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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 21, Issue 18 (September-2 2020) – 526 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The tumour microenvironment (TME) contains different cell types, including cancer, stromal, mesenchymal and endothelial cells, as well as cancer-associated fibroblasts and immune cells. In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from all these cells have gained attention as cell-to-cell communication mediators in the TME. In the TME, EVs control different aspects of tumour growth and progression, including immune escape and pre-metastatic niche formation. However, EVs can also retain anti-tumour properties depending on the TME conditions and their cell of origin. Based on their functional properties, EVs have been proposed as tools for anti-cancer-based approaches. However, to exploit EVs as a novel therapeutic option, methods of boosting their anti-cancer properties while removing their tumour-promoting activity should be clearly defined. View this paper.
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Review
How Kinesin-1 Utilize the Energy of Nucleotide: The Conformational Changes and Mechanochemical Coupling in the Unidirectional Motion of Kinesin-1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6977; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186977 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
Kinesin-1 is a typical motile molecular motor and the founding member of the kinesin family. The most significant feature in the unidirectional motion of kinesin-1 is its processivity. To realize the fast and processive movement on the microtubule lattice, kinesin-1 efficiently transforms the [...] Read more.
Kinesin-1 is a typical motile molecular motor and the founding member of the kinesin family. The most significant feature in the unidirectional motion of kinesin-1 is its processivity. To realize the fast and processive movement on the microtubule lattice, kinesin-1 efficiently transforms the chemical energy of nucleotide binding and hydrolysis to the energy of mechanical movement. The chemical and mechanical cycle of kinesin-1 are coupled to avoid futile nucleotide hydrolysis. In this paper, the research on the mechanical pathway of energy transition and the regulating mechanism of the mechanochemical cycle of kinesin-1 is reviewed. Full article
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Hypothesis
How Severe Anaemia Might Influence the Risk of Invasive Bacterial Infections in African Children
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6976; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186976 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2025
Abstract
Severe anaemia and invasive bacterial infections are common causes of childhood sickness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. Accumulating evidence suggests that severely anaemic African children may have a higher risk of invasive bacterial infections. However, the mechanisms underlying this association remain poorly described. [...] Read more.
Severe anaemia and invasive bacterial infections are common causes of childhood sickness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. Accumulating evidence suggests that severely anaemic African children may have a higher risk of invasive bacterial infections. However, the mechanisms underlying this association remain poorly described. Severe anaemia is characterized by increased haemolysis, erythropoietic drive, gut permeability, and disruption of immune regulatory systems. These pathways are associated with dysregulation of iron homeostasis, including the downregulation of the hepatic hormone hepcidin. Increased haemolysis and low hepcidin levels potentially increase plasma, tissue and intracellular iron levels. Pathogenic bacteria require iron and/or haem to proliferate and have evolved numerous strategies to acquire labile and protein-bound iron/haem. In this review, we discuss how severe anaemia may mediate the risk of invasive bacterial infections through dysregulation of hepcidin and/or iron homeostasis, and potential studies that could be conducted to test this hypothesis. Full article
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Review
Non-Coding RNAs, a Novel Paradigm for the Management of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6975; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186975 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 827
Abstract
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal malignancies found in the gastrointestinal tract. At a molecular level, most GISTs are characterized by gain-of-function mutations in V-Kit Hardy–Zuckerman 4 Feline Sarcoma Viral Oncogene Homolog (KIT) and Platelet Derived Growth Factor [...] Read more.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal malignancies found in the gastrointestinal tract. At a molecular level, most GISTs are characterized by gain-of-function mutations in V-Kit Hardy–Zuckerman 4 Feline Sarcoma Viral Oncogene Homolog (KIT) and Platelet Derived Growth Factor Receptor Alpha (PDGFRA), leading to constitutive activated signaling through these receptor tyrosine kinases, which drive GIST pathogenesis. In addition to surgery, treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib forms the mainstay of GIST treatment, particularly in the advanced setting. Nevertheless, the majority of GISTs develop imatinib resistance. Biomarkers that indicate metastasis, drug resistance and disease progression early on could be of great clinical value. Likewise, novel treatment strategies that overcome resistance mechanisms are equally needed. Non-coding RNAs, particularly microRNAs, can be employed as diagnostic, prognostic or predictive biomarkers and have therapeutic potential. Here we review which non-coding RNAs are deregulated in GISTs, whether they can be linked to specific clinicopathological features and discuss how they can be used to improve the clinical management of GISTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Oncology)
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Article
A Novel Cis-Acting RNA Structural Element Embedded in the Core Coding Region of the Hepatitis C Virus Genome Directs Internal Translation Initiation of the Overlapping Core+1 ORF
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6974; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186974 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome translation is initiated via an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) embedded in the 5′-untranslated region (5′UTR). We have earlier shown that the conserved RNA stem-loops (SL) SL47 and SL87 of the HCV core-encoding region are important for viral [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome translation is initiated via an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) embedded in the 5′-untranslated region (5′UTR). We have earlier shown that the conserved RNA stem-loops (SL) SL47 and SL87 of the HCV core-encoding region are important for viral genome translation in cell culture and in vivo. Moreover, we have reported that an open reading frame overlapping the core gene in the +1 frame (core+1 ORF) encodes alternative translation products, including a protein initiated at the internal AUG codons 85/87 of this frame (nt 597–599 and 603–605), downstream of SL87, which is designated core+1/Short (core+1/S). Here, we provide evidence for SL47 and SL87 possessing a novel cis-acting element that directs the internal translation initiation of core+1/S. Firstly, using a bicistronic dual luciferase reporter system and RNA-transfection experiments, we found that nucleotides 344–596 of the HCV genotype-1a and -2a genomes support translation initiation at the core+1 frame AUG codons 85/87, when present in the sense but not the opposite orientation. Secondly, site-directed mutagenesis combined with an analysis of ribosome–HCV RNA association elucidated that SL47 and SL87 are essential for this alternative translation mechanism. Finally, experiments using cells transfected with JFH1 replicons or infected with virus-like particles showed that core+1/S expression is independent from the 5′UTR IRES and does not utilize the polyprotein initiation codon, but it requires intact SL47 and SL87 structures. Thus, SL47 and SL87, apart from their role in viral polyprotein translation, are necessary elements for mediating the internal translation initiation of the alternative core+1/S ORF. Full article
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Review
The Role of the Nrf2 Signaling in Obesity and Insulin Resistance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6973; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186973 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Obesity, a metabolic disorder characterized by excessive accumulation of adipose tissue, has globally become an increasingly prevalent disease. Extensive studies have been conducted to elucidate the underlying mechanism of the development of obesity. In particular, the close association of inflammation and oxidative stress [...] Read more.
