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Biomolecules, Volume 13, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 128 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Basic physicochemical parameters of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF 21) in electrolytes were determined for the first time using theoretical and experimental techniques. Molecular dynamics calculations revealed that FGF 21 possesses a globular shape and forms dimers. The dependence of the nominal charge of the molecules on pH was determined, allowing the identification of the point of zero charge (5.3). FGF 21 tends to irreversibly adsorb onto positively charged surfaces (poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) covered silica), while its adsorption onto negatively charged substrates was negligible. The studied protein was found to be non-toxic for the examined cell lines. One can postulate that the FGF 21-based complex may have a positive impact on cell adhesion and proliferation. View this paper
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21 pages, 2933 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Patterns of High-Invasive and Low-Invasive Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells Using Quantitative Metabolomics and 13C-Glucose Tracing
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1806; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121806 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 945
Abstract
Most current metabolomics studies of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) are mainly focused on identifying potential biomarkers for early screening and diagnosis, while few studies have investigated the metabolic profiles promoting metastasis. In this study, we aimed to explore the altered metabolic pathways [...] Read more.
Most current metabolomics studies of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) are mainly focused on identifying potential biomarkers for early screening and diagnosis, while few studies have investigated the metabolic profiles promoting metastasis. In this study, we aimed to explore the altered metabolic pathways associated with metastasis of OSCC. Here, we identified four OSCC cell models (CAL27, HN6, HSC-3, SAS) that possess different invasive heterogeneity via the transwell invasion assay and divided them into high-invasive (HN6, SAS) and low-invasive (CAL27, HSC-3) cells. Quantitative analysis and stable isotope tracing using [U-13C6] glucose were performed to detect the altered metabolites in high-invasive OSCC cells, low-invasive OSCC cells and normal human oral keratinocytes (HOK). The metabolic changes in the high-invasive and low-invasive cells included elevated glycolysis, increased fatty acid metabolism and an impaired TCA cycle compared with HOK. Moreover, pathway analysis demonstrated significant differences in fatty acid biosynthesis; arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism; and glycine, serine and threonine metabolism between the high-invasive and low-invasive cells. Furthermore, the high-invasive cells displayed a significant increase in the percentages of 13C-glycine, 13C-palmitate, 13C-stearic acid, 13C-oleic acid, 13C-AA and estimated FADS1/2 activities compared with the low-invasive cells. Overall, this exploratory study suggested that the metabolic differences related to the metastatic phenotypes of OSCC cells were concentrated in glycine metabolism, de novo fatty acid synthesis and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) metabolism, providing a comprehensive understanding of the metabolic alterations and a basis for studying related molecular mechanisms in metastatic OSCC cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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21 pages, 5938 KiB  
Article
On the Prevalence and Roles of Proteins Undergoing Liquid–Liquid Phase Separation in the Biogenesis of PML-Bodies
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121805 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1157
Abstract
The formation and function of membrane-less organelles (MLOs) is one of the main driving forces in the molecular life of the cell. These processes are based on the separation of biopolymers into phases regulated by multiple specific and nonspecific inter- and intramolecular interactions. [...] Read more.
The formation and function of membrane-less organelles (MLOs) is one of the main driving forces in the molecular life of the cell. These processes are based on the separation of biopolymers into phases regulated by multiple specific and nonspecific inter- and intramolecular interactions. Among the realm of MLOs, a special place is taken by the promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML-NBs or PML bodies), which are the intranuclear compartments involved in the regulation of cellular metabolism, transcription, the maintenance of genome stability, responses to viral infection, apoptosis, and tumor suppression. According to the accepted models, specific interactions, such as SUMO/SIM, the formation of disulfide bonds, etc., play a decisive role in the biogenesis of PML bodies. In this work, a number of bioinformatics approaches were used to study proteins found in the proteome of PML bodies for their tendency for spontaneous liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS), which is usually caused by weak nonspecific interactions. A total of 205 proteins found in PML bodies have been identified. It has been suggested that UBC9, P53, HIPK2, and SUMO1 can be considered as the scaffold proteins of PML bodies. It was shown that more than half of the proteins in the analyzed proteome are capable of spontaneous LLPS, with 85% of the analyzed proteins being intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and the remaining 15% being proteins with intrinsically disordered protein regions (IDPRs). About 44% of all proteins analyzed in this study contain SUMO binding sites and can potentially be SUMOylated. These data suggest that weak nonspecific interactions play a significantly larger role in the formation and biogenesis of PML bodies than previously expected. Full article
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15 pages, 11745 KiB  
Article
The Promoting Mechanism of the Sterile Fermentation Filtrate of Serratia odorifera on Hypsizygus marmoreus by Means of Metabolomics Analysis
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1804; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121804 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 854
Abstract
Hypsizygus marmoreus has become one of the most popular edible mushrooms due to its high nutritional and economic value. Previous researchers found that Serratia odorifera could promote the growth of H. marmoreus by producing and secreting some of its inducers. However, the specific [...] Read more.
Hypsizygus marmoreus has become one of the most popular edible mushrooms due to its high nutritional and economic value. Previous researchers found that Serratia odorifera could promote the growth of H. marmoreus by producing and secreting some of its inducers. However, the specific mechanism of action was still unclear. In this study, we found that the exogenous addition of sterile fermentation filtrate (HZSO-1), quorum sensing (QS) signaling molecules, 3-oxo-C6-HSL, cyclo(Pro-Leu), and cyclo(Tyr-Leu) could significantly promote the growth of H. marmoreus, increase the number of clamp junctions, and the diameter of mycelium (p < 0.05). In addition, non-targeted metabolomic analysis revealed that 706 metabolites were detected in the treated group. Of these, 307 metabolites were significantly different (p < 0.05). Compared with the control, 54 and 86 metabolites were significantly increased and decreased in the HZSO-1 group, respectively (p < 0.05). We speculate that the sterile fermentation filtrate of S. odorifera could mediate the carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism of H. marmoreus by influencing the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) to increase the energy supply for the growth and development of the mycelium. The above results will further reveal the growth-promoting mechanism of S. odorifera on H. marmoreus. Full article
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15 pages, 719 KiB  
Review
Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio (NLR) in NSCLC, Gastrointestinal, and Other Solid Tumors: Immunotherapy and Beyond
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1803; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121803 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1209
Abstract
In the era of immunotherapy, identifying biomarkers of immune system activation has become a high-priority challenge. The blood neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has been largely investigated as a biomarker in several cancer types. NLR values have been shown to mirror the tumor-induced inflammatory status [...] Read more.
