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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 24, Issue 24 (December-2 2023) – 511 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episode (MELAS) is one of the most common mitochondrial diseases accompanied by neuronal damage. There is no established treatment. Using neurons differentiated from the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of patients with MELAS, we examined whether exogenous mitochondrial donation by highly purified mesenchymal stem cells (RECs) plays a role in the recovery of pathological neuronal functions. RECs transfer mitochondria to MELAS neurons by extracellular vesicles significantly restoring mitochondrial function. Moreover, mitochondrial function was maintained for at least three weeks. These suggested that REC-donated exogenous mitochondria might offer a potential therapeutic strategy for treating neurological dysfunction in MELAS. View this paper
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25 pages, 9210 KiB  
Article
ISGF3 and STAT2/IRF9 Control Basal and IFN-Induced Transcription through Genome-Wide Binding of Phosphorylated and Unphosphorylated Complexes to Common ISRE-Containing ISGs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17635; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417635 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 977
Abstract
In addition to the canonical ISGF3 and non-canonical STAT2/IRF9 complexes, evidence is emerging of the role of their unphosphorylated counterparts in IFN-dependent and -independent ISG transcription. To better understand the relation between ISGF3 and U-ISGF3 and STAT2/IRF9 and U-STAT2/IRF9 in IFN-I-stimulated transcriptional responses, [...] Read more.
In addition to the canonical ISGF3 and non-canonical STAT2/IRF9 complexes, evidence is emerging of the role of their unphosphorylated counterparts in IFN-dependent and -independent ISG transcription. To better understand the relation between ISGF3 and U-ISGF3 and STAT2/IRF9 and U-STAT2/IRF9 in IFN-I-stimulated transcriptional responses, we performed RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq, in combination with phosphorylation inhibition and antiviral experiments. First, we identified a group of ISRE-containing ISGs that were commonly regulated in IFNα-treated WT and STAT1-KO cells. Thus, in 2fTGH and Huh7.5 WT cells, early and long-term IFNα-inducible transcription and antiviral activity relied on the DNA recruitment of the ISGF3 components STAT1, STAT2 and IRF9 in a phosphorylation- and time-dependent manner. Likewise, in ST2-U3C and Huh-STAT1KO cells lacking STAT1, delayed IFN responses correlated with DNA binding of phosphorylated STAT2/IRF9 but not U-STAT2/IRF9. In addition, comparative experiments in U3C (STAT1-KO) cells overexpressing all the ISGF3 components (ST1-ST2-IRF9-U3C) revealed U-ISGF3 (and possibly U-STAT2/IRF9) chromatin interactions to correlate with phosphorylation-independent ISG transcription and antiviral activity. Together, our data point to the dominant role of the canonical ISGF3 and non-canonical STAT2/IRF9, without a shift to U-ISGF3 or U-STAT2/IRF9, in the regulation of early and prolonged ISG expression and viral protection. At the same time, they suggest the threshold-dependent role of U-ISFG3, and potentially U-STAT2/IRF9, in the regulation of constitutive and possibly long-term IFNα-dependent responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Genetics and Genomics in Poland 2.0)
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16 pages, 1218 KiB  
Review
Breakthroughs in Cancer Immunotherapy: An Overview of T Cell, NK Cell, Mφ, and DC-Based Treatments
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17634; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417634 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1058
Abstract
Efforts to treat cancer using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T therapy have made astonishing progress and clinical trials against hematopoietic malignancies have demonstrated their use. However, there are still disadvantages which need to be addressed: high costs, and side effects such as Graft-versus-Host Disease [...] Read more.
Efforts to treat cancer using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T therapy have made astonishing progress and clinical trials against hematopoietic malignancies have demonstrated their use. However, there are still disadvantages which need to be addressed: high costs, and side effects such as Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD) and Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). Therefore, recent efforts have been made to harness the properties of certain immune cells to treat cancer—not just T cells, but also natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages (Mφ), dendritic cells (DC), etc. In this paper, we will introduce immune cell-based cellular therapies that use various immune cells and describe their characteristics and their clinical situation. The development of immune cell-based cancer therapy fully utilizing the unique advantages of each and every immune cell is expected to enhance the survival of tumor patients owing to their high efficiency and fewer side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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39 pages, 8589 KiB  
Review
Role of Glycolytic and Glutamine Metabolism Reprogramming on the Proliferation, Invasion, and Apoptosis Resistance through Modulation of Signaling Pathways in Glioblastoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417633 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1234
Abstract
Glioma cells exhibit genetic and metabolic alterations that affect the deregulation of several cellular signal transduction pathways, including those related to glucose metabolism. Moreover, oncogenic signaling pathways induce the expression of metabolic genes, increasing the metabolic enzyme activities and thus the critical biosynthetic [...] Read more.
Glioma cells exhibit genetic and metabolic alterations that affect the deregulation of several cellular signal transduction pathways, including those related to glucose metabolism. Moreover, oncogenic signaling pathways induce the expression of metabolic genes, increasing the metabolic enzyme activities and thus the critical biosynthetic pathways to generate nucleotides, amino acids, and fatty acids, which provide energy and metabolic intermediates that are essential to accomplish the biosynthetic needs of glioma cells. In this review, we aim to explore how dysregulated metabolic enzymes and their metabolites from primary metabolism pathways in glioblastoma (GBM) such as glycolysis and glutaminolysis modulate anabolic and catabolic metabolic pathways as well as pro-oncogenic signaling and contribute to the formation, survival, growth, and malignancy of glioma cells. Also, we discuss promising therapeutic strategies by targeting the key players in metabolic regulation. Therefore, the knowledge of metabolic reprogramming is necessary to fully understand the biology of malignant gliomas to improve patient survival significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Occurrence, Evolution and Treatment of Glioblastoma)
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20 pages, 11037 KiB  
Article
MiR-199a-3p Regulates the PTPRF/β-Catenin Axis in Hair Follicle Development: Insights into the Pathogenic Mechanism of Alopecia Areata
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17632; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417632 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 737
Abstract
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease characterized by the immune system attacking self hair follicles, mainly in the scalp. There is no complete cure, and the pathogenesis is still not fully understood. Here, sequencing of skin tissues collected from 1-month-old coarse- and fine-wool [...] Read more.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease characterized by the immune system attacking self hair follicles, mainly in the scalp. There is no complete cure, and the pathogenesis is still not fully understood. Here, sequencing of skin tissues collected from 1-month-old coarse- and fine-wool lambs identified miR-199a-3p as the only small RNA significantly overexpressed in the fine-wool group, suggesting a role in hair follicle development. MiR-199a-3p expression was concentrated in the dermal papillae cells of sheep hair follicles, along with enhanced β-catenin expression and the inhibition of PTPRF protein expression. We also successfully constructed a mouse model of alopecia areata by intracutaneous injection with an miR-199a-3p antagomir. Injection of the miR-199a-3p agomir resulted in hair growth and earlier anagen entry. Conversely, local injection with the miR-199a-3p antagomir resulted in suppressed hair growth at the injection site, upregulation of immune system-related genes, and downregulation of hair follicle development-related genes. In vivo and in vitro analyses demonstrated that miR-199a-3p regulates hair follicle development through the PTPRF/β-catenin axis. In conclusion, a mouse model of alopecia areata was successfully established by downregulation of a small RNA, suggesting the potential value of miR-199a-3p in the study of alopecia diseases. The regulatory role of miR-199a-3p in the PTPRF/β-catenin axis was confirmed, further demonstrating the link between alopecia areata and the Wnt-signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Biology)
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18 pages, 4104 KiB  
Article
Generation and Characterization of SORT1-Targeted Antibody–Drug Conjugate for the Treatment of SORT1-Positive Breast Tumor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17631; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417631 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1011
Abstract
Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) have greatly improved the outcomes of advanced breast tumors. However, the treatment of breast tumors with existing ADCs is still hindered by many issues, such as tumor antigen heterogeneity and drug resistance. Therefore, ADCs against new targets would provide options [...] Read more.
Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) have greatly improved the outcomes of advanced breast tumors. However, the treatment of breast tumors with existing ADCs is still hindered by many issues, such as tumor antigen heterogeneity and drug resistance. Therefore, ADCs against new targets would provide options for the treatment of these challenges. Sortilin-1 (SORT1) may be a promising target for ADC as it is upregulated in breast cancer. To evaluate the possibility of SORT1 as an ADC target, a humanized antibody_8D302 with high affinity against SORT1 was generated. Additionally, 8D302 was conjugated with MMAE and DXd to generate two ADCs_8D302-MMAE and 8D302-DXd, respectively. Both 8D302-MMAE and 8D302-DXd showed effective cytotoxicity against SORT1 positive breast tumor cell lines and induced bystander killing. Consequently, 8D302-MMAE showed relatively better anti-tumor activity than 8D302-DXd both in vitro and in vivo, but 8D302-DXd had superior safety profile and pharmacokinetics profile over 8D302-MMAE. Furthermore, SORT1 induced faster internalization and lysosomal trafficking of antibodies and had a higher turnover compared with HER2. Also, 8D302-DXd exhibited superior cell cytotoxicity and tumor suppression over trastuzumab-DXd, a HER2-targeted ADC. We hypothesize that the high turnover of SORT1 enables SORT1-targeted ADC to be a powerful agent for the treatment of SORT1-positive breast tumor. Full article
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15 pages, 1525 KiB  
Review
An Insight into Functional Metagenomics: A High-Throughput Approach to Decipher Food–Microbiota–Host Interactions in the Human Gut
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17630; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417630 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Our understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the microbiota and its host has constantly evolved since our understanding that the “self” was not only defined by our genetic patrimony but also by the genomes of bugs living in us. The first culture-based methods [...] Read more.
Our understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the microbiota and its host has constantly evolved since our understanding that the “self” was not only defined by our genetic patrimony but also by the genomes of bugs living in us. The first culture-based methods highlighted the important functions of the microbiota. However, these methods had strong limitations and did not allow for a full understanding of the complex relationships that occur at the interface between the microbiota and the host. The recent development of metagenomic approaches has been a groundbreaking step towards this understanding. Its use has provided new insights and perspectives. In the present chapter, we will describe the advances of functional metagenomics to decipher food–microbiota and host–microbiota interactions. This powerful high-throughput approach allows for the assessment of the microbiota as a whole (including non-cultured bacteria) and enabled the discovery of new signaling pathways and functions involved in the crosstalk between food, the gut microbiota and its host. We will present the pipeline and highlight the most important studies that helped to develop the field. To conclude, we will emphasize the most recent developments and hot topics in functional metagenomics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Microbiology in France)
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3 pages, 184 KiB  
Editorial
Multiple Mechanisms Controlling Uterine Function: Editorial to Special Issue “Molecular Mechanisms of Uterine Receptivity for Embryo Implantation”
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17629; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417629 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Uterine (endometrial) receptivity is the ability of the endometrium to successfully attach to the embryo, to promote its implantation, to nourish it and keep it alive [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Uterine Receptivity for Embryo Implantation)
26 pages, 4786 KiB  
Article
Correlation of MR-Based Metabolomics and Molecular Profiling in the Tumor Microenvironment of Temozolomide-Treated Orthotopic GL261 Glioblastoma in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17628; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417628 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 899
Abstract
The tumor microenvironment in glioblastoma (GB) is considered to be “cold”, i.e., the fraction of cytotoxic T cells, for instance, is low. Instead, macrophages are the major immune cell population in GB, which stem either from tissue response (resident microglia) or recruitment of [...] Read more.
The tumor microenvironment in glioblastoma (GB) is considered to be “cold”, i.e., the fraction of cytotoxic T cells, for instance, is low. Instead, macrophages are the major immune cell population in GB, which stem either from tissue response (resident microglia) or recruitment of macrophages from the periphery, thereby undergoing tumor-dependent “imprinting” mechanisms by which macrophages can adapt a tumor-supportive phenotype. In this regard, it is important to describe the nature of macrophages associated with GB, in particular under therapy conditions using the gold standard chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ). Here, we explored the suitability of combining information from in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) approaches (metabolomics) with in vitro molecular analyses to assess therapy response and characterize macrophage populations in mouse GB using an isogenic GL261 model. For macrophage profiling, expression levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and A disintegrin and metalloproteinases (ADAMs) were determined, since their gene products affect macrophage–tumor cell communication by extensive cleavage of immunomodulatory membrane proteins, such as PD-L1. In tumor mice with an overall therapy response, expression of genes encoding the proteases ADAM8, ADAM10, and ADAM17 was increased and might contribute to the immunosuppressive phenotype of GB and immune cells. In tumors responding to therapy, expression levels of ADAM8 were upregulated by TMZ, and higher levels of PD-L1 were correlated significantly. Using a CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of ADAM8 in GL261 cells, we demonstrated that soluble PD-L1 (sPD-L1) is only generated in the presence of ADAM8. Moreover, primary macrophages from WT and ADAM8-deficient mice showed ADAM8-dependent release of sPD-L1, independent of the macrophage polarization state. Since ADAM8 expression is induced in responding tumors and PD-L1 shedding is likely to decrease the anti-tumor activities of T-cells, we conclude that immunotherapy resistance is caused, at least in part, by the increased presence of proteases, such as ADAM8. Full article
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10 pages, 1056 KiB  
Article
Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms of the PAR2 and IL-17A Genes Are Significantly Associated with Chronic Pain
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17627; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417627 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 546
Abstract
Patients with chronic pain are affected psychologically and socially. There are also individual differences in treatment efficacy. Insufficient research has been conducted on genetic polymorphisms that are related to individual differences in the susceptibility to chronic pain. Autoimmune disorders can lead to inflammation [...] Read more.
