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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 24, Issue 8 (April-2 2023) – 807 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides structural and functional support to brain cells and has important roles during development, adulthood, and in brain diseases. Altered expression of ECM-associated genes is associated with seizure, neuropathic pain, cerebellar ataxia, and age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Evidence implicates the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1 in regulating the expression of ECM-associated genes in different brain cell types. Gene expression changes in microglia play an important role in regulating a brain specific form of ECM called perineuronal nets (PNNs). View this paper
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18 pages, 4948 KiB  
Article
Dickkopf-1 Acts as a Profibrotic Mediator in Progressive Chronic Kidney Disease
by Yung-Chien Hsu, Cheng-Chih Chang, Ching-Chuan Hsieh, Yu-Ting Huang, Ya-Hsueh Shih, Hsiu-Ching Chang, Pey-Jium Chang and Chun-Liang Lin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7679; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087679 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1425
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious public health problem. Due to a high variability in the speed of CKD progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and the critical involvement of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in CKD, we investigated the role of the Wnt antagonist [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious public health problem. Due to a high variability in the speed of CKD progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and the critical involvement of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in CKD, we investigated the role of the Wnt antagonist Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) in CKD progression. Our data revealed that patients with CKD stages 4–5 had higher DKK1 levels in their serum and renal tissues than the control subjects. In an 8-year follow-up, the serum DKK1-high group in the enrolled CKD patients showed a faster progression to ESRD than the serum DKK1-low group. Using a rat model of 5/6 nephrectomy (Nx)-induced CKD, we consistently detected elevated serum levels and renal production of DKK1 in 5/6 Nx rats compared to sham-operated rats. Importantly, the knockdown of the DKK1 levels in the 5/6 Nx rats markedly attenuated the CKD-associated phenotypes. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that the treatment of mouse mesangial cells with recombinant DKK1 protein induced not only the production of multiple fibrogenic proteins, but also the expression of endogenous DKK1. Collectively, our findings suggest that DKK1 acts as a profibrotic mediator in CKD, and elevated levels of serum DKK1 may be an independent predictor of faster disease progression to ESRD in patients with advanced CKD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Endocrinology and Metabolism)
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11 pages, 663 KiB  
Article
The ACE rs1799752 Variant Is Associated with COVID-19 Severity but Is Independent of Serum ACE Activity in Hospitalized and Recovered Patients
by Ingrid Fricke-Galindo, Ivette Buendia-Roldan, Daniel I. Ponce-Aguilar, Gloria Pérez-Rubio, Leslie Chavez-Galan, Jesús Alanis-Ponce, Karina Pérez-Torres, Daniela Valencia-Pérez Rea, Fernanda Téllez-Quijada, Karol J. Nava-Quiroz, Rafael de Jesús Hernández-Zenteno, Angélica Gutiérrez-Nava and Ramcés Falfán-Valencia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7678; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087678 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1738
Abstract
This paper assesses the association of the insertion/deletion ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) variant (rs1799752 I/D) and the serum ACE activity with the severity of COVID-19 as well as its impact on post-COVID-19, and we compare these associations with those for patients with non-COVID-19 respiratory [...] Read more.
This paper assesses the association of the insertion/deletion ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) variant (rs1799752 I/D) and the serum ACE activity with the severity of COVID-19 as well as its impact on post-COVID-19, and we compare these associations with those for patients with non-COVID-19 respiratory disorders. We studied 1252 patients with COVID-19, 104 subjects recovered from COVID-19, and 74 patients hospitalized with a respiratory disease different from COVID-19. The rs1799752 ACE variant was assessed using TaqMan® Assays. The serum ACE activity was determined using a colorimetric assay. The DD genotype was related to risk for invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) requirement as an indicator of COVID-19 severity when compared to the frequencies of II + ID genotypes (p = 0.025, OR = 1.428, 95% CI = 1.046–1.949). In addition, this genotype was significantly higher in COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 groups than in the non-COVID-19 subjects. The serum ACE activity levels were lower in the COVID-19 group (22.30 U/L (13.84–32.23 U/L)), which was followed by the non-COVID-19 (27.94 U/L (20.32–53.36 U/L)) and post-COVID-19 subjects (50.00 U/L (42.16–62.25 U/L)). The DD genotype of the rs1799752 ACE variant was associated with the IMV requirement in patients with COVID-19, and low serum ACE activity levels could be related to patients with severe disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on SARS-CoV-2)
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20 pages, 635 KiB  
Review
Advances in Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment for Spinal Diseases: A Systematic Review
by Soya Kawabata, Koji Akeda, Junichi Yamada, Norihiko Takegami, Tatsuhiko Fujiwara, Nobuyuki Fujita and Akihiro Sudo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7677; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087677 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3245
Abstract
Spinal diseases are commonly associated with pain and neurological symptoms, which negatively impact patients’ quality of life. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous source of multiple growth factors and cytokines, with the potential to promote tissue regeneration. Recently, PRP has been widely used [...] Read more.
Spinal diseases are commonly associated with pain and neurological symptoms, which negatively impact patients’ quality of life. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous source of multiple growth factors and cytokines, with the potential to promote tissue regeneration. Recently, PRP has been widely used for the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases, including spinal diseases, in clinics. Given the increasing popularity of PRP therapy, this article examines the current literature for basic research and emerging clinical applications of this therapy for treating spinal diseases. First, we review in vitro and in vivo studies, evaluating the potential of PRP in repairing intervertebral disc degeneration, promoting bone union in spinal fusion surgeries, and aiding in neurological recovery from spinal cord injury. Second, we address the clinical applications of PRP in treating degenerative spinal disease, including its analgesic effect on low back pain and radicular pain, as well as accelerating bone union during spinal fusion surgery. Basic research demonstrates the promising regenerative potential of PRP, and clinical studies have reported on the safety and efficacy of PRP therapy for treating several spinal diseases. Nevertheless, further high-quality randomized controlled trials would be required to establish clinical evidence of PRP therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regeneration for Spinal Diseases 3.0)
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19 pages, 2831 KiB  
Article
β-Conglutins’ Unique Mobile Arm Is a Key Structural Domain Involved in Molecular Nutraceutical Properties of Narrow-Leafed Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.)
by Elena Lima-Cabello, Julia Escudero-Feliu, Andreina Peralta-Leal, Pedro Garcia-Fernandez, Kadambot H. M. Siddique, Karam B. Singh, Maria I. Núñez, Josefa León and Jose C. Jimenez-Lopez
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7676; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087676 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1896
Abstract
Narrow-leafed lupin (NLL; Lupinus angustifolius L.) has multiple nutraceutical properties that may result from unique structural features of β-conglutin proteins, such as the mobile arm at the N-terminal, a structural domain rich in α-helices. A similar domain has not been found in other [...] Read more.
