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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 23, Issue 10 (May-2 2022) – 570 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Altered cortical inhibition after a spinal cord injury is often studied with noninvasive approaches, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. When present, disinhibition may contribute to the amelioration of motor recovery, but maladaptive disinhibition may lead to the aggravation of symptoms. Changes in cortical excitability result from a plethora of processes, such as inflammation, metabolic stress, plasticity, neurotransmitter modulation, etc., the individual effects of which may combine in complex and variable outcomes. Nevertheless, the loss of inhibition may become a valuable resource for rehabilitation therapy. Thus, a better understanding of the mechanisms and dynamics of cortical disinhibition after a spinal cord injury will help to improve therapeutic strategies through more targeted interventions. View this paper
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Article
Fluctuations in Corneal Endothelial LAP2 Expression Levels Correlate with Passage Dependent Declines in Their Cell Proliferative Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5859; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105859 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The corneal endothelium is the inner corneal mono-layered epithelium, fundamental for preserving corneal hydration and transparency. However, molecular mechanisms that regulate corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs), in particular regarding their proliferative capacity, have been only partially elucidated. CEnCs are quiescent in vivo and they [...] Read more.
The corneal endothelium is the inner corneal mono-layered epithelium, fundamental for preserving corneal hydration and transparency. However, molecular mechanisms that regulate corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs), in particular regarding their proliferative capacity, have been only partially elucidated. CEnCs are quiescent in vivo and they easily undergo endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EnMT) in vitro. This study aims to analyze CEnCs behavior and expression in vitro, either in sub-confluent growing (S) or confluent (C) CEnCs cultures. Primary rabbit and human CEnCs were cultured and used for RT-PCR, immunofluorescence or western blot analysis. These methods allowed identifying a novel molecular marker, LAP2, that is upregulated in S while downregulated in C human or rabbit CEnCs. Those results were observed for several subsequent passages in culture and this, together with the correlation between ki67 and LAP2 expression, suggested LAP2 as a novel possible indicator for culture ageing. Finally, treatment with FGF and TGFβ in rCEnCs highlighted how LAP2 can vary as the cells regulate their proliferative state. In conclusion, we have identified a novel marker for CEnCs, LAP2, that regulates its expression depending on the cells sub/confluent state and that correlates with CEnCs proliferation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine)
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Article
Characterisation of Extracellular Vesicles from Equine Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5858; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105858 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized lipid bilayer-encapsulated particles secreted by virtually all cell types. EVs play an essential role in cellular crosstalk in health and disease. The cellular origin of EVs determines their composition and potential therapeutic effect. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC)-derived EVs [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized lipid bilayer-encapsulated particles secreted by virtually all cell types. EVs play an essential role in cellular crosstalk in health and disease. The cellular origin of EVs determines their composition and potential therapeutic effect. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC)-derived EVs have shown a comparable therapeutic potential to their donor cells, making them a promising tool for regenerative medicine. The therapeutic application of EVs circumvents some safety concerns associated with the transplantation of viable, replicating cells and facilitates the quality-controlled production as a ready-to-go, off-the-shelf biological therapy. Recently, the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) suggested a set of minimal biochemical, biophysical and functional standards to define extracellular vesicles and their functions to improve standardisation in EV research. However, nonstandardised EV isolation methods and the limited availability of cross-reacting markers for most animal species restrict the application of these standards in the veterinary field and, therefore, the species comparability and standardisation of animal experiments. In this study, EVs were isolated from equine bone-marrow-derived MSCs using two different isolation methods, stepwise ultracentrifugation and size exclusion chromatography, and minimal experimental requirements for equine EVs were established and validated. Equine EVs were characterised using a nanotracking analysis, fluorescence-triggered flow cytometry, Western blot and transelectron microscopy. Based on the ISEV standards, minimal criteria for defining equine EVs are suggested as a baseline to allow the comparison of EV preparations obtained by different laboratories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Article
NKG2C+ NK Cells for Immunotherapy of Glioblastoma Multiforme
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5857; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105857 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 761
Abstract
In glioblastoma, non-classical human leucocyte antigen E (HLA-E) and HLA-G are frequently overexpressed. HLA-E loaded with peptides derived from HLA class I and from HLA-G contributes to inhibition of natural killer (NK) cells with expression of the inhibitory receptor CD94/NKG2A. We investigated whether [...] Read more.
In glioblastoma, non-classical human leucocyte antigen E (HLA-E) and HLA-G are frequently overexpressed. HLA-E loaded with peptides derived from HLA class I and from HLA-G contributes to inhibition of natural killer (NK) cells with expression of the inhibitory receptor CD94/NKG2A. We investigated whether NK cells expressing the activating CD94/NKG2C receptor counterpart were able to exert anti-glioma effects. NKG2C+ subsets were preferentially expanded by a feeder cell line engineered to express an artificial disulfide-stabilized trimeric HLA-E ligand (HLA-E*spG). NK cells expanded by a feeder cell line, which facilitates outgrowth of conventional NKG2A+, and fresh NK cells, were included for comparison. Expansion via the HLA-E*spG feeder cells selectively increased the fraction of NKG2C+ NK cells, which displayed a higher frequency of KIR2DL2/L3/S2 and CD16 when compared to expanded NKG2A+ NK cells. NKG2C+ NK cells exhibited increased cytotoxicity against K562 and KIR:HLA-matched and -mismatched primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells when compared to NKG2A+ NK cells and corresponding fresh NK cells. Cytotoxic responses of NKG2C+ NK cells were even more pronounced when utilizing target cells engineered with HLA-E*spG. These findings support the notion that NKG2C+ NK cells have potential therapeutic value for treating gliomas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NK Cell Subsets in Health and Disease: New Developments)
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Review
Challenges in Analyzing Functional Epigenetic Data in Perspective of Adolescent Psychiatric Health
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5856; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105856 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 464
Abstract
The formative period of adolescence plays a crucial role in the development of skills and abilities for adulthood. Adolescents who are affected by mental health conditions are at risk of suicide and social and academic impairments. Gene–environment complementary contributions to the molecular mechanisms [...] Read more.
