was analyzed in 100 cervical tissue samples including cervical cancer, cervical [...] Read more.
We investigated the significance of high- mobility group box1 (HMGB1) and T-cell-mediated immunity and prognostic value in cervical cancer. HMGB1, forkhead/winged helix transcription factor p3 (Foxp3), IL-2, and IL-10 protein expression was analyzed in 100 cervical tissue samples including cervical cancer, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and healthy control samples using immunohistochemistry. Serum squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag) was immunoradiometrically measured in 32 serum samples from 37 cases of squamous cervical cancer. HMGB1 and SCC-Ag were then correlated to clinicopathological characteristics. HMGB1 expression tends to increase as cervical cancer progresses and it was found to be significantly correlated to FIGO stage and lymph node metastasis. These findings suggest that HMGB1 may be a useful prognostic indicator of cervical carcinoma. In addition, there were significant positive relationships between HMGB1 and FOXP3 or IL-10 expression (both p < 0.05). In contrast, HMGB1 and IL-2 expression was negatively correlated (p < 0.05). HMGB1 expression may activate Tregs or facilitate Th2 polarization to promote immune evasion of cervical cancer. Elevated HMGB1 protein in cervical carcinoma samples was associated with a high recurrence of HPV infection in univariate analysis (p < 0.05). HMGB1 expression and levels of SCC-Ag were directly correlated in SCC (p < 0.05). Thus, HMGB1 may be a useful biomarker for patient prognosis and cervical cancer prediction and treatment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Molecular Recognition of Agonist and Antagonist for Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-α Studied by Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8743-8752; doi:10.3390/ijms15058743
Received: 19 January 2014 / Revised: 3 May 2014 / Accepted: 5 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
PDF Full-text (600 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) is a ligand-activated transcription factor which plays important roles in lipid and glucose metabolism. The aim of this work is to find residues which selectively recognize PPAR-α agonists and antagonists. To achieve this aim, PPAR-α/13M and PPAR-α/471 [...] Read more.
Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) is a ligand-activated transcription factor which plays important roles in lipid and glucose metabolism. The aim of this work is to find residues which selectively recognize PPAR-α agonists and antagonists. To achieve this aim, PPAR-α/13M and PPAR-α/471 complexes were subjected to perform molecular dynamics simulations. This research suggests that several key residues only participate in agonist recognition, while some other key residues only contribute to antagonist recognition. It is hoped that such work is useful for medicinal chemists to design novel PPAR-α agonists and antagonists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Treatment of Melanoma Brain Metastasis by Simultaneously Targeting the MAPK and PI3K Signaling Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8773-8794; doi:10.3390/ijms15058773
Received: 24 March 2014 / Revised: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2405 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Malignant melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer, with a high propensity to metastasize to the brain. More than 60% of melanomas have the BRAFV600E mutation, which activates the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway [1]. In addition, increased PI3K [...] Read more.
Malignant melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer, with a high propensity to metastasize to the brain. More than 60% of melanomas have the BRAFV600E mutation, which activates the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway [1]. In addition, increased PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) pathway activity has been demonstrated, through the loss of activity of the tumor suppressor gene, PTEN [2]. Here, we treated two melanoma brain metastasis cell lines, H1_DL2, harboring a BRAFV600E mutation and PTEN loss, and H3, harboring WT (wild-type) BRAF and PTEN loss, with the MAPK (BRAF) inhibitor vemurafenib and the PI3K pathway associated mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus. Combined use of the drugs inhibited tumor cell growth and proliferation in vitro in H1_DL2 cells, compared to single drug treatment. Treatment was less effective in the H3 cells. Furthermore, a strong inhibitory effect on the viability of H1_DL2 cells, when grown as 3D multicellular spheroids, was seen. The treatment inhibited the expression of pERK1/2 and reduced the expression of pAKT and p-mTOR in H1_DL2 cells, confirming that the MAPK and PI3K pathways were inhibited after drug treatment. Microarray experiments followed by principal component analysis (PCA) mapping showed distinct gene clustering after treatment, and cell cycle checkpoint regulators were affected. Global gene analysis indicated that functions related to cell survival and invasion were influenced by combined treatment. In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that combined therapy with vemurafenib and temsirolimus is effective on melanoma brain metastasis cells in vitro. The presented results highlight the potential of combined treatment to overcome treatment resistance that may develop after vemurafenib treatment of melanomas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Metastasis 2014)
Open AccessArticle Biological Evaluation and 3D-QSAR Studies of Curcumin Analogues as Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 Inhibitors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8795-8807; doi:10.3390/ijms15058795
Received: 4 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1093 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) is reported as a biomarker for identifying some cancer stem cells, and down-regulation or inhibition of the enzyme can be effective in anti-drug resistance and a potent therapeutic for some tumours. In this paper, the inhibitory activity, mechanism [...] Read more.
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) is reported as a biomarker for identifying some cancer stem cells, and down-regulation or inhibition of the enzyme can be effective in anti-drug resistance and a potent therapeutic for some tumours. In this paper, the inhibitory activity, mechanism mode, molecular docking and 3D-QSAR (three-dimensional quantitative structure activity relationship) of curcumin analogues (CAs) against ALDH1 were studied. Results demonstrated that curcumin and CAs possessed potent inhibitory activity against ALDH1, and the CAs compound with ortho di-hydroxyl groups showed the most potent inhibitory activity. This study indicates that CAs may represent a new class of ALDH1 inhibitor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
Open AccessCommunication Synthesis, Preliminary Bioevaluation and Computational Analysis of Caffeic Acid Analogues
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8808-8820; doi:10.3390/ijms15058808
Received: 1 March 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (750 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A series of caffeic acid amides were designed, synthesized and evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity. Most of them exhibited promising anti-inflammatory activity against nitric oxide (NO) generation in murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells. A 3D pharmacophore model was created based on the biological results [...] Read more.
A series of caffeic acid amides were designed, synthesized and evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity. Most of them exhibited promising anti-inflammatory activity against nitric oxide (NO) generation in murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells. A 3D pharmacophore model was created based on the biological results for further structural optimization. Moreover, predication of the potential targets was also carried out by the PharmMapper server. These amide analogues represent a promising class of anti-inflammatory scaffold for further exploration and target identification. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antibody-Conjugated Paramagnetic Nanobeads: Kinetics of Bead-Cell Binding
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8821-8834; doi:10.3390/ijms15058821
Received: 3 February 2014 / Revised: 23 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (621 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Specific labelling of target cell surfaces using antibody-conjugated paramagnetic nanobeads is essential for efficient magnetic cell separation. However, studies examining parameters determining the kinetics of bead-cell binding are scarce. The present study determines the binding rates for specific and unspecific binding of [...] Read more.
Specific labelling of target cell surfaces using antibody-conjugated paramagnetic nanobeads is essential for efficient magnetic cell separation. However, studies examining parameters determining the kinetics of bead-cell binding are scarce. The present study determines the binding rates for specific and unspecific binding of 150 nm paramagnetic nanobeads to highly purified target and non-target cells. Beads bound to cells were enumerated spectrophotometrically. Results show that the initial bead-cell binding rate and saturation levels depend on initial bead concentration and fit curves of the form A(1 − exp(−kt)). Unspecific binding within conventional experimental time-spans (up to 60 min) was not detectable photometrically. For CD3-positive cells, the probability of specific binding was found to be around 80 times larger than that of unspecific binding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle Molecular Characterization of α- and β-Thalassaemia among Malay Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8835-8845; doi:10.3390/ijms15058835
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 13 March 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1470 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Both α- and β-thalassaemia syndromes are public health problems in the multi-ethnic population of Malaysia. To molecularly characterise the α- and β-thalassaemia deletions and mutations among Malays from Penang, Gap-PCR and multiplexed amplification refractory mutation systems were used to study 13 α-thalassaemia [...] Read more.
Both α- and β-thalassaemia syndromes are public health problems in the multi-ethnic population of Malaysia. To molecularly characterise the α- and β-thalassaemia deletions and mutations among Malays from Penang, Gap-PCR and multiplexed amplification refractory mutation systems were used to study 13 α-thalassaemia determinants and 20 β-thalassaemia mutations in 28 and 40 unrelated Malays, respectively. Four α-thalassaemia deletions and mutations were demonstrated. −−SEA deletion and αCSα accounted for more than 70% of the α-thalassaemia alleles. Out of the 20 β-thalassaemia alleles studied, nine different β-thalassaemia mutations were identified of which βE accounted for more than 40%. We concluded that the highest prevalence of (α- and β-thalassaemia alleles in the Malays from Penang are −−SEA deletion and βE mutation, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Disease Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Selection of Suitable Endogenous Reference Genes for Relative Copy Number Detection in Sugarcane
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8846-8862; doi:10.3390/ijms15058846
Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 20 April 2014 / Accepted: 7 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Transgene copy number has a great impact on the expression level and stability of exogenous gene in transgenic plants. Proper selection of endogenous reference genes is necessary for detection of genetic components in genetically modification (GM) crops by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) [...] Read more.