Patients with chronic pain are affected psychologically and socially. There are also individual differences in treatment efficacy. Insufficient research has been conducted on genetic polymorphisms that are related to individual differences in the susceptibility to chronic pain. Autoimmune disorders can lead to inflammation and chronic pain; therefore, we focused on the autoimmune-related protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2/F2RL1) and interleukin 17A (IL-17A/IL17A) genes. PAR2 and IL-17A are associated with autoimmune diseases that lead to chronic pain, and PAR2 regulates T-helper (Th) cell activation and differentiation. We hypothesized that the PAR2 and IL-17A genes are associated with chronic pain. The present study used a case–control design to statistically examine associations between genetic polymorphisms and the vulnerability to chronic pain. The rs2243057 polymorphism of the PAR2 gene and rs3819025 polymorphism of the IL-17A gene were previously reported to be associated with pain- or autoimmune-related phenotypes. Thus, these polymorphisms were investigated in the present study. We found that both rs2243057 and rs3819025 were significantly associated with a susceptibility to chronic pain. The present findings revealed autoimmune-related genetic factors that are involved in individual differences in chronic pain, further aiding understanding of the pathomechanism that underlies chronic pain and possibly contributing to future personalized medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Variations in Human Diseases)
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21 pages, 7935 KiB  
Article
Constructed Risk Prognosis Model Associated with Disulfidptosis lncRNAs in HCC
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17626; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417626 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Disulfidptosis is a novel cell death mode in which the accumulation of disulfide bonds in tumor cells leads to cell disintegration and death. Long-stranded noncoding RNAs (LncRNAs) are aberrantly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and have been reported to carry significant potential as [...] Read more.
Disulfidptosis is a novel cell death mode in which the accumulation of disulfide bonds in tumor cells leads to cell disintegration and death. Long-stranded noncoding RNAs (LncRNAs) are aberrantly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and have been reported to carry significant potential as a biomarker for HCC prognosis. However, lncRNA studies with disulfidptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma have rarely been reported. Therefore, this study aimed to construct a risk prognostic model based on the disulfidptosis-related lncRNA and investigate the mechanisms associated with disulfidptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma. The clinical and transcriptional information of 424 HCC patients was downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and divided into test and validation sets. Furthermore, 1668 lncRNAs associated with disulfidptosis were identified using Pearson correlation. Six lncRNA constructs were finally identified for the risk prognostic model using one-way Cox proportional hazards (COX), multifactorial COX, and lasso regression. Kaplan–Meier (KM) analysis, principal component analysis, receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC), C-index, and column-line plot results confirmed that the constructed model was an independent prognostic factor. Based on the disulfidptosis risk score, risk groups were identified as potential predictors of immune cell infiltration, drug sensitivity, and immunotherapy responsiveness. Finally, we confirmed that phospholipase B domain containing 1 antisense RNA 1 (PLBD1-AS1) and muskelin 1 antisense RNA (MKLN1-AS) were highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma and might be potential biomarkers in HCC by KM analysis and quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). This study demonstrated that lncRNA related to disulfidptosis could serve as a biomarker to predict prognosis and treatment targets for HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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22 pages, 3515 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Look at In Vitro Angiogenesis Image Analysis Software
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17625; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417625 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 717
Abstract
One of the complex challenges faced presently by tissue engineering (TE) is the development of vascularized constructs that accurately mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) of native tissue in which they are inserted to promote vessel growth and, consequently, wound healing and tissue regeneration. [...] Read more.
One of the complex challenges faced presently by tissue engineering (TE) is the development of vascularized constructs that accurately mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) of native tissue in which they are inserted to promote vessel growth and, consequently, wound healing and tissue regeneration. TE technique is characterized by several stages, starting from the choice of cell culture and the more appropriate scaffold material that can adequately support and supply them with the necessary biological cues for microvessel development. The next step is to analyze the attained microvasculature, which is reliant on the available labeling and microscopy techniques to visualize the network, as well as metrics employed to characterize it. These are usually attained with the use of software, which has been cited in several works, although no clear standard procedure has been observed to promote the reproduction of the cell response analysis. The present review analyzes not only the various steps previously described in terms of the current standards for evaluation, but also surveys some of the available metrics and software used to quantify networks, along with the detection of analysis limitations and future improvements that could lead to considerable progress for angiogenesis evaluation and application in TE research. Full article
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29 pages, 6164 KiB  
Article
The Genetic Dissection of Nitrogen Use-Related Traits in Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) at the Seedling Stage through the Integration of Multi-Locus GWAS, RNA-seq and Genomic Selection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17624; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417624 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Nitrogen (N), the most important macro-nutrient for plant growth and development, is a key factor that determines crop yield. Yet its excessive applications pollute the environment and are expensive. Hence, studying nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops is fundamental for sustainable agriculture. Here, [...] Read more.
Nitrogen (N), the most important macro-nutrient for plant growth and development, is a key factor that determines crop yield. Yet its excessive applications pollute the environment and are expensive. Hence, studying nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops is fundamental for sustainable agriculture. Here, an association panel consisting of 123 flax accessions was evaluated for 21 NUE-related traits at the seedling stage under optimum N (N+) and N deficiency (N−) treatments to dissect the genetic architecture of NUE-related traits using a multi-omics approach integrating genome-wide association studies (GWAS), transcriptome analysis and genomic selection (GS). Root traits exhibited significant and positive correlations with NUE under N− conditions (r = 0.33 to 0.43, p < 0.05). A total of 359 QTLs were identified, accounting for 0.11% to 23.1% of the phenotypic variation in NUE-related traits. Transcriptomic analysis identified 1034 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) under contrasting N conditions. DEGs involved in N metabolism, root development, amino acid transport and catabolism and others, were found near the QTLs. GS models to predict NUE stress tolerance index (NUE_STI) trait were tested using a random genome-wide SNP dataset and a GWAS-derived QTLs dataset. The latter produced superior prediction accuracy (r = 0.62 to 0.79) compared to the genome-wide SNP marker dataset (r = 0.11) for NUE_STI. Our results provide insights into the QTL architecture of NUE-related traits, identify candidate genes for further studies, and propose genomic breeding tools to achieve superior NUE in flax under low N input. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance)
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20 pages, 2830 KiB  
Article
Identification of the Axis β-Catenin–BTK in the Dynamic Adhesion of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cells to Their Microenvironment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17623; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417623 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 561
Abstract
In the microenvironment, cell interactions are established between different cell types to regulate their migration, survival and activation. β-Catenin is a multifunctional protein that stabilizes cell–cell interactions and regulates cell survival through its transcriptional activity. We used chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells as [...] Read more.
