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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 18, Issue 4 (April 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Announcing the International Journal of Molecular Sciences Young Investigator and Travel Awards 2017
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 791; doi:10.3390/ijms18040791
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 8 April 2017
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Biosynthesis of α-Glucosidase Inhibitors by a Newly Isolated Bacterium, Paenibacillus sp. TKU042 and Its Effect on Reducing Plasma Glucose in a Mouse Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 700; doi:10.3390/ijms18040700
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
Paenibacillus sp. TKU042, a bacterium isolated from Taiwanese soil, produced α-glucosidase inhibitors (aGIs) in the culture supernatant when commercial nutrient broth (NB) was used as the medium for fermentation. The supernatant of fermented NB (FNB) showed stronger inhibitory activities than acarbose, a commercial
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Paenibacillus sp. TKU042, a bacterium isolated from Taiwanese soil, produced α-glucosidase inhibitors (aGIs) in the culture supernatant when commercial nutrient broth (NB) was used as the medium for fermentation. The supernatant of fermented NB (FNB) showed stronger inhibitory activities than acarbose, a commercial anti-diabetic drug. The IC50 and maximum α-glucosidase inhibitory activities (aGIA) of FNB and acarbose against α-glucosidase were 81 μg/mL, 92% and 1395 μg/mL, 63%, respectively. FNB was found to be strongly thermostable, retaining 95% of its relative activity, even after heating at 100 °C for 30 min. FNB was also stable at various pH values. Furthermore, FNB demonstrated antioxidant activity (IC50 = 2.23 mg/mL). In animal tests, FNB showed remarkable reductions in the plasma glucose of ICR (Institute of Cancer Research) mice at a concentration of 200 mg/kg. Combining FNB and acarbose enhanced the effect even more, with an added advantage of eliminating diarrhea. According to HPLC (High-performance liquid chromatography) fingerprinting, the Paenibacillus sp. TKU042 aGIs were not acarbose. All of the results suggest that Paenibacillus sp. TKU042 FNB could have potential use as a health food or to treat type 2 diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activity of Natural Secondary Metabolite Products)
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Open AccessArticle Down-Regulated Drebrin Aggravates Cognitive Impairments in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 800; doi:10.3390/ijms18040800
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
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Abstract
The developmentally regulated brain protein drebrin (Dbn) is a functional protein involved with long-term memory formation and is widely distributed in brain neurons, especially in the dendritic spines. A noticeable decline of this protein has been found in the hippocampus and cortex of
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The developmentally regulated brain protein drebrin (Dbn) is a functional protein involved with long-term memory formation and is widely distributed in brain neurons, especially in the dendritic spines. A noticeable decline of this protein has been found in the hippocampus and cortex of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), yet the relationship between Dbn and AD has not been fully understood. In the present study, we examined how down-regulation of Dbn impacts the progression of AD in experimental animals. Accordingly, we injected Dbn interference vector (rAAV-mDbn1 ShRNA) into the hippocampus of three-month old APP(swe)/PS1(ΔE9) mice (APP/PS1 mice) and then successfully down-regulated Dbn expression in this brain region. Behavioral tests, including the Morris water maze test, the open field test, and the novel object test were conducted when the animals were nine months old. Subsequently, MicroPET/CT imaging to monitor glucose metabolism was done. We then investigated Aβ, GFAP, PSD-95, MAP2, vimentin, Cox43, and Syn1 expressions in the brain of the experimental animals via immunohistochemical or immunofluorescence methods. We found that AD mice with a low expression of Dbn performed poorly in the behavioral tests and showed decreased glucose utilization. In the brains of these animals, we detected a slight increase of Aβ, GFAP and vimentin and a significant decline of PSD-95. Altogether our data warrant further studies to elucidate the effect of Dbn on the development and progression of AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotective Strategies 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Large-Scale Membrane- and Lignin-Modified Adsorbent-Assisted Extraction and Preconcentration of Triazine Analogs and Aflatoxins
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 801; doi:10.3390/ijms18040801
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
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Abstract
The large-scale simultaneous extraction and concentration of aqueous solutions of triazine analogs, and aflatoxins, through a hydrocarbon-based membrane (e.g., polyethylene, polyethylene/polypropylene copolymer) under ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure is reported. The subsequent adsorption of analyte in the extraction chamber over the lignin-modified silica
[...] Read more.
The large-scale simultaneous extraction and concentration of aqueous solutions of triazine analogs, and aflatoxins, through a hydrocarbon-based membrane (e.g., polyethylene, polyethylene/polypropylene copolymer) under ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure is reported. The subsequent adsorption of analyte in the extraction chamber over the lignin-modified silica gel facilitates the process by reducing the operating time. The maximum adsorption capacity values for triazine analogs and aflatoxins are mainly adsorption mechanism-dependent and were calculated to be 0.432 and 0.297 mg/10 mg, respectively. The permeation, and therefore the percentage of analyte extracted, ranges from 1% to almost 100%, and varies among the solvents examined. It is considered to be vapor pressure- and chemical polarity-dependent, and is thus highly affected by the nature and thickness of the membrane, the discrepancy in the solubility values of the analyte between the two liquid phases, and the amount of adsorbent used in the process. A dependence on the size of the analyte was observed in the adsorption capacity measurement, but not in the extraction process. The theoretical interaction simulation and FTIR data show that the planar aflatoxin molecule releases much more energy when facing toward the membrane molecule when approaching it, and the mechanism leading to the adsorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Lignin Challenge: Exploring Innovative Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Irisin, Mediator of Physical Activity, Are Connected with TLR4/MyD88 Signaling Pathway Activation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 701; doi:10.3390/ijms18040701
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
Irisin, an adipomiokine known as a mediator of physical activity, induces the browning of adipose tissue and it has potentially protective properties in the development of obesity-related states, such as insulin resistance, arteriosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes. Despite numerous studies conducted on this
[...] Read more.
Irisin, an adipomiokine known as a mediator of physical activity, induces the browning of adipose tissue and it has potentially protective properties in the development of obesity-related states, such as insulin resistance, arteriosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes. Despite numerous studies conducted on this factor, still little is known about its impact on the functioning of immunocompetent cells, but its potential anti-inflammatory properties were previously suggested. In the current study we investigated the role of irisin (0–100 nM) in the downstream pathway activation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in RAW 264.7 macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100 ng/mL). The results have shown that irisin in high concentrations (50, 100 nM) significantly decreased the TLR4 and MyD88 protein levels, as well as the phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), consequently leading to the reduction in the release of crucial pro-inflammatory cytokines. The above was confirmed for interleukin 1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin 6 (IL-6), keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), as well as for high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). Moreover, our results indicate that this effect is connected with irisin’s impact on the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), where a significant reduction in p-JNK and p-ERK but not p-p38 was observed. In conclusion, these data suggest that irisin has potentially anti-inflammatory properties connected with the downregulation of downstream pathways of TLR4/MyD88. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents)
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro and In Vivo Studies on the Structural Organization of Chs3 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 702; doi:10.3390/ijms18040702
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
Chitin biosynthesis in yeast is accomplished by three chitin synthases (Chs) termed Chs1, Chs2 and Chs3, of which the latter accounts for most of the chitin deposited within the cell wall. While the overall structures of Chs1 and Chs2 are similar to those
[...] Read more.
Chitin biosynthesis in yeast is accomplished by three chitin synthases (Chs) termed Chs1, Chs2 and Chs3, of which the latter accounts for most of the chitin deposited within the cell wall. While the overall structures of Chs1 and Chs2 are similar to those of other chitin synthases from fungi and arthropods, Chs3 lacks some of the C-terminal transmembrane helices raising questions regarding its structure and topology. To fill this gap of knowledge, we performed bioinformatic analyses and protease protection assays that revealed significant information about the catalytic domain, the chitin-translocating channel and the interfacial helices in between. In particular, we identified an amphipathic, crescent-shaped α-helix attached to the inner side of the membrane that presumably controls the channel entrance and a finger helix pushing the polymer into the channel. Evidence has accumulated in the past years that chitin synthases form oligomeric complexes, which may be necessary for the formation of chitin nanofibrils. However, the functional significance for living yeast cells has remained elusive. To test Chs3 oligomerization in vivo, we used bimolecular fluorescence complementation. We detected oligomeric complexes at the bud neck, the lateral plasma membrane, and in membranes of Golgi vesicles, and analyzed their transport route using various trafficking mutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of the In Vivo Biotransformation of Two Emerging Estrogenic Contaminants, BP2 and BPS, in Zebrafish Embryos and Adults
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 704; doi:10.3390/ijms18040704
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
Zebrafish embryo assays are increasingly used in the toxicological assessment of endocrine disruptors. Among other advantages, these models are 3R-compliant and are fit for screening purposes. Biotransformation processes are well-recognized as a critical factor influencing toxic response, but major gaps of knowledge exist
[...] Read more.
Zebrafish embryo assays are increasingly used in the toxicological assessment of endocrine disruptors. Among other advantages, these models are 3R-compliant and are fit for screening purposes. Biotransformation processes are well-recognized as a critical factor influencing toxic response, but major gaps of knowledge exist regarding the characterization of functional metabolic capacities expressed in zebrafish. Comparative metabolic studies between embryos and adults are even scarcer. Using 3H-labeled chemicals, we examined the fate of two estrogenic emerging contaminants, benzophenone-2 (BP2) and bisphenol S (BPS), in 4-day embryos and adult zebrafish. BPS and BP2 were exclusively metabolized through phase II pathways, with no major qualitative difference between larvae and adults except the occurrence of a BP2-di-glucuronide in adults. Quantitatively, the biotransformation of both molecules was more extensive in adults. For BPS, glucuronidation was the predominant pathway in adults and larvae. For BP2, glucuronidation was the major pathway in larvae, but sulfation predominated in adults, with ca. 40% conversion of parent BP2 and an extensive release of several conjugates into water. Further larvae/adults quantitative differences were demonstrated for both molecules, with higher residue concentrations measured in larvae. The study contributes novel data regarding the metabolism of BPS and BP2 in a fish model and shows that phase II conjugation pathways are already functional in 4-dpf-old zebrafish. Comparative analysis of BP2 and BPS metabolic profiles in zebrafish larvae and adults further supports the use of zebrafish embryo as a relevant model in which toxicity and estrogenic activity can be assessed, while taking into account the absorption and fate of tested substances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish: A Model for Toxicological Research)
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Open AccessArticle Diagnostic Limitation of Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA) on Indeterminate Thyroid Nodules Can Be Partially Overcome by Preoperative Molecular Analysis: Assessment of RET/PTC1 Rearrangement in BRAF and RAS Wild-Type Routine Air-Dried FNA Specimens
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 806; doi:10.3390/ijms18040806
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Molecular markers are helpful diagnostic tools, particularly for cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules. Preoperative RET/PTC1 rearrangement analysis in BRAF and RAS wild-type indeterminate thyroid nodules would permit the formulation of an unambiguous surgical plan. Cycle threshold values according to the cell count for detection
[...] Read more.
Molecular markers are helpful diagnostic tools, particularly for cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules. Preoperative RET/PTC1 rearrangement analysis in BRAF and RAS wild-type indeterminate thyroid nodules would permit the formulation of an unambiguous surgical plan. Cycle threshold values according to the cell count for detection of the RET/PTC1 rearrangement by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using fresh and routine air-dried TPC1 cells were evaluated. The correlation of RET/PTC1 rearrangement between fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and paired formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens was analyzed. RET/PTC1 rearrangements of 76 resected BRAF and RAS wild-type classical PTCs were also analyzed. Results of RT-PCR and the Nanostring were compared. When 100 fresh and air-dried TPC1 cells were used, expression of RET/PTC1 rearrangement was detectable after 35 and 33 PCR cycles, respectively. The results of RET/PTC1 rearrangement in 10 FNA and paired FFPE papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) specimens showed complete correlation. Twenty-nine (38.2%) of 76 BRAF and RAS wild-type classical PTCs had RET/PTC1 rearrangement. Comparison of RET/PTC1 rearrangement analysis between RT-PCR and the Nanostring showed moderate agreement with a κ value of 0.56 (p = 0.002). The RET/PTC1 rearrangement analysis by RT-PCR using routine air-dried FNA specimen was confirmed to be technically applicable. A significant proportion (38.2%) of the BRAF and RAS wild-type PTCs harbored RET/PTC1 rearrangements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge in Thyroid Cancer—From Bench to Bedside)
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Open AccessArticle Functional Analysis of the Ser149/Thr149 Variants of Human Aspartylglucosaminidase and Optimization of the Coding Sequence for Protein Production
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 706; doi:10.3390/ijms18040706
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
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Abstract
Aspartylglucosaminidase (AGA) is a lysosomal hydrolase that participates in the breakdown of glycoproteins. Defects in the AGA gene result in a lysosomal storage disorder, aspartylglucosaminuria (AGU), that manifests mainly as progressive mental retardation. A number of AGU missense mutations have been identified that
[...] Read more.
Aspartylglucosaminidase (AGA) is a lysosomal hydrolase that participates in the breakdown of glycoproteins. Defects in the AGA gene result in a lysosomal storage disorder, aspartylglucosaminuria (AGU), that manifests mainly as progressive mental retardation. A number of AGU missense mutations have been identified that result in reduced AGA activity. Human variants that contain either Ser or Thr in position 149 have been described, but it is unknown if this affects AGA processing or activity. Here, we have directly compared the Ser149/Thr149 variants of AGA and show that they do not differ in terms of relative specific activity or processing. Therefore, Thr149 AGA, which is the rare variant, can be considered as a neutral or benign variant. Furthermore, we have here produced codon-optimized versions of these two variants and show that they are expressed at significantly higher levels than AGA with the natural codon-usage. Since optimal AGA expression is of vital importance for both gene therapy and enzyme replacement, our data suggest that use of codon-optimized AGA may be beneficial for these therapy options. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High Glucose Accelerates Cell Proliferation and Increases the Secretion and mRNA Expression of Osteopontin in Human Pancreatic Duct Epithelial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 807; doi:10.3390/ijms18040807
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Background: The incidence of pancreatic cancer is increasing year-by-year in Japan. Among the diseases that complicate pancreatic cancer, diabetes is the most common. Recently, it has become evident that patients suffering from diabetes and obesity show increased expression of osteopontin (OPN). The purpose
[...] Read more.
Background: The incidence of pancreatic cancer is increasing year-by-year in Japan. Among the diseases that complicate pancreatic cancer, diabetes is the most common. Recently, it has become evident that patients suffering from diabetes and obesity show increased expression of osteopontin (OPN). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of high glucose and high insulin culture conditions on a human pancreatic duct epithelial cell line (HPDE-6), focusing particularly on OPN expression. Methods: HPDE-6 were cultured under various conditions, employing several combinations of glucose (normal, 6 mM high, 30 mM, and 60 mM) and insulin (0.1 nM, 1 nM) concentration. Results: HPDE-6 cell proliferation was significantly accelerated under high glucose culture conditions in comparison to samples in 6 mM glucose, and was more prominent under high insulin conditions. At the same time, the expression of OPN mRNA was also increased significantly. In comparison with 6 mM glucose, the expression of 8-OHdG DNA was increased in high glucose culture. Conclusion: HPDE-6 cells show accelerated proliferation and increased OPN expression when cultured under high glucose and high insulin conditions. Furthermore, the cells show increased oxidative stress in the presence of high glucose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle The Balloon-Based Manometry Evaluation of Swallowing in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 707; doi:10.3390/ijms18040707
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to analyse the disturbances of the oro-pharyngeal swallowing phase of dysphagia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with the use of specific manometric measurements and to evaluate their plausible association with the duration of the disease. Seventeen
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The aim of the study was to analyse the disturbances of the oro-pharyngeal swallowing phase of dysphagia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with the use of specific manometric measurements and to evaluate their plausible association with the duration of the disease. Seventeen patients with ALS were evaluated with manometric examinations of the oral and pharyngeal part of the gastrointestinal tract. Tests were carried out by using the oesophageal balloon-based method with four balloon transducers located 5 cm away from each other. The following manometric parameters were analysed: the base of tongue contraction (BTC) and the upper oesophageal sphincter pressure (UESP), and the hypopharyngeal suction pump (HSP) as well as the oro-pharyngeal, pharyngeal and hypopharyngeal transit time and average pharyngeal bolus velocity (oropharyngeal transit time (OTT), pharyngeal transit time (PTT), hypopharyngeal transit time (HTT) and average pharyngeal bolus velocity (APBV), respectively). Manomatric examinations during swallowing in patients with ALS showed significant weakness of BTC, a decrease of HSP and a decrease of the velocity of bolus transit inside the pharynx which were particularly marked between the first and the third examination. Manometric examinations of the oro-pharyngeal part of the gastrointestinal tract are useful and supportive methods in the analysis of swallowing disturbances in ALS patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Diseases Therapy)
Open AccessArticle SUMO-Specific Cysteine Protease 1 Promotes Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition of Prostate Cancer Cells via Regulating SMAD4 deSUMOylation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 808; doi:10.3390/ijms18040808
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
In advanced prostate cancer, small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-specific cysteine protease 1 (SENP1) is up-regulated. However, the role of SENP1 in regulating deSUMOylation of TGF-β/SMADs signaling is unknown. In this study, we developed a lentiviral vector, PLKO.1-shSENP1, to silence SENP1 in prostate cancer cells
[...] Read more.
