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Topical Collection "Feature Papers in Molecular Toxicology"

A topical collection in International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This collection belongs to the section "Molecular Toxicology".

Editor

Prof. Dr. Guido R.M.M. Haenen
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Health Sciences, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
Interests: molecular biology; cell biology; biochemistry; analytical chemistry; pharmacy; medical chemistry; clinical pharmacology; toxicology; reactive oxygen species; free radicals; antioxidants; oxidative stress; redox modulation; nutrition; flavonoids; thiols; glutathione; reactive intermediates; lipid peroxidation; kinetics; structure activity relationship; biomarkers
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Topical Collection on Molecular Toxicology aims to rapidly publish research on the mechanisms of toxicity of compounds in animals, humans, or appropriate in vitro models. It is situated at the cutting edge of chemistry and biology and their relation to health. The focus is on molecules and their interactions with biomolecules, which will result in biological effects. Of special interest is the relation between the molecular characteristics of compounds and their biological activities (structure–activity relationships). Studies on molecular methods aimed at preventing toxicity or enhancing our understanding of health risk assessment are also welcome. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Food, drug, and chemical toxicology
  • Genetic toxicology
  • Reproductive toxicology
  • Neurotoxicology
  • Clinical toxicology
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Environmental and ecotoxicology
  • Computational and predictive toxicology
  • Food–drug interactions
  • Idiosyncratic toxicity
  • Toxins

Prof. Dr. Guido R.M.M. Haenen
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (29 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2019

Article
Experimental Evaluation of Food-Grade Semi-Refined Carrageenan Toxicity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 11178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms222011178 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 255
Abstract
The safety of food additives E407 and E407a has raised concerns in the scientific community. Thus, this study aims to assess the local and systemic toxic effects of the common food additive E407a in rats orally exposed to it for two weeks. Complex [...] Read more.
The safety of food additives E407 and E407a has raised concerns in the scientific community. Thus, this study aims to assess the local and systemic toxic effects of the common food additive E407a in rats orally exposed to it for two weeks. Complex evaluations of the effects of semi-refined carrageenan (E407a) on rats upon oral exposure were performed. Local effects of E407a on the intestine were analyzed using routine histological stains and CD68 immunostaining. Furthermore, circulating levels of inflammatory markers were assessed. A fluorescent probe O1O (2- (2′-OH-phenyl)-5-phenyl-1,3-oxazole) was used for evaluating the state of leukocyte cell membranes. Cell death modes of leukocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry using Annexin V and 7-aminoactinomycin D staining. Oral administration of the common food additive E407a was found to be associated with altered small and large intestinal morphology, infiltration of the lamina propria in the small intestine with macrophages (CD68+ cells), high systemic levels of inflammation markers, and changes in the lipid order of the phospholipid bilayer in the cell membranes of leukocytes, alongside the activation of their apoptosis. Our findings suggest that oral exposure to E407a through rats results in the development of intestinal inflammation. Full article
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Article
Porphyrin Based 2D-MOF Structures as Dual-Kinetic Sorafenib Nanocarriers for Hepatoma Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 11161; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms222011161 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 226
Abstract
The existing clinical protocols of hepatoma treatment require improvement of drug efficacy that can be achieved by harnessing nanomedicine. Porphyrin-based, paddle-wheel framework (PPF) structures were obtained and tested as dual-kinetic Sorafenib (SOR) nanocarriers against hepatoma. We experimentally proved that sloughing of PPF structures [...] Read more.
The existing clinical protocols of hepatoma treatment require improvement of drug efficacy that can be achieved by harnessing nanomedicine. Porphyrin-based, paddle-wheel framework (PPF) structures were obtained and tested as dual-kinetic Sorafenib (SOR) nanocarriers against hepatoma. We experimentally proved that sloughing of PPF structures combined with gradual dissolving are effective mechanisms for releasing the drug from the nanocarrier. By controlling the PPF degradation and size of adsorbed SOR deposits, we were able to augment SOR anticancer effects, both in vitro and in vivo, due to the dual kinetic behavior of [email protected] Obtained drug delivery systems with slow and fast release of SOR influenced effectively, although in a different way, the cancer cells proliferation (reflected with EC50 and ERK 1/2 phosphorylation level). The in vivo studies proved that fast-released [email protected] reduces the tumor size considerably, while the slow-released [email protected] much better prevents from lymph nodes involvement and distant metastases. Full article
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Article
Elucidating Carfilzomib’s Induced Cardiotoxicity in an In Vivo Model of Aging: Prophylactic Potential of Metformin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 10956; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms222010956 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 222
Abstract
Background: Carfilzomib is a first-line proteasome inhibitor indicated for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM), with its clinical use being hampered by cardiotoxic phenomena. We have previously established a translational model of carfilzomib cardiotoxicity in young adult mice, in which metformin emerged as a prophylactic [...] Read more.
Background: Carfilzomib is a first-line proteasome inhibitor indicated for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM), with its clinical use being hampered by cardiotoxic phenomena. We have previously established a translational model of carfilzomib cardiotoxicity in young adult mice, in which metformin emerged as a prophylactic therapy. Considering that MM is an elderly disease and that age is an independent risk factor for cardiotoxicity, herein, we sought to validate carfilzomib’s cardiotoxicity in an in vivo model of aging. Methods: Aged mice underwent the translational two- and four-dose protocols without and with metformin. Mice underwent echocardiography and were subsequently sacrificed for molecular analyses in the blood and cardiac tissue. Results: Carfilzomib decreased proteasomal activity both in PBMCs and myocardium in both protocols. Carfilzomib induced mild cardiotoxicity after two doses and more pronounced cardiomyopathy in the four-dose protocol, while metformin maintained cardiac function. Carfilzomib led to an increased Bip expression and decreased AMPKα phosphorylation, while metformin coadministration partially decreased Bip expression and induced AMPKα phosphorylation, leading to enhanced myocardial LC3B-dependent autophagy. Conclusion: Carfilzomib induced cardiotoxicity in aged mice, an effect significantly reversed by metformin. The latter possesses translational importance as it further supports the clinical use of metformin as a potent prophylactic therapy. Full article
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Review
Metabolic Toxification of 1,2-Unsaturated Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids Causes Human Hepatic Sinusoidal Obstruction Syndrome: The Update
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10419; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms221910419 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 376
Abstract
Saturated and unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are present in more than 6000 plant species growing in countries all over the world. They have a typical heterocyclic structure in common, but differ in their potential toxicity, depending on the presence or absence of a [...] Read more.
