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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 18, Issue 9 (September 2017)

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Cover Story MM cells show basal levels of intercellular communication with lipids involvement. Bodipy503 stains [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial NAFLD: Is There Anything New under the Sun?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1955; doi:10.3390/ijms18091955
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 10 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an “umbrella” definition that encompasses a spectrum of histological liver changes ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with/without fibrosis, “cryptogenic” cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), occurring in a dysmetabolic milieu, though in the absence of
[...] Read more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an “umbrella” definition that encompasses a spectrum of histological liver changes ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with/without fibrosis, “cryptogenic” cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), occurring in a dysmetabolic milieu, though in the absence of excessive alcohol consumption and other competing etiologies of chronic liver disease [1].[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Research 2016)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Human Leukocyte Antigen Class I and Class II Polymorphisms and Serum Cytokine Profiles in Cervical Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1478; doi:10.3390/ijms18091478
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Only a small proportion of women who are exposed to infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) progress to persistent infection and develop cervical cancer (CC). The immune response and genetic background of the host may affect the risk of progression from a HR-HPV
[...] Read more.
Only a small proportion of women who are exposed to infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) progress to persistent infection and develop cervical cancer (CC). The immune response and genetic background of the host may affect the risk of progression from a HR-HPV infection to lesions and cancer. However, to our knowledge, no studies has been conducted to evaluate the relationship between variability of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) genes and serum cytokine expression in this pathology. In the current study, we examined the associations of HLA alleles and haplotypes including Class I (HLA-A, -B and -C) and II (HLA-DRB1, -DQA1 and -DQB1) with serum levels of cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), IL-10 and IL-17 as well as risks of HPV infections, lesions and CC among admixed Brazilian women. HLA polymorphisms were associated with an increased risk or protection from HPV, lesions and CC. Additionally, we demonstrated a potential association of a HLA class I haplotype (HLA-B*14-C*08) with higher IL-10 cytokine serum levels in cervical disease, suggesting an association between HLA class I and specific cytokines in cervical carcinogenesis. However, larger studies with detailed HPV types coupled with genetic data are needed to further evaluate the effects of HLA and CC by HPV genotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Major Histocompatibility Complex)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Novel Prebiotic Galacto-Oligosaccharides on Various Biomarkers of Colorectal Cancer in Wister Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1785; doi:10.3390/ijms18091785
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths around the globe. Bioactive food ingredients such as prebiotics have protective potential in colon cancer. Data on galacto-oligosaccharides (GalOS) against CRC are very limited and GalOS used in this study have
[...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths around the globe. Bioactive food ingredients such as prebiotics have protective potential in colon cancer. Data on galacto-oligosaccharides (GalOS) against CRC are very limited and GalOS used in this study have β-1,6 and β-1,3 as major glycosidic linkages and, to our best knowledge, were never used before against any cancer treatment. This study aims to investigate the protective role of novel GalOS against various biomarkers of CRC including aberrant crypt foci (ACF), bacterial enzymes and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in a rodent model induced with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine dihydrochloride (DMH). Inulin group was taken as positive control in present study to compare novel GalOS protective effects. GalOS doses of 76–151 mg and inulin doses of 114 mg were given to different groups treated with DMH. Results showed that ACF formation was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) less in high dose GalOS group (27.3%). GalOS also had protective effects against DMH-induced body weight loss and showed higher level of cecal and fecal SCFA (acetate, propionate and butyrate). High doses of GalOS also resulted in significant (p ≤ 0.05) reduction of bacterial enzymatic activities. Increased populations of beneficial bacteria (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) and decreased concentrations of harmful bacteria were observed in all prebiotics treatment groups. It can be concluded that novel GalOS exhibit robust protective activity against ACF formation in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fibre: New Insights on Biochemistry and Health Benefits)
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Open AccessArticle Human CD3+ T-Cells with the Anti-ERBB2 Chimeric Antigen Receptor Exhibit Efficient Targeting and Induce Apoptosis in ERBB2 Overexpressing Breast Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1797; doi:10.3390/ijms18091797
Received: 20 May 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Breast cancer is a common malignancy among women. The innate and adaptive immune responses failed to be activated owing to immune modulation in the tumour microenvironment. Decades of scientific study links the overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ERBB2) antigen with
[...] Read more.
Breast cancer is a common malignancy among women. The innate and adaptive immune responses failed to be activated owing to immune modulation in the tumour microenvironment. Decades of scientific study links the overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ERBB2) antigen with aggressive tumours. The Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) coding for specific tumour-associated antigens could initiate intrinsic T-cell signalling, inducing T-cell activation, and cytotoxic activity without the need for major histocompatibility complex recognition. This renders CAR as a potentially universal immunotherapeutic option. Herein, we aimed to establish CAR in CD3+ T-cells, isolated from human peripheral blood mononucleated cells that could subsequently target and induce apoptosis in the ERBB2 overexpressing human breast cancer cell line, SKBR3. Constructed CAR was inserted into a lentiviral plasmid containing a green fluorescent protein tag and produced as lentiviral particles that were used to transduce activated T-cells. Transduced CAR-T cells were then primed with SKBR3 cells to evaluate their functionality. Results showed increased apoptosis in SKBR3 cells co-cultured with CAR-T cells compared to the control (non–transduced T-cells). This study demonstrates that CAR introduction helps overcome the innate limitations of native T-cells leading to cancer cell apoptosis. We recommend future studies should focus on in vivo cytotoxicity of CAR-T cells against ERBB2 expressing tumours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle iTRAQ-Based Quantitative Proteomics Analysis on Rice Anther Responding to High Temperature
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1811; doi:10.3390/ijms18091811
Received: 7 May 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
As one of the most important crops, rice provides the major food for more than half of the world population. However, its production is limited by many environmental factors, among which high temperature stress (HS) frequently occurs during anthesis and reduces its spikelet
[...] Read more.
As one of the most important crops, rice provides the major food for more than half of the world population. However, its production is limited by many environmental factors, among which high temperature stress (HS) frequently occurs during anthesis and reduces its spikelet fertility. To explore the mechanism of HS tolerance in rice, we conducted a comparative proteomics analysis on the anthers between HS resistant and sensitive cultivars under different levels of high temperature. Under the same HS treatment, the resistant cultivar showed much higher spikelet fertility than the sensitive cultivar. Proteomic data showed that HS lead to the degradation of ribosomal proteins in the sensitive cultivar but not in the resistant one, which might result in the injury of protein biosynthetic machinery. In contrast, HS induced the increase of sHSP, β-expansins and lipid transfer proteins in the resistant cultivar, which might contribute to its ability to tolerate HS. The results provide some new insights into the mechanism of rice HS response. 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 A Molecular Modeling Study of the Hydroxyflutamide Resistance Mechanism Induced by Androgen Receptor Mutations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1823; doi:10.3390/ijms18091823
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Hydroxyflutamide (HF), an active metabolite of the first generation antiandrogen flutamide, was used in clinic to treat prostate cancer targeting androgen receptor (AR). However, a drug resistance problem appears after about one year’s treatment. AR T877A is the first mutation that was found
[...] Read more.
Hydroxyflutamide (HF), an active metabolite of the first generation antiandrogen flutamide, was used in clinic to treat prostate cancer targeting androgen receptor (AR). However, a drug resistance problem appears after about one year’s treatment. AR T877A is the first mutation that was found to cause a resistance problem. Then W741C_T877A and F876L_T877A mutations were also reported to cause resistance to HF, while W741C and F876L single mutations cannot. In this study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations combined with the molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA) method have been carried out to analyze the interaction mechanism between HF and wild-type (WT)/mutant ARs. The obtained results indicate that AR helix 12 (H12) plays a pivotal role in the resistance of HF. It can affect the coactivator binding site at the activation function 2 domain (AF2, surrounded by H3, H4, and H12). When H12 closes to the AR ligand-binding domain (LBD) like a lid, the coactivator binding site can be formed to promote transcription. However, once H12 is opened to expose LBD, the coactivator binding site will be distorted, leading to invalid transcription. Moreover, per-residue free energy decomposition analyses indicate that N705, T877, and M895 are vital residues in the agonist/antagonist mechanism of HF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Extract of Sheng-Mai-San Ameliorates Myocardial Ischemia-Induced Heart Failure by Modulating Ca2+-Calcineurin-Mediated Drp1 Signaling Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1825; doi:10.3390/ijms18091825
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
Sheng-Mai-San (SMS) is a well-known traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) complex prescription used to treat heart failure (HF) and angina in clinic. However, its potential therapeutic mechanisms remain unclear. The present study evaluated the cardioprotection of extract of SMS (ESMS) on myocardial ischemia (MI)-induced
[...] Read more.
Sheng-Mai-San (SMS) is a well-known traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) complex prescription used to treat heart failure (HF) and angina in clinic. However, its potential therapeutic mechanisms remain unclear. The present study evaluated the cardioprotection of extract of SMS (ESMS) on myocardial ischemia (MI)-induced HF, and explored the underlying molecular mechanisms. The results demonstrated that ESMS (728.0 mg/kg) significantly attenuated MI injury-induced HF by improving cardiac function and pathological changes, decreasing lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK) activities, and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels; increasing ATPase activity; and reducing intracellular Ca2+ levels in MI-induced HF mice model. It also significantly decreased the apoptotic index. In vitro, ESMS (400 μg/mL) inhibited mitochondrial-dependent myocardial apoptosis by modulating the expression of caspase-3 and the Bcl-2/Bax ratio, and improved mitochondrial function through increasing mitochondrial membrane potential and cellular ATP content. ESMS restored intracellular Ca2+ and downregulated the expression of Calcineurin A (CnA), thus inhibiting phosphorylation of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) at Ser616 and increasing phosphorylation of Drp1 at Ser637 to prevent cardiomyocyte mitochondrial fission. Above-mentioned results demonstrated ESMS suppressed mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) injured H9c2 cardiomyocytes. These findings suggested that ESMS attenuated MI-induced HF by regulating Ca2+ homeostasis and suppressing mitochondrial mediated apoptosis through the modulation of Ca2+-calcineurin-mediated Drp1 signaling pathways. Our results provide insight into the mechanism and clinical applications of SMS and suggest a potential therapeutic strategy for HF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Innovative Silk/Alginate Microcarriers for Mesenchymal Stem Cell Delivery and Tissue Regeneration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1829; doi:10.3390/ijms18091829
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to exploit silk fibroin’s properties to develop innovative composite microcarriers for mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) adhesion and proliferation. Alginate microcarriers were prepared, added to silk fibroin solution, and then treated with ethanol to induce silk conformational transition.
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to exploit silk fibroin’s properties to develop innovative composite microcarriers for mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) adhesion and proliferation. Alginate microcarriers were prepared, added to silk fibroin solution, and then treated with ethanol to induce silk conformational transition. Microcarriers were characterized for size distribution, coating stability and homogeneity. Finally, in vitro cytocompatibility and suitability as delivery systems for MSCs were investigated. Results indicated that our manufacturing process is consistent and reproducible: silk/alginate microcarriers were stable, with spherical geometry, about 400 μm in average diameter, and fibroin homogeneously coated the surface. MSCs were able to adhere rapidly onto the microcarrier surface and to cover the surface of the microcarrier within three days of culture; moreover, on this innovative 3D culture system, stem cells preserved their metabolic activity and their multi-lineage differentiation potential. In conclusion, silk/alginate microcarriers represent a suitable support for MSCs culture and expansion. Since it is able to preserve MSCs multipotency, the developed 3D system can be intended for cell delivery, for advanced therapy and regenerative medicine applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dexmedetomidine Prevents Lipopolysaccharide-Induced MicroRNA Expression in the Adult Rat Brain
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1830; doi:10.3390/ijms18091830
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
During surgery or infection, peripheral inflammation can lead to neuroinflammation, which is associated with cognitive impairment, neurodegeneration, and several neurodegenerative diseases. Dexmedetomidine, an α-2-adrenoceptor agonist, is known to exert anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties and reduces the incidence of postoperative cognitive impairments. However, on
[...] Read more.
During surgery or infection, peripheral inflammation can lead to neuroinflammation, which is associated with cognitive impairment, neurodegeneration, and several neurodegenerative diseases. Dexmedetomidine, an α-2-adrenoceptor agonist, is known to exert anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties and reduces the incidence of postoperative cognitive impairments. However, on the whole the molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. This study aims to explore whether dexmedetomidine influences microRNAs (miRNAs) in a rat model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation. Adult Wistar rats were injected with 1 mg/kg LPS intraperitoneal (i.p.) in the presence or absence of 5 µg/kg dexmedetomidine. After 6 h, 24 h, and 7 days, gene expressions of interleukin 1-β (IL1-β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and microRNA expressions of miR 124, 132, 134, and 155 were measured in the hippocampus, cortex, and plasma. Dexmedetomidine decreased the LPS-induced neuroinflammation in the hippocampus and cortex via significant reduction of the IL1-β and TNF-α gene expressions after 24 h. Moreover, the LPS-mediated increased expressions of miR 124, 132, 134, and 155 were significantly decreased after dexmedetomidine treatment in both brain regions. In plasma, dexmedetomidine significantly reduced LPS-induced miR 155 after 6 h. Furthermore, there is evidence that miR 132 and 134 may be suitable as potential biomarkers for the detection of neuroinflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotective Strategies 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Insulin Endocrinology in Decapod Crustacea: Molecular Modelling Characterization of an Insulin-Binding Protein and Insulin-Like Peptides in the Eastern Spiny Lobster, Sagmariasus verreauxi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1832; doi:10.3390/ijms18091832
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 19 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
The insulin signalling system is one of the most conserved endocrine systems of Animalia from mollusc to man. In decapod Crustacea, such as the Eastern spiny lobster, Sagmariasus verreauxi (Sv) and the red-claw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus (Cq), insulin endocrinology governs male sexual
[...] Read more.
The insulin signalling system is one of the most conserved endocrine systems of Animalia from mollusc to man. In decapod Crustacea, such as the Eastern spiny lobster, Sagmariasus verreauxi (Sv) and the red-claw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus (Cq), insulin endocrinology governs male sexual differentiation through the action of a male-specific, insulin-like androgenic gland peptide (IAG). To understand the bioactivity of IAG it is necessary to consider its bio-regulators such as the insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP). This work has employed various molecular modelling approaches to represent S. verreauxi IGFBP and IAG, along with additional Sv-ILP ligands, in order to characterise their binding interactions. Firstly, we present Sv- and Cq-ILP2: neuroendocrine factors that share closest homology with Drosophila ILP8 (Dilp8). We then describe the binding interaction of the N-terminal domain of Sv-IGFBP and each ILP through a synergy of computational analyses. In-depth interaction mapping and computational alanine scanning of IGFBP_N’ highlight the conserved involvement of the hotspot residues Q67, G70, D71, S72, G91, G92, T93 and D94. The significance of the negatively charged residues D71 and D94 was then further exemplified by structural electrostatics. The functional importance of the negative surface charge of IGFBP is exemplified in the complementary electropositive charge on the reciprocal binding interface of all three ILP ligands. When examined, this electrostatic complementarity is the inverse of vertebrate homologues; such physicochemical divergences elucidate towards ligand-binding specificity between Phyla. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Protein Molecules Computational Identification)
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Open AccessArticle miR-145-5p Suppresses Tumor Cell Migration, Invasion and Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition by Regulating the Sp1/NF-κB Signaling Pathway in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1833; doi:10.3390/ijms18091833
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the progression of human cancer. Although previous reports have shown that miR-145-5p is down-regulated in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the roles and mechanisms of down-regulation of miR-145-5p in ESCC are still largely unknown. Using microRNA microarray
[...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the progression of human cancer. Although previous reports have shown that miR-145-5p is down-regulated in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the roles and mechanisms of down-regulation of miR-145-5p in ESCC are still largely unknown. Using microRNA microarray and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets, we confirmed that miR-145-5p was down-regulated in ESCC tissues. In vitro assays revealed that ectopic miR-145-5p expression repressed cell proliferation, migration, invasion and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). miR-145-5p also reduced the expressions of cell cycle genes including cyclin A2 (CCNA2), cyclin D1 (CCND1) and cyclin E1 (CCNE1), the EMT-associated transcription factor Slug, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) including MMP2, MMP7 and MMP13. Furthermore, miR-145-5p mimics reduced candidate target gene specificity protein 1 (Sp1) and nuclear factor κ B (NF-κB) (p65) both in mRNA and protein levels. Knockdown of Sp1 phenocopied the effects of miR-145-5p overexpression on cell cycle regulators, EMT and the expression of NF-κB (p65). Importantly, inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway or knockdown of NF-κB (p65) phenocopied the effects of miR-145-5p on the migration, invasion and EMT of ESCC cells. In conclusion, our results suggested that miR-145-5p plays tumor-suppressive roles by inhibiting esophageal cancer cell migration, invasion and EMT through regulating the Sp1/NF-κB signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of the GmSnRK2 Family in Soybean
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1834; doi:10.3390/ijms18091834
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Sucrose non-fermenting-1 (SNF1)-related protein kinase 2s (SnRK2s) that were reported to be involved in the transduction of abscisic acid (ABA) signaling, play important roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Compared to the systemic investigation of SnRK2s in Arabidopsis thaliana
[...] Read more.