The formative period of adolescence plays a crucial role in the development of skills and abilities for adulthood. Adolescents who are affected by mental health conditions are at risk of suicide and social and academic impairments. Gene–environment complementary contributions to the molecular mechanisms involved in psychiatric disorders have emphasized the need to analyze epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation (DNAm) and non-coding RNAs. However, the large and diverse bioinformatic and statistical methods, referring to the confounders of the statistical models, application of multiple-testing adjustment methods, questions regarding the correlation of DNAm across tissues, and sex-dependent differences in results, have raised challenges regarding the interpretation of the results. Based on the example of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depressive disorder (MDD), we shed light on the current knowledge and usage of methodological tools in analyzing epigenetics. Statistical robustness is an essential prerequisite for a better understanding and interpretation of epigenetic modifications and helps to find novel targets for personalized therapeutics in psychiatric diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Mechanisms and Human Pathology 2.0)
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Article
Atomistic-Level Description of the Covalent Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 Papain-like Protease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5855; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105855 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Inhibition of the papain-like protease (PLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 has been demonstrated to be a successful target to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus in the infected body. In this regard, covalent inhibitors, such as the recently proposed VIR251 ligand, can irreversibly inactivate PLpro [...] Read more.
Inhibition of the papain-like protease (PLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 has been demonstrated to be a successful target to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus in the infected body. In this regard, covalent inhibitors, such as the recently proposed VIR251 ligand, can irreversibly inactivate PLpro by forming a covalent bond with a specific residue of the catalytic site (Cys111), through a Michael addition reaction. An inhibition mechanism can therefore be proposed, including four steps: (i) ligand entry into the protease pocket; (ii) Cys111 deprotonation of the thiol group by a Brønsted–Lowry base; (iii) Cys111-S addition to the ligand; and (iv) proton transfer from the protonated base to the covalently bound ligand. Evaluating the energetics and PLpro conformational changes at each of these steps could aid the design of more efficient and selective covalent inhibitors. For this aim, we have studied by means of MD simulations and QM/MM calculations the whole mechanism. Regarding the first step, we show that the inhibitor entry in the PLpro pocket is thermodynamically favorable only when considering the neutral Cys111, that is, prior to the Cys111 deprotonation. For the second step, MD simulations revealed that His272 would deprotonate Cys111 after overcoming an energy barrier of ca. 32 kcal/mol (at the QM/MM level), but implying a decrease of the inhibitor stability inside the protease pocket. This information points to a reversible Cys111 deprotonation, whose equilibrium is largely shifted toward the neutral Cys111 form. Although thermodynamically disfavored, if Cys111 is deprotonated in close proximity to the vinylic carbon of the ligand, then covalent binding takes place in an irreversible way (third step) to form the enolate intermediate. Finally, due to Cys111-S negative charge redistribution over the bound ligand, proton transfer from the initially protonated His272 is favored, finally leading to an irreversibly modified Cys111 and a restored His272. These results elucidate the selectivity of Cys111 to enable formation of a covalent bond, even if a weak proton acceptor is available, as His272. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Interactions and Mechanisms of COVID-19 Inhibition)
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Article
Physoxia Influences Global and Gene-Specific Methylation in Pluripotent Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5854; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105854 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Pluripotent stem cells (PSC) possess unlimited proliferation, self-renewal, and a differentiation capacity spanning all germ layers. Appropriate culture conditions are important for the maintenance of self-renewal, pluripotency, proliferation, differentiation, and epigenetic states. Oxygen concentrations vary across different human tissues depending on precise cell [...] Read more.
Pluripotent stem cells (PSC) possess unlimited proliferation, self-renewal, and a differentiation capacity spanning all germ layers. Appropriate culture conditions are important for the maintenance of self-renewal, pluripotency, proliferation, differentiation, and epigenetic states. Oxygen concentrations vary across different human tissues depending on precise cell location and proximity to vascularisation. The bulk of PSC culture-based research is performed in a physiologically hyperoxic, air oxygen (21% O2) environment, with numerous reports now detailing the impact of a physiologic normoxia (physoxia), low oxygen culture in the maintenance of stemness, survival, morphology, proliferation, differentiation potential, and epigenetic profiles. Epigenetic mechanisms affect multiple cellular characteristics including gene expression during development and cell-fate determination in differentiated cells. We hypothesized that epigenetic marks are responsive to a reduced oxygen microenvironment in PSCs and their differentiation progeny. Here, we evaluated the role of physoxia in PSC culture, the regulation of DNA methylation (5mC (5-methylcytosine) and 5hmC (5-hydroxymethylcytosine)), and the expression of regulatory enzyme DNMTs and TETs. Physoxia enhanced the functional profile of PSC including proliferation, metabolic activity, and stemness attributes. PSCs cultured in physoxia revealed the significant downregulation of DNMT3B, DNMT3L, TET1, and TET3 vs. air oxygen, accompanied by significantly reduced 5mC and 5hmC levels. The downregulation of DNMT3B was associated with an increase in its promoter methylation. Coupled with the above, we also noted decreased HIF1A but increased HIF2A expression in physoxia-cultured PSCs versus air oxygen. In conclusion, PSCs display oxygen-sensitive methylation patterns that correlate with the transcriptional and translational regulation of the de novo methylase DNMT3B. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methyltransferase)
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Article
Analysis of Huntington’s Disease Modifiers Using the Hyperbolic Mapping of the Protein Interaction Network
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5853; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105853 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 501
Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD) is caused by the production of a mutant huntingtin (HTT) with an abnormally long poly-glutamine (polyQ) tract, forming aggregates and inclusions in neurons. Previous work by us and others has shown that an increase or decrease in polyQ-triggered aggregates can [...] Read more.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is caused by the production of a mutant huntingtin (HTT) with an abnormally long poly-glutamine (polyQ) tract, forming aggregates and inclusions in neurons. Previous work by us and others has shown that an increase or decrease in polyQ-triggered aggregates can be passive simply due to the interaction of proteins with the aggregates. To search for proteins with active (functional) effects, which might be more effective in finding therapies and mechanisms of HD, we selected among the proteins that interact with HTT a total of 49 pairs of proteins that, while being paralogous to each other (and thus expected to have similar passive interaction with HTT), are located in different regions of the protein interaction network (suggesting participation in different pathways or complexes). Three of these 49 pairs contained members with opposite effects on HD, according to the literature. The negative members of the three pairs, MID1, IKBKG, and IKBKB, interact with PPP2CA and TUBB, which are known negative factors in HD, as well as with HSP90AA1 and RPS3. The positive members of the three pairs interact with HSPA9. Our results provide potential HD modifiers of functional relevance and reveal the dynamic aspect of paralog evolution within the interaction network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Huntington’s Disease)
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Article
Theragnostic Efficacy of K18 Response in Alcohol Use Disorder with Clinically Significant Fibrosis Using Gut-Liver Axis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5852; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105852 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 424
Abstract
(1) Background: Fibrosis in early-stage alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) is commonly under-diagnosed in routine clinical practice. This study characterized the liver-injury and cell death response in alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients with ALD who also exhibited fibrosis and assessed the efficacy of standard [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Fibrosis in early-stage alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) is commonly under-diagnosed in routine clinical practice. This study characterized the liver-injury and cell death response in alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients with ALD who also exhibited fibrosis and assessed the efficacy of standard of care (SOC) treatment in the improvement in liver injury. (2) Methods: Forty-eight heavy-drinking AUD patients aged 21–65 yrs. without clinical manifestations of liver injury were grouped by Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) score, as negative (Gr.1 < 1.45, n = 21) or positive (Gr.2 ≥ 1.45, n = 27). Patients received 2-weeks (2 w) inpatient SOC. Data on demographics, drinking patterns, liver-injury, immune markers, and liver cell death (K18s) markers were analyzed at baseline (BL) and after 2 w SOC. (3) Results: Lifetime drinking (LTDH, yrs.) and acute heavy drinking (Heavy Drinking Days Past 90 Days [HDD90]) markers were significantly higher in Gr.2 vs. Gr.1. BL ALT, AST, AST:ALT and K18M65 were considerably higher in Gr.2. Dysregulated gut dysfunction and elevated immune activity were evident in Gr.2 characterized by TNF-α, IL-8 and LPS levels. After SOC, Gr.2 showed improvement in AST, ALT, AST/ALT ratio; and in the K18M65, K18M30 and K18M65/M30 ratio vs. Gr.1. The true positivity of BL IL-8 response to predict the improvement in K18M65 to normal levels among Gr.2 patients against those who did not have improvement after 2 w SOC was very high (AUROC = 0.830, p = 0.042). (4) Conclusions: Gut dysfunction, elevated cytokine response and necrotic liver cell death were elevated in AUD patients with early-stage ALD. K18 showed promise as a predictive theragnostic factor to differentiate among the AUD patients with early-stage ALD and baseline fibrosis who had improvement in liver injury against those who did not, by the levels of baseline IL-8. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut and the Liver in Health and Disease)
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Article
Hematopoietic Disorders, Renal Impairment and Growth in Mucopolysaccharidosis-Plus Syndrome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5851; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105851 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 481
Abstract
Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are rare lysosomal storage disorders (LSD) characterized by the excessive accumulation of glycosaminoglycans (GAG). Conventional MPS, caused by inborn deficiencies of lysosomal enzymes involved in GAG degradation, display various multisystemic symptoms—including progressive neurological complications, ophthalmological disorders, hearing loss, gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary [...] Read more.
Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are rare lysosomal storage disorders (LSD) characterized by the excessive accumulation of glycosaminoglycans (GAG). Conventional MPS, caused by inborn deficiencies of lysosomal enzymes involved in GAG degradation, display various multisystemic symptoms—including progressive neurological complications, ophthalmological disorders, hearing loss, gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary issues, cardiorespiratory problems, bone and joint abnormalities, dwarfism, and coarse facial features. Mucopolysaccharidosis-Plus Syndrome (MPSPS), an autosomal recessive disease caused by a mutation in the endo-lysosomal tethering protein VPS33A, shows additional renal and hematopoietic abnormalities (“Plus symptoms”) uncommon in conventional MPS. Here, we analyze data from biochemical, histological, and physical examinations—particularly of blood counts and kidney function—to further characterize the clinical phenotype of MPSPS. A series of blood tests indicate hematopoietic symptoms including progressive anemia and thrombocytopenia, which correlate with histological observations of hypoplastic bone marrow. High urinary excretion of protein (caused by impairments in renal filtration), hypoalbuminemia, and elevated levels of creatinine, cholesterol, and uric acid indicate renal dysfunction. Histological analyses of MPSPS kidneys similarly suggest the extensive destruction of glomerular structures by foamy podocytes. Height and weight did not significantly deviate from the average, but in some cases, growth began to decline at around six months or one year of age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mucopolysaccharidoses: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management 3.0)
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Article
A Structural Potential of Rare Trinucleotide Repeat Tracts in RNA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5850; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105850 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 342
Abstract
Among types of trinucleotide repeats, there is some disproportion in the frequency of their occurrence in the human exome. This research presents new data describing the folding and thermodynamic stability of short, tandem RNA repeats of 23 types, focusing on the rare, yet [...] Read more.