Narrow-leafed lupin (NLL; Lupinus angustifolius L.) has multiple nutraceutical properties that may result from unique structural features of β-conglutin proteins, such as the mobile arm at the N-terminal, a structural domain rich in α-helices. A similar domain has not been found in other vicilin proteins of legume species. We used affinity chromatography to purify recombinant complete and truncated (without the mobile arm domain, tβ5 and tβ7) forms of NLL β5 and β7 conglutin proteins. We then used biochemical and molecular biology techniques in ex vivo and in vitro systems to evaluate their anti-inflammatory activity and antioxidant capacity. The complete β5 and β7 conglutin proteins decreased pro-inflammatory mediator levels (e.g., nitric oxide), mRNA expression levels (iNOS, TNFα, IL-1β), and the protein levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α, interleukins (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-17, IL-27), and other mediators (INFγ, MOP, S-TNF-R1/-R2, and TWEAK), and exerted a regulatory oxidative balance effect in cells as demonstrated in glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase assays. The truncated tβ5 and tβ7 conglutin proteins did not have these molecular effects. These results suggest that β5 and β7 conglutins have potential as functional food components due to their anti-inflammatory and oxidative cell state regulatory properties, and that the mobile arm of NLL β-conglutin proteins is a key domain in the development of nutraceutical properties, making NLL β5 and β7 excellent innovative candidates as functional foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural/Functional Characterization of Plant Proteins 2.0)
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18 pages, 4340 KiB  
Article
Skin Microbiome in Prurigo Nodularis
by Klaudia Tutka, Magdalena Żychowska, Anna Żaczek, Karolina Maternia-Dudzik, Jakub Pawełczyk, Dominik Strapagiel, Jakub Lach and Adam Reich
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087675 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2734
Abstract
Prurigo nodularis (PN) is a chronic condition characterized by the presence of nodular lesions accompanied by intense pruritus. The disease has been linked to several infectious factors, but data on the direct presence of microorganisms in the lesions of PN are scarce. The [...] Read more.
Prurigo nodularis (PN) is a chronic condition characterized by the presence of nodular lesions accompanied by intense pruritus. The disease has been linked to several infectious factors, but data on the direct presence of microorganisms in the lesions of PN are scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diversity and composition of the bacterial microbiome in PN lesions by targeting the region V3-V4 of 16S rRNA. Skin swabs were obtained from active nodules in 24 patients with PN, inflammatory patches of 14 patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and corresponding skin areas of 9 healthy volunteers (HV). After DNA extraction, the V3-V4 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was amplified. Sequencing was performed using the Illumina platform on the MiSeq instrument. Operational taxonomic units (OTU) were identified. The identification of taxa was carried out using the Silva v.138 database. There was no statistically significant difference in the alpha-diversity (intra-sample diversity) between the PN, AD and HV groups. The beta-diversity (inter-sample diversity) showed statistically significant differences between the three groups on a global level and in paired analyses. Staphylococcus was significantly more abundant in samples from PN and AD patients than in controls. The difference was maintained across all taxonomic levels. The PN microbiome is highly similar to that of AD. It remains unclear whether the disturbed composition of the microbiome and the domination of Staphylococcus in PN lesions may be the trigger factor of pruritus and lead to the development of cutaneous changes or is a secondary phenomenon. Our preliminary results support the theory that the composition of the skin microbiome in PN is altered and justify further research on the role of the microbiome in this debilitating condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Enzymes and Metabolites)
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14 pages, 985 KiB  
Review
Molecular and Physiological Determinants of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: What the DJ-1 Protein Teaches Us
by Federica Sandrelli and Marco Bisaglia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087674 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset disease which causes the progressive degeneration of cortical and spinal motoneurons, leading to death a few years after the first symptom onset. ALS is mainly a sporadic disorder, and its causative mechanisms are mostly unclear. About [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset disease which causes the progressive degeneration of cortical and spinal motoneurons, leading to death a few years after the first symptom onset. ALS is mainly a sporadic disorder, and its causative mechanisms are mostly unclear. About 5–10% of cases have a genetic inheritance, and the study of ALS-associated genes has been fundamental in defining the pathological pathways likely also involved in the sporadic forms of the disease. Mutations affecting the DJ-1 gene appear to explain a subset of familial ALS forms. DJ-1 is involved in multiple molecular mechanisms, acting primarily as a protective agent against oxidative stress. Here, we focus on the involvement of DJ-1 in interconnected cellular functions related to mitochondrial homeostasis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, energy metabolism, and hypoxia response, in both physiological and pathological conditions. We discuss the possibility that impairments in one of these pathways may affect the others, contributing to a pathological background in which additional environmental or genetic factors may act in favor of the onset and/or progression of ALS. These pathways may represent potential therapeutic targets to reduce the likelihood of developing ALS and/or slow disease progression. Full article
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20 pages, 6380 KiB  
Article
Molecular Integrative Analysis of the Inhibitory Effects of Dipeptides on Amyloid β Peptide 1–42 Polymerization
by Nan Yuan, Lianmeng Ye, Yan Sun, Hao Wu, Zhengpan Xiao, Wanmeng Fu, Zuqian Chen, Yechun Pei, Yi Min and Dayong Wang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7673; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087673 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
The major pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the aggregation of amyloid β peptide (Aβ) in the brain. Inhibition of Aβ42 aggregation may prevent the advancement of AD. This study employed molecular dynamics, molecular docking, electron microscopy, circular dichroism, staining of [...] Read more.
The major pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the aggregation of amyloid β peptide (Aβ) in the brain. Inhibition of Aβ42 aggregation may prevent the advancement of AD. This study employed molecular dynamics, molecular docking, electron microscopy, circular dichroism, staining of aggregated Aβ with ThT, cell viability, and flow cytometry for the detection of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis. Aβ42 polymerizes into fibrils due to hydrophobic interactions to minimize free energy, adopting a β-strand structure and forming three hydrophobic areas. Eight dipeptides were screened by molecular docking from a structural database of 20 L-α-amino acids, and the docking was validated by molecular dynamics (MD) analysis of binding stability and interaction potential energy. Among the dipeptides, arginine dipeptide (RR) inhibited Aβ42 aggregation the most. The ThT assay and EM revealed that RR reduced Aβ42 aggregation, whereas the circular dichroism spectroscopy analysis showed a 62.8% decrease in β-sheet conformation and a 39.3% increase in random coiling of Aβ42 in the presence of RR. RR also significantly reduced the toxicity of Aβ42 secreted by SH-SY5Y cells, including cell death, ROS production, and apoptosis. The formation of three hydrophobic regions and polymerization of Aβ42 reduced the Gibbs free energy, and RR was the most effective dipeptide at interfering with polymerization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Informatics)
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34 pages, 1640 KiB  
Review
Anti-Glucotoxicity Effect of Phytoconstituents via Inhibiting MGO-AGEs Formation and Breaking MGO-AGEs
by Neera Yadav, Jyoti Dnyaneshwar Palkhede and Sun-Yeou Kim
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7672; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087672 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2304
Abstract
The therapeutic benefits of phytochemicals in the treatment of various illnesses and disorders are well documented. They show significant promise for the discovery and creation of novel medications for treating a variety of human diseases. Numerous phytoconstituents have shown antibiotic, antioxidant, and wound-healing [...] Read more.