In the microenvironment, cell interactions are established between different cell types to regulate their migration, survival and activation. β-Catenin is a multifunctional protein that stabilizes cell–cell interactions and regulates cell survival through its transcriptional activity. We used chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells as a cellular model to study the role of β-catenin in regulating the adhesion of tumor cells to their microenvironment, which is necessary for tumor cell survival and accumulation. When co-cultured with a stromal cell line (HS-5), a fraction of the CLL cells adhere to stromal cells in a dynamic fashion regulated by the different levels of β-catenin expression. In non-adherent cells, β-catenin is stabilized in the cytosol and translocates into the nucleus, increasing the expression of cyclin D1. In adherent cells, the level of cytosolic β-catenin is low but membrane β-catenin helps to stabilize the adhesion of CLL to stromal cells. Indeed, the overexpression of β-catenin enhances the interaction of CLL with HS-5 cells, suggesting that this protein behaves as a regulator of cell adhesion to the stromal component and of the transcriptional regulation of cell survival. Inhibitors that block the stabilization of β-catenin alter this equilibrium and effectively disrupt the support that CLL cells receive from the cross-talk with the stroma. Full article
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20 pages, 2835 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Interpolyelectrolyte Complexes Based on Different Types of Pectin with Eudragit® EPO as Novel Carriers for Colon-Specific Drug Delivery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17622; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417622 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Given that pectin is a well-known substance used for drug delivery, we aimed to obtain and further examine the efficacy of interpolyelectrolyte complexes based on citrus or apple pectin and the Eudragit® EPO for using these carriers in oral drug delivery. To [...] Read more.
Given that pectin is a well-known substance used for drug delivery, we aimed to obtain and further examine the efficacy of interpolyelectrolyte complexes based on citrus or apple pectin and the Eudragit® EPO for using these carriers in oral drug delivery. To characterize the physicochemical properties of these compounds, turbidity, gravimetry, viscosity, elementary analysis, FTIR spectroscopy, and DSC analysis were utilized. Diffusion transport characteristics were evaluated to assess the swelling ability of the matrices and the release of diclofenac sodium. To examine the release parameters, mathematical modeling was performed by using the Korsmayer–Peppas and Logistic equations as well. During the turbidity study, stoichiometry compositions were selected for the developed IPECs EPO/PecA and EPO/PecC at pH values = 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, and 7.0. The FTIR spectra of the complexes were characterized by an increase in the intensity of the bands at 1610 cm−1 and 1400 cm−1. According to the DSC analysis, IPEC has a certain Tg = 57.3 °C. The highest release rates were obtained for IPEC EPO/PecC_1 and EPO/PecC_4. The mechanism of drug transport from the matrices IPEC EPO/PecC, IPEC EPO/PecA_3, and EPO/PecA_4 can be characterized as Super Case II. Anomalous release (non-Fickian release) is typical for IPEC EPO/PecA_1 and EPO/PecA_2. Thus, the resulting systems can be further used for the effective delivery of the drugs to the colon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers in Drug and Gene Delivery Systems 3.0)
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22 pages, 7212 KiB  
Article
Intron Editing Reveals SNORD-Dependent Maturation of the Small Nucleolar RNA Host Gene GAS5 in Human Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17621; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417621 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 635
Abstract
The GAS5 gene encodes a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) and intron-located small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs). Its structure, splice variants, and diverse functions in mammalian cells have been thoroughly investigated. However, there are still no data on a successful knockout of GAS5 in human [...] Read more.
The GAS5 gene encodes a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) and intron-located small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs). Its structure, splice variants, and diverse functions in mammalian cells have been thoroughly investigated. However, there are still no data on a successful knockout of GAS5 in human cells, with most of the loss-of-function experiments utilizing standard techniques to produce knockdowns. By using CRISPR/Cas9 to introduce double-strand breaks in the terminal intronic box C/D snoRNA genes (SNORDs), we created monoclonal cell lines carrying continuous deletions in one of the GAS5 alleles. The levels of GAS5-encoded box C/D snoRNAs and lncRNA GAS5 were assessed, and the formation of the novel splice variants was analyzed. To comprehensively evaluate the influence of specific SNORD mutations, human cell lines with individual mutations in SNORD74 and SNORD81 were obtained. Specific mutations in SNORD74 led to the downregulation of all GAS5-encoded SNORDs and GAS5 lncRNA. Further analysis revealed that SNORD74 contains a specific regulatory element modulating the maturation of the GAS5 precursor transcript. The results demonstrate that the maturation of GAS5 occurs through the m6A-associated pathway in a SNORD-dependent manner, which is a quite intriguing epitranscriptomic mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CRISPR-Cas Systems and Genome Editing)
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24 pages, 4985 KiB  
Review
How Can Imbalance in Oral Microbiota and Immune Response Lead to Dental Implant Problems?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417620 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Dental implantology is one of the most dynamically developing fields of dentistry, which, despite developing clinical knowledge and new technologies, is still associated with many complications that may lead to the loss of the implant or the development of the disease, including peri-implantitis. [...] Read more.
Dental implantology is one of the most dynamically developing fields of dentistry, which, despite developing clinical knowledge and new technologies, is still associated with many complications that may lead to the loss of the implant or the development of the disease, including peri-implantitis. One of the reasons for this condition may be the fact that dental implants cannot yield a proper osseointegration process due to the development of oral microbiota dysbiosis and the accompanying inflammation caused by immunological imbalance. This study aims to present current knowledge as to the impact of oral microflora dysbiosis and deregulation of the immune system on the course of failures observed in dental implantology. Evidence points to a strong correlation between these biological disturbances and implant complications, often stemming from improper osseointegration, pathogenic biofilms on implants, as well as an exacerbated inflammatory response. Technological enhancements in implant design may mitigate pathogen colonization and inflammation, underscoring implant success rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Microbiome and Oral Diseases 2.0)
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21 pages, 5591 KiB  
Article
Mismatch Repair Protein Msh6Tt Is Necessary for Nuclear Division and Gametogenesis in Tetrahymena thermophila
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17619; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417619 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 581
Abstract
DNA mismatch repair (MMR) improves replication accuracy by up to three orders of magnitude. The MutS protein in E. coli or its eukaryotic homolog, the MutSα (Msh2-Msh6) complex, recognizes base mismatches and initiates the mismatch repair mechanism. Msh6 is an essential protein for [...] Read more.