Obesity, a metabolic disorder characterized by excessive accumulation of adipose tissue, has globally become an increasingly prevalent disease. Extensive studies have been conducted to elucidate the underlying mechanism of the development of obesity. In particular, the close association of inflammation and oxidative stress with obesity has become increasingly evident. Obesity has been shown to exhibit augmented levels of circulating proinflammatory cytokines, which have been associated with the activation of pathways linked with inflammation-induced insulin resistance, a major pathological component of obesity and several other metabolic disorders. Oxidative stress, in addition to its role in stimulating adipose differentiation, which directly triggers obesity, is considered to feed into this pathway, further aggravating insulin resistance. Nuclear factor E2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a basic leucine zipper transcription factor that is activated in response to inflammation and oxidative stress, and responds by increasing antioxidant transcription levels. Therefore, Nrf2 has emerged as a critical new target for combating insulin resistance and subsequently, obesity. However, the effects of Nrf2 on insulin resistance and obesity are controversial. This review focuses on the current state of research on the interplay of inflammation and oxidative stress in obesity, the role of the Nrf2 pathway in obesity and insulin resistance, and the potential use of Nrf2 activators for the treatment of insulin resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidants and Obesity)
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Article
Monitoring of the Surface Charge Density Changes of Human Glioblastoma Cell Membranes upon Cinnamic and Ferulic Acids Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6972; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186972 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
Cinnamic acid (CA) and ferulic acid (FA) are naturally occurring phenolic acids claimed to exert beneficial effects against disorders related to oxidative stress, including cancer. One such malignancy that still remains a therapeutic challenge mainly due to its heterogeneity and inaccessibility to therapeutic [...] Read more.
Cinnamic acid (CA) and ferulic acid (FA) are naturally occurring phenolic acids claimed to exert beneficial effects against disorders related to oxidative stress, including cancer. One such malignancy that still remains a therapeutic challenge mainly due to its heterogeneity and inaccessibility to therapeutic agents is Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Here, the influence of CA and FA on the surface charge density of human GBM cell line LN-229 was studied using the electrophoretic light scattering technique. Also, the cytotoxicity of both phenolic acids was determined by metabolic activity-assessing tetrazolium test (MTT) analysis after exposure to CA and FA for 24 h and 48 h. Results showed that both compounds reduced cell viability of LN-229 cells, with more pronounced effect evoked by CA as reflected in IC50 values. Further analyses demonstrated that, after treatment with both phenolic acids, the negative charge of membranes decreased at high pH values and the positive charge of the membranes increased at low pH values compared to the data obtained for untreated cells. Afterward, a four-equilibrium model was applied to estimate the total surface concentrations of both acidic and basic functional groups and their association constants with solution ions in order to calculate theoretical values of membrane surface charge densities. Then, the theoretical data were compared to the experimental data in order to verify the mathematical model. As such, our results indicate that application of electrochemical methods to determine specific drug–membrane interactions might be crucial for predicting their pharmacological activity and bioavailability. Full article
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Article
4-Acetylantroquinonol B Inhibits Osteoclastogenesis by Inhibiting the Autophagy Pathway in a Simulated Microgravity Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6971; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186971 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Astronauts suffer from 1–2% bone loss per month during space missions. Targeting osteoclast differentiation has been regarded as a promising strategy to prevent osteoporosis in microgravity (μXg). 4-acetylantroquinonol B (4-AAQB), a ubiquinone from Antrodia cinnamomea, has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-hepatoma activities. However, [...] Read more.
Astronauts suffer from 1–2% bone loss per month during space missions. Targeting osteoclast differentiation has been regarded as a promising strategy to prevent osteoporosis in microgravity (μXg). 4-acetylantroquinonol B (4-AAQB), a ubiquinone from Antrodia cinnamomea, has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-hepatoma activities. However, the effect of 4-AAQB on μXg-induced osteoclastogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the mechanistic impact of 4-AAQB on osteoclast formation under μXg conditions. The monocyte/macrophage-like cell line RAW264.7 was exposed to simulated μXg (Rotary Cell Culture System; Synthecon, Houston, TX, USA) for 24 h and then treated with 4-AAQB or alendronate (ALN) and osteoclast differentiation factor receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL). Osteoclastogenesis, bone resorption activity, and osteoclast differentiation-related signaling pathways were analyzed using tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining, actin ring fluorescent staining, bone resorption, and western blotting assays. Based on the results of TRAP staining, actin ring staining, and bone resorption assays, we found that 4-AAQB significantly inhibited μXg-induced osteoclast differentiation. The critical regulators of osteoclast differentiation, including nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1), c-Fos, and dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), were consistently decreased. Meanwhile, osteoclast apoptosis and cell cycle arrest were also observed along with autophagy suppression. Interestingly, the autophagy inhibitors 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and chloroquine (CQ) showed similar effects to 4-AAQB. In conclusion, we suggest that 4-AAQB may serve as a potential agent against μXg-induced osteoclast formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease, Ageing and Cancer Prevention by Natural Products)
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Article
Comparison of miRNA Expression Profiles between HIV-1 and HIV-2 Infected Monocyte-Derived Macrophages (MDMs) and Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6970; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186970 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 747
Abstract
During the progression of HIV-1 infection, macrophage tropic HIV-1 that use the CCR5 co-receptor undergoes a change in co-receptor use to CXCR4 that is predominately T cell tropic. This change in co-receptor preference makes the virus able to infect T cells. HIV-2 is [...] Read more.