The therapeutic benefits of phytochemicals in the treatment of various illnesses and disorders are well documented. They show significant promise for the discovery and creation of novel medications for treating a variety of human diseases. Numerous phytoconstituents have shown antibiotic, antioxidant, and wound-healing effects in the conventional system. Traditional medicines based on alkaloids, phenolics, tannins, saponins, terpenes, steroids, flavonoids, glycosides, and phytosterols have been in use for a long time and are crucial as alternative treatments. These phytochemical elements are crucial for scavenging free radicals, capturing reactive carbonyl species, changing protein glycation sites, inactivating carbohydrate hydrolases, fighting pathological conditions, and accelerating the healing of wounds. In this review, 221 research papers have been reviewed. This research sought to provide an update on the types and methods of formation of methylglyoxal-advanced glycation end products (MGO-AGEs) and molecular pathways induced by AGEs during the progression of the chronic complications of diabetes and associated diseases as well as to discuss the role of phytoconstituents in MGO scavenging and AGEs breaking. The development and commercialization of functional foods using these natural compounds can provide potential health benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Natural Compound for Wound and Tissue Repair and Regeneration)
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16 pages, 5112 KiB  
Article
Oscillation of Autophagy Induction under Cellular Stress and What Lies behind It, a Systems Biology Study
by Bence Hajdú, Luca Csabai, Margita Márton, Marianna Holczer, Tamás Korcsmáros and Orsolya Kapuy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7671; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087671 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
One of the main inducers of autophagy-dependent self-cannibalism, called ULK1, is tightly regulated by the two sensor molecules of nutrient conditions and energy status, known as mTOR and AMPK kinases, respectively. Recently, we developed a freely available mathematical model to explore the oscillatory [...] Read more.
One of the main inducers of autophagy-dependent self-cannibalism, called ULK1, is tightly regulated by the two sensor molecules of nutrient conditions and energy status, known as mTOR and AMPK kinases, respectively. Recently, we developed a freely available mathematical model to explore the oscillatory characteristic of the AMPK-mTOR-ULK1 regulatory triangle. Here, we introduce a systems biology analysis to explain in detail the dynamical features of the essential negative and double-negative feedback loops and also the periodic repeat of autophagy induction upon cellular stress. We propose an additional regulatory molecule in the autophagy control network that delays some of AMPK’s effect on the system, making the model output more consistent with experimental results. Furthermore, a network analysis on AutophagyNet was carried out to identify which proteins could be the proposed regulatory components in the system. These regulatory proteins should satisfy the following rules: (1) they are induced by AMPK; (2) they promote ULK1; (3) they down-regulate mTOR upon cellular stress. We have found 16 such regulatory components that have been experimentally proven to satisfy at least two of the given rules. Identifying such critical regulators of autophagy induction could support anti-cancer- and ageing-related therapeutic efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complexity and Networking in Molecular Systems)
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18 pages, 2728 KiB  
Article
Kinetic and Regulatory Properties of Yarrowia lipolytica Aconitate Hydratase as a Model-Indicator of Cell Redox State under pH Stress
by Tatyana I. Rakhmanova, Varvara Yu. Sekova, Natalya N. Gessler, Elena P. Isakova, Yulia I. Deryabina, Tatyana N. Popova, Yevgeniya I. Shurubor and Boris F. Krasnikov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7670; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087670 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1296
Abstract
This paper presents an analysis of the regulation activity of the partially purified preparations of cellular aconitate hydratase (AH) on the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica cultivated at extreme pH. As a result of purification, enzyme preparations were obtained from cells grown on media at [...] Read more.
This paper presents an analysis of the regulation activity of the partially purified preparations of cellular aconitate hydratase (AH) on the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica cultivated at extreme pH. As a result of purification, enzyme preparations were obtained from cells grown on media at pH 4.0, 5.5, and 9.0, purified by 48-, 46-, and 51-fold and having a specific activity of 0.43, 0.55 and 0.36 E/mg protein, respectively. The kinetic parameters of preparations from cells cultured at extreme pH demonstrated: (1) an increase in the affinity for citrate and isocitrate; and (2) a shift in the pH optima to the acidic and alkaline side in accordance with the modulation of the medium pH. The regulatory properties of the enzyme from cells subjected to alkaline stress showed increased sensitivity to Fe2+ ions and high peroxide resistance. Reduced glutathione (GSH) stimulated AH, while oxidized glutathione (GSSG) inhibited AH. A more pronounced effect of both GSH and GSSG was noted for the enzyme obtained from cells grown at pH 5.5. The data obtained provide new approaches to the use of Y. lipolytica as a model of eukaryotic cells demonstrating the development of a stress-induced pathology and to conducting a detailed analysis of enzymatic activity for its correction. Full article
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22 pages, 2399 KiB  
Review
Biochemical Screening for Fetal Trisomy 21: Pathophysiology of Maternal Serum Markers and Involvement of the Placenta
by Jean Guibourdenche, Marie-Clémence Leguy, Guillaume Pidoux, Marylise Hebert-Schuster, Christelle Laguillier, Olivia Anselem, Gilles Grangé, Fidéline Bonnet and Vassilis Tsatsaris
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7669; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087669 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4162
Abstract
It is now well established that maternal serum markers are often abnormal in fetal trisomy 21. Their determination is recommended for prenatal screening and pregnancy follow-up. However, mechanisms leading to abnormal maternal serum levels of such markers are still debated. Our objective was [...] Read more.
It is now well established that maternal serum markers are often abnormal in fetal trisomy 21. Their determination is recommended for prenatal screening and pregnancy follow-up. However, mechanisms leading to abnormal maternal serum levels of such markers are still debated. Our objective was to help clinicians and scientists unravel the pathophysiology of these markers via a review of the main studies published in this field, both in vivo and in vitro, focusing on the six most widely used markers (hCG, its free subunit hCGβ, PAPP-A, AFP, uE3, and inhibin A) as well as cell-free feto–placental DNA. Analysis of the literature shows that mechanisms underlying each marker’s regulation are multiple and not necessarily directly linked with the supernumerary chromosome 21. The crucial involvement of the placenta is also highlighted, which could be defective in one or several of its functions (turnover and apoptosis, endocrine production, and feto–maternal exchanges and transfer). These defects were neither constant nor specific for trisomy 21, and might be more or less pronounced, reflecting a high variability in placental immaturity and alteration. This explains why maternal serum markers can lack both specificity and sensitivity, and are thus restricted to screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Placental Related Disorders of Pregnancy 2.0.)