In the era of immunotherapy, identifying biomarkers of immune system activation has become a high-priority challenge. The blood neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has been largely investigated as a biomarker in several cancer types. NLR values have been shown to mirror the tumor-induced inflammatory status and have been demonstrated to be a reliable prognostic tool across stages of disease and therapeutic approaches. When integrated with other biomarkers of response to immunotherapy, such as PD-L1, tumor mutational burden, and tumor-associated immune cells, the NLR may allow to further stratify patients with different likelihoods of deriving a significant clinical benefit. However, despite its accessibility, low cost, and easy interpretation, the NLR is still poorly used as a prognostic tool in daily clinical practice. In this review, we analyze the role of the NLR in defining the relationship between cancer and the immune system, its usefulness in daily clinical practice, and its relationship with other established or emerging biomarkers of immunotherapy outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune-Related Biomarkers II)
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24 pages, 832 KiB  
Review
Combination Drug Therapy for the Management of Chronic Neuropathic Pain
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1802; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121802 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 973
Abstract
Chronic neuropathic pain (NP) is an increasingly prevalent disease and leading cause of disability which is challenging to treat. Several distinct classes of drugs are currently used for the treatment of chronic NP, but each drug targets only narrow components of the underlying [...] Read more.
Chronic neuropathic pain (NP) is an increasingly prevalent disease and leading cause of disability which is challenging to treat. Several distinct classes of drugs are currently used for the treatment of chronic NP, but each drug targets only narrow components of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, bears limited efficacy, and comes with dose-limiting side effects. Multimodal therapies have been increasingly proposed as potential therapeutic approaches to target the multiple mechanisms underlying nociceptive transmission and modulation. However, while preclinical studies with combination therapies showed promise to improve efficacy over monotherapy, clinical trial data on their efficacy in specific populations are lacking and increased risk for adverse effects should be carefully considered. Drug-drug co-crystallization has emerged as an innovative pharmacological approach which can combine two or more different active pharmaceutical ingredients in a single crystal, optimizing pharmacokinetic and physicochemical characteristics of the native molecules, thus potentially capitalizing on the synergistic efficacy between classes of drugs while simplifying adherence and minimizing the risk of side effects by reducing the doses. In this work, we review the current pharmacological options for the treatment of chronic NP, focusing on combination therapies and their ongoing developing programs and highlighting the potential of co-crystals as novel approaches to chronic NP management. Full article
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11 pages, 1807 KiB  
Article
Using Selective Enzymes to Measure Noncanonical DNA Building Blocks: dUTP, 5-Methyl-dCTP, and 5-Hydroxymethyl-dCTP
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1801; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121801 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 798
Abstract
Cells maintain a fine-tuned balance of deoxyribonucleoside 5′-triphosphates (dNTPs), a crucial factor in preserving genomic integrity. Any alterations in the nucleotide pool’s composition or chemical modifications to nucleotides before their incorporation into DNA can lead to increased mutation frequency and DNA damage. In [...] Read more.
Cells maintain a fine-tuned balance of deoxyribonucleoside 5′-triphosphates (dNTPs), a crucial factor in preserving genomic integrity. Any alterations in the nucleotide pool’s composition or chemical modifications to nucleotides before their incorporation into DNA can lead to increased mutation frequency and DNA damage. In addition to the chemical modification of canonical dNTPs, the cellular de novo dNTP metabolism pathways also produce noncanonical dNTPs. To keep their levels low and prevent them from incorporating into the DNA, these noncanonical dNTPs are removed from the dNTP pool by sanitizing enzymes. In this study, we introduce innovative protocols for the high-throughput fluorescence-based quantification of dUTP, 5-methyl-dCTP, and 5-hydroxymethyl-dCTP. To distinguish between noncanonical dNTPs and their canonical counterparts, specific enzymes capable of hydrolyzing either the canonical or noncanonical dNTP analogs are employed. This approach provides a more precise understanding of the composition and noncanonical constituents of dNTP pools, facilitating a deeper comprehension of DNA metabolism and repair. It is also crucial for accurately interpreting mutational patterns generated through the next-generation sequencing of biological samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomacromolecules: Nucleic Acids)
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14 pages, 10178 KiB  
Article
Spermine Oxidase–Substrate Electrostatic Interactions: The Modulation of Enzyme Function by Neighboring Colloidal ɣ-Fe2O3
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1800; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121800 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 745
Abstract
Protein–nanoparticle hybridization can ideally lead to novel biological entities characterized by emerging properties that can sensibly differ from those of the parent components. Herein, the effect of ionic strength on the biological functions of recombinant His-tagged spermine oxidase (i.e., SMOX) was studied for [...] Read more.
Protein–nanoparticle hybridization can ideally lead to novel biological entities characterized by emerging properties that can sensibly differ from those of the parent components. Herein, the effect of ionic strength on the biological functions of recombinant His-tagged spermine oxidase (i.e., SMOX) was studied for the first time. Moreover, SMOX was integrated into colloidal surface active maghemite nanoparticles (SAMNs) via direct self-assembly, leading to a biologically active nano-enzyme (i.e., SAMN@SMOX). The hybrid was subjected to an in-depth chemical–physical characterization, highlighting the fact that the protein structure was perfectly preserved. The catalytic activity of the nanostructured hybrid (SAMN@SMOX) was assessed by extracting the kinetics parameters using spermine as a substrate and compared to the soluble enzyme as a function of ionic strength. The results revealed that the catalytic function was dominated by electrostatic interactions and that they were drastically modified upon hybridization with colloidal ɣ-Fe2O3. The fact that the affinity of SMOX toward spermine was significantly higher for the nanohybrid at low salinity is noteworthy. The present study supports the vision of using protein–nanoparticle conjugation as a means to modulate biological functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyamine Metabolism and Function)
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18 pages, 8257 KiB  
Article
Impaired Autophagic Clearance with a Gain-of-Function Variant of the Lysosomal Cl/H+ Exchanger ClC-7
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1799; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121799 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1185
Abstract
ClC-7 is a ubiquitously expressed voltage-gated Cl/H+ exchanger that critically contributes to lysosomal ion homeostasis. Together with its β-subunit Ostm1, ClC-7 localizes to lysosomes and to the ruffled border of osteoclasts, where it supports the acidification of the resorption lacuna. [...] Read more.