DNA mismatch repair (MMR) improves replication accuracy by up to three orders of magnitude. The MutS protein in E. coli or its eukaryotic homolog, the MutSα (Msh2-Msh6) complex, recognizes base mismatches and initiates the mismatch repair mechanism. Msh6 is an essential protein for assembling the heterodimeric complex. However, the function of the Msh6 subunit remains elusive. Tetrahymena undergoes multiple DNA replication and nuclear division processes, including mitosis, amitosis, and meiosis. Here, we found that Msh6Tt localized in the macronucleus (MAC) and the micronucleus (MIC) during the vegetative growth stage and starvation. During the conjugation stage, Msh6Tt only localized in MICs and newly developing MACs. MSH6Tt knockout led to aberrant nuclear division during vegetative growth. The MSH6TtKO mutants were resistant to treatment with the DNA alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) compared to wild type cells. MSH6Tt knockout affected micronuclear meiosis and gametogenesis during the conjugation stage. Furthermore, Msh6Tt interacted with Msh2Tt and MMR-independent factors. Downregulation of MSH2Tt expression affected the stability of Msh6Tt. In addition, MSH6Tt knockout led to the upregulated expression of several MSH6Tt homologs at different developmental stages. Msh6Tt is involved in macronuclear amitosis, micronuclear mitosis, micronuclear meiosis, and gametogenesis in Tetrahymena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Biology)
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9 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
A Pilot Interaction Analysis of Gut Microbiota and Peripheral Markers of Aging in Severe Psychiatric Disorders: A Role for Lachnoclostridium?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17618; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417618 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 692
Abstract
Excessive predominance of pathological species in the gut microbiota could increase the production of inflammatory mediators at the gut level and, via modification of the gut–blood barrier, at the systemic level. This pro-inflammatory state could, in turn, increase biological aging that is generally [...] Read more.
Excessive predominance of pathological species in the gut microbiota could increase the production of inflammatory mediators at the gut level and, via modification of the gut–blood barrier, at the systemic level. This pro-inflammatory state could, in turn, increase biological aging that is generally proxied by telomere shortening. In this study, we present findings from a secondary interaction analysis of gut microbiota, aging, and inflammatory marker data from a cohort of patients with different diagnoses of severe mental disorders. We analyzed 15 controls, 35 patients with schizophrenia (SCZ), and 31 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) recruited among those attending a community mental health center (50 males and 31 females, mean and median age 46.8 and 46.3 years, respectively). We performed 16S rRNA sequencing as well as measurement of telomere length via quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. We applied statistical modeling with logistic regression to test for interaction between gut microbiota and these markers. Our results showed statistically significant interactions between telomere length and gut microbiota pointing to the genus Lachnostridium, which remained significantly associated with a reduced likelihood of MDD even after adjustment for a series of covariates. Although exploratory, these findings show that specific gut microbiota signatures overexpressing Lachnoclostridium and interacting with biological aging could modulate the liability for MDD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Microbiota in Human Diseases and Health)
14 pages, 4973 KiB  
Article
Combined BSA-Seq and RNA-Seq Reveal Genes Associated with the Visual Stay-Green of Maize (Zea mays L.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17617; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417617 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Maize has become one of the most widely grown grains in the world, and the stay-green mutant allows these plants to maintain their green leaves and photosynthetic potential for longer following anthesis than in non-mutated plants. As a result, stay-green plants have a [...] Read more.
Maize has become one of the most widely grown grains in the world, and the stay-green mutant allows these plants to maintain their green leaves and photosynthetic potential for longer following anthesis than in non-mutated plants. As a result, stay-green plants have a higher production rate than non-stay-green varieties due to their prolonged grain-filling period. In this study, the candidate genes related to the visual stay-green at the maturation stage of maize were investigated. The F2 population was derived from the T01 (stay-green) and the Xin3 (non-stay-green) cross. Two bulked segregant analysis pools were constructed. According to the method of combining ED (Euclidean distance), Ridit (relative to an identified distribution unit), SmoothG, and SNP algorithms, a region containing 778 genes on chromosome 9 was recognized as the candidate region associated with the visual stay-green in maize. A total of eight modules were identified using WGCNA (weighted correlation network analysis), of which green, brown, pink, and salmon modules were significantly correlated with visual stay-green. BSA, combined with the annotation function, discovered 7 potential candidate genes, while WGCNA discovered 11 stay-green potential candidate genes. The candidate range was further reduced due through association analysis of BSA-seq and RNA-seq. We identified Zm00001eb378880, Zm00001eb383680, and Zm00001eb384100 to be the most likely candidate genes. Our results provide valuable insights into this new germplasm resource with reference to increasing the yield for maize. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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18 pages, 730 KiB  
Review
Molecular Determinants of Uterine Receptivity: Comparison of Successful Implantation, Recurrent Miscarriage, and Recurrent Implantation Failure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17616; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417616 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Embryo implantation is one of the most remarkable phenomena in human reproduction and is not yet fully understood. Proper endometrial function as well as a dynamic interaction between the endometrium itself and the blastocyst—the so-called embryo–maternal dialog—are necessary for successful implantation. Several physiological [...] Read more.
