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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 24, Issue 16 (August-2 2023) – 493 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The blood–brain barrier separates the brain from the peripheral circulation. Upon neuroinflammation, this barrier becomes permeable, allowing potentially harmful molecules and cells to enter the central nervous system tissue. Research requires human models, as animal models may not reflect human pathophysiology accurately. However, not every blood-brain barrier in vitro model is suitable for each research approach. Key considerations must be taken into account, such as the type of setup (2D or 3D), extracellular matrix compositions, and cell types and sources. Additionally, barrier integrity must be attained and verified. The setup and investigation of the model may require additional devices, and modeling neuroinflammation can vary depending on the disease. View this paper
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13 pages, 1323 KiB  
Article
Cyclosporine A Decreases Dryness-Induced Hyperexcitability of Corneal Cold-Sensitive Nerve Terminals
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613025 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
Cyclosporine A (CsA) is used for the treatment of dry eye (DE) with good clinical results, improving tear secretion and decreasing subjective symptoms. These effects are attributed to the improved tear film dynamics, but there are no data on the effect of CsA [...] Read more.
Cyclosporine A (CsA) is used for the treatment of dry eye (DE) with good clinical results, improving tear secretion and decreasing subjective symptoms. These effects are attributed to the improved tear film dynamics, but there are no data on the effect of CsA on the abnormal sensory nerve activity characteristic in DE. Our purpose was to evaluate the CsA effect on the enhanced activity of corneal cold thermoreceptors in a tear-deficient DE animal model using in vitro extracellular recording of cold thermoreceptors nerve terminal impulses (NTIs) before and in the presence of CsA. NTI shape was also analyzed. Blinking frequency and tearing rate were also measured in awake animals before and after topical CsA. CsA increased the tearing and blinking of treated animals. CsA significantly decreased the peak response to cold of cold thermoreceptors. Neither their spontaneous NTIs discharge rate nor their cooling threshold were modified. CsA also seemed to reverse some of the changes in NTI shape induced by tear deficiency. These data suggest that, at least in part, the beneficial clinical effects of CsA in DE can be attributed to a direct effect on sensory nerve endings, although the precise mechanisms underlying this effect need further studies to be fully clarified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pharmacology)
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19 pages, 7588 KiB  
Article
Synthesis, Structure, and Magnetic and Biological Properties of Copper(II) Complexes with 1,3,4-Thiadiazole Derivatives
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613024 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1010
Abstract
New coordination compounds of copper(II) with 2,5-bis(ethylthio)-1,3,4-thiadiazole (L1) and 2,5-bis(pyridylmethylthio)-1,3,4-thiadiazole (L2) with compositions Cu(L1)2Br2, Cu(L1)(C2N3)2, Cu(L2)Cl2, and Cu(L2)Br2 [...] Read more.
New coordination compounds of copper(II) with 2,5-bis(ethylthio)-1,3,4-thiadiazole (L1) and 2,5-bis(pyridylmethylthio)-1,3,4-thiadiazole (L2) with compositions Cu(L1)2Br2, Cu(L1)(C2N3)2, Cu(L2)Cl2, and Cu(L2)Br2 were prepared. The complexes were identified and studied by CHN analysis, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, powder X-Ray diffraction (XRD), and static magnetic susceptibility. The crystal structures of Cu(II) complexes with L1 were determined. The structures of the coordination core of complexes Cu(L2)Cl2 and Cu(L2)Br2 were determined by Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy. Magnetization measurements have revealed various magnetic states in the studied complexes, ranging from an almost ideal paramagnet in Cu(L1)2Br2 to alternating-exchange antiferromagnetic chains in Cu(L1)(C2N3)2, where double dicyanamide bridges provide an unusually strong exchange interaction (J1/kB ≈ −23.5 K; J2/kB ≈ −20.2 K) between Cu(II) ions. The cytotoxic activity of copper(II) complexes with L2 was estimated on the human cell lines of breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Design, Synthesis and Study of Metal Complexes)
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14 pages, 3328 KiB  
Article
PON-Fold: Prediction of Substitutions Affecting Protein Folding Rate
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13023; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613023 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Most proteins fold into characteristic three-dimensional structures. The rate of folding and unfolding varies widely and can be affected by variations in proteins. We developed a novel machine-learning-based method for the prediction of the folding rate effects of amino acid substitutions in two-state [...] Read more.
Most proteins fold into characteristic three-dimensional structures. The rate of folding and unfolding varies widely and can be affected by variations in proteins. We developed a novel machine-learning-based method for the prediction of the folding rate effects of amino acid substitutions in two-state folding proteins. We collected a data set of experimentally defined folding rates for variants and used them to train a gradient boosting algorithm starting with 1161 features. Two predictors were designed. The three-class classifier had, in blind tests, specificity and sensitivity ranging from 0.324 to 0.419 and from 0.256 to 0.451, respectively. The other tool was a regression predictor that showed a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.525. The error measures, mean absolute error and mean squared error, were 0.581 and 0.603, respectively. One of the previously presented tools could be used for comparison with the blind test data set, our method called PON-Fold showed superior performance on all used measures. The applicability of the tool was tested by predicting all possible substitutions in a protein domain. Predictions for different conformations of proteins, open and closed forms of a protein kinase, and apo and holo forms of an enzyme indicated that the choice of the structure had a large impact on the outcome. PON-Fold is freely available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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33 pages, 2916 KiB  
Review
Deciphering the Functional Status of Breast Cancers through the Analysis of Their Extracellular Vesicles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13022; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613022 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1653
Abstract
Breast cancer (BC) accounts for the highest incidence of tumor-related mortality among women worldwide, justifying the growing search for molecular tools for the early diagnosis and follow-up of BC patients under treatment. Circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membranous nanocompartments produced by all human [...] Read more.