Transgene copy number has a great impact on the expression level and stability of exogenous gene in transgenic plants. Proper selection of endogenous reference genes is necessary for detection of genetic components in genetically modification (GM) crops by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) or by qualitative PCR approach, especially in sugarcane with polyploid and aneuploid genomic structure. qPCR technique has been widely accepted as an accurate, time-saving method on determination of copy numbers in transgenic plants and on detection of genetically modified plants to meet the regulatory and legislative requirement. In this study, to find a suitable endogenous reference gene and its real-time PCR assay for sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) DNA content quantification, we evaluated a set of potential “single copy” genes including P4H, APRT, ENOL, CYC, TST and PRR, through qualitative PCR and absolute quantitative PCR. Based on copy number comparisons among different sugarcane genotypes, including five S. officinarum, one S. spontaneum and two S. spp. hybrids, these endogenous genes fell into three groups: ENOL-3—high copy number group, TST-1 and PRR-1—medium copy number group, P4H-1, APRT-2 and CYC-2—low copy number group. Among these tested genes, P4H, APRT and CYC were the most stable, while ENOL and TST were the least stable across different sugarcane genotypes. Therefore, three primer pairs of P4H-3, APRT-2 and CYC-2 were then selected as the suitable reference gene primer pairs for sugarcane. The test of multi-target reference genes revealed that the APRT gene was a specific amplicon, suggesting this gene is the most suitable to be used as an endogenous reference target for sugarcane DNA content quantification. These results should be helpful for establishing accurate and reliable qualitative and quantitative PCR analysis of GM sugarcane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle The Cytoprotective Effect of Sulfuretin against tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide-Induced Hepatotoxicity through Nrf2/ARE and JNK/ERK MAPK-Mediated Heme Oxygenase-1 Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8863-8877; doi:10.3390/ijms15058863
Received: 26 March 2014 / Revised: 12 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sulfuretin is one of the major flavonoid components in Rhus verniciflua Stokes (Anacardiaceae) isolates. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of sulfuretin against tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-induced oxidative injury. The results indicated that the addition of sulfuretin before [...] Read more.
Sulfuretin is one of the major flavonoid components in Rhus verniciflua Stokes (Anacardiaceae) isolates. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of sulfuretin against tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-induced oxidative injury. The results indicated that the addition of sulfuretin before t-BHP treatment significantly inhibited cytotoxicity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in human liver-derived HepG2 cells. Sulfuretin up-regulated the activity of the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase (HO)-1 via nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) translocation into the nucleus and increased the promoter activity of the antioxidant response element (ARE). Moreover, sulfuretin exposure enhanced the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), which are members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family. Furthermore, cell treatment with a JNK inhibitor (SP600125) and ERK inhibitor (PD98059) reduced sulfuretin-induced HO-1 expression and decreased its protective effects. Taken together, these results suggest that the protective effect of sulfuretin against t-BHP-induced oxidative damage in human liver-derived HepG2 cells is attributable to its ability to scavenge ROS and up-regulate the activity of HO-1 through the Nrf2/ARE and JNK/ERK signaling pathways. Therefore, sulfuretin could be advantageous as a bioactive source for the prevention of oxidative injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Tagging SNPs in the MTHFR Gene and Risk of Ischemic Stroke in a Chinese Population
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8931-8940; doi:10.3390/ijms15058931
Received: 10 March 2014 / Revised: 7 May 2014 / Accepted: 8 May 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stroke is currently the leading cause of functional impairments worldwide. Folate supplementation is inversely associated with risk of ischemic stroke. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an important enzyme involved in folate metabolism. The aim of this study is to examine whether genetic variants [...] Read more.
Stroke is currently the leading cause of functional impairments worldwide. Folate supplementation is inversely associated with risk of ischemic stroke. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an important enzyme involved in folate metabolism. The aim of this study is to examine whether genetic variants in MTHFR gene are associated with the risk of ischemic stroke and fasting total serum homocysteine (tHcy) level. We genotyped nine tag SNPs in the MTHFR gene in a case-control study, including 543 ischemic stroke cases and 655 healthy controls in China. We found that subjects with the rs1801133 TT genotype and rs1801131 CC genotype had significant increased risks of ischemic stroke (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.82, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.27–2.61, p = 0.004; adjusted OR = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.12–3.56, p = 0.01) compared with subjects with the major alleles. Haplotype analysis also found that carriers of the MTHFR CTTCGA haplotype (rs12121543-rs13306553-rs9651118-rs1801133-rs2274976-rs1801131) had a significant reduced risk of ischemic stroke (adjusted OR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.35–0.82) compared with those with the CTTTGA haplotype. Besides, the MTHFR rs1801133 and rs9651118 were significantly associated with serum levels of tHcy in healthy controls (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.02). These findings suggest that variants in the MTHFR gene may influence the risk of ischemic stroke and serum tHcy. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Disease Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Bioactivity of 5-Substituted-2-furoyl Diacylhydazide Derivatives with Aliphatic Chain
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8941-8958; doi:10.3390/ijms15058941
Received: 24 March 2014 / Revised: 2 May 2014 / Accepted: 5 May 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A series of 5-substituted-2-furoyl diacylhydazide derivatives with aliphatic chain were designed and synthesized. Their structures were characterized by IR, 1H NMR, elemental analysis, and X-ray single crystal diffraction. The anti-tumor bioassay revealed that some title compounds exhibited promising activity against the [...] Read more.
A series of 5-substituted-2-furoyl diacylhydazide derivatives with aliphatic chain were designed and synthesized. Their structures were characterized by IR, 1H NMR, elemental analysis, and X-ray single crystal diffraction. The anti-tumor bioassay revealed that some title compounds exhibited promising activity against the selected cancer cell lines, especially against the human promyelocytic leukemic cells (HL-60). Their fungicidal tests indicated that most of the title compounds showed significant anti-fungal activity. The preliminary structure-activity relationship showed that the aliphatic chain length and differences in the R2 group had obvious effects on the anti-tumor and anti-fungal activities. The bioassay results demonstrated that the title compounds hold great promise as novel lead compounds for further drug discovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle Genes and Gene Networks Involved in Sodium Fluoride-Elicited Cell Death Accompanying Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Oral Epithelial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8959-8978; doi:10.3390/ijms15058959
Received: 13 February 2014 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Here, to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cell death induced by sodium fluoride (NaF), we analyzed gene expression patterns in rat oral epithelial ROE2 cells exposed to NaF using global-scale microarrays and bioinformatics tools. A relatively high concentration of NaF (2 mM) [...] Read more.
Here, to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cell death induced by sodium fluoride (NaF), we analyzed gene expression patterns in rat oral epithelial ROE2 cells exposed to NaF using global-scale microarrays and bioinformatics tools. A relatively high concentration of NaF (2 mM) induced cell death concomitant with decreases in mitochondrial membrane potential, chromatin condensation and caspase-3 activation. Using 980 probe sets, we identified 432 up-regulated and 548 down-regulated genes, that were differentially expressed by >2.5-fold in the cells treated with 2 mM of NaF and categorized them into 4 groups by K-means clustering. Ingenuity® pathway analysis revealed several gene networks from gene clusters. The gene networks Up-I and Up-II included many up-regulated genes that were mainly associated with the biological function of induction or prevention of cell death, respectively, such as Atf3, Ddit3 and Fos (for Up-I) and Atf4 and Hspa5 (for Up-II). Interestingly, knockdown of Ddit3 and Hspa5 significantly increased and decreased the number of viable cells, respectively. Moreover, several endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related genes including, Ddit3, Atf4 and Hapa5, were observed in these gene networks. These findings will provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms of NaF-induced cell death accompanying ER stress in oral epithelial cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
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Open AccessArticle Transition from Cyclosporine-Induced Renal Dysfunction to Nephrotoxicity in an in Vivo Rat Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8979-8997; doi:10.3390/ijms15058979
Received: 7 April 2014 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cyclosporin A (CsA), a calcineurin inhibitor, remain the cornerstone of immunosuppressive regimens, regardless of nephrotoxicity, which depends on the duration of drug exposure. The mechanisms and biomarkers underlying the transition from CsA-induced renal dysfunction to nephrotoxicity deserve better elucidation, and would help [...] Read more.
Cyclosporin A (CsA), a calcineurin inhibitor, remain the cornerstone of immunosuppressive regimens, regardless of nephrotoxicity, which depends on the duration of drug exposure. The mechanisms and biomarkers underlying the transition from CsA-induced renal dysfunction to nephrotoxicity deserve better elucidation, and would help clinical decisions. This study aimed to clarify these issues, using a rat model of short- and long-term CsA (5 mg/kg bw/day) treatments (3 and 9 weeks, respectively). Renal function was assessed on serum and urine; kidney tissue was used for histopathological characterization and gene and/or protein expression of markers of proliferation, fibrosis and inflammation. In the short-term, creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels increased and clearances decreased, accompanied by glomerular filtration rate (GFR) reduction, but without kidney lesions; at that stage, CsA exposure induced proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), factor nuclear kappa B (NF-κβ) and Tumor Protein P53 (TP53) kidney mRNA up-regulation. In the long-term treatment, renal dysfunction data was accompanied by glomerular and tubulointerstitial lesions, with remarkable kidney mRNA up-regulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the antigen identified by monoclonal antibody Ki-67 (Mki67), accompanied by mTOR protein overexpression. Transition from CsA-induced renal dysfunction to nephrotoxicity is accompanied by modification of molecular mechanisms and biomarkers, being mTOR one of the key players for kidney lesion evolution, thus suggesting, by mean of molecular evidences, that early CsA replacement by mTOR inhibitors is indeed the better therapeutic choice to prevent chronic allograft nephropathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renal Toxicology—Epidemiology and Mechanisms)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of a Novel Quaternary Ammonium Methacrylate Polymer (QAMP) on Adhesion and Antibacterial Properties of Dental Adhesives
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8998-9015; doi:10.3390/ijms15058998
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (988 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the resin–dentin bond strength (μTBS), degree of conversion (DC), and antibacterial potential of an innovative adhesive system containing a quaternary ammonium methacrylate polymer (QAMP) using in situ and in vitro assays. Forty-two human third molars were flattened until the [...] Read more.