Saturated and unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are present in more than 6000 plant species growing in countries all over the world. They have a typical heterocyclic structure in common, but differ in their potential toxicity, depending on the presence or absence of a double bond between C1 and C2. Fortunately, most plants contain saturated PAs without this double bond and are therefore not toxic for consumption by humans or animals. In a minority of plants, however, PAs with this double bond between C1 and C2 exhibit strong hepatotoxic, genotoxic, cytotoxic, neurotoxic, and tumorigenic potentials. If consumed in error and in large emouns, plants with 1,2-unsaturated PAs induce metabolic breaking-off of the double bonds of the unsaturated PAs, generating PA radicals that may trigger severe liver injury through a process involving microsomal P450 (CYP), with preference of its isoforms CYP 2A6, CYP 3A4, and CYP 3A5. This toxifying CYP-dependent conversion occurs primarily in the endoplasmic reticulum of the hepatocytes equivalent to the microsomal fraction. Toxified PAs injure the protein membranes of hepatocytes, and after passing their plasma membranes, more so the liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs), leading to life-threatening hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (HSOS). This injury is easily diagnosed by blood pyrrolizidine protein adducts, which are perfect diagnostic biomarkers, supporting causality evaluation using the updated RUCAM (Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method). HSOS is clinically characterized by weight gain due to fluid accumulation (ascites, pleural effusion, and edema), and may lead to acute liver failure, liver transplantation, or death. In conclusion, plant-derived PAs with a double bond between C1 and C2 are potentially hepatotoxic after metabolic removal of the double bond, and may cause PA-HSOS with a potential lethal outcome, even if PA consumption is stopped. Full article
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Article
Self-Assembly Nanoparticles of Natural Bioactive Abietane Diterpenes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10210; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms221910210 - 22 Sep 2021
Viewed by 742
Abstract
Different approaches have been reported to enhance penetration of small drugs through physiological barriers; among them is the self-assembly drug conjugates preparation that shows to be a promising approach to improve activity and penetration, as well as to reduce side effects. In recent [...] Read more.
Different approaches have been reported to enhance penetration of small drugs through physiological barriers; among them is the self-assembly drug conjugates preparation that shows to be a promising approach to improve activity and penetration, as well as to reduce side effects. In recent years, the use of drug-conjugates, usually obtained by covalent coupling of a drug with biocompatible lipid moieties to form nanoparticles, has gained considerable attention. Natural products isolated from plants have been a successful source of potential drug leads with unique structural diversity. In the present work three molecules derived from natural products were employed as lead molecules for the synthesis of self-assembled nanoparticles. The first molecule is the cytotoxic royleanone 7α-acetoxy-6β-hydroxyroyleanone (Roy, 1) that has been isolated from hairy coleus (Plectranthus hadiensis (Forssk.) Schweinf). ex Sprenger leaves in a large amount. This royleanone, its hemisynthetic derivative 7α-acetoxy-6β-hydroxy-12-benzoyloxyroyleanone (12BzRoy, 2) and 6,7-dehydroroyleanone (DHR, 3), isolated from the essential oil of thicket coleus (P. madagascariensis (Pers.) Benth.) were employed in this study. The royleanones were conjugated with squalene (sq), oleic acid (OA), and/or 1-bromododecane (BD) self-assembly inducers. Roy-OA, DHR-sq, and 12BzRoy-sq conjugates were successfully synthesized and characterized. The cytotoxic effect of DHR-sq was previously assessed on three human cell lines: NCI-H460 (IC50 74.0 ± 2.2 µM), NCI-H460/R (IC50 147.3 ± 3.7 µM), and MRC-5 (IC50 127.3 ± 7.3 µM), and in this work Roy-OA NPs was assayed against Vero-E6 cells at different concentrations (0.05, 0.1, and 0.2 mg/mL). The cytotoxicity of DHR-sq NPs was lower when compared with DHR alone in these cell lines: NCI-H460 (IC50 10.3 ± 0.5 µM), NCI-H460/R (IC50 10.6 ± 0.4 µM), and MRC-5 (IC5016.9 ± 0.5 µM). The same results were observed with Roy-OA NPs against Vero-E6 cells as was found to be less cytotoxic than Roy alone in all the concentrations tested. From the obtained DLS results, 12BzRoy-sq assemblies were not in the nano range, although Roy-OA NP assemblies show a promising size (509.33 nm), Pdl (0.249), zeta potential (−46.2 mV), and spherical morphology from SEM. In addition, these NPs had a low release of Roy at physiological pH 7.4 after 24 h. These results suggest the nano assemblies can act as prodrugs for the release of cytotoxic lead molecules. Full article
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Article
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) Triggers Inflammatory Responses in Macrophages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(18), 9939; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22189939 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 460
Abstract
We were the first to previously report that microcystin-LR (MC-LR) has limited effects within the colons of healthy mice but has toxic effects within colons of mice with pre-existing inflammatory bowel disease. In the current investigation, we aimed to elucidate the mechanism by [...] Read more.