In advanced prostate cancer, small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-specific cysteine protease 1 (SENP1) is up-regulated. However, the role of SENP1 in regulating deSUMOylation of TGF-β/SMADs signaling is unknown. In this study, we developed a lentiviral vector, PLKO.1-shSENP1, to silence SENP1 in prostate cancer cells with high metastatic characteristics (PC3M). Likewise, we also created an adenovirus vector, Ad5/F11p-SENP1 to over-express SENP1 in prostate cancer cells with low metastatic potential (LNCaP). We showed that silencing of SENP1 promoted cellular apoptosis, and inhibited proliferation and migration of PC3M cells. Moreover, SENP1 silencing increased the SMAD4 expression at protein level, up-regulated E-cadherin and down-regulated Vimentin expression, indicating the inhibition of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). Furthermore, SMAD4 interference abolished SENP1-mediated up-regulation of E-cadherin, suggesting that SENP1 regulated E-cadherin expression via SMAD4. SENP1 over-expression in LNCaP cells reduced SMAD4 protein, and promoted EMT via decreasing E-cadherin and increasing Vimentin. Moreover, down-regulation of SMAD4 and E-cadherin were blocked, after transfection with two SUMOylation sites mutated SMAD4, suggesting that SENP1 might reduce SMAD4 levels to regulate E-cadherin expression via deSUMOylation of SMAD4. In conclusion, SENP1 deSUMOylated SMAD4 to promote EMT via up-regulating E-cadherin in prostate cancer cells. Therefore, SENP1 is a potential target for treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic, Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle “Bligh and Dyer” and Folch Methods for Solid–Liquid–Liquid Extraction of Lipids from Microorganisms. Comprehension of Solvatation Mechanisms and towards Substitution with Alternative Solvents
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 708; doi:10.3390/ijms18040708
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 19 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2654 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Bligh and Dyer (B & D) or Folch procedures for the extraction and separation of lipids from microorganisms and biological tissues using chloroform/methanol/water have been used tens of thousands of times and are “gold standards” for the analysis of extracted lipids. Based on
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Bligh and Dyer (B & D) or Folch procedures for the extraction and separation of lipids from microorganisms and biological tissues using chloroform/methanol/water have been used tens of thousands of times and are “gold standards” for the analysis of extracted lipids. Based on the Conductor-like Screening MOdel for realistic Solvatation (COSMO-RS), we select ethanol and ethyl acetate as being potentially suitable for the substitution of methanol and chloroform. We confirm this by performing solid–liquid extraction of yeast (Yarrowia lipolytica IFP29) and subsequent liquid–liquid partition—the two steps of routine extraction. For this purpose, we consider similar points in the ternary phase diagrams of water/methanol/chloroform and water/ethanol/ethyl acetate, both in the monophasic mixtures and in the liquid–liquid miscibility gap. Based on high performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) to obtain the distribution of lipids classes, and gas chromatography coupled with a flame ionisation detector (GC/FID) to obtain fatty acid profiles, this greener solvents pair is found to be almost as effective as the classic methanol–chloroform couple in terms of efficiency and selectivity of lipids and non-lipid material. Moreover, using these bio-sourced solvents as an alternative system is shown to be as effective as the classical system in terms of the yield of lipids extracted from microorganism tissues, independently of their apparent hydrophilicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Potential Risk of Drugs to Induce Hepatotoxicity in Human—Relationships between Hepatic Steatosis Observed in Non-Clinical Toxicity Study and Hepatotoxicity in Humans-
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 810; doi:10.3390/ijms18040810
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 9 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
In the development of drugs, we sometimes encounter fatty change of the hepatocytes (steatosis) which is not accompanied by degenerative change in the liver in non-clinical toxicity studies. In this study, we investigated the relationships between fatty change of the hepatocytes noted in
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In the development of drugs, we sometimes encounter fatty change of the hepatocytes (steatosis) which is not accompanied by degenerative change in the liver in non-clinical toxicity studies. In this study, we investigated the relationships between fatty change of the hepatocytes noted in non-clinical toxicity studies of compound X, a candidate compound in drug development, and mitochondrial dysfunction in order to estimate the potential risk of the compound to induce drug-induced liver injury (DILI) in humans. We conducted in vivo and in vitro exploratory studies for this purpose. In vivo lipidomics analysis was conducted to investigate the relationships between alteration of the hepatic lipids and mitochondrial dysfunction. In the liver of rats treated with compound X, triglycerides containing long-chain fatty acids, which are the main energy source of the mitochondria, accumulated. Accumulation of these triglycerides was considered to be related to the inhibition of mitochondrial respiration based on the results of in vitro mitochondria toxicity studies. In conclusion, fatty change of the hepatocytes (steatosis) in non-clinical toxicity studies of drug candidates can be regarded as a critical finding for the estimation of their potential risk to induce DILI in humans when the fatty change is induced by mitochondrial dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Drug Induced Liver Injury)
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Open AccessArticle Triazole Fungicides Inhibit Zebrafish Hatching by Blocking the Secretory Function of Hatching Gland Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 710; doi:10.3390/ijms18040710
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
In animals, hatching represents the transition point from a developing embryo to a free-living individual, the larva. This process is finely regulated by many endogenous and environmental factors and has been shown to be sensitive to a variety of chemical agents. It is
[...] Read more.
In animals, hatching represents the transition point from a developing embryo to a free-living individual, the larva. This process is finely regulated by many endogenous and environmental factors and has been shown to be sensitive to a variety of chemical agents. It is commonly evaluated in bioassays in order to establish the effects of different agents on early development and reproductive capabilities in fish and other aquatic animals. In fish, the breakdown of the chorion is achieved by the secretion of choriolysin by hatching gland cells (HGCs) into the perivitelline space (PVS), coupled with spontaneous movements of the developing larva. In this work, we used zebrafish to assay the effects of a family of widely used agrochemicals—triazoles Triadimefon (FON), Triadimenol (NOL) and free triazole (1,2,4-T)—on hatching success. We found a strong inhibition of hatching by triazole exposure which was correlated with morphological changes and a reduction in the secretory function of the HGCs. As a consequence, the release of choriolytic enzymes by HGCs was reduced. We also found that HGC secretion reduction after exposure to FON can be rescued by co-incubation with a dopamine D2 receptor antagonist but not by antagonists of the D1-like receptors. This suggests a specific pathway through which this family of fungicides may be impairing a critical event in the fish life cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish: A Model for Toxicological Research)
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Open AccessArticle Overexpression of Exosomal Cardioprotective miRNAs Mitigates Hypoxia-Induced H9c2 Cells Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 711; doi:10.3390/ijms18040711
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Recent evidence suggests that hypoxia caused by acute myocardial infarction can induce cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Exosomes are signalling mediators that contribute to intercellular communication by transporting cytosolic components including miRNAs, mRNAs, and proteins. However, the systemic regulation and function of exosomal miRNAs in hypoxic
[...] Read more.
Recent evidence suggests that hypoxia caused by acute myocardial infarction can induce cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Exosomes are signalling mediators that contribute to intercellular communication by transporting cytosolic components including miRNAs, mRNAs, and proteins. However, the systemic regulation and function of exosomal miRNAs in hypoxic cardiomyocytes are currently not well understood. Here, we used small RNA sequencing to investigate the effects of hypoxia stress on miRNAome of rat cardiomyoblast cells (H9c2) and corresponding exosomes. We identified 92 and 62 miRNAs in cells and exosomes, respectively, that were differentially expressed between hypoxia and normoxia. Hypoxia strongly modulated expression of hypoxia-associated miRNAs in H9c2 cells, and altered the miRNAome of H9c2 cells-derived exosomes. Functional enrichment analysis revealed extensive roles of differentially expressed exosomal miRNAs in the HIF-1 signalling pathway and in apoptosis-related pathways including the TNF, MAPK, and mTOR pathways. Furthermore, gain- and loss-of-function analysis demonstrated potential anti-apoptotic effects of the hypoxia-induced exosomal miRNAs, including miR-21-5p, miR-378-3p, miR-152-3p, and let-7i-5p; luciferase reporter assay confirmed that Atg12 and Faslg are targets of miR-152-3p and let-7i-5p, respectively. To summarize, this study revealed that hypoxia-induced exosomes derived from H9c2 cells loaded cardioprotective miRNAs, which mitigate hypoxia-induced H9c2 cells apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNA Regulation 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Metallothionein Gene Family in the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus: Gene Structure, Differential Expression and Phylogenetic Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 812; doi:10.3390/ijms18040812
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Metallothioneins (MT) are small and cysteine-rich proteins that bind metal ions such as zinc, copper, cadmium, and nickel. In order to shed some light on MT gene structure and evolution, we cloned seven Paracentrotus lividus MT genes, comparing them to Echinodermata and Chordata
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Metallothioneins (MT) are small and cysteine-rich proteins that bind metal ions such as zinc, copper, cadmium, and nickel. In order to shed some light on MT gene structure and evolution, we cloned seven Paracentrotus lividus MT genes, comparing them to Echinodermata and Chordata genes. Moreover, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of 32 MTs from different classes of echinoderms and 13 MTs from the most ancient chordates, highlighting the relationships between them. Since MTs have multiple roles in the cells, we performed RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization experiments to understand better MT functions in sea urchin embryos. Results showed that the expression of MTs is regulated throughout development in a cell type-specific manner and in response to various metals. The MT7 transcript is expressed in all tissues, especially in the stomach and in the intestine of the larva, but it is less metal-responsive. In contrast, MT8 is ectodermic and rises only at relatively high metal doses. MT5 and MT6 expression is highly stimulated by metals in the mesenchyme cells. Our results suggest that the P. lividus MT family originated after the speciation events by gene duplications, evolving developmental and environmental sub-functionalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metalloproteins 2017)
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Open AccessArticle De Novo Assembly, Annotation, and Characterization of Root Transcriptomes of Three Caladium Cultivars with a Focus on Necrotrophic Pathogen Resistance/Defense-Related Genes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 712; doi:10.3390/ijms18040712
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract
Roots are vital to plant survival and crop yield, yet few efforts have been made to characterize the expressed genes in the roots of non-model plants (root transcriptomes). This study was conducted to sequence, assemble, annotate, and characterize the root transcriptomes of three
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Roots are vital to plant survival and crop yield, yet few efforts have been made to characterize the expressed genes in the roots of non-model plants (root transcriptomes). This study was conducted to sequence, assemble, annotate, and characterize the root transcriptomes of three caladium cultivars (Caladium × hortulanum) using RNA-Seq. The caladium cultivars used in this study have different levels of resistance to Pythium myriotylum, the most damaging necrotrophic pathogen to caladium roots. Forty-six to 61 million clean reads were obtained for each caladium root transcriptome. De novo assembly of the reads resulted in approximately 130,000 unigenes. Based on bioinformatic analysis, 71,825 (52.3%) caladium unigenes were annotated for putative functions, 48,417 (67.4%) and 31,417 (72.7%) were assigned to Gene Ontology (GO) and Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG), respectively, and 46,406 (64.6%) unigenes were assigned to 128 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. A total of 4518 distinct unigenes were observed only in Pythium-resistant “Candidum” roots, of which 98 seemed to be involved in disease resistance and defense responses. In addition, 28,837 simple sequence repeat sites and 44,628 single nucleotide polymorphism sites were identified among the three caladium cultivars. These root transcriptome data will be valuable for further genetic improvement of caladium and related aroids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of the Biofilm Age and Starvation on Acid Tolerance of Biofilm Formed by Streptococcus mutans Isolated from Caries-Active and Caries-Free Adults
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 713; doi:10.3390/ijms18040713
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) is considered a leading cause of dental caries. The capability of S. mutans to tolerate low pH is essential for its cariogenicity. Aciduricity of S. mutans is linked to its adaptation to environmental stress in oral cavity.
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Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) is considered a leading cause of dental caries. The capability of S. mutans to tolerate low pH is essential for its cariogenicity. Aciduricity of S. mutans is linked to its adaptation to environmental stress in oral cavity. This study aimed to investigate the effect of biofilm age and starvation condition on acid tolerance of biofilm formed by S. mutans clinical isolates. S. mutans clinical strains isolated from caries-active (SM593) and caries-free (SM18) adults and a reference strain (ATCC25175) were used for biofilm formation. (1) Both young and mature biofilms were formed and then exposed to pH 3.0 for 30 min with (acid-adapted group) or without (non-adapted group) pre-exposure to pH 5.5 for three hours. (2) The mature biofilms were cultured with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (starved group) or TPY (polypeptone-yeast extract) medium (non-starved group) at pH 7.0 for 24 h and then immersed in medium of pH 3.0 for 30 min. Biofilms were analyzed through viability staining and confocal laser scanning microscopy. In all three strains, mature, acid-adapted and starved biofilms showed significantly less destructive structure and more viable bacteria after acid shock than young, non-adapted and non-starved biofilms, respectively (all p < 0.05). Furthermore, in each condition, SM593 biofilm was denser, with a significantly larger number of viable bacteria than that of SM18 and ATCC25175 (all p < 0.05). Findings demonstrated that mature, acid-adapted and starvation might protect biofilms of all three S. mutans strains against acid shock. Additionally, SM593 exhibited greater aciduricity compared to SM18 and ATCC25175, which indicated that the colonization of high cariogenicity of clinical strains may lead to high caries risk in individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm Formation)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Nano-Therapeutic Approach Actively Targets Human Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells after Xenograft into Nude Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 813; doi:10.3390/ijms18040813
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
The power of tumorigenesis, chemo-resistance and metastasis in malignant ovarian tumors resides in a tiny population of cancer cells known as ovarian cancer stem cells (OCSCs). Developing nano-therapeutic targeting of OCSCs is considered a great challenge. The potential use of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles
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The power of tumorigenesis, chemo-resistance and metastasis in malignant ovarian tumors resides in a tiny population of cancer cells known as ovarian cancer stem cells (OCSCs). Developing nano-therapeutic targeting of OCSCs is considered a great challenge. The potential use of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (PLGA NPs) was investigated as a drug delivery system for paclitaxel (PTX) against OCSCs in vitro and in vivo. PTX-loaded PLGA NPs were prepared by an emulsion solvent evaporation method, supported by incorporation of folic acid (FA) as the ligand. NPs were characterized for size, surface morphology, drug loading, and encapsulation efficiency. In vitro cytotoxicity of PTX-loaded FA/PLGA NPs was tested against OCSCs with MTT assay. In vivo anti-tumoral efficiency and active targeting potential of prepared NPs against tumors in nude mice were investigated. In vitro results revealed that IC50 of PTX was significantly reduced after loading on PLGA NPs. On the other hand, in vivo results showed that PLGA NPs enhanced the tumor suppression efficiency of PTX. Investigation with real time quantitative PCR analysis revealed the limiting expression of chemo-resistant genes (ABCG2 and MDR1) after applying PLGA NPs as a drug delivery system for PTX. Histopathological examination of tumors showed the effective biological influence of PTX-loaded FA/PLGA NPs through the appearance of reactive lymphoid follicles. Targeting potential of PTX was activated by FA/PLGA NPs through significant preservation of body weight (p < 0.0001) and minimizing the systemic toxicity in healthy tissues. Immunohistochemical investigation revealed a high expression of apoptotic markers in tumor tissue, supporting the targeting effect of FA/PLGA NPs. A drug delivery system based on FA/PLGA NPs can enhance PTX’s in vitro cytotoxicity and in vivo targeting potential against OCSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Prevention of Oxidized Low Density Lipoprotein-Induced Endothelial Cell Injury by DA-PLGA-PEG-cRGD Nanoparticles Combined with Ultrasound
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 815; doi:10.3390/ijms18040815
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
In general, atherosclerosis is considered to be a form of chronic inflammation. Dexamethasone has anti-inflammatory effects in atherosclerosis, but it was not considered for long-term administration on account of a poor pharmacokinetic profile and adverse side effects. Nanoparticles in which drugs can be
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In general, atherosclerosis is considered to be a form of chronic inflammation. Dexamethasone has anti-inflammatory effects in atherosclerosis, but it was not considered for long-term administration on account of a poor pharmacokinetic profile and adverse side effects. Nanoparticles in which drugs can be dissolved, encapsulated, entrapped or chemically attached to the particle surface have abilities to incorporate dexamethasone and to be used as controlled or targeted drug delivery system. Long circulatory polymeric nanoparticles present as an assisting approach for controlled and targeted release of the encapsulated drug at the atherosclerotic site. Polymeric nanoparticles combined with ultrasound (US) are widely applied in cancer treatment due to their time applications, low cost, simplicity, and safety. However, there are few studies on atherosclerosis treatment using polymeric nanoparticles combined with US. In this study, targeted dexamethasone acetate (DA)-loaded poly (lactide-glycolide)-polyethylene glycol-cRGD (PLGA-PEG-cRGD) nanoparticles (DA-PLGA-PEG-cRGD NPs) were prepared by the emulsion-evaporation method using cRGD modified PLGA-PEG polymeric materials (PLGA-PEG-cRGD) prepared as the carrier. The average particle size of DA-PLGA-PEG-cRGD NPs was 221.6 ± 0.9 nm. Morphology of the nanoparticles was spherical and uniformly dispersed. In addition, the DA released profiles suggested that ultrasound could promote drug release from the nanocarriers and accelerate the rate of release. In vitro, the cellular uptake process of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)@DA-PLGA-PEG-cRGD NPs combined with US into the damaged human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) indicated that US promoted rapid intracellular uptake of FITC@DA- PLGA-PEG-cRGD NPs. The cell viability of DA-PLGA-PEG-cRGD NPs combined with US reached 91.9% ± 0.2%, which demonstrated that DA-PLGA-PEG-cRGD NPs combined with US had a positive therapeutic effect on damaged HUVECs. Overall, DA-PLGA-PEG-cRGD NPs in combination with US may provide a promising drug delivery system to enhance the therapeutic effects of these chemotherapeutics at the cellular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Bioactive Nanoparticles)
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Open AccessArticle Endogenously Expressed IL-4Rα Promotes the Malignant Phenotype of Human Pancreatic Cancer In Vitro and In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 716; doi:10.3390/ijms18040716
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Exogenous interleukin-4 (IL-4) has been demonstrated to affect the growth of different human malignancies including pancreatic cancer cells. The aim of our study was to determine the role of endogenously expressed IL-4-receptor-α-chain (IL-4Rα) in pancreatic cancer cells. IL-4Rα-suppression was achieved by generating Capan-1