Sucrose non-fermenting-1 (SNF1)-related protein kinase 2s (SnRK2s) that were reported to be involved in the transduction of abscisic acid (ABA) signaling, play important roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Compared to the systemic investigation of SnRK2s in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, little is known regarding SnRK2s in soybean, which is one of the most important oil and protein crops. In the present study, we performed genome-wide identification and characterization of GmSnRK2s in soybean. In summary, 22 GmSnRK2s were identified and clustered into four groups. Phylogenetic analysis indicated the expansion of SnRK2 gene family during the evolution of soybean. Various cis-acting elements such as ABA Response Elements (ABREs) were identified and analyzed in the promoter regions of GmSnRK2s. The results of RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) data for different soybean tissues showed that GmSnRK2s exhibited spatio-temporally specific expression patterns during soybean growth and development. Certain GmSnRK2s could respond to the treatments including salinity, ABA and strigolactones. Our results provide a foundation for the further elucidation of the function of GmSnRK2 genes in soybean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress and Gene Networks in Plants 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Contribution of Intrinsic Lactate to Maintenance of Seizure Activity in Neocortical Slices from Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and in Rat Entorhinal Cortex
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1835; doi:10.3390/ijms18091835
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Neuronal lactate uptake supports energy metabolism associated with synaptic signaling and recovery of extracellular ion gradients following neuronal activation. Altered expression of the monocarboxylate transporters (MCT) in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) hampers lactate removal into the bloodstream. The resulting increase in parenchymal lactate
[...] Read more.
Neuronal lactate uptake supports energy metabolism associated with synaptic signaling and recovery of extracellular ion gradients following neuronal activation. Altered expression of the monocarboxylate transporters (MCT) in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) hampers lactate removal into the bloodstream. The resulting increase in parenchymal lactate levels might exert both, anti- and pro-ictogen effects, by causing acidosis and by supplementing energy metabolism, respectively. Hence, we assessed the contribution of lactate to the maintenance of transmembrane potassium gradients, synaptic signaling and pathological network activity in chronic epileptic human tissue. Stimulus induced and spontaneous field potentials and extracellular potassium concentration changes (∆[K+]O) were recorded in parallel with tissue pO2 and pH in slices from TLE patients while blocking MCTs by α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (4-CIN) or d-lactate. Intrinsic lactate contributed to the oxidative energy metabolism in chronic epileptic tissue as revealed by the changes in pO2 following blockade of lactate uptake. However, unlike the results in rat hippocampus, ∆[K+]O recovery kinetics and field potential amplitude did not depend on the presence of lactate. Remarkably, inhibition of lactate uptake exerted pH-independent anti-seizure effects both in healthy rat and chronic epileptic tissue and this effect was partly mediated via adenosine 1 receptor activation following decreased oxidative metabolism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Characterization of Tissue Plasminogen Activator—Functionalized Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Targeted Fibrin Clot Dissolution
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1837; doi:10.3390/ijms18091837
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have attracted great attention in many biomedical fields and are used in preclinical/experimental drug delivery, hyperthermia and medical imaging. In this study, biocompatible magnetite drug carriers, stabilized by a dextran shell, were developed to carry tissue plasminogen activator
[...] Read more.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have attracted great attention in many biomedical fields and are used in preclinical/experimental drug delivery, hyperthermia and medical imaging. In this study, biocompatible magnetite drug carriers, stabilized by a dextran shell, were developed to carry tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for targeted thrombolysis under an external magnetic field. Different concentrations of active tPA were immobilized on carboxylated nanoparticles through carbodiimide-mediated amide bond formation. Evidence for successful functionalization of SPIONs with carboxyl groups was shown by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Surface properties after tPA immobilization were altered as demonstrated by dynamic light scattering and ζ potential measurements. The enzyme activity of SPION-bound tPA was determined by digestion of fibrin-containing agarose gels and corresponded to about 74% of free tPA activity. Particles were stored for three weeks before a slight decrease in activity was observed. tPA-loaded SPIONs were navigated into thrombus-mimicking gels by external magnets, proving effective drug targeting without losing the protein. Furthermore, all synthesized types of nanoparticles were well tolerated in cell culture experiments with human umbilical vein endothelial cells, indicating their potential utility for future therapeutic applications in thromboembolic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle IonchanPred 2.0: A Tool to Predict Ion Channels and Their Types
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1838; doi:10.3390/ijms18091838
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Ion channels (IC) are ion-permeable protein pores located in the lipid membranes of all cells. Different ion channels have unique functions in different biological processes. Due to the rapid development of high-throughput mass spectrometry, proteomic data are rapidly accumulating and provide us an
[...] Read more.
Ion channels (IC) are ion-permeable protein pores located in the lipid membranes of all cells. Different ion channels have unique functions in different biological processes. Due to the rapid development of high-throughput mass spectrometry, proteomic data are rapidly accumulating and provide us an opportunity to systematically investigate and predict ion channels and their types. In this paper, we constructed a support vector machine (SVM)-based model to quickly predict ion channels and their types. By considering the residue sequence information and their physicochemical properties, a novel feature-extracted method which combined dipeptide composition with the physicochemical correlation between two residues was employed. A feature selection strategy was used to improve the performance of the model. Comparison results of in jackknife cross-validation demonstrated that our method was superior to other methods for predicting ion channels and their types. Based on the model, we built a web server called IonchanPred which can be freely accessed from http://lin.uestc.edu.cn/server/IonchanPredv2.0. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Protein Molecules Computational Identification)
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Open AccessArticle Molecular Structure and Phylogenetic Analyses of Complete Chloroplast Genomes of Two Aristolochia Medicinal Species
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1839; doi:10.3390/ijms18091839
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
The family Aristolochiaceae, comprising about 600 species of eight genera, is a unique plant family containing aristolochic acids (AAs). The complete chloroplast genome sequences of Aristolochia debilis and Aristolochia contorta are reported here. The results show that the complete chloroplast genomes of A.
[...] Read more.
The family Aristolochiaceae, comprising about 600 species of eight genera, is a unique plant family containing aristolochic acids (AAs). The complete chloroplast genome sequences of Aristolochia debilis and Aristolochia contorta are reported here. The results show that the complete chloroplast genomes of A. debilis and A. contorta comprise circular 159,793 and 160,576 bp-long molecules, respectively and have typical quadripartite structures. The GC contents of both species were 38.3% each. A total of 131 genes were identified in each genome including 85 protein-coding genes, 37 tRNA genes, eight rRNA genes and one pseudogene (ycf1). The simple-sequence repeat sequences mainly comprise A/T mononucletide repeats. Phylogenetic analyses using maximum parsimony (MP) revealed that A. debilis and A. contorta had a close phylogenetic relationship with species of the family Piperaceae, as well as Laurales and Magnoliales. The data obtained in this study will be beneficial for further investigations on A. debilis and A. contorta from the aspect of evolution, and chloroplast genetic engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chloroplast)
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Open AccessArticle iTRAQ-Based Proteomics Analysis and Network Integration for Kernel Tissue Development in Maize
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1840; doi:10.3390/ijms18091840
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Grain weight is one of the most important yield components and a developmentally complex structure comprised of two major compartments (endosperm and pericarp) in maize (Zea mays L.), however, very little is known concerning the coordinated accumulation of the numerous proteins involved.
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Grain weight is one of the most important yield components and a developmentally complex structure comprised of two major compartments (endosperm and pericarp) in maize (Zea mays L.), however, very little is known concerning the coordinated accumulation of the numerous proteins involved. Herein, we used isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based comparative proteomic method to analyze the characteristics of dynamic proteomics for endosperm and pericarp during grain development. Totally, 9539 proteins were identified for both components at four development stages, among which 1401 proteins were non-redundant, 232 proteins were specific in pericarp and 153 proteins were specific in endosperm. A functional annotation of the identified proteins revealed the importance of metabolic and cellular processes, and binding and catalytic activities for the tissue development. Three and 76 proteins involved in 49 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were integrated for the specific endosperm and pericarp proteins, respectively, reflecting their complex metabolic interactions. In addition, four proteins with important functions and different expression levels were chosen for gene cloning and expression analysis. Different concordance between mRNA level and the protein abundance was observed across different proteins, stages, and tissues as in previous research. These results could provide useful message for understanding the developmental mechanisms in grain development in maize. 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 Arabidopsis E3 Ubiquitin Ligases PUB22 and PUB23 Negatively Regulate Drought Tolerance by Targeting ABA Receptor PYL9 for Degradation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1841; doi:10.3390/ijms18091841
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Drought causes osmotic stress and rapidly triggers abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation in plants. The roles of various ABA receptors in drought tolerance and molecular mechanisms regulating ABA receptor stability needs to be elucidated. Here, we report that Arabidopsis plants overexpressing PYL9, one of
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Drought causes osmotic stress and rapidly triggers abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation in plants. The roles of various ABA receptors in drought tolerance and molecular mechanisms regulating ABA receptor stability needs to be elucidated. Here, we report that Arabidopsis plants overexpressing PYL9, one of the 14 pyrabactin resistance (PYR)/pyrabactin resistance-like (PYL)/regulatory component of ABA receptors (RCAR) family ABA receptors, gained drought tolerance trait. Osmotic stress induced accumulation of the PYL9 protein, which was regulated by the 26S proteasome. PYL9 interacted with two highly homologous plant U-box E3 ubiquitin ligases PUB22 and PUB23. In the cell-free degradation assay, the degradation of GST-PYL9 was accelerated in protein extract from plants overexpressing PUB22 but slowed down in protein extract from the pub22 pub23 double mutant. The in vivo decay of Myc-PYL9 was significantly reduced in the pub22 pub23 double mutant as compared with the wild-type. Additionally, PUB22 also interacted with other ABA receptors such as PYL5, PYL7 and PYL8. Considering the improved drought tolerance in the pub22 pub23 double mutant in previous studies, our results suggest that PUB22 and PUB23 negatively regulate drought tolerance in part by facilitating ABA receptors degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms in Plant Senescence)
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Open AccessArticle RNA Interference and BMP-2 Stimulation Allows Equine Chondrocytes Redifferentiation in 3D-Hypoxia Cell Culture Model: Application for Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1842; doi:10.3390/ijms18091842
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
As in humans, osteoarthritis (OA) causes considerable economic loss to the equine industry. New hopes for cartilage repair have emerged with the matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI). Nevertheless, its limitation is due to the dedifferentiation occurring during the chondrocyte amplification phase, leading to
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As in humans, osteoarthritis (OA) causes considerable economic loss to the equine industry. New hopes for cartilage repair have emerged with the matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI). Nevertheless, its limitation is due to the dedifferentiation occurring during the chondrocyte amplification phase, leading to the loss of its capacity to produce a hyaline extracellular matrix (ECM). To enhance the MACI therapy efficiency, we have developed a strategy for chondrocyte redifferentiation, and demonstrated its feasibility in the equine model. Thus, to mimic the cartilage microenvironment, the equine dedifferentiated chondrocytes were cultured in type I/III collagen sponges for 7 days under hypoxia in the presence of BMP-2. In addition, chondrocytes were transfected by siRNA targeting Col1a1 and Htra1 mRNAs, which are overexpressed during dedifferentiation and OA. To investigate the quality of the neo-synthesized ECM, specific and atypical cartilage markers were evaluated by RT-qPCR and Western blot. Our results show that the combination of 3D hypoxia cell culture, BMP-2 (Bone morphogenetic protein-2), and RNA interference, increases the chondrocytes functional indexes (Col2a1/Col1a1, Acan/Col1a1), leading to an effective chondrocyte redifferentiation. These data represent a proof of concept for this process of application, in vitro, in the equine model, and will lead to the improvement of the MACI efficiency for cartilage tissue engineering therapy in preclinical/clinical trials, both in equine and human medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Diseases Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle Hepatocyte Growth Factor Mediates Enhanced Wound Healing Responses and Resistance to Transforming Growth Factor-β1-Driven Myofibroblast Differentiation in Oral Mucosal Fibroblasts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1843; doi:10.3390/ijms18091843
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Oral mucosal wounds are characterized by rapid healing with minimal scarring, partly attributable to the “enhanced” wound healing properties of oral mucosal fibroblasts (OMFs). Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a pleiotropic growth factor, with potential key roles in accelerating healing and preventing fibrosis.
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Oral mucosal wounds are characterized by rapid healing with minimal scarring, partly attributable to the “enhanced” wound healing properties of oral mucosal fibroblasts (OMFs). Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a pleiotropic growth factor, with potential key roles in accelerating healing and preventing fibrosis. HGF can exist as full-length or truncated (HGF-NK), NK1 and NK2 isoforms. As OMFs display elevated HGF expression compared to dermal fibroblasts (DFs), this study investigated the extent to which HGF mediates the preferential cellular functions of OMFs, and the influence of pro-fibrotic, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) on these responses. Knockdown of HGF expression in OMFs by short-interfering RNA (siHGF) significantly inhibited OMF proliferative and migratory responses. Supplementation with exogenous TGF-β1 also significantly inhibited proliferation and migration, concomitant with significantly down-regulated HGF expression. In addition, knockdown abrogated OMF resistance to TGF-β1-driven myofibroblast differentiation, as evidenced by increased α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression, F-actin reorganisation, and stress fibre formation. Responses were unaffected in siHGF-transfected DFs. OMFs expressed significantly higher full-length HGF and NK1 levels compared to patient-matched DFs, whilst NK2 expression was similar in both OMFs and DFs. Furthermore, NK2 was preferentially expressed over NK1 in DFs. TGF-β1 supplementation significantly down-regulated full-length HGF and NK1 expression by OMFs, while NK2 was less affected. This study demonstrates the importance of HGF in mediating “enhanced” OMF cellular function. We also propose that full-length HGF and HGF-NK1 convey desirable wound healing properties, whilst fibroblasts preferentially expressing more HGF-NK2 readily undergo TGF-β1-driven differentiation into myofibroblasts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Daytime-Dependent Changes of Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 and Type 2 Expression in Rat Liver
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1844; doi:10.3390/ijms18091844
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
The present study was performed to investigate the diurnal expression pattern of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) in liver tissue of 12- and 51-week-old normoglycemic Wistar rats. By using real-time RT-PCR, daytime dependent changes in
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The present study was performed to investigate the diurnal expression pattern of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) in liver tissue of 12- and 51-week-old normoglycemic Wistar rats. By using real-time RT-PCR, daytime dependent changes in both age groups and, for both, hepatic Cnr1 and Cnr2 receptor mRNA levels were measured. Highest amount of mRNA was detected in the light period (ZT3, ZT6, and ZT9) while the lowest amount was measured in the dark period (ZT18 and ZT21). Diurnal transcript expression pattern was accompanied by comparable changes of protein level for CB1, as shown by Western blotting. The current results support the conclusion that expression pattern of cannabinoid receptors are influenced by light/dark cycle and therefore seems to be under the control of a diurnal rhythm. These findings might explain the differences in the efficacy of cannabinoid receptor agonists or antagonists. In addition, investigation of liver of streptozotocin (STZ)-treated 12- and 51-week-old rats show alterations in the diurnal profile of both receptors Cnr1 and Cnr2 compared to that of normoglycemic Wistar rats. This suggests an influence of diabetic state on diurnal expression levels of cannabinoid receptors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Circadian Rhythms)
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Open AccessArticle Electroacupuncture Promotes Recovery of Motor Function and Reduces Dopaminergic Neuron Degeneration in Rodent Models of Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1846; doi:10.3390/ijms18091846
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease. The pathological hallmark of PD is a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) pars compacta in the brain, ultimately resulting in severe striatal dopamine deficiency and the development of primary motor
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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease. The pathological hallmark of PD is a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) pars compacta in the brain, ultimately resulting in severe striatal dopamine deficiency and the development of primary motor symptoms (e.g., resting tremor, bradykinesia) in PD. Acupuncture has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat PD for the control of tremor and pain. Accumulating evidence has shown that using electroacupuncture (EA) as a complementary therapy ameliorates motor symptoms of PD. However, the most appropriate timing for EA intervention and its effect on dopamine neuronal protection remain unclear. Thus, this study used the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-lesioned mouse model (systemic-lesioned by intraperitoneal injection) and the 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-lesioned rat model (unilateral-lesioned by intra-SN infusion) of PD, to explore the therapeutic effects and mechanisms of EA at the GB34 (Yanglingquan) and LR3 (Taichong) acupoints. We found that EA increased the latency to fall from the accelerating rotarod and improved striatal dopamine levels in the MPTP studies. In the MPP+ studies, EA inhibited apomorphine induced rotational behavior and locomotor activity, and demonstrated neuroprotective effects via the activation of survival pathways of Akt and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the SN region. In conclusion, we observed that EA treatment reduces motor symptoms of PD and dopaminergic neurodegeneration in rodent models, whether EA is given as a pretreatment or after the initiation of disease symptoms. The results indicate that EA treatment may be an effective therapy for patients with PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotective Strategies 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Polydeoxyribonucleotide Ameliorates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Lung Injury by Inhibiting Apoptotic Cell Death in Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1847; doi:10.3390/ijms18091847