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25 pages, 1560 KiB  
Article
Sow-Offspring Diets Supplemented with Probiotics and Synbiotics Are Associated with Offspring’s Growth Performance and Meat Quality
by Qian Zhu, Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Haibo Dong, Chenjian Li, Ruixuan Li, Yating Cheng, Yang Liu, Yulong Yin and Xiangfeng Kong
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087668 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1897
Abstract
Probiotics and synbiotics supplementation have been shown to play potential roles in animal production. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of dietary probiotics and synbiotics supplementation to sows during gestation and lactation and to offspring pigs (sow-offspring) on offspring pigs’ growth [...] Read more.
Probiotics and synbiotics supplementation have been shown to play potential roles in animal production. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of dietary probiotics and synbiotics supplementation to sows during gestation and lactation and to offspring pigs (sow-offspring) on offspring pigs’ growth performance and meat quality. Sixty-four healthy Bama mini-pigs were selected and randomly allocated into four groups after mating: the control, antibiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics groups. After weaning, two offspring pigs per litter were selected, and four offspring pigs from two litters were merged into one pen. The offspring pigs were fed a basal diet and the same feed additive according to their corresponding sows, representing the control group (Con group), sow-offspring antibiotics group (S-OA group), sow-offspring probiotics group (S-OP group), and sow-offspring synbiotics group (S-OS group). Eight pigs per group were euthanized and sampled at 65, 95, and 125 d old for further analyses. Our findings showed that probiotics supplementation in sow-offspring diets promoted growth and feed intake of offspring pigs during 95–125 d old. Moreover, sow-offspring diets supplemented with probiotics and synbiotics altered meat quality (meat color, pH45min, pH24h, drip loss, cooking yield, and shear force), plasma UN and AMM levels, and gene expressions associated with muscle-fiber types (MyHCI, MyHCIIa, MyHCIIx, and MyHCIIb) and muscle growth and development (Myf5, Myf6, MyoD, and MyoG). This study provides a theoretical basis for the maternal-offspring integration regulation of meat quality by dietary probiotics and synbiotics supplementation. Full article
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24 pages, 9827 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Silver-Containing Materials Based on Various Forms of Bacterial Cellulose: Synthesis, Structure, and Biological Activity
by Alexander Vasil’kov, Ivan Butenko, Alexander Naumkin, Anastasiia Voronova, Alexandre Golub, Mikhail Buzin, Eleonora Shtykova, Vladimir Volkov and Vera Sadykova
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7667; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087667 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
Sustained interest in the use of renewable resources for the production of medical materials has stimulated research on bacterial cellulose (BC) and nanocomposites based on it. New Ag-containing nanocomposites were obtained by modifying various forms of BC with Ag nanoparticles prepared by metal–vapor [...] Read more.
Sustained interest in the use of renewable resources for the production of medical materials has stimulated research on bacterial cellulose (BC) and nanocomposites based on it. New Ag-containing nanocomposites were obtained by modifying various forms of BC with Ag nanoparticles prepared by metal–vapor synthesis (MVS). Bacterial cellulose was obtained in the form of films (BCF) and spherical BC beads (SBCB) by the Gluconacetobacter hansenii GH-1/2008 strain under static and dynamic conditions. The Ag nanoparticles synthesized in 2-propanol were incorporated into the polymer matrix using metal-containing organosol. MVS is based on the interaction of extremely reactive atomic metals formed by evaporation in vacuum at a pressure of 10−2 Pa with organic substances during their co-condensation on the cooled walls of a reaction vessel. The composition, structure, and electronic state of the metal in the materials were characterized by transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM, SEM), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Since antimicrobial activity is largely determined by the surface composition, much attention was paid to studying its properties by XPS, a surface-sensitive method, at a sampling depth about 10 nm. C 1s and O 1s spectra were analyzed self-consistently. XPS C 1s spectra of the original and Ag-containing celluloses showed an increase in the intensity of the C-C/C-H groups in the latter, which are associated with carbon shell surrounding metal in Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs). The size effect observed in Ag 3d spectra evidenced on a large proportion of silver nanoparticles with a size of less than 3 nm in the near-surface region. Ag NPs in the BC films and spherical beads were mainly in the zerovalent state. BC-based nanocomposites with Ag nanoparticles exhibited antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli bacteria and Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger fungi. It was found that AgNPs/SBCB nanocomposites are more active than Ag NPs/BCF samples, especially against Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger fungi. These results increase the possibility of their medical application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Cellulose Chemistry)
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13 pages, 7521 KiB  
Case Report
Coexisting Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin Lymphoma and Kimura’s Disease: A Case Report and Literature Review
by Chih-Chun Lee, Sing-Ya Chang, Wen-Chieh Teng, Chih-Ju Wu, Chi-Hung Liu, Szu-Wei Huang, Chiao-En Wu, Kuang-Hui Yu and Tien-Ming Chan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7666; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087666 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1703
Abstract
Kimura’s disease (KD) is a rare lymphoproliferative fibroinflammatory disorder that commonly affects the subcutaneous tissue and lymph nodes of the head and neck. The condition is a reactive process involving T helper type 2 cytokines. Concurrent malignancies have not been described. Differential diagnosis [...] Read more.
Kimura’s disease (KD) is a rare lymphoproliferative fibroinflammatory disorder that commonly affects the subcutaneous tissue and lymph nodes of the head and neck. The condition is a reactive process involving T helper type 2 cytokines. Concurrent malignancies have not been described. Differential diagnosis with lymphoma can be challenging without tissue biopsy. Here, we present the first reported case of coexisting KD and eosinophilic nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma of the right cervical lymphatics in a 72-year-old Taiwanese man. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Immunology)
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3 pages, 458 KiB  
Editorial
For Special Issue “Molecular Mechanisms of Responses to Low-Intensity Exposures 2.0” of International Journal of Molecular Sciences
by Nadezhda S. Kudryasheva
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087665 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 832
Abstract
The intention of this Special Issue is to highlight the peculiarities of low-intensity/low-concentration exposures for organisms and to examine the molecular mechanisms of the organismal responses [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Responses to Low-Intensity Exposures 2.0)
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15 pages, 8949 KiB  
Article
Human Embryonic Stem-Cell-Derived Exosomes Repress NLRP3 Inflammasome to Alleviate Pyroptosis in Nucleus Pulposus Cells by Transmitting miR-302c
by Yawen Yu, Wenting Li, Tinghui Xian, Mei Tu, Hao Wu and Jiaqing Zhang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7664; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087664 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1653
Abstract
Recent studies have shown that the NOD-, LRR-, and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is extensively activated in the process of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD), leading to the pyroptosis of nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) and the exacerbation of the pathological development of [...] Read more.