ClC-7 is a ubiquitously expressed voltage-gated Cl/H+ exchanger that critically contributes to lysosomal ion homeostasis. Together with its β-subunit Ostm1, ClC-7 localizes to lysosomes and to the ruffled border of osteoclasts, where it supports the acidification of the resorption lacuna. Loss of ClC-7 or Ostm1 leads to osteopetrosis accompanied by accumulation of storage material in lysosomes and neurodegeneration. Interestingly, not all osteopetrosis-causing CLCN7 mutations from patients are associated with a loss of ion transport. Some rather result in an acceleration of voltage-dependent ClC-7 activation. Recently, a gain-of-function variant, ClC-7Y715C, that yields larger ion currents upon heterologous expression, was identified in two patients with neurodegeneration, organomegaly and albinism. However, neither the patients nor a mouse model that carried the equivalent mutation developed osteopetrosis, although expression of ClC-7Y715C induced the formation of enlarged intracellular vacuoles. Here, we investigated how, in transfected cells with mutant ClC-7, the substitution of this tyrosine impinged on the morphology and function of lysosomes. Combinations of the tyrosine mutation with mutations that either uncouple Cl from H+ counter-transport or strongly diminish overall ion currents were used to show that increased ClC-7 Cl/H+ exchange activity is required for the formation of enlarged vacuoles by membrane fusion. Degradation of endocytosed material was reduced in these compartments and resulted in an accumulation of lysosomal storage material. In cells expressing the ClC-7 gain-of-function mutant, autophagic clearance was largely impaired, resulting in a build-up of autophagic material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chloride Channels and Transporters in Health and Disease)
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26 pages, 17568 KiB  
Article
Characteristic Binding Landscape of Estrogen Receptor-α36 Protein Enhances Promising Cancer Drug Design
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1798; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121798 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Breast cancer (BC) remains the most common cancer among women worldwide, and estrogen receptor-α expression is a critical diagnostic factor for BC. Estrogen receptor (ER-α36) is a dominant-negative effector of ER-α66-mediated estrogen-responsive gene pathways. ER-α36 is a novel target that mediates the non-genomic [...] Read more.
Breast cancer (BC) remains the most common cancer among women worldwide, and estrogen receptor-α expression is a critical diagnostic factor for BC. Estrogen receptor (ER-α36) is a dominant-negative effector of ER-α66-mediated estrogen-responsive gene pathways. ER-α36 is a novel target that mediates the non-genomic estrogen signaling pathway. However, the crystallized structure of ER-α36 remains unavailable for molecular studies. ER-positive and triple-negative BC tumors aggressively resist the FDA-approved drugs; therefore, highly potent structure-based inhibitors with preeminent benefits over toxicity will preferably replace the current BC treatment. Broussoflanol B (BFB), a B. papyrifera bark compound, exhibits potent growth inhibitory activity in ER-negative BC cells by inducing cell cycle arrest. For the first time, we unravel the comparative dynamic events of the enzymes’ structures and the binding mechanisms of BFB when bound to the ER-α36 and ER-α66 ligand-binding domain using an all-atom molecular dynamics simulations approach and MM/PBSA-binding-free energy calculations. The dynamic findings have revealed that ER-α36 and ER-α66 LBD undergo timescale “coiling”, opening and closing conformations favoring the high-affinity BFB-bound ER-α36 (ΔG = −52.57 kcal/mol) compared to the BFB-bound ER-α66 (ΔG = −42.41 kcal/mol). Moreover, the unbound (1.260 Å) and bound ER-α36 (1.182 Å) exhibit the highest flexibilities and atomistic motions relative to the ER-α66 systems. The RMSF (Å) of the unbound ER-α36 and ER-α66 exhibit lesser stabilities than the BFB-bound systems, resulting in higher structural flexibilities and atomistic motions than the bound variants. These findings present a model that describes the mechanisms by which the BFB compound induces downregulation-accompanied cell cycle arrest at the Gap0 and Gap1 phases. Full article
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18 pages, 3143 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Bioimage Analysis Methods for Detecting Skeletal Deformities in Biomedical and Aquaculture Fish Species
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1797; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121797 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Detecting skeletal or bone-related deformities in model and aquaculture fish is vital for numerous biomedical studies. In biomedical research, model fish with bone-related disorders are potential indicators of various chemically induced toxins in their environment or poor dietary conditions. In aquaculture, skeletal deformities [...] Read more.
Detecting skeletal or bone-related deformities in model and aquaculture fish is vital for numerous biomedical studies. In biomedical research, model fish with bone-related disorders are potential indicators of various chemically induced toxins in their environment or poor dietary conditions. In aquaculture, skeletal deformities are affecting fish health, and economic losses are incurred by fish farmers. This survey paper focuses on showcasing the cutting-edge image analysis tools and techniques based on artificial intelligence that are currently applied in the analysis of bone-related deformities in aquaculture and model fish. These methods and tools play a significant role in improving research by automating various aspects of the analysis. This paper also sheds light on some of the hurdles faced when dealing with high-content bioimages and explores potential solutions to overcome these challenges. Full article
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17 pages, 1566 KiB  
Review
Gap Junctions or Hemichannel-Dependent and Independent Roles of Connexins in Fibrosis, Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transitions, and Wound Healing
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1796; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121796 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
Fibrosis initially appears as a normal response to damage, where activated fibroblasts produce large amounts of the extracellular matrix (ECM) during the wound healing process to assist in the repair of injured tissue. However, the excessive accumulation of the ECM, unresolved by remodeling [...] Read more.