We were the first to previously report that microcystin-LR (MC-LR) has limited effects within the colons of healthy mice but has toxic effects within colons of mice with pre-existing inflammatory bowel disease. In the current investigation, we aimed to elucidate the mechanism by which MC-LR exacerbates colitis and to identify effective therapeutic targets. Through our current investigation, we report that there is a significantly greater recruitment of macrophages into colonic tissue with pre-existing colitis in the presence of MC-LR than in the absence of MC-LR. This is seen quantitatively through IHC staining and the enumeration of F4/80-positive macrophages and through gene expression analysis for Cd68, Cd11b, and Cd163. Exposure of isolated macrophages to MC-LR was found to directly upregulate macrophage activation markers Tnf and Il1b. Through a high-throughput, unbiased kinase activity profiling strategy, MC-LR-induced phosphorylation events were compared with potential inhibitors, and doramapimod was found to effectively prevent MC-LR-induced inflammatory responses in macrophages. Full article
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Article
The In Vitro Anti-Pseudomonal Activity of Cu2+, Strawberry Furanone, Gentamicin, and Lytic Phages Alone and in Combination: Pros and Cons
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(18), 9830; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22189830 - 11 Sep 2021
Viewed by 340
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the anti-pseudomonal activity of cupric ions (Cu2+), strawberry furanone (HDMF), gentamicin (GE), and three lytic Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophages (KT28, KTN4, LUZ19), separately and in combination. HDMF showed an anti-virulent effect but only when applied with Cu [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the anti-pseudomonal activity of cupric ions (Cu2+), strawberry furanone (HDMF), gentamicin (GE), and three lytic Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophages (KT28, KTN4, LUZ19), separately and in combination. HDMF showed an anti-virulent effect but only when applied with Cu2+ or GE. GE, at a sub-minimal inhibitory concentration, slowed down phage progeny production due to protein synthesis inhibition. Cu2+ significantly reduced both the bacterial cell count and the number of infective phage particles, likely due to its genotoxicity or protein inactivation and cell membrane disruption effects. Furthermore, Cu2+‘s probable sequestration by phage particles led to the reduction of free toxic metal ions available in the solution. An additive antibacterial effect was only observed for the combination of GE and Cu2+, potentially due to enhanced ROS production or to outer membrane permeabilization. This study indicates that possible interference between antibacterial agents needs to be carefully investigated for the preparation of effective therapeutic cocktails. Full article
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Article
Probiotic Administration Mitigates Bisphenol A Reproductive Toxicity in Zebrafish
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9314; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22179314 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Although the use of bisphenol A (BPA) has been banned in a number of countries, its presence in the environment still creates health issues both for humans and wildlife. So far, BPA toxicity has been largely investigated on different biological processes, from reproduction [...] Read more.
Although the use of bisphenol A (BPA) has been banned in a number of countries, its presence in the environment still creates health issues both for humans and wildlife. So far, BPA toxicity has been largely investigated on different biological processes, from reproduction to development, immune system, and metabolism. In zebrafish, Danio rerio, previous studies revealed the ability of environmentally relevant concentrations of this contaminant to significantly impair fertility via epigenetic modification. In addition, several studies demonstrated the ability of different probiotic strains to improve organism health. This study provides information on the role of the probiotic mixture SLAb51 to counteract adverse BPA effects on reproduction. A 28-day trial was set up with different experimental groups: BPA, exposed to 10 µg/L BPA; P, receiving a dietary supplementation of SLAb51 at a final concentration of 109 CFU/g; BPA+P exposed to 10 µg/L BPA and receiving SLAb51 at a final concentration of 109 CFU/g and a C group. Since oocyte growth and maturation represent key aspects for fertility in females, studies were performed on isolated class III (vitellogenic) and IV (in maturation) follicles and liver, with emphasis on the modulation of the different vitellogenin isoforms. In males, key signals regulating spermatogenesis were investigated. Results demonstrated that in fish exposed to the combination of BPA and probiotic, most of the transcripts were closer to C or P levels, supporting the hypothesis of SLAb51 to antagonize BPA toxicity. This study represents the first evidence related to the use of SLAb51 to improve reproduction and open new fields of investigation regarding its use to reduce endocrine disrupting compound impacts on health. Full article
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Article
Doxorubicin Paradoxically Ameliorates Tumor-Induced Inflammation in Young Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 9023; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22169023 - 21 Aug 2021
Viewed by 577
Abstract
Doxorubicin (DOX) is one of the most widely used chemo-therapeutic agents in pediatric oncology. DOX elicits an inflammatory response in multiple organs, which contributes to DOX-induced adverse effects. Cancer itself causes inflammation leading to multiple pathologic conditions. The current study investigated the inflammatory [...] Read more.
Doxorubicin (DOX) is one of the most widely used chemo-therapeutic agents in pediatric oncology. DOX elicits an inflammatory response in multiple organs, which contributes to DOX-induced adverse effects. Cancer itself causes inflammation leading to multiple pathologic conditions. The current study investigated the inflammatory response to DOX and tumors using an EL4-lymphoma, immunocompetent, juvenile mouse model. Four-week old male C57BL/6N mice were injected subcutaneously with EL4 lymphoma cells (5 × 104 cells/mouse) in the flank region, while tumor-free mice were injected with vehicle. Three days following tumor implantation, both tumor-free and tumor-bearing mice were injected intraperitoneally with either DOX (4 mg/kg/week) or saline for 3 weeks. One week after the last DOX injection, the mice were euthanized and the hearts, livers, kidneys, and serum were harvested. Gene expression and serum concentration of inflammatory markers were quantified using real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively. DOX treatment significantly suppressed tumor growth in tumor-bearing mice and caused significant cardiac atrophy in tumor-free and tumor-bearing mice. EL4 tumors elicited a strong inflammatory response in the heart, liver, and kidney. Strikingly, DOX treatment ameliorated tumor-induced inflammation paradoxical to the effect of DOX in tumor-free mice, demonstrating a widely divergent effect of DOX treatment in tumor-free versus tumor-bearing mice. Full article
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Review
Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) Studies on the Toxic Effects of Nitroaromatic Compounds (NACs): A Systematic Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8557; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168557 - 09 Aug 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Nitroaromatic compounds (NACs) are ubiquitous in the environment due to their extensive industrial applications. The recalcitrance of NACs causes their arduous degradation, subsequently bringing about potential threats to human health and environmental safety. The problem of how to effectively predict the toxicity of [...] Read more.