Among types of trinucleotide repeats, there is some disproportion in the frequency of their occurrence in the human exome. This research presents new data describing the folding and thermodynamic stability of short, tandem RNA repeats of 23 types, focusing on the rare, yet poorly analyzed ones. UV-melting experiments included the presence of PEG or potassium and magnesium ions to determine their effect on the stability of RNA repeats structures. Rare repeats predominantly stayed single-stranded but had the potential for base pairing with other partially complementary repeat tracts. A coexistence of suitably complementary repeat types in a single RNA creates opportunities for interaction in the context of the secondary structure of RNA. We searched the human transcriptome for model RNAs in which different, particularly rare trinucleotide repeats coexist and selected the GABRA4 and CHIC1 RNAs to study intramolecular interactions between the repeat tracts that they contain. In vitro secondary structure probing results showed that the UAA and UUG repeat tracts, present in GABRA4 3′ UTR, form a double helix, which separates one of its structural domains. For the RNA CHIC1 ORF fragment containing four short AGG repeat tracts and the CGU tract, we proved the formation of quadruplexes that blocked reverse transcription. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on RNA Structure)
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Article
Genotoxicological Characterization of (±)cis-4,4′-DMAR and (±)trans-4,4′-DMAR and Their Association
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5849; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105849 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 384
Abstract
The novel psychoactive substance (NPS) 4-Methyl-5-(4-methylphenyl)-4,5-dihydroxazol-2-amine (4,4′-DMAR) shows psychostimulant activity. Data on the acute toxicity of 4,4′-DMAR are becoming increasingly available, yet the long-term effects are still almost unknown. In particular, no data on genotoxicity are available. Therefore, the aim of the present [...] Read more.
The novel psychoactive substance (NPS) 4-Methyl-5-(4-methylphenyl)-4,5-dihydroxazol-2-amine (4,4′-DMAR) shows psychostimulant activity. Data on the acute toxicity of 4,4′-DMAR are becoming increasingly available, yet the long-term effects are still almost unknown. In particular, no data on genotoxicity are available. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate its genotoxic potential using the “In Vitro Mammalian Cell Micronucleus Test” (MNvit) on (±)cis-4,4′-DMAR and (±)trans-4,4′-DMAR and their associations. The analyses were conducted in vitro on human TK6 cells. To select suitable concentrations for MNvit, we preliminarily evaluated cytotoxicity and apoptosis. All endpoints were analysed by flow cytometry. The results reveal the two racemates’ opposite behaviours: (±)cis-4,4′-DMAR shows a statistically significant increase in micronuclei (MNi) frequency that (±)trans-4,4′-DMAR is completely incapable of. This contrast confirms the well-known possibility of observing opposite biological effects of the cis- and trans- isomers of a compound, and it highlights the importance of testing single NPSs that show even small differences in structure or conformation. The genotoxic capacity demonstrated stresses an additional alarming toxicological concern related to this NPS. Moreover, the co-treatments indicate that consuming both racemates will magnify the genotoxic effect, an aspect to consider given the unpredictability of illicit drug composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaco-Toxicological Effects of Novel Psychoactive Substances)
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Editorial
Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) 2021
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5848; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105848 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a transdifferentiation process wherein epithelial cells acquire characteristics typical of mesenchymal cells [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) 2021)
Review
The Role of Transposable Elements of the Human Genome in Neuronal Function and Pathology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5847; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105847 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Transposable elements (TEs) have been extensively studied for decades. In recent years, the introduction of whole-genome and whole-transcriptome approaches, as well as single-cell resolution techniques, provided a breakthrough that uncovered TE involvement in host gene expression regulation underlying multiple normal and pathological processes. [...] Read more.
Transposable elements (TEs) have been extensively studied for decades. In recent years, the introduction of whole-genome and whole-transcriptome approaches, as well as single-cell resolution techniques, provided a breakthrough that uncovered TE involvement in host gene expression regulation underlying multiple normal and pathological processes. Of particular interest is increased TE activity in neuronal tissue, and specifically in the hippocampus, that was repeatedly demonstrated in multiple experiments. On the other hand, numerous neuropathologies are associated with TE dysregulation. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of literature about the role of TEs in neurons published over the last three decades. The first chapter of the present review describes known mechanisms of TE interaction with host genomes in general, with the focus on mammalian and human TEs; the second chapter provides examples of TE exaptation in normal neuronal tissue, including TE involvement in neuronal differentiation and plasticity; and the last chapter lists TE-related neuropathologies. We sought to provide specific molecular mechanisms of TE involvement in neuron-specific processes whenever possible; however, in many cases, only phenomenological reports were available. This underscores the importance of further studies in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection State-of-the-Art Molecular Neurobiology in Russia)
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Article
The Profile of MicroRNA Expression and Potential Role in the Regulation of Drug-Resistant Genes in Doxorubicin and Topotecan Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5846; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105846 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Epithelial ovarian cancer has the highest mortality among all gynecological malignancies. The main reasons for high mortality are late diagnosis and development of resistance to chemotherapy. Resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs can result from altered expression of drug-resistance genes regulated by miRNA. The main [...] Read more.