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Exogenous interleukin-4 (IL-4) has been demonstrated to affect the growth of different human malignancies including pancreatic cancer cells. The aim of our study was to determine the role of endogenously expressed IL-4-receptor-α-chain (IL-4Rα) in pancreatic cancer cells. IL-4Rα-suppression was achieved by generating Capan-1 cells stably expressing shRNA targeting IL-4Rα. The malignant phenotype was characterized by assessing growth properties, directional and non-directional cell movement in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Signaling pathways were analyzed upon IL-4 and IL-13 stimulation of wildtype (WT) and control-transfected cells compared to IL-4Rα-knockdown cells. Silencing of IL-4Rα resulted in reduced anchorage-dependent cell growth (p < 0.05) and reduced anchorage-independent colony size (p < 0.001) in vitro. Moreover, cell movement and migration was inhibited. IL-4 and IL-13 stimulation of Capan-1-WT cells induced activation of similar pathways like stimulation with Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I. This activation was reduced after IL-4Rα downregulation while IGF-I signaling seemed to be enhanced in knockdown-clones. Importantly, IL-4Rα silencing also significantly suppressed tumor growth in vivo. The present study indicates that endogenously expressed IL-4 and IL-4Rα contribute to the malignant phenotype of pancreatic cancer cells by activating diverse pro-oncogenic signaling pathways. Addressing these pathways may contribute to the treatment of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle CoQ10 Deficiency May Indicate Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cr(VI) Toxicity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 816; doi:10.3390/ijms18040816
Received: 11 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
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Abstract
To investigate the toxic mechanism of hexavalent chromium Cr(VI) and search for an antidote for Cr(VI)-induced cytotoxicity, a study of mitochondrial dysfunction induced by Cr(VI) and cell survival by recovering mitochondrial function was performed. In the present study, we found that the gene
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To investigate the toxic mechanism of hexavalent chromium Cr(VI) and search for an antidote for Cr(VI)-induced cytotoxicity, a study of mitochondrial dysfunction induced by Cr(VI) and cell survival by recovering mitochondrial function was performed. In the present study, we found that the gene expression of electron transfer flavoprotein dehydrogenase (ETFDH) was strongly downregulated by Cr(VI) exposure. The levels of coenzyme 10 (CoQ10) and mitochondrial biogenesis presented by mitochondrial mass and mitochondrial DNA copy number were also significantly reduced after Cr(VI) exposure. The subsequent, Cr(VI)-induced mitochondrial damage and apoptosis were characterized by reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, caspase-3 and caspase-9 activation, decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ATP production, increased methane dicarboxylic aldehyde (MDA) content, mitochondrial membrane depolarization and mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening, increased Ca2+ levels, Cyt c release, decreased Bcl-2 expression, and significantly elevated Bax expression. The Cr(VI)-induced deleterious changes were attenuated by pretreatment with CoQ10 in L-02 hepatocytes. These data suggest that Cr(VI) induces CoQ10 deficiency in L-02 hepatocytes, indicating that this deficiency may be a biomarker of mitochondrial dysfunction in Cr(VI) poisoning and that exogenous administration of CoQ10 may restore mitochondrial function and protect the liver from Cr(VI) exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemically-Induced DNA Damage, Mutagenesis, and Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of a Ribose-Phosphate Pyrophosphokinase that Can Interact In Vivo with the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 617; doi:10.3390/ijms18040617
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 26 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
5-Phospho-d-ribosyl-1-diphosphate (PRPP) synthase (PRS) catalyzes the biosynthesis of PRPP, which is an important compound of metabolism in most organisms. However, no PRS genes have been cloned, let alone studied for their biological function in rubber tree. In this study, we identify
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5-Phospho-d-ribosyl-1-diphosphate (PRPP) synthase (PRS) catalyzes the biosynthesis of PRPP, which is an important compound of metabolism in most organisms. However, no PRS genes have been cloned, let alone studied for their biological function in rubber tree. In this study, we identify a novel protein (PRS4) that interacts in vivo with rubber tree anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) subunit 10 (HbAPC10) by yeast two-hybrid assays. PRS4 has been cloned from rubber tree and named as HbPRS4. Blastp search in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana showed that HbPRS4 shared the highest similarity with AtPRS4, with 80.71% identity. qRT-PCR was used to determine the expression of HbPRS4 in different tissues and under various treatments. HbPRS4 was preferentially expressed in the bark. Moreover, the expression level of HbPRS4 was significantly induced by the proteasome inhibitor MG132 treatment, suggesting it might be regulated by the ubiquitin/26S proteasome pathway. The amount of HbPRS4 transcript was obviously decreased after mechanical wounding and abscisic acid (ABA) treatments, while a slight increase was observed at 24 h after ABA treatment. HbPRS4 transcript in the latex was significantly upregulated by ethephon (ET) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatments. These results suggested that HbPRS4 may be a specific substrate of HbAPC10 indirectly regulating natural rubber biosynthesis in rubber tree. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle Zebrafish as an Alternative Vertebrate Model for Investigating Developmental Toxicity—The Triadimefon Example
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 817; doi:10.3390/ijms18040817
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Triadimefon is a widely used triazole fungicide known to cause severe developmental defects in several model organisms and in humans. The present study evaluated in detail the developmental effects seen in zebrafish embryos exposed to triadimefon, confirmed and expanded upon previous phenotypic findings
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Triadimefon is a widely used triazole fungicide known to cause severe developmental defects in several model organisms and in humans. The present study evaluated in detail the developmental effects seen in zebrafish embryos exposed to triadimefon, confirmed and expanded upon previous phenotypic findings and compared them to those observed in other traditional animal models. In order to do this, we exposed embryos to 2 and 4 µg/mL triadimefon and evaluated growth until 120 h post-fertilization (hpf) through gross morphology examination. Our analysis revealed significant developmental defects at the highest tested concentration including somite deformities, severe craniofacial defects, a cleft phenotype along the three primary neural divisions, a rigorously hypoplastic or even absent mandible and a hypoplastic morphology of the pharyngeal arches. Interestingly, massive pericardial edemas, abnormal shaped hearts, brachycardia and inhibited or absent blood circulation were also observed. Our results revealed that the presented zebrafish phenotypes are comparable to those seen in other organism models and those derived from human observations as a result of triadimefon exposure. We therefore demonstrated that zebrafish provide an excellent system for study of compounds with toxic significance and can be used as an alternative model for developmental toxicity studies to predict effects in mammals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish: A Model for Toxicological Research)
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Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Analyses of the Soybean F-Box Gene Family in Response to Salt Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 818; doi:10.3390/ijms18040818
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
The F-box family is one of the largest gene families in plants that regulate diverse life processes, including salt responses. However, the knowledge of the soybean F-box genes and their roles in salt tolerance remains limited. Here, we conducted a genome-wide survey of
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The F-box family is one of the largest gene families in plants that regulate diverse life processes, including salt responses. However, the knowledge of the soybean F-box genes and their roles in salt tolerance remains limited. Here, we conducted a genome-wide survey of the soybean F-box family, and their expression analysis in response to salinity via in silico analysis of online RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to predict their potential functions. A total of 725 potential F-box proteins encoded by 509 genes were identified and classified into 9 subfamilies. The gene structures, conserved domains and chromosomal distributions were characterized. There are 76 pairs of duplicate genes identified, including genome-wide segmental and tandem duplication events, which lead to the expansion of the number of F-box genes. The in silico expression analysis showed that these genes would be involved in diverse developmental functions and play an important role in salt response. Our qRT-PCR analysis confirmed 12 salt-responding F-box genes. Overall, our results provide useful information on soybean F-box genes, especially their potential roles in salt tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
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Open AccessArticle Minicircle Mediated Gene Delivery to Canine and Equine Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 819; doi:10.3390/ijms18040819
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Gene-directed tissue repair offers the clinician, human or veterinary, the chance to enhance cartilage regeneration and repair at a molecular level. Non-viral plasmid vectors have key biosafety advantages over viral vector systems for regenerative therapies due to their episomal integration however, conventional non-viral
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Gene-directed tissue repair offers the clinician, human or veterinary, the chance to enhance cartilage regeneration and repair at a molecular level. Non-viral plasmid vectors have key biosafety advantages over viral vector systems for regenerative therapies due to their episomal integration however, conventional non-viral vectors can suffer from low transfection efficiency. Our objective was to identify and validate in vitro a novel non-viral gene expression vector that could be utilized for ex vivo and in vivo delivery to stromal-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Minicircle plasmid DNA vector containing green fluorescent protein (GFP) was generated and transfected into adipose-derived MSCs from three species: canine, equine and rodent and transfection efficiency was determined. Both canine and rat cells showed transfection efficiencies of approximately 40% using minicircle vectors with equine cells exhibiting lower transfection efficiency. A Sox9-expressing minicircle vector was generated and transfected into canine MSCs. Successful transfection of the minicircle-Sox9 vector was confirmed in canine cells by Sox9 immunostaining. This study demonstrate the application and efficacy of a novel non-viral expression vector in canine and equine MSCs. Minicircle vectors have potential use in gene-directed regenerative therapies in non-rodent animal models for treatment of cartilage injury and repair. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Differential Proteome Analysis of a Flor Yeast Strain under Biofilm Formation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 720; doi:10.3390/ijms18040720
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Several Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains (flor yeasts) form a biofilm (flor velum) on the surface of Sherry wines after fermentation, when glucose is depleted. This flor velum is fundamental to biological aging of these particular wines. In this study, we identify abundant proteins in
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Several Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains (flor yeasts) form a biofilm (flor velum) on the surface of Sherry wines after fermentation, when glucose is depleted. This flor velum is fundamental to biological aging of these particular wines. In this study, we identify abundant proteins in the formation of the biofilm of an industrial flor yeast strain. A database search to enrich flor yeast “biological process” and “cellular component” according to Gene Ontology Terminology (GO Terms) and, “pathways” was carried out. The most abundant proteins detected were largely involved in respiration, translation, stress damage prevention and repair, amino acid metabolism (glycine, isoleucine, leucine and arginine), glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and biosynthesis of vitamin B9 (folate). These proteins were located in cellular components as in the peroxisome, mitochondria, vacuole, cell wall and extracellular region; being these two last directly related with the flor formation. Proteins like Bgl2p, Gcv3p, Hyp2p, Mdh1p, Suc2p and Ygp1p were quantified in very high levels. This study reveals some expected processes and provides new and important information for the design of conditions and genetic constructions of flor yeasts for improving the cellular survival and, thus, to optimize biological aging of Sherry wine production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm Formation)
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Open AccessArticle Proteomic Profiling Comparing the Effects of Different Heat Treatments on Camel (Camelus dromedarius) Milk Whey Proteins
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 721; doi:10.3390/ijms18040721
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Camel milk is consumed in the Middle East because of its high nutritional value. Traditional heating methods and the duration of heating affect the protein content and nutritional quality of the milk. We examined the denaturation of whey proteins in camel milk by
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Camel milk is consumed in the Middle East because of its high nutritional value. Traditional heating methods and the duration of heating affect the protein content and nutritional quality of the milk. We examined the denaturation of whey proteins in camel milk by assessing the effects of temperature on the whey protein profile at room temperature (RT), moderate heating at 63 °C, and at 98 °C, for 1 h. The qualitative and quantitative variations in the whey proteins before and after heat treatments were determined using quantitative 2D-difference in gel electrophoresis (DIGE)-mass spectrometry. Qualitative gel image analysis revealed a similar spot distribution between samples at RT and those heated at 63 °C, while the spot distribution between RT and samples heated at 98 °C differed. One hundred sixteen protein spots were determined to be significantly different (p < 0.05 and a fold change of ≥1.2) between the non-heated and heated milk samples. Eighty protein spots were decreased in common in both the heat-treated samples and an additional 25 spots were further decreased in the 98 °C sample. The proteins with decreased abundance included serum albumin, lactadherin, fibrinogen β and γ chain, lactotransferrin, active receptor type-2A, arginase-1, glutathione peroxidase-1 and, thiopurine S, etc. Eight protein spots were increased in common to both the samples when compared to RT and included α-lactalbumin, a glycosylation-dependent cell adhesion molecule. Whey proteins present in camel milk were less affected by heating at 63 °C than at 98 °C. This experimental study showed that denaturation increased significantly as the temperature increased from 63 to 98 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Foodomics Approaches in Food Science)
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Open AccessArticle Histogram Analysis of Diffusion Weighted Imaging at 3T is Useful for Prediction of Lymphatic Metastatic Spread, Proliferative Activity, and Cellularity in Thyroid Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 821; doi:10.3390/ijms18040821
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 9 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Pre-surgical diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is increasingly important in the context of thyroid cancer for identification of the optimal treatment strategy. It has exemplarily been shown that DWI at 3T can distinguish undifferentiated from well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, which has decisive implications for the
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Pre-surgical diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is increasingly important in the context of thyroid cancer for identification of the optimal treatment strategy. It has exemplarily been shown that DWI at 3T can distinguish undifferentiated from well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, which has decisive implications for the magnitude of surgery. This study used DWI histogram analysis of whole tumor apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps. The primary aim was to discriminate thyroid carcinomas which had already gained the capacity to metastasize lymphatically from those not yet being able to spread via the lymphatic system. The secondary aim was to reflect prognostically important tumor-biological features like cellularity and proliferative activity with ADC histogram analysis. Fifteen patients with follicular-cell derived thyroid cancer were enrolled. Lymph node status, extent of infiltration of surrounding tissue, and Ki-67 and p53 expression were assessed in these patients. DWI was obtained in a 3T system using b values of 0, 400, and 800 s/mm2. Whole tumor ADC volumes were analyzed using a histogram-based approach. Several ADC parameters showed significant correlations with immunohistopathological parameters. Most importantly, ADC histogram skewness and ADC histogram kurtosis were able to differentiate between nodal negative and nodal positive thyroid carcinoma. Conclusions: histogram analysis of whole ADC tumor volumes has the potential to provide valuable information on tumor biology in thyroid carcinoma. However, further studies are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge in Thyroid Cancer—From Bench to Bedside)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Key Candidate Genes and Pathways in Colorectal Cancer by Integrated Bioinformatical Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 722; doi:10.3390/ijms18040722
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignant diseases worldwide, but the involved signaling pathways and driven-genes are largely unclear. This study integrated four cohorts profile datasets to elucidate the potential key candidate genes and pathways in CRC. Expression profiles GSE28000,
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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignant diseases worldwide, but the involved signaling pathways and driven-genes are largely unclear. This study integrated four cohorts profile datasets to elucidate the potential key candidate genes and pathways in CRC. Expression profiles GSE28000, GSE21815, GSE44076 and GSE75970, including 319 CRC and 103 normal mucosa, were integrated and deeply analyzed. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were sorted and candidate genes and pathways enrichment were analyzed. DEGs-associated protein–protein interaction network (PPI) was performed. Firstly, 292 shared DEGs (165 up-regulated and 127 down-regulated) were identified from the four GSE datasets. Secondly, the DEGs were clustered based on functions and signaling pathways with significant enrichment analysis. Thirdly, 180 nodes/DEGs were identified from DEGs PPI network complex. Lastly, the most significant 2 modules were filtered from PPI, 31 central node genes were identified and most of the corresponding genes are involved in cell cycle process, chemokines and G protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways. Taken above, using integrated bioinformatical analysis, we have identified DEGs candidate genes and pathways in CRC, which could improve our understanding of the cause and underlying molecular events, and these candidate genes and pathways could be therapeutic targets for CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells Using Negative Enrichment Immunofluorescence and an In Situ Hybridization System in Pancreatic Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 622; doi:10.3390/ijms18040622
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the most lethal type of gastrointestinal cancer, and early detection and monitoring is an urgent problem. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are emerging as a non-invasive biomarker for tumor detection. However, the low sensitivity is a main problem in the
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Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the most lethal type of gastrointestinal cancer, and early detection and monitoring is an urgent problem. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are emerging as a non-invasive biomarker for tumor detection. However, the low sensitivity is a main problem in the traditional CellSearch System for detecting CTCs, especially in patients with PC. In this study, we used negative enrichment (NE), immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization (FISH) of chromosome 8 (NE-iFISH) to capture and identify CTCs in PC patients. We showed that the NE-iFISH system exhibited a dramatically high detection rate of CTCs in PC patients (90%). The diagnostic rate of PC reached 97.5% when combining CTCs ≥ 2 and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) > 37 µmol/L. The 1-year survival in the group of CTCs < 3 was significantly higher than that of CTCs ≥ 3 (p = 0.043). In addition, we analyzed the role of chromosomal instability in CTCs detection. The group of triploid (three hybridization signals of chromosome 8) CTCs ≥ 3 showed a shorter 1-year survival (p = 0.0279) and overall survival (p = 0.0188) than the group with triploid CTCs < 3. Importantly, the triploid CTC number but not the overall CTC counts could be a predictor of chemo-sensitivity. Moreover, circulating tumor microembolus (CTMs) were found in stage IV patients, and were positively related to the poor response to chemotherapy. In conclusion, the NE-iFISH system significantly improved the positive detection rate of CTCs and triploid CTC could be used to predict prognosis or the response to the chemotherapy of PC patients. CTM is a potential indicator of the chemotherapeutic effect in advanced PC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Liposomal Encapsulation for Systemic Delivery of Propranolol via Transdermal Iontophoresis Improves Bone Microarchitecture in Ovariectomized Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 822; doi:10.3390/ijms18040822
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
The stimulatory effects of liposomal propranolol (PRP) on proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblastic cells suggested that the prepared liposomes-encapsulated PRP exerts anabolic effects on bone in vivo. Iontophoresis provides merits such as sustained release of drugs and circumvention of first pass metabolism.
