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BioChem, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 5 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Skin has been widely used for toxicity and safety evaluation during the process of drug research and development, formerly performed in vivo using a variety of animal species. Nowadays, with increased ethical issues related to animal experimentation, the development of non-animal models is essential to avoid animal suffering. This work shows the development of a canine skin analog, the cEpiderm, a histotypical cell culture-derived tissue suitable for animal free testing, following the OECD guidelines, imperative to avoid harmful, drawn-out tests to assess chemicals for their capacity to disrupt skin or cause sensitization. This is a promising canine epidermis model for the development and evaluation of new drugs for topical application. View this paper
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11 pages, 6727 KiB  
Article
Synergistic Antibacterial Activity of Green Gold Nanoparticles and Tannin-Based Derivatives
by Elisângela Gomes De Lima Oliveira, Simone Araújo Vieira, Fernando Antônio Gomes Da Silva, Jr., Mateus Matiuzzi Da Costa, Anderson S. L. Gomes and Helinando P. De Oliveira
BioChem 2022, 2(4), 269-279; https://doi.org/10.3390/biochem2040019 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2098
Abstract
The development of composites with antibacterial activity represents an important strategy to avoid side effects such as increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics. In particular, the green synthesis of metal nanoparticles avoids the use of hazardous chemical compounds and introduces the intrinsic beneficial properties [...] Read more.
The development of composites with antibacterial activity represents an important strategy to avoid side effects such as increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics. In particular, the green synthesis of metal nanoparticles avoids the use of hazardous chemical compounds and introduces the intrinsic beneficial properties of plant-derived compounds. Herein, the reduction of gold salt into metal nanoparticles was provided by the action of a cationic polymer derived from tannin (Tanfloc®). Comparative activity of antibacterial agents (pure Tanfloc and Au NPs—Tanfloc) at different concentrations were evaluated in terms of the antibiofilm activity, kill-time assays and inhibition haloes confirming the antibacterial activity of the Tanfloc that is reinforced by the incorporation of reduced gold nanoparticles, resulting in the complete elimination of S. aureus from an initial concentration of 108 CFU/mL after 120 min of reaction of Au NPs + Tanfloc solution in association with strong inhibition of the biofilm formation attributed to the Tanfloc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Biological Activity of Plant Extracts)
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9 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Oil Spill in Brazil—Analysis of Vulnerabilities and Socio-Environmental Conflicts
by Mariana Olívia Santana dos Santos, Mariana Maciel Nepomuceno, José Erivaldo Gonçalves, Ana Catarina Leite Véras Medeiros, Rafaella Miranda Machado, Caroline Pontes da Silva Santos, Maria José Cremilda Ferreira Alves, Aline do Monte Gurgel and Idê Gomes Dantas Gurgel
BioChem 2022, 2(4), 260-268; https://doi.org/10.3390/biochem2040018 - 9 Dec 2022
Viewed by 3198
Abstract
The 2019 oil spill was considered the largest environmental disaster in the Brazilian Northeastern coast. It was associated with mostly ineffective government actions, thus intensifying historical vulnerabilities faced by local populations. We aimed to analyze the environmental conflicts and injustices and the socio-environmental, [...] Read more.
The 2019 oil spill was considered the largest environmental disaster in the Brazilian Northeastern coast. It was associated with mostly ineffective government actions, thus intensifying historical vulnerabilities faced by local populations. We aimed to analyze the environmental conflicts and injustices and the socio-environmental, economic, and health vulnerabilities arising from the oil spill, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting artisanal fishing communities of the Northeastern coast. A document-based, qualitative, cross-sectional research was carried out between September 2019 and October 2022, in open access secondary databases, and using field diaries from research of the Environmental Health and Work Laboratory (LASAT) of the Aggeu Magalhães Institute of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. The disaster caused situations of injustice and environmental conflicts that had negative repercussions in the territories with socioeconomic impacts, on the environment, and on the health of the population. The entire marine environment was affected, resulting in physical and chemical alterations. The health vulnerabilities faced by local people were intensified, influencing the social determination of the health–disease process. The local economy was extremely affected, generating job insecurity and several socio-cultural problems. It is essential to build environmental and health diagnoses for remedial measures in disasters such as the oil spill. Full article
19 pages, 2011 KiB  
Review
The Role of Epitranscriptomic Modifications in the Regulation of RNA–Protein Interactions
by Elzbieta Wanowska, Alexis McFeely and Joanna Sztuba-Solinska
BioChem 2022, 2(4), 241-259; https://doi.org/10.3390/biochem2040017 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2959
Abstract
Epitranscriptome refers to post-transcriptional modifications to RNA and their associated regulatory factors that can govern changes in an organism’s cells in response to various environmental stimuli. Recent studies have recognized over 170 distinct chemical signatures in RNA, and the list keeps expanding. These [...] Read more.