Breast cancer (BC) accounts for the highest incidence of tumor-related mortality among women worldwide, justifying the growing search for molecular tools for the early diagnosis and follow-up of BC patients under treatment. Circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membranous nanocompartments produced by all human cells, including tumor cells. Since minimally invasive methods collect EVs, which represent reservoirs of signals for cell communication, these particles have attracted the interest of many researchers aiming to improve BC screening and treatment. Here, we analyzed the cargoes of BC-derived EVs, both proteins and nucleic acids, which yielded a comprehensive list of potential markers divided into four distinct categories, namely, (i) modulation of aggressiveness and growth; (ii) preparation of the pre-metastatic niche; (iii) epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; and (iv) drug resistance phenotype, further classified according to their specificity and sensitivity as vesicular BC biomarkers. We discuss the therapeutic potential of and barriers to the clinical implementation of EV-based tests, including the heterogeneity of EVs and the available technologies for analyzing their content, to present a consistent, reproducible, and affordable set of markers for further evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Oncology in Brazil 2.0)
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46 pages, 3157 KiB  
Review
From Pathogenesis to Therapeutics: A Review of 150 Years of Huntington’s Disease Research
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13021; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613021 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4286
Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative genetic disorder caused by an expanded polyglutamine-coding (CAG) trinucleotide repeat in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. HD behaves as a highly penetrant dominant disorder likely acting through a toxic gain of function by the mutant [...] Read more.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative genetic disorder caused by an expanded polyglutamine-coding (CAG) trinucleotide repeat in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. HD behaves as a highly penetrant dominant disorder likely acting through a toxic gain of function by the mutant huntingtin protein. Widespread cellular degeneration of the medium spiny neurons of the caudate nucleus and putamen are responsible for the onset of symptomology that encompasses motor, cognitive, and behavioural abnormalities. Over the past 150 years of HD research since George Huntington published his description, a plethora of pathogenic mechanisms have been proposed with key themes including excitotoxicity, dopaminergic imbalance, mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolic defects, disruption of proteostasis, transcriptional dysregulation, and neuroinflammation. Despite the identification and characterisation of the causative gene and mutation and significant advances in our understanding of the cellular pathology in recent years, a disease-modifying intervention has not yet been clinically approved. This review includes an overview of Huntington’s disease, from its genetic aetiology to clinical presentation and its pathogenic manifestation. An updated view of molecular mechanisms and the latest therapeutic developments will also be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Huntington’s Disease: Molecular Advances in Therapeutics)
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37 pages, 13144 KiB  
Review
Organically Templated Uranyl Sulfates and Selenates: Structural Complexity and Crystal Chemical Restrictions for Isotypic Compounds Formation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13020; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613020 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
This paper reviews the state of the art in the structural chemistry of organically templated uranyl sulfates and selenates, which are considered as the most representative groups of U-bearing synthetic compounds. In total, there are 194 compounds known for both groups, the crystal [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the state of the art in the structural chemistry of organically templated uranyl sulfates and selenates, which are considered as the most representative groups of U-bearing synthetic compounds. In total, there are 194 compounds known for both groups, the crystal structures of which include 84 various organic molecules. Structural studies and topological analysis clearly indicate complex crystal chemical limitations in terms of the isomorphic substitution implementation, since the existence of isotypic phases has to date been confirmed only for 24 compounds out of 194, which is slightly above 12%. The structural architecture of the entire compound depends on the combination of the organic and oxyanion parts, changes in which are sometimes realized even while maintaining the topology of the U-bearing complex. An increase in the size of the hydrocarbon part and number of charge functional groups of the organic cation leads to the formation of rare and more complex topologies. In addition, the crystal structures of two novel uranyl sulfates and one uranyl selenate, templated by isopropylammonium cations, are reported. Full article
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11 pages, 2026 KiB  
Article
Non-Invasive Intranasal Delivery of pApoE2: Effect of Multiple Dosing on the ApoE2 Expression in Mice Brain
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13019; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613019 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 803
Abstract
Chitosan-based polymeric micelles are promising non-viral nanocarriers for safe and targeted gene delivery. Multi-functionalized chitosan polymeric micelles were prepared by grafting fatty acid, cell-penetrating peptide, and mannose on the chitosan backbone. The polymeric micelles were subjected to surface morphology and surface topography using [...] Read more.
Chitosan-based polymeric micelles are promising non-viral nanocarriers for safe and targeted gene delivery. Multi-functionalized chitosan polymeric micelles were prepared by grafting fatty acid, cell-penetrating peptide, and mannose on the chitosan backbone. The polymeric micelles were subjected to surface morphology and surface topography using scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, respectively. The hemotoxic profile of the prepared polymeric micelles was established against erythrocytes and was found to be <5% hemotoxic up to the concentration of 600 µg/mL. In vitro ApoE2 expression in primary astrocytes and neurons was analyzed. Multi-functionalized polymeric micelles produced greater (p < 0.05) transfection in astrocytes and neurons in comparison to mono-functionalized micelles. Intranasal administration of polymeric micelles/pApoE2 polyplex led to significantly higher (p < 0.05) in vivo pApoE2 expression than chitosan and unfunctionalized polymeric micelles-treated mice groups. The outcomes of this study predict that the developed multi-functionalized polymeric micelles could be an effective and safe gene delivery platform to the brain through the intranasal route. Full article
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17 pages, 2367 KiB  
Article
Why Does the Antioxidant Complex Twendee X® Prevent Dementia?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13018; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613018 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1313
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a complex neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive and short-term memory impairments. The disease involves multiple pathological factors such as amyloid plaque formation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and telomere shortening; however, oxidative stress and diabetes mellitus are significant risk factors. The onset [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a complex neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive and short-term memory impairments. The disease involves multiple pathological factors such as amyloid plaque formation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and telomere shortening; however, oxidative stress and diabetes mellitus are significant risk factors. The onset of AD begins approximately 20 years before clinical symptoms manifest; therefore, treating AD after symptoms become evident is possibly too late to have a significant effect. As such, preventing AD or using an effective treatment at an early stage is important. Twendee X® (TwX) is an antioxidant formulation consisting of eight ingredients. TwX has been proven to prevent the progression to dementia in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective intervention trial. As well, positive data has already been obtained in several studies using AD model mice. Since both diabetes and aging are risk factors for AD, we examined the mechanisms behind the effects of TwX on AD using the spontaneous hyperglycemia model and the senescence model of aged C57BL/6 mice in this study. TwX was administered daily, and its effects on diabetes, autophagy in the brain, neurogenesis, and telomere length were examined. We observed that TwX protected the mitochondria from oxidative stress better than a single antioxidant. TwX not only lowered blood glucose levels but also suppressed brain neurogenesis and autophagy. Telomeres in TWX-treated mice were significantly longer than those in non-treated mice. There are many factors that can be implicated in the development and progression of dementia; however, multiple studies on TwX suggest that it may offer protection against dementia, not only through the effects of its antioxidants but also by targeting multiple mechanisms involved in its development and progression, such as diabetes, brain neurogenesis, telomere deficiency, and energy production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Dysfunction: Molecular Research and Novel Therapy)
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22 pages, 6080 KiB  
Review
Research Progress of Macromolecules in the Prevention and Treatment of Sepsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13017; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613017 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Sepsis is associated with high rates of mortality in the intensive care unit and accompanied by systemic inflammatory reactions, secondary infections, and multiple organ failure. Biological macromolecules are drugs produced using modern biotechnology to prevent or treat diseases. Indeed, antithrombin, antimicrobial peptides, interleukins, [...] Read more.