Embryo implantation is one of the most remarkable phenomena in human reproduction and is not yet fully understood. Proper endometrial function as well as a dynamic interaction between the endometrium itself and the blastocyst—the so-called embryo–maternal dialog—are necessary for successful implantation. Several physiological and molecular processes are involved in the success of implantation. This review describes estrogen, progesterone and their receptors, as well as the role of the cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), IL-11, IL-1, and the glycoprotein glycodelin in successful implantation, in cases of recurrent implantation failure (RIF) and in cases of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). Are there differences at the molecular level underlying RIF or RPL? Since implantation has already taken place in the case of RPL, it is conceivable that different molecular biological baseline situations underlie the respective problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Pathophysiology of Placenta)
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10 pages, 1385 KiB  
Communication
The Effect of Silencing Fatty Acid Elongase 4 and 6 Genes on the Proliferation and Migration of Colorectal Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17615; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417615 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) cells show some alterations in lipid metabolism, including an increased fatty acid elongation. This study was focused on investigating the effect of a small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated decrease in fatty acid elongation on CRC cells’ survival and migration. In our [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) cells show some alterations in lipid metabolism, including an increased fatty acid elongation. This study was focused on investigating the effect of a small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated decrease in fatty acid elongation on CRC cells’ survival and migration. In our study, the elongase 4 (ELOVL4) and elongase 6 (ELOVL6) genes were observed to be highly overexpressed in both the CRC tissue obtained from patients and the CRC cells cultured in vitro (HT-29 and WiDr cell lines). The use of the siRNAs for ELOVL4 and ELOVL6 reduced cancer cell proliferation and migration rates. These findings indicate that the altered elongation process decreased the survival of CRC cells, and in the future, fatty acid elongases can be potentially good targets in novel CRC therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Cancer Biology and Therapeutics)
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13 pages, 2733 KiB  
Article
Elevated CD39+T-Regulatory Cells and Reduced Levels of Adenosine Indicate a Role for Tolerogenic Signals in the Progression from Moderate to Severe COVID-19
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17614; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417614 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Viral infections trigger inflammation by controlling ATP release. CD39 ectoenzymes hydrolyze ATP/ADP to AMP, which is converted by CD73 into anti-inflammatory adenosine (ADO). ADO is an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant molecule which can enhance viral persistence and severity. The CD39-CD73-adenosine axis contributes to the [...] Read more.
Viral infections trigger inflammation by controlling ATP release. CD39 ectoenzymes hydrolyze ATP/ADP to AMP, which is converted by CD73 into anti-inflammatory adenosine (ADO). ADO is an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant molecule which can enhance viral persistence and severity. The CD39-CD73-adenosine axis contributes to the immunosuppressive T-reg microenvironment and may affect COVID-19 disease progression. Here, we investigated the link between CD39 expression, mostly on T-regs, and levels of CD73, adenosine, and adenosine receptors with COVID-19 severity and progression. Our study included 73 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, of which 33 were moderately affected and 40 suffered from severe infection. A flow cytometric analysis was used to analyze the frequency of T-regulatory cells (T-regs), CD39+ T-regs, and CD39+CD4+ T-cells. Plasma concentrations of adenosine, IL-10, and TGF-β were quantified via an ELISA. An RT-qPCR was used to analyze the gene expression of CD73 and adenosine receptors (A1, A2A, A2B, and A3). T-reg cells were higher in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy controls (7.4 ± 0.79 vs. 2.4 ± 0.28; p < 0.0001). Patients also had a higher frequency of the CD39+ T-reg subset. In addition, patients who suffered from a severe form of the disease had higher CD39+ T-regs compared with moderately infected patients. CD39+CD4+ T cells were increased in patients compared to the control group. An analysis of serum adenosine levels showed a marked decrease in their levels in patients, particularly those suffering from severe illness. However, this was paralleled with a marked decline in the expression levels of CD73. IL-10 and TGF-β levels were higher in COVID-19; in addition, their values were also higher in the severe group. In conclusion, there are distinct immunological alterations in CD39+ lymphocyte subsets and a dysregulation in the adenosine signaling pathway in COVID-19 patients which may contribute to immune dysfunction and disease progression. Understanding these immunological alterations in the different immune cell subsets and adenosine signaling provides valuable insights into the pathogenesis of the disease and may contribute to the development of novel therapeutic approaches targeting specific immune mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Purinergic Signalling in Physiology and Pathophysiology 2.0)
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15 pages, 1718 KiB  
Article
MiRNA-21a, miRNA-145, and miRNA-221 Expression and Their Correlations with WNT Proteins in Patients with Obstructive and Non-Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17613; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417613 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 592
Abstract
MicroRNAs and the WNT signaling cascade regulate the pathogenetic mechanisms of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD) development. Objective: To evaluate the expression of microRNAs (miR-21a, miR-145, and miR-221) and the role of the WNT signaling cascade (WNT1, WNT3a, WNT4, and WNT5a) in obstructive [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs and the WNT signaling cascade regulate the pathogenetic mechanisms of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD) development. Objective: To evaluate the expression of microRNAs (miR-21a, miR-145, and miR-221) and the role of the WNT signaling cascade (WNT1, WNT3a, WNT4, and WNT5a) in obstructive CAD and ischemia with no obstructive coronary arteries (INOCA). Method: The cross-sectional observational study comprised 94 subjects. The expression of miR-21a, miR-145, miR-221 (RT-PCR) and the protein levels of WNT1, WNT3a, WNT4, WNT5a, LRP6, and SIRT1 (ELISA) were estimated in the plasma of 20 patients with INOCA (66.5 [62.8; 71.2] years; 25% men), 44 patients with obstructive CAD (64.0 [56.5; 71,0] years; 63.6% men), and 30 healthy volunteers without risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Results: Higher levels of WNT1 (0.189 [0.184; 0.193] ng/mL vs. 0.15 [0.15–0.16] ng/mL, p < 0.001) and WNT3a (0.227 [0.181; 0.252] vs. 0.115 [0.07; 0.16] p < 0.001) were found in plasma samples from patients with obstructive CAD, whereas the INOCA group was characterized by higher concentrations of WNT4 (0.345 [0.278; 0.492] ng/mL vs. 0.203 [0.112; 0.378] ng/mL, p = 0.025) and WNT5a (0.17 [0.16; 0.17] ng/mL vs. 0.01 [0.007; 0.018] ng/mL, p < 0.001). MiR-221 expression level was higher in all CAD groups compared to the control group (p < 0.001), whereas miR-21a was more highly expressed in the control group than in the obstructive (p = 0.012) and INOCA (p = 0.003) groups. Correlation analysis revealed associations of miR-21a expression with WNT1 (r = −0.32; p = 0.028) and SIRT1 (r = 0.399; p = 0.005) protein levels in all CAD groups. A positive correlation between miR-145 expression and the WNT4 protein level was observed in patients with obstructive CAD (r = 0.436; p = 0.016). Based on multivariate regression analysis, a mathematical model was constructed that predicts the type of coronary lesion. WNT3a and LRP6 were the independent predictors of INOCA (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Conclusions: Activation of the canonical cascade of WNT-β-catenin prevailed in patients with obstructive CAD, whereas in the INOCA and control groups, the activity of the non-canonical pathway was higher. It can be assumed that miR-21a has a negative effect on the formation of atherosclerotic CAD. Alternatively, miR-145 could be involved in the development of coronary artery obstruction, presumably through the regulation of the WNT4 protein. A mathematical model with WNT3a and LRP6 as predictors allows for the prediction of the type of coronary artery lesion. Full article
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20 pages, 1792 KiB  
Review
Seed Priming with Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles to Enhance Crop Tolerance to Environmental Stresses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17612; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417612 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Drastic climate changes over the years have triggered environmental challenges for wild plants and crops due to fluctuating weather patterns worldwide. This has caused different types of stressors, responsible for a decrease in plant life and biological productivity, with consequent food shortages, especially [...] Read more.