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The stimulatory effects of liposomal propranolol (PRP) on proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblastic cells suggested that the prepared liposomes-encapsulated PRP exerts anabolic effects on bone in vivo. Iontophoresis provides merits such as sustained release of drugs and circumvention of first pass metabolism. This study further investigated and evaluated the anti-osteoporotic effects of liposomal PRP in ovariectomized (OVX) rats via iontophoresis. Rats subjected to OVX were administered with pure or liposomal PRP via iontophoresis or subcutaneous injection twice a week for 12 weeks. Changes in the microarchitecture at the proximal tibia and the fourth lumbar spine were assessed between pure or liposomal PRP treated and non-treated groups using micro-computed tomography. Administration of liposomal PRP at low dose (0.05 mg/kg) via iontophoresis over 2-fold elevated ratio between bone volume and total tissue volume (BV/TV) in proximal tibia to 9.0% whereas treatment with liposomal PRP at low and high (0.5 mg/kg) doses via subcutaneous injection resulted in smaller increases in BV/TV. Significant improvement of BV/TV and bone mineral density (BMD) was also found in the fourth lumbar spine when low-dose liposomal PRP was iontophoretically administered. Iontophoretic low-dose liposomal PRP also elevated trabecular numbers in tibia and trabecular thickness in spine. Enhancement of bone microarchitecture volumes has highlighted that liposomal formulation with transdermal iontophoresis is promising for PRP treatment at the lower dose and with longer duration than its clinical therapeutic range and duration to exhibit optimal effects against bone loss in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterial Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Behavior of Human Osteoblast Cells Cultured on Titanium Discs in Relation to Surface Roughness and Presence of Melatonin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 823; doi:10.3390/ijms18040823
Received: 5 March 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this work was to observe the behavior of osteoblast cells cultured in vitro on titanium discs in relation to disc surface roughness and the addition of melatonin to the culture medium. MG63 osteoblast cells were cultivated on 120 Grade 5
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The aim of this work was to observe the behavior of osteoblast cells cultured in vitro on titanium discs in relation to disc surface roughness and the addition of melatonin to the culture medium. MG63 osteoblast cells were cultivated on 120 Grade 5 Ti divided into three groups: Group E, treated with dual acid etch; Group EP, treated with dual acid etch and calcium phosphate; and Group M, machined. Surface roughness was examined under a laser scanning confocal microscope (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The proliferation and morphology of cells were determined under fluorescence microscopy and SEM. Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) of different genes related to osteoblastic differentiation was quantified by means of real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. The greatest surface roughness was found in Group EP (Ra 0.354 µm), followed by Group E (Ra 0.266 µm), and Group M (Ra 0.131 µm), with statistically significant differences between the groups (p < 0.001). In the presence of melatonin a trend to a higher cell proliferation was observed in all groups although significant differences were only found in Group M (p = 0.0079). Among the genes studied, a significant increase in phosphate-regulating neutral endopeptidase, X-linked (PHEX) expression was observed in cells cultured on EP discs. The addition of melatonin increased osteoblast cell proliferation and differentiation, and may favor the osseointegration of dental implants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects)
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Open AccessArticle Dysregulated IER3 Expression is Associated with Enhanced Apoptosis in Titin-Based Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 723; doi:10.3390/ijms18040723
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Apoptosis (type I programmed cell death) of cardiomyocytes is a major process that plays a role in the progression of heart failure. The early response gene IER3 regulates apoptosis in a wide variety of cells and organs. However, its role in heart failure
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Apoptosis (type I programmed cell death) of cardiomyocytes is a major process that plays a role in the progression of heart failure. The early response gene IER3 regulates apoptosis in a wide variety of cells and organs. However, its role in heart failure is largely unknown. Here, we investigate the role of IER3 in an inducible heart failure mouse model. Heart failure was induced in a mouse model that imitates a human titin truncation mutation we found in a patient with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) and ssDNA stainings showed induction of apoptosis in titin-deficient cardiomyocytes during heart failure development, while IER3 response was dysregulated. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and knock-down experiments revealed that IER3 proteins target the promotors of anti-apoptotic genes and act as an anti-apoptotic factor in cardiomyocytes. Its expression is blunted during heart failure development in a titin-deficient mouse model. Targeting the IER3 pathway to reduce cardiac apoptosis might be an effective therapeutic strategy to combat heart failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Programmed Cell Death and Apoptosis)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of MTHFR Genetic Background on p16 and MGMT Methylation in Oral Squamous Cell Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 724; doi:10.3390/ijms18040724
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Genetic polymorphisms of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) enzyme may influence DNA methylation. Alterations in DNA methylation patterns of genes involved in the regulation of the cell cycle, DNA repair, cell adherence and metastasis process are known to contribute to cancer development. In this
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Genetic polymorphisms of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) enzyme may influence DNA methylation. Alterations in DNA methylation patterns of genes involved in the regulation of the cell cycle, DNA repair, cell adherence and metastasis process are known to contribute to cancer development. In this study, the influence of the MTHFR C677T and A1298C gene polymorphisms on global DNA methylation and site-specific methylation on p16 and O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene promoters was investigated in patients with oral squamous cell cancer (OSCC). To this aim, methylation studies were carried out by using genomic DNA isolated from saliva samples of 58 OSCC patients and 90 healthy controls. The frequency of the CT/AC and TT/AA genotypes was significantly higher in patients than in controls. Whereas no difference in global DNA methylation levels was observed between patients and controls, a higher frequency of methylation at both p16 and MGMT gene promoters was detected in patients compared with controls. A significant association between MTHFR gene polymorphisms and p16 and MGMT gene promoter methylation was found. The frequency of p16 and MGMT methylation was around 60% in patients with either the CT/AC or TT/AA genotype. Our results suggest that hypermethylation of cancer-related genes may be affected by MTHFR polymorphisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
Open AccessArticle Morphofunctional Alterations in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Gills after Exposure to Mercury Chloride
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 824; doi:10.3390/ijms18040824
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant that may exert its toxic effects on living organisms and is found in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in three chemical forms; elemental, organic, and inorganic. The inorganic form (iHg) tends to predominantly accumulate in aquatic environments.
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Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant that may exert its toxic effects on living organisms and is found in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in three chemical forms; elemental, organic, and inorganic. The inorganic form (iHg) tends to predominantly accumulate in aquatic environments. The gill apparatus is a very dynamic organ that plays a fundamental role in gas exchange, osmoregulation, acid-base regulation, detoxification, and excretion, and the gills are the primary route of waterborne iHg entrance in fish. In the present work we investigated the morphofunctional and ultrastructural effects in Danio rerio gills after 96 h exposure to two low HgCl2 concentrations (7.7 and 38.5 µg/L). Our results clearly demonstrated that a short-term exposure to low concentrations of mercury chloride resulted in gill morphology alterations and in the modifications of both Na+/K+-ATPase and metallothioneins (MTs) expression pattern. The main morphological effects recorded in this work were represented by hyperplasia and ectopia of chloride cells (CCs), lamellar fusion, increased mucous secretion, alteration of pavement cells (PVCs), detachment of the secondary epithelium, pillar cell degeneration, degeneration, and apoptosis. Trough immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR analysis also showed a dose-related modulation of Na+/K+-ATPase and MTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish: A Model for Toxicological Research)
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Open AccessArticle Subcellular Localization of Arabidopsis Pathogenesis-Related 1 (PR1) Protein
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 825; doi:10.3390/ijms18040825
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
The Arabidopsis thaliana pathogenesis-related 1 (PR1) is an important defense protein, so far it has only been detected in extracellular space and its subcellular sorting and transport remain unexplained. Using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagged full length, as well as a C-terminus
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The Arabidopsis thaliana pathogenesis-related 1 (PR1) is an important defense protein, so far it has only been detected in extracellular space and its subcellular sorting and transport remain unexplained. Using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagged full length, as well as a C-terminus truncated version of PR1, we observed that when expressed ectopically in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, PR1 co-localizes only partially with Golgi markers, and much more prominently with the late endosome (LE)/multivesicular body (MVB) FYVE marker. The C-truncated version PR1ΔC predominantly localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The same localizations were found for stable Arabidopsis transformants with expression of PR1 and PR1ΔC driven by the native promoter. We conclude that the A. thaliana PR1 (AtPR1) undergoes an unconventional secretion pathway, starting from the C-terminus-dependent sorting from the ER, and utilizing further transportation via phosphatidyl-inositol-3-phosphate (PI(3)P) positive LE/MVB-like vesicles. The homology model of the PR1 structure shows that the cluster of positively charged amino acid residues (arginines 60, 67, 137, and lysine 135) could indeed interact with negatively charged phospholipids of cellular membranes. It remains to be resolved whether Golgi and LE/MVB localization reflects an alternative sorting or trafficking succession, and what the role of lipid interactions in it will be. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unconventional Proteins and Membranes Traffic)
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Open AccessArticle Methylmercury Induced Neurotoxicity and the Influence of Selenium in the Brains of Adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 725; doi:10.3390/ijms18040725
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
The neurotoxicity of methylmercury (MeHg) is well characterised, and the ameliorating effects of selenium have been described. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms behind this contaminant-nutrient interaction. We investigated the influence of selenium (as selenomethionine, SeMet) and MeHg on mercury accumulation
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The neurotoxicity of methylmercury (MeHg) is well characterised, and the ameliorating effects of selenium have been described. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms behind this contaminant-nutrient interaction. We investigated the influence of selenium (as selenomethionine, SeMet) and MeHg on mercury accumulation and protein expression in the brain of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio). Fish were fed diets containing elevated levels of MeHg and/or SeMet in a 2 × 2 full factorial design for eight weeks. Mercury concentrations were highest in the brain tissue of MeHg-exposed fish compared to the controls, whereas lower levels of mercury were found in the brain of zebrafish fed both MeHg and SeMet compared with the fish fed MeHg alone. The expression levels of proteins associated with gap junction signalling, oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial dysfunction were significantly (p < 0.05) altered in the brain of zebrafish after exposure to MeHg and SeMet alone or in combination. Analysis of upstream regulators indicated that these changes were linked to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways, which were activated by MeHg and inhibited by SeMet, possibly through a reactive oxygen species mediated differential activation of RICTOR, the rapamycin-insensitive binding partner of mTOR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish: A Model for Toxicological Research)
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Open AccessArticle Preventive Effects of Heat-Killed Enterococcus faecalis Strain EC-12 on Mouse Intestinal Tumor Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 826; doi:10.3390/ijms18040826
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 9 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
Establishing effective methods for preventing colorectal cancer by so-called “functional foods” is important because the global burden of colorectal cancer is increasing. Enterococcus faecalis strain EC-12 (EC-12), which belongs to the family of lactic acid bacteria, has been shown to exert pleiotropic effects,
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Establishing effective methods for preventing colorectal cancer by so-called “functional foods” is important because the global burden of colorectal cancer is increasing. Enterococcus faecalis strain EC-12 (EC-12), which belongs to the family of lactic acid bacteria, has been shown to exert pleiotropic effects, such as anti-allergy and anti-infectious effects, on mammalian cells. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the preventive effects of heat-killed EC-12 on intestinal carcinogenesis. We fed 5-week-old male and female Apc mutant Min mice diets containing 50 or 100 ppm heat-killed EC-12 for 8 weeks. In the 50 ppm treated group, there was 4.3% decrease in the number of polyps in males vs. 30.9% in females, and significant reduction was only achieved in the proximal small intestine of female mice. A similar reduction was observed in the 100 ppm treated group. Moreover, heat-killed EC-12 tended to reduce the levels of c-Myc and cyclin D1 mRNA expression in intestinal polyps. Next, we confirmed that heat-killed EC-12 suppressed the transcriptional activity of the T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor, a transcriptional factor involved in cyclin D1 mRNA expression in intestinal polyps. Our results suggest that heat-killed EC-12 very weakly suppresses intestinal polyp development in Min mice, in part by attenuating β-catenin signaling, and this implies that heat-killed EC-12 could be used as a “functional food”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammation and Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Bevacizumab for Patients with Recurrent Gliomas Presenting with a Gliomatosis Cerebri Growth Pattern
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 726; doi:10.3390/ijms18040726
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Bevacizumab has been shown to improve progression-free survival and neurologic function, but failed to improve overall survival in newly diagnosed glioblastoma and at first recurrence. Nonetheless, bevacizumab is widely used in patients with recurrent glioma. However, its use in patients with gliomas showing
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Bevacizumab has been shown to improve progression-free survival and neurologic function, but failed to improve overall survival in newly diagnosed glioblastoma and at first recurrence. Nonetheless, bevacizumab is widely used in patients with recurrent glioma. However, its use in patients with gliomas showing a gliomatosis cerebri growth pattern is contentious. Due to the marked diffuse and infiltrative growth with less angiogenic tumor growth, it may appear questionable whether bevacizumab can have a therapeutic effect in those patients. However, the development of nodular, necrotic, and/or contrast-enhancing lesions in patients with a gliomatosis cerebri growth pattern is not uncommon and may indicate focal neo-angiogenesis. Therefore, control of growth of these lesions as well as control of edema and reduction of steroid use may be regarded as rationales for the use of bevacizumab in these patients. In this retrospective patient series, we report on 17 patients with primary brain tumors displaying a gliomatosis cerebri growth pattern (including seven glioblastomas, two anaplastic astrocytomas, one anaplastic oligodendroglioma, and seven diffuse astrocytomas). Patients have been treated with bevacizumab alone or in combination with lomustine or irinotecan. Seventeen matched patients treated with bevacizumab for gliomas with a classical growth pattern served as a control cohort. Response rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival were similar in both groups. Based on these results, anti-angiogenic therapy with bevacizumab should also be considered in patients suffering from gliomas with a mainly infiltrative phenotype. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exome Sequencing Identified a Novel FBN2 Mutation in a Chinese Family with Congenital Contractural Arachnodactyly
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 626; doi:10.3390/ijms18040626
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 26 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
Congenital contractural arachnodactyly (CCA) is an autosomal dominant disorder of connective tissue. CCA is characterized by arachnodactyly, camptodactyly, contrature of major joints, scoliosis, pectus deformities, and crumpled ears. The present study aimed to identify the genetic cause of a three-generation Chinese family with
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Congenital contractural arachnodactyly (CCA) is an autosomal dominant disorder of connective tissue. CCA is characterized by arachnodactyly, camptodactyly, contrature of major joints, scoliosis, pectus deformities, and crumpled ears. The present study aimed to identify the genetic cause of a three-generation Chinese family with CCA. We successfully identified a novel missense mutation p.G1145D in the fibrillin-2 (FBN2) gene as the pathogenic mutation by whole exome sequencing (WES). The p.G1145D mutation occurs in the 12th calcium-binding epidermal growth factor-like (cbEGF) domain. The p.G1145D mutation caused a hydrophobic to hydrophilic substitution, altering the amino acid property from neutral to acidic. Three-dimensional structural analysis showed that this mutation could alter the conformation of the residue side chain, thereby producing steric clashes with spatially adjacent residues, disrupting the formation of H bonds and causing folding destabilization. Therefore, this amino acid appears to play an important role in the structure and function of FBN2. Our results may also provide new insights into the cause and diagnosis of CCA and may have implications for genetic counseling and clinical management. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Disease Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle MicroRNA-17-92 Regulates the Transcription Factor E2F3b during Myogenesis In Vitro and In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 727; doi:10.3390/ijms18040727
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Myogenic differentiation, which occurs during muscle development, is a highly ordered process that can be regulated by E2F transcription factors. Available data show that E2F3b, but not E2F3a, is upregulated and required for myogenic differentiation. However, the regulation of E2F3b expression in myogenic
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Myogenic differentiation, which occurs during muscle development, is a highly ordered process that can be regulated by E2F transcription factors. Available data show that E2F3b, but not E2F3a, is upregulated and required for myogenic differentiation. However, the regulation of E2F3b expression in myogenic differentiation is not well understood. To investigate whether E2Fb expression is controlled by miRNAs, we used bioinformatics to combine the database of microRNAs downregulated during myogenesis and those predicted to target E2F3. This identified miR-17 and miR-20a as miRNAs potentially involved in E2F3 regulation. We found that miR-17-92 controls the expression of E2F3b in C2C12 cells during myogenic differentiation. Moreover, we confirmed that miR-20a regulates the expression of E2F3b proteins in vivo using a muscle regeneration model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Inhibition or Stimulation of Autophagy Affects Early Formation of Lipofuscin-Like Autofluorescence in the Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 728; doi:10.3390/ijms18040728
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
The accumulation of lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is dependent on the effectiveness of photoreceptor outer segment material degradation. This study explored the role of autophagy in the fate of RPE lipofuscin degradation. After seven days of feeding with either native
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The accumulation of lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is dependent on the effectiveness of photoreceptor outer segment material degradation. This study explored the role of autophagy in the fate of RPE lipofuscin degradation. After seven days of feeding with either native or modified rod outer segments, ARPE-19 cells were treated with enhancers or inhibitors of autophagy and the autofluorescence was detected by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Supplementation with different types of rod outer segments increased lipofuscin-like autofluorescence (LLAF) after the inhibition of autophagy, while the induction of autophagy (e.g., application of rapamycin) decreased LLAF. The effects of autophagy induction were further confirmed by Western blotting, which showed the conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II, and by immunofluorescence microscopy, which detected the lysosomal activity of the autophagy inducers. We also monitored LLAF after the application of several autophagy inhibitors by RNA-interference and confocal microscopy. The results showed that, in general, the inhibition of the autophagy-related proteins resulted in an increase in LLAF when cells were fed with rod outer segments, which further confirms the effect of autophagy in the fate of RPE lipofuscin degradation. These results emphasize the complex role of autophagy in modulating RPE autofluorescence and confirm the possibility of the pharmacological clearance of RPE lipofuscin by small molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Can Early Rehabilitation Prevent Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis in the Patellofemoral Joint after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture? Understanding the Pathological Features
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 829; doi:10.3390/ijms18040829
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
Knee instability resulting from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture is a high-risk factor for posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) in the patellofemoral joint (PFJ). However, whether non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing treatments have chondroprotective effects remains unclear. Twenty-four adult New Zealand White male rabbits were employed in
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Knee instability resulting from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture is a high-risk factor for posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) in the patellofemoral joint (PFJ). However, whether non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing treatments have chondroprotective effects remains unclear. Twenty-four adult New Zealand White male rabbits were employed in this study. All animals received ACL transection in the right knee and sham surgery in the left knee. The rabbits were randomly assigned to the following groups: (I) In the sedentary (SED) group, the rabbits (n = 6) were simply kept in their cage; (II) In the continuous passive motion (CPM) group, the rabbits (n = 6) performed CPM exercise for 7 days, starting from the first postoperative day; (III) In the active treadmill exercise (TRE) group, the rabbits (n = 6) performed TRE for 2 weeks; (IV) In the CPM + TRE group, the rabbits (n = 6) executed CPM exercise, followed by TRE. Two joint surfaces (the retropatella and femoral trochlear groove) were assessed at 4 weeks after operation. Although the gross appearance in each group was comparable, histological examination revealed significant differences in the articular cartilage status. The CPM group exhibited a greater thickness of articular cartilage, maintenance of tidemark continuity, abundant glycosaminoglycan (GAG), and significantly lower inflammatory cytokine 9, e.g., tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) 0 levels, with modest cell apoptosis (i.e., caspase-3). By contrast, the TRE group displayed the worst pathological features: an irregular cartilage surface and chondrocyte disorganization, reduced cartilage thickness, breakdown of the tidemark, depletion of collagen fibers, loss of GAG, and the highest levels of TNF-α and caspase-3 expression. Furthermore, the CPM + TRE group had more favorable outcomes than the SED group, indicating that suitable exercise is needed. The sham treatment displayed no variance in the changes in the two joint surfaces among groups. These data indicate that the application of early CPM rehabilitation is suggested for subjects in order to decrease the risk of PTOA without ACL reconstruction in the PFJ compartment in rabbits. The early TRE program, however, had harmful outcomes. Additionally, inactivity was discovered to initiate the development of PTOA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Wedelolactone Acts as Proteasome Inhibitor in Breast Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 729; doi:10.3390/ijms18040729
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Wedelolactone is a multi-target natural plant coumestan exhibiting cytotoxicity towards cancer cells. Although several molecular targets of wedelolactone have been recognized, the molecular mechanism of its cytotoxicity has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we show that wedelolactone acts as an inhibitor
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Wedelolactone is a multi-target natural plant coumestan exhibiting cytotoxicity towards cancer cells. Although several molecular targets of wedelolactone have been recognized, the molecular mechanism of its cytotoxicity has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we show that wedelolactone acts as an inhibitor of chymotrypsin-like, trypsin-like, and caspase-like activities of proteasome in breast cancer cells. The proteasome inhibitory effect of wedelolactone was documented by (i) reduced cleavage of fluorogenic proteasome substrates; (ii) accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins and proteins with rapid turnover in tumor cells; and (iii) molecular docking of wedelolactone into the active sites of proteasome catalytic subunits. Inhibition of proteasome by wedelolactone was independent on its ability to induce reactive oxygen species production by redox cycling with copper ions, suggesting that wedelolactone acts as copper-independent proteasome inhibitor. We conclude that the cytotoxicity of wedelolactone to breast cancer cells is partially mediated by targeting proteasomal protein degradation pathway. Understanding the structural basis for inhibitory mode of wedelolactone might help to open up new avenues for design of novel compounds efficiently inhibiting cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activity of Natural Secondary Metabolite Products)
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Open AccessArticle The Neutrophil/Lymphocyte Ratio at Diagnosis Is Significantly Associated with Survival in Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 730; doi:10.3390/ijms18040730
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
PDF Full-text (595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Different inflammation-based scores such as the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR), the Odonera Prognostic Nutritional Index (PNI), the Glasgow Prognostic Score, the platelet/lymphocyte ratio, and the C-reactive protein/albumin ratio have been found to be significantly associated with pancreatic cancer (PDAC) prognosis. However, most studies have
[...] Read more.