Sepsis is associated with high rates of mortality in the intensive care unit and accompanied by systemic inflammatory reactions, secondary infections, and multiple organ failure. Biological macromolecules are drugs produced using modern biotechnology to prevent or treat diseases. Indeed, antithrombin, antimicrobial peptides, interleukins, antibodies, nucleic acids, and lentinan have been used to prevent and treat sepsis. In vitro, biological macromolecules can significantly ameliorate the inflammatory response, apoptosis, and multiple organ failure caused by sepsis. Several biological macromolecules have entered clinical trials. This review summarizes the sources, efficacy, mechanism of action, and research progress of macromolecular drugs used in the prevention and treatment of sepsis. Full article
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14 pages, 6980 KiB  
Article
Expression of EMP 1, 2, and 3 in Adrenal Cortical Neoplasm and Pheochromocytoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13016; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613016 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 888
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the expression of the epithelial membrane proteins (EMP) 1, 2, and 3 in adrenal gland neoplasm and to explore the broader implications of this. Tissue microarrays were constructed for 132 cases of adrenal cortical neoplasms [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the expression of the epithelial membrane proteins (EMP) 1, 2, and 3 in adrenal gland neoplasm and to explore the broader implications of this. Tissue microarrays were constructed for 132 cases of adrenal cortical neoplasms (ACN) (adrenal cortical adenoma (115 cases), and carcinoma (17 cases)) and 189 cases of pheochromocytoma. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to identify EMP 1, 2, and 3, and was compared with clinicopathological parameters. The H-score of EMP 3 (p < 0.001) was higher in pheochromocytoma when compared to that of ACN, and the H-score of EMP 1 (p < 0.001) and EMP 3 (p < 0.001) was higher in adrenal cortical carcinomas when compared to that of adrenal cortical adenomas. A higher EMP 1 H-score was observed in pheochromocytomas with a GAPP score ≥3 (p = 0.018). In univariate analysis, high levels of EMP 1 and EMP 3 expression in ACN were associated with shorter overall survival (p = 0.001). Differences were observed in the expression of EMPs between ACN and pheochromocytoma. EMPs are associated with malignant tumor biology in adrenal cortical neoplasm and pheochromocytoma, suggesting the role of a prognostic and/or predictive factor for EMPs in adrenal tumor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammatory Response in Endocrine Disorders)
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16 pages, 4422 KiB  
Article
Inhibitory Effects of Simvastatin on IL-33-Induced MCP-1 via the Suppression of the JNK Pathway in Human Vascular Endothelial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13015; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613015 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
An alarmin, interleukin (IL)-33 is a danger signal that causes inflammation, inducing chemotactic proteins such as monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 in various cells. As statins have pleiotropic actions including anti-inflammatory properties, we investigated the effects of simvastatin on IL-33-induced MCP-1 expression in human [...] Read more.
An alarmin, interleukin (IL)-33 is a danger signal that causes inflammation, inducing chemotactic proteins such as monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 in various cells. As statins have pleiotropic actions including anti-inflammatory properties, we investigated the effects of simvastatin on IL-33-induced MCP-1 expression in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). HUVECs were stimulated with IL-33 in the presence or absence of simvastatin. Gene expression and protein secretion of MCP-1, phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), nuclear translocation of phosphorylated c-Jun, and human monocyte migration were investigated. Immunocytochemical staining and Western immunoblot analysis revealed that IL-33 augmented MCP-1 protein expression in HUVECs. Real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed that IL-33 significantly increased MCP-1 mRNA and protein secretion, which were suppressed by c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600125 and p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580. Simvastatin inhibited IL-33-induced MCP-1 mRNA, protein secretion, phosphorylation of JNK and c-Jun. Additionally, the IL-33-induced nuclear translocation of phosphorylated c-Jun and THP-1 monocyte migration were also blocked by simvastatin. This study demonstrated that IL-33 induces MCP-1 expression via the JNK and p38 MAPK pathways in HUVECs, and that simvastatin inhibits MCP-1 production by selectively suppressing JNK. Simvastatin may inhibit the progression of IL-33-induced inflammation via suppressing JNK to prevent MCP-1 production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Immunology)
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14 pages, 2326 KiB  
Review
Giant Arachnoid Granulations: A Systematic Literature Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613014 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Giant arachnoid granulations (GAGs) are minimally investigated. Here, we systematically review the available data in published reports to better understand their etiologies, nomenclature, and clinical significance. In the literature, 195 GAGs have been documented in 169 persons of varied ages (range, 0.33 to [...] Read more.