During the progression of HIV-1 infection, macrophage tropic HIV-1 that use the CCR5 co-receptor undergoes a change in co-receptor use to CXCR4 that is predominately T cell tropic. This change in co-receptor preference makes the virus able to infect T cells. HIV-2 is known to infect MDMs and T cells and is dual tropic. The aim of this study was to elucidate the differential expression profiles of host miRNAs and their role in cells infected with HIV-1/HIV-2. To achieve this goal, a comparative global miRNA expression profile was determined in human PBMCs and MDMs infected with HIV-1/HIV-2. Differentially expressed miRNAs were identified in HIV-1/HIV-2 infected PBMCs and MDMs using the next-generation sequencing (NGS) technique. A comparative global miRNA expression profile in infected MDMs and PBMCs with HIV-1 and HIV-2 identified differential expression of several host miRNAs. These differentially expressed miRNAs are likely to be involved in many signaling pathways, like the p53 signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathways, MAPK signaling pathways, FoxO signaling pathway, and viral carcinogenesis. Thus, a comparative study of the differential expression of host miRNAs in MDMs and T cell in response to HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection will help us to identify unique biomarkers that can differentiate HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Genomics in Health and Disease)
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Review
Clinical Evidence of Antidepressant Effects of Insulin and Anti-Hyperglycemic Agents and Implications for the Pathophysiology of Depression—A Literature Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6969; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186969 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 930
Abstract
Close connections between depression and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) have been suggested by many epidemiological and experimental studies. Disturbances in insulin sensitivity due to the disruption of various molecular pathways cause insulin resistance, which underpins many metabolic disorders, including diabetes, as well as [...] Read more.
Close connections between depression and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) have been suggested by many epidemiological and experimental studies. Disturbances in insulin sensitivity due to the disruption of various molecular pathways cause insulin resistance, which underpins many metabolic disorders, including diabetes, as well as depression. Several anti-hyperglycemic agents have demonstrated antidepressant properties in clinical trials, probably due to their action on brain targets based on the shared pathophysiology of depression and T2DM. In this article, we review reports of clinical trials examining the antidepressant effect of these medications, including insulin, metformin, glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ agonists, and briefly consider possible molecular mechanisms underlying the associations between amelioration of insulin resistance and improvement of depressive symptoms. In doing so, we intend to suggest an integrative perspective for understanding the pathophysiology of depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathophysiology of Neuropsychiatric Disease)
Article
CD8 T Cell Score as a Prognostic Biomarker for Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6968; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186968 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
CD8 T cell is an essential component of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and tumor immune microenvironment (TIME). Using the xCell CD8 T cell score of whole tumor gene expression data, we estimated these cells in total of 3837 breast cancer patients from TCGA, METABRIC [...] Read more.
CD8 T cell is an essential component of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and tumor immune microenvironment (TIME). Using the xCell CD8 T cell score of whole tumor gene expression data, we estimated these cells in total of 3837 breast cancer patients from TCGA, METABRIC and various GEO cohorts. The CD8 score correlated strongly with expression of CD8 genes. The score was highest for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and a high score was associated with high tumor immune cytolytic activity and better survival in TNBC but not other breast cancer subtypes. In TNBC, tumors with a high CD8 score had enriched expression of interferon (IFN)-α and IFN-γ response and allograft rejection gene sets, and greater infiltration of anti-cancerous immune cells. The score strongly correlated with CD4 memory T cells in TNBC, and tumors with both a high CD8 score and high CD4 memory T cell abundance had significantly better survival. Finally, a high CD8 score was significantly associated with high expression of multiple immune checkpoint molecules. In conclusion, a high CD8 T cell score is associated with better survival in TNBC, particularly when tumor CD4 memory T cells were elevated. Our findings also suggest a possible use of the score as a predictive biomarker for response to immune checkpoint therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Immune Landscape in Solid Tumors)
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Article
Double-Stranded RNA Binding Proteins in Serum Contribute to Systemic RNAi Across Phyla—Towards Finding the Missing Link in Achelata
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6967; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186967 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 806
Abstract
RNA interference (RNAi) has become a widely utilized method for studying gene function, yet despite this many of the mechanisms surrounding RNAi remain elusive. The core RNAi machinery is relatively well understood, however many of the systemic mechanisms, particularly double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) transport, [...] Read more.
RNA interference (RNAi) has become a widely utilized method for studying gene function, yet despite this many of the mechanisms surrounding RNAi remain elusive. The core RNAi machinery is relatively well understood, however many of the systemic mechanisms, particularly double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) transport, are not. Here, we demonstrate that dsRNA binding proteins in the serum contribute to systemic RNAi and may be the limiting factor in RNAi capacity for species such as spiny lobsters, where gene silencing is not functional. Incubating sera from a variety of species across phyla with dsRNA led to a gel mobility shift in species in which systemic RNAi has been observed, with this response being absent in species in which systemic RNAi has never been observed. Proteomic analysis suggested lipoproteins may be responsible for this phenomenon and may transport dsRNA to spread the RNAi signal systemically. Following this, we identified the same gel shift in the slipper lobster Thenus australiensis and subsequently silenced the insulin androgenic gland hormone, marking the first time RNAi has been performed in any lobster species. These results pave the way for inducing RNAi in spiny lobsters and for a better understanding of the mechanisms of systemic RNAi in Crustacea, as well as across phyla. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biophysics)
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Review
IL-21 in Homeostasis of Resident Memory and Exhausted CD8 T Cells during Persistent Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6966; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186966 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
CD4 T cells guide the development of CD8 T cells into memory by elaborating mitogenic and differentiation factors and by licensing professional antigen-presenting cells. CD4 T cells also act to stave off CD8 T cell dysfunction during repetitive antigen stimulation in persistent infection [...] Read more.