Recent studies have shown that the NOD-, LRR-, and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is extensively activated in the process of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD), leading to the pyroptosis of nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) and the exacerbation of the pathological development of the intervertebral disc (IVD). Exosomes derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs-exo) have shown great therapeutic potential in degenerative diseases. We hypothesized that hESCs-exo could alleviate IVDD by downregulating NLRP3. We measured the NLRP3 protein levels in different grades of IVDD and the effect of hESCs-exo on the H2O2-induced pyroptosis of NPCs. Our results indicate that the expression of NLRP3 was upregulated with the increase in IVD degeneration. hESCs-exo were able to reduce the H2O2-mediated pyroptosis of NPCs by downregulating the expression levels of NLRP3 inflammasome-related genes. Bioinformatics software predicted that miR-302c, an embryonic stem-cell-specific RNA, can inhibit NLRP3, thereby alleviating the pyroptosis of NPCs, and this was further verified by the overexpression of miR-302c in NPCs. In vivo experiments confirmed the above results in a rat caudal IVDD model. Our study demonstrates that hESCs-exo could inhibit excessive NPC pyroptosis by downregulating the NLRP3 inflammasome during IVDD, and miR-302c may play a key role in this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regeneration for Spinal Diseases 3.0)
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17 pages, 5589 KiB  
Article
Plasma Surface Modification of 3Y-TZP at Low and Atmospheric Pressures with Different Treatment Times
by Sung Un Kang, Chul-Ho Kim, Sanghyun You, Da-Young Lee, Yu-Kwon Kim, Seung-Joo Kim, Chang-Koo Kim and Hee-Kyung Kim
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087663 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1563
Abstract
The efficiency of plasma surface modifications depends on the operating conditions. This study investigated the effect of chamber pressure and plasma exposure time on the surface properties of 3Y-TZP with N2/Ar gas. Plate-shaped zirconia specimens were randomly divided into two categories: [...] Read more.
The efficiency of plasma surface modifications depends on the operating conditions. This study investigated the effect of chamber pressure and plasma exposure time on the surface properties of 3Y-TZP with N2/Ar gas. Plate-shaped zirconia specimens were randomly divided into two categories: vacuum plasma and atmospheric plasma. Each group was subdivided into five subgroups according to the treatment time: 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 min. Following the plasma treatments, we characterized the surface properties, including wettability, chemical composition, crystal structure, surface morphology, and zeta potential. These were analyzed through various techniques, such as contact angle measurement, XPS, XRD, SEM, FIB, CLSM, and electrokinetic measurements. The atmospheric plasma treatments increased zirconia’s electron donation (γ) capacity, while the vacuum plasma treatments decreased γ parameter with increasing times. The highest concentration of the basic hydroxyl OH(b) groups was identified after a 5 min exposure to atmospheric plasmas. With longer exposure times, the vacuum plasmas induce electrical damage. Both plasma systems increased the zeta potential of 3Y-TZP, showing positive values in a vacuum. In the atmosphere, the zeta potential rapidly increased after 1 min. Atmospheric plasma treatments would be beneficial for the adsorption of oxygen and nitrogen from ambient air and the generation of various active species on the zirconia surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Dental Materials)
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20 pages, 3320 KiB  
Article
A Pseudomonas Lysogenic Bacteriophage Crossing the Antarctic and Arctic, Representing a New Genus of Autographiviridae
by Zhenyu Liu, Wenhui Jiang, Cholsong Kim, Xiaoya Peng, Cong Fan, Yingliang Wu, Zhixiong Xie and Fang Peng
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087662 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
Polar regions tend to support simple food webs, which are vulnerable to phage-induced gene transfer or microbial death. To further investigate phage-host interactions in polar regions and the potential linkage of phage communities between the two poles, we induced the release of a [...] Read more.
Polar regions tend to support simple food webs, which are vulnerable to phage-induced gene transfer or microbial death. To further investigate phage-host interactions in polar regions and the potential linkage of phage communities between the two poles, we induced the release of a lysogenic phage, vB_PaeM-G11, from Pseudomonas sp. D3 isolated from the Antarctic, which formed clear phage plaques on the lawn of Pseudomonas sp. G11 isolated from the Arctic. From permafrost metagenomic data of the Arctic tundra, we found the genome with high-similarity to that of vB_PaeM-G11, demonstrating that vB_PaeM-G11 may have a distribution in both the Antarctic and Arctic. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that vB_PaeM-G11 is homologous to five uncultured viruses, and that they may represent a new genus in the Autographiviridae family, named Fildesvirus here. vB_PaeM-G11 was stable in a temperature range (4–40 °C) and pH (4–11), with latent and rise periods of about 40 and 10 min, respectively. This study is the first isolation and characterization study of a Pseudomonas phage distributed in both the Antarctic and Arctic, identifying its lysogenic host and lysis host, and thus provides essential information for further understanding the interaction between polar phages and their hosts and the ecological functions of phages in polar regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
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24 pages, 1780 KiB  
Review
Ferroptosis in Haematological Malignancies and Associated Therapeutic Nanotechnologies
by Rachel L. Mynott, Ali Habib, Oliver G. Best and Craig T. Wallington-Gates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087661 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3781
Abstract
Haematological malignancies are heterogeneous groups of cancers of the bone marrow, blood or lymph nodes, and while therapeutic advances have greatly improved the lifespan and quality of life of those afflicted, many of these cancers remain incurable. The iron-dependent, lipid oxidation-mediated form of [...] Read more.