Different inflammation-based scores such as the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR), the Odonera Prognostic Nutritional Index (PNI), the Glasgow Prognostic Score, the platelet/lymphocyte ratio, and the C-reactive protein/albumin ratio have been found to be significantly associated with pancreatic cancer (PDAC) prognosis. However, most studies have investigated patients undergoing surgery, and few of them have compared these scores. We aimed at evaluating the association between inflammatory-based scores and PDAC prognosis. In a single center cohort study, inflammatory-based scores were assessed at diagnosis and their prognostic relevance as well as that of clinic-pathological variables were evaluated through multiple logistic regression and survival probability analysis. In 206 patients, age, male sex, tumor size, presence of distant metastasis, access to chemotherapy, and an NLR > 5 but not other scores were associated with overall survival (OS) at multivariate analysis. Patients with an NLR < 5 had a median survival of 12 months compared to 4 months in those with an NLR > 5. In the 81 patients with distant metastasis at diagnosis, an NLR > 5 resulted in the only variable significantly associated with survival. Among patients with metastatic disease who received chemotherapy, the median survival was 3 months in patients with an NLR > 5 and 7 months in those with an NLR < 5. The NLR might drive therapeutic options in PDAC patients, especially in the setting of metastatic disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Suppression of GHS-R in AgRP Neurons Mitigates Diet-Induced Obesity by Activating Thermogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 832; doi:10.3390/ijms18040832
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
Ghrelin, an orexigenic hormone released primarily from the gut, signals the hypothalamus to stimulate growth hormone release, enhance appetite and promote weight gain. The ghrelin receptor, aka Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor (GHS-R), is highly expressed in the brain, with highest expression in Agouti-Related
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Ghrelin, an orexigenic hormone released primarily from the gut, signals the hypothalamus to stimulate growth hormone release, enhance appetite and promote weight gain. The ghrelin receptor, aka Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor (GHS-R), is highly expressed in the brain, with highest expression in Agouti-Related Peptide (AgRP) neurons of the hypothalamus. We recently reported that neuron-specific deletion of GHS-R completely prevents diet-induced obesity (DIO) in mice by activating non-shivering thermogenesis. To further decipher the specific neuronal circuits mediating the metabolic effects of GHS-R, we generated AgRP neuron-specific GHS-R knockout mice (AgRP-Cre;Ghsrf/f). Our data showed that GHS-R in AgRP neurons is required for ghrelin’s stimulatory effects on growth hormone secretion, acute food intake and adiposity, but not for long-term total food intake. Importantly, deletion of GHS-R in AgRP neurons attenuated diet-induced obesity (DIO) and enhanced cold-resistance in mice fed high fat diet (HFD). The HFD-fed knockout mice showed increased energy expenditure, and exhibited enhanced thermogenic activation in both brown and subcutaneous fat; this implies that GHS-R suppression in AgRP neurons enhances sympathetic outflow. In summary, our results suggest that AgRP neurons are key site for GHS-R mediated thermogenesis, and demonstrate that GHS-R in AgRP neurons plays crucial roles in governing energy utilization and pathogenesis of DIO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurobiological Perspectives on Ghrelin)
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Open AccessArticle Combined Effects of Curcumin and Lycopene or Bixin in Yoghurt on Inhibition of LDL Oxidation and Increases in HDL and Paraoxonase Levels in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 332; doi:10.3390/ijms18040332
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 29 January 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
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Abstract
Combination therapy using natural antioxidants to manage diabetes mellitus and its complications is an emerging trend. The aim of this study was to investigate the changes promoted by treatment of streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats with yoghurt enriched with the bioactives curcumin, lycopene, or bixin
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Combination therapy using natural antioxidants to manage diabetes mellitus and its complications is an emerging trend. The aim of this study was to investigate the changes promoted by treatment of streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats with yoghurt enriched with the bioactives curcumin, lycopene, or bixin (the latter two being carotenoids). Antioxidants were administered individually, or as mixtures, and biomarkers of metabolic and oxidative disturbances, particularly those associated with cardiovascular risk, were assessed. Treatment of STZ-diabetic rats with natural products individually decreased glycemia, triacylglycerol, total-cholesterol, oxidative stress biomarkers, including oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL), and increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes. Individual carotenoids increased both high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and paraoxonase levels, whereas curcumin increased only paraoxonase. Treatments with mixtures of curcumin and lycopene or bixin had combined effects, decreasing biomarkers of carbohydrate and lipid disturbances (curcumin effect), increasing the HDL levels (carotenoids effects) and mitigating oxidative stress (curcumin and carotenoids effects). The combined effects also led to prevention of the LDL oxidation, thereby mitigating the cardiovascular risk in diabetes. These findings provide evidence for the beneficial effect of curcumin and carotenoid mixtures as a supplementation having antioxidant and antiatherogenic potentials, thus appearing as an interesting strategy to be studied as a complementary therapy for diabetic complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correlation between Nutrition, Oxidative Stress and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Long Coding RNA XIST Contributes to Neuronal Apoptosis through the Downregulation of AKT Phosphorylation and Is Negatively Regulated by miR-494 in Rat Spinal Cord Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 732; doi:10.3390/ijms18040732
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract
Recent evidence has suggested that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of several neurological diseases, including spinal cord injury (SCI). However, little is known about the role of lncRNAs in SCI. The aim of the present study
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Recent evidence has suggested that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of several neurological diseases, including spinal cord injury (SCI). However, little is known about the role of lncRNAs in SCI. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential functions of lncRNAs in SCI and to identify the underlying mechanisms of action. We firstly analyzed Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets to investigate aberrantly-expressed lncRNAs which might be involved in the pathogenesis of SCI. The long non-coding RNA X-inactive specific transcript (XIST) was found to be one of the most significantly upregulated lncRNAs in the GEO dataset analysis, and is associated with apoptosis. We, therefore, selected this as a candidate lncRNA and investigated its function. We found that knockdown of lncRNA-XIST by Lv-shRNA had a prominent protective effect on SCI recovery by suppressing apoptosis through reactivation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in rat spinal cord tissue. In particular, our results suggested that lncRNA-XIST may act as a competitive endogenous RNA, effectively becoming a sink for miR-494, leading to derepression of its target gene, phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN). In addition, an inverse relationship between lncRNA-XIST and miR-494 was observed in spinal cord tissues of SCI rats. Further study demonstrated that antagomiR-494 could reverse the protective effects of lncRNA-XIST knockdown on SCI rats through blocking the PTEN/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. These results suggested that lncRNA-XIST knockdown may play an important role in limiting neuronal apoptosis in rats following SCI, and that the observed protective effects of lncRNA-XIST knockdown might have been mediated by its regulation on the phosphorylation of AKT by competitively binding miR-494. These findings have revealed, for the first time, the importance of the XIST/miR-494/PTEN/AKT signaling axis in the pathogenesis of SCI and suggest that lncRNA-XIST may be a promising molecular target for SCI therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
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Open AccessArticle Regulation of Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Purple Leaves of Zijuan Tea (Camellia sinensis var. kitamura)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 833; doi:10.3390/ijms18040833
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
Plant anthocyanin biosynthesis is well understood, but the regulatory mechanism in purple foliage tea remains unclear. Using isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ), 815 differential proteins were identified in the leaves of Zijuan tea, among which 20 were associated with the
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Plant anthocyanin biosynthesis is well understood, but the regulatory mechanism in purple foliage tea remains unclear. Using isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ), 815 differential proteins were identified in the leaves of Zijuan tea, among which 20 were associated with the regulation of anthocyanin metabolism. We found that the abundances of anthocyanin synthesis-related enzymes such as chalcone synthase, chalcone isomerase, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase and anthocyanin synthetase, as well as anthocyanin accumulation-related UDP-glucosyl transferase and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in the purple leaves were all significantly higher than those in the green leaves. The abundances of the transcription factors bHLH and HY5, regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis at transcriptional level were also obviously higher in purple leaves than those in green leaves. In addition, bifunctional 3-dehydroquinate dehydratase and chorismate mutase in purple leaves were distinctly higher in abundance compared to green leaves, which provided sufficient phenylalanine substrate for anthocyanin synthesis. Furthermore, lignin synthesis was found to be reduced due to the lower abundances of cinnamoyl-CoA reductase 1, peroxidase 15 and laccase-6, which resulted in increase of intermediates flow into anthocyanin synthesis pathway. The physiological data were consistent with proteomic results. These four aspects of biosynthetic regulation contribute to anthocyanin accumulation in purple leaves of Zijuan tea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 6th National Plant Protein Research Congress)
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Open AccessArticle Beneficial Effects of Melatonin on the In Vitro Maturation of Sheep Oocytes and Its Relation to Melatonin Receptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 834; doi:10.3390/ijms18040834
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: The binding sites of melatonin, as a multifunctional molecule, have been identified in human, porcine, and bovine samples. However, the binding sites and mechanisms of melatonin have not been reported in sheep; (2) Methods: Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured in TCM-199
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(1) Background: The binding sites of melatonin, as a multifunctional molecule, have been identified in human, porcine, and bovine samples. However, the binding sites and mechanisms of melatonin have not been reported in sheep; (2) Methods: Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured in TCM-199 supplemented with melatonin at concentrations of 0, 10−3, 10−5, 10−7, 10−9, and 10−11 M. Melatonin receptors (MT1 and MT2) were evaluated via immunofluorescence and Western blot. The effects of melatonin on cumulus cell expansion, nuclear maturation, embryo development, and related gene (GDF9, DNMT1, PTX3, HAS2, and EGFR) expression were investigated. The level of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) were evaluated in oocytes and cumulus, respectively; (3) Results: Both MT1 and MT2 were expressed in oocytes, cumulus cells, and granulosa cells. Melatonin with a concentration of 10−7 M significantly enhanced the rates of nuclear maturation, cumulus cells expansion, cleavage, and blastocyst. Melatonin enhanced the expression of BMP15 in oocytes and of PTX3, HAS2, and EGFR in cumulus cells. Melatonin decreased the cAMP level of oocytes but enhanced the cGMP level in oocytes and cumulus cells; (4) Conclusion: The higher presence of MT1 in GV cumulus cells and the beneficial effects of melatonin indicated that its roles in regulating sheep oocyte maturation may be mediated mainly by the MT1 receptor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects)
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Open AccessArticle SAK-HV Decreases the Self-Ubiquitination of MEKK1 to Promote Macrophage Proliferation via MAPK/ERK and JNK Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 835; doi:10.3390/ijms18040835
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
SAK-HV is an anti-atherosclerosis recombinant fusion protein developed by our lab. Our study determined that SAK-HV promoted macrophage proliferation, of which the mechanism was explored by both RAW264.7 cells and primary macrophages. Mass spectrometric analysis and co-immunoprecipitation were combined to screen the SAK-HV-interacting
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SAK-HV is an anti-atherosclerosis recombinant fusion protein developed by our lab. Our study determined that SAK-HV promoted macrophage proliferation, of which the mechanism was explored by both RAW264.7 cells and primary macrophages. Mass spectrometric analysis and co-immunoprecipitation were combined to screen the SAK-HV-interacting proteins in RAW264.7 cells. Confocal microscopy was adopted to detect the localization of SAK-HV in cells. The results indicated that SAK-HV triggered macrophage proliferation via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) pathways by its SAK-mutant functional domain. We screened out Uba1 as the SAK-HV-interacting protein in the RAW264.7 cells and discovered their co-localization in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Inhibiting Uba1 significantly decreased the SAK-HV-induced macrophage proliferation. Thus, we postulated an attractive model of ubiquitination, in which the interactions between Uba1 and specific E2 enzymes are blocked by its interaction with SAK-HV. Based on this model, we detected the decreased self-ubiquitination of MEKK1 after SAK-HV treatment and concluded that SAK-HV inhibits the self-ubiquitination of MEKK1 via its SAK-mutant functional domain to activate MAPK/ERK and JNK pathways, promoting macrophage proliferation. This conclusion highly supported our hypothesized model of ubiquitination at the level of Uba1, which may represent a novel paradigm to promote macrophage proliferation by using the E1 enzyme (Uba1) as a switch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitin System)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Novel A2/C2 Inter-Genotype Recombinants of Hepatitis B Virus from a Korean Chronic Patient Co-Infected with Both Genotype A2 and C2
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 737; doi:10.3390/ijms18040737
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Nearly all cases of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in South Korea have the C2 genotype. Here, we have identified a chronically infected patient who was co-infected with HBV of both the A2 and C2 genotypes by screening 135 Korean chronically infected patients
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Nearly all cases of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in South Korea have the C2 genotype. Here, we have identified a chronically infected patient who was co-infected with HBV of both the A2 and C2 genotypes by screening 135 Korean chronically infected patients using direct sequencing protocols targeting the 1032-bp polymerase reverse transcriptase (RT) region. Further polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-cloning analysis (22 clones) of the RT showed that this patient had genotype C2 (12 clones), genotype A2 (six clones) and A2/C2 inter-genotype HBV recombinants (four clones). BootScan analysis showed that three of the four recombinants have different types of recombination breakpoints in both the RT and overlapping hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) region. Given the significance of HBsAg as a diagnostic or vaccination target against HBV infection, clinical implications of these identified recombinants should be studied in the future. To our knowledge, this is the first report on A2/C2 inter-genotype HBV recombinants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Clinical Outcomes of 217 Patients with Acute Erythroleukemia According to Treatment Type and Line: A Retrospective Multinational Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 837; doi:10.3390/ijms18040837
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
Acute erythroleukemia (AEL) is a rare disease typically associated with a poor prognosis. The median survival ranges between 3–9 months from initial diagnosis. Hypomethylating agents (HMAs) have been shown to prolong survival in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and AML, but there is
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Acute erythroleukemia (AEL) is a rare disease typically associated with a poor prognosis. The median survival ranges between 3–9 months from initial diagnosis. Hypomethylating agents (HMAs) have been shown to prolong survival in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and AML, but there is limited data of their efficacy in AEL. We collected data from 210 AEL patients treated at 28 international sites. Overall survival (OS) and PFS were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test was used for subgroup comparisons. Survival between treatment groups was compared using the Cox proportional hazards regression model. Eighty-eight patients were treated with HMAs, 44 front line, and 122 with intensive chemotherapy (ICT). ICT led to a higher overall response rate (complete or partial) compared to first-line HMA (72% vs. 46.2%, respectively; p ≤ 0.001), but similar progression-free survival (8.0 vs. 9.4 months; p = 0.342). Overall survival was similar for ICT vs. HMAs (10.5 vs. 13.7 months; p = 0.564), but patients with high-risk cytogenetics treated with HMA first-line lived longer (7.5 for ICT vs. 13.3 months; p = 0.039). Our results support the therapeutic value of HMA in AEL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biology and Treatment of Myeloid Leukaemias)
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Titrated Extract of Centella asiatica in Phthalic Anhydride-Induced Allergic Dermatitis Animal Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 738; doi:10.3390/ijms18040738
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Centella asiatica has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, its anti-dermatitic effect has not yet been reported. In this study, we investigated the anti-dermatitic effects of titrated extract of Centella asiatica (TECA) in a phthalic anhydride (PA)-induced atopic dermatitis (AD) animal model as
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Centella asiatica has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, its anti-dermatitic effect has not yet been reported. In this study, we investigated the anti-dermatitic effects of titrated extract of Centella asiatica (TECA) in a phthalic anhydride (PA)-induced atopic dermatitis (AD) animal model as well as in vitro model. An AD-like lesion was induced by the topical application of five percent PA to the dorsal skin or ear of Hos:HR-1 mouse. After AD induction, 100 μL of 0.2% and 0.4% of TECA (40 μg or 80 μg/cm2) was spread on the dorsum of the ear or back skin three times a week for four weeks. We evaluated dermatitis severity, histopathological changes and changes in protein expression by Western blotting for inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and NF-κB activity, which were determined by electromobility shift assay (EMSA). We also measured TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IgE concentration in the blood of AD mice by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). TECA treatment attenuated the development of PA-induced atopic dermatitis. Histological analysis showed that TECA inhibited hyperkeratosis, mast cells and infiltration of inflammatory cells. TECA treatment inhibited expression of iNOS and COX-2, and NF-κB activity as well as the release of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IgE. In addition, TECA (1, 2, 5 μg/mL) potently inhibited Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (1 μg/mL)-induced NO production, expression of iNOS and COX-2, and NF-κB DNA binding activities in RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Our data demonstrated that TECA could be a promising agent for AD by inhibition of NF-κB signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wound Repair and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle Applying Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy (BDS) for the Biophysical Characterization of Mammalian Tissues under a Variety of Cellular Stresses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 838; doi:10.3390/ijms18040838
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
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Abstract
The dielectric properties of biological tissues can contribute non-invasively to a better characterization and understanding of the structural properties and physiology of living organisms. The question we asked, is whether these induced changes are effected by an endogenous or exogenous cellular stress, and
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The dielectric properties of biological tissues can contribute non-invasively to a better characterization and understanding of the structural properties and physiology of living organisms. The question we asked, is whether these induced changes are effected by an endogenous or exogenous cellular stress, and can they be detected non-invasively in the form of a dielectric response, e.g., an AC conductivity switch in the broadband frequency spectrum. This study constitutes the first methodological approach for the detection of environmental stress-induced damage in mammalian tissues by the means of broadband dielectric spectroscopy (BDS) at the frequencies of 1–106 Hz. Firstly, we used non-ionizing (NIR) and ionizing radiation (IR) as a typical environmental stress. Specifically, rats were exposed to either digital enhanced cordless telecommunication (DECT) radio frequency electromagnetic radiation or to γ-radiation, respectively. The other type of stress, characterized usually by high genomic instability, was the pathophysiological state of human cancer (lung and prostate). Analyzing the results of isothermal dielectric measurements provided information on the tissues’ water fraction. In most cases, our methodology proved sufficient in detecting structural changes, especially in the case of IR and malignancy. Useful specific dielectric response patterns are detected and correlated with each type of stress. Our results point towards the development of a dielectric-based methodology for better understanding and, in a relatively invasive way, the biological and structural changes effected by radiation and developing lung or prostate cancer often associated with genomic instability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms Leading to Genomic Instability)