Giant arachnoid granulations (GAGs) are minimally investigated. Here, we systematically review the available data in published reports to better understand their etiologies, nomenclature, and clinical significance. In the literature, 195 GAGs have been documented in 169 persons of varied ages (range, 0.33 to 91 years; mean, 43 ± 20 years; 54% female). Prior reports depict intrasinus (i.e., dural venous sinus, DVS) (84%), extrasinus (i.e., diploic or calvarial) (15%), and mixed (1%) GAG types that exhibit pedunculated, sessile, or vermiform morphologies. GAG size ranged from 0.4 to 6 cm in maximum dimension (mean, 1.9 ± 1.1 cm) and encompassed symptomatic or non-symptomatic enlarged arachnoid granulations (≥1 cm) as well as symptomatic subcentimeter arachnoid granulations. A significant difference was identified in mean GAG size between sex (females, 1.78 cm; males, 3.39 cm; p < 0.05). The signs and symptoms associated with GAGs varied and include headache (19%), sensory change(s) (11%), and intracranial hypertension (2%), among diverse and potentially serious sequelae. Notably, brain herniation was present within 38 GAGs (22%). Among treated individuals, subsets were managed medically (19 persons, 11%), surgically (15 persons, 9%), and/or by endovascular DVS stenting (7 persons, 4%). Histologic workup of 53 (27%) GAG cases depicted internal inflammation (3%), cystic change consistent with fluid accumulation (2%), venous thrombosis (1%), hemorrhage (1%), meningothelial hyperplasia (1%), lymphatic vascular proliferation (1%), and lymphatic vessel obliteration (1%). This review emphasizes heterogeneity in GAG subtypes, morphology, composite, location, symptomatology, and imaging presentations. Additional systematic investigations are needed to better elucidate the pathobiology, clinical effects, and optimal diagnostic and management strategies for enlarged and symptomatic arachnoid granulation subtypes, as different strategies and size thresholds are likely applicable for medical, interventional, and/or surgical treatment of these structures in distinct brain locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microanatomical and Molecular Updates on Brain Aging)
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15 pages, 5116 KiB  
Article
Determination of Kinetic Parameters and Identification of the Rate-Determining Steps in the Oxygen Exchange Process for LaNi0.6Fe0.4O3−δ
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13013; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613013 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 716
Abstract
The mixed ionic and electronic oxide LaNi0.6Fe0.4O3−δ (LNF) is a promising ceramic cathode material for solid oxide fuel cells. Since the reaction rate of oxygen interaction with the cathode material is extremely important, the present work considers [...] Read more.
The mixed ionic and electronic oxide LaNi0.6Fe0.4O3−δ (LNF) is a promising ceramic cathode material for solid oxide fuel cells. Since the reaction rate of oxygen interaction with the cathode material is extremely important, the present work considers the oxygen exchange mechanism between O2 and LNF oxide. The kinetic dependence of the oxygen/oxide interaction has been determined by two isotopic methods using 18O-labelled oxygen. The application of the isotope exchange with the gas phase equilibrium (IE-GPE) and the pulsed isotope exchange (PIE) has provided information over a wide range of temperatures (350–800 °C) and oxygen pressures (10–200 mbar), as each method has different applicability limits. Applying mathematical models to treat the kinetic relationships, the oxygen exchange rate (rH, atom × cm−2 × s−1) and the diffusion coefficient (D, cm2/s) were calculated. The values of rH and D depend on both temperature and oxygen pressure. The activation energy of the surface exchange rate is 0.73 ± 0.05 eV for the PIE method at 200 mbar, and 0.48 ± 0.02 eV for the IE-GPE method at 10–20 mbar; for the diffusion coefficient, the activation energy equals 0.62 ± 0.01 eV at 10–20 mbar for the IE-GPE method. Differences in the mechanism of oxygen exchange and diffusion on dense and powder samples are observed due to the different microstructure and surface morphology of the samples. The influence of oxygen pressure on the ratio of contributions of different exchange types to the total oxygen exchange rate is demonstrated. For the first time, the rate-determining step in the oxygen exchange process for LNF material has been identified. This paper discusses the reasons for the difference in the mechanisms of oxygen exchange and diffusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Russia—2nd Edition)
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26 pages, 5688 KiB  
Article
Unveiling the Link: Exploring Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a Probable Mechanism of Hepatic Damage in Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13012; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613012 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 873
Abstract
PTSD is associated with disturbed hepatic morphology and metabolism. Neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction is considered a subcellular determinant of PTSD, but a link between hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction and hepatic damage in PTSD has not been demonstrated. Thus, the effects of experimental PTSD on the [...] Read more.
PTSD is associated with disturbed hepatic morphology and metabolism. Neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction is considered a subcellular determinant of PTSD, but a link between hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction and hepatic damage in PTSD has not been demonstrated. Thus, the effects of experimental PTSD on the livers of high anxiety (HA) and low anxiety (LA) rats were compared, and mitochondrial determinants underlying the difference in their hepatic damage were investigated. Rats were exposed to predator stress for 10 days. Then, 14 days post-stress, the rats were evaluated with an elevated plus maze and assigned to HA and LA groups according to their anxiety index. Experimental PTSD caused dystrophic changes in hepatocytes of HA rats and hepatocellular damage evident by increased plasma ALT and AST activities. Mitochondrial dysfunction was evident as a predominance of small-size mitochondria in HA rats, which was positively correlated with anxiety index, activities of plasma transaminases, hepatic lipids, and negatively correlated with hepatic glycogen. In contrast, LA rats had a predominance of medium-sized mitochondria. Thus, we show links between mitochondrial dysfunction, hepatic damage, and heightened anxiety in PTSD rats. These results will provide a foundation for future research on the role of hepatic dysfunction in PTSD pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Damage and Repair 2.0)
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31 pages, 2213 KiB  
Review
Periodontal Disease and Its Association with Metabolic Syndrome—A Comprehensive Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613011 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1769
Abstract
Periodontal disease is a complex and progressive chronic inflammatory condition that leads to the loss of alveolar bone and teeth. It has been associated with various systemic diseases, including diabetes mellitus and obesity, among others. Some of these conditions are part of the [...] Read more.