This study investigated the resin–dentin bond strength (μTBS), degree of conversion (DC), and antibacterial potential of an innovative adhesive system containing a quaternary ammonium methacrylate polymer (QAMP) using in situ and in vitro assays. Forty-two human third molars were flattened until the dentin was exposed and were randomly distributed into three groups of self-etching adhesive systems: Clearfil™ SE Bond containing 5% QAMP (experimental group), Clearfil™ Protect Bond (positive control) and Clearfil™ SE Bond (negative control). After light curing, three 1 mm-increments of composite resin were bonded to each dentin surface. A total of thirty of these bonded teeth (10 teeth per group) was sectioned to obtain stick-shaped specimens and tested under tensile stress immediately, and after 6 and 12 months of storage in distilled water. Twelve bonded teeth (4 teeth per group) were longitudinally sectioned in a mesio-to-distal direction to obtain resin-bonded dentin slabs. In situ DC was evaluated by micro-Raman spectroscopy. In vitro DC of thin films of each adhesive system was measured using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. In vitro susceptibility tests of these three adhesive systems were performed by the minimum inhibitory/minimum bactericidal concentration (MIC/MBC) assays against Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus casei, and Actinomyces naeslundii. No statistically significant difference in μTBS was observed between Clearfil™ SE Bond containing 5% QAMP and Clearfil™ SE Bond (p > 0.05) immediately, and after 6 and 12 months of water storage. However Clearfil™ Protect Bond showed a significant reduction of μTBS after 12 months of storage (p = 0.039). In addition, QAMP provided no significant change in DC after incorporating into Clearfil™ SE Bond (p > 0.05). Clearfil™ SE Bond containing 5% QAMP demonstrated MIC/MBC values similar to the positive control against L. casei and A. naeslundii and higher than the negative control for all evaluated bacterial strains. The use of QAMP in an adhesive system demonstrated effective bond strength, a suitable degree of conversion, and adequate antibacterial effects against oral bacteria, and may be useful as a new approach to provide long-lasting results for dental adhesives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Mangiferin Facilitates Islet Regeneration and β-Cell Proliferation through Upregulation of Cell Cycle and β-Cell Regeneration Regulators
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9016-9035; doi:10.3390/ijms15059016
Received: 16 January 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
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Abstract
Mangiferin, a xanthonoid found in plants including mangoes and iris unguicularis, was suggested in previous studies to have anti-hyperglycemic function, though the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. This study was designed to determine the therapeutic effect of mangiferin by the regeneration of [...] Read more.
Mangiferin, a xanthonoid found in plants including mangoes and iris unguicularis, was suggested in previous studies to have anti-hyperglycemic function, though the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. This study was designed to determine the therapeutic effect of mangiferin by the regeneration of β-cells in mice following 70% partial pancreatectomy (PPx), and to explore the mechanisms of mangiferin-induced β-cell proliferation. For this purpose, adult C57BL/6J mice after 7–14 days post-PPx, or a sham operation were subjected to mangiferin (30 and 90 mg/kg body weight) or control solvent injection. Mangiferin-treated mice exhibited an improved glycemia and glucose tolerance, increased serum insulin levels, enhanced β-cell hyperplasia, elevated β-cell proliferation and reduced β-cell apoptosis. Further dissection at the molecular level showed several key regulators of cell cycle, such as cyclin D1, D2 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (Cdk4) were significantly up-regulated in mangiferin-treated mice. In addition, critical genes related to β-cell regeneration, such as pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX-1), neurogenin 3 (Ngn3), glucose transporter 2 (GLUT-2), Forkhead box protein O1 (Foxo-1), and glucokinase (GCK), were found to be promoted by mangiferin at both the mRNA and protein expression level. Thus, mangiferin administration markedly facilitates β-cell proliferation and islet regeneration, likely by regulating essential genes in the cell cycle and the process of islet regeneration. These effects therefore suggest that mangiferin bears a therapeutic potential in preventing and/or treating the diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Control of Metabolism)
Open AccessArticle Over-Expression of Catalase in Myeloid Cells Confers Acute Protection Following Myocardial Infarction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9036-9050; doi:10.3390/ijms15059036
Received: 17 April 2014 / Revised: 12 May 2014 / Accepted: 14 May 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
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Abstract
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and new treatment options are greatly needed. Oxidative stress is increased following myocardial infarction and levels of antioxidants decrease, causing imbalance that leads to dysfunction. Therapy involving catalase, the endogenous [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and new treatment options are greatly needed. Oxidative stress is increased following myocardial infarction and levels of antioxidants decrease, causing imbalance that leads to dysfunction. Therapy involving catalase, the endogenous scavenger of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), has been met with mixed results. When over-expressed in cardiomyocytes from birth, catalase improves function following injury. When expressed in the same cells in an inducible manner, catalase showed a time-dependent response with no acute benefit, but a chronic benefit due to altered remodeling. In myeloid cells, catalase over-expression reduced angiogenesis during hindlimb ischemia and prevented monocyte migration. In the present study, due to the large inflammatory response following infarction, we examined myeloid-specific catalase over-expression on post-infarct healing. We found a significant increase in catalase levels following infarction that led to a decrease in H2O2 levels, leading to improved acute function. This increase in function could be attributed to reduced infarct size and improved angiogenesis. Despite these initial improvements, there was no improvement in chronic function, likely due to increased fibrosis. These data combined with what has been previously shown underscore the need for temporal, cell-specific catalase delivery as a potential therapeutic option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress in Cardiovascular Disease 2015)
Open AccessArticle Detection of a Specific Biomarker for Epstein-Barr Virus Using a Polymer-Based Genosensor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9051-9066; doi:10.3390/ijms15059051
Received: 31 July 2013 / Revised: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 7 May 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
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Abstract
This paper describes methodology for direct and indirect detections of a specific oligonucleotide for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) using electrochemical techniques. The sequence of oligonucleotide probe (EBV1) revealed a high sequence identity (100%) with the EBV genome. For the development of the genosensor, [...] Read more.
This paper describes methodology for direct and indirect detections of a specific oligonucleotide for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) using electrochemical techniques. The sequence of oligonucleotide probe (EBV1) revealed a high sequence identity (100%) with the EBV genome. For the development of the genosensor, EBV1 was grafted to the platform sensitized with poly(4-aminothiophenol). After that, the hybridization reaction was carried out with the complementary target (EBV2) on the modified electrode surface using ethidium bromide as DNA intercalator. The oxidation peak currents of ethidium bromide increased linearly with the values of the concentration of the complementary sequences in the range from 3.78 to 756 µmol·L−1. In nonstringent experimental conditions, this genosensor can detect 17.32 nmol·L−1 (three independent experiments) of oligonucleotide target, discriminating between complementary and non-complementary oligonucleotides, as well as differentiating one-base mismatch, as required for detection of genetic diseases caused by point mutations. The biosensor also displayed high specificity to the EBV target with elimination of interference from mix (alanine, glucose, uric acid, ascorbic acid, bovine serum albumin (BSA), glutamate and glycine) and good stability (120 days). In addition, it was possible to observe differences between hybridized and non-hybridized surfaces through atomic force microscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle A pH and Redox Dual Responsive 4-Arm Poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(disulfide histamine) Copolymer for Non-Viral Gene Transfection in Vitro and in Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9067-9081; doi:10.3390/ijms15059067
Received: 28 January 2014 / Revised: 6 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel 4-arm poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(disulfide histamine) copolymer was synthesized by Michael addition reaction of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) vinyl sulfone and amine-capped poly(disulfide histamine) oligomer, being denoted as 4-arm PEG-SSPHIS. This copolymer was able to condense DNA into nanoscale polyplexes (<200 nm in [...] Read more.
A novel 4-arm poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(disulfide histamine) copolymer was synthesized by Michael addition reaction of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) vinyl sulfone and amine-capped poly(disulfide histamine) oligomer, being denoted as 4-arm PEG-SSPHIS. This copolymer was able to condense DNA into nanoscale polyplexes (<200 nm in average diameter) with almost neutral surface charge (+(5–10) mV). Besides, these polyplexes were colloidal stable within 4 h in HEPES buffer saline at pH 7.4 (physiological environment), but rapidly dissociated to liberate DNA in the presence of 10 mM glutathione (intracellular reducing environment). The polyplexes also revealed pH-responsive surface charges which markedly increased with reducing pH values from 7.4–6.3 (tumor microenvironment). In vitro transfection experiments showed that polyplexes of 4-arm PEG-SSPHIS were capable of exerting enhanced transfection efficacy in MCF-7 and HepG2 cancer cells under acidic conditions (pH 6.3–7.0). Moreover, intravenous administration of the polyplexes to nude mice bearing HepG2-tumor yielded high transgene expression largely in tumor rather other normal organs. Importantly, this copolymer and its polyplexes had low cytotoxicity against the cells in vitro and caused no death of the mice. The results of this study indicate that 4-arm PEG-SSPHIS has high potential as a dual responsive gene delivery vector for cancer gene therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Green Conversion of Agroindustrial Wastes into Chitin and Chitosan by Rhizopus arrhizus and Cunninghamella elegans Strains
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9082-9102; doi:10.3390/ijms15059082
Received: 12 January 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 April 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
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Abstract
This article sets out a method for producing chitin and chitosan by Cunninghamella elegans and Rhizopus arrhizus strains using a green metabolic conversion of agroindustrial wastes (corn steep liquor and molasses). The physicochemical characteristics of the biopolymers and antimicrobial activity are described. [...] Read more.