Epithelial ovarian cancer has the highest mortality among all gynecological malignancies. The main reasons for high mortality are late diagnosis and development of resistance to chemotherapy. Resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs can result from altered expression of drug-resistance genes regulated by miRNA. The main goal of our study was to detect differences in miRNA expression levels in two doxorubicin (DOX)- and two topotecan (TOP)-resistant variants of the A2780 drug-sensitive ovarian cancer cell line by miRNA microarray. The next aim was to recognize miRNAs as factors responsible for the regulation of drug-resistance genes. We observed altered expression of 28 miRNA that may be related to drug resistance. The upregulation of miR-125b-5p and miR-935 and downregulation of miR-218-5p was observed in both DOX-resistant cell lines. In both TOP-resistant cell lines, we noted the overexpression of miR-99a-5p, miR-100-5p, miR-125b-5p, and miR-125b-2-3p and decreased expression of miR-551b-3p, miR-551b-5p, and miR-383-5p. Analysis of the targets suggested that expression of important drug-resistant genes such as the collagen type I alpha 2 chain (COL1A2), protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Receptor Type K (PTPRK), receptor tyrosine kinase—EPHA7, Roundabout Guidance Receptor 2 (ROBO2), myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate (MARCK), and the ATP-binding cassette subfamily G member 2 (ABCG2) can be regulated by miRNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of MicroRNAs in Cancer Development and Treatment)
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Article
The Effect of Activated FXIII, a Transglutaminase, on Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5845; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105845 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 446
Abstract
Plasma factor XIII (pFXIII) is a heterotetramer of FXIII-A and FXIII-B subunits. The cellular form (cFXIII), a dimer of FXIII-A, is present in a number of cell types. Activated FXIII (FXIIIa), a transglutaminase, plays an important role in clot stabilization, wound healing, angiogenesis [...] Read more.
Plasma factor XIII (pFXIII) is a heterotetramer of FXIII-A and FXIII-B subunits. The cellular form (cFXIII), a dimer of FXIII-A, is present in a number of cell types. Activated FXIII (FXIIIa), a transglutaminase, plays an important role in clot stabilization, wound healing, angiogenesis and maintenance of pregnancy. It has a direct effect on vascular endothelial cells and fibroblasts, which have been implicated in the development of atherosclerotic plaques. Our aim was to explore the effect of FXIIIa on human aortic smooth muscle cells (HAoSMCs), another major cell type in the atherosclerotic plaque. Osteoblastic transformation induced by Pi and Ca2+ failed to elicit the expression of cFXIII in HAoSMCs. EZ4U, CCK-8 and CytoSelect Wound Healing assays were used to investigate cell proliferation and migration. The Sircol Collagen Assay Kit was used to monitor collagen secretion. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) levels were measured by ELISA. Cell-associated TSP-1 was detected by the immunofluorescence technique. The TSP-1 mRNA level was estimated by RT-qPCR. Activated recombinant cFXIII (rFXIIIa) increased cell proliferation and collagen secretion. In parallel, a 67% decrease in TSP-1 concentration in the medium and a 2.5-fold increase in cells were observed. TSP-1 mRNA did not change significantly. These effects of FXIIIa might contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic plaques. Full article
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Article
Molecular and Physiological Responses of Citrus sinensis Leaves to Long-Term Low pH Revealed by RNA-Seq Integrated with Targeted Metabolomics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5844; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105844 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Low pH-induced alterations in gene expression profiles and organic acids (OA) and free amino acid (FAA) abundances were investigated in sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck cv. Xuegan] leaves. We identified 503 downregulated and 349 upregulated genes in low pH-treated leaves. Further [...] Read more.
Low pH-induced alterations in gene expression profiles and organic acids (OA) and free amino acid (FAA) abundances were investigated in sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck cv. Xuegan] leaves. We identified 503 downregulated and 349 upregulated genes in low pH-treated leaves. Further analysis indicated that low pH impaired light reaction and carbon fixation in photosynthetic organisms, thereby lowering photosynthesis in leaves. Low pH reduced carbon and carbohydrate metabolisms, OA biosynthesis and ATP production in leaves. Low pH downregulated the biosynthesis of nitrogen compounds, proteins, and FAAs in leaves, which might be conducive to maintaining energy homeostasis during ATP deprivation. Low pH-treated leaves displayed some adaptive responses to phosphate starvation, including phosphate recycling, lipid remodeling, and phosphate transport, thus enhancing leaf acid-tolerance. Low pH upregulated the expression of some reactive oxygen species (ROS) and aldehyde detoxifying enzyme (peroxidase and superoxidase) genes and the concentrations of some antioxidants (L-tryptophan, L-proline, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, and pyroglutamic acid), but it impaired the pentose phosphate pathway and VE and secondary metabolite biosynthesis and downregulated the expression of some ROS and aldehyde detoxifying enzyme (ascorbate peroxidase, aldo-keto reductase, and 2-alkenal reductase) genes and the concentrations of some antioxidants (pyridoxine and γ-aminobutyric acid), thus disturbing the balance between production and detoxification of ROS and aldehydes and causing oxidative damage to leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Abiotic Stress Responses in Trees)
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Article
Morphological Characterization and Integrated Transcriptome and Proteome Analysis of Organ Development Defective 1 (odd1) Mutant in Cucumis sativus L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5843; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105843 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is an economically important vegetable crop with the unique growth habit and typical trailing shoot architecture of Cucurbitaceae. Elucidating the regulatory mechanisms of growth and development is significant for improving quality and productivity in cucumber. Here we isolated [...] Read more.
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is an economically important vegetable crop with the unique growth habit and typical trailing shoot architecture of Cucurbitaceae. Elucidating the regulatory mechanisms of growth and development is significant for improving quality and productivity in cucumber. Here we isolated a spontaneous cucumber mutant organ development defective 1 (odd1) with multiple morphological changes including root, plant stature, stem, leaf, male and female flowers, as well as fruit. Anatomical and cytological analyses demonstrated that both cell size and number decreased, and the shoot apical meristem (SAM) was smaller in odd1 compared with WT. Pollen vigor and germination assays and cross tests revealed that odd1 is female sterile, which may be caused by the absence of ovules. Genetic analysis showed that odd1 is a recessive single gene mutant. Using the MutMap strategy, the odd1 gene was found to be located on chromosome 5. Integrated profiling of transcriptome and proteome indicated that the different expression genes related to hormones and SAM maintenance might be the reason for the phenotypic changes of odd1. These results expanded the insight into the molecular regulation of organ growth and development and provided a comprehensive reference map for further studies in cucumber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Review
Neuropathological Features of Gaucher Disease and Gaucher Disease with Parkinsonism
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5842; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105842 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Deficient acid β-glucocerebrosidase activity due to biallelic mutations in GBA1 results in Gaucher disease (GD). Patients with this lysosomal storage disorder exhibit a wide range of associated manifestations, spanning from virtually asymptomatic adults to infants with severe neurodegeneration. While type 1 GD (GD1) [...] Read more.