Fibrosis initially appears as a normal response to damage, where activated fibroblasts produce large amounts of the extracellular matrix (ECM) during the wound healing process to assist in the repair of injured tissue. However, the excessive accumulation of the ECM, unresolved by remodeling mechanisms, leads to organ dysfunction. Connexins, a family of transmembrane channel proteins, are widely recognized for their major roles in fibrosis, the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), and wound healing. Efforts have been made in recent years to identify novel mediators and targets for this regulation. Connexins form gap junctions and hemichannels, mediating communications between neighboring cells and inside and outside of cells, respectively. Recent evidence suggests that connexins, beyond forming channels, possess channel-independent functions in fibrosis, the EMT, and wound healing. One crucial channel-independent function is their role as the primary functional component for cell adhesion. Other channel-independent functions of connexins involve their roles in mitochondria and exosomes. This review summarizes the latest advances in the channel-dependent and independent roles of connexins in fibrosis, the EMT, and wound healing, with a particular focus on eye diseases, emphasizing their potential as novel, promising therapeutic targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Mesenchymal Cells in Wound Healing and Fibrosis)
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17 pages, 3367 KiB  
Review
Bioassays for Identifying and Characterizing Plant Regulatory Peptides
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1795; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121795 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 936
Abstract
Plant peptides are a new frontier in plant biology, owing to their key regulatory roles in plant growth, development, and stress responses. Synthetic peptides are promising biological agents that can be used to improve crop growth and protection in an environmentally sustainable manner. [...] Read more.
Plant peptides are a new frontier in plant biology, owing to their key regulatory roles in plant growth, development, and stress responses. Synthetic peptides are promising biological agents that can be used to improve crop growth and protection in an environmentally sustainable manner. Plant regulatory peptides identified in pioneering research, including systemin, PSK, HypSys, RALPH, AtPep1, CLV3, TDIF, CLE, and RGF/GLV/CLEL, hold promise for crop improvement as potent regulators of plant growth and defense. Mass spectrometry and bioinformatics are greatly facilitating the discovery and identification of new plant peptides. The biological functions of most novel plant peptides remain to be elucidated. Bioassays are an essential part in studying the biological activity of identified and putative plant peptides. Root growth assays and cultivated plant cell cultures are widely used to evaluate the regulatory potential of plant peptides during growth, differentiation, and stress reactions. These bioassays can be used as universal approaches for screening peptides from different plant species. Development of high-throughput bioassays can facilitate the screening of large numbers of identified and putative plant peptides, which have recently been discovered but remain uncharacterized for biological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Peptides and Their Interactions)
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19 pages, 4938 KiB  
Article
Resveratrol and Resveratrol-Loaded Galactosylated Liposomes: Anti-Adherence and Cell Wall Damage Effects on Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1794; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121794 - 14 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 879
Abstract
Antibiotic resistance due to bacterial biofilm formation is a major global health concern that makes the search for new therapeutic approaches an urgent need. In this context,, trans-resveratrol (RSV), a polyphenolic natural substance, seems to be a good candidate for preventing and [...] Read more.
Antibiotic resistance due to bacterial biofilm formation is a major global health concern that makes the search for new therapeutic approaches an urgent need. In this context,, trans-resveratrol (RSV), a polyphenolic natural substance, seems to be a good candidate for preventing and eradicating biofilm-associated infections but its mechanism of action is poorly understood. In addition, RSV suffers from low bioavailability and chemical instability in the biological media that make its encapsulation in delivery systems necessary. In this work, the anti-biofilm activity of free RSV was investigated on Staphylococcus aureus and, to highlight the possible mechanism of action, we studied the anti-adherence activity and also the cell wall damage on a MRSA strain. Free RSV activity was compared to that of RSV loaded in liposomes, specifically neutral liposomes (L = DOPC/Cholesterol) and cationic liposomes (LG = DOPC/Chol/GLT1) characterized by a galactosylated amphiphile (GLT1) that promotes the interaction with bacteria. The results indicate that RSV loaded in LG has anti-adherence and anti-biofilm activity higher than free RSV. On the other side, free RSV has a higher bacterial-growth-inhibiting effect than encapsulated RSV and it can damage cell walls by creating pores; however, this effect can not prevent bacteria from growing again. This RSV ability may underlie its bacteriostatic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liposomes for Drug Delivery: Recent Advances and Discoveries)
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11 pages, 1703 KiB  
Article
Repurposing an Antioxidant to Kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Targeting the 50S Subunit of the Ribosome
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1793; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121793 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Tuberculosis and drug-resistant TB remain serious threats to global public health. It is urgent to develop novel anti-TB drugs in order to control it. In addition to redesigning and developing new anti-TB drugs, drug repurposing is also an innovative way to develop antibacterial [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis and drug-resistant TB remain serious threats to global public health. It is urgent to develop novel anti-TB drugs in order to control it. In addition to redesigning and developing new anti-TB drugs, drug repurposing is also an innovative way to develop antibacterial drugs. Based on this method, we discovered SKQ-1 in the FDA-approved drug library and evaluated its anti-TB activity. In vitro, we demonstrated that SKQ-1 engaged in bactericidal activity against drug-sensitive and -resistant Mtb and confirmed the synergistic effects of SKQ1 with RIF and INH. Moreover, SKQ-1 showed a significant Mtb-killing effect in macrophages. In vivo, both the SKQ-1 treatment alone and the treatment in combination with RIF were able to significantly reduce the bacterial load and improve the survival rate of G. mellonella infected with Mtb. We performed whole-genome sequencing on screened SKQ-1-resistant strains and found that the SNP sites were concentrated in the 50S ribosomal subunit of Mtb. Furthermore, we proved that SKQ-1 can inhibit protein translation. In summary, from the perspective of drug repurposing, we discovered and determined the anti-tuberculosis effect of SKQ-1, revealed its synergistic effects with RIF and INH, and demonstrated its mechanism of action through targeting ribosomes and disrupting protein synthesis, thus making it a potential treatment option for DR-TB. Full article
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14 pages, 7731 KiB  
Article
Improvement in Clinical Features of L-NAME-Induced Preeclampsia-like Rats through Reduced SERPINA5 Expression
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121792 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 743
Abstract
Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a severe pregnancy disorder that poses a significant health risk to both mother and fetus, with no preventive or therapeutic measures. Our previous research suggested an association between elevated SERPINA5 levels and PE features. This study investigated whether SERPINA5 could [...] Read more.
Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a severe pregnancy disorder that poses a significant health risk to both mother and fetus, with no preventive or therapeutic measures. Our previous research suggested an association between elevated SERPINA5 levels and PE features. This study investigated whether SERPINA5 could be a potential therapeutic target for PE. We established PE-like features in pregnant rats using L-NAME (75 mg/kg/d) treatment. Adenoviruses carrying overexpressed or suppressed SERPINA5 genes were intravenously injected into these PE rats on the fifth and seventh days of pregnancy. We evaluated the rats’ systolic blood pressure, urine protein concentration, and placental and fetal metrics and histology. Placental gene expression following SERPINA5 overexpression was evaluated using mRNA sequencing. The L-NAME-induced PE rat model observed a significant increase in placental and peripheral SERPINA5 levels. The overexpression of SERPINA5 exacerbated L-NAME-induced hypertension and proteinuria in pregnant rats. A histology examination revealed a smaller placental junctional zone in L-NAME + overexpressing rats. Placental gene expression analysis in the L-NAME + overexpressing group indicated increased coagulation activation. L-NAME-induced hypertension and proteinuria were mitigated when SERPINA5 expression was suppressed. Additionally, placental development was improved in the SERPINA5-suppressed group. Our findings suggested that SERPINA5 may worsen L-NAME-induced PE-like features by promoting the activation of the coagulation cascade. Therefore, reducing SERPINA5 expression could potentially serve as a therapeutic strategy for PE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Placental-Related Disorders of Pregnancy)
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13 pages, 551 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Biomarkers in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: The Role of PPAR-γ2 and PPAR-β/δ Polymorphisms
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1791; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121791 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 789
Abstract
Glucose and lipid metabolism regulation by the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) has been extensively reported. However, the role of their polymorphisms remains unclear. Objective: To determine the relation between PPAR-γ2 rs1801282 (Pro12Ala) and PPAR-β/δ rs2016520 (+294T/C) polymorphisms and metabolic biomarkers in adults with [...] Read more.
Glucose and lipid metabolism regulation by the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) has been extensively reported. However, the role of their polymorphisms remains unclear. Objective: To determine the relation between PPAR-γ2 rs1801282 (Pro12Ala) and PPAR-β/δ rs2016520 (+294T/C) polymorphisms and metabolic biomarkers in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Materials and Methods: We included 314 patients with T2D. Information on anthropometric, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), HbA1c and lipid profile measurements was taken from clinical records. Genomic DNA was obtained from peripheral blood. End-point PCR was used for PPAR-γ2 rs1801282, while for PPAR-β/δ rs2016520 the PCR product was digested with Bsl-I enzyme. Data were compared with parametric or non-parametric tests. Multivariate models were used to adjust for covariates and interaction effects. Results: minor allele frequency was 12.42% for PPAR-γ2 rs1801282-G and 13.85% for PPAR-β/δ rs2016520-C. Both polymorphisms were related to waist circumference; they showed independent effects on HbA1c, while they interacted for FPG; carriers of both PPAR minor alleles had the highest values. Interactions between FPG and polymorphisms were identified in their relation to triglyceride level. Conclusions: PPAR-γ2 rs1801282 and PPAR-β/δ rs2016520 polymorphisms are associated with anthropometric, glucose, and lipid metabolism biomarkers in T2D patients. Further research is required on the molecular mechanisms involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PPARs as Key Regulators in Different Diseases)
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13 pages, 6128 KiB  
Article
Epileptic Encephalopathy GABRB Structural Variants Share Common Gating and Trafficking Defects
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1790; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121790 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 872
Abstract
Variants in the GABRB gene, which encodes the β subunit of the GABAA receptor, have been implicated in various epileptic encephalopathies and related neurodevelopmental disorders such as Dravet syndrome and Angelman syndrome. These conditions are often associated with early-onset seizures, developmental regression, [...] Read more.
Variants in the GABRB gene, which encodes the β subunit of the GABAA receptor, have been implicated in various epileptic encephalopathies and related neurodevelopmental disorders such as Dravet syndrome and Angelman syndrome. These conditions are often associated with early-onset seizures, developmental regression, and cognitive impairments. The severity and specific features of these encephalopathies can differ based on the nature of the genetic variant and its impact on GABAA receptor function. These variants can lead to dysfunction in GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition, resulting in an imbalance between neuronal excitation and inhibition that contributes to the development of seizures. Here, 13 de novo EE-associated GABRB variants, occurring as missense mutations, were analyzed to determine their impact on protein stability and flexibility, channel function, and receptor biogenesis. Our results showed that all mutations studied significantly impact the protein structure, altering protein stability, flexibility, and function to varying degrees. Variants mapped to the GABA-binding domain, coupling zone, and pore domain significantly impact the protein structure, modifying the β+/α− interface of the receptor and altering channel activation and receptor trafficking. Our study proposes that the extent of loss or gain of GABAA receptor function can be elucidated by identifying the specific structural domain impacted by mutation and assessing the variability in receptor structural dynamics. This paves the way for future studies to explore and uncover links between the incidence of a variant in the receptor topology and the severity of the related disease. Full article
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34 pages, 2532 KiB  
Review
Mitochondrial Quality Control via Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response (mtUPR) in Ageing and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1789; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121789 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2414
Abstract
Mitochondria play a key role in cellular functions, including energy production and oxidative stress regulation. For this reason, maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis and proteostasis (homeostasis of the proteome) is essential for cellular health. Therefore, there are different mitochondrial quality control mechanisms, such as mitochondrial [...] Read more.
Mitochondria play a key role in cellular functions, including energy production and oxidative stress regulation. For this reason, maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis and proteostasis (homeostasis of the proteome) is essential for cellular health. Therefore, there are different mitochondrial quality control mechanisms, such as mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial-derived vesicles (MDVs), mitophagy, or mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mtUPR). The last item is a stress response that occurs when stress is present within mitochondria and, especially, when the accumulation of unfolded and misfolded proteins in the mitochondrial matrix surpasses the folding capacity of the mitochondrion. In response to this, molecular chaperones and proteases as well as the mitochondrial antioxidant system are activated to restore mitochondrial proteostasis and cellular function. In disease contexts, mtUPR modulation holds therapeutic potential by mitigating mitochondrial dysfunction. In particular, in the case of neurodegenerative diseases, such as primary mitochondrial diseases, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), there is a wealth of evidence demonstrating that the modulation of mtUPR helps to reduce neurodegeneration and its associated symptoms in various cellular and animal models. These findings underscore mtUPR’s role as a promising therapeutic target in combating these devastating disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Quality Control in Aging and Neurodegeneration)
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26 pages, 5822 KiB  
Article
Protease-Sensitive and -Resistant Forms of Human and Murine Alpha-Synucleins in Distinct Brain Regions of Transgenic Mice (M83) Expressing the Human Mutated A53T Protein
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1788; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121788 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 781
Abstract
Human neurodegenerative diseases associated with the misfolding of the alpha-synuclein (aS) protein (synucleinopathies) are similar to prion diseases to the extent that lesions are spread by similar molecular mechanisms. In a transgenic mouse model (M83) overexpressing a mutated (A53T) form of human aS, [...] Read more.