This article sets out a method for producing chitin and chitosan by Cunninghamella elegans and Rhizopus arrhizus strains using a green metabolic conversion of agroindustrial wastes (corn steep liquor and molasses). The physicochemical characteristics of the biopolymers and antimicrobial activity are described. Chitin and chitosan were extracted by alkali-acid treatment, and characterized by infrared spectroscopy, viscosity and X-ray diffraction. The effectiveness of chitosan from C. elegans and R. arrhizus in inhibiting the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli and Yersinia enterocolitica were evaluated by determining the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC). The highest production of biomass (24.60 g/L), chitin (83.20 mg/g) and chitosan (49.31 mg/g) was obtained by R. arrhizus. Chitin and chitosan from both fungi showed a similar degree of deacetylation, respectively of 25% and 82%, crystallinity indices of 33.80% and 32.80% for chitin, and 20.30% and 17.80% for chitosan. Both chitin and chitosan presented similar viscosimetry of 3.79–3.40 cP and low molecular weight of 5.08 × 103 and 4.68 × 103 g/mol. They both showed identical MIC and MBC for all bacteria assayed. These results suggest that: agricultural wastes can be produced in an environmentally friendly way; chitin and chitosan can be produced economically; and that chitosan has antimicrobial potential against pathogenic bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Chemical Characterization and Antitumor Activities of Polysaccharide Extracted from Ganoderma lucidum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9103-9116; doi:10.3390/ijms15059103
Received: 19 March 2014 / Revised: 1 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP) is a biologically active substance reported to possess anti-tumor ability. Nonetheless, the mechanisms of GLP-stimulated apoptosis are still unclear. This study aims to determine the inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing effects of GLP on HCT-116 cells. We found that GLP [...] Read more.
Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP) is a biologically active substance reported to possess anti-tumor ability. Nonetheless, the mechanisms of GLP-stimulated apoptosis are still unclear. This study aims to determine the inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing effects of GLP on HCT-116 cells. We found that GLP reduced cell viability on HCT-116 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner, which in turn, induced cell apoptosis. The observed apoptosis was characterized by morphological changes, DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial membrane potential decrease, S phase population increase, and caspase-3 and -9 activation. Furthermore, inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) by SP600125 led to a dramatic decrease of the GLP-induced apoptosis. Western blot analysis unveiled that GLP up-regulated the expression of Bax/Bcl-2, caspase-3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). These results demonstrate that apoptosis stimulated by GLP in human colorectal cancer cells is associated with activation of mitochondrial and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Aerobic Degradation of Trichloroethylene by Co-Metabolism Using Phenol and Gasoline as Growth Substrates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9134-9148; doi:10.3390/ijms15059134
Received: 29 January 2014 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (366 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a common groundwater contaminant of toxic and carcinogenic concern. Aerobic co-metabolic processes are the predominant pathways for TCE complete degradation. In this study, Pseudomonas fluorescens was studied as the active microorganism to degrade TCE under aerobic condition by co-metabolic [...] Read more.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a common groundwater contaminant of toxic and carcinogenic concern. Aerobic co-metabolic processes are the predominant pathways for TCE complete degradation. In this study, Pseudomonas fluorescens was studied as the active microorganism to degrade TCE under aerobic condition by co-metabolic degradation using phenol and gasoline as growth substrates. Operating conditions influencing TCE degradation efficiency were optimized. TCE co-metabolic degradation rate reached the maximum of 80% under the optimized conditions of degradation time of 3 days, initial OD600 of microorganism culture of 0.14 (1.26 × 107 cell/mL), initial phenol concentration of 100 mg/L, initial TCE concentration of 0.1 mg/L, pH of 6.0, and salinity of 0.1%. The modified transformation capacity and transformation yield were 20 μg (TCE)/mg (biomass) and 5.1 μg (TCE)/mg (phenol), respectively. Addition of nutrient broth promoted TCE degradation with phenol as growth substrate. It was revealed that catechol 1,2-dioxygenase played an important role in TCE co-metabolism. The dechlorination of TCE was complete, and less chlorinated products were not detected at the end of the experiment. TCE could also be co-metabolized in the presence of gasoline; however, the degradation rate was not high (28%). When phenol was introduced into the system of TCE and gasoline, TCE and gasoline could be removed at substantial rates (up to 59% and 69%, respectively). This study provides a promising approach for the removal of combined pollution of TCE and gasoline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability of Materials)
Open AccessArticle Functional Polymorphisms of the ABCG2 Gene Are Associated with Gout Disease in the Chinese Han Male Population
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9149-9159; doi:10.3390/ijms15059149
Received: 30 January 2014 / Revised: 23 April 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
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Abstract
Background: Gout is a common type of arthritis that is characterized by hyperuricemia, tophi and joint inflammation. Genetic variations in the ABCG2 gene have been reported to influence serum uric acid levels and to participate in the pathogenesis of gout, but no [...] Read more.
Background: Gout is a common type of arthritis that is characterized by hyperuricemia, tophi and joint inflammation. Genetic variations in the ABCG2 gene have been reported to influence serum uric acid levels and to participate in the pathogenesis of gout, but no further data have been reported in the Han Chinese population. Methods: Peripheral blood DNA was isolated from 352 male patients with gout and 350 gout-free normal male controls. High-resolution melting analysis and Sanger sequencing were performed to identify the genetic polymorphisms V12M, Q141K and Q126X in the ABCG2 gene. Genotype and haplotype analyses were utilized to determine the disease odds ratios (ORs). A prediction model for gout risk using ABCG2 protein function was established based on the genotype combination of Q126X and Q141K. Results: For Q141K, the A allele frequency was 49.6% in the gout patients and 30.9% in the controls (OR 2.20, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.77–2.74, p = 8.99 × 10−13). Regarding Q126X, the T allele frequency was 4.7% in the gout patients and 1.7% in the controls (OR 2.91, 95% CI: 1.49–5.68, p = 1.57 × 10−3). The A allele frequency for V12M was lower (18.3%) in the gout patients than in the controls (29%) (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.43–0.71, p = 2.55 × 10−6). In the order of V12M, Q126X and Q141K, the GCA and GTC haplotypes indicated increased disease risk (OR = 2.30 and 2.71, respectively). Patients with mild to severe ABCG2 dysfunction accounted for 78.4% of gout cases. Conclusion: The ABCG2 126X and 141K alleles are associated with an increased risk of gout, whereas 12M has a protective effect on gout susceptibility in the Han Chinese population. ABCG2 dysfunction can be used to evaluate gout risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle The Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor (PPAR) α Agonist Fenofibrate Suppresses Chemically Induced Lung Alveolar Proliferative Lesions in Male Obese Hyperlipidemic Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9160-9172; doi:10.3390/ijms15059160
Received: 6 March 2014 / Revised: 7 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
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Abstract
Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α disrupts growth-related activities in a variety of human cancers. This study was designed to determine whether fenofibrate, a PPARα agonist, can suppress 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO)-induced proliferative lesions in the lung of obese hyperlipidemic mice. Male [...] Read more.
Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α disrupts growth-related activities in a variety of human cancers. This study was designed to determine whether fenofibrate, a PPARα agonist, can suppress 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO)-induced proliferative lesions in the lung of obese hyperlipidemic mice. Male Tsumura Suzuki Obese Diabetic mice were subcutaneously injected with 4-NQO to induce lung proliferative lesions, including adenocarcinomas. They were then fed a diet containing 0.01% or 0.05% fenofibrate for 29 weeks, starting 1 week after 4-NQO administration. At week 30, the incidence and multiplicity (number of lesions/mouse) of pulmonary proliferative lesions were lower in mice treated with 4-NQO and both doses of fenofibrate compared with those in mice treated with 4-NQO alone. The incidence and multiplicity of lesions were significantly lower in mice treated with 4-NQO and 0.05% fenofibrate compared with those in mice treated with 4-NQO alone (p < 0.05). Both doses of fenofibrate significantly reduced the proliferative activity of the lesions in 4-NQO-treated mice (p < 0.05). Fenofibrate also significantly reduced the serum insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels, and decreased the immunohistochemical expression of IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), phosphorylated Akt, and phosphorylated Erk1/2 in lung adenocarcinomas. Our results indicate that fenofibrate can prevent the development of 4-NQO-induced proliferative lesions in the lung by modulating the insulin-IGF axis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessReview Synthesis, Properties and Applications of Biodegradable Polymers Derived from Diols and Dicarboxylic Acids: From Polyesters to Poly(ester amide)s
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7064-7123; doi:10.3390/ijms15057064
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (3012 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Poly(alkylene dicarboxylate)s constitute a family of biodegradable polymers with increasing interest for both commodity and speciality applications. Most of these polymers can be prepared from biobased diols and dicarboxylic acids such as 1,4-butanediol, succinic acid and carbohydrates. This review provides a current [...] Read more.
Poly(alkylene dicarboxylate)s constitute a family of biodegradable polymers with increasing interest for both commodity and speciality applications. Most of these polymers can be prepared from biobased diols and dicarboxylic acids such as 1,4-butanediol, succinic acid and carbohydrates. This review provides a current status report concerning synthesis, biodegradation and applications of a series of polymers that cover a wide range of properties, namely, materials from elastomeric to rigid characteristics that are suitable for applications such as hydrogels, soft tissue engineering, drug delivery systems and liquid crystals. Finally, the incorporation of aromatic units and α-amino acids is considered since stiffness of molecular chains and intermolecular interactions can be drastically changed. In fact, poly(ester amide)s derived from naturally occurring amino acids offer great possibilities as biodegradable materials for biomedical applications which are also extensively discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Open AccessReview Nanoinformatics: Emerging Databases and Available Tools
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7158-7182; doi:10.3390/ijms15057158
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (851 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nanotechnology has arisen as a key player in the field of nanomedicine. Although the use of engineered nanoparticles is rapidly increasing, safety assessment is also important for the beneficial use of new nanomaterials. Considering that the experimental assessment of new nanomaterials is [...] Read more.