Periodontal disease is a complex and progressive chronic inflammatory condition that leads to the loss of alveolar bone and teeth. It has been associated with various systemic diseases, including diabetes mellitus and obesity, among others. Some of these conditions are part of the metabolic syndrome cluster, a group of interconnected systemic diseases that significantly raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and stroke. The metabolic syndrome cluster encompasses central obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension. In this review, our objective is to investigate the correlation between periodontal disease and the components and outcomes of the metabolic syndrome cluster. By doing so, we aim to gain insights into the fundamental mechanisms that link each systemic condition with the metabolic syndrome. This deeper understanding of the interplay between these conditions and periodontal disease can pave the way for more effective treatments that take into account the broader impact of managing periodontal disease on the comprehensive treatment of systemic diseases, and vice versa. Full article
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16 pages, 2522 KiB  
Article
Depressive-like Behaviors Induced by mGluR5 Reduction in 6xTg in Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613010 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1128
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one representative dementia characterized by the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain, resulting in cognitive decline and memory loss. AD is associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms, including major depressive disorder (MDD). Recent studies [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one representative dementia characterized by the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain, resulting in cognitive decline and memory loss. AD is associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms, including major depressive disorder (MDD). Recent studies showed a reduction in mGluR5 expression in the brains of stress-induced mice models and individuals with MDD compared to controls. In our study, we identified depressive-like behavior and memory impairment in a mouse model of AD, specifically in the 6xTg model with tau and Aβ pathologies. In addition, we investigated the expression of mGluR5 in the brains of 6xTg mice using micro-positron emission tomography (micro-PET) imaging, histological analysis, and Western blot analysis, and we observed a decrease in mGluR5 levels in the brains of 6xTg mice compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Additionally, we identified alterations in the ERK/AKT/GSK-3β signaling pathway in the brains of 6xTg mice. Notably, we identified a significant negative correlation between depressive-like behavior and the protein level of mGluR5 in 6xTg mice. Additionally, we also found a significant positive correlation between depressive-like behavior and AD pathologies, including phosphorylated tau and Aβ. These findings suggested that abnormal mGluR5 expression and AD-related pathologies were involved in depressive-like behavior in the 6xTg mouse model. Further research is warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and explore potential therapeutic targets in the intersection of AD and depressive-like symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Neurobiology)
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14 pages, 4392 KiB  
Article
Establishment of RNA Interference Genetic Transformation System and Functional Analysis of FlbA Gene in Leptographium qinlingensis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13009; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613009 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 837
Abstract
Leptographium qinlingensis is a pathogenic fungus of Pinus armandii that is epidemic in the Qinling Mountains. However, an effective gene interference strategy is needed to characterize the pathogenic genes in this fungus on a functional level. Using the RNA silencing vector pSilent-1 as [...] Read more.
Leptographium qinlingensis is a pathogenic fungus of Pinus armandii that is epidemic in the Qinling Mountains. However, an effective gene interference strategy is needed to characterize the pathogenic genes in this fungus on a functional level. Using the RNA silencing vector pSilent-1 as a template, we established an RNA interference genetic transformation system mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens GV3101, which is suitable for the gene study for Leptographium qinlingensis by homologous recombination and strain interference system screening. The LqFlbA gene was silenced using the RNA interference approach described above, and the resulting transformants displayed various levels of silencing with a gene silencing effectiveness ranging from 41.8% to 91.4%. The LqFlbA-RNAi mutant displayed altered colony morphology, sluggish mycelium growth, and diminished pathogenicity toward the host P. armandii in comparison to the wild type. The results indicate that this method provides a useful reverse genetic system for studying the gene function of L. qinlingensis, and that LqFlbA plays a crucial role in the growth, development, and pathogenicity of L. qinlingensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 2.0)
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14 pages, 1388 KiB  
Review
Diagnosis- and Prognosis-Related Gene Alterations in BCR::ABL1-Negative Myeloproliferative Neoplasms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13008; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613008 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1072
Abstract
BCR::ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a group of hematopoietic malignancies in which somatic mutations are acquired in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, resulting in an abnormal increase in blood cells in peripheral blood and fibrosis in bone marrow. Mutations in JAK2, MPL, [...] Read more.
BCR::ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a group of hematopoietic malignancies in which somatic mutations are acquired in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, resulting in an abnormal increase in blood cells in peripheral blood and fibrosis in bone marrow. Mutations in JAK2, MPL, and CALR are frequently found in BCR::ABL1-negative MPNs, and detecting typical mutations in these three genes has become essential for the diagnosis of BCR::ABL1-negative MPNs. Furthermore, comprehensive gene mutation and expression analyses performed using massively parallel sequencing have identified gene mutations associated with the prognosis of BCR::ABL1-negative MPNs such as ASXL1, EZH2, IDH1/2, SRSF2, and U2AF1. Furthermore, single-cell analyses have partially elucidated the effect of the order of mutation acquisition on the phenotype of BCR::ABL1-negative MPNs and the mechanism of the pathogenesis of BCR::ABL1-negative MPNs. Recently, specific CREB3L1 overexpression has been identified in megakaryocytes and platelets in BCR::ABL1-negative MPNs, which may be promising for the development of diagnostic applications. In this review, we describe the genetic mutations found in BCR::ABL1-negative MPNs, including the results of analyses conducted by our group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Myeloproliferative Disorders)
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11 pages, 4253 KiB  
Article
Validation of 16S rRNA and Complete rpoB Gene Sequence Analysis for the Identification of Elizabethkingia Species
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13007; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613007 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 825
Abstract
Bacteria in the genus Elizabethkingia have emerged as a cause of life-threatening infections in humans. However, accurate species identification of these pathogens relies on molecular techniques. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of 16S rRNA and complete RNA polymerase β-subunit (rpoB) [...] Read more.