CD4 T cells guide the development of CD8 T cells into memory by elaborating mitogenic and differentiation factors and by licensing professional antigen-presenting cells. CD4 T cells also act to stave off CD8 T cell dysfunction during repetitive antigen stimulation in persistent infection and cancer by mitigating generation of exhausted T cells (TEX). CD4 T cell help is also required for establishing and maintaining tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM), the nonrecirculating memory T cell subset parked in nonlymphoid tissues to provide frontline defense against reinvading pathogens. Interleukin (IL)-21 is the signature cytokine secreted by follicular helper CD4 T cells (TFH) to drive B cell expansion and differentiation in germinal centers to mount high-affinity, isotype class-switched antibodies. In several infection models, IL-21 has been identified as the CD4 T help needed for formation and survival of TRM and TEX. In this review, we will explore the different memory subsets of CD8 T cells in persistent infections, the metabolic profiles associated with each, and evidence documenting the importance of CD4 T cell-derived IL-21 in regulating CD8 TRM and TEX development, homeostasis, and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in T Cell Immunity)
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Article
Semaphorin4A-Plexin D1 Axis Induces Th2 and Th17 While Represses Th1 Skewing in an Autocrine Manner
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6965; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186965 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
Semaphorin (Sema)4A is a transmembrane glycoprotein that is elevated in several autoimmune diseases such as systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Sema4A has a key role in the regulation of Thelper Th1 and Th2 differentiation and we recently demonstrated that CD4+ [...] Read more.
Semaphorin (Sema)4A is a transmembrane glycoprotein that is elevated in several autoimmune diseases such as systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Sema4A has a key role in the regulation of Thelper Th1 and Th2 differentiation and we recently demonstrated that CD4+ T cell activation induces the expression of Sema4A. However, the autocrine role of Sema4A on Th cell differentiation remains unknown. Naïve Th cells from healthy controls were cell sorted and differentiated into Th1, Th2 and Th17 in the presence or absence of a neutralizing antibody against the Sema4A receptor PlexinD1. Gene expression was determined by quantitative PCR and protein expression by ELISA and flow cytometry. We found that the expression of Sema4A is induced during Th1, Th2 and Th17 differentiation. PlexinD1 neutralization induced the differentiation of Th1 cells, while reduced the Th2 and Th17 skewing. These effects were associated with an upregulation of the transcription factor T-bet by Th1 cells, and to downregulation of GATA3 and RORγt in Th2 cells and Th17 cells, respectively. Finally, PlexinD1 neutralization regulates the systemic sclerosis patients serum-induced cytokine production by CD4+ T cells. Therefore, the autocrine Sema4A-PlexinD1 signaling acts as a negative regulator of Th1 skewing but is a key mediator on Th2 and Th17 differentiation, suggesting that dysregulation of this axis might be implicated in the pathogenesis of CD4+ T cell-mediated diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in T Cell Immunity)
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Article
Antimicrobial Peptides as New Combination Agents in Cancer Therapeutics: A Promising Protocol against HT-29 Tumoral Spheroids
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6964; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186964 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides are molecules synthetized by a large variety of organisms as an innate defense against pathogens. These natural compounds have been identified as promising alternatives to widely used molecules to treat infections and cancer cells. Antimicrobial peptides could be viewed as future [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides are molecules synthetized by a large variety of organisms as an innate defense against pathogens. These natural compounds have been identified as promising alternatives to widely used molecules to treat infections and cancer cells. Antimicrobial peptides could be viewed as future chemotherapeutic alternatives, having the advantage of low propensity to drug resistance. In this study, we evaluated the efficiency of the antimicrobial peptide gramicidin A (GA) and the anticancer drug, doxorubicin (Doxo) against the spheroids from colorectal cancer cells (HT-29). The two drugs were applied separately against HT-29 spheroids as well as together to determine if they can act synergistically. The spheroid evolution, cell viability, and ATP levels were monitored at 24 and 48 h after the applied treatments. The results show significant drops in cell viability and cellular ATP levels for all the experimental treatments. The simultaneous use of the two compounds (GA and Doxo) seems to cause a synergistic effect against the spheroids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peptides for Health Benefits 2020)
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Article
Sudachinoid- and Ichangensin-Type Limonoids from Citrus junos Downregulate Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6963; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186963 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 715
Abstract
Limonoids, a dominant group of phytochemicals in the Rutaceae family, are known to exhibit several pharmacological activities. To identify natural products having efficacy against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we isolated 13 limonoids including a new compound, methyl sudachinoid A, from the seeds of [...] Read more.