Nanotechnology has arisen as a key player in the field of nanomedicine. Although the use of engineered nanoparticles is rapidly increasing, safety assessment is also important for the beneficial use of new nanomaterials. Considering that the experimental assessment of new nanomaterials is costly and laborious, in silico approaches hold promise. Several major challenges in nanotechnology indicate a need for nanoinformatics. New database initiatives such as ISA-TAB-Nano, caNanoLab, and Nanomaterial Registry will help in data sharing and developing data standards, and, as the amount of nanomaterials data grows, will provide a way to develop methods and tools specific to the nanolevel. In this review, we describe emerging databases and tools that should aid in the progress of nanotechnology research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology and Lung Diseases)
Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Bacteria Identification by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry Using Nanomaterials as Affinity Probes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7266-7280; doi:10.3390/ijms15057266
Received: 5 March 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 28 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Identifying trace amounts of bacteria rapidly, accurately, selectively, and with high sensitivity is important to ensuring the safety of food and diagnosing infectious bacterial diseases. Microbial diseases constitute the major cause of death in many developing and developed countries of the world. [...] Read more.
Identifying trace amounts of bacteria rapidly, accurately, selectively, and with high sensitivity is important to ensuring the safety of food and diagnosing infectious bacterial diseases. Microbial diseases constitute the major cause of death in many developing and developed countries of the world. The early detection of pathogenic bacteria is crucial in preventing, treating, and containing the spread of infections, and there is an urgent requirement for sensitive, specific, and accurate diagnostic tests. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) is an extremely selective and sensitive analytical tool that can be used to characterize different species of pathogenic bacteria. Various functionalized or unmodified nanomaterials can be used as affinity probes to capture and concentrate microorganisms. Recent developments in bacterial detection using nanomaterials-assisted MALDI-MS approaches are highlighted in this article. A comprehensive table listing MALDI-MS approaches for identifying pathogenic bacteria, categorized by the nanomaterials used, is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Spectrometry Application in Biology) Print Edition available
Open AccessReview Molecular Mechanisms and New Treatment Strategies for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7352-7379; doi:10.3390/ijms15057352
Received: 1 March 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (3081 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), in which most patients exhibit non-progressive, non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) attributable to simple steatosis. Multiple hits, including genetic differences, fat accumulation, insulin resistance and intestinal microbiota changes, account for [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), in which most patients exhibit non-progressive, non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) attributable to simple steatosis. Multiple hits, including genetic differences, fat accumulation, insulin resistance and intestinal microbiota changes, account for the progression of NASH. NAFLD is strongly associated with obesity, which induces adipokine secretion, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and oxidative stress at the cellular level, which in turn induces hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis. Among these factors, gut microbiota are acknowledged as having an important role in initiating this multifactorial disease. Oxidative stress is considered to be a key contributor in the progression from NAFL to NASH. Macrophage infiltration is apparent in NAFL and NASH, while T-cell infiltration is apparent in NASH. Although several clinical trials have shown that antioxidative therapy with vitamin E can effectively control hepatitis pathology in the short term, the long-term effects remain obscure and have often proved to be ineffective in many other diseases. Several long-term antioxidant protocols have failed to reduce mortality. New treatment modalities that incorporate current understanding of NAFLD molecular pathogenesis must be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
Open AccessReview The Role of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Sustainable Production of Biofuels
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7380-7397; doi:10.3390/ijms15057380
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 25 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
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Abstract
With the ever-increasing population of the world (expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050), and altered life style, comes an increased demand for food, fuel and fiber. However, scarcity of land, water and energy accompanied by climate change means that to produce [...] Read more.
With the ever-increasing population of the world (expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050), and altered life style, comes an increased demand for food, fuel and fiber. However, scarcity of land, water and energy accompanied by climate change means that to produce enough to meet the demands is getting increasingly challenging. Today we must use every avenue from science and technology available to address these challenges. The natural process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation, whereby plants such as legumes fix atmospheric nitrogen gas to ammonia, usable by plants can have a substantial impact as it is found in nature, has low environmental and economic costs and is broadly established. Here we look at the importance of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in the production of biofuel feedstocks; how this process can address major challenges, how improving nitrogen fixation is essential, and what we can do about it. Full article
Open AccessReview Potential for Layered Double Hydroxides-Based, Innovative Drug Delivery Systems
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7409-7428; doi:10.3390/ijms15057409
Received: 14 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Layered Double Hydroxides (LDHs)-based drug delivery systems have, for many years, shown great promises for the delivery of chemical therapeutics and bioactive molecules to mammalian cells in vitro and in vivo. This system offers high efficiency and drug loading density, as well [...] Read more.
Layered Double Hydroxides (LDHs)-based drug delivery systems have, for many years, shown great promises for the delivery of chemical therapeutics and bioactive molecules to mammalian cells in vitro and in vivo. This system offers high efficiency and drug loading density, as well as excellent protection of loaded molecules from undesired degradation. Toxicological studies have also found LDHs to be biocompatible compared with other widely used nanoparticles, such as iron oxide, silica, and single-walled carbon nanotubes. A plethora of bio-molecules have been reported to either attach to the surface of or intercalate into LDH materials through co-precipitation or anion-exchange reaction, including amino acid and peptides, ATPs, vitamins, and even polysaccharides. Recently, LDHs have been used for gene delivery of small molecular nucleic acids, such as antisense, oligonucleotides, PCR fragments, siRNA molecules or sheared genomic DNA. These nano-medicines have been applied to target cells or organs in gene therapeutic approaches. This review summarizes current progress of the development of LDHs nanoparticle drug carriers for nucleotides, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer drugs and recent LDH application in medical research. Ground breaking studies will be highlighted and an outlook of the possible future progress proposed. It is hoped that the layered inorganic material will open up new frontier of research, leading to new nano-drugs in clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Nanoparticles 2014)
Open AccessReview Autophagy-Related Direct Membrane Import from ER/Cytoplasm into the Vacuole or Apoplast: A Hidden Gateway also for Secondary Metabolites and Phytohormones?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7462-7474; doi:10.3390/ijms15057462
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transportation of low molecular weight cargoes into the plant vacuole represents an essential plant cell function. Several lines of evidence indicate that autophagy-related direct endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to vacuole (and also, apoplast) transport plays here a more general role than expected. This [...] Read more.
Transportation of low molecular weight cargoes into the plant vacuole represents an essential plant cell function. Several lines of evidence indicate that autophagy-related direct endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to vacuole (and also, apoplast) transport plays here a more general role than expected. This route is regulated by autophagy proteins, including recently discovered involvement of the exocyst subcomplex. Traffic from ER into the vacuole bypassing Golgi apparatus (GA) acts not only in stress-related cytoplasm recycling or detoxification, but also in developmentally-regulated biopolymer and secondary metabolite import into the vacuole (or apoplast), exemplified by storage proteins and anthocyanins. We propose that this pathway is relevant also for some phytohormones’ (e.g., auxin, abscisic acid (ABA) and salicylic acid (SA)) degradation. We hypothesize that SA is not only an autophagy inducer, but also a cargo for autophagy-related ER to vacuole membrane container delivery and catabolism. ER membrane localized enzymes will potentially enhance the area of biosynthetic reactive surfaces, and also, abundant ER localized membrane importers (e.g., ABC transporters) will internalize specific molecular species into the autophagosome biogenesis domain of ER. Such active ER domains may create tubular invaginations of tonoplast into the vacuoles as import intermediates. Packaging of cargos into the ER-derived autophagosome-like containers might be an important mechanism of vacuole and exosome biogenesis and cytoplasm protection against toxic metabolites. A new perspective on metabolic transformations intimately linked to membrane trafficking in plants is emerging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Compartmentation and Volume Control)
Open AccessReview Current Status in the Therapy of Liver Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7500-7512; doi:10.3390/ijms15057500
Received: 24 February 2014 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (922 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatic diseases, like viral hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, hereditary hemochromatosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and Wilson’s disease, play an important role in the development of liver cirrhosis and, hence, hepatocellular carcinoma. In this review, the current treatment options and the molecular mechanisms [...] Read more.
Hepatic diseases, like viral hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, hereditary hemochromatosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and Wilson’s disease, play an important role in the development of liver cirrhosis and, hence, hepatocellular carcinoma. In this review, the current treatment options and the molecular mechanisms of action of the drugs are summarized. Unfortunately, the treatment options for most of these hepatic diseases are limited. Since hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) infections are the most common causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, they are the focus of the development of new drugs. The current treatment of choice for HBV/HCV infection is an interferon-based combination therapy with oral antiviral drugs, like nucleos(t)ide analogues, which is associated with improving the therapeutic success and also preventing the development of resistances. Currently, two new protease inhibitors for HCV treatment are expected (deleobuvir, faldaprevir) and together with the promising drug, daclatasvir (NS5A-inhibitor, currently in clinical trials), adequate therapy is to be expected in due course (circumventing the requirement of interferon with its side-effects), while in contrast, efficient HBV therapeutics are still lacking. In this respect, entry inhibitors, like Myrcludex B, the lead substance of the first entry inhibitor for HBV/HDV (hepatitis D) infection, provide immense potential. The pharmacokinetics and the mechanism of action of Myrcludex B are described in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
Open AccessReview The Oligomycin-Sensitivity Conferring Protein of Mitochondrial ATP Synthase: Emerging New Roles in Mitochondrial Pathophysiology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7513-7536; doi:10.3390/ijms15057513
Received: 30 March 2014 / Revised: 18 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1853 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The oligomycin-sensitivity conferring protein (OSCP) of the mitochondrial FOF1 ATP synthase has long been recognized to be essential for the coupling of proton transport to ATP synthesis. Located on top of the catalytic F1 sector, it makes stable [...] Read more.