Bacteria in the genus Elizabethkingia have emerged as a cause of life-threatening infections in humans. However, accurate species identification of these pathogens relies on molecular techniques. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of 16S rRNA and complete RNA polymerase β-subunit (rpoB) gene sequences in identifying Elizabethkingia species. A total of 173 Elizabethkingia strains with whole-genome sequences in GenBank were included. The 16S rRNA gene and rpoB gene sequences from the same Elizabethkingia strains were examined. Of the 41 E. meningoseptica strains, all exhibited >99.5% 16S rRNA similarity to its type strain. Only 83% of the 99 E. anophelis strains shared >99.5% 16S rRNA gene similarity with its type strain. All strains of E. meningoseptica and E. anophelis formed a cluster distinct from the other Elizabethkingia species in the 16S rRNA and rpoB gene phylogenetic trees. The polymorphisms of 16S rRNA gene sequences are not sufficient for constructing a phylogenetic tree to discriminate species in the E. miricola cluster (E. miricola, E. bruuniana, E. occulta, and E. ursingii). The complete rpoB gene phylogenetic tree clearly delineates all strains of Elizabethkingia species. The complete rpoB gene sequencing could be a useful complementary phylogenetic marker for the accurate identification of Elizabethkingia species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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36 pages, 1713 KiB  
Review
Decoding Neurodegeneration: A Comprehensive Review of Molecular Mechanisms, Genetic Influences, and Therapeutic Innovations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13006; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613006 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1625
Abstract
Neurodegenerative disorders often acquire due to genetic predispositions and genomic alterations after exposure to multiple risk factors. The most commonly found pathologies are variations of dementia, such as frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia, as well as rare subtypes of cerebral and cerebellar [...] Read more.
Neurodegenerative disorders often acquire due to genetic predispositions and genomic alterations after exposure to multiple risk factors. The most commonly found pathologies are variations of dementia, such as frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia, as well as rare subtypes of cerebral and cerebellar atrophy-based syndromes. In an emerging era of biomedical advances, molecular–cellular studies offer an essential avenue for a thorough recognition of the underlying mechanisms and their possible implications in the patient’s symptomatology. This comprehensive review is focused on deciphering molecular mechanisms and the implications regarding those pathologies’ clinical advancement and provides an analytical overview of genetic mutations in the case of neurodegenerative disorders. With the help of well-developed modern genetic investigations, these clinically complex disturbances are highly understood nowadays, being an important step in establishing molecularly targeted therapies and implementing those approaches in the physician’s practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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16 pages, 2508 KiB  
Article
Tryptophan Modulation in Cancer-Associated Cachexia Mouse Models
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13005; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613005 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome that interferes with treatment and reduces the quality of life and survival of patients. Currently, there is no effective treatment or biomarkers, and pathophysiology is not clear. Our group reported alterations on tryptophan metabolites in cachectic patients, [...] Read more.
Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome that interferes with treatment and reduces the quality of life and survival of patients. Currently, there is no effective treatment or biomarkers, and pathophysiology is not clear. Our group reported alterations on tryptophan metabolites in cachectic patients, so we aim to investigate the role of tryptophan using two cancer-associated cachexia syngeneic murine models, melanoma B16F10, and pancreatic adenocarcinoma that is KPC-based. Injected mice showed signs of cancer-associated cachexia as reduction in body weight and raised spleen weight, MCP1, and carbonilated proteins in plasma. CRP and Myostatin also increased in B16F10 mice. Skeletal muscle showed a decrease in quadriceps weight and cross-sectional area (especially in B16F10). Higher expression of atrophy genes, mainly Atrogin1, was also observed. Plasmatic tryptophan levels in B16F10 tumor-bearing mice decreased even at early steps of tumorigenesis. In KPC-injected mice, tryptophan fluctuated but were also reduced and in cachectic patients were significantly lower. Treatment with 1-methyl-tryptophan, an inhibitor of tryptophan degradation, in the murine models resulted in the restoration of plasmatic tryptophan levels and an improvement on splenomegaly and carbonilated proteins levels, while changes in plasmatic inflammatory markers were mild. After the treatment, CCR2 expression in monocytes diminished and lymphocytes, Tregs, and CD8+, were activated (seen by increased in CD127 and CD25 expression, respectively). These immune cell changes pointed to an improvement in systemic inflammation. While treatment with 1-MT did not show benefits in terms of muscle wasting and atrophy in our experimental setting, muscle functionality was not affected and central nuclei fibers appeared, being a feature of regeneration. Therefore, tryptophan metabolism pathway is a promising target for inflammation modulation in cancer-associated cachexia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Oncology)
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13 pages, 1291 KiB  
Review
Twenty Years of Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapeutics in Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613004 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 8844
Abstract
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) is the primary disastrous retinal disease that leads to blindness in the elderly population. In the early 2000s, nAMD resulted in irreversible vision loss and blindness with no available treatment options. However, there have been breakthrough advances in [...] Read more.
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) is the primary disastrous retinal disease that leads to blindness in the elderly population. In the early 2000s, nAMD resulted in irreversible vision loss and blindness with no available treatment options. However, there have been breakthrough advances in the drug development of anti-angiogenic biological agents over the last two decades. The primary target molecule for treating nAMD is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and there are currently several anti-VEGF drugs such as bevacizumab, ranibizumab, and aflibercept, which have made nAMD more manageable than before, thus preventing vision loss. Nevertheless, it should be noted that these anti-VEGF drugs for nAMD treatment are not effective in more than half of the patients, and even those who initially gain visual improvements lose their vision over time, along with potential deterioration in the geography of atrophy. As a result, there have been continuous endeavors to improve anti-VEGF agents through better efficacy, fewer doses, expanded intervals, and additional targets. This review describes past and current anti-VEGF therapeutics used to treat nAMD and outlines future directions to improve the effectiveness and safety of anti-VEGF agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinal Degenerative Diseases 2.0)
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18 pages, 4408 KiB  
Article
SET Domain Group 703 Regulates Planthopper Resistance by Suppressing the Expression of Defense-Related Genes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613003 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
Plant defense responses against insect pests are intricately regulated by highly complex regulatory networks. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones modulate the expression of genes involved in various biological processes. However, the role of PTMs in conferring insect resistance remains unclear. Through the screening [...] Read more.
