International Journal of Molecular Sciences

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ISSN / EISSN : 1422-0067 / 1422-0067
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 30,700
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Latest articles in this journal

Jing-Ru Weng, Wei-Yu Lin, Li-Yuan Bai, Jing-Lan Hu, Chia-Hsien Feng
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217947

Abstract:
We recently isolated a cardiac glycoside (CG), α-L-diginoside, from an indigenous plant in Taiwan, which exhibits potent tumor-suppressive efficacy in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines (SCC2095 and SCC4, IC50 < 0.2 µM; 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays). Here, we report that α-L-diginoside caused Sphase arrest and apoptosis, through the inhibition of a series of signaling pathways, including those mediated by cyclin E, phospho-CDC25C (p-CDC25C), and janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT)3. α-L-diginoside induced apoptosis, as indicated by caspase activation and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Equally important, α-L-diginoside reduced Mcl-1 expression through protein degradation, and overexpression of Mcl-1 partially protected SCC2095 cells from α-L-diginoside’s cytotoxicity. Taken together, these data suggest the translational potential of α-L-diginoside to foster new therapeutic strategies for OSCC treatment.
Kristi Moncja, Michael Van Dyke
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217929

Abstract:
Transcription factors (TFs) have been extensively researched in certain well-studied organisms, but far less so in others. Following the whole-genome sequencing of a new organism, TFs are typically identified through their homology with related proteins in other organisms. However, recent findings demonstrate that structurally similar TFs from distantly related bacteria are not usually evolutionary orthologs. Here we explore TTHB099, a cAMP receptor protein (CRP)-family TF from the extremophile Thermus thermophilus HB8. Using the in vitro iterative selection method Restriction Endonuclease Protection, Selection and Amplification (REPSA), we identified the preferred DNA-binding motif for TTHB099, 5′–TGT(A/g)NBSYRSVN(T/c)ACA–3′, and mapped potential binding sites and regulated genes within the T. thermophilus HB8 genome. Comparisons with expression profile data in TTHB099-deficient and wild type strains suggested that, unlike E. coli CRP (CRPEc), TTHB099 does not have a simple regulatory mechanism. However, we hypothesize that TTHB099 can be a dual-regulator similar to CRPEc.
Francesco Oliva, Marialucia Gallorini, Cristina Antonetti Lamorgese Passeri, Clarissa Gissi, Alessia Ricci, Amelia Cataldi, Alessia Colosimo, Anna Berardi
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217956

Abstract:
Rotator cuff tears (RCTs) and rotator cuff disease (RCD) are important causes of disability in middle-aged individuals affected by nontraumatic shoulder dysfunctions. Our previous studies have demonstrated that four different hyaluronic acid preparations (HAPs), including Artrosulfur® hyaluronic acid (HA) (Alfakjn S.r.l., Garlasco, Italy), may exert a protective effect in human RCT-derived tendon cells undergoing oxidative stress damage. Recently, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) (Barentz, Paderno Dugnano, Italy) has proven to have anti-inflammatory properties and to cause pain relief in patients affected by tendinopathies. This study aims at evaluating three preparations (Artrosulfur® HA, MSM, and Artrosulfur® MSM + HA) in the recovery from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress damage in human tenocyte. Cell proliferation, Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) release, and inducible nitric oxide synthases (iNOS) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) modulation were investigated. In parallel, expression of metalloproteinases 2 (MMP2) and 14 (MMP14) and collagen types I and III were also examined. Results demonstrate that Artrosulfur® MSM + HA improves cell escape from oxidative stress by decreasing cytotoxicity and by reducing iNOS and PGE2 secretion. Furthermore, it differentially modulates MMP2 and MMP14 levels and enhances collagen III expression after 24 h, proteins globally related to rapid acceleration of the extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling and thus tendon healing. By improving the anti-cytotoxic effect of HA, the supplementation of MSM may represent a feasible strategy to ameliorate cuff tendinopathies.
Jan Korbecki, Mateusz Olbromski, Piotr Dzięgiel
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217955