Nitroaromatic compounds (NACs) are ubiquitous in the environment due to their extensive industrial applications. The recalcitrance of NACs causes their arduous degradation, subsequently bringing about potential threats to human health and environmental safety. The problem of how to effectively predict the toxicity of NACs has drawn public concern over time. Quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) is introduced as a cost-effective tool to quantitatively predict the toxicity of toxicants. Both OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) legislation have promoted the use of QSAR as it can significantly reduce living animal testing. Although numerous QSAR studies have been conducted to evaluate the toxicity of NACs, systematic reviews related to the QSAR modeling of NACs toxicity are less reported. The purpose of this review is to provide a thorough summary of recent QSAR studies on the toxic effects of NACs according to the corresponding classes of toxic response endpoints. Full article
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Review
Single- and Two-Electron Reduction of Nitroaromatic Compounds by Flavoenzymes: Mechanisms and Implications for Cytotoxicity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8534; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168534 - 08 Aug 2021
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Nitroaromatic compounds (ArNO2) maintain their importance in relation to industrial processes, environmental pollution, and pharmaceutical application. The manifestation of toxicity/therapeutic action of nitroaromatics may involve their single- or two-electron reduction performed by various flavoenzymes and/or their physiological redox partners, metalloproteins. The [...] Read more.
Nitroaromatic compounds (ArNO2) maintain their importance in relation to industrial processes, environmental pollution, and pharmaceutical application. The manifestation of toxicity/therapeutic action of nitroaromatics may involve their single- or two-electron reduction performed by various flavoenzymes and/or their physiological redox partners, metalloproteins. The pivotal and still incompletely resolved questions in this area are the identification and characterization of the specific enzymes that are involved in the bioreduction of ArNO2 and the establishment of their contribution to cytotoxic/therapeutic action of nitroaromatics. This review addresses the following topics: (i) the intrinsic redox properties of ArNO2, in particular, the energetics of their single- and two-electron reduction in aqueous medium; (ii) the mechanisms and structure-activity relationships of reduction in ArNO2 by flavoenzymes of different groups, dehydrogenases-electrontransferases (NADPH:cytochrome P-450 reductase, ferredoxin:NADP(H) oxidoreductase and their analogs), mammalian NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase, bacterial nitroreductases, and disulfide reductases of different origin (glutathione, trypanothione, and thioredoxin reductases, lipoamide dehydrogenase), and (iii) the relationships between the enzymatic reactivity of compounds and their activity in mammalian cells, bacteria, and parasites. Full article
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Article
Global Lysine Acetylome Analysis of LPS-Stimulated HepG2 Cells Identified Hyperacetylation of PKM2 as a Metabolic Regulator in Sepsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8529; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168529 - 08 Aug 2021
Viewed by 500
Abstract
Sepsis-induced liver dysfunction (SILD) is a common event and is strongly associated with mortality. Establishing a causative link between protein post-translational modification and diseases is challenging. We studied the relationship among lysine acetylation (Kac), sirtuin (SIRTs), and the factors involved in SILD, which [...] Read more.
Sepsis-induced liver dysfunction (SILD) is a common event and is strongly associated with mortality. Establishing a causative link between protein post-translational modification and diseases is challenging. We studied the relationship among lysine acetylation (Kac), sirtuin (SIRTs), and the factors involved in SILD, which was induced in LPS-stimulated HepG2 cells. Protein hyperacetylation was observed according to SIRTs reduction after LPS treatment for 24 h. We identified 1449 Kac sites based on comparative acetylome analysis and quantified 1086 Kac sites on 410 proteins for acetylation. Interestingly, the upregulated Kac proteins are enriched in glycolysis/gluconeogenesis pathways in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) category. Among the proteins in the glycolysis pathway, hyperacetylation, a key regulator of lactate level in sepsis, was observed at three pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) sites. Hyperacetylation of PKM2 induced an increase in its activity, consequently increasing the lactate concentration. In conclusion, this study is the first to conduct global profiling of Kac, suggesting that the Kac mechanism of PKM2 in glycolysis is associated with sepsis. Moreover, it helps to further understand the systematic information regarding hyperacetylation during the sepsis process. Full article
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Article
Protein Corona Hinders N-CQDs Oxidative Potential and Favors Their Application as Nanobiocatalytic System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 8136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22158136 - 29 Jul 2021
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The oxidative properties of nanomaterials arouse legitimate concerns about oxidative damage in biological systems. On the other hand, the undisputable benefits of nanomaterials promote them for biomedical applications; thus, the strategies to reduce oxidative potential are urgently needed. We aimed at analysis of [...] Read more.
The oxidative properties of nanomaterials arouse legitimate concerns about oxidative damage in biological systems. On the other hand, the undisputable benefits of nanomaterials promote them for biomedical applications; thus, the strategies to reduce oxidative potential are urgently needed. We aimed at analysis of nitrogen-containing carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs) in terms of their biocompatibility and internalization by different cells. Surprisingly, N-CQD uptake does not contribute to the increased oxidative stress inside cells and lacks cytotoxic influence even at high concentrations, primarily through protein corona formation. We proved experimentally that the protein coating effectively limits the oxidative capacity of N-CQDs. Thus, N-CQDs served as an immobilization support for three different enzymes with the potential to be used as therapeutics. Various kinetic parameters of immobilized enzymes were analyzed. Regardless of the enzyme structure and type of reaction catalyzed, adsorption on the nanocarrier resulted in increased catalytic efficiency. The enzymatic-protein-to-nanomaterial ratio is the pivotal factor determining the course of kinetic parameter changes that can be tailored for enzyme application. We conclude that the above properties of N-CQDs make them an ideal support for enzymatic drugs required for multiple biomedical applications, including personalized medical therapies. Full article
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Review
Metal Oxide Nanoparticles: Evidence of Adverse Effects on the Male Reproductive System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 8061; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22158061 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) are inorganic materials that have become a valuable tool for many industrial sectors, especially in healthcare, due to their versatility, unique intrinsic properties, and relatively inexpensive production cost. As a consequence of their wide applications, human exposure to MONPs [...] Read more.
Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) are inorganic materials that have become a valuable tool for many industrial sectors, especially in healthcare, due to their versatility, unique intrinsic properties, and relatively inexpensive production cost. As a consequence of their wide applications, human exposure to MONPs has increased dramatically. More recently, their use has become somehow controversial. On one hand, MONPs can interact with cellular macromolecules, which makes them useful platforms for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. On the other hand, research suggests that these MONPs can cross the blood–testis barrier and accumulate in the testis. Although it has been demonstrated that some MONPs have protective effects on male germ cells, contradictory reports suggest that these nanoparticles compromise male fertility by interfering with spermatogenesis. In fact, in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that exposure to MONPs could induce the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, resulting in oxidative stress, which is the main suggested molecular mechanism that leads to germ cells’ toxicity. The latter results in subsequent damage to proteins, cell membranes, and DNA, which ultimately may lead to the impairment of the male reproductive system. The present manuscript overviews the therapeutic potential of MONPs and their biomedical applications, followed by a critical view of their potential risks in mammalian male fertility, as suggested by recent scientific literature. Full article
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Review
How to Improve the Biocompatibility of Peritoneal Dialysis Solutions (without Jeopardizing the Patient’s Health)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 7955; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22157955 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is an important, if underprescribed, modality for the treatment of patients with end-stage kidney disease. Among the barriers to its wider use are the deleterious effects of currently commercially available glucose-based PD solutions on the morphological integrity and function of [...] Read more.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is an important, if underprescribed, modality for the treatment of patients with end-stage kidney disease. Among the barriers to its wider use are the deleterious effects of currently commercially available glucose-based PD solutions on the morphological integrity and function of the peritoneal membrane due to fibrosis. This is primarily driven by hyperglycaemia due to its effects, through multiple cytokine and transcription factor signalling—and their metabolic sequelae—on the synthesis of collagen and other extracellular membrane components. In this review, we outline these interactions and explore how novel PD solution formulations are aimed at utilizing this knowledge to minimise the complications associated with fibrosis, while maintaining adequate rates of ultrafiltration across the peritoneal membrane and preservation of patient urinary volumes. We discuss the development of a new generation of reduced-glucose PD solutions that employ a variety of osmotically active constituents and highlight the biochemical rationale underlying optimization of oxidative metabolism within the peritoneal membrane. They are aimed at achieving optimal clinical outcomes and improving the whole-body metabolic profile of patients, particularly those who are glucose-intolerant, insulin-resistant, or diabetic, and for whom daily exposure to high doses of glucose is contraindicated. Full article
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Review
Microbial Toxins in Insect and Nematode Pest Biocontrol
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(14), 7657; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22147657 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Invertebrate pests, such as insects and nematodes, not only cause or transmit human and livestock diseases but also impose serious crop losses by direct injury as well as vectoring pathogenic microbes. The damage is global but greater in developing countries, where human health [...] Read more.
Invertebrate pests, such as insects and nematodes, not only cause or transmit human and livestock diseases but also impose serious crop losses by direct injury as well as vectoring pathogenic microbes. The damage is global but greater in developing countries, where human health and food security are more at risk. Although synthetic pesticides have been in use, biological control measures offer advantages via their biodegradability, environmental safety and precise targeting. This is amply demonstrated by the successful and widespread use of Bacillusthuringiensis to control mosquitos and many plant pests, the latter by the transgenic expression of insecticidal proteins from B. thuringiensis in crop plants. Here, I discuss the prospects of using bacterial and fungal toxins for pest control, including the molecular basis of their biocidal activity. Full article
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Article
Integrated Analysis of miR-430 on Steroidogenesis-Related Gene Expression of Larval Rice Field Eel Monopterus albus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(13), 6994; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22136994 - 29 Jun 2021
Viewed by 583
Abstract
The present study aims to reveal the mechanism by which miR-430s regulate steroidogenesis in larval rice field eel Monopterus albus. To this end, M. albus embryos were respectively microinjected with miRNA-overexpressing mimics (agomir430a, agomir430b, and agomir430c) or miRNA-knockdown inhibitors (antagomir430a, antagomir430b, and [...] Read more.
The present study aims to reveal the mechanism by which miR-430s regulate steroidogenesis in larval rice field eel Monopterus albus. To this end, M. albus embryos were respectively microinjected with miRNA-overexpressing mimics (agomir430a, agomir430b, and agomir430c) or miRNA-knockdown inhibitors (antagomir430a, antagomir430b, and antagomir430c). Transcriptome profiling of the larvae indicated that a total of more than 149 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified among the eight treatments. Specifically, DEGs related to steroidogenesis, the GnRH signaling pathway, the erbB signaling pathway, the Wnt signaling pathway, and other pathways were characterized in the transcriptome. We found that steroidogenesis-related genes (hydroxysteroid 17-beta dehydrogenase 3 (17β-hsdb3), hydroxysteroid 17-beta dehydrogenase 7 (17β-hsdb7), hydroxysteroid 17-beta dehydrogenase 12 (17β-hsdb12), and cytochrome P450 family 19 subfamily a (cyp19a1b)) were significantly downregulated in miR-430 knockdown groups. The differential expressions of miR-430 in three gonads indicated different roles of three miR-430 (a, b, and c) isoforms in regulating steroidogenesis and sex differentiation. Mutation of the miR-430 sites reversed the downregulation of cytochrome P450 family 17 (cyp17), cyp19a1b, and forkhead box L2 (foxl2) reporter activities by miR-430, indicating that miR-430 directly interacted with cyp17, cyp19a1b, and foxl2 genes to inhibit their expressions. Combining these findings, we concluded that miR-430 regulated the steroidogenesis and the biosynthesis of steroid hormones by targeting cyp19a1b in larval M. albus. Our results provide a novel insight into steroidogenesis at the early stage of fish at the molecular level. Full article
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Article
Pharmacological Characterisation of Pseudocerastes and Eristicophis Viper Venoms Reveal Anticancer (Melanoma) Properties and a Potentially Novel Mode of Fibrinogenolysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(13), 6896; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22136896 - 27 Jun 2021
Viewed by 498
Abstract
Venoms are a rich source of potential lead compounds for drug discovery, and descriptive studies of venom form the first phase of the biodiscovery process. In this study, we investigated the pharmacological potential of crude Pseudocerastes and Eristicophis snake venoms in haematological disorders [...] Read more.