Epitranscriptome refers to post-transcriptional modifications to RNA and their associated regulatory factors that can govern changes in an organism’s cells in response to various environmental stimuli. Recent studies have recognized over 170 distinct chemical signatures in RNA, and the list keeps expanding. These modifications are hypothesized to have roles beyond simply fine-tuning the structure and function of RNA, as studies have linked them to various infectious and noninfectious diseases in humans. Dedicated cellular machinery comprising of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that can write, erase, and read these modifications drives the regulation of the epitranscriptomic code, and as such influences RNA metabolism and homeostasis. Equally, perturbations in the function of RBPs may disrupt RNA processing, further implicating them in pathogenesis. As such, the mechanisms underlying RNA modifications and their association with RBPs are emerging areas of interest within the field of biomedicine. This review focuses on understanding epitranscriptomic modifications, their effects on RNA–RBPs interactions, and their influence on cellular processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA and Protein Dynamics: Latest Advances and Prospects)
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20 pages, 5924 KiB  
Communication
Bilayers as Basic Formation of Epimolecular Structure of Mostly Lyotropic (Hydrotropic) Structuralized Liquid Systems Being Influenced Predominantly by the Temperature
by Miloslav Milichovský
BioChem 2022, 2(4), 221-240; https://doi.org/10.3390/biochem2040016 - 10 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1728
Abstract
The bilayer’s formations of amphiphilic molecules or polyions of different ionogenity comprise the basic building units of most organic biological and non-biological systems. A theory has evolved to explain their behaviour during the creation of those organized structures, such as anisotropic liquid crystal [...] Read more.
The bilayer’s formations of amphiphilic molecules or polyions of different ionogenity comprise the basic building units of most organic biological and non-biological systems. A theory has evolved to explain their behaviour during the creation of those organized structures, such as anisotropic liquid crystal (LC) in lyotropic (especially hydrotropic) systems and polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) assemblies. Particular attention has been paid to the temperature and the important role of water in the formation and behaviour of the bilayers. A novel insight into the formation of hydrotropic liquid LC systems and their thermotropic behaviour is presented. In this context, the systems PEM assemblies are also discussed. Essentially, a structuralised form of water fills out continuous and discontinuous, i.e., confined, nano-spaces among hydrophilic interfaces of bilayers, controlling their supramolecular structure through a system of attractive and repulsive hydration forces. The character of those sophisticated bonding hydration systems is predestined by the composition and type of these hydrophilic interface groups. The miscellaneous complexity of the bilayer’s aqueous systems suggests the need to study these examples in greater detail. Therefore, the bilayer’s processes connected with disruption as far as destruction of bilayers are mentioned, i.e., the processes with the highest potential to combat bacteria, fungi, and viruses, such as in a situation where a person exhales a breath of micro-droplets containing virus nanoparticles (e.g., the COVID-19 virus). Full article
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6 pages, 1574 KiB  
Article
cEpiderm, a Canine Skin Analog Suitable for In Vivo Testing Replacement
by Mariana Marques, João Nunes, Bárbara Ustymenko, Luísa Fialho, Luís Martins, Anthony J. Burke, Cesar Filho, Alexandre C. Craveiro, Ana R. Costa, Sandra Branco and Célia M. Antunes
BioChem 2022, 2(4), 215-220; https://doi.org/10.3390/biochem2040015 - 20 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2097
Abstract
Skin is one of the organs most tested for toxicity and safety evaluation during the process of drug research and development and in the past has usually been performed in vivo using animals. Over the last few years, non-animal alternatives have been developed [...] Read more.
Skin is one of the organs most tested for toxicity and safety evaluation during the process of drug research and development and in the past has usually been performed in vivo using animals. Over the last few years, non-animal alternatives have been developed and validated epidermis models for human and rat skin are already available. Our goal was to develop a histotypical canine skin analog, suitable for non-animal biocompatibility and biosafety assessment. Canine keratinocytes were seeded in an air-lift culture using an adapted version of the CELLnTEC protocol. Corrosion and irritation protocols were adapted from human EpiSkinTM. For histological analysis, sample biopsies were fixed in neutral-buffered formalin, and paraffin slices were routinely processed and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. A canine multilayer and stratified epidermal-like tissue (cEpiderm), confirmed by histological analysis, was obtained. The cEpiderm tissue exhibited normal morphological and functional characteristics of epidermis, namely impermeability and an adequate response to stressors. The cEpiderm is a promising canine skin model for non-animal safety testing of veterinary pharmaceuticals and/or cosmetics, significantly contributing to reducing undesirable in vivo approaches. cEpiderm is therefore a valid canine skin model and may be made commercially available either as a service or as a product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from XXI SPB National Congress of Biochemistry 2021)
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