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Open AccessArticle Adjustment of Dysregulated Ceramide Metabolism in a Murine Model of Sepsis-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 839; doi:10.3390/ijms18040839
Received: 11 March 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
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Abstract
Cardiac dysfunction, in particular of the left ventricle, is a common and early event in sepsis, and is strongly associated with an increase in patients’ mortality. Acid sphingomyelinase (SMPD1)—the principal regulator for rapid and transient generation of the lipid mediator ceramide—is involved in
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Cardiac dysfunction, in particular of the left ventricle, is a common and early event in sepsis, and is strongly associated with an increase in patients’ mortality. Acid sphingomyelinase (SMPD1)—the principal regulator for rapid and transient generation of the lipid mediator ceramide—is involved in both the regulation of host response in sepsis as well as in the pathogenesis of chronic heart failure. This study determined the degree and the potential role to which SMPD1 and its modulation affect sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy using both genetically deficient and pharmacologically-treated animals in a polymicrobial sepsis model. As surrogate parameters of sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy, cardiac function, markers of oxidative stress as well as troponin I levels were found to be improved in desipramine-treated animals, desipramine being an inhibitor of ceramide formation. Additionally, ceramide formation in cardiac tissue was dysregulated in SMPD1+/+ as well as SMPD1−/− animals, whereas desipramine pretreatment resulted in stable, but increased ceramide content during host response. This was a result of elevated de novo synthesis. Strikingly, desipramine treatment led to significantly improved levels of surrogate markers. Furthermore, similar results in desipramine-pretreated SMPD1−/− littermates suggest an SMPD1-independent pathway. Finally, a pattern of differentially expressed transcripts important for regulation of apoptosis as well as antioxidative and cytokine response supports the concept that desipramine modulates ceramide formation, resulting in beneficial myocardial effects. We describe a novel, protective role of desipramine during sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction that controls ceramide content. In addition, it may be possible to modulate cardiac function during host response by pre-conditioning with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug desipramine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sepsis)
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Open AccessArticle Cancer/Testis Antigens: “Smart” Biomarkers for Diagnosis and Prognosis of Prostate and Other Cancers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 740; doi:10.3390/ijms18040740
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
A clinical dilemma in the management of prostate cancer (PCa) is to distinguish men with aggressive disease who need definitive treatment from men who may not require immediate intervention. Accurate prediction of disease behavior is critical because radical treatment is associated with high
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A clinical dilemma in the management of prostate cancer (PCa) is to distinguish men with aggressive disease who need definitive treatment from men who may not require immediate intervention. Accurate prediction of disease behavior is critical because radical treatment is associated with high morbidity. Here, we highlight the cancer/testis antigens (CTAs) as potential PCa biomarkers. The CTAs are a group of proteins that are typically restricted to the testis in the normal adult but are aberrantly expressed in several types of cancers. Interestingly, >90% of CTAs are predicted to belong to the realm of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), which do not have unique structures and exist as highly dynamic conformational ensembles, but are known to play important roles in several biological processes. Using prostate-associated gene 4 (PAGE4) as an example of a disordered CTA, we highlight how IDP conformational dynamics may regulate phenotypic heterogeneity in PCa cells, and how it may be exploited both as a potential biomarker as well as a promising therapeutic target in PCa. We also discuss how in addition to intrinsic disorder and post-translational modifications, structural and functional variability induced in the CTAs by alternate splicing represents an important feature that might have different roles in different cancers. Although it is clear that significant additional work needs to be done in the outlined direction, this novel concept emphasizing (multi)functionality as an important trait in selecting a biomarker underscoring the theranostic potential of CTAs that is latent in their structure (or, more appropriately, the lack thereof), and casts them as next generation or “smart” biomarker candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic, Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Possible Roles of CC- and CXC-Chemokines in Regulating Bovine Endometrial Function during Early Pregnancy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 742; doi:10.3390/ijms18040742
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the present study was to determine the possible roles of chemokines in regulating bovine endometrial function during early pregnancy. The expression of six chemokines, including CCL2, CCL8, CCL11, CCL14, CCL16, and CXCL10, was higher in the endometrium at 15 and
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The aim of the present study was to determine the possible roles of chemokines in regulating bovine endometrial function during early pregnancy. The expression of six chemokines, including CCL2, CCL8, CCL11, CCL14, CCL16, and CXCL10, was higher in the endometrium at 15 and 18 days of pregnancy than at the same days in non-pregnant animals. Immunohistochemical staining showed that chemokine receptors (CCR1, CCR2, CCR3, and CXCR3) were expressed in the epithelial cells and glandular epithelial cells of the bovine endometrium as well as in the fetal trophoblast obtained from a cow on day 18 of pregnancy. The addition of interferon-τ (IFNT) to an endometrial tissue culture system increased CCL8 and CXCL10 expression in the tissues, but did not affect CCL2, CCL11, and CCL16 expression. CCL14 expression by these tissues was inhibited by IFNT. CCL16, but not other chemokines, clearly stimulated interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) and myxovirus-resistance gene 1 (MX1) expression in these tissues. Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) expression decreased after stimulation with CCL8 and CCL14, and oxytocin receptor (OTR) expression was decreased by CCL2, CCL8, CCL14, and CXCL10. Collectively, the expression of chemokine genes is increased in the endometrium during early pregnancy. These genes may contribute to the regulation of endometrial function by inhibiting COX2 and OTR expression, subsequently decreasing prostaglandin production and preventing luteolysis in cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Chemokine-Receptor Interactions and Functions)
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Open AccessArticle Retinoids Regulate Adipogenesis Involving the TGFβ/SMAD and Wnt/β-Catenin Pathways in Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 842; doi:10.3390/ijms18040842
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
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Abstract
Retinoids may regulate cell differentiation as ligands of retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and/or retinoid X receptors (RXRs). We showed that RAR agonists promoted adipogenesis by upregulating the expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) in the early stages, but blocked adipogenesis at a later
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Retinoids may regulate cell differentiation as ligands of retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and/or retinoid X receptors (RXRs). We showed that RAR agonists promoted adipogenesis by upregulating the expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) in the early stages, but blocked adipogenesis at a later stage in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs). RXR agonists promoted adipogenesis at all time points in hBMSCs. The effect of RAR agonists was mediated mainly by the RARβ subtype. RAR agonists, in contrast to RXR agonists, significantly promoted the expression of RARβ. Knockdown of the RARβ gene via small hairpin RNA (shRNA) attenuated the inhibition of RAR agonists toward adipogenesis. Furthermore, we found that RAR agonists upregulated the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)/SMAD pathway and Wnt/β-catenin pathway on adipogenesis in hBMSCs, and the stimulating effects were noticeably decreased with the RARβ gene knockdown. Both RAR agonists and RXR agonists inhibited adipogenesis and blocked the promoter activity of C/EBPβ and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in SW872 cell. These results indicated the RAR agonists perform dual roles in adipogenesis in hBMSCs, and the TGFβ/SMAD pathway and Wnt/β-catenin pathway may involve the inhibitory effect of RAR agonists. RARβ is the main receptor subtype mediating the effect. The roles of RXR agonists in adipogenesis exhibited cell type-specific differences, and may be based on the integration of signals from different RXR dimers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Early Assessment of Colorectal Cancer by Quantifying Circulating Tumor Cells in Peripheral Blood: ECT2 in Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 743; doi:10.3390/ijms18040743
Received: 13 January 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood is an indication of poor prognosis for patients with different cancer types. However, most of the available technologies for detecting CTCs show low sensitivity and specificity. Therefore, we attempted to find an alternative marker for CTCs
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Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood is an indication of poor prognosis for patients with different cancer types. However, most of the available technologies for detecting CTCs show low sensitivity and specificity. Therefore, we attempted to find an alternative marker for CTCs of colorectal cancer. We have directly extracted RNA from CTCs contained in 1.5 mL peripheral blood from 90 colorectal cancer patients and 151 healthy donors, and screened these samples for candidate marker genes by nested real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). From genes selected from a public database of microarray analyses, we successfully identified epithelial cell transforming sequence 2 oncogene (ECT2) as a gene that exhibits high differential expression ratios (p < 0.01). ECT2 displays good sensitivity and specificity, with an area under the curve (AUC) value of 0.821. This marker gene also has a high detection rate in patients with serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) concentrations below the diagnostic threshold of 5 ng/mL. The expression of ECT2 can therefore serve as an alternative measurement that can compensate for the inadequacy of the current CEA test in the diagnosis and monitoring of colorectal cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Hypaphorine Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Endothelial Inflammation via Regulation of TLR4 and PPAR-γ Dependent on PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signal Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 844; doi:10.3390/ijms18040844
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Endothelial lesion response to injurious stimuli is a necessary step for initiating inflammatory cascades in blood vessels. Hypaphorine (Hy) from different marine sources is shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. However, the potential roles and possible molecular mechanisms of Hy in endothelial inflammation have
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Endothelial lesion response to injurious stimuli is a necessary step for initiating inflammatory cascades in blood vessels. Hypaphorine (Hy) from different marine sources is shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. However, the potential roles and possible molecular mechanisms of Hy in endothelial inflammation have yet to be fully clarified. We showed that Hy significantly inhibited the positive effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on pro-inflammatory cytokines expressions, including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), as well as induction of the phosphorylation of Akt and mTOR in HMEC-1 cells. The downregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) and upregulated toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expressions in LPS-challenged endothelial cells were prevented by Hy. Inhibition of both PI3K and mTOR reversed LPS-stimulated increases in TLR4 expressions and decreases in PPAR-γ levels. Genetic silencing of TLR4 or PPAR-γ agonist pioglitazone obviously abrogated the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in LPS-treated HMEC-1 cells. These results suggest that Hy may exert anti-inflammatory actions through the regulation of TLR4 and PPAR-γ dependent on PI3K/Akt/mTOR signal pathways. Hy may be considered as a therapeutic agent that can potentially relieve or ameliorate endothelial inflammation-associated diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Study of Blood-Based Biomarkers, α2,3-Sialic Acid PSA and PHI, for High-Risk Prostate Cancer Detection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 845; doi:10.3390/ijms18040845
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is the most commonly used serum marker for prostate cancer (PCa), although it is not specific and sensitive enough to allow the differential diagnosis of the more aggressive tumors. For that, new diagnostic methods are being developed, such as
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Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is the most commonly used serum marker for prostate cancer (PCa), although it is not specific and sensitive enough to allow the differential diagnosis of the more aggressive tumors. For that, new diagnostic methods are being developed, such as PCA-3, PSA isoforms that have resulted in the 4K score or the Prostate Health Index (PHI), and PSA glycoforms. In the present study, we have compared the PHI with our recently developed PSA glycoform assay, based on the determination of the α2,3-sialic acid percentage of serum PSA (% α2,3-SA), in a cohort of 79 patients, which include 50 PCa of different grades and 29 benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) patients. The % α2,3-SA could distinguish high-risk PCa patients from the rest of patients better than the PHI (area under the curve (AUC) of 0.971 vs. 0.840), although the PHI correlated better with the Gleason score than the % α2,3-SA. The combination of both markers increased the AUC up to 0.985 resulting in 100% sensitivity and 94.7% specificity to differentiate high-risk PCa from the other low and intermediate-risk PCa and BPH patients. These results suggest that both serum markers complement each other and offer an improved diagnostic tool to identify high-risk PCa, which is an important requirement for guiding treatment decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic, Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle TRPV4 Stimulation Induced Melatonin Secretion by Increasing Arylalkymine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) Protein Level
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 746; doi:10.3390/ijms18040746
Received: 5 March 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract
Melatonin is a molecule which has gained a great deal of interest in many areas of science; its synthesis was classically known to be in the pineal gland. However, many organs synthesize melatonin, such as several ocular structures. Melatonin is known to participate
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Melatonin is a molecule which has gained a great deal of interest in many areas of science; its synthesis was classically known to be in the pineal gland. However, many organs synthesize melatonin, such as several ocular structures. Melatonin is known to participate in many functions apart from its main action regulating the circadian rhythm. It is synthesized from serotonin in two steps, with a rate-limiting step carried out by arylalkymine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT). In this report, the role of TRPV4 channel present in human ciliary body epithelial cells in AANAT production was studied. Several experiments were undertaken to verify the adequate time to reach the maximal effect by using the TRPV4 agonist GSK1016790A, together with a dose–response study. An increase of 2.4 folds in AANAT was seen after 18 h of incubation with 10 nM of GSK1016790A (p < 0.001, n = 6). This increment was verified by antagonist assays. In summary, AANAT levels and therefore melatonin synthesis change after TRPV4 channel stimulation. Using this cell model together with human ciliary body tissue it is possible to suggest that AANAT plays an important role in pathologies related to intraocular pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects)
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Open AccessArticle The Angiogenesis Inhibitor ALS-L1023 from Lemon-Balm Leaves Attenuates High-Fat Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease through Regulating the Visceral Adipose-Tissue Function
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 846; doi:10.3390/ijms18040846
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Similar to neoplastic tissues, growth and development of adipose tissue are thought to be angiogenesis-dependent. Since visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is associated with development and progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), we hypothesized that angiogenesis inhibition would attenuate obesity-induced NAFLD. We fed
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Similar to neoplastic tissues, growth and development of adipose tissue are thought to be angiogenesis-dependent. Since visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is associated with development and progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), we hypothesized that angiogenesis inhibition would attenuate obesity-induced NAFLD. We fed C57BL/6J mice a low-fat diet (LFD, chow 10% kcal fat), a high-fat diet (HFD, 45% kcal fat) or HFD supplemented with the lemon-balm extract ALS-L1023 (HFD-ALS) for 15 weeks. ALS-L1023 reduced endothelial cell-tube formation in vitro. HFD increased VAT angiogenesis and induced weight gains including body weight, VAT mass and visceral adipocyte size compared with LFD. However, HFD-ALS led to weight reductions without affecting calorie intake compared with HFD. HFD-ALS also reduced serum ALT and AST levels and improved lipid metabolism. HFD-ALS suppressed steatosis, infiltration of inflammatory cells, and accumulation of collagen in livers. HFD-ALS modulated hepatic expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism, inflammation, fibrosis, antioxidation, and apoptosis. Concomitantly, analysis of VAT function revealed that HFD-ALS led to fewer CD68-positive macrophage numbers and lower expression of inflammatory cytokines compared with HFD. Our findings show that the anti-angiogenic herbal extract ALS-L1023 attenuates NAFLD by targeting VAT during obesity, suggesting that angiogenesis inhibitors could aid in the treatment and prevention of obesity-induced human NAFLD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrigenomics of Risk Factors for Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Metabolic Effect of an Oriental Herbal Medicine on Obesity and Its Comorbidities with Transcriptional Responses in Diet-Induced Obese Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 747; doi:10.3390/ijms18040747
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract
Taeeumjowuitang (TJ) is an alternative herbal medicine that has been used to treat obesity in Korea. The molecular mechanisms involved in TJ-induced anti-obesity effects have not yet been determined. The aim of the current study was to elucidate the effects of TJ on
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Taeeumjowuitang (TJ) is an alternative herbal medicine that has been used to treat obesity in Korea. The molecular mechanisms involved in TJ-induced anti-obesity effects have not yet been determined. The aim of the current study was to elucidate the effects of TJ on obesity and metabolic syndrome, by analyzing the transcriptional and metabolic responses to TJ treatment. C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat or high-fat + 3% (w/w) TJ diet for 12 weeks. Their phenotypic characteristics were measured and the anti-obesity mechanism was elucidated, based on the RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) transcriptomic profiles in an animal model of obesity. TJ treatment ameliorated insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hepatic steatosis in high-fat diet-induced obese mice, with a simultaneous reduction in body weight gain by enhancing energy expenditure and suppressing adiposity. An analysis of the global transcriptional changes by RNA-seq revealed that TJ upregulated mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation-associated genes in epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT), suggesting an enhanced mitochondrial function after TJ treatment. Moreover, TJ effectively attenuated the high-fat diet-induced inflammatory response through transcriptional changes in eWAT. Our findings provide some mechanistic insights into the effects of TJ, an alternative oriental medicine, in the treatment of obesity and its comorbidities. They demonstrate that metabolic and transcriptional responses to diet-induced obesity with TJ treatment were desirable in adipose tissue metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene-Diet Interactions in Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Overexpression of S-Adenosyl-l-Methionine Synthetase 2 from Sugar Beet M14 Increased Arabidopsis Tolerance to Salt and Oxidative Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 847; doi:10.3390/ijms18040847
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 8 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