Plant defense responses against insect pests are intricately regulated by highly complex regulatory networks. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones modulate the expression of genes involved in various biological processes. However, the role of PTMs in conferring insect resistance remains unclear. Through the screening of a T-DNA insertion activation-tagged mutant collection in rice, we identified the mutant planthopper susceptible 1 (phs1), which exhibits heightened expression of SET domain group 703 (SDG703). This overexpression is associated with increased susceptibility to the small brown planthopper (SBPH), an economically significant insect pest affecting rice crops. SDG703 is constitutively expressed in multiple tissues and shows substantial upregulation in response to SBPH feeding. SDG703 demonstrates the activity of histone H3K9 methyltransferase. Transcriptomic analysis revealed the downregulation of genes involved in effector-triggered immunity (ETI) and pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) in plants overexpressing SDG703. Among the downregulated genes, the overexpression of SDG703 in plants resulted in a higher level of histone H3K9 methylation compared to control plants. Collectively, these findings indicate that SDG703 suppresses the expression of defense-related genes through the promotion of histone methylation, consequently leading to reduced resistance against SBPH. The defense-related genes regulated by histone methylation present valuable targets for developing effective pest management strategies in future studies. Furthermore, our study provides novel insight into the epigenetic regulation involved in plant-insect resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Plant Molecular Science in China 2023)
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28 pages, 14704 KiB  
Review
Targeting SARS-CoV-2 Non-Structural Proteins
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613002 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an enveloped respiratory β coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), leading to a deadly pandemic that has claimed millions of lives worldwide. Like other coronaviruses, the SARS-CoV-2 genome also codes for non-structural proteins (NSPs). These [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an enveloped respiratory β coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), leading to a deadly pandemic that has claimed millions of lives worldwide. Like other coronaviruses, the SARS-CoV-2 genome also codes for non-structural proteins (NSPs). These NSPs are found within open reading frame 1a (ORF1a) and open reading frame 1ab (ORF1ab) of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and encode NSP1 to NSP11 and NSP12 to NSP16, respectively. This study aimed to collect the available literature regarding NSP inhibitors. In addition, we searched the natural product database looking for similar structures. The results showed that similar structures could be tested as potential inhibitors of the NSPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in “Molecular Biology”)
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23 pages, 1177 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Miscanthus Macromolecule Conversion: A Brief Overview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613001 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Miscanthus is a valuable renewable feedstock and has a significant potential for the manufacture of diverse biotechnology products based on macromolecules such as cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. Herein, we overviewed the state-of-the art of research on the conversion of miscanthus polymers into biotechnology [...] Read more.
Miscanthus is a valuable renewable feedstock and has a significant potential for the manufacture of diverse biotechnology products based on macromolecules such as cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. Herein, we overviewed the state-of-the art of research on the conversion of miscanthus polymers into biotechnology products comprising low-molecular compounds and macromolecules: bioethanol, biogas, bacterial cellulose, enzymes (cellulases, laccases), lactic acid, lipids, fumaric acid and polyhydroxyalkanoates. The present review aims to assess the potential of converting miscanthus polymers in order to develop sustainable technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection State-of-the-Art Macromolecules in Russia)
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13 pages, 2104 KiB  
Article
Phosphate Additives for Aging Inhibition of Impregnated Activated Carbon against Hazardous Gases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 13000; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241613000 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
Impregnated activated carbons (IACs) used in air filtration gradually lose their efficacy for the chemisorption of noxious gases when exposed to humidity due to impregnated metal deactivation. In order to stabilize IACs against aging, and to prolong the filters’ shelf life, inorganic phosphate [...] Read more.
Impregnated activated carbons (IACs) used in air filtration gradually lose their efficacy for the chemisorption of noxious gases when exposed to humidity due to impregnated metal deactivation. In order to stabilize IACs against aging, and to prolong the filters’ shelf life, inorganic phosphate compounds (phosphoric acid and its three salts, NaHPO4, Na2HPO4, and Na3PO4) were used as anti-aging additives for two different chromium-free IACs impregnated with copper, zinc, molybdenum, and triethylenediamine (TEDA). Phosphoric acid, monosodium, and disodium phosphate were found to be very efficient in inhibiting the aging of IACs over long periods against cyanogen chloride (the test agent) chemisorption, with the latter being the most efficient. However, the efficiency of phosphate as an anti-aging additive was not well correlated with its ability to inhibit the migration of metal impregnants, especially copper, from the interior to the external surface of carbon granules. Unlike organic additives, the inorganic phosphate additives did not decrease the surface area of the IAC or its physical adsorption capacity for toluene. Using a phosphate additive in IAC used in collective protection and personal filters can improve the safety of the user and the environment and dramatically reduce the need to replace these filters after exposure to humid environments. This has safety, economic, logistical, and environmental advantages. Full article
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20 pages, 4517 KiB  
Article
The Role of Hydrogen Incorporation into Amorphous Carbon Films in the Change of the Secondary Electron Yield
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 12999; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241612999 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 903
Abstract
Over the last few years, there has been increasing interest in the use of amorphous carbon thin films with low secondary electron yield (SEY) to mitigate electron multipacting in particle accelerators and RF devices. Previous works found that the SEY increases with the [...] Read more.