Human neurodegenerative diseases associated with the misfolding of the alpha-synuclein (aS) protein (synucleinopathies) are similar to prion diseases to the extent that lesions are spread by similar molecular mechanisms. In a transgenic mouse model (M83) overexpressing a mutated (A53T) form of human aS, we had previously found that Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA) triggered the aggregation of aS, which is associated with a high resistance to the proteinase K (PK) digestion of both human and murine aS, a major hallmark of the disease-associated prion protein. In addition, PMCA was also able to trigger the aggregation of murine aS in C57Bl/6 mouse brains after seeding with sick M83 mouse brains. Here, we show that intracerebral inoculations of M83 mice with C57Bl/6-PMCA samples strikingly shortens the incubation period before the typical paralysis that develops in this transgenic model, demonstrating the pathogenicity of PMCA-aggregated murine aS. In the hind brain regions of these sick M83 mice containing lesions with an accumulation of aS phosphorylated at serine 129, aS also showed a high PK resistance in the N-terminal part of the protein. In contrast to M83 mice, old APPxM83 mice co-expressing human mutated amyloid precursor and presenilin 1 proteins were seen to have an aggregation of aS, especially in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and striatum, which also contained the highest load of aS phosphorylated at serine 129. This was proven by three techniques: a Western blot analysis of PK-resistant aS; an ELISA detection of aS aggregates; or the identification of aggregates of aS using immunohistochemical analyses of cytoplasmic/neuritic aS deposits. The results obtained with the D37A6 antibody suggest a higher involvement of murine aS in APPxM83 mice than in M83 mice. Our study used novel tools for the molecular study of synucleinopathies, which highlight similarities with the molecular mechanisms involved in prion diseases. Full article
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29 pages, 3136 KiB  
Review
Fluorescence-Based Mono- and Multimodal Imaging for In Vivo Tracking of Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1787; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121787 - 13 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
The advancement of stem cell therapy has offered transformative therapeutic outcomes for a wide array of diseases over the past decades. Consequently, stem cell tracking has become significant in revealing the mechanisms of action and ensuring safe and effective treatments. Fluorescence stands out [...] Read more.
The advancement of stem cell therapy has offered transformative therapeutic outcomes for a wide array of diseases over the past decades. Consequently, stem cell tracking has become significant in revealing the mechanisms of action and ensuring safe and effective treatments. Fluorescence stands out as a promising choice for stem cell tracking due to its myriad advantages, including high resolution, real-time monitoring, and multi-fluorescence detection. Furthermore, combining fluorescence with other tracking modalities—such as bioluminescence imaging (BLI), positron emission tomography (PET), photoacoustic (PA), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance (MR)—can address the limitations of single fluorescence detection. This review initially introduces stem cell tracking using fluorescence imaging, detailing various labeling strategies such as green fluorescence protein (GFP) tagging, fluorescence dye labeling, and nanoparticle uptake. Subsequently, we present several combinations of strategies for efficient and precise detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mesenchymal Stem Cells Volume II)
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10 pages, 1423 KiB  
Review
Role of NMDA Receptor in High-Pressure Neurological Syndrome and Hyperbaric Oxygen Toxicity
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1786; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121786 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1058
Abstract
Professional divers exposed to pressures greater than 11 ATA (1.1 MPa) may suffer from high-pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS). Divers who use closed-circuit breathing apparatus and patients and medical attendants undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) face the risk of CNS hyperbaric oxygen toxicity (HBOTx) [...] Read more.
Professional divers exposed to pressures greater than 11 ATA (1.1 MPa) may suffer from high-pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS). Divers who use closed-circuit breathing apparatus and patients and medical attendants undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) face the risk of CNS hyperbaric oxygen toxicity (HBOTx) at oxygen pressure above 2 ATA (0.2 MPa). Both syndromes are characterized by reversible CNS hyperexcitability, accompanied by cognitive and motor deficits, and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) plays a crucial role in provoking them. Various NMDAR subtypes respond differently under hyperbaric conditions. The augmented currents observed only in NMDAR containing GluN2A subunit increase glutamatergic synaptic activity and cause dendritic hyperexcitability and abnormal neuronal activity. Removal of the resting Zn2+ voltage-independent inhibition exerted by GluN2A present in the NMDAR is the major candidate for the mechanism underlying the increase in receptor conductance. Therefore, this process should be the main target for future research aiming at developing neuroprotection against HPNS and HBOTx. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NMDA Receptor in Health and Diseases 2.0)
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18 pages, 4881 KiB  
Article
Biological Synthesis, Characterization, and Therapeutic Potential of S. commune-Mediated Gold Nanoparticles
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1785; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121785 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 784
Abstract
Green-synthesized gold nanoparticles demonstrate several therapeutic benefits due to their safety, non-toxicity, accessibility, and ecological acceptance. In our study, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were created using an extracellular extract from the fungus Schizophyllum commune (S. commune). The reaction color was observed to [...] Read more.