Limonoids, a dominant group of phytochemicals in the Rutaceae family, are known to exhibit several pharmacological activities. To identify natural products having efficacy against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we isolated 13 limonoids including a new compound, methyl sudachinoid A, from the seeds of Citrus junos and investigated their anti-inflammatory effects by assessing the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages and HT-29 human colon epithelial cells. Our findings revealed that limonoids significantly downregulated the pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α, and nuclear transcription factor κB. In particular, sudachinoid-type compounds, methyl sudachinoid A and sudachinoid B, and ichangensin-type compound, 1-O-methyichangensin downregulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines more potently than other limonoids, nomilin and limonin, which have been previously reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory activities in other cells; nomilin and limonin were therefore employed as positive controls in this study. Herein, we reveal that the anti-inflammatory activities of limonoids including a new compound methyl sudachinoid A from C. junos were mediated via the downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and these limonoids can be employed as potential therapeutic phytochemicals for IBD. Full article
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Review
Chondroprotective Actions of Selective COX-2 Inhibitors In Vivo: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6962; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186962 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition mainly characterized by cartilage degradation. Currently, no effective treatment exists to slow down the progression of OA-related cartilage damage. Selective COX-2 inhibitors may, next to their pain killing properties, act chondroprotective in vivo. To determine whether the [...] Read more.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition mainly characterized by cartilage degradation. Currently, no effective treatment exists to slow down the progression of OA-related cartilage damage. Selective COX-2 inhibitors may, next to their pain killing properties, act chondroprotective in vivo. To determine whether the route of administration is important for the efficacy of the chondroprotective properties of selective COX-2 inhibitors, a systematic review was performed according to the PRISMA guidelines. Studies investigating OA-related cartilage damage of selective COX-2 inhibitors in vivo were included. Nine of the fourteen preclinical studies demonstrated chondroprotective effects of selective COX-2 inhibitors using systemic administration. Five clinical studies were included and, although in general non-randomized, failed to demonstrate chondroprotective actions of oral selective COX-2 inhibitors. All of the four preclinical studies using bolus intra-articular injections demonstrated chondroprotective actions, while one of the three preclinical studies using a slow release system demonstrated chondroprotective actions. Despite the limited evidence in clinical studies that have used the oral administration route, there seems to be a preclinical basis for considering selective COX-2 inhibitors as disease modifying osteoarthritis drugs when used intra-articularly. Intra-articularly injected selective COX-2 inhibitors may hold the potential to provide chondroprotective effects in vivo in clinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Review
Self-Assembly of Amphiphilic Compounds as a Versatile Tool for Construction of Nanoscale Drug Carriers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6961; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186961 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
This review focuses on synthetic and natural amphiphilic systems prepared from straight-chain and macrocyclic compounds capable of self-assembly with the formation of nanoscale aggregates of different morphology and their application as drug carriers. Since numerous biological species (lipid membrane, bacterial cell wall, mucous [...] Read more.
This review focuses on synthetic and natural amphiphilic systems prepared from straight-chain and macrocyclic compounds capable of self-assembly with the formation of nanoscale aggregates of different morphology and their application as drug carriers. Since numerous biological species (lipid membrane, bacterial cell wall, mucous membrane, corneal epithelium, biopolymers, e.g., proteins, nucleic acids) bear negatively charged fragments, much attention is paid to cationic carriers providing high affinity for encapsulated drugs to targeted cells. First part of the review is devoted to self-assembling and functional properties of surfactant systems, with special attention focusing on cationic amphiphiles, including those bearing natural or cleavable fragments. Further, lipid formulations, especially liposomes, are discussed in terms of their fabrication and application for intracellular drug delivery. This section highlights several features of these carriers, including noncovalent modification of lipid formulations by cationic surfactants, pH-responsive properties, endosomal escape, etc. Third part of the review deals with nanocarriers based on macrocyclic compounds, with such important characteristics as mucoadhesive properties emphasized. In this section, different combinations of cyclodextrin platform conjugated with polymers is considered as drug delivery systems with synergetic effect that improves solubility, targeting and biocompatibility of formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Self-Assembly and Design of Polyfunctional Nanosystems)
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Review
Imaging Diagnostics and Pathology in SARS-CoV-2-Related Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6960; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186960 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1290
Abstract
In December 2019, physicians reported numerous patients showing pneumonia of unknown origin in the Chinese region of Wuhan. Following the spreading of the infection over the world, The World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020 declared the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome [...] Read more.
In December 2019, physicians reported numerous patients showing pneumonia of unknown origin in the Chinese region of Wuhan. Following the spreading of the infection over the world, The World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020 declared the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak a global pandemic. The scientific community is exerting an extraordinary effort to elucidate all aspects related to SARS-CoV-2, such as the structure, ultrastructure, invasion mechanisms, replication mechanisms, or drugs for treatment, mainly through in vitro studies. Thus, the clinical in vivo data can provide a test bench for new discoveries in the field of SARS-CoV-2, finding new solutions to fight the current pandemic. During this dramatic situation, the normal scientific protocols for the development of new diagnostic procedures or drugs are frequently not completely applied in order to speed up these processes. In this context, interdisciplinarity is fundamental. Specifically, a great contribution can be provided by the association and interpretation of data derived from medical disciplines based on the study of images, such as radiology, nuclear medicine, and pathology. Therefore, here, we highlighted the most recent histopathological and imaging data concerning the SARS-CoV-2 infection in lung and other human organs such as the kidney, heart, and vascular system. In addition, we evaluated the possible matches among data of radiology, nuclear medicine, and pathology departments in order to support the intense scientific work to address the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In this regard, the development of artificial intelligence algorithms that are capable of correlating these clinical data with the new scientific discoveries concerning SARS-CoV-2 might be the keystone to get out of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Diagnostics and Pathology in SARS-CoV-2-Related Diseases)
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Article
The Interplay between Toxic and Essential Metals for Their Uptake and Translocation Is Likely Governed by DNA Methylation and Histone Deacetylation in Maize
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6959; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186959 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
The persistent nature of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in the environment severely affects plant growth and yield. Conversely, plants acquire zinc (Zn) from the soil for their vital physiological and biochemical functions. However, the interplay and coordination between essential and toxic metals [...] Read more.