Haematological malignancies are heterogeneous groups of cancers of the bone marrow, blood or lymph nodes, and while therapeutic advances have greatly improved the lifespan and quality of life of those afflicted, many of these cancers remain incurable. The iron-dependent, lipid oxidation-mediated form of cell death, ferroptosis, has emerged as a promising pathway to induce cancer cell death, particularly in those malignancies that are resistant to traditional apoptosis-inducing therapies. Although promising findings have been published in several solid and haematological malignancies, the major drawbacks of ferroptosis-inducing therapies are efficient drug delivery and toxicities to healthy tissue. The development of tumour-targeting and precision medicines, particularly when combined with nanotechnologies, holds potential as a way in which to overcome these obstacles and progress ferroptosis-inducing therapies into the clinic. Here, we review the current state-of-play of ferroptosis in haematological malignancies as well as encouraging discoveries in the field of ferroptosis nanotechnologies. While the research into ferroptosis nanotechnologies in haematological malignancies is limited, its pre-clinical success in solid tumours suggests this is a very feasible therapeutic approach to treat blood cancers such as multiple myeloma, lymphoma and leukaemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in Ferroptosis)
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15 pages, 2999 KiB  
Article
Inflammatory Response and Exosome Biogenesis of Choroid Plexus Organoids Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
by Laureana Muok, Chang Liu, Xingchi Chen, Colin Esmonde, Peggy Arthur, Xueju Wang, Mandip Singh, Tristan Driscoll and Yan Li
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7660; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087660 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2580
Abstract
The choroid plexus (ChP) is a complex structure in the human brain that is responsible for the secretion of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and forming the blood–CSF barrier (B-CSF-B). Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have shown promising results in the formation of brain organoids [...] Read more.
The choroid plexus (ChP) is a complex structure in the human brain that is responsible for the secretion of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and forming the blood–CSF barrier (B-CSF-B). Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have shown promising results in the formation of brain organoids in vitro; however, very few studies to date have generated ChP organoids. In particular, no study has assessed the inflammatory response and the extracellular vesicle (EV) biogenesis of hiPSC-derived ChP organoids. In this study, the impacts of Wnt signaling on the inflammatory response and EV biogenesis of ChP organoids derived from hiPSCs was investigated. During days 10–15, bone morphogenetic protein 4 was added along with (+/−) CHIR99021 (CHIR, a small molecule GSK-3β inhibitor that acts as a Wnt agonist). At day 30, the ChP organoids were characterized by immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry for TTR (~72%) and CLIC6 (~20%) expression. Compared to the −CHIR group, the +CHIR group showed an upregulation of 6 out of 10 tested ChP genes, including CLIC6 (2-fold), PLEC (4-fold), PLTP (2–4-fold), DCN (~7-fold), DLK1 (2–4-fold), and AQP1 (1.4-fold), and a downregulation of TTR (0.1-fold), IGFBP7 (0.8-fold), MSX1 (0.4-fold), and LUM (0.2–0.4-fold). When exposed to amyloid beta 42 oligomers, the +CHIR group had a more sensitive response as evidenced by the upregulation of inflammation-related genes such as TNFα, IL-6, and MMP2/9 when compared to the −CHIR group. Developmentally, the EV biogenesis markers of ChP organoids showed an increase over time from day 19 to day 38. This study is significant in that it provides a model of the human B-CSF-B and ChP tissue for the purpose of drug screening and designing drug delivery systems to treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and ischemic stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Link between Stem Cells and Nervous System)
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4 pages, 219 KiB  
Editorial
Cardiovascular Disease, Atherosclerosis and Familial Hypercholesterolemia: From Molecular Mechanisms Causing Pathogenicity to New Therapeutic Approaches
by Shifa Jebari-Benslaiman, Asier Larrea-Sebal, Asier Benito-Vicente and César Martín
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7659; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087659 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
This Special Issue, “Cardiovascular Disease, Atherosclerosis and Familial Hypercholesterolemia: From Molecular Mechanisms Causing Pathogenicity to New Therapeutic Approaches”, contributes to advancing our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that drive cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and familial hypercholesterolemia and the development of state-of-the-art research in the [...] Read more.
This Special Issue, “Cardiovascular Disease, Atherosclerosis and Familial Hypercholesterolemia: From Molecular Mechanisms Causing Pathogenicity to New Therapeutic Approaches”, contributes to advancing our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that drive cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and familial hypercholesterolemia and the development of state-of-the-art research in the field [...] Full article
22 pages, 5262 KiB  
Article
TDP-43 Controls HIV-1 Viral Production and Virus Infectiveness
by Romina Cabrera-Rodríguez, Silvia Pérez-Yanes, Iria Lorenzo-Sánchez, Judith Estévez-Herrera, Jonay García-Luis, Rodrigo Trujillo-González and Agustín Valenzuela-Fernández
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7658; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087658 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1710
Abstract
The transactive response DNA-binding protein (TARDBP/TDP-43) is known to stabilize the anti-HIV-1 factor, histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6). TDP-43 has been reported to determine cell permissivity to HIV-1 fusion and infection acting on tubulin-deacetylase HDAC6. Here, we studied the functional involvement of TDP-43 in [...] Read more.
The transactive response DNA-binding protein (TARDBP/TDP-43) is known to stabilize the anti-HIV-1 factor, histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6). TDP-43 has been reported to determine cell permissivity to HIV-1 fusion and infection acting on tubulin-deacetylase HDAC6. Here, we studied the functional involvement of TDP-43 in the late stages of the HIV-1 viral cycle. The overexpression of TDP-43, in virus-producing cells, stabilized HDAC6 (i.e., mRNA and protein) and triggered the autophagic clearance of HIV-1 Pr55Gag and Vif proteins. These events inhibited viral particle production and impaired virion infectiveness, observing a reduction in the amount of Pr55Gag and Vif proteins incorporated into virions. A nuclear localization signal (NLS)-TDP-43 mutant was not able to control HIV-1 viral production and infection. Likewise, specific TDP-43-knockdown reduced HDAC6 expression (i.e., mRNA and protein) and increased the expression level of HIV-1 Vif and Pr55Gag proteins and α-tubulin acetylation. Thus, TDP-43 silencing favored virion production and enhanced virus infectious capacity, thereby increasing the amount of Vif and Pr55Gag proteins incorporated into virions. Noteworthy, there was a direct relationship between the content of Vif and Pr55Gag proteins in virions and their infection capacity. Therefore, for TDP-43, the TDP-43/HDAC6 axis could be considered a key factor to control HIV-1 viral production and virus infectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Advances in Infectious Disease)
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22 pages, 2558 KiB  
Article
Carrageenans and Their Oligosaccharides from Red Seaweeds Ahnfeltiopsis flabelliformis and Mastocarpus pacificus (Phyllophoraceae) and Their Antiproliferative Activity
by Anna O. Kravchenko, Ekaterina S. Menchinskaya, Vladimir V. Isakov, Valery P. Glazunov and Irina M. Yermak
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7657; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087657 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
Comparative structural analysis of gelling polysaccharides from A. flabelliformis and M. pacificus belonging to Phyllophoraceae and the effect of their structural features and molecular weight on human colon cancer cell lines (HT-29, DLD-1, HCT-116) was carried out. According to chemical analysis, IR and [...] Read more.