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Lung injury is characterized by diffuse lung inflammation, alveolar-capillary destruction, and alveolar flooding, resulting in respiratory failure. Polydexyribonucleotide (PDRN) has an anti-inflammatory effect, decreasing inflammatory cytokines, and suppressing apoptosis. Thus, we investigated its efficacy in the treatment of lung injury, which was induced
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Lung injury is characterized by diffuse lung inflammation, alveolar-capillary destruction, and alveolar flooding, resulting in respiratory failure. Polydexyribonucleotide (PDRN) has an anti-inflammatory effect, decreasing inflammatory cytokines, and suppressing apoptosis. Thus, we investigated its efficacy in the treatment of lung injury, which was induced in rats using lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Rats were randomly divided into three groups according to sacrifice time, and each group split into control, lung injury-induced, and lung injury-induced + PDRN-treated groups. Rats were sacrificed 24 h and 72 h after PDRN administration, according to each group. Lung injury was induced by intratracheal instillation of LPS (5 mg/kg) in 0.2 mL saline. Rats in PDRN-treated groups received a single intraperitoneal injection of 0.3 mL distilled water including PDRN (8 mg/kg), 1 h after lung injury induction. Percentages of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive, cleaved caspase-3-, -8-, and -9-positive cells, the ratio of Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) to B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), and expressions of inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6) were decreased by PDRN treatment in the LPS-induced lung injury rats. Therefore, treatment with PDRN reduced lung injury score. This anti-apoptotic effect of PDRN can be ascribed to the enhancing effect of PDRN on adenosine A2A receptor expression. Based on these results, PDRN might be considered as a new therapeutic agent for the treatment of lung injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Diseases: Chronic Respiratory Infections)
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Open AccessArticle Tongue Sole CD209: A Pattern-Recognition Receptor that Binds a Broad Range of Microbes and Promotes Phagocytosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1848; doi:10.3390/ijms18091848
Received: 16 July 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
CD209 is an immune receptor that plays an important role in the initiation of innate immunity and activation of adaptive immunity in mammals. However, much less is known about the immunological function of CD209 in lower vertebrates. In the present study, we examined
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CD209 is an immune receptor that plays an important role in the initiation of innate immunity and activation of adaptive immunity in mammals. However, much less is known about the immunological function of CD209 in lower vertebrates. In the present study, we examined the immune effect of a CD209 homologue (CsCD209) from the teleost fish tongue sole Cynoglossus semilaevis. CsCD209 possesses a lectin domain that shares high levels of similarity with the lectin domains of human and mouse CD209. CsCD209 expression was most abundant in kidney and blood and was significantly upregulated during bacterial infection. CsCD209 exhibited a subcellular localization mainly on the cell surface of myelomonocytes. Recombinant CsCD209 displayed apparent binding capacities to a broad range of bacteria and fungi, and significantly promoted the phagocytosis of the bound bacteria by C. semilaevis leukocytes. Collectively, the results indicate that teleost CD209 serves as a pattern recognition receptor that exerts an influence on the phagocytosis process during pathogen infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Microbe Interaction 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Self-Nanoemulsifying Drug Delivery System for Resveratrol: Enhanced Oral Bioavailability and Reduced Physical Fatigue in Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1853; doi:10.3390/ijms18091853
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
Resveratrol (RES), a natural polyphenolic compound, exerts anti-fatigue activity, but its administration is complicated by its low water solubility. To improve RES bioavailability, this study developed a self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery system (SNEDDS) for RES and evaluated its anti-fatigue activity and rat exercise performance
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Resveratrol (RES), a natural polyphenolic compound, exerts anti-fatigue activity, but its administration is complicated by its low water solubility. To improve RES bioavailability, this study developed a self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery system (SNEDDS) for RES and evaluated its anti-fatigue activity and rat exercise performance by measuring fatigue-related parameters, namely lactate, ammonia, plasma creatinine phosphokinase, and glucose levels and the swimming time to exhaustion. Through solubility and emulsification testing, the optimized SNEDDS composed of Capryol 90, Cremophor EL, and Tween 20 was developed; the average particle size in this formulation, which had favorable self-emulsification ability, was approximately 41.3 ± 4.1 nm. Pharmacokinetic studies revealed that the oral bioavailability of the optimized RES-SNEDDS increased by 3.2-fold compared with that of the unformulated RES-solution. Pretreatment using the RES-SNEDDS before exercise accelerated the recovery of lactate after exercise; compared with the vehicle group, the plasma ammonia level in the RES-SNEDDS group significantly decreased by 65.4%, whereas the glucose level significantly increased by approximately 1.8-fold. Moreover, the swimming time to exhaustion increased by 2.1- and 1.8-fold, respectively, compared with the vehicle and RES-solution pretreatment groups. Therefore, the developed RES-SNEDDS not only enhances the oral bioavailability of RES but may also exert anti-fatigue pharmacological effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural and Semi-Synthetic Small Molecules in Drug Discovery)
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Open AccessArticle Negative Correlation between the Diffusion Coefficient and Transcriptional Activity of the Glucocorticoid Receptor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1855; doi:10.3390/ijms18091855
Received: 16 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a transcription factor, which interacts with DNA and other cofactors to regulate gene transcription. Binding to other partners in the cell nucleus alters the diffusion properties of GR. Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) was applied to quantitatively characterize
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The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a transcription factor, which interacts with DNA and other cofactors to regulate gene transcription. Binding to other partners in the cell nucleus alters the diffusion properties of GR. Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) was applied to quantitatively characterize the diffusion properties of EGFP labeled human GR (EGFP-hGR) and its mutants in the cell nucleus. RICS is an image correlation technique that evaluates the spatial distribution of the diffusion coefficient as a diffusion map. Interestingly, we observed that the averaged diffusion coefficient of EGFP-hGR strongly and negatively correlated with its transcriptional activities in comparison to that of EGFP-hGR wild type and mutants with various transcriptional activities. This result suggests that the decreasing of the diffusion coefficient of hGR was reflected in the high-affinity binding to DNA. Moreover, the hyper-phosphorylation of hGR can enhance the transcriptional activity by reduction of the interaction between the hGR and the nuclear corepressors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle PSFM-DBT: Identifying DNA-Binding Proteins by Combing Position Specific Frequency Matrix and Distance-Bigram Transformation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1856; doi:10.3390/ijms18091856
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
DNA-binding proteins play crucial roles in various biological processes, such as DNA replication and repair, transcriptional regulation and many other biological activities associated with DNA. Experimental recognition techniques for DNA-binding proteins identification are both time consuming and expensive. Effective methods for identifying these
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DNA-binding proteins play crucial roles in various biological processes, such as DNA replication and repair, transcriptional regulation and many other biological activities associated with DNA. Experimental recognition techniques for DNA-binding proteins identification are both time consuming and expensive. Effective methods for identifying these proteins only based on protein sequences are highly required. The key for sequence-based methods is to effectively represent protein sequences. It has been reported by various previous studies that evolutionary information is crucial for DNA-binding protein identification. In this study, we employed four methods to extract the evolutionary information from Position Specific Frequency Matrix (PSFM), including Residue Probing Transformation (RPT), Evolutionary Difference Transformation (EDT), Distance-Bigram Transformation (DBT), and Trigram Transformation (TT). The PSFMs were converted into fixed length feature vectors by these four methods, and then respectively combined with Support Vector Machines (SVMs); four predictors for identifying these proteins were constructed, including PSFM-RPT, PSFM-EDT, PSFM-DBT, and PSFM-TT. Experimental results on a widely used benchmark dataset PDB1075 and an independent dataset PDB186 showed that these four methods achieved state-of-the-art-performance, and PSFM-DBT outperformed other existing methods in this field. For practical applications, a user-friendly webserver of PSFM-DBT was established, which is available at http://bioinformatics.hitsz.edu.cn/PSFM-DBT/. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Protein Molecules Computational Identification)
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Open AccessArticle CCR7 Sulfotyrosine Enhances CCL21 Binding
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1857; doi:10.3390/ijms18091857
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
Chemokines are secreted proteins that direct the migration of immune cells and are involved in numerous disease states. For example, CCL21 (CC chemokine ligand 21) and CCL19 (CC chemokine ligand 19) recruit antigen-presenting dendritic cells and naïve T-cells to the lymph nodes and
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Chemokines are secreted proteins that direct the migration of immune cells and are involved in numerous disease states. For example, CCL21 (CC chemokine ligand 21) and CCL19 (CC chemokine ligand 19) recruit antigen-presenting dendritic cells and naïve T-cells to the lymph nodes and are thought to play a role in lymph node metastasis of CCR7 (CC chemokine receptor 7)-expressing cancer cells. For many chemokine receptors, N-terminal posttranslational modifications, particularly the sulfation of tyrosine residues, increases the affinity for chemokine ligands and may contribute to receptor ligand bias. Chemokine sulfotyrosine (sY) binding sites are also potential targets for drug development. In light of the structural similarity between sulfotyrosine and phosphotyrosine (pY), the interactions of CCL21 with peptide fragments of CCR7 containing tyrosine, pY, or sY were compared using protein NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy in this study. Various N-terminal CCR7 peptides maintain binding site specificity with Y8-, pY8-, or sY8-containing peptides binding near the α-helix, while Y17-, pY17-, and sY17-containing peptides bind near the N-loop and β3-stand of CCL21. All modified CCR7 peptides showed enhanced binding affinity to CCL21, with sY having the largest effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Chemokine-Receptor Interactions and Functions)
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Open AccessArticle The Candida albicans Inhibitory Activity of the Extract from Papaya (Carica papaya L.) Seed Relates to Mitochondria Dysfunction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1858; doi:10.3390/ijms18091858
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
The inhibitory activity of the papaya seed extract (PSE) on Candida albicans (C. albicans) was determined by turbidimetry method. The inhibitory mechanisms were also evaluated from the prospective of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) decrease, and the
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The inhibitory activity of the papaya seed extract (PSE) on Candida albicans (C. albicans) was determined by turbidimetry method. The inhibitory mechanisms were also evaluated from the prospective of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) decrease, and the activities of four complex enzymes in mitochondria respiratory chain. Results obtained from this study indicated that the PSE exhibited an effective inhibitory activity on C. albicans and induced significant accumulation of ROS and collapse of MMP. The Complex I and Complex III exhibited continues significant decrease in mitochondrial enzyme activity assays, but the Complex II and Complex IV activities were not positively correlated. Furthermore, the GC-MS analysis demonstrated that the PSE represents a rich and high-purity source of benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC), which indicated the BITC may be responsible for the mitochondrial dysfunction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Conserved and Distinct Molecular Mechanisms of Al Resistance in Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) Leaves
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1859; doi:10.3390/ijms18091859
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 27 August 2017
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Abstract
Being an Al-accumulating crop, buckwheat detoxifies and tolerates Al not only in roots but also in leaves. While much progress has recently been made toward Al toxicity and resistance mechanisms in roots, little is known about the molecular basis responsible for detoxification and
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Being an Al-accumulating crop, buckwheat detoxifies and tolerates Al not only in roots but also in leaves. While much progress has recently been made toward Al toxicity and resistance mechanisms in roots, little is known about the molecular basis responsible for detoxification and tolerance processes in leaves. Here, we carried out transcriptome analysis of buckwheat leaves in response to Al stress (20 µM, 24 h). We obtained 33,931 unigenes with 26,300 unigenes annotated in the NCBI database, and identified 1063 upregulated and 944 downregulated genes under Al stress. Functional category analysis revealed that genes related to protein translation, processing, degradation and metabolism comprised the biological processes most affected by Al, suggesting that buckwheat leaves maintain flexibility under Al stress by rapidly reprogramming their physiology and metabolism. Analysis of genes related to transcription regulation revealed that a large proportion of chromatin-regulation genes are specifically downregulated by Al stress, whereas transcription factor genes are overwhelmingly upregulated. Furthermore, we identified 78 upregulated and 22 downregulated genes that encode transporters. Intriguingly, only a few genes were overlapped with root Al-regulated transporter genes, which include homologs of AtMATE, ALS1, STAR1, ALS3 and a divalent ion symporter. In addition, we identified a subset of genes involved in development, in which genes associated with flowering regulation were important. Based on these data, it is proposed that buckwheat leaves develop conserved and distinct mechanisms to cope with Al toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress and Gene Networks in Plants 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Development and Properties of Valine-Alanine based Antibody-Drug Conjugates with Monomethyl Auristatin E as the Potent Payload
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1860; doi:10.3390/ijms18091860
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), designed to selectively deliver cytotoxic agents to antigen-bearing cells, are poised to become an important class of cancer therapeutics. Human epithelial growth factor receptor (HER2) is considered an effective target for cancer treatment, and a HER2-targeting ADC has shown promising
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Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), designed to selectively deliver cytotoxic agents to antigen-bearing cells, are poised to become an important class of cancer therapeutics. Human epithelial growth factor receptor (HER2) is considered an effective target for cancer treatment, and a HER2-targeting ADC has shown promising results. Most ADCs undergoing clinical evaluation contain linkers that have a lysosomal protease-cleavable dipeptide, of which the most common is valine-citrulline (VC). However, valine-alanine (VA), another dipeptide comprising two human essential amino acids, has been used in next generation ADCs loading new toxins, but the druggable properties of ADCs loaded the most popular monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) remain to be further explored. In this study, we generated VA-based ADCs that connected MMAE to an anti-HER2 antibody. We studied the differences in the preparation process, in vitro stability, cathepsin B activity and in vitro cytotoxicity of VA-based ADC compared to the ADC of VC. VA had comparable performance to VC, which preliminarily displays its practicability. Additional efficacy and safety studies in a xenograft model indicate this novel ADC exerted potent anti-tumor activity and negligible toxicity. The results of this study show the application potential of VA-based ADC with MMAE as the payload. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Human Meibum Age, Lipid–Lipid Interactions and Lipid Saturation in Meibum from Infants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1862; doi:10.3390/ijms18091862
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Tear stability decreases with increasing age and the same signs of instability are exacerbated with dry eye. Meibum lipid compositional changes with age provide insights into the biomolecules responsible for tear film instability. Meibum was collected from 69 normal donors ranging in age
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Tear stability decreases with increasing age and the same signs of instability are exacerbated with dry eye. Meibum lipid compositional changes with age provide insights into the biomolecules responsible for tear film instability. Meibum was collected from 69 normal donors ranging in age from 0.6 to 68 years of age. Infrared spectroscopy was used to measure meibum lipid phase transition parameters. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to measure lipid saturation. Increasing human meibum lipid hydrocarbon chain unsaturation with age was related to a decrease in hydrocarbon chain order, cooperativity, and in the phase transition temperature. The change in these parameters was most dramatic between 1 and 20 years of age. Meibum was catalytically saturated to determine the effect of saturation on meibum lipid phase transition parameters. Hydrocarbon chain saturation was directly related to lipid order, phase transition temperature, cooperativity, changes in enthalpy and entropy, and could account for the changes in the lipid phase transition parameters observed with age. Unsaturation could contribute to decreased tear film stability with age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle SMAD2 Inactivation Inhibits CLDN6 Methylation to Suppress Migration and Invasion of Breast Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1863; doi:10.3390/ijms18091863
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
The downregulation of tight junction protein CLDN6 promotes breast cancer cell migration and invasion; however, the exact mechanism underlying CLDN6 downregulation remains unclear. CLDN6 silence is associated with DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) mediated DNA methylation, and DNMT1 is regulated by the transforming growth
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The downregulation of tight junction protein CLDN6 promotes breast cancer cell migration and invasion; however, the exact mechanism underlying CLDN6 downregulation remains unclear. CLDN6 silence is associated with DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) mediated DNA methylation, and DNMT1 is regulated by the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)/SMAD pathway. Therefore, we hypothesized that TGFβ/SMAD pathway, specifically SMAD2, may play a critical role for CLDN6 downregulation through DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) mediated DNA methylation. To test this hypothesis, we blocked the SMAD2 pathway with SB431542 in two human breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and SKBR-3). Our results showed that treatment with SB431542 led to a decrease of DNMT1 expression and the binding activity for CLDN6 promoter. The methylation level of CLDN6 promoter was decreased, and simultaneously CLDN6 protein expression increased. Upregulation of CLDN6 inhibited epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and reduced the migration and invasion ability of both MCF-7 and SKBR-3 cells. Furthermore, knocked down of CLDN6 abolished SB431542 effects on suppression of EMT associated gene expression and inhibition of migration and invasion. Thus, we demonstrated that the downregulation of CLDN6 is regulated through promoter methylation by DNMT1, which depends on the SMAD2 pathway, and that CLDN6 is a key regulator in the SMAD2/DNMT1/CLDN6 pathway to inhibit EMT, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical and Molecular Approach to Tumor Metastases)
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Open AccessArticle REP1 Modulates Autophagy and Macropinocytosis to Enhance Cancer Cell Survival
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1866; doi:10.3390/ijms18091866
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Rab escort protein 1 (REP1), a component of the Rab geranyl-geranyltransferase 2 complex, plays a role in Rab protein recruitment in proper vesicles during vesicle trafficking. In addition to having well-known tissue degenerative phenotypes in the REP1 mutant, REP1 is tightly associated with
[...] Read more.