The oligomycin-sensitivity conferring protein (OSCP) of the mitochondrial FOF1 ATP synthase has long been recognized to be essential for the coupling of proton transport to ATP synthesis. Located on top of the catalytic F1 sector, it makes stable contacts with both F1 and the peripheral stalk, ensuring the structural and functional coupling between FO and F1, which is disrupted by the antibiotic, oligomycin. Recent data have established that OSCP is the binding target of cyclophilin (CyP) D, a well-characterized inducer of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP), whose opening can precipitate cell death. CyPD binding affects ATP synthase activity, and most importantly, it decreases the threshold matrix Ca2+ required for PTP opening, in striking analogy with benzodiazepine 423, an apoptosis-inducing agent that also binds OSCP. These findings are consistent with the demonstration that dimers of ATP synthase generate Ca2+-dependent currents with features indistinguishable from those of the PTP and suggest that ATP synthase is directly involved in PTP formation, although the underlying mechanism remains to be established. In this scenario, OSCP appears to play a fundamental role, sensing the signal(s) that switches the enzyme of life in a channel able to precipitate cell death. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Proteins and Protein-Ligand Interactions)
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Open AccessReview Delivering of Proteins to the Plant Vacuole—An Update
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7611-7623; doi:10.3390/ijms15057611
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (766 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Trafficking of soluble cargo to the vacuole is far from being a closed issue as it can occur by different routes and involve different intermediates. The textbook view of proteins being sorted at the post-Golgi level to the lytic vacuole via the [...] Read more.
Trafficking of soluble cargo to the vacuole is far from being a closed issue as it can occur by different routes and involve different intermediates. The textbook view of proteins being sorted at the post-Golgi level to the lytic vacuole via the pre-vacuole or to the protein storage vacuole mediated by dense vesicles is now challenged as novel routes are being disclosed and vacuoles with intermediate characteristics described. The identification of Vacuolar Sorting Determinants is a key signature to understand protein trafficking to the vacuole. Despite the long established vacuolar signals, some others have been described in the last few years, with different properties that can be specific for some cells or some types of vacuoles. There are also reports of proteins having two different vacuolar signals and their significance is questionable: a way to increase the efficiency of the sorting or different sorting depending on the protein roles in a specific context? Along came the idea of differential vacuolar sorting, suggesting a possible specialization of the trafficking pathways according to the type of cell and specific needs. In this review, we show the recent advances in the field and focus on different aspects of protein trafficking to the vacuoles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Compartmentation and Volume Control)
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Open AccessReview Degradation of Organelles or Specific Organelle Components via Selective Autophagy in Plant Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7624-7638; doi:10.3390/ijms15057624
Received: 16 March 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1131 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is a cellular mechanism dedicated to the degradation and recycling of unnecessary cytosolic components by their removal to the lytic compartment of the cell (the vacuole in plants). Autophagy is generally induced by stresses causing energy [...] Read more.
Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is a cellular mechanism dedicated to the degradation and recycling of unnecessary cytosolic components by their removal to the lytic compartment of the cell (the vacuole in plants). Autophagy is generally induced by stresses causing energy deprivation and its operation occurs by special vesicles, termed autophagosomes. Autophagy also operates in a selective manner, recycling specific components, such as organelles, protein aggregates or even specific proteins, and selective autophagy is implicated in both cellular housekeeping and response to stresses. In plants, selective autophagy has recently been shown to degrade mitochondria, plastids and peroxisomes, or organelle components such as the endoplasmic-reticulum (ER) membrane and chloroplast-derived proteins such as Rubisco. This ability places selective-autophagy as a major factor in cellular steady-state maintenance, both under stress and favorable environmental conditions. Here we review the recent advances documented in plants for this cellular process and further discuss its impact on plant physiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Compartmentation and Volume Control)
Open AccessReview Importance of Kupffer Cells in the Development of Acute Liver Injuries in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7711-7730; doi:10.3390/ijms15057711
Received: 20 February 2014 / Revised: 30 April 2014 / Accepted: 30 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Kupffer cells reside within the liver sinusoid and serve as gatekeepers. They produce pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and other biologically important molecules upon the engagement of pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors. Kupffer cell-ablated mice established by in vivo treatment with [...] Read more.
Kupffer cells reside within the liver sinusoid and serve as gatekeepers. They produce pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and other biologically important molecules upon the engagement of pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors. Kupffer cell-ablated mice established by in vivo treatment with clodronate liposomes have revealed many important features of Kupffer cells. In this paper, we review the importance of Kupffer cells in murine acute liver injuries and focus on the following two models: lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver injury, which is induced by priming with Propionibacterium acnes and subsequent challenge with LPS, and hypercoagulability-mediated acute liver failure such as that in concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis. Kupffer cells are required for LPS sensitization induced by P. acnes and are a major cellular source of interleukin-18, which induces acute liver injury following LPS challenge. Kupffer cells contribute to Con A-induced acute liver failure by initiating pathogenic, intrasinusoidal thrombosis in collaboration with sinusoidal endothelial cells. The mechanisms underlying these models may shed light on human liver injuries induced by various etiologies such as viral infection and/or abnormal metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
Open AccessReview Development of Drug Delivery Systems Based on Layered Hydroxides for Nanomedicine
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7750-7786; doi:10.3390/ijms15057750
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 4 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (632 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Layered hydroxides (LHs) have recently fascinated researchers due to their wide application in various fields. These inorganic nanoparticles, with excellent features as nanocarriers in drug delivery systems, have the potential to play an important role in healthcare. Owing to their outstanding ion-exchange [...] Read more.
Layered hydroxides (LHs) have recently fascinated researchers due to their wide application in various fields. These inorganic nanoparticles, with excellent features as nanocarriers in drug delivery systems, have the potential to play an important role in healthcare. Owing to their outstanding ion-exchange capacity, many organic pharmaceutical drugs have been intercalated into the interlayer galleries of LHs and, consequently, novel nanodrugs or smart drugs may revolutionize in the treatment of diseases. Layered hydroxides, as green nanoreservoirs with sustained drug release and cell targeting properties hold great promise of improving health and prolonging life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessReview Association of Dioxin and Other Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) with Diabetes: Epidemiological Evidence and New Mechanisms of Beta Cell Dysfunction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7787-7811; doi:10.3390/ijms15057787
Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 16 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The worldwide explosion of the rates of diabetes and other metabolic diseases in the last few decades cannot be fully explained only by changes in the prevalence of classical lifestyle-related risk factors, such as physical inactivity and poor diet. For this reason, [...] Read more.
The worldwide explosion of the rates of diabetes and other metabolic diseases in the last few decades cannot be fully explained only by changes in the prevalence of classical lifestyle-related risk factors, such as physical inactivity and poor diet. For this reason, it has been recently proposed that other “nontraditional” risk factors could contribute to the diabetes epidemics. In particular, an increasing number of reports indicate that chronic exposure to and accumulation of a low concentration of environmental pollutants (especially the so-called persistent organic pollutants (POPs)) within the body might be associated with diabetogenesis. In this review, the epidemiological evidence suggesting a relationship between dioxin and other POPs exposure and diabetes incidence will be summarized, and some recent developments on the possible underlying mechanisms, with particular reference to dioxin, will be presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Toxicity of Dioxins and Related Compounds)
Open AccessReview Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease Analysis by Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7865-7882; doi:10.3390/ijms15057865
Received: 19 March 2014 / Revised: 3 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common chronic and destructive disease. The early diagnosis of AD is difficult, thus the need for clinically applicable biomarkers development is growing rapidly. There are many methods to biomarker discovery and identification. In this review, we aim [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common chronic and destructive disease. The early diagnosis of AD is difficult, thus the need for clinically applicable biomarkers development is growing rapidly. There are many methods to biomarker discovery and identification. In this review, we aim to summarize Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics studies on AD and discuss thoroughly the methods to identify candidate biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood. This review will also discuss the potential research areas on biomarkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advances in Proteomic Research)
Open AccessReview Mucin 1 Gene (MUC1) and Gastric-Cancer Susceptibility
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7958-7973; doi:10.3390/ijms15057958
Received: 3 April 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the major malignant diseases worldwide, especially in Asia. It is classified into intestinal and diffuse types. While the intestinal-type GC (IGC) is almost certainly caused by Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection, its role in the diffuse-type GC [...] Read more.
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the major malignant diseases worldwide, especially in Asia. It is classified into intestinal and diffuse types. While the intestinal-type GC (IGC) is almost certainly caused by Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection, its role in the diffuse-type GC (DGC) appears limited. Recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on Japanese and Chinese populations identified chromosome 1q22 as a GC susceptibility locus which harbors mucin 1 gene (MUC1) encoding a cell membrane-bound mucin protein. MUC1 has been known as an oncogene with an anti-apoptotic function in cancer cells; however, in normal gastric mucosa, it is anticipated that the mucin 1 protein has a role in protecting gastric epithelial cells from a variety of external insults which cause inflammation and carcinogenesis. HP infection is the most definite insult leading to GC, and a protective function of mucin 1 protein has been suggested by studies on Muc1 knocked-out mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Susceptibility to Carcinogen-Induced Cancer)
Open AccessReview Rationale for the Use of Upfront Whole Brain Irradiation in Patients with Brain Metastases from Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8138-8152; doi:10.3390/ijms15058138
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 22 April 2014 / Accepted: 25 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of brain metastases and deserves particular attention in relation to current prolonged survival of patients with metastatic disease. Advances in both systemic therapies and brain local treatments (surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery) have led to [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of brain metastases and deserves particular attention in relation to current prolonged survival of patients with metastatic disease. Advances in both systemic therapies and brain local treatments (surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery) have led to a reappraisal of brain metastases management. With respect to this, the literature review presented here was conducted in an attempt to collect medical evidence-based data on the use of whole-brain radiotherapy for the treatment of brain metastases from breast cancer. In addition, this study discusses here the potential differences in outcomes between patients with brain metastases from breast cancer and those with brain metastases from other primary malignancies and the potential implications within a treatment strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Metastasis 2014)
Open AccessReview Cancer Stem Cells: Biological Functions and Therapeutically Targeting
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8169-8185; doi:10.3390/ijms15058169
Received: 23 March 2014 / Revised: 20 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (425 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Almost all tumors are composed of a heterogeneous cell population, making them difficult to treat. A small cancer stem cell population with a low proliferation rate and a high tumorigenic potential is thought to be responsible for cancer development, metastasis and resistance [...] Read more.