Venoms are a rich source of potential lead compounds for drug discovery, and descriptive studies of venom form the first phase of the biodiscovery process. In this study, we investigated the pharmacological potential of crude Pseudocerastes and Eristicophis snake venoms in haematological disorders and cancer treatment. We assessed their antithrombotic potential using fibrinogen thromboelastography, fibrinogen gels with and without protease inhibitors, and colourimetric fibrinolysis assays. These assays indicated that the anticoagulant properties of the venoms are likely induced by the hydrolysis of phospholipids and by selective fibrinogenolysis. Furthermore, while most fibrinogenolysis occurred by the direct activity of snake venom metalloproteases and serine proteases, modest evidence indicated that fibrinogenolytic activity may also be mediated by selective venom phospholipases and an inhibitory venom-derived serine protease. We also found that the Pseudocerastes venoms significantly reduced the viability of human melanoma (MM96L) cells by more than 80%, while it had almost no effect on the healthy neonatal foreskin fibroblasts (NFF) as determined by viability assays. The bioactive properties of these venoms suggest that they contain a number of toxins suitable for downstream pharmacological development as candidates for antithrombotic or anticancer agents. Full article
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Article
Combinatory Effects of Cerium Dioxide Nanoparticles and Acetaminophen on the Liver—A Case Study of Low-Dose Interactions in Human HuH-7 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(13), 6866; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22136866 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 767
Abstract
The interactions between pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials and its potentially resulting toxicological effects in living systems are only insufficiently investigated. In this study, two model compounds, acetaminophen, a pharmaceutical, and cerium dioxide, a manufactured nanomaterial, were investigated in combination and individually. Upon inhalation, cerium [...] Read more.
The interactions between pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials and its potentially resulting toxicological effects in living systems are only insufficiently investigated. In this study, two model compounds, acetaminophen, a pharmaceutical, and cerium dioxide, a manufactured nanomaterial, were investigated in combination and individually. Upon inhalation, cerium dioxide nanomaterials were shown to systemically translocate into other organs, such as the liver. Therefore we picked the human liver cell line HuH-7 cells as an in vitro system to investigate liver toxicity. Possible synergistic or antagonistic metabolic changes after co-exposure scenarios were investigated. Toxicological data of the water soluble tetrazolium (WST-1) assay for cell proliferation and genotoxicity assessment using the Comet assay were combined with an untargeted as well as a targeted lipidomics approach. We found an attenuated cytotoxicity and an altered metabolic profile in co-exposure experiments with cerium dioxide, indicating an interaction of both compounds at these endpoints. Single exposure against cerium dioxide showed a genotoxic effect in the Comet assay. Conversely, acetaminophen exhibited no genotoxic effect. Comet assay data do not indicate an enhancement of genotoxicity after co-exposure. The results obtained in this study highlight the advantage of investigating co-exposure scenarios, especially for bioactive substances. Full article
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Article
SIRT3 Overexpression Ameliorates Asbestos-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis, mt-DNA Damage, and Lung Fibrogenic Monocyte Recruitment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(13), 6856; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22136856 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) mitochondrial (mt) DNA damage and fibrotic monocyte-derived alveolar macrophages (Mo-AMs) are implicated in the pathobiology of pulmonary fibrosis. We showed that sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), a mitochondrial protein regulating cell fate and aging, is deficient in the AECs of idiopathic [...] Read more.
Alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) mitochondrial (mt) DNA damage and fibrotic monocyte-derived alveolar macrophages (Mo-AMs) are implicated in the pathobiology of pulmonary fibrosis. We showed that sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), a mitochondrial protein regulating cell fate and aging, is deficient in the AECs of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients and that asbestos- and bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis is augmented in Sirt3 knockout (Sirt3−/−) mice associated with AEC mtDNA damage and intrinsic apoptosis. We determined whether whole body transgenic SIRT3 overexpression (Sirt3Tg) protects mice from asbestos-induced pulmonary fibrosis by mitigating lung mtDNA damage and Mo-AM recruitment. Crocidolite asbestos (100 µg/50 µL) or control was instilled intratracheally in C57Bl6 (Wild-Type) mice or Sirt3Tg mice, and at 21 d lung fibrosis (histology, fibrosis score, Sircol assay) and lung Mo-AMs (flow cytometry) were assessed. Compared to controls, Sirt3Tg mice were protected from asbestos-induced pulmonary fibrosis and had diminished lung mtDNA damage and Mo-AM recruitment. Further, pharmacologic SIRT3 inducers (i.e., resveratrol, viniferin, and honokiol) each diminish oxidant-induced AEC mtDNA damage in vitro and, in the case of honokiol, protection occurs in a SIRT3-dependent manner. We reason that SIRT3 preservation of AEC mtDNA is a novel therapeutic focus for managing patients with IPF and other types of pulmonary fibrosis. Full article
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Article
Sub-Chronic Effects of Slight PAH- and PCB-Contaminated Mesocosms in Paracentrotus lividus Lmk: A Multi-Endpoint Approach and De Novo Transcriptomic
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(13), 6674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22136674 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Sediment pollution is a major issue in coastal areas, potentially endangering human health and the marine environments. We investigated the short-term sublethal effects of sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus for two [...] Read more.