Rab escort protein 1 (REP1), a component of the Rab geranyl-geranyltransferase 2 complex, plays a role in Rab protein recruitment in proper vesicles during vesicle trafficking. In addition to having well-known tissue degenerative phenotypes in the REP1 mutant, REP1 is tightly associated with cancer development and contributes to cell growth and survival. However, the functional mechanism of REP1 in cancer progression is largely uninvestigated. Here, we show that REP1 plays a crucial role in regulating mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and its downstream pathways, as well as autophagy and macropinocytosis, which are essential for cancer cell survival during metabolic stresses including starvation. REP1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) treatment downregulates mTORC1 activity in growing media, but blocks autophagosome formation under nutrient-depleted conditions. In contrast to the mild decrease of lysosomal enzyme activity seen in REP1 depletion, in REP1 knockdown the subcellular localization of lysosomes is altered, and localization of REP1 itself is modulated by intracellular nutrient levels and mTOR activity. Furthermore, REP1 depletion increases macro pinocytosis which may be a feedback mechanism to compensate autophagy inhibition. Concomitant treatment with macropinocytosis inhibitor and REP1siRNAresults in more significant cell death than autophagy blockade with REP1 knockdown. Therefore, REP1-mediated autophagy and lysosomal degradation processes act as novel regulatory mechanisms to support cancer cell survival, which can be further investigated as a potential cancer-targeting pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy at the Intersection of the Immune System and Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Alginate-Based Edible Films Delivering Probiotic Bacteria to Sliced Ham Pretreated with High Pressure Processing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1867; doi:10.3390/ijms18091867
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the present work was to evaluate the efficacy of Na-alginate edible films as vehicles for delivering probiotic bacteria to sliced ham with or without pretreatment using high pressure processing (HPP). Three strains of probiotic bacteria were incorporated in Na-alginate forming
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present work was to evaluate the efficacy of Na-alginate edible films as vehicles for delivering probiotic bacteria to sliced ham with or without pretreatment using high pressure processing (HPP). Three strains of probiotic bacteria were incorporated in Na-alginate forming solution. Ham slices (with or without pretreatment using HPP at 500 MPa for 2 min) were packed under vacuum in contact with the films and then stored at 4, 8 and 12 °C for 66, 47 and 40 days, respectively. Microbiological analysis was performed in parallel with pH and color measurements. Sensory characteristics were assessed, while the presence and the relative abundance of each probiotic strain during storage was evaluated using pulsed field gel electrophoresis. In ham slices without HPP treatment, probiotic bacteria were enumerated above 106 CFU/g during storage at all temperatures. Same results were obtained in cases of HPP treated samples, but pH measurements showed differences with the latter ones exhibiting higher values. Sensory evaluation revealed that probiotic samples had a more acidic taste and odor than the control ones, however these characteristics were markedly compromised in samples treated with HPP. Overall, the results of the study are promising since probiotic bacteria were successfully delivered in the products by edible films regardless of the HPP treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessCommunication The Differential Distribution of RAPTA-T in Non-Invasive and Invasive Breast Cancer Cells Correlates with Its Anti-Invasive and Anti-Metastatic Effects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1869; doi:10.3390/ijms18091869
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) combined with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) can be a powerful approach to visualize the exact distribution of drugs at the sub-cellular level. In this work, we exploit this approach to identify the distribution and localisation of the
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Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) combined with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) can be a powerful approach to visualize the exact distribution of drugs at the sub-cellular level. In this work, we exploit this approach to identify the distribution and localisation of the organometallic ruthenium(II)-arene drug Ru(η6-C6H5Me)(pta)Cl2, termed RAPTA-T, in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. These cell lines have been chosen because the former cell lines are highly invasive and resistant to most chemotherapeutic agents and the latter ones are very sensitive to hormonal-based therapies. In the MDA-MB-231 cells, RAPTA-T was found to predominantly localise on the cell membrane and to a lesser extent in the nucleolus. These findings are consistent with the previously reported anti-metastatic properties of RAPTA-T and the observation that once internalized RAPTA-T is associated with chromatin. RAPTA-T shows a lack of membrane accumulation on the non-invasive MCF-7 cells, which correlates well with its selective anti-metastatic properties on invasive cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical and Molecular Approach to Tumor Metastases)
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Open AccessArticle Measurement of Telomere Length in Colorectal Cancers for Improved Molecular Diagnosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1871; doi:10.3390/ijms18091871
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
All tumors have in common to reactivate a telomere maintenance mechanism to allow for unlimited proliferation. On the other hand, genetic instability found in some tumors can result from the loss of telomeres. Here, we measured telomere length in colorectal cancers (CRCs) using
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All tumors have in common to reactivate a telomere maintenance mechanism to allow for unlimited proliferation. On the other hand, genetic instability found in some tumors can result from the loss of telomeres. Here, we measured telomere length in colorectal cancers (CRCs) using TRF (Telomere Restriction Fragment) analysis. Telomeric DNA content was also quantified as the ratio of total telomeric (TTAGGG) sequences over that of the invariable Alu sequences. In most of the 125 CRCs analyzed, there was a significant diminution in telomere length compared with that in control healthy tissue. Only 34 tumors exhibited no telomere erosion and, in some cases, a slight telomere lengthening. Telomere length did not correlate with age, gender, tumor stage, tumor localization or stage of tumor differentiation. In addition, while telomere length did not correlate with the presence of a mutation in BRAF (V-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B), PIK3CA (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit), or MSI status, it was significantly associated with the occurrence of a mutation in KRAS. Interestingly, we found that the shorter the telomeres in healthy tissue of a patient, the larger an increase in telomere length in the tumor. Our study points to the existence of two types of CRCs based on telomere length and reveals that telomere length in healthy tissue might influence telomere maintenance mechanisms in the tumor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging)
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Open AccessArticle Arid1b Haploinsufficiency Causes Abnormal Brain Gene Expression and Autism-Related Behaviors in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1872; doi:10.3390/ijms18091872
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with core symptoms that include poor social communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. Several ASD mouse models exhibit impaired social interaction, anxiety-like behavior, and elevated perseveration. Large-scale whole exome sequencing studies identified many genes putatively
[...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with core symptoms that include poor social communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. Several ASD mouse models exhibit impaired social interaction, anxiety-like behavior, and elevated perseveration. Large-scale whole exome sequencing studies identified many genes putatively associated with ASD. Like chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 8 (CHD8), the most frequently mutated gene in individuals with ASD, the candidate gene AT-rich interaction domain 1B (ARID1B) encodes a chromatin remodeling factor. Arid1b heterozygous knockout (hKO) mice exhibited ASD-like traits related to social behavior, anxiety, and perseveration, in addition to associated features reported in some cases of ASD, such as reduced weight, impaired motor coordination, and hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus was present in 5 of 91 hKO mice, while it was not observed in wild-type littermates (0 of 188). Genome-wide gene expression patterns in Arid1b hKO mice were similar to those in ASD patients and Chd8-haploinsufficient mice, an ASD model, and to developmental changes in gene expression in fast-spiking cells in the mouse brain. Our results suggest that Arid1b haploinsufficiency causes ASD-like phenotypes in mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Editing 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Patch-Clamp Recording from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes: Improving Action Potential Characteristics through Dynamic Clamp
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1873; doi:10.3390/ijms18091873
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) hold great promise for studying inherited cardiac arrhythmias and developing drug therapies to treat such arrhythmias. Unfortunately, until now, action potential (AP) measurements in hiPSC-CMs have been hampered by the virtual absence of the inward rectifier
[...] Read more.
Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) hold great promise for studying inherited cardiac arrhythmias and developing drug therapies to treat such arrhythmias. Unfortunately, until now, action potential (AP) measurements in hiPSC-CMs have been hampered by the virtual absence of the inward rectifier potassium current (IK1) in hiPSC-CMs, resulting in spontaneous activity and altered function of various depolarising and repolarising membrane currents. We assessed whether AP measurements in “ventricular-like” and “atrial-like” hiPSC-CMs could be improved through a simple, highly reproducible dynamic clamp approach to provide these cells with a substantial IK1 (computed in real time according to the actual membrane potential and injected through the patch-clamp pipette). APs were measured at 1 Hz using perforated patch-clamp methodology, both in control cells and in cells treated with all-trans retinoic acid (RA) during the differentiation process to increase the number of cells with atrial-like APs. RA-treated hiPSC-CMs displayed shorter APs than control hiPSC-CMs and this phenotype became more prominent upon addition of synthetic IK1 through dynamic clamp. Furthermore, the variability of several AP parameters decreased upon IK1 injection. Computer simulations with models of ventricular-like and atrial-like hiPSC-CMs demonstrated the importance of selecting an appropriate synthetic IK1. In conclusion, the dynamic clamp-based approach of IK1 injection has broad applicability for detailed AP measurements in hiPSC-CMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
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Open AccessArticle Transgenic Cotton Plants Expressing the HaHR3 Gene Conferred Enhanced Resistance to Helicoverpa armigera and Improved Cotton Yield
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1874; doi:10.3390/ijms18091874
Received: 23 July 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
RNA interference (RNAi) has been developed as an efficient technology. RNAi insect-resistant transgenic plants expressing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) that is ingested into insects to silence target genes can affect the viability of these pests or even lead to their death. HaHR3, a
[...] Read more.
RNA interference (RNAi) has been developed as an efficient technology. RNAi insect-resistant transgenic plants expressing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) that is ingested into insects to silence target genes can affect the viability of these pests or even lead to their death. HaHR3, a molt-regulating transcription factor gene, was previously selected as a target expressed in bacteria and tobacco plants to control Helicoverpa armigera by RNAi technology. In this work, we selected the dsRNA-HaHR3 fragment to silence HaHR3 in cotton bollworm for plant mediated-RNAi research. A total of 19 transgenic cotton lines expressing HaHR3 were successfully cultivated, and seven generated lines were used to perform feeding bioassays. Transgenic cotton plants expressing dsHaHR3 were shown to induce high larval mortality and deformities of pupation and adult eclosion when used to feed the newly hatched larvae, and 3rd and 5th instar larvae of H. armigera. Moreover, HaHR3 transgenic cotton also demonstrated an improved cotton yield when compared with controls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Response to Chromium (VI) Toxicity in Human Liver Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1877; doi:10.3390/ijms18091877
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, which poses a threat to human public health. Recent studies have shown that mitochondrial biogenesis can be activated by inflammatory and oxidative stress. However, whether mitochondrial biogenesis is involved in Cr(VI)-induced hepatotoxicity is unclear. Here,
[...] Read more.
Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, which poses a threat to human public health. Recent studies have shown that mitochondrial biogenesis can be activated by inflammatory and oxidative stress. However, whether mitochondrial biogenesis is involved in Cr(VI)-induced hepatotoxicity is unclear. Here, we demonstrated the induction of inflammatory response and oxidative stress, as indicated by upregulation of inflammatory factors and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Subsequently, we demonstrated that mitochondrial biogenesis, comprising the mitochondrial DNA copy number and mitochondrial mass, was significantly increased in HepG2 cells exposed to low concentrations of Cr(VI). Expression of genes related to mitochondrial function complex I and complex V was upregulated at low concentrations of Cr(VI). mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase 1 and 2 (SOD1 and SOD2, respectively), kech like ECH associate protein 1 (KEAP1) and nuclear respiratory factor 2 (NRF-2), were also upregulated. Consistent with the above results, mRNA and protein levels of key transcriptional regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis such as the peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), NRF-1 and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) were increased by low concentrations of Cr(VI) in HepG2 cells. Moreover, we found that PGC-1α and NRF-1 tended to translocate into the nucleus. The expression of genes potentially involved in mitochondrial biogenesis pathways, including mRNA level of silent information regulator-1 (SIRT1), forkhead box class-O (FOXO1), threonine kinase 1 (AKT1), and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB1), was also upregulated. In contrast, mitochondrial biogenesis was inhibited and the expression of its regulatory factors and antioxidants was downregulated at high and cytotoxic concentrations of Cr(VI) in HepG2 cells. It is believed that pretreatment with α-tocopherol could be acting against the mitochondrial biogenesis imbalance induced by Cr(VI). In conclusion, our study suggests that the homeostasis of mitochondrial biogenesis may be an important cellular compensatory mechanism against Cr(VI)-induced toxicity and a promising detoxification target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Free Radicals and Oxidants in Pathogenesis)
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Open AccessArticle Health-Promoting Effects of Thymus herba-barona, Thymus pseudolanuginosus, and Thymus caespititius Decoctions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1879; doi:10.3390/ijms18091879
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Thymus herba-barona, Thymus pseudolanuginosus, and Thymus caespititius decoctions were screened for their phenolic constituents, along with their potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activities. The total phenolic compounds in the extracts of the three plants ranged from 236.0 ± 26.6 mgGAE/g (
[...] Read more.
Thymus herba-barona, Thymus pseudolanuginosus, and Thymus caespititius decoctions were screened for their phenolic constituents, along with their potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activities. The total phenolic compounds in the extracts of the three plants ranged from 236.0 ± 26.6 mgGAE/g (T. caespititus) to 293.0 ± 30.5 mgGAE/g of extract (T. pseudolanuginosus), being particularly rich in caffeic acid derivatives, namely rosmarinic acid and its structural isomers, as well as flavones, such as luteolin-O-glucuronide. The T. pseudolanuginosus extract presented the best DPPH radical scavenging ability (EC50 = 10.9 ± 0.7 µg/mL), a high reducing power (EC50 = 32.2 ± 8.2 µg/mL), and effectively inhibited the oxidation of β-carotene (EC50 = 2.4 ± 0.2 µg/mL). The extracts also showed NO scavenging activity close to that of ascorbic acid, and thus might be useful as anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, they exhibited antibacterial activity against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus strains were the most sensitive bacteria to thyme extracts, with minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration values in the range of 0.6–3.5 mg/mL. Overall, this work is an important contribution for the phytochemical characterization and the potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities of these three Thymus species, which have been poorly explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Open AccessArticle CytoCluster: A Cytoscape Plugin for Cluster Analysis and Visualization of Biological Networks
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1880; doi:10.3390/ijms18091880
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Nowadays, cluster analysis of biological networks has become one of the most important approaches to identifying functional modules as well as predicting protein complexes and network biomarkers. Furthermore, the visualization of clustering results is crucial to display the structure of biological networks. Here
[...] Read more.
Nowadays, cluster analysis of biological networks has become one of the most important approaches to identifying functional modules as well as predicting protein complexes and network biomarkers. Furthermore, the visualization of clustering results is crucial to display the structure of biological networks. Here we present CytoCluster, a cytoscape plugin integrating six clustering algorithms, HC-PIN (Hierarchical Clustering algorithm in Protein Interaction Networks), OH-PIN (identifying Overlapping and Hierarchical modules in Protein Interaction Networks), IPCA (Identifying Protein Complex Algorithm), ClusterONE (Clustering with Overlapping Neighborhood Expansion), DCU (Detecting Complexes based on Uncertain graph model), IPC-MCE (Identifying Protein Complexes based on Maximal Complex Extension), and BinGO (the Biological networks Gene Ontology) function. Users can select different clustering algorithms according to their requirements. The main function of these six clustering algorithms is to detect protein complexes or functional modules. In addition, BinGO is used to determine which Gene Ontology (GO) categories are statistically overrepresented in a set of genes or a subgraph of a biological network. CytoCluster can be easily expanded, so that more clustering algorithms and functions can be added to this plugin. Since it was created in July 2013, CytoCluster has been downloaded more than 9700 times in the Cytoscape App store and has already been applied to the analysis of different biological networks. CytoCluster is available from http://apps.cytoscape.org/apps/cytocluster. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Protein Molecules Computational Identification)
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Open AccessArticle Stable Membrane-Association of mRNAs in Etiolated, Greening and Mature Plastids
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1881; doi:10.3390/ijms18091881
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Chloroplast genes are transcribed as polycistronic precursor RNAs that give rise to a multitude of processing products down to monocistronic forms. Translation of these mRNAs is realized by bacterial type 70S ribosomes. A larger fraction of these ribosomes is attached to chloroplast membranes.
[...] Read more.
Chloroplast genes are transcribed as polycistronic precursor RNAs that give rise to a multitude of processing products down to monocistronic forms. Translation of these mRNAs is realized by bacterial type 70S ribosomes. A larger fraction of these ribosomes is attached to chloroplast membranes. This study analyzed transcriptome-wide distribution of plastid mRNAs between soluble and membrane fractions of purified plastids using microarray analyses and validating RNA gel blot hybridizations. To determine the impact of light on mRNA localization, we used etioplasts, greening plastids and mature chloroplasts from Zea mays as a source for membrane and soluble extracts. The results show that the three plastid types display an almost identical distribution of RNAs between the two organellar fractions, which is confirmed by quantitative RNA gel blot analyses. Furthermore, they reveal that different RNAs processed from polycistronic precursors show transcript-autonomous distribution between stroma and membrane fractions. Disruption of ribosomes leads to release of mRNAs from membranes, demonstrating that attachment is likely a direct consequence of translation. We conclude that plastid mRNA distribution is a stable feature of different plastid types, setting up rapid chloroplast translation in any plastid type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chloroplast)
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Open AccessArticle Thirty Minutes of Hypobaric Hypoxia Provokes Alterations of Immune Response, Haemostasis, and Metabolism Proteins in Human Serum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1882; doi:10.3390/ijms18091882
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Hypobaric hypoxia (HH) during airline travel induces several (patho-) physiological reactions in the human body. Whereas severe hypoxia is investigated thoroughly, very little is known about effects of moderate or short-term hypoxia, e.g. during airline flights. The aim of the present study was
[...] Read more.
