International Journal of Molecular Sciences

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ISSN / EISSN : 14220067 / 14220067
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 23,789
Google Scholar h5-index: 104
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Cinzia Imberti, Pierre Adumeau, Julia Blower, Fahad Al Salemee, Julia Baguña Torres, Jason Lewis, Brian Zeglis, Samantha Terry, Philip Blower
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041496

Abstract:Pretargeting is widely explored in immunoPET as a strategy to reduce radiation exposure of non-target organs and allow the use of short-lived radionuclides that would not otherwise be compatible with the slow pharmacokinetic profiles of antibodies. Here we investigate a pretargeting strategy based on gallium-68 and the chelator THPMe as a high-affinity pair capable of combining in vivo. After confirming the ability of THPMe to bind 68Ga in vivo at low concentrations, the bifunctional THPMe-NCS was conjugated to a humanised huA33 antibody targeting the A33 glycoprotein. Imaging experiments performed in nude mice bearing A33-positive SW1222 colorectal cancer xenografts compared pretargeting (100 μg of THPMe-NCS-huA33, followed after 24 h by 8–10 MBq of 68Ga3+) with both a directly labelled radioimmunoconjugate (89Zr-DFO-NCS-huA33, 88 μg, 7 MBq) and a 68Ga-only negative control (8–10 MBq of 68Ga3+). Imaging was performed 25 h after antibody administration (1 h after 68Ga3+ administration for negative control). No difference between pretargeting and the negative control was observed, suggesting that pretargeting via metal chelation is not feasible using this model. However, significant accumulation of “unchelated” 68Ga3+ in the tumour was found (12.9 %ID/g) even without prior administration of THPMe-NCS-huA33, though tumour-to-background contrast was impaired by residual activity in the blood. Therefore, the 68Ga-only experiment was repeated using THPMe (20 μg, 1 h after 68Ga3+ administration) to clear circulating 68Ga3+, producing a three-fold improvement of the tumour-to-blood activity concentration ratio. Although preliminary, these results highlight the potential of THPMe as a 68Ga clearing agent in imaging applications with gallium citrate.
Narjès Hafsia, Marine Forien, Félix Renaudin, Delphine Delacour, Pascal Reboul, Peter Van Lent, Martine Cohen-Solal, Frédéric Lioté, Françoise Poirier, Hang Ea
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041486

Abstract:Mechanical overload and aging are the main risk factors of osteoarthritis (OA). Galectin 3 (GAL3) is important in the formation of primary cilia, organelles that are able to sense mechanical stress. The objectives were to evaluate the role of GAL3 in chondrocyte primary cilium formation and in OA in mice. Chondrocyte primary cilium was detected in vitro by confocal microscopy. OA was induced by aging and partial meniscectomy of wild-type (WT) and Gal3-null 129SvEV mice (Gal3−/−). Primary chondrocytes were isolated from joints of new-born mice. Chondrocyte apoptosis was assessed by Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), caspase 3 activity and cytochrome c release. Gene expression was assessed by qRT-PCR. GAL3 was localized at the basal body of the chondrocyte primary cilium. Primary cilia of Gal3−/− chondrocytes were frequently abnormal and misshapen. Deletion of Gal3 triggered premature OA during aging and exacerbated joint instability-induced OA. In both aging and surgery-induced OA cartilage, levels of chondrocyte catabolism and hypertrophy markers and apoptosis were more severe in Gal3−/− than WT samples. In vitro, Gal3 knockout favored chondrocyte apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway. GAL3 is a key regulator of cartilage homeostasis and chondrocyte primary cilium formation in mice. Gal3 deletion promotes OA development.
Pinar Uysal-Onganer, Amy MacLatchy, Rayan Mahmoud, Igor Kraev, Paul Thompson, Jameel Inal, Sigrun Lange
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041495

Abstract:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive adult brain tumour with poor prognosis. Roles for peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) in GBM have recently been highlighted. Here, two GBM cell lines were treated with PAD2, PAD3 and PAD4 isozyme-specific inhibitors. Effects were assessed on extracellular vesicle (EV) signatures, including EV-microRNA cargo (miR21, miR126 and miR210), and on changes in cellular protein expression relevant for mitochondrial housekeeping (prohibitin (PHB)) and cancer progression (stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM-1) and moesin), as well as assessing cell invasion. Overall, GBM cell-line specific differences for the three PAD isozyme-specific inhibitors were observed on modulation of EV-signatures, PHB, STIM-1 and moesin protein levels, as well as on cell invasion. The PAD3 inhibitor was most effective in modulating EVs to anti-oncogenic signatures (reduced miR21 and miR210, and elevated miR126), to reduce cell invasion and to modulate protein expression of pro-GBM proteins in LN229 cells, while the PAD2 and PAD4 inhibitors were more effective in LN18 cells. Furthermore, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways for deiminated proteins relating to cancer, metabolism and inflammation differed between the two GBM cell lines. Our findings highlight roles for the different PAD isozymes in the heterogeneity of GBM tumours and the potential for tailored PAD-isozyme specific treatment.
Oleg Mikhailov, Denis Chachkov
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041494