The persistent nature of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in the environment severely affects plant growth and yield. Conversely, plants acquire zinc (Zn) from the soil for their vital physiological and biochemical functions. However, the interplay and coordination between essential and toxic metals for their uptake and translocation and the putative underlying epigenetic mechanisms have not yet been investigated in maize. Here, we report that the presence of Zn facilitates the accumulation and transport of Pb and Cd in the aerial parts of the maize plants. Moreover, the Zn, Pb, and Cd interplay specifically interferes with the uptake and translocation of other divalent metals, such as calcium and magnesium. Zn, Pb, and Cd, individually and in combinations, differentially regulate the expression of DNA methyltransferases, thus alter the DNA methylation levels at the promoter of Zinc-regulated transporters, Iron-regulated transporter-like Protein (ZIP) genes to regulate their expression. Furthermore, the expression of histone deacetylases (HDACs) varies greatly in response to individual and combined metals, and HDACs expression showed a negative correlation with ZIP transporters. Our study highlights the implication of DNA methylation and histone acetylation in regulating the metal stress tolerance dynamics through Zn transporters and warns against the excessive use of Zn fertilizers in metal contaminated soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Stress and Plants)
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Article
Functioning of the Photosynthetic Apparatus in Response to Drought Stress in Oat × Maize Addition Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6958; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186958 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 808
Abstract
The oat × maize chromosome addition (OMA) lines, as hybrids between C3 and C4 plants, can potentially help us understand the process of C4 photosynthesis. However, photosynthesis is often affected by adverse environmental conditions, including drought stress. Therefore, to assess the functioning of [...] Read more.
The oat × maize chromosome addition (OMA) lines, as hybrids between C3 and C4 plants, can potentially help us understand the process of C4 photosynthesis. However, photosynthesis is often affected by adverse environmental conditions, including drought stress. Therefore, to assess the functioning of the photosynthetic apparatus in OMA lines under drought stress, the chlorophyll content and chlorophyll a fluorescence (CF) parameters were investigated. With optimal hydration, most of the tested OMA lines, compared to oat cv. Bingo, showed higher pigment content, and some of them were characterized by increased values of selected CF parameters. Although 14 days of drought caused a decrease of chlorophylls and carotenoids, only slight changes in CF parameters were observed, which can indicate proper photosynthetic efficiency in most of examined OMA lines compared to oat cv. Bingo. The obtained data revealed that expected changes in hybrid functioning depend more on the specific maize chromosome and its interaction with the oat genome rather than the number of retained chromosomes. OMA lines not only constitute a powerful tool for maize genomics but also are a source of valuable variation in plant breeding, and can help us to understand plant susceptibility to drought. Our research confirms more efficient functioning of hybrid photosynthetic apparatus than oat cv. Bingo, therefore contributes to raising new questions in the fields of plant physiology and biochemistry. Due to the fact that the oat genome is not fully sequenced yet, the mechanism of enhanced photosynthetic efficiency in OMA lines requires further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell and Organism Development 2.0)
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Article
HSPA1L Enhances Cancer Stem Cell-Like Properties by Activating IGF1Rβ and Regulating β-Catenin Transcription
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6957; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186957 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 696
Abstract
Studies have shown that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are involved in resistance and metastasis of cancer; thus, therapies targeting CSCs have been proposed. Here, we report that heat shock 70-kDa protein 1-like (HSPA1L) is partly involved in enhancing epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and CSC-like [...] Read more.
Studies have shown that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are involved in resistance and metastasis of cancer; thus, therapies targeting CSCs have been proposed. Here, we report that heat shock 70-kDa protein 1-like (HSPA1L) is partly involved in enhancing epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and CSC-like properties in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) is considered a CSC marker in some lung cancers. Here, we analyzed transcriptional changes in genes between ALDH1high and ALDH1low cells sorted from A549 NSCLC cells and found that HSPA1L was highly expressed in ALDH1high cells. HSPA1L played two important roles in enhancing CSC-like properties. First, HSPA1L interacts directly with IGF1Rβ and integrin αV to form a triple complex that is involved in IGF1Rβ activation. HSPA1L/integrin αV complex-associated IGF1Rβ activation intensified the EMT-associated cancer stemness and γ-radiation resistance through its downstream AKT/NF-κB or AKT/GSK3β/β-catenin activation pathway. Secondly, HSPA1L was also present in the nucleus and could bind directly to the promoter region of β-catenin to function as a transcription activator of β-catenin, an important signaling protein characterizing CSCs by regulating ALDH1 expression. HSPA1L may be a novel potential target for cancer treatment because it both enhances IGF1Rβ activation and regulates γβ-catenin transcription, accumulating CSC-like properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Oncology)
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Article
Characterization of a Topically Testable Model of Burn Injury on Human Skin Explants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6956; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186956 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
Severe burn injuries remain a major health problem due to high rates of mortality, residual morbidity, and/or aesthetic damages. To find new therapies aimed at promoting a harmonious healing of skin burns, it is important to develop models which take into account the [...] Read more.