Hypobaric hypoxia (HH) during airline travel induces several (patho-) physiological reactions in the human body. Whereas severe hypoxia is investigated thoroughly, very little is known about effects of moderate or short-term hypoxia, e.g. during airline flights. The aim of the present study was to analyse changes in serum protein expression and activation of signalling cascades in human volunteers staying for 30 min in a simulated altitude equivalent to airline travel. After approval of the local ethics committee, 10 participants were exposed to moderate hypoxia (simulation of 2400 m or 8000 ft for 30 min) in a hypobaric pressure chamber. Before and after hypobaric hypoxia, serum was drawn, centrifuged, and analysed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DIGE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization followed by time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF). Biological functions of regulated proteins were identified using functional network analysis (GeneMania®, STRING®, and Perseus® software). In participants, oxygen saturation decreased from 98.1 ± 1.3% to 89.2 ± 1.8% during HH. Expression of 14 spots (i.e., 10 proteins: ALB, PGK1, APOE, GAPDH, C1QA, C1QB, CAT, CA1, F2, and CLU) was significantly altered. Bioinformatic analysis revealed an association of the altered proteins with the signalling cascades “regulation of haemostasis” (four proteins), “metabolism” (five proteins), and “leukocyte mediated immune response” (five proteins). Even though hypobaric hypoxia was short and moderate (comparable to an airliner flight), analysis of protein expression in human subjects revealed an association to immune response, protein metabolism, and haemostasis Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation to Chronic Hypoxia: The Last Word Has Not yet Been Said)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Workflow to Enrich and Isolate Patient-Matched EpCAMhigh and EpCAMlow/negative CTCs Enables the Comparative Characterization of the PIK3CA Status in Metastatic Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1885; doi:10.3390/ijms18091885
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs), potential precursors of most epithelial solid tumors, are mainly enriched by epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)-dependent technologies. Hence, these approaches may overlook mesenchymal CTCs, considered highly malignant. Our aim was to establish a workflow to enrich and isolate patient-matched
[...] Read more.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs), potential precursors of most epithelial solid tumors, are mainly enriched by epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)-dependent technologies. Hence, these approaches may overlook mesenchymal CTCs, considered highly malignant. Our aim was to establish a workflow to enrich and isolate patient-matched EpCAMhigh and EpCAMlow/negative CTCs within the same blood samples, and to investigate the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) mutational status within single CTCs. We sequentially processed metastatic breast cancer (MBC) blood samples via CellSearch® (EpCAM-based) and via Parsortix™ (size-based) systems. After enrichment, cells captured in Parsortix™ cassettes were stained in situ for nuclei, cytokeratins, EpCAM and CD45. Afterwards, sorted cells were isolated via CellCelector™ micromanipulator and their genomes were amplified. Lastly, PIK3CA mutational status was analyzed by combining an amplicon-based approach with Sanger sequencing. In 54% of patients′ blood samples both EpCAMhigh and EpCAMlow/negative cells were identified and successfully isolated. High genomic integrity was observed in 8% of amplified genomes of EpCAMlow/negative cells vs. 28% of EpCAMhigh cells suggesting an increased apoptosis in the first CTC-subpopulation. Furthermore, PIK3CA hotspot mutations were detected in both EpCAMhigh and EpCAMlow/negative CTCs. Our workflow is suitable for single CTC analysis, permitting—for the first time—assessment of the heterogeneity of PIK3CA mutational status within patient-matched EpCAMhigh and EpCAMlow/negative CTCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Single Cell Technology)
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Open AccessArticle Bromopropane Compounds Increase the Stemness of Colorectal Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1888; doi:10.3390/ijms18091888
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Bromopropane (BP) compounds, including 1-bromopropane, 2-bromopropane, and 1,2-dibromopropane, are used in industry for various purposes, and their deleterious effects on human health are becoming known. In this study, we examined the effects of BP compounds on the stemness of colorectal cancer cells. At
[...] Read more.
Bromopropane (BP) compounds, including 1-bromopropane, 2-bromopropane, and 1,2-dibromopropane, are used in industry for various purposes, and their deleterious effects on human health are becoming known. In this study, we examined the effects of BP compounds on the stemness of colorectal cancer cells. At low, non-cytotoxic concentrations, BP compounds significantly increased spheroid formation in CSC221, DLD1, Caco2, and HT29 cells. In addition, the levels of cancer stem cell markers, such as aldehyde dehydrogenase-1, cluster of differentiation 133 (CD133), CD44, Lgr5, Musashi-1, Ephrin receptor, and Bmi-1 increased after exposure to BP compounds. BP compounds increased the transcriptional activity of the TOPflash and glioma-associated oncogene homolog zinc finger protein (Gli) promoters in reporter assays and increased the expression of Gli-1, Gli-2, Smoothened (SMO), and β-catenin by RT-PCR. These results demonstrate for the first time that BP compounds have the potential to promote cancer stemness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Stem Cells)
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Open AccessArticle IGF-1 Attenuates Hypoxia-Induced Atrophy but Inhibits Myoglobin Expression in C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Myotubes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1889; doi:10.3390/ijms18091889
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
PDF Full-text (5165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Chronic hypoxia is associated with muscle wasting and decreased oxidative capacity. By contrast, training under hypoxia may enhance hypertrophy and increase oxidative capacity as well as oxygen transport to the mitochondria, by increasing myoglobin (Mb) expression. The latter may be a feasible strategy
[...] Read more.
Chronic hypoxia is associated with muscle wasting and decreased oxidative capacity. By contrast, training under hypoxia may enhance hypertrophy and increase oxidative capacity as well as oxygen transport to the mitochondria, by increasing myoglobin (Mb) expression. The latter may be a feasible strategy to prevent atrophy under hypoxia and enhance an eventual hypertrophic response to anabolic stimulation. Mb expression may be further enhanced by lipid supplementation. We investigated individual and combined effects of hypoxia, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and lipids, in mouse skeletal muscle C2C12 myotubes. Differentiated C2C12 myotubes were cultured for 24 h under 20%, 5% and 2% oxygen with or without IGF-1 and/or lipid treatment. In culture under 20% oxygen, IGF-1 induced 51% hypertrophy. Hypertrophy was only 32% under 5% and abrogated under 2% oxygen. This was not explained by changes in expression of genes involved in contractile protein synthesis or degradation, suggesting a reduced rate of translation rather than of transcription. Myoglobin mRNA expression increased by 75% under 5% O2 but decreased by 50% upon IGF-1 treatment under 20% O2, compared to control. Inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation using rapamycin restored Mb mRNA expression to control levels. Lipid supplementation had no effect on Mb gene expression. Thus, IGF-1-induced anabolic signaling can be a strategy to improve muscle size under mild hypoxia, but lowers Mb gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation to Chronic Hypoxia: The Last Word Has Not yet Been Said)
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Open AccessCommunication The Lactate/Albumin Ratio: A Valuable Tool for Risk Stratification in Septic Patients Admitted to ICU
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1893; doi:10.3390/ijms18091893
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 27 August 2017 / Published: 2 September 2017
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Abstract
The lactate/albumin ratio has been reported to be associated with mortality in pediatric patients with sepsis. We aimed to evaluate the lactate/albumin ratio for its prognostic relevance in a larger collective of critically ill (adult) patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).
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The lactate/albumin ratio has been reported to be associated with mortality in pediatric patients with sepsis. We aimed to evaluate the lactate/albumin ratio for its prognostic relevance in a larger collective of critically ill (adult) patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). A total of 348 medical patients admitted to a German ICU for sepsis between 2004 and 2009 were included. Follow-up of patients was performed retrospectively between May 2013 and November 2013. The association of the lactate/albumin ratio (cut-off 0.15) and both in-hospital and post-discharge mortality was investigated. An optimal cut-off was calculated by means of Youden’s index. The lactate/albumin ratio was elevated in non-survivors (p < 0.001). Patients with an increased lactate/albumin ratio were of similar age, but clinically in a poorer condition and had more pronounced laboratory signs of multi-organ failure. An increased lactate/albumin ratio was associated with adverse in-hospital mortality. An optimal cut-off of 0.15 was calculated and was associated with adverse long-term outcome even after correction for APACHE2 and SAPS2. We matched 99 patients with a lactate/albumin ratio >0.15 to case-controls with a lactate/albumin ratio <0.15 corrected for APACHE2 scores: The group with a lactate/albumin ratio >0.15 evidenced adverse in-hospital outcome in a paired analysis with a difference of 27% (95%CI 10–43%; p < 0.01). Regarding long-term mortality, again, patients in the group with a lactate/albumin ratio >0.15 showed adverse outcomes (p < 0.001). An increased lactate/albumin ratio was significantly associated with an adverse outcome in critically ill patients admitted to an ICU, even after correction for confounders. The lactate/albumin ratio might constitute an independent, readily available, and important parameter for risk stratification in the critically ill. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sepsis)
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Open AccessArticle Differences in Sulfotyrosine Binding amongst CXCR1 and CXCR2 Chemokine Ligands
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1894; doi:10.3390/ijms18091894
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 3 September 2017
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Abstract
Tyrosine sulfation, a post-translational modification found on many chemokine receptors, typically increases receptor affinity for the chemokine ligand. A previous bioinformatics analysis suggested that a sulfotyrosine (sY)-binding site on the surface of the chemokine CXCL12 may be conserved throughout the chemokine family. However,
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Tyrosine sulfation, a post-translational modification found on many chemokine receptors, typically increases receptor affinity for the chemokine ligand. A previous bioinformatics analysis suggested that a sulfotyrosine (sY)-binding site on the surface of the chemokine CXCL12 may be conserved throughout the chemokine family. However, the extent to which receptor tyrosine sulfation contributes to chemokine binding has been examined in only a few instances. Computational solvent mapping correctly identified the conserved sulfotyrosine-binding sites on CXCL12 and CCL21 detected by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, demonstrating its utility for hot spot analysis in the chemokine family. In this study, we analyzed five chemokines that bind to CXCR2, a subset of which also bind to CXCR1, to identify hot spots that could participate in receptor binding. A cleft containing the predicted sulfotyrosine-binding pocket was identified as a principal hot spot for ligand binding on the structures of CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL7, and CXCL8, but not CXCL5. Sulfotyrosine titrations monitored via NMR spectroscopy showed specific binding to CXCL8, but not to CXCL5, which is consistent with the predictions from the computational solvent mapping. The lack of CXCL5–sulfotyrosine interaction and the presence of CXCL8–sulfotyrosine binding suggests a role for receptor post-translational modifications regulating ligand selectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Chemokine-Receptor Interactions and Functions)
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Open AccessArticle Modulation of Immunogenicity and Conformation of HA1 Subunit of Influenza A Virus H1/N1 Hemagglutinin in Tubular Immunostimulating Complexes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1895; doi:10.3390/ijms18091895
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 3 September 2017
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Abstract
The HA1 subunit of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) is a valuable antigen for the development of vaccines against flu due to the availability of most antigenic sites which are conformational. Therefore, a novel adjuvanted antigen delivery system, tubular immunostimulating complexes (TI-complexes) comprising
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The HA1 subunit of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) is a valuable antigen for the development of vaccines against flu due to the availability of most antigenic sites which are conformational. Therefore, a novel adjuvanted antigen delivery system, tubular immunostimulating complexes (TI-complexes) comprising monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) from different marine macrophytes as a lipid matrix for an antigen, was applied to enhance the immunogenicity of recombinant HA1 of influenza A H1N1 and to study the relation between its immunogenicity and conformation. The content of anti-HA1 antibodies and cytokines was estimated by ELISA after the immunization of mice with HA1 alone, and HA1 was incorporated in TI-complexes based on different MGDGs isolated from green algae Ulva lactuca, brown algae Sargassum pallidum, and seagrass Zostera marina. Conformational changes of HA1 were estimated by differential scanning calorimetry and intrinsic fluorescence. It was shown that the adjuvant activity of TI-complexes depends on the microviscosity of MGDGs, which differently influence the conformation of HA1. The highest production of anti-HA1 antibodies (compared with the control) was induced by HA1 incorporated in a TI-complex based on MGDG from S. pallidum, which provided the relaxation of the spatial structure and, likely, the proper presentation of the antigen to immunocompetent cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mitochondrial-Targeted Antioxidant Maintains Blood Flow, Mitochondrial Function, and Redox Balance in Old Mice Following Prolonged Limb Ischemia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1897; doi:10.3390/ijms18091897
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
Aging is a major factor in the decline of limb blood flow with ischemia. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We investigated the role of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) with regard to limb perfusion recovery in aging during ischemia. We performed femoral
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Aging is a major factor in the decline of limb blood flow with ischemia. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We investigated the role of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) with regard to limb perfusion recovery in aging during ischemia. We performed femoral artery ligation in young and old mice with or without treatment with a scavenger of mitochondrial superoxide, MitoTEMPO (180 μg/kg/day, from pre-operative day 7 to post-operative day (POD) 21) infusion using an implanted mini-pump. The recoveries of cutaneous blood flow in the ischemic hind limb were lower in old mice than in young mice but were improved in MitoTEMPO-treated old mice. Mitochondrial DNA damage appeared in ischemic aged muscles but was eliminated by MitoTEMPO treatment. For POD 2, MitoTEMPO treatment suppressed the expression of p53 and the ratio of Bax/Bcl2 and upregulated the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in ischemic aged skeletal muscles. For POD 21, MitoTEMPO treatment preserved the expression of PGC-1α in ischemic aged skeletal muscle. The ischemic soleus of old mice showed a lower mitochondrial respiratory control ratio in POD 21 compared to young mice, which was recovered in MitoTEMPO-treated old mice. Scavenging of mitochondrial superoxide attenuated mitochondrial DNA damage and preserved the mitochondrial respiration, in addition to suppression of the expression of p53 and preservation of the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) in ischemic skeletal muscles with aging. Resolution of excessive mitochondrial superoxide could be an effective therapy to recover blood flow of skeletal muscle during ischemia in senescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Potential Roles of Intrinsic Disorder in Maternal-Effect Proteins Involved in the Maintenance of DNA Methylation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1898; doi:10.3390/ijms18091898
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
DNA methylation is an important epigenetic modification that needs to be carefully controlled as a prerequisite for normal early embryogenesis. Compelling evidence now suggests that four maternal-effect proteins, primordial germ cell 7 (PGC7), zinc finger protein 57 (ZFP57), tripartite motif-containing 28 (TRIM28) and
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DNA methylation is an important epigenetic modification that needs to be carefully controlled as a prerequisite for normal early embryogenesis. Compelling evidence now suggests that four maternal-effect proteins, primordial germ cell 7 (PGC7), zinc finger protein 57 (ZFP57), tripartite motif-containing 28 (TRIM28) and DNA methyltransferase (cytosine-5) 1 (DNMT1) are involved in the maintenance of DNA methylation. However, it is still not fully understood how these maternal-effect proteins maintain the DNA methylation imprint. We noticed that a feature common to these proteins is the presence of significant levels of intrinsic disorder so in this study we started from an intrinsic disorder perspective to try to understand these maternal-effect proteins. To do this, we firstly analysed the intrinsic disorder predispositions of PGC7, ZFP57, TRIM28 and DNMT1 by using a set of currently available computational tools and secondly conducted an intensive literature search to collect information on their interacting partners and structural characterization. Finally, we discuss the potential effect of intrinsic disorder on the function of these proteins in maintaining DNA methylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Sample Size Estimation for Detection of Splicing Events in Transcriptome Sequencing Data
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1900; doi:10.3390/ijms18091900
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Merging data from multiple samples is required to detect low expressed transcripts or splicing events that might be present only in a subset of samples. However, the exact number of required replicates enabling the detection of such rare events often remains a mystery
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Merging data from multiple samples is required to detect low expressed transcripts or splicing events that might be present only in a subset of samples. However, the exact number of required replicates enabling the detection of such rare events often remains a mystery but can be approached through probability theory. Here, we describe a probabilistic model, relating the number of observed events in a batch of samples with observation probabilities. Therein, samples appear as a heterogeneous collection of events, which are observed with some probability. The model is evaluated in a batch of 54 transcriptomes of human dermal fibroblast samples. The majority of putative splice-sites (alignment gap-sites) are detected in (almost) all samples or only sporadically, resulting in an U-shaped pattern for observation probabilities. The probabilistic model systematically underestimates event numbers due to a bias resulting from finite sampling. However, using an additional assumption, the probabilistic model can predict observed event numbers within a <10% deviation from the median. Single samples contain a considerable amount of uniquely observed putative splicing events (mean 7122 in alignments from TopHat alignments and 86,215 in alignments from STAR). We conclude that the probabilistic model provides an adequate description for observation of gap-sites in transcriptome data. Thus, the calculation of required sample sizes can be done by application of a simple binomial model to sporadically observed random events. Due to the large number of uniquely observed putative splice-sites and the known stochastic noise in the splicing machinery, it appears advisable to include observation of rare splicing events into analysis objectives. Therefore, it is beneficial to take scores for the validation of gap-sites into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Salivary Gland Derived BDNF Overexpression in Mice Exerts an Anxiolytic Effect
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1902; doi:10.3390/ijms18091902
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is abundant in the hippocampus and plays critical roles in memory and synapse formation, as well as exerting antidepressant-like effects in psychiatric disorders. We previously reported that BDNF is expressed in salivary glands and affects blood BDNF content. However,