Sediment pollution is a major issue in coastal areas, potentially endangering human health and the marine environments. We investigated the short-term sublethal effects of sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus for two months. Spiking occurred at concentrations below threshold limit values permitted by the law (TLVPAHs = 900 µg/L, TLVPCBs = 8 µg/L, Legislative Italian Decree 173/2016). A multi-endpoint approach was adopted, considering both adults (mortality, bioaccumulation and gonadal index) and embryos (embryotoxicity, genotoxicity and de novo transcriptome assembly). The slight concentrations of PAHs and PCBs added to the mesocosms were observed to readily compartmentalize in adults, resulting below the detection limits just one week after their addition. Reconstructed sediment and seawater, as negative controls, did not affect sea urchins. PAH- and PCB-spiked mesocosms were observed to impair P. lividus at various endpoints, including bioaccumulation and embryo development (mainly PAHs) and genotoxicity (PAHs and PCBs). In particular, genotoxicity tests revealed that PAHs and PCBs affected the development of P. lividus embryos deriving from exposed adults. Negative effects were also detected by generating a de novo transcriptome assembly and its annotation, as well as by real-time qPCR performed to identify genes differentially expressed in adults exposed to the two contaminants. The effects on sea urchins (both adults and embryos) at background concentrations of PAHs and PCBs below TLV suggest a need for further investigations on the impact of slight concentrations of such contaminants on marine biota. Full article
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Article
In Vitro Evaluation of the Individual and Combined Cytotoxic and Estrogenic Effects of Zearalenone, Its Reduced Metabolites, Alternariol, and Genistein
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(12), 6281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22126281 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites of filamentous fungi. Previous studies demonstrated the co-occurrence of Fusarium and Alternaria toxins, including zearalenone (ZEN), ZEN metabolites, and alternariol (AOH). These xenoestrogenic mycotoxins appear in soy-based meals and dietary supplements, resulting in the co-exposure to ZEN and AOH [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites of filamentous fungi. Previous studies demonstrated the co-occurrence of Fusarium and Alternaria toxins, including zearalenone (ZEN), ZEN metabolites, and alternariol (AOH). These xenoestrogenic mycotoxins appear in soy-based meals and dietary supplements, resulting in the co-exposure to ZEN and AOH with the phytoestrogen genistein (GEN). In this study, the cytotoxic and estrogenic effects of ZEN, reduced ZEN metabolites, AOH, and GEN are examined to evaluate their individual and combined impacts. Our results demonstrate that reduced ZEN metabolites, AOH, and GEN can aggravate ZEN-induced toxicity; in addition, the compounds tested exerted mostly synergism or additive combined effects regarding cytotoxicity and/or estrogenicity. Therefore, these observations underline the importance and the considerable risk of mycotoxin co-exposure and the combined effects of mycoestrogens with phytoestrogens. Full article
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Review
Ionic Liquids—A Review of Their Toxicity to Living Organisms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 5612; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22115612 - 25 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
Ionic liquids (ILs) were initially hailed as a green alternative to traditional solvents because of their almost non-existent vapor pressure as ecological replacement of most common volatile solvents in industrial processes for their damaging effects on the environment. It is common knowledge that [...] Read more.
Ionic liquids (ILs) were initially hailed as a green alternative to traditional solvents because of their almost non-existent vapor pressure as ecological replacement of most common volatile solvents in industrial processes for their damaging effects on the environment. It is common knowledge that they are not as green as desired, and more thought must be put into the biological consequences of their industrial use. Still, compared to the amount of research studying their physicochemical properties and potential applications in different areas, there is a scarcity of scientific papers regarding how these substances interact with different organisms. The intent of this review was to compile the information published in this area since 2015 to allow the reader to better understand how, for example, bacteria, plants, fish, etc., react to the presence of this family of liquids. In general, lipophilicity is one of the main drivers of toxicity and thus the type of cation. The anion tends to play a minor (but not negligible) role, but more research is needed since, owing to the very nature of ILs, except for the most common ones (imidazolium and ammonium-based), many of them are subject to only one or two articles. Full article
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Article
Ancient Bacterial Class Alphaproteobacteria Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenases Can Be Found in Other Bacterial Species
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 5542; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22115542 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 611
Abstract
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs/P450s), heme-thiolate proteins, are well-known players in the generation of chemicals valuable to humans and as a drug target against pathogens. Understanding the evolution of P450s in a bacterial population is gaining momentum. In this study, we report comprehensive analysis [...] Read more.
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs/P450s), heme-thiolate proteins, are well-known players in the generation of chemicals valuable to humans and as a drug target against pathogens. Understanding the evolution of P450s in a bacterial population is gaining momentum. In this study, we report comprehensive analysis of P450s in the ancient group of the bacterial class Alphaproteobacteria. Genome data mining and annotation of P450s in 599 alphaproteobacterial species belonging to 164 genera revealed the presence of P450s in only 241 species belonging to 82 genera that are grouped into 143 P450 families and 214 P450 subfamilies, including 77 new P450 families. Alphaproteobacterial species have the highest average number of P450s compared to Firmicutes species and cyanobacterial species. The lowest percentage of alphaproteobacterial species P450s (2.4%) was found to be part of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), compared other bacterial species, indicating that during evolution large numbers of P450s became part of BGCs in other bacterial species. Our study identified that some of the P450 families found in alphaproteobacterial species were passed to other bacterial species. This is the first study to report on the identification of CYP125 P450, cholesterol and cholest-4-en-3-one hydroxylase in alphaproteobacterial species (Phenylobacterium zucineum) and to predict cholesterol side-chain oxidation capability (based on homolog proteins) by P. zucineum. Full article
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Article
Bisphenol A Inhibits the Transporter Function of the Blood-Brain Barrier by Directly Interacting with the ABC Transporter Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 5534; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22115534 - 24 May 2021
Viewed by 1015
Abstract
The breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) is an important efflux transporter in the blood-brain barrier (BBB), protecting the brain from a wide range of substances. In this study, we investigated if BCRP function is affected by bisphenol A (BPA), a high production volume [...] Read more.
The breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) is an important efflux transporter in the blood-brain barrier (BBB), protecting the brain from a wide range of substances. In this study, we investigated if BCRP function is affected by bisphenol A (BPA), a high production volume chemical used in common consumer products, as well as by bisphenol F (BPF) and bisphenol S (BPS), which are used to substitute BPA. We employed a transwell-based in vitro cell model of iPSC-derived brain microvascular endothelial cells, where BCRP function was assessed by measuring the intracellular accumulation of its substrate Hoechst 33342. Additionally, we used in silico modelling to predict if the bisphenols could directly interact with BCRP. Our results showed that BPA significantly inhibits the transport function of BCRP. Additionally, BPA was predicted to bind to the cavity that is targeted by known BCRP inhibitors. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that BPA inhibits BCRP function in vitro, probably by direct interaction with the transporter. This effect might contribute to BPA’s known impact on neurodevelopment. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2021

Article
Evaluation of the Major Steps in the Conventional Protocol for the Alkaline Comet Assay
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 6072; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20236072 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1541
Abstract
Single cell gel electrophoresis, also known as the comet assay, has become a widespread DNA damage assessment tool due to its sensitivity, adaptability, low cost, ease of use, and reliability. Despite these benefits, this assay has shortcomings, such as long assay running time, [...] Read more.