Almost all tumors are composed of a heterogeneous cell population, making them difficult to treat. A small cancer stem cell population with a low proliferation rate and a high tumorigenic potential is thought to be responsible for cancer development, metastasis and resistance to therapy. Stem cells were reported to be involved in both normal development and carcinogenesis, some molecular mechanisms being common in both processes. No less controversial, stem cells are considered to be important in treatment of malignant diseases both as targets and drug carriers. The efforts to understand the role of different signalling in cancer stem cells requires in depth knowledge about the mechanisms that control their self-renewal, differentiation and malignant potential. The aim of this paper is to discuss insights into cancer stem cells historical background and to provide a brief review of the new therapeutic strategies for targeting cancer stem cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessReview Transport Pathways—Proton Motive Force Interrelationship in Durum Wheat Mitochondria
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8186-8215; doi:10.3390/ijms15058186
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 18 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In durum wheat mitochondria (DWM) the ATP-inhibited plant mitochondrial potassium channel (PmitoKATP) and the plant uncoupling protein (PUCP) are able to strongly reduce the proton motive force (pmf) to control mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species; under these conditions, mitochondrial [...] Read more.
In durum wheat mitochondria (DWM) the ATP-inhibited plant mitochondrial potassium channel (PmitoKATP) and the plant uncoupling protein (PUCP) are able to strongly reduce the proton motive force (pmf) to control mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species; under these conditions, mitochondrial carriers lack the driving force for transport and should be inactive. However, unexpectedly, DWM uncoupling by PmitoKATP neither impairs the exchange of ADP for ATP nor blocks the inward transport of Pi and succinate. This uptake may occur via the plant inner membrane anion channel (PIMAC), which is physiologically inhibited by membrane potential, but unlocks its activity in de-energized mitochondria. Probably, cooperation between PIMAC and carriers may accomplish metabolite movement across the inner membrane under both energized and de-energized conditions. PIMAC may also cooperate with PmitoKATP to transport ammonium salts in DWM. Interestingly, this finding may trouble classical interpretation of in vitro mitochondrial swelling; instead of free passage of ammonia through the inner membrane and proton symport with Pi, that trigger metabolite movements via carriers, transport of ammonium via PmitoKATP and that of the counteranion via PIMAC may occur. Here, we review properties, modulation and function of the above reported DWM channels and carriers to shed new light on the control that they exert on pmf and vice-versa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Compartmentation and Volume Control)
Open AccessReview Inhibitors of Intracellular Signaling Pathways that Lead to Stimulated Epidermal Pigmentation: Perspective of Anti-Pigmenting Agents
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8293-8315; doi:10.3390/ijms15058293
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 17 April 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5096 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Few anti-pigmenting agents have been designed and developed according to their known hyperpigmentation mechanisms and corresponding intracellular signaling cascades. Most anti-pigmenting agents developed so far are mechanistically involved in the interruption of constitutional melanogenic mechanisms by which skin color is maintained at [...] Read more.
Few anti-pigmenting agents have been designed and developed according to their known hyperpigmentation mechanisms and corresponding intracellular signaling cascades. Most anti-pigmenting agents developed so far are mechanistically involved in the interruption of constitutional melanogenic mechanisms by which skin color is maintained at a normal and unstimulated level. Thus, owing to the difficulty of confining topical application to a specific hyperpigmented skin area, potent anti-pigmenting agents capable of attenuating the natural unstimulated pigmentation process have the risk of leading to hypopigmentation. Since intracellular signaling pathways within melanocytes do not function substantially in maintaining normal skin color and are activated only by environmental stimuli such as UV radiation, specifically down-regulating the activation of melanogenesis to the constitutive level would be an appropriate strategy to develop new potent anti-pigmenting agents with a low risk of hypopigmentation. In this article, we review the hyperpigmentation mechanisms and intracellular signaling pathways that lead to the stimulation of melanogenesis. We also discuss a screening and evaluation system to select candidates for new anti-melanogenic substances by focusing on inhibitors of endothelin-1 or stem cell factor-triggered intracellular signaling cascades. From this viewpoint, we show that extracts of the herbs Withania somnifera and Melia toosendan and the natural chemicals Withaferin A and Astaxanthin are new candidates for potent anti-pigmenting substances that avoid the risk of hypopigmentation. Full article
Open AccessReview Apoptotic Death of Cancer Stem Cells for Cancer Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8335-8351; doi:10.3390/ijms15058335
Received: 24 February 2014 / Revised: 18 April 2014 / Accepted: 18 April 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) play crucial roles in tumor progression, chemo- and radiotherapy resistance, and recurrence. Recent studies on CSCs have advanced understanding of molecular oncology and development of novel therapeutic strategies. This review article updates the hypothesis and paradigm of CSCs [...] Read more.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) play crucial roles in tumor progression, chemo- and radiotherapy resistance, and recurrence. Recent studies on CSCs have advanced understanding of molecular oncology and development of novel therapeutic strategies. This review article updates the hypothesis and paradigm of CSCs with a focus on major signaling pathways and effectors that regulate CSC apoptosis. Selective CSC apoptotic inducers are introduced and their therapeutic potentials are discussed. These include synthetic and natural compounds, antibodies and recombinant proteins, and oligonucleotides. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Programmed Cell Death and Apoptosis)
Open AccessReview Alteration of Skin Properties with Autologous Dermal Fibroblasts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8407-8427; doi:10.3390/ijms15058407
Received: 21 March 2014 / Revised: 19 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (834 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dermal fibroblasts are mesenchymal cells found between the skin epidermis and subcutaneous tissue. They are primarily responsible for synthesizing collagen and glycosaminoglycans; components of extracellular matrix supporting the structural integrity of the skin. Dermal fibroblasts play a pivotal role in cutaneous wound [...] Read more.
Dermal fibroblasts are mesenchymal cells found between the skin epidermis and subcutaneous tissue. They are primarily responsible for synthesizing collagen and glycosaminoglycans; components of extracellular matrix supporting the structural integrity of the skin. Dermal fibroblasts play a pivotal role in cutaneous wound healing and skin repair. Preclinical studies suggest wider applications of dermal fibroblasts ranging from skin based indications to non-skin tissue regeneration in tendon repair. One clinical application for autologous dermal fibroblasts has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while others are in preclinical development or various stages of regulatory approval. In this context, we outline the role of fibroblasts in wound healing and discuss recent advances and the current development pipeline for cellular therapies using autologous dermal fibroblasts. The microanatomic and phenotypic differences of fibroblasts occupying particular locations within the skin are reviewed, emphasizing the therapeutic relevance of attributes exhibited by subpopulations of fibroblasts. Special focus is provided to fibroblast characteristics that define regional differences in skin, including the thick and hairless skin of the palms and soles as compared to hair-bearing skin. This regional specificity and functional identity of fibroblasts provides another platform for developing regional skin applications such as the induction of hair follicles in bald scalp or alteration of the phenotype of stump skin in amputees to better support their prosthetic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transduction of Tissue Repair)
Open AccessReview Evolving Concepts in the Pathogenesis of NASH: Beyond Steatosis and Inflammation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8591-8638; doi:10.3390/ijms15058591
Received: 2 February 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (886 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterised by hepatic steatosis and inflammation and, in some patients, progressive fibrosis leading to cirrhosis. An understanding of the pathogenesis of NASH is still evolving but current evidence suggests multiple metabolic factors critically disrupt homeostasis and induce an [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterised by hepatic steatosis and inflammation and, in some patients, progressive fibrosis leading to cirrhosis. An understanding of the pathogenesis of NASH is still evolving but current evidence suggests multiple metabolic factors critically disrupt homeostasis and induce an inflammatory cascade and ensuing fibrosis. The mechanisms underlying these changes and the complex inter-cellular interactions that mediate fibrogenesis are yet to be fully elucidated. Lipotoxicity, in the setting of excess free fatty acids, obesity, and insulin resistance, appears to be the central driver of cellular injury via oxidative stress. Hepatocyte apoptosis and/or senescence contribute to activation of the inflammasome via a variety of intra- and inter-cellular signalling mechanisms leading to fibrosis. Current evidence suggests that periportal components, including the ductular reaction and expansion of the hepatic progenitor cell compartment, may be involved and that the Th17 response may mediate disease progression. This review aims to provide an overview of the pathogenesis of NASH and summarises the evidence pertaining to key mechanisms implicated in the transition from steatosis and inflammation to fibrosis. Currently there are limited treatments for NASH although an increasing understanding of its pathogenesis will likely improve the development and use of interventions in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Research)
Open AccessReview Signaling Pathways in Cartilage Repair
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8667-8698; doi:10.3390/ijms15058667
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 28 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In adult healthy cartilage, chondrocytes are in a quiescent phase characterized by a fine balance between anabolic and catabolic activities. In ageing, degenerative joint diseases and traumatic injuries of cartilage, a loss of homeostatic conditions and an up-regulation of catabolic pathways occur. [...] Read more.