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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is abundant in the hippocampus and plays critical roles in memory and synapse formation, as well as exerting antidepressant-like effects in psychiatric disorders. We previously reported that BDNF is expressed in salivary glands and affects blood BDNF content. However, the function of salivary BDNF remains unclear. The aim of this study was to generate transgenic mice overexpressing BDNF in the salivary glands. Hence, we used the Lama construct (hemagglutinin (HA)-tagged mouse Bdnf cDNA) to specifically express BDNF in mouse salivary glands. Compared with control mice, Bdnf-HA transgenic mice showed increased blood BDNF and expressed salivary BDNF-HA. Molecular analysis revealed enhanced hippocampal BDNF levels and activation of the BDNF receptor, tyrosine kinase B (TrkB), in transgenic mice. In both the open field and elevated-plus maze tests, transgenic mice showed anxiolytic-like behavioral effects compared with control or sialoadenectomized mice. Among downstream components of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway, metabolic activation of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synthetic pathway was found, including higher levels of the GABA synthetic enzyme, glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1). Thus, we have established a transgenic mouse expressing BDNF in the parotid gland that may be useful to examine the hippocampal effects of salivary BDNF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor)
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Open AccessArticle Metabolic Profiling in Association with Vascular Endothelial Cell Dysfunction Following Non-Toxic Cadmium Exposure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1905; doi:10.3390/ijms18091905
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to determine the metabolic profile of non-toxic cadmium (Cd)-induced dysfunctional endothelial cells using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). HUVECs (n = 6 per group) were treated with 0, 1, 5, or 10 μM cadmium chloride (CdCl2)
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This study aimed to determine the metabolic profile of non-toxic cadmium (Cd)-induced dysfunctional endothelial cells using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). HUVECs (n = 6 per group) were treated with 0, 1, 5, or 10 μM cadmium chloride (CdCl2) for 48 h. Cell phenotypes, including nitric oxide (NO) production, the inflammatory response, and oxidative stress, were evaluated in Cd-exposed and control HUVECs. Cd-exposed and control HUVECs were analysed using gas chromatography time-of-flight/mass spectrometry. Compared to control HUVECs, Cd-exposed HUVECs were dysfunctional, exhibiting decreased NO production, a proinflammatory state, and non-significant oxidative stress. Further metabolic profiling revealed 24 significantly-altered metabolites in the dysfunctional endothelial cells. The significantly-altered metabolites were involved in the impaired tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, activated pyruvate metabolism, up-regulated glucogenic amino acid metabolism, and increased pyrimidine metabolism. The current metabolic findings further suggest that the metabolic changes linked to TCA cycle dysfunction, glycosylation of the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP), and compensatory responses to genomic instability and energy deficiency may be generally associated with dysfunctional phenotypes, characterized by decreased NO production, a proinflammatory state, and non-significant oxidative stress, in endothelial cells following non-toxic Cd exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Dietary Phenethyl Isothiocyanate Protects Mice from Colitis Associated Colon Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1908; doi:10.3390/ijms18091908
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
We have previously reported alleviation of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis signs in phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC)-treated mice. Here we investigated chemoprotective activities of PEITC in mice with Azoxymethane-DSS induced colitis associated colon carcinogenesis. We also examined the molecular mediators associated with the
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We have previously reported alleviation of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis signs in phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC)-treated mice. Here we investigated chemoprotective activities of PEITC in mice with Azoxymethane-DSS induced colitis associated colon carcinogenesis. We also examined the molecular mediators associated with the PEITC effects using relevant cell lines. A 0.12% PEITC-enriched mouse-diet reduced mucosal and submucosal inflammation as well as glandular atypia by 12% and the frequency of adenocarcinoma by 17% with a concomitant improvement in overall disease activity indices compared to the diseased control group. Lipopolysaccharide-induced in vitro up-regulation of key mediators of inflammation, immune response, apoptosis, and cell proliferation were attenuated by 10 μM PEITC. Three of these mediators showed concentration-dependent reduction in respective mRNAs. Furthermore, PEITC inhibited Nuclear factor kappa B1 (NFκB1) proteins in a concentration-dependent manner. The NFκB1 mRNA expression inversely correlated (r = −0.940, p = 0.013) with tri-methylation of lysine 27 on histone 3 near its promoter region in a time-dependent manner. These results indicate that PEITC may slow down the development of colon carcinogenesis in an inflammatory intestinal setting which is potentially associated with epigenetic modulation of NFκB1 signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Determination of Highly Sensitive Biological Cell Model Systems to Screen BPA-Related Health Hazards Using Pathway Studio
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1909; doi:10.3390/ijms18091909
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemical. Recently, many issues have arisen surrounding the disease pathogenesis of BPA. Therefore, several studies have been conducted to investigate the proteomic biomarkers of BPA that are associated with disease processes. However, studies on identifying highly sensitive
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Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemical. Recently, many issues have arisen surrounding the disease pathogenesis of BPA. Therefore, several studies have been conducted to investigate the proteomic biomarkers of BPA that are associated with disease processes. However, studies on identifying highly sensitive biological cell model systems in determining BPA health risk are lacking. Here, we determined suitable cell model systems and potential biomarkers for predicting BPA-mediated disease using the bioinformatics tool Pathway Studio. We compiled known BPA-mediated diseases in humans, which were categorized into five major types. Subsequently, we investigated the differentially expressed proteins following BPA exposure in several cell types, and analyzed the efficacy of altered proteins to investigate their associations with BPA-mediated diseases. Our results demonstrated that colon cancer cells (SW480), mammary gland, and Sertoli cells were highly sensitive biological model systems, because of the efficacy of predicting the majority of BPA-mediated diseases. We selected glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), cytochrome b-c1 complex subunit 1 (UQCRC1), and voltage-dependent anion-selective channel protein 2 (VDAC2) as highly sensitive biomarkers to predict BPA-mediated diseases. Furthermore, we summarized proteomic studies in spermatozoa following BPA exposure, which have recently been considered as another suitable cell type for predicting BPA-mediated diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Research of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals)
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Open AccessArticle Protein Complexes Prediction Method Based on Core—Attachment Structure and Functional Annotations
by and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1910; doi:10.3390/ijms18091910
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
Recent advances in high-throughput laboratory techniques captured large-scale protein–protein interaction (PPI) data, making it possible to create a detailed map of protein interaction networks, and thus enable us to detect protein complexes from these PPI networks. However, most of the current state-of-the-art studies
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Recent advances in high-throughput laboratory techniques captured large-scale protein–protein interaction (PPI) data, making it possible to create a detailed map of protein interaction networks, and thus enable us to detect protein complexes from these PPI networks. However, most of the current state-of-the-art studies still have some problems, for instance, incapability of identifying overlapping clusters, without considering the inherent organization within protein complexes, and overlooking the biological meaning of complexes. Therefore, we present a novel overlapping protein complexes prediction method based on core–attachment structure and function annotations (CFOCM), which performs in two stages: first, it detects protein complex cores with the maximum value of our defined cluster closeness function, in which the proteins are also closely related to at least one common function. Then it appends attach proteins into these detected cores to form the returned complexes. For performance evaluation, CFOCM and six classical methods have been used to identify protein complexes on three different yeast PPI networks, and three sets of real complexes including the Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences (MIPS), the Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD) and the Catalogues of Yeast protein Complexes (CYC2008) are selected as benchmark sets, and the results show that CFOCM is indeed effective and robust for achieving the highest F-measure values in all tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Protein Molecules Computational Identification)
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Open AccessArticle Enhancement of Antioxidant Systems and Storability of Two Plum Cultivars by Preharvest Treatments with Salicylates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1911; doi:10.3390/ijms18091911
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
In this research the effect of salicylic acid (SA), acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), and methylsalicylate (MeSA) treatments, applied as a foliar spray during on-tree plum development, on fruit quality attributes, bioactive compounds, antioxidant activity, and the activity of the antioxidant enzymes at harvest and
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In this research the effect of salicylic acid (SA), acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), and methylsalicylate (MeSA) treatments, applied as a foliar spray during on-tree plum development, on fruit quality attributes, bioactive compounds, antioxidant activity, and the activity of the antioxidant enzymes at harvest and after long-term cold storage was evaluated in two plum cultivars (“Black Splendor”, BS, and “Royal Rosa”, RR). At harvest, plum quality parameters, such as weight, total phenolics (including anthocyanins, in BS), total carotenoids, and antioxidant activity, in both hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds were found at higher levels in plums from SA-, ASA-, and MeSA-treated trees than in those from control trees. During storage, fruit firmness, total acidity, and antioxidant compounds were at higher levels in treated, than in control, plums, which show an effect of salicylate treatments on delaying the plum postharvest ripening process. In addition, the activity of the antioxidant enzymes catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) were also enhanced at the time of harvest in salicylate-treated plums as compared with plums from control trees. The activity of these antioxidant enzymes was also found at higher levels in salicylate-treated plums during storage. Thus, preharvest treatment with salicylates could be a safe, eco-friendly, and new tool to improve and maintain plum quality attributes, and especially their content of antioxidant compounds, with an additional effect on delaying the postharvest ripening process through increasing the levels of antioxidant compounds and the activity of the antioxidant enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ripening Control and Induction of the Defence and Antioxidant Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Mitochondrial Liver Toxicity of Valproic Acid and Its Acid Derivatives Is Related to Inhibition of α-Lipoamide Dehydrogenase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1912; doi:10.3390/ijms18091912
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
The liver toxicity of valproic acid (VPA) is an established side effect of this widely used antiepileptic drug, which is extremely problematic for patients with metabolic epilepsy and particularly epilepsy due to mitochondrial dysfunction. In the present report, we investigated the reason for
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The liver toxicity of valproic acid (VPA) is an established side effect of this widely used antiepileptic drug, which is extremely problematic for patients with metabolic epilepsy and particularly epilepsy due to mitochondrial dysfunction. In the present report, we investigated the reason for liver mitochondrial toxicity of VPA and several acid and amide VPA analogues. While the pyruvate and 2-oxoglutarate oxidation rates of rat brain mitochondria were nearly unaffected by VPA, rat liver mitochondrial pyruvate and 2-oxoglutarate oxidation was severely impaired by VPA concentrations above 100 µM. Among the reactions involved in pyruvate oxidation, pyruvate transport and dehydrogenation steps were not affected by VPA, while α-lipoamide dehydrogenase was strongly inhibited. Strong inhibition of α-lipoamide dehydrogenase was also noted for the VPA one-carbon homolog sec-butylpropylacetic acid (SPA) and to a lesser extent for the VPA constitutional isomer valnoctic acid (VCA), while the corresponding amides of the above three acids valpromide (VPD), sec-butylpropylacetamide (SPD) and valnoctamide (VCD) showed only small effects. We conclude that the active inhibitors of pyruvate and 2-oxoglutarate oxidation are the CoA conjugates of VPA and its acid analogues affecting selectively α-lipoamide dehydrogenase in liver. Amide analogues of VPA, like VCD, show low inhibitory effects on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in the liver, which might be relevant for treatment of patients with mitochondrial epilepsy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Focal Adhesion Kinase in Keratinocyte Fibrogenic Gene Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1915; doi:10.3390/ijms18091915
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Abnormal skin scarring causes functional impairment, psychological stress, and high socioeconomic cost. Evidence shows that altered mechanotransduction pathways have been linked to both inflammation and fibrosis, and that focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a key mediator of these processes. We investigated the importance
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Abnormal skin scarring causes functional impairment, psychological stress, and high socioeconomic cost. Evidence shows that altered mechanotransduction pathways have been linked to both inflammation and fibrosis, and that focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a key mediator of these processes. We investigated the importance of keratinocyte FAK at the single cell level in key fibrogenic pathways critical for scar formation. Keratinocytes were isolated from wildtype and keratinocyte-specific FAK-deleted mice, cultured, and sorted into single cells. Keratinocytes were evaluated using a microfluidic-based platform for high-resolution transcriptional analysis. Partitive clustering, gene enrichment analysis, and network modeling were applied to characterize the significance of FAK on regulating keratinocyte subpopulations and fibrogenic pathways important for scar formation. Considerable transcriptional heterogeneity was observed within the keratinocyte populations. FAK-deleted keratinocytes demonstrated increased expression of genes integral to mechanotransduction and extracellular matrix production, including Igtbl, Mmpla, and Col4a1. Transcriptional activities upon FAK deletion were not identical across all single keratinocytes, resulting in higher frequency of a minor subpopulation characterized by a matrix-remodeling profile compared to wildtype keratinocyte population. The importance of keratinocyte FAK signaling gene expression was revealed. A minor subpopulation of keratinocytes characterized by a matrix-modulating profile may be a keratinocyte subset important for mechanotransduction and scar formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Scar Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Dual Role of MiR-21-Mediated Signaling in HUVECs and Rat Surgical Flap under Normoxia and Hypoxia Condition
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1917; doi:10.3390/ijms18091917
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Restoring sufficient vascularity of the ischemia/hypoxia flap is always the critical issue in flap surgeries. In a previous studies microRNA-21 (miR-21) expression was upregulated after rat skin flap surgery. MiR-21 has been reported to be induced by hypoxia and the function of miR-21
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Restoring sufficient vascularity of the ischemia/hypoxia flap is always the critical issue in flap surgeries. In a previous studies microRNA-21 (miR-21) expression was upregulated after rat skin flap surgery. MiR-21 has been reported to be induced by hypoxia and the function of miR-21 involves in the process of angiogenesis. However, the precise regulatory mechanisms in miR-21-mediated pathways are still unclear. These issues were investigated via in vitro and in vivo experiments in this study. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), the expression of hsa-miR-21-5p was induced after hypoxic culture and the induction of hsa-miR-21-5p was suppressed after sequential normoxic culture. Moreover, transfection of hsa-miR-21-5p mimic enhanced tube formation capacity in normoxia, but attenuated it in hypoxia. Furthermore, bioinformatic analysis suggested that SMAD7 was a predicted target of hsa-miR-21-5p. Our results demonstrated the effect of hsa-miR-21-5p was different on SMAD7 expression in normoxia and hypoxia. In rat skin flaps, blockage of miR-21-5p significantly increased angiogenesis via analysis of color laser Doppler imaging and repressed SMAD7 expression in ischemic skin tissue. Our study showed the opposite effect of miR-21-5p mediating angiogenesis in normoxia and hypoxia, providing important implications regarding the design of novel miRNA-based therapeutic strategies in flap surgeries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle X-ray Free Electron Laser Determination of Crystal Structures of Dark and Light States of a Reversibly Photoswitching Fluorescent Protein at Room Temperature
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1918; doi:10.3390/ijms18091918
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 2 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
The photochromic fluorescent protein Skylan-NS (Nonlinear Structured illumination variant mEos3.1H62L) is a reversibly photoswitchable fluorescent protein which has an unilluminated/ground state with an anionic and cis chromophore conformation and high fluorescence quantum yield. Photo-conversion with illumination at 515 nm generates a meta-stable intermediate
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The photochromic fluorescent protein Skylan-NS (Nonlinear Structured illumination variant mEos3.1H62L) is a reversibly photoswitchable fluorescent protein which has an unilluminated/ground state with an anionic and cis chromophore conformation and high fluorescence quantum yield. Photo-conversion with illumination at 515 nm generates a meta-stable intermediate with neutral trans-chromophore structure that has a 4 h lifetime. We present X-ray crystal structures of the cis (on) state at 1.9 Angstrom resolution and the trans (off) state at a limiting resolution of 1.55 Angstrom from serial femtosecond crystallography experiments conducted at SPring-8 Angstrom Compact Free Electron Laser (SACLA) at 7.0 keV and 10.5 keV, and at Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at 9.5 keV. We present a comparison of the data reduction and structure determination statistics for the two facilities which differ in flux, beam characteristics and detector technologies. Furthermore, a comparison of droplet on demand, grease injection and Gas Dynamic Virtual Nozzle (GDVN) injection shows no significant differences in limiting resolution. The photoconversion of the on- to the off-state includes both internal and surface exposed protein structural changes, occurring in regions that lack crystal contacts in the orthorhombic crystal form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Proteins)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Gene Mapping as a Tool to Understand the Evolution of Pest Crop Insect Chromosomes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1919; doi:10.3390/ijms18091919
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
The extent of the conservation of synteny and gene order in aphids has been previously investigated only by comparing a small subset of linkage groups between the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum and a few other aphid species. Here we compared the localization of
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The extent of the conservation of synteny and gene order in aphids has been previously investigated only by comparing a small subset of linkage groups between the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum and a few other aphid species. Here we compared the localization of eight A. pisum scaffolds (covering more than 5 Mb and 83 genes) in respect to the Drosophila melanogaster Muller elements identifying orthologous loci spanning all the four A. pisum chromosomes. Comparison of the genetic maps revealed a conserved synteny across different loci suggesting that the study of the fruit fly Muller elements could favour the identification of chromosomal markers useful for the study of chromosomal rearrangements in aphids. A. pisum is the first aphid species to have its genome sequenced and the finding that there are several chromosomal regions in synteny between Diptera and Hemiptera indicates that the genomic tools developed in A. pisum will be broadly useful not only for the study of other aphids but also for other insect species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Entomology of Insects of Economic Importance)
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Open AccessArticle The Actin Cytoskeleton Is Involved in Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF)-Induced Ret Translocation into Lipid Rafts in Dopaminergic Neuronal Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1922; doi:10.3390/ijms18091922
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a potential therapeutic factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD), exerts its biological effects through the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase. The redistribution of Ret into lipid rafts substantially influences Ret signaling, but the mechanisms underlying Ret translocation remain unclear.