Drastic climate changes over the years have triggered environmental challenges for wild plants and crops due to fluctuating weather patterns worldwide. This has caused different types of stressors, responsible for a decrease in plant life and biological productivity, with consequent food shortages, especially in areas under threat of desertification. Nanotechnology-based approaches have great potential in mitigating environmental stressors, thus fostering a sustainable agriculture. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) have demonstrated to be biostimulants as well as remedies to both environmental and biotic stresses. Their administration in the early sowing stages, i.e., seed priming, proved to be effective in improving germination rate, seedling and plant growth and in ameliorating the indicators of plants’ well-being. Seed nano-priming acts through several mechanisms such as enhanced nutrients uptake, improved antioxidant properties, ROS accumulation and lipid peroxidation. The target for seed priming by ZnO NPs is mostly crops of large consumption or staple food, in order to meet the increased needs of a growing population and the net drop of global crop frequency, due to climate changes and soil contaminations. The current review focuses on the most recent low-cost, low-sized ZnO NPs employed for seed nano-priming, to alleviate abiotic and biotic stresses, mitigate the negative effects of improper storage and biostimulate plants’ growth and well-being. Taking into account that there is large variability among ZnO NPs and that their chemico-physical properties may play a role in determining the efficacy of nano-priming, for all examined cases, it is reported whether the ZnO NPs are commercial or lab prepared. In the latter cases, the preparation conditions are described, along with structural and morphological characterizations. Under these premises, future perspectives and challenges are discussed in relation to structural properties and the possibility of ZnO NPs engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanoparticles in Molecular Biology)
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19 pages, 2944 KiB  
Article
The Isolation, Identification and Immobilization Method of Three Novel Enzymes with Diosgenin-Producing Activity Derived from an Aspergillus flavus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17611; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417611 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 563
Abstract
Diosgenin is an important raw material used in the synthesis of steroid drugs, and it is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. The traditional method of producing diosgenin is through using raw materials provided via the plant Dioscorea zingiberensis C. H. Wright ( [...] Read more.
Diosgenin is an important raw material used in the synthesis of steroid drugs, and it is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. The traditional method of producing diosgenin is through using raw materials provided via the plant Dioscorea zingiberensis C. H. Wright (DZW), which is subsequently industrially hydrolyzed using a high quantity of hydrochloric and sulfuric acids at temperatures ranging from 70 °C to 175 °C. This process results in a significant amount of unmanageable wastewater, creates issues of severe environmental pollution and consumes high quantities of energy. As an alternative, the enzymolysis of DZW to produce diosgenin is an environmentally and friendly method with wide-ranging prospects for its application. However, there are still only a few enzymes that are suitable for production on an industrial scale. In this study, three new key enzymes, E1, E2, and E3, with a high conversion stability of diosgenin, were isolated and identified using an enzyme-linked-substrate autography strategy. HPLC-MS/MS identification showed that E1, a 134.45 kDa protein with 1019 amino acids (AAs), is a zinc-dependent protein similar to the M16 family. E2, a 97.89 kDa protein with 910 AAs, is a type of endo-β-1,3-glucanase. E3, a 51.6 kDa protein with 476 AAs, is a type of Xaa-Pro aminopeptidase. In addition, the method to immobilize these proteins was optimized, and stability was achieved. The results show that the optimal immobilization parameters are 3.5% sodium alginate, 3.45% calcium chloride concentration, 1.4 h fixed time, and pH 8.8; and the recovery rate of enzyme activity can reach 43.98%. A level of 70.3% relative enzyme activity can be obtained after employing six cycles of the optimized technology. Compared with free enzymes, immobilized enzymes have improved stability, acid and alkaline resistance and reusability, which are conducive to large-scale industrial production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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14 pages, 9656 KiB  
Article
Therapeutic Potential of Regorafenib in Cisplatin-Resistant Bladder Cancer with High Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition and Stemness Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417610 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 870
Abstract
Bladder cancer is becoming one of the most common malignancies across the world. Although treatment strategy has been continuously improved, which has led to cisplatin-based chemotherapy becoming the standard medication, cancer recurrence and metastasis still occur in a high proportion of patients because [...] Read more.