Abstract:The quantum-chemical calculation of iron, cobalt and nickel heteroligand complexes with the double deprotonated form of (NNNN)-donor atomic ligand—3,7,11,15-tetraazaporphine—and two oxo ligands has been carried out. Data on the structural and standard thermodynamic parameters, NBO analysis and multiplicity of the ground states of these complexes have been presented. The given calculation has been made by using the density functional theory (DFT) method with the OPBE/TZVP basis set. Based on the results of this calculation, the possibility of the existence of oxidation state VI for the chemical elements indicated above—unusual for iron and cobalt, and for nickel, unknown at all—has been shown.
David Lyons, Nicholas Pullen
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041498

Abstract:Mast cells are often regarded through the lens of IgE-dependent reactions as a cell specialized only for anti-parasitic and type I hypersensitive responses. However, recently many researchers have begun to appreciate the expansive repertoire of stimuli that mast cells can respond to. After the characterization of the interleukin (IL)-33/suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) axis of mast cell activation—a pathway that is independent of the adaptive immune system—researchers are revisiting other stimuli to induce mast cell activation and/or subsequent degranulation independent of IgE. This discovery also underscores that mast cells act as important mediators in maintaining body wide homeostasis, especially through barrier defense, and can thus be the source of disease as well. Particularly in the gut, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.) are characterized with enhanced mast cell activity in the context of autoimmune disease. Mast cells show phenotypic differences based on tissue residency, which could manifest as different receptor expression profiles, allowing for unique mast cell responses (both IgE and non-IgE mediated) across varying tissues as well. This variety in receptor expression suggests mast cells respond differently, such as in the gut where immunosuppressive IL-10 stimulates the development of food allergy or in the lungs where transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) can enhance mast cell IL-6 production. Such differences in receptor expression illustrate the truly diverse effector capabilities of mast cells, and careful consideration must be given toward the phenotype of mast cells observed in vitro. Given mast cells’ ubiquitous tissue presence and their capability to respond to a broad spectrum of non-IgE stimuli, it is expected that mast cells may also contribute to the progression of autoimmune disorders and other disease states such as metastatic cancer through promoting chronic inflammation in the local tissue microenvironment and ultimately polarizing toward a unique Th17 immune response. Furthermore, these interconnected, atypical activation pathways may crosstalk with IgE-mediated signaling differently across disorders such as parasitism, food allergies, and autoimmune disorders of the gut. In this review, we summarize recent research into familiar and novel pathways of mast cells activation and draw connections to clinical human disease.
Almudena García-Ortiz, Juan Serrador
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041502

Abstract:Ezrin, radixin and moesin proteins (ERMs) are plasma membrane (PM) organizers that link the actin cytoskeleton to the cytoplasmic tail of transmembrane proteins, many of which are adhesion receptors, in order to regulate the formation of F-actin-based structures (e.g., microspikes and microvilli). ERMs also effect transmission of signals from the PM into the cell, an action mainly exerted through the compartmentalized activation of the small Rho GTPases Rho, Rac and Cdc42. Ezrin and moesin are the ERMs more highly expressed in leukocytes, and although they do not always share functions, both are mainly regulated through phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) binding to the N-terminal band 4.1 protein-ERM (FERM) domain and phosphorylation of a conserved Thr in the C-terminal ERM association domain (C-ERMAD), exerting their functions through a wide assortment of mechanisms. In this review we will discuss some of these mechanisms, focusing on how they regulate polarization and migration in leukocytes, and formation of actin-based cellular structures like the phagocytic cup-endosome and the immune synapse in macrophages/neutrophils and lymphocytes, respectively, which represent essential aspects of the effector immune response.
Asif Iqbal, Qiang Dong, Xiangru Wang, Huiping Gui, Hengheng Zhang, Xiling Zhang, Meizhen Song
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041500