Single cell gel electrophoresis, also known as the comet assay, has become a widespread DNA damage assessment tool due to its sensitivity, adaptability, low cost, ease of use, and reliability. Despite these benefits, this assay has shortcomings, such as long assay running time, the manipulation of multiple slides, individually, through numerous process steps, the challenge of working in a darkened environment, and reportedly considerable inter- and intra-laboratory variation. All researchers typically perform the comet assay based upon a common core approach; however, it appears that some steps in this core have little proven basis, and may exist, partly, out of convenience, or dogma. The aim of this study was to critically re-evaluate key steps in the comet assay, using our laboratory’s protocol as a model, firstly to understand the scientific basis for why certain steps in the protocol are performed in a particular manner, and secondly to simplify the assay, and decrease the cost and run time. Here, the shelf life of the lysis and neutralization buffers, the effect of temperature and incubation period during the lysis step, the necessity for drying the slides between the electrophoresis and staining step, and the need to perform the sample workup and electrophoresis steps under subdued light were all evaluated. Full article
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Article
Genome-Wide Adductomics Analysis Reveals Heterogeneity in the Induction and Loss of Cyclobutane Thymine Dimers across Both the Nuclear and Mitochondrial Genomes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5112; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20205112 - 15 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1104
Abstract
The distribution of DNA damage and repair is considered to occur heterogeneously across the genome. However, commonly available techniques, such as the alkaline comet assay or HPLC-MS/MS, measure global genome levels of DNA damage, and do not reflect potentially significant events occurring at [...] Read more.
The distribution of DNA damage and repair is considered to occur heterogeneously across the genome. However, commonly available techniques, such as the alkaline comet assay or HPLC-MS/MS, measure global genome levels of DNA damage, and do not reflect potentially significant events occurring at the gene/sequence-specific level, in the nuclear or mitochondrial genomes. We developed a method, which comprises a combination of Damaged DNA Immunoprecipitation and next generation sequencing (DDIP-seq), to assess the induction and repair of DNA damage induced by 0.1 J/cm2 solar-simulated radiation at the sequence-specific level, across both the entire nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. DDIP-seq generated a genome-wide, high-resolution map of cyclobutane thymine dimer (T<>T) location and intensity. In addition to being a straightforward approach, our results demonstrated a clear differential distribution of T<>T induction and loss, across both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. For nuclear DNA, this differential distribution existed at both the sequence and chromosome level. Levels of T<>T were much higher in the mitochondrial DNA, compared to nuclear DNA, and decreased with time, confirmed by qPCR, despite no reported mechanisms for their repair in this organelle. These data indicate the existence of regions of sensitivity and resistance to damage formation, together with regions that are fully repaired, and those for which > 90% of damage remains, after 24 h. This approach offers a simple, yet more detailed approach to studying cellular DNA damage and repair, which will aid our understanding of the link between DNA damage and disease. Full article
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Article
Mitochondrial Peptide Humanin Protects Silver Nanoparticles-Induced Neurotoxicity in Human Neuroblastoma Cancer Cells (SH-SY5Y)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4439; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20184439 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
The extensive usage of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as medical products such as antimicrobial and anticancer agents has raised concerns about their harmful effects on human beings. AgNPs can potentially induce oxidative stress and apoptosis in cells. However, humanin (HN) is a small secreted [...] Read more.
The extensive usage of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as medical products such as antimicrobial and anticancer agents has raised concerns about their harmful effects on human beings. AgNPs can potentially induce oxidative stress and apoptosis in cells. However, humanin (HN) is a small secreted peptide that has cytoprotective and neuroprotective cellular effects. The aim of this study was to assess the harmful effects of AgNPs on human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and also to investigate the protective effect of HN from AgNPs-induced cell death, mitochondrial dysfunctions, DNA damage, and apoptosis. AgNPs were prepared with an average size of 18 nm diameter to study their interaction with SH-SY5Y cells. AgNPs caused a dose-dependent decrease of cell viability and proliferation, induced loss of plasma-membrane integrity, oxidative stress, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and loss of ATP content, amongst other effects. Pretreatment or co-treatment of HN with AgNPs protected cells from several of these AgNPs induced adverse effects. Thus, this study demonstrated for the first time that HN protected neuroblastoma cells against AgNPs-induced neurotoxicity. The mechanisms of the HN-mediated protective effect on neuroblastoma cells may provide further insights for the development of novel therapeutic agents against neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
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Article
Effects of Methylmercury and Theaflavin Digallate on Adipokines in Mature 3T3-L1 Adipocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2755; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20112755 - 05 Jun 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1376
Abstract
Diabetes is a contributor to morbidity across the globe and is often associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome and other inflammatory diseases associated with aging. In addition to genetic and lifestyle factors, environmental factors such as metals and persistent organic pollutants may increase the [...] Read more.
Diabetes is a contributor to morbidity across the globe and is often associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome and other inflammatory diseases associated with aging. In addition to genetic and lifestyle factors, environmental factors such as metals and persistent organic pollutants may increase the severity or lower the threshold of these conditions. In cell culture, methylmercury is toxic to adipocytes and may impact adipokine secretions. In this study, we determined the effects of different concentrations of theaflavin digallate on methylmercury exposed 3T3-L1 adipocytes in cell culture. Secretions of resistin, adiponectin and lipid peroxidation product, 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) were monitored using ELISA assays. Cell morphology of methylmercury and theaflavin-3,3′-digallate treated adipocytes was assessed using Lipid (Oil Red O) staining. Exposure to methylmercury increased the levels of resistin and adiponectin as well as 4-HNE when compared to the control cells. Methylmercury treated cells resulted in smaller number of adipocytes and clumped lipid droplets. These results suggest that methylmercury induces reactive oxygen species leading to development of an inflammatory response. Theaflavin-3,3′-digallate reduced the impact of methylmercury by maintaining the adipocytes morphology and secretion patterns of adiponectin, resistin and 4-hydroxynonenal. With this experimental model system other anti-inflammatory and signaling agents could be tested at the biochemical level before eventually leading to studies in animal models. Full article
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