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Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a potential therapeutic factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD), exerts its biological effects through the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase. The redistribution of Ret into lipid rafts substantially influences Ret signaling, but the mechanisms underlying Ret translocation remain unclear. The purpose of our study was to further explore the signaling mechanisms of GDNF and to determine whether the actin cytoskeleton is involved in the GDNF-induced Ret translocation into lipid rafts. In MN9D dopaminergic neuronal cells, we used density gradient centrifugation and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy to separate and visualize lipid rafts, co-immunoprecipitation to analyze protein-protein interactions, and latrunculin B (Lat B) and jasplakinolide (Jas) to disrupt and enhance the polymerization of the actin cytoskeleton, respectively. The results showed that Ret translocated into lipid rafts and coimmunoprecipitated with actin in response to GDNF treatment. After Lat B or Jas treatment, the Ret–F-actin association induced by GDNF was impaired or enhanced respectively and then the levels of Ret translocated into lipid rafts were correspondingly inhibited or promoted. These data indicate that actin polymerization and cytoskeletal remodeling are integral to GDNF-induced cell signaling in dopaminergic cells and define a new role of the actin cytoskeleton in promoting Ret redistribution into lipid rafts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor)
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Open AccessArticle Structure of Pigment Metabolic Pathways and Their Contributions to White Tepal Color Formation of Chinese Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis cv Jinzhanyintai
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1923; doi:10.3390/ijms18091923
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Chinese narcissus (Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis) is one of the ten traditional flowers in China and a famous bulb flower in the world flower market. However, only white color tepals are formed in mature flowers of the cultivated varieties, which constrains
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Chinese narcissus (Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis) is one of the ten traditional flowers in China and a famous bulb flower in the world flower market. However, only white color tepals are formed in mature flowers of the cultivated varieties, which constrains their applicable occasions. Unfortunately, for lack of genome information of narcissus species, the explanation of tepal color formation of Chinese narcissus is still not clear. Concerning no genome information, the application of transcriptome profile to dissect biological phenomena in plants was reported to be effective. As known, pigments are metabolites of related metabolic pathways, which dominantly decide flower color. In this study, transcriptome profile and pigment metabolite analysis methods were used in the most widely cultivated Chinese narcissus “Jinzhanyintai” to discover the structure of pigment metabolic pathways and their contributions to white tepal color formation during flower development and pigmentation processes. By using comparative KEGG pathway enrichment analysis, three pathways related to flavonoid, carotenoid and chlorophyll pigment metabolism showed significant variations. The structure of flavonoids metabolic pathway was depicted, but, due to the lack of F3ʹ5ʹH gene; the decreased expression of C4H, CHS and ANS genes; and the high expression of FLS gene, the effect of this pathway to synthesize functional anthocyanins in tepals was weak. Similarly, the expression of DXS, MCT and PSY genes in carotenoids synthesis sub-pathway was decreased, while CCD1/CCD4 genes in carotenoids degradation sub-pathway was increased; therefore, the effect of carotenoids metabolic pathway to synthesize adequate color pigments in tepals is restricted. Interestingly, genes in chlorophyll synthesis sub-pathway displayed uniform down-regulated expression, while genes in heme formation and chlorophyll breakdown sub-pathways displayed up-regulated expression, which also indicates negative regulation of chlorophyll formation. Further, content change trends of various color metabolites detected by HPLC in tepals are consistent with the additive gene expression patterns in each pathway. Therefore, all three pathways exhibit negative control of color pigments synthesis in tepals, finally resulting in the formation of white tepals. Interestingly, the content of chlorophyll was more than 10-fold higher than flavonoids and carotenoids metabolites, which indicates that chlorophyll metabolic pathway may play the major role in deciding tepal color formation of Chinese narcissus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle Inhibition of NAT10 Suppresses Melanogenesis and Melanoma Growth by Attenuating Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor (MITF) Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1924; doi:10.3390/ijms18091924
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
N-acetyltransferase 10 (NAT10) has been considered a target for the treatment of human diseases such as cancer and laminopathies; however, its functional role in the biology of melanocytes is questionable. Using a small molecule or small interfering RNA targeting NAT10, we examined
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N-acetyltransferase 10 (NAT10) has been considered a target for the treatment of human diseases such as cancer and laminopathies; however, its functional role in the biology of melanocytes is questionable. Using a small molecule or small interfering RNA targeting NAT10, we examined the effect of NAT10 inhibition on melanogenesis and melanoma growth in human and mouse melanoma cells. Genetic silencing or chemical inhibition of NAT10 resulted in diminished melanin synthesis through the suppression of melanogenesis-stimulating genes such as those encoding dopachrome tautomerase (DCT) and tyrosinase in B16F10 melanoma cells. In addition, NAT10 inhibition significantly increased cell cycle arrest in S-phase, thereby suppressing the growth and proliferation of malignant melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo. These results demonstrate the potential role of NAT10 in melanogenesis and melanoma growth through the regulation of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) expression and provide a promising strategy for the treatment of various skin diseases (melanoma) and pigmentation disorders (chloasma and freckles). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melanins and Melanogenesis: From Nature to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Event-Associated Oxygen Consumption Rate Increases ca. Five-Fold When Interictal Activity Transforms into Seizure-Like Events In Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1925; doi:10.3390/ijms18091925
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Neuronal injury due to seizures may result from a mismatch of energy demand and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis. However, ATP demand and oxygen consumption rates have not been accurately determined, yet, for different patterns of epileptic activity, such as interictal and ictal events.
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Neuronal injury due to seizures may result from a mismatch of energy demand and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis. However, ATP demand and oxygen consumption rates have not been accurately determined, yet, for different patterns of epileptic activity, such as interictal and ictal events. We studied interictal-like and seizure-like epileptiform activity induced by the GABAA antagonist bicuculline alone, and with co-application of the M-current blocker XE-991, in rat hippocampal slices. Metabolic changes were investigated based on recording partial oxygen pressure, extracellular potassium concentration, and intracellular flavine adenine dinucleotide (FAD) redox potential. Recorded data were used to calculate oxygen consumption and relative ATP consumption rates, cellular ATP depletion, and changes in FAD/FADH2 ratio by applying a reactive-diffusion and a two compartment metabolic model. Oxygen-consumption rates were ca. five times higher during seizure activity than interictal activity. Additionally, ATP consumption was higher during seizure activity (~94% above control) than interictal activity (~15% above control). Modeling of FAD transients based on partial pressure of oxygen recordings confirmed increased energy demand during both seizure and interictal activity and predicted actual FAD autofluorescence recordings, thereby validating the model. Quantifying metabolic alterations during epileptiform activity has translational relevance as it may help to understand the contribution of energy supply and demand mismatches to seizure-induced injury. Full article
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Open AccessArticle 3D Printed, Microgroove Pattern-Driven Generation of Oriented Ligamentous Architectures
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1927; doi:10.3390/ijms18091927
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Specific orientations of regenerated ligaments are crucially required for mechanoresponsive properties and various biomechanical adaptations, which are the key interplay to support mineralized tissues. Although various 2D platforms or 3D printing systems can guide cellular activities or aligned organizations, it remains a challenge
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Specific orientations of regenerated ligaments are crucially required for mechanoresponsive properties and various biomechanical adaptations, which are the key interplay to support mineralized tissues. Although various 2D platforms or 3D printing systems can guide cellular activities or aligned organizations, it remains a challenge to develop ligament-guided, 3D architectures with the angular controllability for parallel, oblique or perpendicular orientations of cells required for biomechanical support of organs. Here, we show the use of scaffold design by additive manufacturing for specific topographies or angulated microgroove patterns to control cell orientations such as parallel (0°), oblique (45°) and perpendicular (90°) angulations. These results demonstrate that ligament cells displayed highly predictable and controllable orientations along microgroove patterns on 3D biopolymeric scaffolds. Our findings demonstrate that 3D printed topographical approaches can regulate spatiotemporal cell organizations that offer strong potential for adaptation to complex tissue defects to regenerate ligament-bone complexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Insights into the Adipokinome of Obese and Obese/Diabetic Mouse Models
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1928; doi:10.3390/ijms18091928
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
The group of adipokines comprises hundreds of biological active proteins and peptides released from adipose tissue. Alterations of those complex protein signatures are suggested to play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of multifactorial, metabolic diseases. We hypothesized that also the pathophysiology of
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The group of adipokines comprises hundreds of biological active proteins and peptides released from adipose tissue. Alterations of those complex protein signatures are suggested to play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of multifactorial, metabolic diseases. We hypothesized that also the pathophysiology of type-2-diabetes is linked to the dysregulation of the adipocyte secretome. To test this, we investigated mouse models with monogenic defects in leptin signaling which are susceptible to adipositas (C57BL/6 Cg-Lepob (obob)) or adipositas with diabetes (C57BL/KS Cg-Leprdb (dbdb)) according to their genetic background. At the age of 17 weeks, visceral fat was obtained and primary murine adipocytes were isolated to harvest secretomes. Quantitative proteome analyses (LC-ESI-MS/MS) identified more than 800 potential secreted proteins. The secretome patterns revealed significant differences connected to the pathophysiology of obese mice. Pathway analyses indicated that these differences focus on exosome modelling, but failed to provide more precise specifications. To investigate the relationship of secretome data to insulin sensitivity, we examined the content of diabetogenic lipids, i.e., diacylglycerols (DAGs), identified as key players in lipid-induced insulin resistance. In contrast to obob mice, fat tissue of dbdb mice showed elevated DAG content, especially of DAG species with saturated fatty acid C16:0 and C18:0, while unsaturated fatty acid C16:1 were only changed in obob. Furthermore, DAG signatures of the models specifically correlate to secreted regulated adipokines indicating specific pathways. In conclusion, our data further support the concept that the fat tissue is an endocrine organ that releases bioactive factors corresponding to adipose tissue health status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adipokines)
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Genomics Approach Leads to the Identification of Hesperadin, an Aurora B Kinase Inhibitor, as a Broad-Spectrum Influenza Antiviral
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1929; doi:10.3390/ijms18091929
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Influenza viruses are respiratory pathogens that are responsible for annual influenza epidemics and sporadic influenza pandemics. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) is currently the only FDA-approved oral drug that is available for the prevention and treatment of influenza virus infection. However, its narrow therapeutic
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Influenza viruses are respiratory pathogens that are responsible for annual influenza epidemics and sporadic influenza pandemics. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) is currently the only FDA-approved oral drug that is available for the prevention and treatment of influenza virus infection. However, its narrow therapeutic window, coupled with the increasing incidence of drug resistance, calls for the next generation of influenza antivirals. In this study, we discovered hesperadin, an aurora B kinase inhibitor, as a broad-spectrum influenza antiviral through forward chemical genomics screening. Hesperadin inhibits multiple human clinical isolates of influenza A and B viruses with single to submicromolar efficacy, including oseltamivir-resistant strains. Mechanistic studies revealed that hesperadin inhibits the early stage of viral replication by delaying the nuclear entry of viral ribonucleoprotein complex, thereby inhibiting viral RNA transcription and translation as well as viral protein synthesis. Moreover, a combination of hesperadin with oseltamivir shows synergistic antiviral activity, therefore hesperadin can be used either alone to treat infections by oseltamivir-resistant influenza viruses or used in combination with oseltamivir to delay resistance evolution among oseltamivir-sensitive strains. In summary, the discovery of hesperadin as a broad-spectrum influenza antiviral offers an alternative to combat future influenza epidemics and pandemics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle MDG-1, a Potential Regulator of PPARα and PPARγ, Ameliorates Dyslipidemia in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1930; doi:10.3390/ijms18091930
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Hyperlipidemia is a serious epidemic disease caused by lipid metabolism disorder, which is harmful to human health. MDG-1, a β-d-fructan polysaccharide extracted from Ophiopogon japonicus, has been shown to improve abnormal blood lipid levels and alleviate diabetes. However, the underlying
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Hyperlipidemia is a serious epidemic disease caused by lipid metabolism disorder, which is harmful to human health. MDG-1, a β-d-fructan polysaccharide extracted from Ophiopogon japonicus, has been shown to improve abnormal blood lipid levels and alleviate diabetes. However, the underlying mechanism on hyperlipidemia is largely unknown. In this study, male C57BL/6 mice were randomly separated into three groups, respectively: low-fat diet (Con), high-fat diet (HFD), and high-fat diet plus 5‰ MDG-1 (HFD + MDG-1). Body weight was measured and the serum lipid levels were analyzed. Using gene microarray, various core pathways, together with levels of gene expression within hepatocytes, were analyzed. RT-PCR was used to confirm the identity of the differentially expressed genes. MDG-1 could prevent obesity in HFD-induced mice and improve abnormal serum lipids. Besides, MDG-1 could regulate hyperlipidemia symptoms, specifically, and decrease fasting blood glucose, improve glucose tolerance, and ameliorate insulin resistance. According to results from gene microarray, most of the identified pathways were involved in the digestion and absorption of fat, biosynthesis, and catabolism of fatty acids as well as the secretion and biological synthesis of bile acids. Furthermore, MDG-1 may act upon peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) α and γ, activating PPARα whilst inhibiting PPARγ, thus having a potent hypolipidemic effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle TRIM44 Is a Poor Prognostic Factor for Breast Cancer Patients as a Modulator of NF-κB Signaling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1931; doi:10.3390/ijms18091931
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Many of the tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins function as E3 ubiquitin ligases and are assumed to be involved in various events, including oncogenesis. In regard to tripartite motif-containing 44 (TRIM44), which is an atypical TRIM family protein lacking the RING finger domain, its
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Many of the tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins function as E3 ubiquitin ligases and are assumed to be involved in various events, including oncogenesis. In regard to tripartite motif-containing 44 (TRIM44), which is an atypical TRIM family protein lacking the RING finger domain, its pathophysiological significance in breast cancer remains unknown. We performed an immunohistochemical study of TRIM44 protein in clinical breast cancer tissues from 129 patients. The pathophysiological role of TRIM44 in breast cancer was assessed by modulating TRIM44 expression in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. TRIM44 strong immunoreactivity was significantly associated with nuclear grade (p = 0.033), distant disease-free survival (p = 0.031) and overall survival (p = 0.027). Multivariate analysis revealed that the TRIM44 status was an independent prognostic factor for distant disease-free survival (p = 0.005) and overall survival (p = 0.002) of patients. siRNA-mediated TRIM44 knockdown significantly decreased the proliferation of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells and inhibited the migration of MDA-MB-231 cells. Microarray analysis and qRT–PCR showed that TRIM44 knockdown upregulated CDK19 and downregulated MMP1 in MDA-MB-231 cells. Notably, TRIM44 knockdown impaired nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)-mediated transcriptional activity stimulated by tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Moreover, TRIM44 knockdown substantially attenuated the TNFα-dependent phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB and IκBα in both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. TRIM44 would play a role in the progression of breast cancer by promoting cell proliferation and migration, as well as by enhancing NF-κB signaling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hypoxia Is a Critical Parameter for Chondrogenic Differentiation of Human Umbilical Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Type I/III Collagen Sponges
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1933; doi:10.3390/ijms18091933
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is an attractive alternative to bone marrow for isolation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat articular cartilage defects. Here, we set out to determine the growth factors (bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β1)) and
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Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is an attractive alternative to bone marrow for isolation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat articular cartilage defects. Here, we set out to determine the growth factors (bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β1)) and oxygen tension effects during chondrogenesis of human UCB-MSCs for cartilage engineering. Chondrogenic differentiation was induced using 3D cultures in type I/III collagen sponges with chondrogenic factors in normoxia (21% O2) or hypoxia (<5% O2) for 7, 14 and 21 days. Our results show that UCB-MSCs can be committed to chondrogenesis in the presence of BMP-2+TGF-β1. Normoxia induced the highest levels of chondrocyte-specific markers. However, hypoxia exerted more benefit by decreasing collagen X and matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP13) expression, two chondrocyte hypertrophy markers. However, a better chondrogenesis was obtained by switching oxygen conditions, with seven days in normoxia followed by 14 days in hypoxia, since these conditions avoid hypertrophy of hUCB-MSC-derived chondrocytes while maintaining the expression of chondrocyte-specific markers observed in normoxia. Our study demonstrates that oxygen tension is a key factor for chondrogenesis and suggests that UBC-MSCs 3D-culture should begin in normoxia to obtain a more efficient chondrocyte differentiation before placing them in hypoxia for chondrocyte phenotype stabilization. UCB-MSCs are therefore a reliable source for cartilage engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Diseases Therapy)
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Open AccessCommunication Morphological Evaluation of Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs) to Investigate Invasive Breast Cancer Immunogenicity, Reveal Lymphocytic Networks and Help Relapse Prediction: A Retrospective Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1936; doi:10.3390/ijms18091936
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in breast cancer are a key representative of the tumor immune microenvironment and have been shown to provide prognostic and predictive biomarkers. The extent of lymphocytic infiltration in tumor tissues can be assessed by evaluating hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained tumor
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Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in breast cancer are a key representative of the tumor immune microenvironment and have been shown to provide prognostic and predictive biomarkers. The extent of lymphocytic infiltration in tumor tissues can be assessed by evaluating hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained tumor sections. We investigated tissue microarrays of 31 invasive breast cancer patients, looking at quantity and topological distribution of CD3+, CD8+, CD20+, Ki67+, FoxP3+ TILs and CD3+/FoxP3+, CD8+/FoxP3+ cell ratios. We separately evaluated TILs at the invasive edge and at the center of the tumor, to find any clinical implications of tumor heterogeneity. No statistically significant difference was found in quantity and distribution of both TIL subsets and TIL ratios, by comparing patients who suffered from a local or distant recurrence of the tumor (relapse group: 13 patients) with patients not showing cancer relapse (non-relapse group: 18 patients). In the whole sample, we observed three main statistically significant positive correlations: (1) between CD3+ and CD8+ T-cells; (2) between FoxP3+ and Ki67+ lymphocyte infiltration; (3) between CD3+/FoxP3+ cell ratio (C3FR) and CD8+/FoxP3+ cell ratio (C8FR). Tumor heterogeneity and stronger positive TIL associations were found in the non-relapse group, where both CD3–CD8 and FoxP3-Ki67 inter-correlations were found to be significant at the center of the tumor, while the correlation between C3FR and C8FR was significant at the invasive edge. No correlations between TIL subsets were detected in the relapse group. Our findings suggest the existence of stronger inter-subtype lymphocytic networks in invasive breast cancer not showing recurrence. Further evaluations of clinical and topological correlations between and within TIL subsets are needed, in addition to the assessment of TIL quantification and distribution, in order to follow up on whether morphological evaluation of TILs might reveal the underlying lymphocytic functional connectivity and help relapse prediction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Stem Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Antimicrobial Peptide Genes Associated with Fungus and Insect Resistance in Maize
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1938; doi:10.3390/ijms18091938
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small defense proteins present in various organisms. Major groups of AMPs include beta-barrelin, hevein, knottin, lipid transfer protein (LTP), thionin, defensin, snakin, and cyclotide. Most plant AMPs involve host plant resistance to pathogens such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria,
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Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small defense proteins present in various organisms. Major groups of AMPs include beta-barrelin, hevein, knottin, lipid transfer protein (LTP), thionin, defensin, snakin, and cyclotide. Most plant AMPs involve host plant resistance to pathogens such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria, whereas a few plant AMPs from the cyclotide family carry insecticidal functions. In this research, a genome-wide investigation on antimicrobial peptide genes in maize genome was conducted. AMPs previously identified from various plant species were used as query sequences for maize genome data mining. Thirty-nine new maize AMPs were identified in addition to seven known maize AMPs. Protein sequence analysis revealed 10 distinguishable maize AMP groups. Analysis of mRNA expression of maize AMP genes by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) revealed different expression patterns in a panel of 10 maize inbred lines. Five maize AMP genes were found significantly associated with insect or fungus resistance. Identification of maize antimicrobial peptide genes will facilitate the breeding of host plant resistance and improve maize production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Defense Genes Against Biotic Stresses)
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Open AccessArticle Alteration of Mammary Gland Development and Gene Expression by In Utero Exposure to Cadmium
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1939; doi:10.3390/ijms18091939
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
Environmental exposure to estrogens and estrogen like contaminants during early development is thought to contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer primarily due to an early onset of puberty; however, exposure during key developing windows may also influence the risk of developing
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Environmental exposure to estrogens and estrogen like contaminants during early development is thought to contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer primarily due to an early onset of puberty; however, exposure during key developing windows may also influence the risk of developing the disease. The goal of this study was to ask whether in utero exposure to the metalloestrogen cadmium alters mammary gland development due to acceleration of puberty onset or to an effect on early development of the mammary gland. The results show that, in addition to advancing the onset of puberty, in utero exposure to the metalloestrogen cadmium altered mammary gland development prior to its effect on puberty onset. In utero exposure resulted in an expansion of the number of mammosphere-forming cells in the neonatal mammary gland and an increase in branching, epithelial cells, and density in the prepubertal mammary gland. In the postpubertal mammary gland, there was a further expansion of the mammary stem/progenitor cell population and overexpression of estrogen receptor-alpha (ERα) that was due to the overexpression and altered regulation of the ERα transcripts derived from exons O and OT in response to estradiol. These results suggest that in utero exposure to cadmium increases stem/progenitor cells, cell density, and expression of estrogen receptor-alpha that may contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Research of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals)
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Open AccessArticle Time Course of the Phenotype of Blood and Bone Marrow Monocytes and Macrophages in the Lung after Cigarette Smoke Exposure In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1940; doi:10.3390/ijms18091940
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
Alveolar macrophages play a central role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Monocytes are recruited from blood during inflammation and then mature into alveolar macrophages. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cigarette smoke (CS) at
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Alveolar macrophages play a central role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Monocytes are recruited from blood during inflammation and then mature into alveolar macrophages. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cigarette smoke (CS) at different times in lung macrophages and monocytes from blood and bone marrow in mice. Male mice (C57BL/6, n = 45) were divided into groups: control, CS 5 days, CS 14 days and CS 30 days. Five days’ CS exposure induced a pronounced influx of neutrophils and macrophages in the lung associated with increased levels of keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), nitric oxide (NO) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-12. After 14 days of CS exposure, neutrophil recruitment and cytokine production were greatly reduced. Moreover, chronic CS exposure led to increased recruitment of macrophages (with high expression of CD206), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) production as well as no detection of TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6 and KC. CS can also change the monocyte phenotype in the blood and bone marrow, with an increase in Ly6Clow cells. These results show for the first time that CS can change not only macrophage polarization but also monocyte. These results suggest that continued recruitment of Ly6Clow monocytes may help the distinct renewing macrophage M2 population required for COPD progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macrophages in Inflammation)
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Open AccessArticle Genome Survey Sequencing of Luffa Cylindrica L. and Microsatellite High Resolution Melting (SSR-HRM) Analysis for Genetic Relationship of Luffa Genotypes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1942; doi:10.3390/ijms18091942
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem. is an economically important vegetable crop in China. However, the genomic information on this species is currently unknown. In this study, for the first time, a genome survey of L. cylindrica was carried out using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology.