The sugar beet monosomic addition line M14 is a unique germplasm that contains genetic materials from Beta vulgaris L. and Beta corolliflora Zoss, and shows tolerance to salt stress. Our study focuses on exploring the molecular mechanism of the salt tolerance of the
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The sugar beet monosomic addition line M14 is a unique germplasm that contains genetic materials from Beta vulgaris L. and Beta corolliflora Zoss, and shows tolerance to salt stress. Our study focuses on exploring the molecular mechanism of the salt tolerance of the sugar beet M14. In order to identify differentially expressed genes in M14 under salt stress, a subtractive cDNA library was generated by suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH). A total of 36 unique sequences were identified in the library and their putative functions were analyzed. One of the genes, S-adenosylmethionine synthetase (SAMS), is the key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a precursor of polyamines. To determine the potential role of SAMS in salt tolerance, we isolated BvM14-SAMS2 from the salt-tolerant sugar beet M14. The expression of BvM14-SAMS2 in leaves and roots was greatly induced by salt stress. Overexpression of BvM14-SAMS2 in Arabidopsis resulted in enhanced salt and H2O2 tolerance. Furthermore, we obtained a knock-down T-DNA insertion mutant of AtSAMS3, which shares the highest homology with BvM14-SAMS2. Interestingly, the mutant atsam3 showed sensitivity to salt and H2O2 stress. We also found that the antioxidant system and polyamine metabolism play an important role in salt and H2O2 tolerance in the BvM14-SAMS2-overexpressed plants. To our knowledge, the function of the sugar beet SAMS has not been reported before. Our results have provided new insights into SAMS functions in sugar beet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 6th National Plant Protein Research Congress)
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Open AccessArticle Chemokine CXCL7 Heterodimers: Structural Insights, CXCR2 Receptor Function, and Glycosaminoglycan Interactions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 748; doi:10.3390/ijms18040748
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract
Chemokines mediate diverse fundamental biological processes, including combating infection. Multiple chemokines are expressed at the site of infection; thus chemokine synergy by heterodimer formation may play a role in determining function. Chemokine function involves interactions with G-protein-coupled receptors and sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAG). However,
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Chemokines mediate diverse fundamental biological processes, including combating infection. Multiple chemokines are expressed at the site of infection; thus chemokine synergy by heterodimer formation may play a role in determining function. Chemokine function involves interactions with G-protein-coupled receptors and sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAG). However, very little is known regarding heterodimer structural features and receptor and GAG interactions. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and molecular dynamics characterization of platelet-derived chemokine CXCL7 heterodimerization with chemokines CXCL1, CXCL4, and CXCL8 indicated that packing interactions promote CXCL7-CXCL1 and CXCL7-CXCL4 heterodimers, and electrostatic repulsive interactions disfavor the CXCL7-CXCL8 heterodimer. As characterizing the native heterodimer is challenging due to interference from monomers and homodimers, we engineered a “trapped” disulfide-linked CXCL7-CXCL1 heterodimer. NMR and modeling studies indicated that GAG heparin binding to the heterodimer is distinctly different from the CXCL7 monomer and that the GAG-bound heterodimer is unlikely to bind the receptor. Interestingly, the trapped heterodimer was highly active in a Ca2+ release assay. These data collectively suggest that GAG interactions play a prominent role in determining heterodimer function in vivo. Further, this study provides proof-of-concept that the disulfide trapping strategy can serve as a valuable tool for characterizing the structural and functional features of a chemokine heterodimer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Chemokine-Receptor Interactions and Functions)
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Open AccessArticle Sus scrofa miR-204 and miR-4331 Negatively Regulate Swine H1N1/2009 Influenza A Virus Replication by Targeting Viral HA and NS, Respectively
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 749; doi:10.3390/ijms18040749
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
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Abstract
The prevalence of swine pandemic H1N1/2009 influenza A virus (SIV-H1N1/2009) in pigs has the potential to generate novel reassortant viruses, posing a great threat to human health. Cellular microRNAs (miRNAs) have been proven as promising small molecules for regulating influenza A virus replication
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The prevalence of swine pandemic H1N1/2009 influenza A virus (SIV-H1N1/2009) in pigs has the potential to generate novel reassortant viruses, posing a great threat to human health. Cellular microRNAs (miRNAs) have been proven as promising small molecules for regulating influenza A virus replication by directly targeting viral genomic RNA. In this study, we predicted potential Sus scrofa (ssc-, swine) miRNAs targeting the genomic RNA of SIV-H1N1/2009 by RegRNA 2.0, and identified ssc-miR-204 and ssc-miR-4331 to target viral HA and NS respectively through dual-luciferase reporter assays. The messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of viral HA and NS were significantly suppressed when newborn pig trachea (NPTr) cells respectively overexpressed ssc-miR-204 and ssc-miR-4331 and were infected with SIV-H1N1/2009, whereas the suppression effect could be restored when respectively decreasing endogenous ssc-miR-204 and ssc-miR-4331 with inhibitors. Because of the importance of viral HA and NS in the life cycle of influenza A virus, ssc-miR-204 and ssc-miR-4331 exhibited an inhibition effect on SIV-H1N1/2009 replication. The antiviral effect was sequence-specific of SIV-H1N1/2009, for the target sites in HA and NS of H5N1 or H9N2 influenza A virus were not conserved. Furthermore, SIV-H1N1/2009 infection reversely downregulated the expression of ssc-miR-204 and ssc-miR-4331, which might facilitate the virus replication in the host. In summary, this work will provide us some important clues for controlling the prevalence of SIV-H1N1/2009 in pig populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Transcriptome Sequencing of Dianthus spiculifolius and Analysis of the Genes Involved in Responses to Combined Cold and Drought Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 849; doi:10.3390/ijms18040849
Received: 18 March 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Dianthus spiculifolius, a perennial herbaceous flower and a member of the Caryophyllaceae family, has strong resistance to cold and drought stresses. To explore the transcriptional responses of D. spiculifolius to individual and combined stresses, we performed transcriptome sequencing of seedlings under normal
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Dianthus spiculifolius, a perennial herbaceous flower and a member of the Caryophyllaceae family, has strong resistance to cold and drought stresses. To explore the transcriptional responses of D. spiculifolius to individual and combined stresses, we performed transcriptome sequencing of seedlings under normal conditions or subjected to cold treatment (CT), simulated drought treatment (DT), or their combination (CTDT). After de novo assembly of the obtained reads, 112,015 unigenes were generated. Analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) showed that 2026, 940, and 2346 genes were up-regulated and 1468, 707, and 1759 were down-regulated in CT, DT, and CTDT samples, respectively. Among all the DEGs, 182 up-regulated and 116 down-regulated genes were identified in all the treatment groups. Analysis of metabolic pathways and regulatory networks associated with the DEGs revealed overlaps and cross-talk between cold and drought stress response pathways. The expression profiles of the selected DEGs in CT, DT, and CTDT samples were characterized and confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. These DEGs and metabolic pathways may play important roles in the response of D. spiculifolius to the combined stress. Functional characterization of these genes and pathways will provide new targets for enhancement of plant stress tolerance through genetic manipulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 6th National Plant Protein Research Congress)
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Open AccessArticle Delphinidin Reduces Glucose Uptake in Mice Jejunal Tissue and Human Intestinal Cells Lines through FFA1/GPR40
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 750; doi:10.3390/ijms18040750
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
Anthocyanins are pigments with antihyperglycemic properties, and they are potential candidates for developing functional foods for the therapy or prevention of Diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2). The mechanism of these beneficial effects of anthocyanins are, however, hard to explain, given their very low
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Anthocyanins are pigments with antihyperglycemic properties, and they are potential candidates for developing functional foods for the therapy or prevention of Diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2). The mechanism of these beneficial effects of anthocyanins are, however, hard to explain, given their very low bioavailability due to poor intestinal absorption. We propose that free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFA1, also named GPR40), is involved in an inhibitory effect of the anthocyanidin delphinidin over intestinal glucose absorption. We show the direct effects of delphinidin on the intestine using jejunum samples from RF/J mice, and the human intestinal cell lines HT-29, Caco-2, and NCM460. By the use of specific pharmacological antagonists, we determined that delphinidin inhibits glucose absorption in both mouse jejunum and a human enterocytic cell line in a FFA1-dependent manner. Delphinidin also affects the function of sodium-glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1). Intracellular signaling after FFA1 activation involved cAMP increase and cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations originated from intracellular Ca2+ stores and were followed by store-operated Ca2+ entry. Taken together, our results suggest a new GPR-40 mediated local mechanism of action for delphinidin over intestinal cells that may in part explain its antidiabetic effect. These findings are promising for the search for new prevention and pharmacological treatment strategies for DM2 management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Genetic Resistance to Gastrointestinal Nematodes Infection in Goat Using RNA-Sequencing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 751; doi:10.3390/ijms18040751
Received: 13 January 2017 / Revised: 3 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract
Gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) are one of the most economically important parasites of small ruminants and a major animal health concern in many regions of the world. However, the molecular mechanisms of the host response to GIN infections in goat are still little known.
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Gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) are one of the most economically important parasites of small ruminants and a major animal health concern in many regions of the world. However, the molecular mechanisms of the host response to GIN infections in goat are still little known. In this study, two genetically distinct goat populations, one relatively resistant and the other susceptible to GIN infections, were identified in Yichang goat and then four individuals in each group were chosen to compare mRNA expression profiles using RNA-seq. Field experiment showed lower worm burden, delayed and reduced egg production in the relatively resistant group than the susceptible group. The analysis of RNA-seq showed that 2369 genes, 1407 of which were up-regulated and 962 down-regulated, were significantly (p < 0.001) differentially expressed between these two groups. Functional annotation of the 298 genes more highly expressed in the resistant group yielded a total of 46 significant (p < 0.05) functional annotation clusters including 31 genes (9 in innate immunity, 13 in immunity, and 9 in innate immune response) related to immune biosynthetic process as well as transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) pathways. Our findings provide insights that are immediately relevant for the improvement of host resistance to GIN infections and which will make it possible to know the mechanisms underlying the resistance of goats to GIN infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Acetazolamide, a Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitor, on the Development of Intestinal Polyps in Min Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 851; doi:10.3390/ijms18040851
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer is a common cancer worldwide. Carbonic anhydrase (CA) catalyzes the reversible conversion of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate ion and a proton, and its inhibitor is reported to reduce cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. Therefore, we asked whether acetazolamide, a CA
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Colorectal cancer is a common cancer worldwide. Carbonic anhydrase (CA) catalyzes the reversible conversion of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate ion and a proton, and its inhibitor is reported to reduce cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. Therefore, we asked whether acetazolamide, a CA inhibitor, could inhibit intestinal carcinogenesis. Five-week-old male Apc-mutant mice, Min mice, were fed a AIN-76A diet containing 200 or 400 ppm acetazolamide. As a result, acetazolamide treatment reduced the total number of intestinal polyps by up to 50% compared to the control group. In addition, the acetazolamide-treated group had low cell proliferation and a high apoptosis ratio in the intestinal polyp epithelial cells. Moreover, the mRNA expression level of proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6, involved in the cell proliferation was decreased in the polyp part of the acetazolamide-treated group. Next, we examined the effects of acetazolamide on the activation of several transcriptional factors (AP-1, HIF, HSF, NF-κB, NRF2, p53, and STAT3) using a reporter gene assay in human colon cancer cells, Caco-2 cells. Among the examined transcriptional factors, NRF2 transcriptional activation was strongly induced. NRF2-targeting genes, γGCS, GPx1, HO-1, and NQO-1, were also elevated in the intestinal polyps of acetazolamide-treated Min mice. Our results suggested that CA is involved in intestinal carcinogenesis. Acetazolamide could inhibit polyp formation through suppressing local/general cytokine levels, i.e., IL-6, via NRF2 activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammation and Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Fisetin Protects PC12 Cells from Tunicamycin-Mediated Cell Death via Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging and Modulation of Nrf2-Driven Gene Expression, SIRT1 and MAPK Signaling in PC12 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 852; doi:10.3390/ijms18040852
Received: 5 March 2017 / Revised: 26 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Background: Fisetin (3,7,3′,4′-tetrahydroxyflavone) is a dietary flavonol and exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective activities. However, high concentration of fisetin is reported to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and cause cytotoxicity in cancer cells. The aim of this study
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Background: Fisetin (3,7,3′,4′-tetrahydroxyflavone) is a dietary flavonol and exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective activities. However, high concentration of fisetin is reported to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and cause cytotoxicity in cancer cells. The aim of this study is to investigate the cytoprotective effects of low concentration of fisetin against tunicamycin (Tm)-mediated cytotoxicity in neuronal-like catecholaminergic PC12 cells. Methods: Cell viability was assayed by MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) and apoptotic and autophagic markers were analyzed by Western blot. Gene expression of unfolded protein response (UPR) and Phase II enzymes was further investigated using RT-Q-PCR or Western blotting. Intracellular ROS level was measured using 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCFDA) by a fluorometer. The effects of fisetin on mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and SIRT1 (Sirtuin 1) signaling pathways were examined using Western blotting and specific inhibitors. Results: Fisetin (<20 µM) restored cell viability and repressed apoptosis, autophagy and ROS production in Tm-treated cells. Fisetin attenuated Tm-mediated expression of ER stress genes, such as glucose-regulated proteins 78 (GRP78), C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP also known as GADD153) and Tribbles homolog 3 (TRB3), but induced the expression of nuclear E2 related factor (Nrf)2-targeted heme oxygenase (HO)-1, glutamate cysteine ligase (GCL) and cystine/glutamate transporter (xCT/SLC7A11), in both the presence and absence of Tm. Moreover, fisetin enhanced phosphorylation of ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase), JNK (c-JUN NH2-terminal protein kinase), and p38 MAPK. Addition of JNK and p38 MAPK inhibitor significantly antagonized its cytoprotective activity and modulatory effects on UPR. Fisetin also restored Tm-inhibited SIRT1 expression and addition of sirtinol (SIRT1 activation inhibitor) significantly blocked fisetin-mediated cytoprotection. In conclusion, this result shows that fisetin activates Nrf2, MAPK and SIRT1, which may elicit adaptive cellular stress response pathways so as to protect cells from Tm-induced cytotoxicity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle TβRII Regulates the Proliferation of Metanephric Mesenchyme Cells through Six2 In Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 853; doi:10.3390/ijms18040853
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
The transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) family signaling pathways play an important role in regulatory cellular networks and exert specific effects on developmental programs during embryo development. However, the function of TGFβ signaling pathways on the early kidney development remains unclear. In this work,
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The transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) family signaling pathways play an important role in regulatory cellular networks and exert specific effects on developmental programs during embryo development. However, the function of TGFβ signaling pathways on the early kidney development remains unclear. In this work, we aim to detect the underlying role of TGFβ type II receptor (TβRII) in vitro, which has a similar expression pattern as the crucial regulator Six2 during early kidney development. Firstly, the 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU) assay showed knock down of TβRII significantly decreased the proliferation ratio of metanephric mesenchyme (MM) cells. Additionally, real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Western blot together with immunofluorescence determined that the mRNA and protein levels of Six2 declined after TβRII knock down. Also, Six2 was observed to be able to partially rescue the proliferation phenotype caused by the depletion of TβRII. Moreover, bioinformatics analysis and luciferase assay indicated Smad3 could transcriptionally target Six2. Further, the EdU assay showed that Smad3 could also rescue the inhibition of proliferation caused by the knock down of TβRII. Taken together, these findings delineate the important function of the TGFβ signaling pathway in the early development of kidney and TβRII was shown to be able to promote the expression of Six2 through Smad3 mediating transcriptional regulation and in turn activate the proliferation of MM cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Serum Concentrations of Angiopoietin-2 and Soluble fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 1 (sFlt-1) Are Associated with Coagulopathy among Patients with Acute Pancreatitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 753; doi:10.3390/ijms18040753
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 2 April 2017
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Abstract
In severe acute pancreatitis (SAP), systemic inflammation leads to endothelial dysfunction and activation of coagulation. Thrombotic disorders in acute pancreatitis (AP) include disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Recently, angiopoietin-2 and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) were proposed as markers of endothelial dysfunction in
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In severe acute pancreatitis (SAP), systemic inflammation leads to endothelial dysfunction and activation of coagulation. Thrombotic disorders in acute pancreatitis (AP) include disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Recently, angiopoietin-2 and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) were proposed as markers of endothelial dysfunction in acute states. Our aim was to assess the frequency of coagulation abnormalities in the early phase of AP and evaluate the relationships between serum angiopoietin-2 and sFlt-1 and severity of coagulopathy. Sixty-nine adult patients with AP were recruited: five with SAP, 15 with moderately severe AP (MSAP) and 49 with mild AP. Six patients were diagnosed with DIC according to International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) score. All patients had at least one abnormal result of routine tests of hemostasis (low platelet count, prolonged clotting times, decreased fibrinogen, and increased D-dimer). The severity of coagulopathy correlated with AP severity according to 2012 Atlanta criteria, bedside index of severity in AP and duration of hospital stay. D-dimers correlated independently with C-reactive protein and studied markers of endothelial dysfunction. Angiopoietin-2, D-dimer, and ISTH score were best predictors of SAP, while sFlt-1 was good predictor of MSAP plus SAP. In clinical practice, routine tests of hemostasis may assist prognosis of AP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pancreatic Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Thioredoxin-Interacting Protein Mediates Apoptosis in Early Brain Injury after Subarachnoid Haemorrhage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 854; doi:10.3390/ijms18040854
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
Early brain injury (EBI) is considered to be the major factor associated with high morbidity and mortality after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Apoptosis is the major pathological mechanism of EBI, and its pathogenesis has not been fully clarified. Here, we report that thioredoxin-interacting protein