Green-synthesized gold nanoparticles demonstrate several therapeutic benefits due to their safety, non-toxicity, accessibility, and ecological acceptance. In our study, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were created using an extracellular extract from the fungus Schizophyllum commune (S. commune). The reaction color was observed to be a reddish pink after a 24 h reaction, demonstrating the synthesis of the nanoparticles. The myco-produced nanoparticles were investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and UV–visible spectroscopy. The TEM pictures depicted sphere-like shapes with sizes ranging from 60 and 120 nm, with an average diameter of 90 nm, which is in agreement with the DLS results. Furthermore, the efficiency of the AuNPs’ antifungal and cytotoxic properties, as well as their production of intracellular ROS, was evaluated. Our findings showed that the AuNPs have strong antifungal effects against Trichoderma sp. and Aspergillus flavus at increasing doses. Additionally, the AuNPs established a dose-dependent activity against human alveolar basal epithelial cells with adenocarcinoma (A549), demonstrating the potency of synthesized AuNPs as a cytotoxic agent. After 4 h of incubation with AuNPs, a significant increase in intracellular ROS was observed in cancer cells. Therefore, these metallic AuNPs produced by fungus (S. commune) can be used as an effective antifungal, anticancer, and non-toxic immunomodulatory delivery agent. Full article
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15 pages, 4706 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study of the Protective and Neurotrophic Effects of Neuronal and Glial Progenitor Cells-Derived Conditioned Media in a Model of Glutamate Toxicity In Vitro
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1784; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121784 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 866
Abstract
Cell therapy represents a promising approach to the treatment of neurological diseases, offering potential benefits not only by cell replacement but also through paracrine secretory activities. However, this approach includes a number of limiting factors, primarily related to safety. The use of conditioned [...] Read more.
Cell therapy represents a promising approach to the treatment of neurological diseases, offering potential benefits not only by cell replacement but also through paracrine secretory activities. However, this approach includes a number of limiting factors, primarily related to safety. The use of conditioned stem cell media can serve as an equivalent to cell therapy while avoiding its disadvantages. The present study was a comparative investigation of the antioxidant, neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects of conditioned media obtained from neuronal and glial progenitor cells (NPC-CM and GPC-CM) on the PC12 cell line in vitro. Neuronal and glial progenitor cells were obtained from iPSCs by directed differentiation using small molecules. GPC-CM reduced apoptosis, ROS levels and increased viability, expressions of the antioxidant response genes HMOX1 and NFE2L2 in a model of glutamate-induced oxidative stress. The neurotrophic effect was evidenced by a change in the morphology of pheochromocytoma cells to a neuron-like phenotype. Moreover, neurite outgrowth, expression of GAP43, TUBB3, MAP2, SYN1 genes and increased levels of the corresponding MAP2 and TUBB3 proteins. Treatment with NPC-CM showed moderate antiapoptotic effects and improved cell viability. This study demonstrated the potential application of CM in the field of regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms and Pharmacological Target of Neuroprotection)
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17 pages, 2180 KiB  
Review
Ethnobotany, Phytochemistry, and Biological Activities of the Genus Cordyline
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1783; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121783 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
Cordyline species have a long history in traditional medicine as a basis of treatment for various ailments such as a bloody cough, dysentery, and a high fever. There are about 26 accepted species names in this genus distributed worldwide, including C. fruticosa, [...] Read more.
Cordyline species have a long history in traditional medicine as a basis of treatment for various ailments such as a bloody cough, dysentery, and a high fever. There are about 26 accepted species names in this genus distributed worldwide, including C. fruticosa, C. autralis, C. stricta, C. cannifolia, and C. dracaenosides. This work presents a comprehensive review of the traditional uses of plants of the genus Cordylie and their chemical constituents and biological activities. A bibliographic search was conducted to identify available information on ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, chemical composition, and biological activities. A total of 98 isolated compounds potentially responsible for most of the traditional medicinal applications have been reported from eight species of Cordyline and are characterised as flavonoid, spirostane, furostane, and cholestane glycosides. Some of these pure compounds, as well as extracts from some species of Cordyline, have exhibited noteworthy anti-oxidant, antiproliferative, antimicrobial, and hypolipidemic activities. Although many of these species have not yet been investigated phytochemically or pharmacologically, they remain a potential source of new bioactive compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Value of Natural Compounds as Therapeutic Agents)
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27 pages, 2964 KiB  
Article
Resilience and Vulnerability to Stress-Induced Anhedonia: Unveiling Brain Gene Expression and Mitochondrial Dynamics in a Mouse Chronic Stress Depression Model
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1782; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121782 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1158
Abstract
The role of altered brain mitochondrial regulation in psychiatric pathologies, including Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), has attracted increasing attention. Aberrant mitochondrial functions were suggested to underlie distinct inter-individual vulnerability to stress-related MDD syndrome. In this context, insulin receptor sensitizers (IRSs) that regulate brain [...] Read more.
The role of altered brain mitochondrial regulation in psychiatric pathologies, including Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), has attracted increasing attention. Aberrant mitochondrial functions were suggested to underlie distinct inter-individual vulnerability to stress-related MDD syndrome. In this context, insulin receptor sensitizers (IRSs) that regulate brain metabolism have become a focus of recent research, as their use in pre-clinical studies can help to elucidate the role of mitochondrial dynamics in this disorder and contribute to the development of new antidepressant treatment. Here, following 2-week chronic mild stress (CMS) using predation, social defeat, and restraint, MDD-related behaviour and brain molecular markers have been investigated along with the hippocampus-dependent performance and emotionality in mice that received the IRS dicholine succinate (DS). In a sucrose test, mice were studied for the key feature of MDD, a decreased sensitivity to reward, called anhedonia. Based on this test, animals were assigned to anhedonic and resilient-to-stress-induced-anhedonia groups, using a previously established criterion of a decrease in sucrose preference below 65%. Such assignment was based on the fact that none of control, non-stressed animals displayed sucrose preference that would be smaller than this value. DS-treated stressed mice displayed ameliorated behaviours in a battery of assays: sucrose preference, coat state, the Y-maze, the marble test, tail suspension, and nest building. CMS-vulnerable mice exhibited overexpression of the inflammatory markers Il-1β, tnf, and Cox-1, as well as 5-htt and 5-ht2a-R, in various brain regions. The alterations in hippocampal gene expression were the closest to clinical findings and were studied further. DS-treated, stressed mice showed normalised hippocampal expression of the plasticity markers Camk4, Camk2, Pka, Adcy1, Creb-ar, Nmda-2r-ar, and Nmda-2r-s. DS-treated and non-treated stressed mice who were resilient or vulnerable to anhedonia were compared for hippocampal mitochondrial pathway regulation using Illumina profiling. Resilient mice revealed overexpression of the mitochondrial complexes NADH dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase, cytochrome bc1, cytochrome c oxidase, F-type and V-type ATPases, and inorganic pyrophosphatase, which were decreased in anhedonic mice. DS partially normalised the expression of both ATPases. We conclude that hippocampal reduction in ATP synthesis is associated with anhedonia and pro-inflammatory brain changes that are ameliorated by DS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Section Molecular Medicine)
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2 pages, 641 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Kobroob et al. Effectiveness of N-Acetylcysteine in the Treatment of Renal Deterioration Caused by Long-Term Exposure to Bisphenol A. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 655
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1781; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121781 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 495
Abstract
The authors would like to replace Figure 2 of the following published paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
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14 pages, 2529 KiB  
Article
Bone Formation in Zebrafish: The Significance of DAF-FM DA Staining for Nitric Oxide Detection
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121780 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 729
Abstract
DAF-FM DA is widely used as a live staining compound to show the presence of nitric oxide (NO) in cells. Applying this stain to live zebrafish embryos is known to indicate early centers of bone formation, but the precise (cellular) location of the [...] Read more.