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Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem. is an economically important vegetable crop in China. However, the genomic information on this species is currently unknown. In this study, for the first time, a genome survey of L. cylindrica was carried out using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. In total, 43.40 Gb sequence data of L. cylindrica, about 54.94× coverage of the estimated genome size of 789.97 Mb, were obtained from HiSeq 2500 sequencing, in which the guanine plus cytosine (GC) content was calculated to be 37.90%. The heterozygosity of genome sequences was only 0.24%. In total, 1,913,731 contigs (>200 bp) with 525 bp N50 length and 1,410,117 scaffolds (>200 bp) with 885.01 Mb total length were obtained. From the initial assembled L. cylindrica genome, 431,234 microsatellites (SSRs) (≥5 repeats) were identified. The motif types of SSR repeats included 62.88% di-nucleotide, 31.03% tri-nucleotide, 4.59% tetra-nucleotide, 0.96% penta-nucleotide and 0.54% hexa-nucleotide. Eighty genomic SSR markers were developed, and 51/80 primers could be used in both “Zheda 23” and “Zheda 83”. Nineteen SSRs were used to investigate the genetic diversity among 32 accessions through SSR-HRM analysis. The unweighted pair group method analysis (UPGMA) dendrogram tree was built by calculating the SSR-HRM raw data. SSR-HRM could be effectively used for genotype relationship analysis of Luffa species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle Sinomenine Hydrochloride Inhibits Human Glioblastoma Cell Growth through Reactive Oxygen Species Generation and Autophagy-Lysosome Pathway Activation: An In Vitro and In Vivo Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1945; doi:10.3390/ijms18091945
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 3 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant primary brain tumor, and it is one of the causes of cancer fatality in both adult and pediatric populations. Patients with glioblastoma require chemotherapy after surgical resection and radiotherapy. Therefore, chemotherapy constitutes a viable approach for the
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Glioblastoma is the most common malignant primary brain tumor, and it is one of the causes of cancer fatality in both adult and pediatric populations. Patients with glioblastoma require chemotherapy after surgical resection and radiotherapy. Therefore, chemotherapy constitutes a viable approach for the eradication of glioblastoma cells. In this study, the anti-tumor activity of sinomenine hydrochloride (SH) was evaluated in U87 and SF767 cells in vitro and in vivo. The results showed that SH potently inhibited U87 and SF767 cell viability and did not cause caspase-dependent cell death, as demonstrated by the absence of significant early apoptosis and caspase-3 cleavage. Instead, SH activated an autophagy-mediated cell death pathway, as indicated by the accumulated microtubule-associated protein light chain 3B (LC3B)-II, triggered autophagic flux and enhanced cell viability after pretreatment with autophagy inhibitors. SH-mediated autophagy in the two cell lines was implicated in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, protein kinase B (Akt)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway suppression and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway activation. The ROS antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC), the Akt-specific activator insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and the JNK-specific inhibitor SP600125 attenuated SH-induced autophagy. Moreover, ROS activated autophagy via the Akt-mTOR and JNK pathways. Additionally, SH treatment may promote lysosome biogenesis through activating transcription factor EB (TFEB). The in vivo study found that SH effectively suppressed glioblastoma growth without exhibiting significant toxicity. In conclusion, our findings reveal a novel mechanism of action of SH in cancer cells via the induction of autophagy through ROS generation and autophagy-lysosome pathway activation; these findings also supply a new potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of human glioblastoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Mdivi-1 Protects Adult Rat Hippocampal Neural Stem Cells against Palmitate-Induced Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1947; doi:10.3390/ijms18091947
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
Palmitate concentrations in type 2 diabetic patients are higher than in healthy subjects. The prolonged elevation of plasma palmitate levels induces oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in neuronal cells. In this study, we examined the role of mdivi-1, a selective inhibitor of mitochondrial
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Palmitate concentrations in type 2 diabetic patients are higher than in healthy subjects. The prolonged elevation of plasma palmitate levels induces oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in neuronal cells. In this study, we examined the role of mdivi-1, a selective inhibitor of mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-regulated protein 1 (Drp1), on the survival of cultured hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) exposed to high palmitate. Treatment of hippocampal NSCs with mdivi-1 attenuated palmitate-induced increase in cell death and apoptosis. Palmitate exposure significantly increased Drp1 protein levels, which were prevented by pretreatment of cells with mdivi-1. We found that cytosolic Drp1 was translocated to the mitochondria when cells were exposed to palmitate. In contrast, palmitate-induced translocation of Drp1 was inhibited by mdivi-1 treatment. We also investigated mdivi-1 regulation of apoptosis at the mitochondrial level. Mdivi-1 rescued cells from palmitate-induced lipotoxicity by suppressing intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and stabilizing mitochondrial transmembrane potential. Mdivi-1-treated cells showed an increased Bcl-2/Bax ratio, prevention of cytochrome c release, and inhibition of caspase-3 activation. Our data suggest that mdivi-1 protects hippocampal NSCs against lipotoxicity-associated oxidative stress by preserving mitochondrial integrity and inhibiting mitochondrial apoptotic cascades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
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Open AccessArticle Antioxidant Artemisia princeps Extract Enhances the Expression of Filaggrin and Loricrin via the AHR/OVOL1 Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1948; doi:10.3390/ijms18091948
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
The Japanese mugwort, Artemisia princeps (yomogi in Japanese), has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Skin care products containing Artemisia princeps extract (APE) are known to improve dry skin symptoms in atopic dermatitis. Atopic dry skin is associated with a marked reduction of skin
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The Japanese mugwort, Artemisia princeps (yomogi in Japanese), has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Skin care products containing Artemisia princeps extract (APE) are known to improve dry skin symptoms in atopic dermatitis. Atopic dry skin is associated with a marked reduction of skin barrier proteins, such as filaggrin (FLG) and loricrin (LOR). Recently, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), and its downstream transcription factor OVO-like 1 (OVOL1), have been shown to regulate the gene expression of FLG and LOR. The focus of this paper is to evaluate the effects of APE on the AHR/OVOL1/FLG or LOR pathway since they have remained unknown to this point. We first demonstrated that non-cytotoxic concentrations of APE significantly upregulated antioxidant enzymes, NAD(P)H dehydrogenase quinone 1 and heme oxygenase 1, in human keratinocytes. Even at these low concentrations, APE induced nuclear translocation of AHR and significantly upregulated CYP1A1 (a specific target gene for AHR activation), FLG, and LOR expression. AHR knockdown downregulated OVOL1 expression. The APE-induced upregulation of FLG and LOR was canceled in keratinocytes with AHR or OVOL1 knockdown. In conclusion, antioxidant APE is a potent phytoextract that upregulates FLG and LOR expression in an AHR/OVOL1-dependent manner and this may underpin the barrier-repairing effects of APE in treating atopic dry skin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammatory Skin Conditions 2017)
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Open AccessArticle De Novo Assembly and Analysis of Polygonatum sibiricum Transcriptome and Identification of Genes Involved in Polysaccharide Biosynthesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1950; doi:10.3390/ijms18091950
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Polygonatum sibiricum polysaccharides (PSPs) are used to improve immunity, alleviate dryness, promote the secretion of fluids, and quench thirst. However, the PSP biosynthetic pathway is largely unknown. Understanding the genetic background will help delineate that pathway at the molecular level so that researchers
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Polygonatum sibiricum polysaccharides (PSPs) are used to improve immunity, alleviate dryness, promote the secretion of fluids, and quench thirst. However, the PSP biosynthetic pathway is largely unknown. Understanding the genetic background will help delineate that pathway at the molecular level so that researchers can develop better conservation strategies. After comparing the PSP contents among several different P. sibiricum germplasms, we selected two groups with the largest contrasts in contents and subjected them to HiSeq2500 transcriptome sequencing to identify the candidate genes involved in PSP biosynthesis. In all, 20 kinds of enzyme-encoding genes were related to PSP biosynthesis. The polysaccharide content was positively correlated with the expression patterns of β-fructofuranosidase (sacA), fructokinase (scrK), UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (GALE), Mannose-1-phosphate guanylyltransferase (GMPP), and UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase (UGDH), but negatively correlated with the expression of Hexokinase (HK). Through qRT-PCR validation and comprehensive analysis, we determined that sacA, HK, and GMPP are key genes for enzymes within the PSP metabolic pathway in P. sibiricum. Our results provide a public transcriptome dataset for this species and an outline of pathways for the production of polysaccharides in medicinal plants. They also present more information about the PSP biosynthesis pathway at the molecular level in P. sibiricum and lay the foundation for subsequent research of gene functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Recognition of Carbohydrates)
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Open AccessArticle An Insight into T-DNA Integration Events in Medicago sativa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1951; doi:10.3390/ijms18091951
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
The molecular mechanisms of transferred DNA (T-DNA) integration into the plant genome are still not completely understood. A large number of integration events have been analyzed in different species, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms involved, and on the frequent transfer of vector
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The molecular mechanisms of transferred DNA (T-DNA) integration into the plant genome are still not completely understood. A large number of integration events have been analyzed in different species, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms involved, and on the frequent transfer of vector sequences outside the T-DNA borders, the so-called vector backbone (VB) sequences. In this work, we characterized 46 transgenic alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plants (events), generated in previous works, for the presence of VB tracts, and sequenced several T-DNA/genomic DNA (gDNA) junctions. We observed that about 29% of the transgenic events contained VB sequences, within the range reported in other species. Sequence analysis of the T-DNA/gDNA junctions evidenced larger deletions at LBs compared to RBs and insertions probably originated by different integration mechanisms. Overall, our findings in alfalfa are consistent with those in other plant species. This work extends the knowledge on the molecular events of T-DNA integration and can help to design better transformation protocols for alfalfa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle Physiological and Transcriptomic Responses of Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. Pekinensis) to Salt Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1953; doi:10.3390/ijms18091953
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Salt stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that severely impact plant growth and development. In this study, we investigated the physiological and transcriptomic responses of Chinese cabbage “Qingmaye” to salt stress, a main variety in North China. Our results showed that
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Salt stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that severely impact plant growth and development. In this study, we investigated the physiological and transcriptomic responses of Chinese cabbage “Qingmaye” to salt stress, a main variety in North China. Our results showed that the growth and photosynthesis of Chinese cabbage were significantly inhibited by salt treatment. However, as a glycophyte, Chinese cabbage could cope with high salinity; it could complete an entire life cycle at 100 mM NaCl. The high salt tolerance of Chinese cabbage was achieved by accumulating osmoprotectants and by maintaining higher activity of antioxidant enzymes. Transcriptomic responses were analyzed using the digital gene expression profiling (DGE) technique after 12 h of treatment by 200 mM NaCl. A total of 1235 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) including 740 up- and 495 down-regulated genes were identified. Functional annotation analyses showed that the DEGs were related to signal transduction, osmolyte synthesis, transcription factors, and antioxidant proteins. Taken together, this study contributes to our understanding of the mechanism of salt tolerance in Chinese cabbage and provides valuable information for further improvement of salt tolerance in Chinese cabbage breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress and Gene Networks in Plants 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Alignment of Mitotic Chromosomes in Human Cells Involves SR-Like Splicing Factors Btf and TRAP150
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1956; doi:10.3390/ijms18091956
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Serine-arginine-rich (SR) or SR-like splicing factors interact with exon junction complex proteins during pre-mRNA processing to promote mRNA packaging into mature messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) and to dictate mRNA stability, nuclear export, and translation. The SR protein family is complex, and while many classical
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Serine-arginine-rich (SR) or SR-like splicing factors interact with exon junction complex proteins during pre-mRNA processing to promote mRNA packaging into mature messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) and to dictate mRNA stability, nuclear export, and translation. The SR protein family is complex, and while many classical SR proteins have well-defined mRNA processing functions, those of other SR-like proteins is unclear. Here, we show that depletion of the homologous non-classical serine-arginine-rich (SR) splicing factors Bcl2-associated transcription factor (Btf or BCLAF) and thyroid hormone receptor-associated protein of 150 kDa (TRAP150) causes mitotic defects. We hypothesized that the depletion of these SR-like factors affects mitosis indirectly through an altered expression of mitotic checkpoint regulator transcripts. We observed an altered abundance of transcripts that encode mitotic regulators and mitotic chromosome misalignment defects following Btf and/or TRAP150 depletion. We propose that, in addition to their previously reported roles in maintaining mRNA distribution, Btf and TRAP150 control the abundance of transcripts encoding mitotic regulators, thereby affecting mitotic progression in human cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Bovine Lactoferrin Inhibits Dengue Virus Infectivity by Interacting with Heparan Sulfate, Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor, and DC-SIGN
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1957; doi:10.3390/ijms18091957
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Bovine lactoferrin (bLF) presents in milk and has been shown to inhibit several viral infections. Effective drugs are unavailable for the treatment of dengue virus (DENV) infection. In this study, we evaluated the antiviral effect of bLF against DENV infection in vivo and
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Bovine lactoferrin (bLF) presents in milk and has been shown to inhibit several viral infections. Effective drugs are unavailable for the treatment of dengue virus (DENV) infection. In this study, we evaluated the antiviral effect of bLF against DENV infection in vivo and in vitro. Bovine LF significantly inhibited the infection of the four serotypes of DENV in Vero cells. In the time-of-drug addition test, DENV-2 infection was remarkably inhibited when bLF was added during or prior to the occurrence of virus attachment. We also revealed that bovine LF blocks binding between DENV-2 and the cellular membrane by interacting with heparan sulfate (HS), dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN), and low-density lipoprotein receptors (LDLR). In addition, bLF inhibits DENV-2 infection and decreases morbidity in a suckling mouse challenge model. This study supports the finding that bLF may inhibit DENV infection by binding to the potential DENV receptors. Full article