Severe burn injuries remain a major health problem due to high rates of mortality, residual morbidity, and/or aesthetic damages. To find new therapies aimed at promoting a harmonious healing of skin burns, it is important to develop models which take into account the unique properties of the human skin. Based on previously described models of burn injury performed on human skin explants, we hypothesized that maintaining explants under constant tension forces would allow to more closely reproduce the pathophysiological processes of skin remodeling. We thus. Here, we set up and characterized an improved model of deep second-degree burn injury on ex vivo cultured human skin explants at air-liquid interface and maintained under conditions of constant tension forces. A spontaneous re-epithelialization of the lesion was observed 8 to 9 days post burn and was found to rely on the proliferation of basal keratinocytes at the wound edges. Collagen VII at the dermo-epidermal junction reformed along with the progression of re-epithelializatio and a synthesis of procollagen III was observed in the dermis at the wound site. These findings indicate that our model is suitable for the assessment of clinically-relevant therapies aimed at modulating the kinetics of re-epithelialization and/or the activation of fibroblasts following skin burn injuries. In this regard, we evaluated the use of a thermoreversible poloxamer hydrogel as a vehicle for topically-testable therapeutic molecules. Our data showed that, although useful for drug formulation, the p407/p188 poloxamer hydrogel induces a delay of skin re-epithelialization in humans skin explants submitted to experimental burn injury. Full article
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Article
Ribosome Pausing at Inefficient Codons at the End of the Replicase Coding Region Is Important for Hepatitis C Virus Genome Replication
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6955; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186955 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects liver cells and often causes chronic infection, also leading to liver cirrhosis and cancer. In the cytoplasm, the viral structural and non-structural (NS) proteins are directly translated from the plus strand HCV RNA genome. The viral proteins NS3 [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects liver cells and often causes chronic infection, also leading to liver cirrhosis and cancer. In the cytoplasm, the viral structural and non-structural (NS) proteins are directly translated from the plus strand HCV RNA genome. The viral proteins NS3 to NS5B proteins constitute the replication complex that is required for RNA genome replication via a minus strand antigenome. The most C-terminal protein in the genome is the NS5B replicase, which needs to initiate antigenome RNA synthesis at the very 3′-end of the plus strand. Using ribosome profiling of cells replicating full-length infectious HCV genomes, we uncovered that ribosomes accumulate at the HCV stop codon and about 30 nucleotides upstream of it. This pausing is due to the presence of conserved rare, inefficient Wobble codons upstream of the termination site. Synonymous substitution of these inefficient codons to efficient codons has negative consequences for viral RNA replication but not for viral protein synthesis. This pausing may allow the enzymatically active replicase core to find its genuine RNA template in cis, while the protein is still held in place by being stuck with its C-terminus in the exit tunnel of the paused ribosome. Full article
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Article
Phospholipase D1 and D2 Synergistically Regulate Thrombus Formation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6954; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186954 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 738
Abstract
Previously, we reported that phospholipase D1 (PLD1) and PLD2 inhibition by selective PLD1 and PLD2 inhibitors could prevent platelet aggregation in humans, but not in mice. Moreover, only the PLD1 inhibitor, but not PLD2 inhibitor, could effectively prevent thrombus formation in mice, indicating [...] Read more.
Previously, we reported that phospholipase D1 (PLD1) and PLD2 inhibition by selective PLD1 and PLD2 inhibitors could prevent platelet aggregation in humans, but not in mice. Moreover, only the PLD1 inhibitor, but not PLD2 inhibitor, could effectively prevent thrombus formation in mice, indicating that PLD might play different roles in platelet function in humans and mice. Although PLD1 and PLD2 were reported to be implicated in thrombotic events, the role of PLD in mice remains not completely clear. Here, we investigated the role of PLD1 and PLD2 in acute pulmonary thrombosis and transient middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced brain injury in mice. The data revealed that inhibition of PLD1, but not of PLD2, could partially prevent pulmonary thrombosis-induced death. Moreover, concurrent PLD1 and PLD2 inhibition could considerably increase survival rate. Likewise, inhibition of PLD1, but not PLD2, partially improved ischemic stroke and concurrent inhibition of PLD1, and PLD2 exhibited a relatively better protection against ischemic stroke, as evidenced by the infarct size, brain edema, modified neurological severity score, rotarod test, and the open field test. In conclusion, PLD1 might play a more important role than PLD2, and both PLD1 and PLD2 could act synergistically or have partially redundant functions in regulating thrombosis-relevant events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology of Platelets in Humans and Animals)
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Article
Blocking of the IL-33/ST2 Signaling Axis by a Single-Chain Antibody Variable Fragment (scFv) Specific to IL-33 with a Defined Epitope
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6953; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186953 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Interleukin 33 (IL-33) is an IL-1 family cytokine that plays a central role in immune system by regulating and initiating inflammatory responses. The binding of IL-33 to the suppressor of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) receptor induces mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and nuclear factor κB [...] Read more.
Interleukin 33 (IL-33) is an IL-1 family cytokine that plays a central role in immune system by regulating and initiating inflammatory responses. The binding of IL-33 to the suppressor of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) receptor induces mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathways, thereby leading to inflammatory cytokines production in type 2 helper T cells and type 2 innate lymphoid cells. To develop an antibody specific to IL-33 with a defined epitope, we characterized a single-chain antibody variable fragments (scFvs) clone specific to IL-33, C2_2E12, which was selected from a human synthetic library of scFvs using phage display. Affinity (Kd) of C2_2E12 was determined to be 38 nM using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. C2_2E12 did not show cross-reactivity toward other interleukin cytokines, including closely related IL-1 family cytokines and unrelated proteins. Mutational scanning analysis revealed that the epitope of IL-33 consisted of residues 149–158 with key residues being L150 and K151 of IL-33. Structural modeling suggested that L150 and K151 residues are important for the interaction of IL-33 with C2_2E12, implicating that C2_2E12 could block the binding of ST2 to IL-33. Pull-down and in-cell assays supported that C2_2E12 can inhibit the IL-33/ST2 signaling axis. These results suggest that the scFv clone characterized here can function as a neutralizing antibody. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Antibody Therapeutics)
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Article
A Safe and Multitasking Antimicrobial Decapeptide: The Road from De Novo Design to Structural and Functional Characterization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186952 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 671
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are excellent candidates to fight multi-resistant pathogens worldwide and are considered promising bio-preservatives to control microbial spoilage through food processing. To date, designing de novo AMPs with high therapeutic indexes, low-cost synthesis, high resistance, and bioavailability, remains a challenge. In [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are excellent candidates to fight multi-resistant pathogens worldwide and are considered promising bio-preservatives to control microbial spoilage through food processing. To date, designing de novo AMPs with high therapeutic indexes, low-cost synthesis, high resistance, and bioavailability, remains a challenge. In this study, a novel decapeptide, named RiLK1, was rationally designed starting from the sequence of the previously characterized AMP 1018-K6, with the aim of developing short peptides, and promoting higher selectivity over mammalian cells, antibacterial activity, and structural resistance under different salt, pH, and temperature conditions. Interestingly, RiLK1 displayed a broad-spectrum of bactericidal activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug resistant clinical isolates of Salmonella species, with Minimal Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) values in low micromolar range, and it was effective even against two fungal pathogens with no evidence of cytotoxicity on human keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Moreover, RiLK1-activated polypropylene films were revealed to efficiently prevent the growth of microbial spoilage, possibly improving the shelf life of fresh food products. These results suggested that de novo designed peptide RiLK1 could be the first candidate for the development of a promising class of decameric and multitask antimicrobial agents to overcome drug-resistance phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creation of New Antimicrobial Peptides)
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Review
Progress on Understanding Transcriptional Regulation of Chloroplast Development in Fleshy Fruit
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6951; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186951 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 781
Abstract
Edible fleshy fruits are important food sources in the human diet. Their yield and nutritional quality have long been considered as breeding targets for improvement. Various developing fleshy fruits with functional chloroplasts are capable of photosynthesis and contribute to fruit photosynthate, leading to [...] Read more.