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Early brain injury (EBI) is considered to be the major factor associated with high morbidity and mortality after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Apoptosis is the major pathological mechanism of EBI, and its pathogenesis has not been fully clarified. Here, we report that thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP), which is induced by protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum (ER) kinase (PERK), participates in EBI by promoting apoptosis. By using adult male Sprague-Dawley rats to establish SAH models, as well as Terminal dexynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining, immunofluorescence, and western blot, we found that TXNIP expression significantly increased after SAH in comparison to the sham group and peaked at 48 h (up to 3.2-fold). Meanwhile, TXNIP was widely expressed in neurons and colocalized with TUNEL-positive cells in the hippocampus and cortex of SAH rats. After administration of TXNIP inhibitor-resveratrol (60 mg/kg), TXNIP small interfering RNA (siRNA) and the PERK inhibitor GSK2656157, TXNIP expression was significantly reduced, accompanied by an attenuation of apoptosis and prognostic indicators, including SAH grade, neurological deficits, brain water content, and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability. Collectively, these results suggest that TXNIP may participate in EBI after SAH by mediating apoptosis. The blockage of TXNIP induced by PERK could be a potential therapeutic strategy for SAH treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle CRISPR-Cas9 Mediated Gene-Silencing of the Mutant Huntingtin Gene in an In Vitro Model of Huntington’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 754; doi:10.3390/ijms18040754
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 26 March 2017 / Published: 2 April 2017
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Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative genetic disease characterized by a loss of neurons in the striatum. It is caused by a mutation in the Huntingtin gene (HTT) that codes for the protein huntingtin (HTT). The mutant Huntingtin gene (m
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Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative genetic disease characterized by a loss of neurons in the striatum. It is caused by a mutation in the Huntingtin gene (HTT) that codes for the protein huntingtin (HTT). The mutant Huntingtin gene (mHTT) contains extra poly-glutamine (CAG) repeats from which the translated mutant huntingtin proteins (mHTT) undergo inappropriate post-translational modifications, conferring a toxic gain of function, in addition to its non-functional property. In order to curb the production of the mHTT, we have constructed two CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)-Cas9 (CRISPR associate protein) plasmids, among which one nicks the DNA at untranslated region upstream to the open reading frame (uORF), and the other nicks the DNA at exon1-intron boundary. The primary goal of this study was to apply this plasmid into mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) extracted from the bone-marrow of YAC128 mice, which carries the transgene for HD. Our results suggest that the disruption of uORF through CRISPR-Cas9 influences the translation of mHTT negatively and, to a lesser extent, disrupts the exon1-intron boundary, which affects the translation of the mHTT. These findings also revealed the pattern of the nucleotide addition or deletion at the site of the DNA-nick in this model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Inferring Genes and Biological Functions That Are Sensitive to the Severity of Toxicity Symptoms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 755; doi:10.3390/ijms18040755
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 2 April 2017
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Abstract
The effective development of new drugs relies on the identification of genes that are related to the symptoms of toxicity. Although many researchers have inferred toxicity markers, most have focused on discovering toxicity occurrence markers rather than toxicity severity markers. In this study,
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The effective development of new drugs relies on the identification of genes that are related to the symptoms of toxicity. Although many researchers have inferred toxicity markers, most have focused on discovering toxicity occurrence markers rather than toxicity severity markers. In this study, we aimed to identify gene markers that are relevant to both the occurrence and severity of toxicity symptoms. To identify gene markers for each of four targeted liver toxicity symptoms, we used microarray expression profiles and pathology data from 14,143 in vivo rat samples. The gene markers were found using sparse linear discriminant analysis (sLDA) in which symptom severity is used as a class label. To evaluate the inferred gene markers, we constructed regression models that predicted the severity of toxicity symptoms from gene expression profiles. Our cross-validated results revealed that our approach was more successful at finding gene markers sensitive to the aggravation of toxicity symptoms than conventional methods. Moreover, these markers were closely involved in some of the biological functions significantly related to toxicity severity in the four targeted symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Drug-Induced Organ Injury)
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Open AccessArticle The Protective Effect of Apigenin on Myocardial Injury in Diabetic Rats mediating Activation of the PPAR-γ Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 756; doi:10.3390/ijms18040756
Received: 28 January 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
We substantiated the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) activation in the protective effect of apigenin against the myocardial infarction (MI) in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal administration of a single dose of streptozotocin (55 mg/kg). The study groups included diabetic
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We substantiated the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) activation in the protective effect of apigenin against the myocardial infarction (MI) in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal administration of a single dose of streptozotocin (55 mg/kg). The study groups included diabetic rats receiving vehicle, apigenin (75 mg/kg/day, orally), GW9662 (1 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneally), and a combination of apigenin and GW9662 for 14 days. The MI was induced in all the study groups except the diabetic control group by subcutaneous injection of 100 mg/kg/day of isoproterenol on the two terminal days. The diabetes and isoproterenol-induced MI was evident as a reduction in the maximal positive and negative rate of developed left ventricular pressure and an increase in the left ventricular end-diastolic pressure. The activities of creatine kinase on myocardial bundle (CK-MB) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were also reduced. Apigenin treatment prevented the hemodynamic perturbations, restored the left ventricular function and reinstated a balanced redox status. It protected rats against an MI by attenuating myonecrosis, edema, cell death, and oxidative stress. GW9662, a PPAR-γ antagonist reversed the myocardial protection conferred by apigenin. Further, an increase in the PPAR-γ expression in the myocardium of the rats receiving apigenin reinforces the role of PPAR-γ pathway activation in the cardioprotective effects of apigenin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Brucine Gel Transdermal Delivery System Designed for Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Activities
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 757; doi:10.3390/ijms18040757
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
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Abstract
The seeds of Strychnos nux-vomica L., as a traditional Chinese medicine, have good anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. However, it usually leads to gastrointestinal irritation and systemic toxicity via oral administration. In the study, it was discovered that a novel gel transdermal delivery
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The seeds of Strychnos nux-vomica L., as a traditional Chinese medicine, have good anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. However, it usually leads to gastrointestinal irritation and systemic toxicity via oral administration. In the study, it was discovered that a novel gel transdermal delivery system contained brucine, the main effective component extracted from Strychnos nux-vomica. Results showed that the brucine gel system inhibited arthritis symptoms and the proliferation of the synoviocytes in the rat adjuvant arthritis model, which indicated its curative effect for rheumatoid arthritis. Meanwhile, it significantly relieved the xylene-induced ear edema in the mouse ear swelling test, which manifested its anti-inflammatory property. Moreover, the brucine gel eased the pain of paw formalin injection in the formalin test, which demonstrated its analgesic effects. In addition, the brucine significantly inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production without affecting the viability of cell in vitro anti-inflammatory test, which proved that its anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions were related to inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. It is suggested that the brucine gel is a promising vehicle for transdermal delivery on the treatment of inflammatory disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Clinical and Molecular Characterization of Patients with Fructose 1,6-Bisphosphatase Deficiency
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 857; doi:10.3390/ijms18040857
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) deficiency is a rare, autosomal recessive inherited disease caused by the mutation of the FBP1 gene, the incidence is estimated to be between 1/350,000 and 1/900,000. The symptoms of affected individuals are non-specific and are easily confused with other metabolic disorders.
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Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) deficiency is a rare, autosomal recessive inherited disease caused by the mutation of the FBP1 gene, the incidence is estimated to be between 1/350,000 and 1/900,000. The symptoms of affected individuals are non-specific and are easily confused with other metabolic disorders. The present study describes the clinical features of four Chinese pediatric patients who presented with hypoglycemia, hyperlactacidemia, metabolic acidosis, and hyperuricemia. Targeted-next generation sequencing using the Agilent SureSelect XT Inherited Disease Panel was used to screen for causal variants in the genome, and the clinically-relevant variants were subsequently verified using Sanger sequencing. Here, DNA sequencing identified six variations of the FBP1 gene (NM_000507.3) in the four patients. In Case 1, we found a compound heterozygous mutations of c.704delC (p.Pro235GlnfsX42) (novel) and c.960_961insG (p.Ser321Valfs) (known pathogenic). In Case 2, we found a compound heterozygous mutations of c.825 + 1G>A and c.960_961insG (both were known pathogenically). In Case 3, a homozygous missense mutation of c.355G>A (p.Asp119Asn) (reported in ClinVar database without functional study) was found. Case 4 had a compound heterozygous mutations c.720_729del (p.Tyr241GlyfsX33) (novel) and c.490G>A (p.Gly164Ser) (known pathogenically). Further in vitro studies in the COS-7cell line demonstrated that the mutation of ASP119ASN had no impact on protein expression, but decreased the enzyme activity, and with which the clinical significance of Asp119Asn can be determined to be likely pathogenic. This report not only expands upon the known spectrum of variation of the FBP1 gene, but also deepens our understanding of the clinical features of FBPase deficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Silk Fibroin-Alginate-Hydroxyapatite Composite Particles in Bone Tissue Engineering Applications In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 858; doi:10.3390/ijms18040858
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vivo bone regeneration capability of alginate (AL), AL/hydroxyapatite (HA), and AL/HA/silk fibroin (SF) composites. Forty Sprague Dawley rats were used for the animal experiments. Central calvarial bone (diameter: 8.0 mm) defects were grafted
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vivo bone regeneration capability of alginate (AL), AL/hydroxyapatite (HA), and AL/HA/silk fibroin (SF) composites. Forty Sprague Dawley rats were used for the animal experiments. Central calvarial bone (diameter: 8.0 mm) defects were grafted with AL, AL/HA, or AL/HA/SF. New bone formation was evaluated by histomorphometric analysis. To demonstrate the immunocompatibility of each group, the level of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α expression was studied by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) at eight weeks post implantation. Additionally, osteogenic markers, such as fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-23, osteoprotegerin (OPG), and Runt-related transcription factor (Runx2) were evaluated by qPCR or IHC at eight weeks post implantation. The AL/HA/SF group showed significantly higher new bone formation than did the control group (p = 0.044) and the AL group (p = 0.035) at four weeks post implantation. Additionally, the AL/HA/SF group showed lower relative TNF-α mRNA levels and higher FGF-23 mRNA levels than the other groups did at eight weeks post implantation. IHC results demonstrated that the AL/HA/SF group had lower TNF-α expression and higher OPG and Runx2 expression at eight weeks post implantation. Additionally, no evidence of the inflammatory reaction or giant cell formation was observed around the residual graft material. We concluded that the AL/HA/SF composite could be effective as a scaffold for bone tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterial Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Melatonin Pharmacological Blood Levels Increase Total Antioxidant Capacity in Critically Ill Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 759; doi:10.3390/ijms18040759
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
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Abstract
In this study, the aim was to test the biochemical effects of melatonin supplementation in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients, since their blood levels are decreased. Sixty-four patients were enrolled in the study. From the evening of the 3rd ICU day, patients were
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In this study, the aim was to test the biochemical effects of melatonin supplementation in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients, since their blood levels are decreased. Sixty-four patients were enrolled in the study. From the evening of the 3rd ICU day, patients were randomized to receive oral melatonin (3 mg, group M) or placebo (group P) twice daily, at 20:00 and 24:00, until discharged. Blood was taken (at 00:00 and 14:00), on the 3rd ICU day to assess basal nocturnal melatonin values, and then during the treatment period on the 4th and 8th ICU days. Melatonin, total antioxidant capacity, and oxidative stress were evaluated in serum. Melatonin circadian rhythm before treatment was similar in the two groups, with a partial preservation of the cycle. Four hours from the 1st administration (4th ICU day, 00:00), melatonin levels increased to 2514 (982.3; 7148) pg·mL−1 in group M vs. 20.3 (14.7; 62.3) pg·mL−1 in group P (p < 0.001). After five treatment days (8th ICU day), melatonin absorption showed a repetitive trend in group M, while in group P nocturnal secretion (00:00) was impaired: 20 (11.5; 34.5) pg·mL−1 vs. 33.8 (25.0; 62.2) on the 3rd day (p = 0.029). Immediately from the beginning of treatment, the total antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in melatonin treated subjects at 00:00; a significant correlation was found between total antioxidant capacity and blood melatonin values (ρ = 0.328; p < 0.001). The proposed enteral administration protocol was adequate, even in the early phase, to enhance melatonin blood levels and to protect the patients from oxidative stress. The antioxidant effect of melatonin could play a meaningful role in the care and well-being of these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects)
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Open AccessArticle Expression of the Antioxidative Enzyme Peroxiredoxin 2 in Multiple Sclerosis Lesions in Relation to Inflammation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 760; doi:10.3390/ijms18040760
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, characterized by demyelination and axonal damage as well as neuronal degeneration. Since oxygen-derived free radicals are an important factor leading to tissue damage in inflammatory multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions, research on
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Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, characterized by demyelination and axonal damage as well as neuronal degeneration. Since oxygen-derived free radicals are an important factor leading to tissue damage in inflammatory multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions, research on antioxidative systems is essential to identify endogenous factors which can possibly counteract oxidative damage. As an important scavenging enzyme family, peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) play a crucial role in preventing oxidative damage; however little is known about their expression and function in MS lesions. In the present study we examined the expression of PRDX2 in white matter lesions of MS patients with long-standing, chronic disease. PRDX2 expression was investigated by immunohistochemistry in the context of oxidative stress and inflammation (determined by microglia/macrophage and T cell infiltration) in ten MS autopsy cases as well as seven control autopsy cases. PRDX2 was found to be upregulated in white matter MS lesions mainly in astrocytes, and its expression level was positively correlated with the degree of inflammation and oxidative stress. Our data suggest that PRDX2 expression contributes to the resistance of astrocytes against oxidative damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Folic Acid Reduces Tau Phosphorylation by Regulating PP2A Methylation in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 861; doi:10.3390/ijms18040861
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 8 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
High incidence rate of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is observed in patients with type 2 diabetes. Aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau are the hallmarks of AD. Hyperphosphorylated tau has been detected in diabetic animals as well as in diabetic patients. Folates mediate the
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High incidence rate of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is observed in patients with type 2 diabetes. Aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau are the hallmarks of AD. Hyperphosphorylated tau has been detected in diabetic animals as well as in diabetic patients. Folates mediate the transfer of one carbon unit, required in various biochemical reactions. The effect of folate on tau phosphorylation in diabetic models still remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the effect and mechanism of folic acid on hyperphosphorylation of tau in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. Diabetic mice induced by STZ, at the age of 10 weeks, were administered with three levels of folic acid: folic acid-deficient diet, diet with normal folic acid content, and 120 μg/kg folic acid diet for 8 weeks. Levels of serum folate and blood glucose were monitored. Tau phosphorylation, protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) methylation, and Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) phosphorylation were detected using Western blot. The S-adenosyl methionine:S-adenosyl homocysteine ratio (SAM:SAH) in brain tissues was also determined. DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) mRNA expression levels were detected using real-time PCR. Folic acid reduced tau hyperphosphorylation at Ser396 in the brain of diabetes mellitus (DM) mice. In addition, PP2A methylation and DNMT1 mRNA expression were significantly increased in DM mice post folic acid treatment. GSK-3β phosphorylation was not regulated by folic acid administration. Folic acid can reduce tau phosphorylation by regulating PP2A methylation in diabetic mice. These results support that folic acid can serve as a multitarget neuronal therapeutic agent for treating diabetes-associated cognitive dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of (1,3)-β-d-Glucan for the Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Infection in Liver Transplant Recipients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 862; doi:10.3390/ijms18040862
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
Invasive fungal infections (IFI) are complications after liver transplantation involving high morbidity and mortality. (1,3)-β-d-glucan (BG) is a biomarker for IFI, but its utility remains uncertain. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of BG following their diagnosis. Between January
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Invasive fungal infections (IFI) are complications after liver transplantation involving high morbidity and mortality. (1,3)-β-d-glucan (BG) is a biomarker for IFI, but its utility remains uncertain. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of BG following their diagnosis. Between January 2013 and May 2016, 271 liver transplants were performed in our institution. Serum samples were tested for BG (Fungitell®, Associates Cape Code Inc., Falmouth, MA, USA) at least weekly between liver transplantation and the discharge of patients. Nineteen patients (7%) were diagnosed with IFI, including 13 cases of invasive candidiasis (IC), eight cases of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, and one case of septic arthritis due to Scedosporium apiospernum. Using a single BG sample for the primary analysis of IFI, 95% (21/22) of the subjects had positive BG (>80 pg/mL) at the time of IFI diagnosis. The area under the ROC curves to predict IFI was 0.78 (95% CI: 0.73–0.83). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of BG for IFI were 75% (95% CI: 65–83), 65% (62–68), 17% (13–21), and 96% (94–97), respectively. Based on their high NPV, the BG test appears to constitute a good biomarker to rule out a diagnosis of IFI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glucan: New Perspectives on Biochemistry and Application)
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Open AccessArticle A New Chemical Pathway Yielding A-Type Vitisins in Red Wines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 762; doi:10.3390/ijms18040762
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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