Deficient acid β-glucocerebrosidase activity due to biallelic mutations in GBA1 results in Gaucher disease (GD). Patients with this lysosomal storage disorder exhibit a wide range of associated manifestations, spanning from virtually asymptomatic adults to infants with severe neurodegeneration. While type 1 GD (GD1) is considered non-neuronopathic, a small subset of patients develop parkinsonian features. Variants in GBA1 are also an important risk factor for several common Lewy body disorders (LBDs). Neuropathological examinations of patients with GD, including those who developed LBDs, are rare. GD primarily affects macrophages, and perivascular infiltration of Gaucher macrophages is the most common neuropathologic finding. However, the frequency of these clusters and the affected anatomical region varies. GD affects astrocytes, and, in neuronopathic GD, neurons in cerebral cortical layers 3 and 5, layer 4b of the calcarine cortex, and hippocampal regions CA2–4. In addition, several reports describe selective degeneration of the cerebellar dentate nucleus in chronic neuronopathic GD. GD1 is characterized by astrogliosis without prominent neuronal loss. In GD-LBD, widespread Lewy body pathology is seen, often involving hippocampal regions CA2–4. Additional neuropathological examinations in GD are sorely needed to clarify disease-specific patterns and elucidate causative mechanisms relevant to GD, and potentially to more common neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipid Mediated Mechanisms in Neurologic and Neuropsychiatric Disease)
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Article
Optical Fluorescence Imaging of Native Proteins Using a Fluorescent Probe with a Cell-Membrane-Permeable Carboxyl Group
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5841; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105841 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Although various methods for selective protein tagging have been established, their ap plications are limited by the low fluorescent tagging efficiency of specific terminal regions of the native proteins of interest (NPIs). In this study, the highly sensitive fluorescence imaging of single NPIs [...] Read more.
Although various methods for selective protein tagging have been established, their ap plications are limited by the low fluorescent tagging efficiency of specific terminal regions of the native proteins of interest (NPIs). In this study, the highly sensitive fluorescence imaging of single NPIs was demonstrated using a eukaryotic translation mechanism involving a free carboxyl group of a cell-permeable fluorescent dye. In living cells, the carboxyl group of cell-permeable fluorescent dyes reacted with the lysine residues of acceptor peptides (AP or AVI-Tag). Genetically encoded recognition demonstrated that the efficiency of fluorescence labeling was nearly 100%. Nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni-NTA) beads bound efficiently to a single NPI for detection in a cell without purification. Our labeling approach satisfied the necessary conditions for measuring fluorescently labeled NPI using universal carboxyl fluorescent dyes. This approach is expected to be useful for resolving complex biological/ecological issues and robust single-molecule analyses of dynamic processes, in addition to applications in ultra-sensitive NPIs detection using nanotechnology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Article
The Increase of miR-195-5p Reduces Intestinal Permeability in Ulcerative Colitis, Modulating Tight Junctions’ Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5840; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105840 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Defects in the intestinal epithelial barrier functions characterize inflammatory conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Overexpression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1B, IL-6 and INF-γ trigger epithelial damage. These cytokines are due to upregulation of claudin-2 (CLDN2) that form a pore [...] Read more.
Defects in the intestinal epithelial barrier functions characterize inflammatory conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Overexpression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1B, IL-6 and INF-γ trigger epithelial damage. These cytokines are due to upregulation of claudin-2 (CLDN2) that form a pore channel, resulting in redistribution of TJs and an alteration of barrier permeability. Recently, we demonstrated that miR-195-5p is able to regulate CLDN2 and indirectly also CLDN1 in intestinal epithelial cells. Now, we aimed to investigate the modulation of miR-195-5p on the expression of CLDN2 and other TJs under inflammatory conditions induced by TNF-α. We demonstrated that miR-195-5p also modulated the expression of CLDN2 levels after stimulation with TNF-α. In addition, we discovered the role of miR-195-5p in the integrity of the intestinal barrier and in promoting the restoration of the intestinal epithelial. Moreover, we established that replacement of miR-195-5p attenuated the colonic inflammatory response in DSS-induced, colitis and it reduced colonic permeability. In conclusion, our data revealed the role of miR-195-5p in intestinal inflammation in ulcerative colitis, suggesting a potential pharmacological target for new therapeutic approaches. Full article
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Article
Study of Oligonucleotides Access and Distribution in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5839; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105839 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 435
Abstract
Therapeutic oligonucleotides have achieved great clinical interest since their approval as drug agents by regulatory agencies but their access and distribution in blood cells are not completely known. We evaluated by flow cytometry the ability of short fluorescent scramble oligonucleotides (ON*) to access [...] Read more.