Edible fleshy fruits are important food sources in the human diet. Their yield and nutritional quality have long been considered as breeding targets for improvement. Various developing fleshy fruits with functional chloroplasts are capable of photosynthesis and contribute to fruit photosynthate, leading to the accumulation of metabolites associated with nutritional quality in ripe fruit. Although tomato high-pigment mutants with dark-green fruits have been isolated for more than 100 years, our understanding of the mechanism of chloroplast development in fleshy fruit remain poor. During the past few years, several transcription factors that regulate chloroplast development in fleshy fruit were identified through map-based cloning. In addition, substantial progress has been made in elucidating the mechanisms that how these transcription factors regulate chloroplast development. This review provides a summary and update on this progress, with a framework for further investigations of the multifaceted and hierarchical regulation of chloroplast development in fleshy fruit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Article
Immunohistochemistry and Mutation Analysis of SDHx Genes in Carotid Paragangliomas
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6950; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186950 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
Carotid paragangliomas (CPGLs) are rare neuroendocrine tumors often associated with mutations in SDHx genes. The immunohistochemistry of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunits has been considered a useful instrument for the prediction of SDHx mutations in paragangliomas/pheochromocytomas. We compared the mutation status of SDHx genes [...] Read more.
Carotid paragangliomas (CPGLs) are rare neuroendocrine tumors often associated with mutations in SDHx genes. The immunohistochemistry of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunits has been considered a useful instrument for the prediction of SDHx mutations in paragangliomas/pheochromocytomas. We compared the mutation status of SDHx genes with the immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of SDH subunits in CPGLs. To identify pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in SDHx genes, exome sequencing data analysis among 42 CPGL patients was performed. IHC staining of SDH subunits was carried out for all CPGLs studied. We encountered SDHx variants in 38% (16/42) of the cases in SDHx genes. IHC showed negative (5/15) or weak diffuse (10/15) SDHB staining in most tumors with variants in any of SDHx (94%, 15/16). In SDHA-mutated CPGL, SDHA expression was completely absent and weak diffuse SDHB staining was detected. Positive immunoreactivity for all SDH subunits was found in one case with a variant in SDHD. Notably, CPGL samples without variants in SDHx also demonstrated negative (2/11) or weak diffuse (9/11) SDHB staining (42%, 11/26). Obtained results indicate that SDH immunohistochemistry does not fully reflect the presence of mutations in the genes; diagnostic effectiveness of this method was 71%. However, given the high sensitivity of SDHB immunohistochemistry, it could be used for initial identifications of patients potentially carrying SDHx mutations for recommendation of genetic testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics – 2020)
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Article
New Factors Enhancing the Reactivity of Cysteines in Molten Globule-Like Structures
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6949; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186949 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 564
Abstract
Protein cysteines often play crucial functional and structural roles, so they are emerging targets to design covalent thiol ligands that are able to modulate enzyme or protein functions. Some of these residues, especially those involved in enzyme mechanisms—including nucleophilic and reductive catalysis and [...] Read more.
Protein cysteines often play crucial functional and structural roles, so they are emerging targets to design covalent thiol ligands that are able to modulate enzyme or protein functions. Some of these residues, especially those involved in enzyme mechanisms—including nucleophilic and reductive catalysis and thiol-disulfide exchange—display unusual hyper-reactivity; such a property is expected to result from a low pKa and from a great accessibility to a given reagent. New findings and previous evidence clearly indicate that pKa perturbations can only produce two–four-times increased reactivity at physiological pH values, far from the hundred and even thousand-times kinetic enhancements observed for some protein cysteines. The data from the molten globule-like structures of ribonuclease, lysozyme, bovine serum albumin and chymotrypsinogen identified new speeding agents, i.e., hydrophobic/electrostatic interactions and productive complex formations involving the protein and thiol reagent, which were able to confer exceptional reactivity to structural cysteines which were only intended to form disulfides. This study, for the first time, evaluates quantitatively the different contributions of pKa and other factors to the overall reactivity. These findings may help to clarify the mechanisms that allow a rapid disulfide formation during the oxidative folding of many proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Folding and Misfolding ---- Structure and Functions)
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Review
Are Alterations in Skeletal Muscle Mitochondria a Cause or Consequence of Insulin Resistance?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6948; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186948 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
As a major site of glucose uptake following a meal, skeletal muscle has an important role in whole-body glucose metabolism. Evidence in humans and animal models of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes suggests that alterations in mitochondrial characteristics accompany the development of [...] Read more.
As a major site of glucose uptake following a meal, skeletal muscle has an important role in whole-body glucose metabolism. Evidence in humans and animal models of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes suggests that alterations in mitochondrial characteristics accompany the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance. However, it is unclear whether changes in mitochondrial content, respiratory function, or substrate oxidation are central to the development of insulin resistance or occur in response to insulin resistance. Thus, this review will aim to evaluate the apparent conflicting information placing mitochondria as a key organelle in the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Mitochondria in Aging and Disease)
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