DAF-FM DA is widely used as a live staining compound to show the presence of nitric oxide (NO) in cells. Applying this stain to live zebrafish embryos is known to indicate early centers of bone formation, but the precise (cellular) location of the signal has hitherto not been revealed. Using sections of zebrafish embryos live-stained with DAF-FM DA, we could confirm that the fluorescent signals were predominantly located in areas of ongoing bone formation. Signals were observed in the bone and tooth matrix, in the notochord sheath, as well as in the bulbus arteriosus. Surprisingly, however, they were exclusively extracellular, even after very short staining times. Von Kossa and Alizarin red S staining to reveal mineral deposits showed that DAF-FM DA stains both the mineralized and non-mineralized bone matrix (osteoid), excluding that DAF-FM DA binds non-specifically to calcified structures. The importance of NO in bone formation by osteoblasts is nevertheless undisputed, as shown by the absence of bone structures after the inhibition of NOS enzymes that catalyze the formation of NO. In conclusion, in zebrafish skeletal biology, DAF-FM DA is appropriate to reveal bone formation in vivo, independent of mineralization of the bone matrix, but it does not demonstrate intracellular NO. Full article
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22 pages, 1948 KiB  
Review
From Chronodisruption to Sarcopenia: The Therapeutic Potential of Melatonin
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1779; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121779 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Sarcopenia is an age-related condition that involves a progressive decline in muscle mass and function, leading to increased risk of falls, frailty, and mortality. Although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, aging-related processes like inflammation, oxidative stress, reduced mitochondrial capacity, and cell [...] Read more.
Sarcopenia is an age-related condition that involves a progressive decline in muscle mass and function, leading to increased risk of falls, frailty, and mortality. Although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, aging-related processes like inflammation, oxidative stress, reduced mitochondrial capacity, and cell apoptosis contribute to this decline. Disruption of the circadian system with age may initiate these pathways in skeletal muscle, preceding the onset of sarcopenia. At present, there is no pharmacological treatment for sarcopenia, only resistance exercise and proper nutrition may delay its onset. Melatonin, derived from tryptophan, emerges as an exceptional candidate for treating sarcopenia due to its chronobiotic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Its impact on mitochondria and organelle, where it is synthesized and crucial in aging skeletal muscle, further highlights its potential. In this review, we discuss the influence of clock genes in muscular aging, with special reference to peripheral clock genes in the skeletal muscle, as well as their relationship with melatonin, which is proposed as a potential therapy against sarcopenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin in Normal Physiology and Disease)
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13 pages, 624 KiB  
Article
The Association between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 Levels and Pro-Inflammatory Markers in New-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Prediabetes
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1778; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121778 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 807
Abstract
In this study, we aimed to reveal the pro-inflammatory effects of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (Vit D) deficiency and insufficiency in new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and prediabetes. We recruited 84 prediabetes patients, 94 new-onset T2DM patients and 113 healthy participants. We measured [...] Read more.
In this study, we aimed to reveal the pro-inflammatory effects of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (Vit D) deficiency and insufficiency in new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and prediabetes. We recruited 84 prediabetes patients, 94 new-onset T2DM patients and 113 healthy participants. We measured the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, ferritin, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in the serum of the participants. ANOVA Bonferroni and Kruskal–Wallis Dunn tests were used to compare the inflammation markers and vitamin D levels between the groups. Based on covariance analysis with age, gender and BMI, the Vit D levels of the T2DM group were significantly lower (p < 0.003). Pro-inflammatory markers and CRP were significantly higher in prediabetic and diabetic subjects. In the prediabetes group, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and MAPK were significantly higher in those with Vit D insufficiency and deficiency groups. In the T2DM group, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, NF-κB, MAPK and CRP were significantly higher in those with Vit D insufficiency and deficiency. Our study emphasizes the pro-inflammatory effects of Vit D deficiency and insufficiency in new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus and prediabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biological Factors)
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19 pages, 1182 KiB  
Review
Myostatin and the Heart
Biomolecules 2023, 13(12), 1777; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13121777 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 920
Abstract
Myostatin (growth differentiation factor 8) is a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily. It is secreted mostly by skeletal muscles, although small amounts of myostatin are produced by the myocardium and the adipose tissue as well. Myostatin binds to activin IIB membrane [...] Read more.
Myostatin (growth differentiation factor 8) is a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily. It is secreted mostly by skeletal muscles, although small amounts of myostatin are produced by the myocardium and the adipose tissue as well. Myostatin binds to activin IIB membrane receptors to activate the downstream intracellular canonical Smad2/Smad3 pathway, and additionally acts on non-Smad (non-canonical) pathways. Studies on transgenic animals have shown that overexpression of myostatin reduces the heart mass, whereas removal of myostatin has an opposite effect. In this review, we summarize the potential diagnostic and prognostic value of this protein in heart-related conditions. First, in myostatin-null mice the left ventricular internal diameters along with the diastolic and systolic volumes are larger than the respective values in wild-type mice. Myostatin is potentially secreted as part of a negative feedback loop that reduces the effects of the release of growth-promoting factors and energy reprogramming in response to hypertrophic stimuli. On the other hand, both human and animal data indicate that myostatin is involved in the development of the cardiac cachexia and heart fibrosis in the course of chronic heart failure. The understanding of the role of myostatin in such conditions might initiate a development of targeted therapies based on myostatin signaling inhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cellular Biochemistry)
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