Comparative structural analysis of gelling polysaccharides from A. flabelliformis and M. pacificus belonging to Phyllophoraceae and the effect of their structural features and molecular weight on human colon cancer cell lines (HT-29, DLD-1, HCT-116) was carried out. According to chemical analysis, IR and NMR spectroscopies, M. pacificus produces kappa/iota-carrageenan with a predominance of kappa units and minor amounts of mu and/or nu units, while the polysaccharide from A. flabelliformis is iota/kappa-carrageenan (predominance of iota units) and contains negligible amounts of beta- and nu-carrageenans. Iota/kappa- (Afg-OS) and kappa/iota-oligosaccharides (Mp-OS) were obtained from the original polysaccharides through mild acid hydrolysis. The content of more sulfated iota units in Afg-OS (iota/kappa 7:1) was higher than in Mp-OS (1.0:1.8). The poly- and oligosaccharides up to 1 mg/mL did not show a cytotoxic effect on all tested cell lines. Polysaccharides showed an antiproliferative effect only at 1 mg/mL. Oligosaccharides had a more pronounced effect on HT-29 and HCT-116 cells than the original polymers, while HCT-116 cells were slightly more sensitive to their action. Kappa/iota-oligosaccharides exhibit a greater antiproliferative effect and more strongly decrease the number of colonies forming in HCT-116 cells. At the same time, iota/kappa-oligosaccharides inhibit cell migration more strongly. Kappa/iota-oligosaccharides induce apoptosis in the SubG0 and G2/M phases, while iota/kappa-oligosaccharides in the SubG0 phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Applications of Polysaccharides)
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24 pages, 1538 KiB  
Review
Drug Discovery Targeting Post-Translational Modifications in Response to DNA Damages Induced by Space Radiation
by Dafei Xie, Qi Huang and Pingkun Zhou
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7656; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087656 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3069
Abstract
DNA damage in astronauts induced by cosmic radiation poses a major barrier to human space exploration. Cellular responses and repair of the most lethal DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are crucial for genomic integrity and cell survival. Post-translational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, and [...] Read more.
DNA damage in astronauts induced by cosmic radiation poses a major barrier to human space exploration. Cellular responses and repair of the most lethal DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are crucial for genomic integrity and cell survival. Post-translational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, and SUMOylation, are among the regulatory factors modulating a delicate balance and choice between predominant DSB repair pathways, such as non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). In this review, we focused on the engagement of proteins in the DNA damage response (DDR) modulated by phosphorylation and ubiquitylation, including ATM, DNA-PKcs, CtIP, MDM2, and ubiquitin ligases. The involvement and function of acetylation, methylation, PARylation, and their essential proteins were also investigated, providing a repository of candidate targets for DDR regulators. However, there is a lack of radioprotectors in spite of their consideration in the discovery of radiosensitizers. We proposed new perspectives for the research and development of future agents against space radiation by the systematic integration and utilization of evolutionary strategies, including multi-omics analyses, rational computing methods, drug repositioning, and combinations of drugs and targets, which may facilitate the use of radioprotectors in practical applications in human space exploration to combat fatal radiation hazards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular and Molecular Signaling Meet the Space Environment 2.0)
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19 pages, 4932 KiB  
Article
HD-ZIP Transcription Factors and Brassinosteroid Signaling Play a Role in Capitulum Patterning in Chrysanthemum
by Annemarie Castricum, Erin H. Bakker, Nick C. M. H. de Vetten, Mieke Weemen, Gerco C. Angenent, Richard G. H. Immink and Marian Bemer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7655; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087655 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1773
Abstract
Chrysanthemum is a genus in the Asteraceae family containing numerous cut flower varieties with high ornamental value. It owes its beauty to the composite flower head, which resembles a compact inflorescence. This structure is also known as a capitulum, in which many ray [...] Read more.
Chrysanthemum is a genus in the Asteraceae family containing numerous cut flower varieties with high ornamental value. It owes its beauty to the composite flower head, which resembles a compact inflorescence. This structure is also known as a capitulum, in which many ray and disc florets are densely packed. The ray florets are localized at the rim, are male sterile, and have large colorful petals. The centrally localized disc florets develop only a small petal tube but produce fertile stamens and a functional pistil. Nowadays, varieties with more ray florets are bred because of their high ornamental value, but, unfortunately, this is at the expense of their seed setting. In this study, we confirmed that the disc:ray floret ratio is highly correlated to seed set efficiency, and therefore, we further investigated the mechanisms that underlie the regulation of the disc:ray floret ratio. To this end, a comprehensive transcriptomics analysis was performed in two acquired mutants with a higher disc:ray floret ratio. Among the differentially regulated genes, various potential brassinosteroid (BR) signaling genes and HD-ZIP class IV homeodomain transcription factors stood out. Detailed follow-up functional studies confirmed that reduced BR levels and downregulation of HD-ZIP IV gene Chrysanthemum morifolium PROTODERMAL FACTOR 2 (CmPDF2) result in an increased disc:ray floret ratio, thereby providing ways to improve seed set in decorative chrysanthemum varieties in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Research for Ornamental Plants Breeding)
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28 pages, 7434 KiB  
Article
Integrative Proteomics and Metabolomics Analysis Reveals the Role of Small Signaling Peptide Rapid Alkalinization Factor 34 (RALF34) in Cucumber Roots
by Julia Shumilina, Alexey S. Kiryushkin, Nadezhda Frolova, Valeria Mashkina, Elena L. Ilina, Vera A. Puchkova, Katerina Danko, Svetlana Silinskaya, Evgeny B. Serebryakov, Alena Soboleva, Tatiana Bilova, Anastasia Orlova, Elizaveta D. Guseva, Egor Repkin, Katharina Pawlowski, Andrej Frolov and Kirill N. Demchenko
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087654 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2707
Abstract
The main role of RALF small signaling peptides was reported to be the alkalization control of the apoplast for improvement of nutrient absorption; however, the exact function of individual RALF peptides such as RALF34 remains unknown. The Arabidopsis RALF34 (AtRALF34) peptide [...] Read more.
The main role of RALF small signaling peptides was reported to be the alkalization control of the apoplast for improvement of nutrient absorption; however, the exact function of individual RALF peptides such as RALF34 remains unknown. The Arabidopsis RALF34 (AtRALF34) peptide was proposed to be part of the gene regulatory network of lateral root initiation. Cucumber is an excellent model for studying a special form of lateral root initiation taking place in the meristem of the parental root. We attempted to elucidate the role of the regulatory pathway in which RALF34 is a participant using cucumber transgenic hairy roots overexpressing CsRALF34 for comprehensive, integrated metabolomics and proteomics studies, focusing on the analysis of stress response markers. CsRALF34 overexpression resulted in the inhibition of root growth and regulation of cell proliferation, specifically in blocking the G2/M transition in cucumber roots. Based on these results, we propose that CsRALF34 is not part of the gene regulatory networks involved in the early steps of lateral root initiation. Instead, we suggest that CsRALF34 modulates ROS homeostasis and triggers the controlled production of hydroxyl radicals in root cells, possibly associated with intracellular signal transduction. Altogether, our results support the role of RALF peptides as ROS regulators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meristem and Stem Cells and Stem Cell Regulation in Plants)
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29 pages, 3288 KiB  
Review
Methods to Identify Cognitive Alterations from Animals to Humans: A Translational Approach
by Daniela Navarro, Ani Gasparyan, Silvia Martí Martínez, Carmen Díaz Marín, Francisco Navarrete, María Salud García Gutiérrez and Jorge Manzanares
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7653; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087653 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1928
Abstract
The increasing prevalence of cognitive dysfunction and dementia in developed countries, associated with population aging, has generated great interest in characterizing and quantifying cognitive deficits in these patients. An essential tool for accurate diagnosis is cognitive assessment, a lengthy process that depends on [...] Read more.