Over the last few years, there has been increasing interest in the use of amorphous carbon thin films with low secondary electron yield (SEY) to mitigate electron multipacting in particle accelerators and RF devices. Previous works found that the SEY increases with the amount of incorporated hydrogen and correlates with the Tauc gap. In this work, we analyse films produced by magnetron sputtering with different contents of hydrogen and deuterium incorporated via the target poisoning and sputtering of CxDy molecules. XPS was implemented to estimate the phase composition of the films. The maximal SEY was found to decrease linearly with the fraction of the graphitic phase in the films. These results are supported by Raman scattering and UPS measurements. The graphitic phase decreases almost linearly for hydrogen and deuterium concentrations between 12% and 46% (at.), but abruptly decreases when the concentration reaches 53%. This vanishing of the graphitic phase is accompanied by a strong increase of SEY and the Tauc gap. These results suggest that the SEY is not dictated directly by the concentration of H/D, but by the fraction of the graphitic phase in the film. The results are supported by an original model used to calculate the SEY of films consisting of a mixture of graphitic and polymeric phases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon–Multidisciplinary Investigations and Innovative Solutions)
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19 pages, 1609 KiB  
Article
Sialic-Acid-Related Enzymes of B Cells and Monocytes as Novel Markers to Discriminate Improvement Categories and to Fulfill Two Remission Definitions in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 12998; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241612998 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 877
Abstract
The enzymes α-2,6-sialyltransferase 1 (ST6Gal1), neuraminidase 1 (Neu1), α-2,3-sialyltransferase 1 (ST3Gal1), and neuraminidase 3 (Neu3) are known to affect immune cell function. However, it is not known whether the levels of these enzymes relate to remission definitions or differentiate American College of Rheumatology [...] Read more.
The enzymes α-2,6-sialyltransferase 1 (ST6Gal1), neuraminidase 1 (Neu1), α-2,3-sialyltransferase 1 (ST3Gal1), and neuraminidase 3 (Neu3) are known to affect immune cell function. However, it is not known whether the levels of these enzymes relate to remission definitions or differentiate American College of Rheumatology (ACR), European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), and Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) responses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We measured the ST6Gal1, Neu1, ST3Gal1, and Neu3 levels of B cells and monocytes in RA patients and correlated the cells’ enzyme levels/ratios with the improvement in the ACR, EULAR and SDAI responses and with the two remission definitions. The difference in the B-cell Neu1 levels differed between the ACR 70% improvement and non-improvement groups (p = 0.043), between the EULAR good major response (improvement) and non-good response groups (p = 0.014), and also between the SDAI 50% or 70% improvement and non-improvement groups (p = 0.001 and 0.018, respectively). The same held true when the RA patients were classified by positive rheumatoid factor or the use of biologics. The B-cell Neu1 levels significantly indicated 2005 modified American Rheumatism Association and 2011 ACR/EULAR remission definitions (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.674 with p = 0.001, and AUC = 0.682 with p < 0.001, respectively) in contrast to the CRP and ESR (all AUCs < 0.420). We suggest that B-cell Neu1 is superior for discriminating ACR, EULAR, and SDAI improvement and is good for predicting two kinds of remission definitions. Full article
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11 pages, 1008 KiB  
Review
Drug Repositioning for Refractory Benign Tumors of the Central Nervous System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 12997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241612997 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1160
Abstract
Drug repositioning (DR) is the process of identifying novel therapeutic potentials for already-approved drugs and discovering new therapies for untreated diseases. DR can play an important role in optimizing the pre-clinical process of developing novel drugs by saving time and cost compared with [...] Read more.
Drug repositioning (DR) is the process of identifying novel therapeutic potentials for already-approved drugs and discovering new therapies for untreated diseases. DR can play an important role in optimizing the pre-clinical process of developing novel drugs by saving time and cost compared with the process of de novo drug discovery. Although the number of publications related to DR has rapidly increased, most therapeutic approaches were reported for malignant tumors. Surgical resection represents the definitive treatment for benign tumors of the central nervous system (BTCNS). However, treatment options remain limited for surgery-, chemotherapy- and radiation-refractory BTCNS, as well as malignant tumors. Meningioma, pituitary neuroendocrine tumor (PitNET), and schwannoma are the most common BTCNS. The treatment strategy using DR may be applied for refractory BTCNS, such as Grade 2 meningiomas, neurofibromatosis type 2-related schwannomatosis, and PitNETs with cavernous sinus invasion. In the setting of BTCNS, stable disease can provide significant benefit to the patient. DR may provide a longer duration of survival without disease progression for patients with refractory BTCNS. This article reviews the utility of DR for refractory BTCNS. Full article
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15 pages, 2071 KiB  
Article
Modulation of Voltage-Gating and Hysteresis of Lysenin Channels by Cu2+ Ions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 12996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241612996 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 659
Abstract
The intricate voltage regulation presented by lysenin channels reconstituted in artificial lipid membranes leads to a strong hysteresis in conductance, bistability, and memory. Prior investigations on lysenin channels indicate that the hysteresis is modulated by multivalent cations which are also capable of eliciting [...] Read more.
The intricate voltage regulation presented by lysenin channels reconstituted in artificial lipid membranes leads to a strong hysteresis in conductance, bistability, and memory. Prior investigations on lysenin channels indicate that the hysteresis is modulated by multivalent cations which are also capable of eliciting single-step conformational changes and transitions to stable closed or sub-conducting states. However, the influence on voltage regulation of Cu2+ ions, capable of completely closing the lysenin channels in a two-step process, was not sufficiently addressed. In this respect, we employed electrophysiology approaches to investigate the response of lysenin channels to variable voltage stimuli in the presence of small concentrations of Cu2+ ions. Our experimental results showed that the hysteretic behavior, recorded in response to variable voltage ramps, is accentuated in the presence of Cu2+ ions. Using simultaneous AC/DC stimulation, we were able to determine that Cu2+ prevents the reopening of channels previously closed by depolarizing potentials and the channels remain in the closed state even in the absence of a transmembrane voltage. In addition, we showed that Cu2+ addition reinstates the voltage gating and hysteretic behavior of lysenin channels reconstituted in neutral lipid membranes in which lysenin channels lose their voltage-regulating properties. In the presence of Cu2+ ions, lysenin not only regained the voltage gating but also behaved like a long-term molecular memory controlled by electrical potentials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Channels: Mechanistic Insights)
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