Abstract:Nitrogen (N) is the most important limiting factor for cotton production worldwide. Genotype-dependent ability to cope with N shortage has been only partially explored in cotton, and in this context, the comparison of molecular responses of cotton genotypes with different nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is of particular interest to dissect the key molecular mechanisms underlying NUE. In this study, we employed Illumina RNA-Sequencing to determine the genotypic difference in transcriptome profile using two cotton genotypes differing in NUE (CCRI-69, N-efficient, and XLZ-30, N-inefficient) under N starvation and resupply treatments. The results showed that a large genetic variation existed in differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to amino acid, carbon, and nitrogen metabolism between CCRI-69 and XLZ-30. Further analysis of metabolic changes in cotton genotypes under N resupply showed that nitrogen metabolism and aromatic amino acid metabolism pathways were mainly enriched in CCRI-69 by regulating carbon metabolism pathways such as starch and sucrose metabolism, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, and pentose phosphate pathway. Additionally, we performed an expression network analysis of genes related to amino acid, carbon, and nitrogen metabolism. In total, 75 and 33 genes were identified as hub genes in shoots and roots of cotton genotypes, respectively. In summary, the identified hub genes may provide new insights into coordinating carbon and nitrogen metabolism and improving NUE in cotton.
Zhongjie Fu, Ye Sun, Bertan Cakir, Yohei Tomita, Shuo Huang, Zhongxiao Wang, Chi-Hsiu Liu, Steve S. Cho, William Britton, Timothy S. Kern, et al.
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041503

Abstract:The tightly structured neural retina has a unique vascular network comprised of three interconnected plexuses in the inner retina (and choroid for outer retina), which provide oxygen and nutrients to neurons to maintain normal function. Clinical and experimental evidence suggests that neuronal metabolic needs control both normal retinal vascular development and pathological aberrant vascular growth. Particularly, photoreceptors, with the highest density of mitochondria in the body, regulate retinal vascular development by modulating angiogenic and inflammatory factors. Photoreceptor metabolic dysfunction, oxidative stress, and inflammation may cause adaptive but ultimately pathological retinal vascular responses, leading to blindness. Here we focus on the factors involved in neurovascular interactions, which are potential therapeutic targets to decrease energy demand and/or to increase energy production for neovascular retinal disorders.
Joonbum Lee, Dong-Hwan Kim, Kichoon Lee
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041504

Abstract:Mutation in myostatin (MSTN), a negative regulator of muscle growth in skeletal muscle, resulted in increased muscle mass in mammals and fishes. However, MSTN mutation in avian species has not been reported. The objective of this study was to generate MSTN mutation in quail and investigate the effect of MSTN mutation in avian muscle growth. Recently, a new targeted gene knockout approach for the avian species has been developed using an adenoviral CRISPR/Cas9 system. By injecting the recombinant adenovirus containing CRISPR/Cas9 into the quail blastoderm, potential germline chimeras were generated and offspring with three base-pair deletion in the targeted region of the MSTN gene was identified. This non-frameshift mutation in MSTN resulted in deletion of cysteine 42 in the MSTN propeptide region and homozygous mutant quail showed significantly increased body weight and muscle mass with muscle hyperplasia compared to heterozygous mutant and wild-type quail. In addition, decreased fat pad weight and increased heart weight were observed in MSTN mutant quail in an age- and sex-dependent manner, respectively. Taken together, these data indicate anti-myogenic function of MSTN in the avian species and the importance of cysteine 42 in regulating MSTN function.
Yu-Chia Kao, Pei-Chuan Ho, Yuan-Kun Tu, I-Ming Jou, Kuen-Jer Tsai
Published: 22 February 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21041505

Abstract:Lipids, as the basic component of cell membranes, play an important role in human health as well as brain function. The brain is highly enriched in lipids, and disruption of lipid homeostasis is related to neurologic disorders as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Aging is associated with changes in lipid composition. Alterations of fatty acids at the level of lipid rafts and cerebral lipid peroxidation were found in the early stage of AD. Genetic and environmental factors such as apolipoprotein and lipid transporter carrying status and dietary lipid content are associated with AD. Insight into the connection between lipids and AD is crucial to unraveling the metabolic aspects of this puzzling disease. Recent advances in lipid analytical methodology have led us to gain an in-depth understanding on lipids. As a result, lipidomics have becoming a hot topic of investigation in AD, in order to find biomarkers for disease prediction, diagnosis, and prevention, with the ultimate goal of discovering novel therapeutics.