The increasing prevalence of cognitive dysfunction and dementia in developed countries, associated with population aging, has generated great interest in characterizing and quantifying cognitive deficits in these patients. An essential tool for accurate diagnosis is cognitive assessment, a lengthy process that depends on the cognitive domains analyzed. Cognitive tests, functional capacity scales, and advanced neuroimaging studies explore the different mental functions in clinical practice. On the other hand, animal models of human diseases with cognitive impairment are essential for understanding disease pathophysiology. The study of cognitive function using animal models encompasses multiple dimensions, and deciding which ones to investigate is necessary to select the most appropriate and specific tests. Therefore, this review studies the main cognitive tests for assessing cognitive deficits in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Cognitive tests, the most commonly used functional capacity scales, and those resulting from previous evidence are considered. In addition, the leading behavioral tests that assess cognitive functions in animal models of disorders with cognitive impairment are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Impairment in Neurological Diseases)
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15 pages, 957 KiB  
Review
Improving the Treatment Effect of Carotenoids on Alzheimer’s Disease through Various Nano-Delivery Systems
by Wenjing Su, Wenhao Xu, Enshuo Liu, Weike Su and Nikolay E. Polyakov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087652 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2637
Abstract
Natural bioactive compounds have recently emerged as a current strategy for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Carotenoids, including astaxanthin, lycopene, lutein, fucoxanthin, crocin and others are natural pigments and antioxidants, and can be used to treat a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. However, carotenoids, [...] Read more.
Natural bioactive compounds have recently emerged as a current strategy for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Carotenoids, including astaxanthin, lycopene, lutein, fucoxanthin, crocin and others are natural pigments and antioxidants, and can be used to treat a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. However, carotenoids, as oil-soluble substances with additional unsaturated groups, suffer from low solubility, poor stability and poor bioavailability. Therefore, the preparation of various nano-drug delivery systems from carotenoids is a current measure to achieve efficient application of carotenoids. Different carotenoid delivery systems can improve the solubility, stability, permeability and bioavailability of carotenoids to a certain extent to achieve Alzheimer’s disease efficacy. This review summarizes recent data on different carotenoid nano-drug delivery systems for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including polymer, lipid, inorganic and hybrid nano-drug delivery systems. These drug delivery systems have been shown to have a beneficial therapeutic effect on Alzheimer’s disease to a certain extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Carotenoids in Health and Disease)
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21 pages, 1108 KiB  
Review
HBV Infection and Host Interactions: The Role in Viral Persistence and Oncogenesis
by Riccardo Nevola, Domenico Beccia, Valerio Rosato, Rachele Ruocco, Davide Mastrocinque, Angela Villani, Pasquale Perillo, Simona Imbriani, Augusto Delle Femine, Livio Criscuolo, Maria Alfano, Marco La Montagna, Antonio Russo, Raffaele Marfella, Domenico Cozzolino, Ferdinando Carlo Sasso, Luca Rinaldi, Aldo Marrone, Luigi Elio Adinolfi and Ernesto Claar
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087651 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2629
Abstract
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite the advent of vaccines and potent antiviral agents able to suppress viral replication, recovery from chronic HBV infection is still an extremely difficult goal to achieve. [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite the advent of vaccines and potent antiviral agents able to suppress viral replication, recovery from chronic HBV infection is still an extremely difficult goal to achieve. Complex interactions between virus and host are responsible for HBV persistence and the risk of oncogenesis. Through multiple pathways, HBV is able to silence both innate and adaptive immunological responses and become out of control. Furthermore, the integration of the viral genome into that of the host and the production of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) represent reservoirs of viral persistence and account for the difficult eradication of the infection. An adequate knowledge of the virus–host interaction mechanisms responsible for viral persistence and the risk of hepatocarcinogenesis is necessary for the development of functional cures for chronic HBV infection. The purpose of this review is, therefore, to analyze how interactions between HBV and host concur in the mechanisms of infection, persistence, and oncogenesis and what are the implications and the therapeutic perspectives that follow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host and Human Oncovirus Interaction)
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17 pages, 1876 KiB  
Review
The Novel Role of Noncoding RNAs in Modulating Platelet Function: Implications in Activation and Aggregation
by Giovanni Cimmino, Stefano Conte, Domenico Palumbo, Simona Sperlongano, Michele Torella, Alessandro Della Corte and Paolo Golino
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7650; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087650 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2365
Abstract
It is currently believed that plaque complication, with the consequent superimposed thrombosis, is a key factor in the clinical occurrence of acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). Platelets are major players in this process. Despite the considerable progress made by the new antithrombotic strategies (P2Y12 [...] Read more.
It is currently believed that plaque complication, with the consequent superimposed thrombosis, is a key factor in the clinical occurrence of acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). Platelets are major players in this process. Despite the considerable progress made by the new antithrombotic strategies (P2Y12 receptor inhibitors, new oral anticoagulants, thrombin direct inhibitors, etc.) in terms of a reduction in major cardiovascular events, a significant number of patients with previous ACSs treated with these drugs continue to experience events, indicating that the mechanisms of platelet remain largely unknown. In the last decade, our knowledge of platelet pathophysiology has improved. It has been reported that, in response to physiological and pathological stimuli, platelet activation is accompanied by de novo protein synthesis, through a rapid and particularly well-regulated translation of resident mRNAs of megakaryocytic derivation. Although the platelets are anucleate, they indeed contain an important fraction of mRNAs that can be quickly used for protein synthesis following their activation. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of platelet activation and the interaction with the main cellular components of the vascular wall will open up new perspectives in the treatment of the majority of thrombotic disorders, such as ACSs, stroke, and peripheral artery diseases before and after the acute event. In the present review, we will discuss the novel role of noncoding RNAs in modulating platelet function, highlighting the possible implications in activation and aggregation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery and Novel Platelet Signaling in Thrombogenesis)
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