Abstract:
A neoplastic tumor consists of cancer cells that interact with each other and non-cancerous cells that support the development of the cancer. One such cell are tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). These cells secrete many chemokines into the tumor microenvironment, including especially a large amount of CCL18. This chemokine is a marker of the M2 macrophage subset; this is the reason why an increase in the production of CCL18 is associated with the immunosuppressive nature of the tumor microenvironment and an important element of cancer immune evasion. Consequently, elevated levels of CCL18 in the serum and the tumor are connected with a worse prognosis for the patient. This paper shows the importance of CCL18 in neoplastic processes. It includes a description of the signal transduction from PITPNM3 in CCL18-dependent migration, invasion, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) cancer cells. The importance of CCL18 in angiogenesis has also been described. The paper also describes the effect of CCL18 on the recruitment to the cancer niche and the functioning of cells such as TAMs, regulatory T cells (Treg), cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and tumor-associated dendritic cells (TADCs). The last part of the paper describes the possibility of using CCL18 as a therapeutic target during anti-cancer therapy.
Dong Kang, Jongsoo Woo, Hyeongjoo Kim, Soo Kim, Sanghee Ji, Gunn Jaygal, Tae Ahn, Han Kim, Hyoung Kwak, Chang-Jin Kim, et al.
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217928

Abstract:
HJURP is a key factor for CENP-A deposition and maintenance in centromeres. The role of mis-regulation of histone chaperones in cancer initiation and progression has been studied. However, its role in colorectal cancer is still unclear. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the expression of HJURP in 162 colorectal cancer tissue. To investigate the function of HJURP in the colorectal cancer cell, we suppressed HJURP expression by siRNA and confirmed proliferation, migration, invasion, and anchorage independent of colony forming ability. The association between HJURP expression levels and clinicopathological factors was evaluated in 162 CRC tissues using immunohistochemistry. The overall survival rate in patients of HJURP high expression was higher than those in HJURP low expression in CRC. Suppressing HJURP expression decreased cellular proliferation, invasion, and migration in four CRC cell lines: HT29, HCT116, SW480, SW620 in vitro study. Our findings revealed that the knockdown of HJURP suppressed the proliferation, migration, invasion, and tumorigenicity in CRC cells. Due to its strong association with CRC, HJURP could be a potential prognostic biomarker and a novel target for drug discovery.
Ju-Ryoung Kim, Hyun Kim
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217938

Abstract:
Clinical conditions leading to chronic pain show important sex-related differences in the prevalence, severity, and degree of functional disability. Decades of epidemiological and clinical studies have demonstrated that women are more sensitive to pain than men. Arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA), is much more prevalent in females and accounts for the majority of pain arising from musculoskeletal conditions. It is therefore important to understand the mechanisms governing sex-dependent differences in chronic pain, including arthritis pain. However, research into the mechanisms underlying the sex-related differences in arthritis-induced pain is still in its infancy due to the bias in biomedical research performed largely in male subjects and animals. In this review, we discuss current advances in both clinical and preclinical research regarding sex-related differences in the development or severity of arthritis and associated pain. In addition, sex-related differences in biological and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of arthritis pain, elucidated based on clinical and preclinical findings, are reviewed.
Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Berthold Nock, Eric Krenning, Theodosia Maina
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217926