Therapeutic oligonucleotides have achieved great clinical interest since their approval as drug agents by regulatory agencies but their access and distribution in blood cells are not completely known. We evaluated by flow cytometry the ability of short fluorescent scramble oligonucleotides (ON*) to access human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) after incubating with ON* during 1 h and 7 days of culture follow-up ‘in vitro’. Blood samples were treated with chemically modified oligonucleotides (phosphorothioate backbone and 2′ O-Me ends) to resist nuclease digestion under culture conditions. The ON* internalization was determined after discarding the membrane-associated fluorescence by trypan blue quenching. Whereas the oligonucleotide accessed neutrophils and monocytes rapidly, achieving their maximum in 1 h and 24 h, respectively, lymphocytes required 7 days to achieve the maximum (80% of cells) transfection. The ON*ability to access lymphocyte types (T, B, and NK) and T cell subtypes (CD4+, CD8+, and CD4-CD8-) were similar, with T cells being more accessible. Regulatory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were classified in low and high Foxp3 expressers, whose expression proved not to alter the ON* internalization during the first hour, achieving 53% of CD4+Foxp3+ and 40% of CD8+Foxp3+ cells. Our results contribute to understanding and improving the management of therapeutic ONs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oligonucleotide, Therapy, and Applications 2.0)
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Review
Implication of microRNAs in Carcinogenesis with Emphasis on Hematological Malignancies and Clinical Translation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5838; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105838 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 431
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are evolutionarily conserved small non-coding RNAs, that are involved in the multistep process of carcinogenesis, contributing to all established hallmarks of cancer. In this review, implications of miRNAs in hematological malignancies and their clinical utilization fields are discussed. As components of [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are evolutionarily conserved small non-coding RNAs, that are involved in the multistep process of carcinogenesis, contributing to all established hallmarks of cancer. In this review, implications of miRNAs in hematological malignancies and their clinical utilization fields are discussed. As components of the complex regulatory network of gene expression, influenced by the tissue microenvironment and epigenetic modifiers, miRNAs are “micromanagers” of all physiological processes including the regulation of hematopoiesis and metabolic pathways. Dysregulated miRNA expression levels contribute to both the initiation and progression of acute leukemias, the metabolic reprogramming of malignantly transformed hematopoietic precursors, and to the development of chemoresistance. Since they are highly stable and can be easily quantified in body fluids and tissue specimens, miRNAs are promising biomarkers for the early detection of hematological malignancies. Besides novel opportunities for differential diagnosis, miRNAs can contribute to advanced chemoresistance prediction and prognostic stratification of acute leukemias. Synthetic oligonucleotides and delivery vehicles aim the therapeutic modulation of miRNA expression levels. However, major challenges such as efficient delivery to specific locations, differences of miRNA expression patterns between pediatric and adult hematological malignancies, and potential side effects of miRNA-based therapies should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of MicroRNAs in Cancer Development and Treatment)
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Review
PD-1/PD-L1, MDSC Pathways, and Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy in Ph(-) Myeloproliferative Neoplasm: A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5837; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105837 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 457
Abstract
There has been significant progress in immune checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) therapy in many solid tumor types. However, only a single failed study has been published in treating Ph(-) myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). To make progress in CPI studies on this disease, herein, we [...] Read more.
There has been significant progress in immune checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) therapy in many solid tumor types. However, only a single failed study has been published in treating Ph(-) myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). To make progress in CPI studies on this disease, herein, we review and summarize the mechanisms of activation of the PD-L1 promoter, which are as follows: (a) the extrinsic mechanism, which is activated by interferon gamma (IFN γ) by tumor infiltration lymphocytes (TIL) and NK cells; (b) the intrinsic mechanism of EGFR or PTEN loss resulting in the activation of the MAPK and AKT pathways and then stat 1 and 3 activation; and (c) 9p24 amplicon amplification, resulting in PD-L1 and Jak2 activation. We also review the literature and postulate that many of the failures of CPI therapy in MPN are likely due to excessive MDSC activities. We list all of the anti-MDSC agents, especially those with ruxolitinib, IMID compounds, and BTK inhibitors, which may be combined with CPI therapy in the future as part of clinical trials applying CPI therapy to Ph(-) MPN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PD-L1, a Master Regulator of Immunity 2.0)
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Editorial
Biophysical Study of the Structure, Dynamics, and Function of Nucleic Acids
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5836; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105836 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Nucleic acids have essential roles in all biological processes related to genetic information, such as replication, transcription, translation, repair, and recombination [...] Full article
Editorial
Editorial to Special Issue “Theme Issue Honoring Prof. Dr. Ludger Wessjohann’s 60th Birthday: Natural Products in Modern Drug Discovery”
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5835; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105835 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Nature continuously produces biologically useful molecules and provides mankind with life-saving drugs or therapies [...] Full article
Article
Viability of Glioblastoma Cells and Fibroblasts in the Presence of Imidazole-Containing Compounds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5834; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105834 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 313
Abstract
The naturally occurring dipeptide carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) specifically attenuates tumor growth. Here, we ask whether other small imidazole-containing compounds also affect the viability of tumor cells without affecting non-malignant cells and whether the formation of histamine is involved. Patient-derived fibroblasts and glioblastoma [...] Read more.
The naturally occurring dipeptide carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) specifically attenuates tumor growth. Here, we ask whether other small imidazole-containing compounds also affect the viability of tumor cells without affecting non-malignant cells and whether the formation of histamine is involved. Patient-derived fibroblasts and glioblastoma cells were treated with carnosine, L-alanyl-L-histidine (LA-LH), β-alanyl-L-alanine, L-histidine, histamine, imidazole, β-alanine, and L-alanine. Cell viability was assessed by cell-based assays and microscopy. The intracellular release of L-histidine and formation of histamine was investigated by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Carnosine and LA-LH inhibited tumor cell growth with minor effects on fibroblasts, and L-histidine, histamine, and imidazole affected viability in both cell types. Compounds without the imidazole moiety did not diminish viability. In the presence of LA-LH but not in the presence of carnosine, a significant rise in intracellular amounts of histidine was detected in all cells. The formation of histamine was not detectable in the presence of carnosine, LA-LH, or histidine. In conclusion, the imidazole moiety of carnosine contributes to its anti-neoplastic effect, which is also seen in the presence of histidine and LA-LH. Despite the fact that histamine has a strong effect on cell viability, the formation of histamine is not responsible for the effects on the cell viability of carnosine, LA-LH, and histidine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
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Communication
Short-Term Exposure Effects of the Environmental Endocrine Disruptor Benzo(a)Pyrene on Thyroid Axis Function in Zebrafish
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5833; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105833 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP) is one of the most widespread polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with endocrine disrupting properties and carcinogenic effects. In the present study, we tested the effect of BaP on thyroid development and function, using zebrafish as a model system. Zebrafish embryos were [...] Read more.
Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP) is one of the most widespread polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with endocrine disrupting properties and carcinogenic effects. In the present study, we tested the effect of BaP on thyroid development and function, using zebrafish as a model system. Zebrafish embryos were treated with 50 nM BaP from 2.5 to 72 h post fertilization (hpf) and compared to 1.2% DMSO controls. The expression profiles of markers of thyroid primordium specification, thyroid hormone (TH) synthesis, hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, TH transport and metabolism, and TH action were analyzed in pools of treated and control embryos at different developmental stages. BaP treatment did not affect early markers of thyroid differentiation but resulted in a significant decrease of markers of TH synthesis (tg and nis) likely secondary to defective expression of the central stimulatory hormones of thyroid axis (trh, tshba) and of TH metabolism (dio2). Consequently, immunofluorescence of BaP treated larvae showed a low number of follicles immunoreactive to T4. In conclusion, our results revealed that the short-term exposure to BaP significantly affects thyroid function in zebrafish, but the primary toxic effects would be exerted at the hypothalamic-pituitary level thus creating a model of central hypothyroidism. Full article
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Article
Coffee Polyphenol, Chlorogenic Acid, Suppresses Brain Aging and Its Effects Are Enhanced by Milk Fat Globule Membrane Components
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5832; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105832 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Mice feed with coffee polyphenols (CPP, chlorogenic acid) and milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) has increased survival rates and helps retain long-term memory. In the cerebral cortex of aged mice, CPP intake decreased the expression of the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, and lysosomal enzyme [...] Read more.
Mice feed with coffee polyphenols (CPP, chlorogenic acid) and milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) has increased survival rates and helps retain long-term memory. In the cerebral cortex of aged mice, CPP intake decreased the expression of the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, and lysosomal enzyme cathepsin B. The suppression of inflammation in the brain during aging was thought to result in the suppression of the repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST) and prevention of brain aging. In contrast, CPP increased the expression of REST, cAMP-responsive element binding (CREB) and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) in the young hippocampus. The increased expression of these factors may contribute to the induction of neuronal differentiation and the suppression of memory decline with aging. Taken together, these results suggest that CPP increases CREB in the young hippocampus and suppresses inflammation in the old brain, resulting in a preventive effect on brain aging. The endotoxin levels were not elevated in the serum of aged mice. Although the mechanism of action of MFGM has not yet been elucidated, the increase in survival rate with both CPP and MFGM intake suggests that adding milk to coffee may improve not only the taste, but also the function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanism of Natural Compounds in Neuroinflammation)
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Review
Application of 3D-Printed, PLGA-Based Scaffolds in Bone Tissue Engineering
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5831; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105831 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Polylactic acid–glycolic acid (PLGA) has been widely used in bone tissue engineering due to its favorable biocompatibility and adjustable biodegradation. 3D printing technology can prepare scaffolds with rich structure and function, and is one of the best methods to obtain scaffolds for bone [...] Read more.
Polylactic acid–glycolic acid (PLGA) has been widely used in bone tissue engineering due to its favorable biocompatibility and adjustable biodegradation. 3D printing technology can prepare scaffolds with rich structure and function, and is one of the best methods to obtain scaffolds for bone tissue repair. This review systematically summarizes the research progress of 3D-printed, PLGA-based scaffolds. The properties of the modified components of scaffolds are introduced in detail. The influence of structure and printing method change in printing process is analyzed. The advantages and disadvantages of their applications are illustrated by several examples. Finally, we briefly discuss the limitations and future development direction of current 3D-printed, PLGA-based materials for bone tissue repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing and Biomaterials for Biological and Medical Application)
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Article
The Long-Term Culture of Human Fibroblasts Reveals a Spectroscopic Signature of Senescence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5830; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms23105830 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Aging is a complex process which leads to progressive loss of fitness/capability/ability, increasing susceptibility to disease and, ultimately, death. Regardless of the organism, there are some features common to aging, namely, the loss of proteostasis and cell senescence. Mammalian cell lines have been [...] Read more.
Aging is a complex process which leads to progressive loss of fitness/capability/ability, increasing susceptibility to disease and, ultimately, death. Regardless of the organism, there are some features common to aging, namely, the loss of proteostasis and cell senescence. Mammalian cell lines have been used as models to study the aging process, in particular, cell senescence. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterize the senescence-associated metabolic profile of a long-term culture of human fibroblasts using Fourier Transform Infrared and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. We sub-cultivated fibroblasts from a newborn donor from passage 4 to passage 17 and the results showed deep changes in the spectroscopic profile of cells over time. Late passage cells were characterized by a decrease in the length of fatty acid chains, triglycerides and cholesterol and an increase in lipid unsaturation. We also found an increase in the content of intermolecular β-sheets, possibly indicating an increase in protein aggregation levels in cells of later passages. Metabolic profiling by NMR showed increased levels of extracellular lactate, phosphocholine and glycine in cells at later passages. This study suggests that spectroscopy approaches can be successfully used to study changes concomitant with cell senescence and validate the use of human fibroblasts as a model to monitor the aging process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Neurobiology)
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