Bladder cancer is becoming one of the most common malignancies across the world. Although treatment strategy has been continuously improved, which has led to cisplatin-based chemotherapy becoming the standard medication, cancer recurrence and metastasis still occur in a high proportion of patients because of drug resistance. The high efficacy of regorafenib, a broad-spectrum kinase inhibitor, has been evidenced in treating a variety of advanced cancers. Hence, this study investigated whether regorafenib could also effectively antagonize the survival of cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer and elucidate the underlying mechanism. Two types of cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer cells, T24R1 and T24R2, were isolated from T24 cisplatin-sensitive bladder cancer cells. These cells were characterized, and T24R1- and T24R2-xenografted tumor mice were created to examine the therapeutic efficacy of regorafenib. T24R1 and T24R2 cells exhibited higher expression levels of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stemness markers compared to the T24 cells, and regorafenib could simultaneously inhibit the viability and the expression of EMT/stemness markers of both T24R1 and T24R2 cells. Moreover, regorafenib could efficiently arrest the cell cycle, promote apoptosis, and block the transmigration/migration capabilities of both types of cells. Finally, regorafenib could significantly antagonize the growth of T24R1- and T24R2-xenografted tumors in mice. These results demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of regorafenib in cisplatin-resistant bladder cancers. This study, thus, provides more insights into the mechanism of action of regorafenib and demonstrates its great potential in the future treatment of cisplatin-resistant advanced bladder cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Plasticity, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Metastasis)
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16 pages, 2668 KiB  
Review
The Potential Role of Gossypetin in the Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus and Its Associated Complications: A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17609; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417609 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disorder caused by insulin resistance and dysfunctional beta (β)-cells in the pancreas. Hyperglycaemia is a characteristic of uncontrolled diabetes which eventually leads to fatal organ system damage. In T2DM, free radicals are continuously produced, causing [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disorder caused by insulin resistance and dysfunctional beta (β)-cells in the pancreas. Hyperglycaemia is a characteristic of uncontrolled diabetes which eventually leads to fatal organ system damage. In T2DM, free radicals are continuously produced, causing extensive tissue damage and subsequent macro-and microvascular complications. The standard approach to managing T2DM is pharmacological treatment with anti-diabetic medications. However, patients’ adherence to treatment is frequently decreased by the side effects and expense of medications, which has a detrimental impact on their health outcomes. Quercetin, a flavonoid, is a one of the most potent anti-oxidants which ameliorates T2DM. Thus, there is an increased demand to investigate quercetin and its derivatives, as it is hypothesised that similar structured compounds may exhibit similar biological activity. Gossypetin is a hexahydroxylated flavonoid found in the calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa. Gossypetin has a similar chemical structure to quercetin with an extra hydroxyl group. Furthermore, previous literature has elucidated that gossypetin exhibits neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, reproprotective and nephroprotective properties. The mechanisms underlying gossypetin’s therapeutic potential have been linked to its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Hence, this review highlights the potential role of gossypetin in the treatment of diabetes and its associated complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Synthetic Compounds for Drug Development)
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19 pages, 3405 KiB  
Article
Pathogenic Variants in USH1G/SANS Alter Protein Interaction with Pre-RNA Processing Factors PRPF6 and PRPF31 of the Spliceosome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17608; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417608 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Pre-mRNA splicing is an essential process orchestrated by the spliceosome, a dynamic complex assembled stepwise on pre-mRNA. We have previously identified that USH1G protein SANS regulates pre-mRNA splicing by mediating the intranuclear transfer of the spliceosomal U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP complex. During this process, SANS [...] Read more.
Pre-mRNA splicing is an essential process orchestrated by the spliceosome, a dynamic complex assembled stepwise on pre-mRNA. We have previously identified that USH1G protein SANS regulates pre-mRNA splicing by mediating the intranuclear transfer of the spliceosomal U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP complex. During this process, SANS interacts with the U4/U6 and U5 snRNP-specific proteins PRPF31 and PRPF6 and regulates splicing, which is disturbed by variants of USH1G/SANS causative for human Usher syndrome (USH), the most common form of hereditary deaf–blindness. Here, we aim to gain further insights into the molecular interaction of the splicing molecules PRPF31 and PRPF6 to the CENTn domain of SANS using fluorescence resonance energy transfer assays in cells and in silico deep learning-based protein structure predictions. This demonstrates that SANS directly binds via two distinct conserved regions of its CENTn to the two PRPFs. In addition, we provide evidence that these interactions occur sequentially and a conformational change of an intrinsically disordered region to a short α-helix of SANS CENTn2 is triggered by the binding of PRPF6. Furthermore, we find that pathogenic variants of USH1G/SANS perturb the binding of SANS to both PRPFs, implying a significance for the USH1G pathophysiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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10 pages, 723 KiB  
Communication
Cardiogenic Shock Integrated PHenotyping for Event Reduction: A Pilot Metabolomics Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417607 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 615
Abstract
Cardiogenic shock (CS) portends a dismal prognosis if hypoperfusion triggers uncontrolled inflammatory and metabolic derangements. We sought to investigate metabolomic profiles and temporal changes in IL6, Ang-2, and markers of glycocalyx perturbation from admission to discharge in eighteen patients with heart failure complicated [...] Read more.
Cardiogenic shock (CS) portends a dismal prognosis if hypoperfusion triggers uncontrolled inflammatory and metabolic derangements. We sought to investigate metabolomic profiles and temporal changes in IL6, Ang-2, and markers of glycocalyx perturbation from admission to discharge in eighteen patients with heart failure complicated by CS (HF-CS). Biological samples were collected from 18 consecutive HF-CS patients at admission (T0), 48 h after admission (T1), and at discharge (T2). ELISA analytical techniques and targeted metabolomics were performed Seven patients (44%) died at in-hospital follow-up. Among the survivors, IL-6 and kynurenine were significantly reduced at discharge compared to baseline. Conversely, the amino acids arginine, threonine, glycine, lysine, and asparagine; the biogenic amine putrescine; multiple sphingolipids; and glycerophospholipids were significantly increased. Patients with HF-CS have a metabolomic fingerprint that might allow for tailored treatment strategies for the patients’ recovery or stabilization. Full article
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17 pages, 1002 KiB  
Review
Controversies Surrounding Albumin Use in Sepsis: Lessons from Cirrhosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17606; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417606 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1634
Abstract
This narrative review critically examines the role of albumin in sepsis management and compares it to its well-established application in liver cirrhosis. Albumin, a key plasma protein, is effective in the management of fluid imbalance, circulatory dysfunction, and inflammation-related complications. However, its role [...] Read more.
This narrative review critically examines the role of albumin in sepsis management and compares it to its well-established application in liver cirrhosis. Albumin, a key plasma protein, is effective in the management of fluid imbalance, circulatory dysfunction, and inflammation-related complications. However, its role in sepsis is more intricate and characterized by ongoing debate and varied results from clinical studies. In sepsis, the potential benefits of albumin include maintaining vascular integrity and modulating inflammation, yet its consistent clinical efficacy is not as definitive as that in cirrhosis. This review evaluated various clinical trials and evidence, highlighting their limitations and providing practical insights for clinicians. It emphasizes identifying sepsis patient subgroups that are most likely to benefit from albumin therapy, particularly exploring the correction of hypoalbuminemia. This condition, which is significantly corrected in patients with cirrhosis, may have similar therapeutic advantages in sepsis. The potential effectiveness of albumin in the low-volume resuscitation and deresuscitation phases of sepsis management was noted. Given the safety concerns observed in cirrhosis, such as pulmonary edema and hypervolemia associated with albumin therapy, cautious integration of albumin into sepsis treatment is mandatory. Personalized albumin therapy is advocated for tailoring strategies to the specific needs of each patient, based on their clinical presentation and underlying conditions. The need for further research to delineate the role of albumin in sepsis pathophysiology is underscored. The review emphasizes the importance of conducting trials to assess the effectiveness of albumin in correcting hypoalbuminemia in sepsis, its impact on patient outcomes, and the establishment of appropriate dosing and administration methods. This approach to albumin use in sepsis management is posited as a way to potentially improve patient outcomes in this complex clinical scenario while being mindful of the lessons learned from its use in cirrhosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sepsis and Septic Shock: From Molecular Mechanisms to Novel Therapies)
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