In adult healthy cartilage, chondrocytes are in a quiescent phase characterized by a fine balance between anabolic and catabolic activities. In ageing, degenerative joint diseases and traumatic injuries of cartilage, a loss of homeostatic conditions and an up-regulation of catabolic pathways occur. Since cartilage differentiation and maintenance of homeostasis are finely tuned by a complex network of signaling molecules and biophysical factors, shedding light on these mechanisms appears to be extremely relevant for both the identification of pathogenic key factors, as specific therapeutic targets, and the development of biological approaches for cartilage regeneration. This review will focus on the main signaling pathways that can activate cellular and molecular processes, regulating the functional behavior of cartilage in both physiological and pathological conditions. These networks may be relevant in the crosstalk among joint compartments and increased knowledge in this field may lead to the development of more effective strategies for inducing cartilage repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transduction of Tissue Repair)
Open AccessReview Role of Mitochondria in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8713-8742; doi:10.3390/ijms15058713
Received: 4 March 2014 / Revised: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 7 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects about 30% of the general population in the United States and includes a spectrum of disease that includes simple steatosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis and cirrhosis. Significant insight has been gained into our understanding of the [...] Read more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects about 30% of the general population in the United States and includes a spectrum of disease that includes simple steatosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis and cirrhosis. Significant insight has been gained into our understanding of the pathogenesis of NALFD; however the key metabolic aberrations underlying lipid accumulation in hepatocytes and the progression of NAFLD remain to be elucidated. Accumulating and emerging evidence indicate that hepatic mitochondria play a critical role in the development and pathogenesis of steatosis and NAFLD. Here, we review studies that document a link between the pathogenesis of NAFLD and hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction with particular focus on new insights into the role of impaired fatty acid oxidation, the transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), and sirtuins in development and progression of NAFLD. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Molecular Mechanisms of Human Liver Diseases)
Open AccessReview Colonization and Infection of the Skin by S. aureus: Immune System Evasion and the Response to Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8753-8772; doi:10.3390/ijms15058753
Received: 18 April 2014 / Revised: 2 May 2014 / Accepted: 7 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (976 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a widespread cutaneous pathogen responsible for the great majority of bacterial skin infections in humans. The incidence of skin infections by S. aureus reflects in part the competition between host cutaneous immune defenses and S. [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a widespread cutaneous pathogen responsible for the great majority of bacterial skin infections in humans. The incidence of skin infections by S. aureus reflects in part the competition between host cutaneous immune defenses and S. aureus virulence factors. As part of the innate immune system in the skin, cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) such as the β-defensins and cathelicidin contribute to host cutaneous defense, which prevents harmful microorganisms, like S. aureus, from crossing epithelial barriers. Conversely, S. aureus utilizes evasive mechanisms against host defenses to promote its colonization and infection of the skin. In this review, we focus on host-pathogen interactions during colonization and infection of the skin by S. aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We will discuss the peptides (defensins, cathelicidins, RNase7, dermcidin) and other mediators (toll-like receptor, IL-1 and IL-17) that comprise the host defense against S. aureus skin infection, as well as the various mechanisms by which S. aureus evades host defenses. It is anticipated that greater understanding of these mechanisms will enable development of more sustainable antimicrobial compounds and new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of S. aureus skin infection and colonization. Full article
Open AccessReview Marine Microbial Metagenomics: From Individual to the Environment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8878-8892; doi:10.3390/ijms15058878
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 29 April 2014 / Accepted: 8 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microbes are the most abundant biological entities on earth, therefore, studying them is important for understanding their roles in global ecology. The science of metagenomics is a relatively young field of research that has enjoyed significant effort since its inception in 1998. [...] Read more.
Microbes are the most abundant biological entities on earth, therefore, studying them is important for understanding their roles in global ecology. The science of metagenomics is a relatively young field of research that has enjoyed significant effort since its inception in 1998. Studies using next-generation sequencing techniques on single genomes and collections of genomes have not only led to novel insights into microbial genomics, but also revealed a close association between environmental niches and genome evolution. Herein, we review studies investigating microbial genomics (largely in the marine ecosystem) at the individual and community levels to summarize our current understanding of microbial ecology in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metagenomics: a Powerful Lens Viewing the Microbial World)
Open AccessReview Brain Metastasis-Initiating Cells: Survival of the Fittest
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9117-9133; doi:10.3390/ijms15059117
Received: 15 April 2014 / Revised: 12 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
PDF Full-text (548 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Brain metastases (BMs) are the most common brain tumor in adults, developing in about 10% of adult cancer patients. It is not the incidence of BM that is alarming, but the poor patient prognosis. Even with aggressive treatments, median patient survival is [...] Read more.
Brain metastases (BMs) are the most common brain tumor in adults, developing in about 10% of adult cancer patients. It is not the incidence of BM that is alarming, but the poor patient prognosis. Even with aggressive treatments, median patient survival is only months. Despite the high rate of BM-associated mortality, very little research is conducted in this area. Lack of research and staggeringly low patient survival is indicative that a novel approach to BMs and their treatment is needed. The ability of a small subset of primary tumor cells to produce macrometastases is reminiscent of brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs) or cancer stem cells (CSCs) hypothesized to form primary brain tumors. BTICs are considered stem cell-like due to their self-renewal and differentiation properties. Similar to the subset of cells forming metastases, BTICs are most often a rare subpopulation. Based on the functional definition of a TIC, cells capable of forming a BM could be considered to be brain metastasis-initiating cells (BMICs). These putative BMICs would not only have the ability to initiate tumor growth in a secondary niche, but also the machinery to escape the primary tumor, migrate through the circulation, and invade the neural niche. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Metastasis 2014)
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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Al-Majid, A.M., et al., Tandem Aldol-Michael Reactions in Aqueous Diethylamine Medium: A Greener and Efficient Approach to Bis-Pyrimidine Derivatives. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 23762–23773.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7537-7538; doi:10.3390/ijms15057537
Received: 25 April 2014 / Accepted: 25 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
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Abstract The authors wish to change Figure 2 in Section 2 of their paper published in IJMS [1]. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
Open AccessConcept Paper Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation during Pregnancy: A Potential Tool to Prevent Membrane Rupture and Preterm Labor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8024-8036; doi:10.3390/ijms15058024
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are required to maintain the fluidity, permeability and integrity of cell membranes. Maternal dietary supplementation with ω-3 PUFAs during pregnancy has beneficial effects, including increased gestational length and reduced risk of pregnancy complications. Significant amounts of ω-3 docosahexaenoic [...] Read more.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are required to maintain the fluidity, permeability and integrity of cell membranes. Maternal dietary supplementation with ω-3 PUFAs during pregnancy has beneficial effects, including increased gestational length and reduced risk of pregnancy complications. Significant amounts of ω-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are transferred from maternal to fetal blood, hence ensuring high levels of DHA in the placenta and fetal bloodstream and tissues. Fetal DHA demand increases exponentially with gestational age, especially in the third trimester, due to fetal development. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a daily intake of DHA is recommended during pregnancy. Omega-3 PUFAs are involved in several anti-inflammatory, pro-resolving and anti-oxidative pathways. Several placental disorders, such as intrauterine growth restriction, premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and preterm-PROM (pPROM), are associated with placental inflammation and oxidative stress. This pilot study reports on a preliminary evaluation of the significance of the daily DHA administration on PROM and pPROM events in healthy pregnant women. Further extensive clinical trials will be necessary to fully elucidate the correlation between DHA administration during pregnancy and PROM/pPROM occurrence, which is related in turn to gestational duration and overall fetal health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Control of Metabolism)
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Open AccessHypothesis Cancer Stem Cell Theory and the Warburg Effect, Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 8893-8930; doi:10.3390/ijms15058893
Received: 23 March 2014 / Revised: 28 April 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (596 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the last 100 years, many studies have been performed to determine the biochemical and histopathological phenomena that mark the origin of neoplasms. At the end of the last century, the leading paradigm, which is currently well rooted, considered the origin of [...] Read more.
Over the last 100 years, many studies have been performed to determine the biochemical and histopathological phenomena that mark the origin of neoplasms. At the end of the last century, the leading paradigm, which is currently well rooted, considered the origin of neoplasms to be a set of genetic and/or epigenetic mutations, stochastic and independent in a single cell, or rather, a stochastic monoclonal pattern. However, in the last 20 years, two important areas of research have underlined numerous limitations and incongruities of this pattern, the hypothesis of the so-called cancer stem cell theory and a revaluation of several alterations in metabolic networks that are typical of the neoplastic cell, the so-called Warburg effect. Even if this specific “metabolic sign” has been known for more than 85 years, only in the last few years has it been given more attention; therefore, the so-called Warburg hypothesis has been used in multiple and independent surveys. Based on an accurate analysis of a series of considerations and of biophysical thermodynamic events in the literature, we will demonstrate a homogeneous pattern of the cancer stem cell theory, of the Warburg hypothesis and of the stochastic monoclonal pattern; this pattern could contribute considerably as the first basis of the development of a new uniform theory on the origin of neoplasms. Thus, a new possible epistemological paradigm is represented; this paradigm considers the Warburg effect as a specific “metabolic sign” reflecting the stem origin of the neoplastic cell, where, in this specific metabolic order, an essential reason for the genetic instability that is intrinsic to the neoplastic cell is defined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Research of Melatonin 2014)

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