Abstract:
Background: The overexpression of neurotensin subtype 1 receptors (NTS1Rs) in human tumors may be elegantly exploited for directing neurotensin (NT)-based radionuclide carriers specifically to cancer sites for theranostic purposes. We have recently shown that [99mTc]Tc–DT1 ([99mTc]Tc–[N4–Gly7]NT(7–13)) and [99mTc]Tc–DT5 ([99mTc]Tc–[N4–βAla7,Dab9]NT(7–13)) show notably improved uptake in human colon adenocarcinoma WiDr xenografts in mice treated with neprilysin (NEP) inhibitors and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors compared with untreated controls. Aiming toward translation of this promising approach in NTS1R-positive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients, we now report on the impact of registered NEP/ACE inhibitors on the performance of [99mTc]Tc–DT1 and [99mTc]Tc–DT5 in pancreatic cancer models. Methods: The cellular uptake of [99mTc]Tc–DT1 and [99mTc]Tc–DT5 was tested in a panel of pancreatic cell lines, and their stability was assessed in mice treated or not treated with Entresto, lisinopril, or their combinations. Biodistribution was conducted in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice bearing pancreatic AsPC-1 xenografts. Results: The Entresto + lisinopril combination maximized the metabolic stability of the fast-internalizing [99mTc]Tc–DT1 in mice, resulting in notably enhanced tumor uptake (7.05 ± 0.80% injected activity (IA)/g vs. 1.25 ± 0.80% IA/g in non-treated controls at 4 h post-injection; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: This study has shown the feasibility of optimizing the uptake of [99mTc]Tc–DT1 in pancreatic cancer models with the aid of clinically established NEP/ACE inhibitors, in favor of clinical translation prospects.
Daniele Mattei, Andranik Ivanov, Marc Van Oostrum, Stanislav Pantelyushin, Juliet Richetto, Flavia Mueller, Michal Beffinger, Linda Schellhammer, Johannes Vom Berg, Bernd Wollscheid, et al.
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217944

Abstract:
Different cell isolation techniques exist for transcriptomic and proteotype profiling of brain cells. Here, we provide a systematic investigation of the influence of different cell isolation protocols on transcriptional and proteotype profiles in mouse brain tissue by taking into account single-cell transcriptomics of brain cells, proteotypes of microglia and astrocytes, and flow cytometric analysis of microglia. We show that standard enzymatic digestion of brain tissue at 37 °C induces profound and consistent alterations in the transcriptome and proteotype of neuronal and glial cells, as compared to an optimized mechanical dissociation protocol at 4 °C. These findings emphasize the risk of introducing technical biases and biological artifacts when implementing enzymatic digestion-based isolation methods for brain cell analyses.
Xiaogang Zhang, Harmjan Vos, Weiyang Tao, Willem Stoorvogel
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217957

Abstract:
Body fluids contain many populations of extracellular vesicles (EV) that differ in size, cellular origin, molecular composition, and biological activities. EV in seminal plasma are in majority originating from prostate epithelial cells, and hence are also referred to as prostasomes. Nevertheless, EV are also contributed by other accessory sex glands, as well as by the testis and epididymis. In a previous study, we isolated EV from seminal plasma of vasectomized men, thereby excluding contributions from the testis and epididymis, and identified two distinct EV populations with diameters of 50 and 100 nm, respectively. In the current study, we comprehensively analyzed the protein composition of these two EV populations using quantitative Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In total 1558 proteins were identified. Of these, ≈45% was found only in the isolated 100 nm EV, 1% only in the isolated 50 nm EV, and 54% in both 100 nm and 50 nm EV. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis suggest that both originate from the prostate, but with distinct biogenesis pathways. Finally, nine proteins, including KLK3, KLK2, MSMB, NEFH, PSCA, PABPC1, TGM4, ALOX15B, and ANO7, with known prostate specific expression and alternate expression levels in prostate cancer tissue were identified. These data have potential for the discovery of EV associated prostate cancer biomarkers in blood.
Timur Mirzoev
Published: 26 October 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21217940

Abstract:
Skeletal muscle fibers have a unique capacity to adjust their metabolism and phenotype in response to alternations in mechanical loading. Indeed, chronic mechanical loading leads to an increase in skeletal muscle mass, while prolonged mechanical unloading results in a significant decrease in muscle mass (muscle atrophy). The maintenance of skeletal muscle mass is dependent on the balance between rates of muscle protein synthesis and breakdown. While molecular mechanisms regulating protein synthesis during mechanical unloading have been relatively well studied, signaling events implicated in protein turnover during skeletal muscle recovery from unloading are poorly defined. A better understanding of the molecular events that underpin muscle mass recovery following disuse-induced atrophy is of significant importance for both clinical and space medicine. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms that may be involved in the activation of protein synthesis and subsequent restoration of muscle mass after a period of mechanical unloading. In addition, the efficiency of strategies proposed to improve muscle protein gain during recovery is also discussed.
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